What happens when a home under contract is damaged?

What happens when a home under contract is damaged?

October 3, 2016 — Since all contracts are different and contain various provisions regarding how damage to the property is handled, the answers depend on the language of your specific deal. However, if you use the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contracts, Standard 18M covers repairs, the obligation of the seller and other issues related to property damaged before closing.

This section, entitled Risk of Loss, states that if the property is damaged by fire or other casualty loss and the cost of restoration does not exceed 1.5 percent of the purchase price, the seller must restore the property and closing shall proceed according to the terms of the contract. In the event the cost of restoration exceeds 1.5 percent of the purchase price, the buyer has the option of taking the property “as is” together with the 1.5 percent, or the buyer can receive his or her deposit back, and all parties are released from the contract.

In the event of any casualty damage to the property, it is important for the parties to get an estimate for repairs as quickly as possible so they will have a better understanding of their options. Additionally, depending on the type of casualty loss, the contract’s force majeure provision may apply, which could delay the closing or terminate the deal.

As risk of loss could involve potential legal issues, buyers and sellers may also want to consult their own legal counsel.

Meredith Caruso is Manager of Member Legal Communications for Florida Realtors

© 2016 Florida Realtors®

Source : Florida Realtors

Can an existing home get an Energy Star?

Can an existing home get an Energy Star?

Perhaps a few years ago an older home could have received an Energy Star rating or a Green certification after increasing the attic insulation and changing to double pane windows, among other changes; however, the requirements are much stricter since. The single thing that makes this unlikely is a procedure called “Thermal Bypass.” This specific step requires the inspection of the walls before the drywall goes up. Hence, this can only happen during its construction period. Unless a consumer is doing a major remodeling that will allow this Thermal Bypass to take place, an existing home will not be able to receive a Green certification or ENERGY STAR rating.

From ENERGYSTAR.gov: Any home, new or existing, that can be field verified to meet all EPA requirements for ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes can earn the label. Given that the verification process entails inspecting insulation and air barrier assemblies as part of the Thermal Bypass Checklist (TBC), it is unlikely existing homes will be able to qualify unless they are part of a gut rehab project exposing all insulated framing assemblies.

Perhaps in the future they may accept the use of an infrared camera diagnostic in lieu of a TBC visual inspection.

Whether a home receives a certification/rating or not, the most important thing here is our wellbeing and the environment. After all, it is our future and the children’s future. With the water and fuel issues we are currently facing, and will continue to face, we should do our part to ensure quality water and affordable energy in the years to come. By taking the necessary steps to make your home and lifestyle greener we can provide a healthier environment within the home and save on utility bills, as well as diminish the pollution that is affecting our environment. Improve the air quality within your home by sealing the ducts and the house, tint your windows to help block the sun from entering your home and decrease the energy used to cool it, increase the attic insulation to keep the house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

We only have one life to live on one earth. Let’s make the best of it. UpGreen!

Green Building… Is it for you?

Green Building… Is it for you?

If you want to reside on healthier surroundings, breath cleaner air, save money and help the environment, then… YES, green building IS for you!

What is Green Building?

“Green Building’ or ‘Sustainable’ design and construction means creating healthier and more energy-efficient homes and buildings in a manner that allows us to use our resources more efficiently. The goal is to leave a lighter footprint on the environment through the conservation of our natural resources, while balancing energy-efficient, cost-effective, low-maintenance products on the construction.

There are many elements that make up or qualify a home or building to be certified ‘green’ or ‘sustainable.’ Not only it includes the systems that circulate the air, what’s behind the walls, the attic, windows, counters, appliances, lighting, sealing the house and so on, but it also includes using renewable and recyclable materials, adding durability, creating less waste during construction, and so many other things.

A green building may cost more up front, but saves through lower operating costs over the life of the building.

Wikipedia provides an easy to understand summary of Green Building. To read it click here or feel free to email us your questions.

How energy-efficient is your home?

How energy-efficient is your home?

Do you know?

It can be easy to find out! First of all, your power company, such as Progress Energy, might have a free program in progress. They will inspect your home and provide you with a list of improvement recommendations. Please be aware that the free energy audits you receive from the power companies are not a thorough inspection. You can get a complete one from an professional energy rater. They will do a smoke test, blower door and other techniques that can better assess the condition of the home. While an energy rater is a comprehensive test and the best way to assess your home, it can be expensive at $300-$600.

Another alternative is a Do-It-Yourself energy audit. You can find these at: Energy Star – energy yardstick, Home Energy Saver US Department of Energy – Consumer’s Guide

For more information about Home Energy Audits visit: EnergyStar.gov and US Department of Energy.

Living Green

Living Green

Save Energy and Money.
Conserve the Environment.
Live a Healthier Life.

Make a change for the better — living a healthy life and protecting the environment starts at home.

Living green is only common sense—save money, be comfortable, live healthier and protect the environment—what’s not to like about that? It is not a lifestyle sacrifice but rather a different way of thinking. It’s about rising to a higher quality of living for you and your family.

Simple and affordable steps can upgreen your home and lifestyle. From the food you eat to the way you drive. Read the post: “Top 10 Ways to Make a GREEN Difference” to get you started. We can all do it! We should all consider this our responsibility–to take care of our earth and sustain it for our future.

Did you know that: A simple and healthy-looking salad lettuce have been sprayed an average of 12 times with up to 50 different pesticides, fungicides and herbicides before it reached your plate?

Buy organic! Organic foods are grown without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics or added hormones. Organic farmers improve their soils providing healthier plants, fruits and vegetables. Always look for the USDA certification seal on the packages to ensure it is organic.

Did you know that: Bottled water could be more contaminated than tap water?

Filter your water! Those flexible plastic bottles, not only do they clog landfills, but they are also a source of phthalates, a very harmful chemical. Plastic that touches water or food could be very harmful, especially at warmer temperatures. Note of caution: Do not heat anything with plastic in the microwave.

And the list goes on with clothing, creams, cosmetics, etc. There’s a lot to learn and much room to improve.  Together we can achieve a healthier way of life and sustainable living.

Join the green revolution… UpGreen!

Top 10 Ways to Make a GREEN Difference

Top 10 Ways to Make a GREEN Difference

  • Give Your Car a Break. Carpool, use mass transit, walk or bike whenever possible. Leaving your car at home just 2 days a week will save 1,590 lbs. of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Keep your car well-maintained to maximize its fuel efficiency, safety, and reliability.
  • Light Up Your Life. Replacing your five most frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can save more than $65 a year in energy costs. They provide high-quality light output, use less energy and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, saving money on energy bills and replacement costs. Remember to always turn off your lights when leaving a room.
  • Use a Low Flow Shower Head. A 10-minute shower can use less water than a full bath. A new showerhead also will save energy — up to $145 each year on electricity.
  • Stop Your Leaky Faucet. A leaky faucet can waste gallons of water. Hot water leaking at a rate of one drip per second can waste up to 1,661 gallons of water over the course of a year, and waste up to $35 in electricity or $35 in natural gas. Fixing drips is a cost effective and easy way to save energy.
  • Use the Proper Pot. A 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner wastes over 40 percent of the burner’s heat. Using the right sized pot on stove burners can save about $36 annually for an electric range, or $18 for gas. Covering pots and pans also helps you cook more efficiently and keeps your kitchen cooler.
  • Safely Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste. Many common chemicals you may have in your house can pose hazards to people, pets and the environment if they are not disposed of properly.
  • Turn Down the Temperature. Set your water heater thermostat to 120 F or lower. Savings resulting from turning down your water heater temperature are based on two components: reduced standby losses (heat lost from water heater into surrounding basement area); and consumption (from water demand or use in your home). Set too high, or at 140 degrees F, your water heater can waste anywhere from $36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses and more than $400 in demand losses. Set at 120 degrees F, you will save energy and money.
  • Reduce, Reuse , Recycle. Reduce the amount of garbage you generate by looking for products that have less packaging. Buy recycled products. Reuse goods, you don’t need by donating them.
  • Paper or Plastic? Neither. Take your own reusable bags to the grocery store and avoid having to choose between the lesser of these two evils.
  • Plant a Tree. Trees absorb carbon dioxide — as much as a ton over the lifetime of the tree. Trees also provide shade, which can reduce heating bills.

SOURCE: Green Works Orlando


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