Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chinese drywall firm to pay $55 M

JUNE 2011
A Miami-based supplier of tainted Chinese drywall has agreed to a $55 million settlement of claims that the product damaged homes, almost all located in Florida.
The proposed settlement, which requires judicial approval would resolve claims by thousands of plaintiffs against Banner Supply Co., several related companies and Banner’s insurers.
Banner bought 1.4 million sheets of drywall which was manufactured by Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How you can donate to the Curtis/Kocab Memorial Fund

Clear Channel Radio of Tampa is teaming up with the Tampa Bay Storm and the St. Pete Times Forum to present a charity dodgeball tournament to benefit the families of slain Tampa Police Officers, David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab.

The event will take place inside the St. Pete Times Forum on the Storm field on Saturday, July 31st, 2010 from 11:00am-2:00pm. Tournament registration is open to the public with thirty-two available team slots. Each team will consist of six members with an entry fee of $120.
All proceeds will benefit the Curtis/Kocab Memorial Fund.
The event will be open to the public to watch and donation opportunities will be available on the concourse at the Forum.
If you would like to make monetary donation to help the families of the fallen officers, TPD asks for checks to be made payable to the Curtis/Kocab Memorial Fund and sent in care of the Tampa Police Memorial Committee, P.O. Box 172995, Tampa, FL 33672. Donations can also be made in person at any Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union location.
Thank you.
BLC

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Help Our Troops Phone Home

Florida Realtors® 'Help a Soldier Call Home'

USO Calling Card
Show our troops we care -
donate today

Your donation allows our men and women fighting overseas to reconnect with their families. Please give as if your freedom depends on it.
Donate online today. Use a credit card and give through the USO’s secure website. Deadline: Aug. 15, 2010.

Why give?

"To our soldiers, ‘going home’ means 10 minutes on the phone hearing a loved one’s voice. If 'home' to our service sons and daughters is a short phone call, then we, as Florida Realtors, should help them find home.” - Wendell Davis, Florida Realtors president.
"When your son is in Iraq or Afghanistan, he’s physically 7,000 miles away, but the distance is much, much farther emotionally. For so many of our sons and daughters, comfort is a phone call. That’s it – their only connection to family." - Patti Fitzgerald, Florida Realtors president elect and mother of two Marines.

"I was able to talk to my wife and family from Afghanistan thanks to the phone cards donated by patriotic individuals, such as Realtors. For that, I offer a sincere thank you." - LCpl Joseph Fitzgerald, Patti Fitzgerald’s son.

The Details

· A donation buys international calling cards that the USO gives to deployed members of the U.S. armed services – the item most requested by our men and women serving overseas.
· Donations are fully tax deductible.
· Anyone may donate. Encourage Facebook friends, clients and family to support our troops.
Tampa Home Inspection
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Monday, May 17, 2010

US Credit Conditions: You can focus on Tampa.

Whether economic conditions are good or bad, inquiring minds want to know about mortgage delinquencies, foreclosures, and their impacts on communities across the United States.
The data is provided by one of the nation's dominant credit agencies, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Thay have created this dynamic map that tracks credit conditions related to auto loans, bankcards, mortgages, and student loans.
On the website's homepage, visitors can zoom in on our local counties or focus on any county elsewhere in the country. You can also toggle different data sets on and off on the display map. The site also includes a set of technical notes, a glossary, and a link to subscribe to email alerts. Visitors can display information from the current fiscal quarter, or look at year-by-year change. http://data.newyorkfed.org/creditconditions/
- - blc - -

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

As Seen on TV

Who did the pros at Tampa’s TV Channel 10 turn to when they needed expert advice about home inspections?

Why, us, of course. You can watch the short video clip here.

http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/story.aspx?storyid=130303&catid=250

The big surprise was to the homebuyer who stepped out to grab a cup of coffee a block away. When he returned, there was a Channel 10 news van in his driveway and a reporter doing an interview with me in the living room.

His expression was, ‘Did they find a dead body in the attic?’

Our thanks to Channel 10 reporter, Laura Kadechka, for giving us air time.

BLC

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What's That Thing?

When we conduct a home inspection, one tool we use to test the electrical circuits is a GFCI Arc Fault Receptacle Tester and Tripper. It looks like a toy and it’s small enough to fit in a pocket, but it tells us quite a bit.

The warning lights can confirm faulty wiring, GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interruption), correct polarity, ungrounded outlets and more.

Why is this important to you?


Remember – we look for things that may cost our clients money or are unsafe.

When we test a three- prong outlet that is located near water – such as a bathroom or kitchen – it must be properly grounded to prevent shock or worse. We have encountered many instances where a three- prong faceplate is present, which leads you to believe that you can plug in a three- prong plug and be safe – but once the outlet is tested - there is no ground present. Someone swapped out a two-prong faceplate for a three-prong without the ground!

Now we have a safety problem.

Almost every major appliance – computers, hair dryers, televisions, curling irons, radios, toaster ovens, coffee makers, etc. have a three-prong plug. It is there for a reason. It is used to prevent shock or electrocution or electrical fire. How many times have you seen a house fire in the news where the cause was attributed to faulty wiring?

If an appliance or other equipment is plugged into the outlet, and that appliance has a three-pronged plug, then it also has metal that is capable by being touched by people when they use it. The ground wire in that appliance is connected to that appliance metal.

Now, when you plug a three-pronged appliance into a receptacle that has three slots but does not have a ground (green) wire, the circuit breaker will not trip and when you touch the metal – ZAP. You may walk away (if you’re lucky) with Don King hair.
...BLC

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Loan Program - Hillsborough

HOME OWNERSHIP PROGRAM


The Authority currently offers a 4.99%, 30 year, fixed rate mortgage (actual APR to be disclosed by the lender). Down payment and closing cost assistance is also available in the amount of $5,000 per loan in the form of a 0% second mortgage. For more information, see the Single-Family Program page. There are $20 million of funds available on a first-come first-served basis.

Home Ownership Program
If you have ever dreamed about home ownership but felt that buying a home was a little beyond your reach, the Housing Finance Authority (HFA) of Hillsborough County may make your dream easier to reach with the 2009/2010 Home Ownership Program.

How does the program work?

The program offers a borrower a first mortgage loan at 4.99%. The borrower receives a 30-year, fixed rate, fully amortizing first mortgage loan. There are zero origination points and zero discount points on FHA, VA or RD loans (0.5% origination fee on conventional loans).

Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance

Assistance is available in the form of a second mortgage of $5,000. The second mortgage is a 30-year deferred, 0% loan that may be used for down payment and/or closing costs. It is never forgiven and it is repayable at 30 years or sooner if the property ceases to be the borrower's principal residence, is sold, refinanced or rented.

What kind of home may I purchase?

You may purchase a new or existing single family home (attached or detached) a condo, town home or PUD anywhere in Hillsborough County, including unincorporated Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa, the City of Temple Terrace or Plant City. The purchase price of the home may not be more than $258,690. In some areas of the county there are areas referred to as "targeted areas" that have higher income and sales price limits. A participating lender can provide information regarding targeted areas.

Who qualifies?

1. Buyers must be first-time buyers (have not had an ownership interest in a home for the past three years) and meet standard credit requirements.

2. There are household income limits:

1-2 Person Household Income Limit = $63,831

3 or More Person Household Income Limits = $73,406