Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hillsborough County Offers Home Buyers A Break

STARTS FEB. 5th, 2010
First time homebuyers in unincorporated Hillsborough County should take advantage of a new program that provides assistance for down payments and closing costs. The Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Dept. will release more than $1 million for eliginle residents, including those in Temple Terrace and Plant City. Called 'First-Time Homebuyer Program', the plan is to provide help with mortgage financing with private lenders (not banks).
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Dogs Sniff Out Chinese Drywall

When members of our team suspect that Chinese drywall was used in the construction of a dwelling, we use our noses because Chinese drywall emits a rotten egg, sulfur smell.
The only way to positively confirm the presence of the tainted drywall is to take a core sample of the drywall and have it lab tested. Problem is, one can never be sure exactly where the drywall was used. Where do you take the core sample? From a panel in the ceiling? A wall? Several walls? Is it just one panel or dozens used throughout the house?
One of our competitors, an inspection company in Manatee County, Florida (Professional Building Inspectors) got a brilliant idea. If dogs can be trained to sniff out drugs and other contraband, why not train them to sniff out Chinese drywall?
Working with the Von Asgard K9 Center in Myakka City, they formed a company called K9 Detection Service that trains dogs to sniff out Chinese drywall. This doesn’t mean that specific panels can be singled out for replacement. What the company does do, however, is to confirm the presence of the drywall and a very specific location.
So far, the company has seven dogs in training or in the field. K9 Detective services charges about $400 to conduct their detection services. This is much less than the $2,000 some homeowners have paid for core sampling and lab testing. More info can be found at keyword: Chinese drywall.