Appraisals play one of the most important roles in the home buying process and understanding its function is crucial in today’s real estate market. Appraisals are needed for any real estate transaction that involves a loan of $250,000 or more from a federal institution. Despite their importance, appraisals are still one of the most misunderstood parts of the buying process.
Some believe that the function of the appraisal is to set the home’s value or to confirm the selling price. This is simply not true. According to David S. Bunton, president of The Appraisal Foundation, the role of the appraisal is to “produce a credible opinion of value based on thorough and unbiased research and analyses that reflect the market value of a property.”
There are many myths floating around about the appraisal process, especially in regard to how appraisals are ordered. In the infographic below, The Appraisal Foundation debunks the most common myths they encounter.
The Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) researched and reviewed investigations across the country regarding the relationships and practices of supervisory appraisers with their trainees between 2008 and 2010. The board realized that many states had requirements for the registration and training of supervisors and trainees. The board also realized that many of the relationships and practices were lacking in the basic principles that would promote public trust. In 2011, the AQB proposed national rules for supervisory and trainee appraisers that were adopted and published in 2013. These new rules take effect January 1, 2015. States are currently busy adopting new rules and getting new laws passed in their legislature to meet these additional AQB requirements.
What is the New National Requirement?
The AQB requires states to adopt the minimum criteria if they have a supervisor or trainee classification. A new requirement for both trainee and supervisory appraisers is to take a course covering the expectations and responsibilities of appraisers in these roles. The course must be taken prior to starting any new training relationship. Although the national requirements do not require current trainee or supervisory appraisers to attend this course, many of the states are adding this level to their requirements.
Supervisory Appraisers Must be in “Good Standing”
Eligibility for becoming a supervisor includes the new term good standing, along with the existing requirement of being certified. Good standing refers to prior disciplinary proceedings in which the supervisory appraiser may have been involved. Supervisors are in good standing if they are not currently involved in a disciplinary action in any state or for the three years prior to beginning supervision. This definition has encouraged the states to require adopting rules for both trainees and supervisors to register with their boards.
Direct supervision of trainees is a large part of the new rules as well. Supervisors are responsible for the training, guidance, education, and experience logs of their trainees. There are minimum experience log categories that must be reported, including sections for the supervisor to report progress and assistance. Each state will create their own log under the new rules, along with how often the log must be signed, who should retain the log, and how the log will be completed. One of the major areas of concern to supervisory appraisers is accompanying trainees on inspections. The AQB provides the supervisor with this responsibility of personally inspecting the properties with the trainee until the trainee is competent under the Competency Rule of USPAP. However, some states may adopt rules requiring a minimum number of inspections or require the supervisor to inspect all properties with a trainee. An appraiser’s clients will also be a determining factor regarding when trainees are allowed to complete the inspection on their own. HUD and VA already have limitations on trainee assistance.
The real estate business is one of the most profitable enterprises for many. There are several investors that are spending some serious amounts of money and time to make the most of the real estate business. One of the hottest places of interest is Panama real estate and investors are swarming into the land to make the most out of their investments. In fact there are several people that do not actually want to make an investment in real estate of the country and are here solely to make a residential establishment in Panama. A look at the Coronado Panama beach real estate will suggest the same.
The options available in the real estate of the country do not seem to cease just yet. While the conventional properties have almost disappeared at the speed of light-chased by light, there is now a full spectrum of pithy properties for sale.
Beachside properties, mountain-top condos and the like are soaring in popularity and there is not much that people can ask for. There are luxurious villas that promise the best in safety and aesthetics.
Panama is today one of the most preferred holiday locales and retirement destinations and there are several people that are flowing in to the land. While this was limited only to people from North America in the past, Panama real estate has lately made meteoric rise in the good books of investors from North America and Europe.
One class that Panama particularly lures is the retired. There are specific incentive programs that are designed just for those who are retired. Besides tourists, Panama has come to become one of the hottest destinations for retired people who have had their fill in respective work lives and want to make their next stage in life full of fun and merry.
In Panama, retirees often find the solace that they always pined for during their work lives. This is in fact one of the best qualities that the country has to lure investors. Buying Coronado panama beach real estate properties is pretty similar to buying properties in several other places like the United States and Canada.
There are laws that protect foreign investors. These laws ensure that the rights of property buyers and investors are not violated in Panama. For retirees, there is also the facility to buy insurance for themselves and their properties. Investors also get the luxury to enjoy all usual rights of ownership.
While there might be several things that attract people to invest in Panama, nothing attracts more than the sea. There are several people that choose settling in Panama merely for the beauty of the sea. Many tourists adhere to the opinion that the sea in Panama is no ordinary sea. There is surreal beauty to be savored from the beaches in Panama. The beaches are as pristine as they get and there is nothing that beats the view of the beaches in Panama. In fact, beaches are one of the most precious offerings of Panama real estate and there are several many things that can be done to take everything to the next level.
The world of residential real estate has many different players, including appraisers, home inspectors, property managers, contractors, bankers, mortgage loan officers, and government agencies, as well as prospective buyers and sellers. But, the workhorses of the typical real estate transaction are the people that coordinate the process—the real estate agents and brokers.
A good real estate agent is similar in nature to a conductor of a symphony, coordinating the different players to make a successful transaction a reality. At different points in the process, the real estate agent is a salesperson, a buyer’s advocate, an analyst, a business manager, a consultant, a negotiator, and a marketer, just to name a few. We have found there are a number of qualities and traits that successful real estate professionals share.
10. Problem solver mindset. Do you enjoy coming up with creative solutions to problems or issues? Many successful real estate agents know how to properly showcase a house to make it more marketable and develop creative MLS listings to attract the right buyers.
9. Self-motivated entrepreneur. Having a desire to control your own professional destiny and be your own boss is a trait shared by top real estate professionals. To be successful in real estate requires a high degree of self-motivation, drive, and smart decision making.
8. Honesty and integrity. Your professional reputation is crucial to a long and successful career in real estate. Becoming a member of the National Association of REALTORS® is one way to show you practice high ethical standards. To become a member, you must pledge to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
7. Hustle and tenacity. Being a top producing real estate agent requires a great work ethic. You must have the tenacity to pursue every lead and the hustle to aggressively market your clients’ properties in order to have success. It’s not just about putting in a lot of time—it’s about working smart, putting in the right amount of time, and doing whatever is necessary to close the deal.
6. Interest in houses and architecture. Having a true interest in houses and architecture can give you an advantage over other brokers and salespersons. If your knowledge and interest level is apparent in conversations, your clients will see that you care about the industry you’re in.
5. Engaging personality. A good real estate agent doesn’t just sell properties—they sell themselves. It’s important to show your real personality. People will respond to you if you have a great attitude, are personable and honest, have confidence in your abilities, and get a sense of fulfillment by serving others.
4. Attention to detail. Paying close attention to the details is imperative for your real estate career. A complete real estate agent is attentive to the unique needs of their individual clients. If you are organized, follow up with leads, communicate well, and pay attention to the needs of your clients, you will close more deals.
3. Understand the local housing market. A top producing real estate agent appreciates and utilizes the nuances that make a specific community’s housing market and pricing strategy unique. Success comes from identifying and developing a focus or niche in the local real estate market that allows you to distinguish yourself from the competition.
2. Build a network of connections. Successful real estate agents have a vast network of contacts within the market they serve. This list of connections should include other real estate agents and brokers, potential buyers and sellers, and all the other players in the real estate industry, such as appraisers, home inspectors, and mortgage loan officers.
1. Knowledge is power. Staying up-to-date on the latest topics in real estate and in the local market will allow you to service clients more effectively. Continuing education and professional development are doors to opportunity that you can utilize to expand your business options and stay at the forefront of the real estate field.
At the end of the day, you get out of it what you put into it. There is a certain level investment needed (time, energy, and money) to make any business venture successful. Real estate is no different. If you are passionate about real estate and have similar traits to those outlined here, you have a great shot at having a long and successful real estate career.
The editorial piece below was originally published in the May issue of The St. Paul Voice. It was written by Toby Schifsky, National Director of Kaplan Real Estate Education. It detailed his response as a real estate professional, to the questions he’s often asked whenever school district improvements are up for vote.
Conventional wisdom tells us there are many factors people use when determining where to buy a home. What is the number one factor for people selecting a new home? You don’t have to be a genius to figure this one out… location, location, location. But, what do I consistently see as the second greatest location factor for home buyers? Schools. The school district or even a specific school within a district can drive demand for a particular area. Ask any real estate agent you know and they will confirm that having strong schools and an overall strong district can affect home prices by as much as 10 percent over a neighboring district.
Don’t have kids of school age? Buying a home in a good school district is still smart. When the schools are desirable, homes tend to hold their value better in down markets and appreciate more in good times. A 1 percent, 2 percent, or even 3 percent difference in a home’s value can be thousands of dollars. I educate people all the time, “You need to look at supporting and maintaining a good school district much like you would the maintenance of the roof or siding on your house.” If not, both will significantly affect the value of your home.
Whenever a school levy comes up for a vote I am asked, “What do you think of the levy for school improvements?” My answer is “It seems like a pretty small investment to protect the value of my home.”
As with any financial opportunity, there is a degree of risk, so it is best to consider your options within the home inspection profession as well as research your local market. You then want to create a home inspection business plan. By considering the business options below, you will begin to create a road map for success.
Items to Consider When Starting a Home Inspection Business:
1. Will you be full time, part time, or use home inspection as an ancillary add on service to you existing profession? It is projected that nationally approximately 80% of the home inspectors are full time and 20% are part time or using it is an add on service.
2. Will you be working for someone else at a multi-inspection firm or working for yourself? Most home inspectors, 60 to 70%, are independent business persons. Self-employment is appealing to many people and can be rewarding, but it also involves more work, particularly if you are just entering the profession.
3. Will you be starting your home inspection business from scratch, buying someone else’s business or a franchise? Either way there will be start-up costs in the range of 15% of your first year projected sales.
4. How will the business be structured? Consulting an accountant, attorney, and bank will help you decide whether to be a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietor.
5. Will you provide other related services? For example, many home inspectors are also termite or mold inspectors. Inspectors with talent and ambition can expand their business services to include commercial inspections and expert witness testimony. Radon, lead-based paint, septic systems, and indoor air testing are just a few of the services that home inspectors can provide for additional fees.
6. Will you need anyone to support your business? A partner, employee, a spouse, a son or daughter to work alongside of you in building this dream. Regardless, you will need the full support and confidence of your family before entering into this exciting career change and opportunity.
Increase Your Professionalism From the Moment You Arrive at a Home Inspection
Boost your home inspection referrals and client satisfaction by following these simple guidelines. Get tips on arriving to your home inspection from Kaplan’s instructor, who has been a home inspector for over 20 years. Learn how to show your customers you value their time from the moment you arrive to the time you finish.
To begin an inspection, it’s absolutely critical that you arrive on time. As a matter of fact, I like to arrive about 15 minutes early. Why? I want to show the customer that I value their time. That means if they’re waiting for me, I’m going to be concerned about how they’re going to begin to feel about me. So, I’m here early. The second thing that’s really critical about a home inspection: to look professional is to bring equipment that’s clean. Don’t bring a ladder that you’ve been painting your bedroom with last night. Bring a clean ladder. Bring clean drop cloths. Bring clean booties. Keep in mind that these people haven’t bought the house yet, but they’re most likely going to. You want to show respect to their new home. You don’t want to be walking around their carpet, leaving things behind.
Make sure, again, that as you come up to the door and knock on the door, give people time to come to the door. You’d be amazed. They could be in all other parts of the house, and it’s going to take them a while to get there. What you don’t want to do is to come in and surprise somebody. Boy, that’s embarrassing. It can be, again, very, very bad for the customer relationship issue. What I like to do when I get here early is I begin to prepare my report. I begin to fill out things that are kind of general comments, the style of the home, the type of the shingles, and things like that prior to the customer getting here. The other thing that I would encourage you to do as we go throughout the house for the entire inspection is: digital photography is really in the marketplace now. It gives you a little bit of an edge, being able to explain to people what you’re looking at, what you’re seeing, and what’s good and what’s bad.
Remember that you can overuse digital photography. So, don’t make it a showmanship attitude. Make it a, “I need to show somebody something.” Communication is the number one key to the success of a home inspection. If I can both in writing and verbally explain myself well to my customers, I just won the battle, and I haven’t even started the inspection yet. The more you can prepare before the customer comes here, the less you’re going to be inconveniencing them. That’s just good business, and I encourage you to do that. I would also encourage you to, one more time, just check their name so that when you do get out and greet them, and they should be here in a few moments, you’ll be able to call them by their first name. Boy, that’s just great marketing.
The other thing that you want to pay attention to after you’ve set the ladder up on the house is to be concerned about damaging the home. If you looked up here, these are brand new gutters. I wouldn’t even consider putting my ladder up on those gutters. So, I chose to lean it against the stucco. I’ll work around some of the products that the seller has, so that I don’t damage those products. So, prepare yourself. Then, when they arrive… Oh, by the way. Here they come now.
The internet and online shopping have made the lives of American consumers a lot easier in many ways. Unfortunately, some types of businesses, like brick-and-mortar bookstores, travel agencies and video rental stores, have suffered. It was even thought that realtors would be made obsolete by websites that allow home shoppers to find their own homes. But the truth is, a RE/MAX real estate agency in Flower Mound TX is more important now than before the internet explosion.
Since the housing bubble burst in the late 2000s, the number of realtors overall has declined; but some think that there may have been too many to begin with. When everyone and anyone could purchase a home with little or bad credit, too many people jumped into the real estate business to make a quick killing. When regulations tightened and sales dried up, the people who didn’t want to work hard left the business. Regardless of the fact that the number of realtors has stayed lower than peak numbers from 2005 to 2009, the Natural Association of Realtors says that more home buyers and sellers than ever get the help of a realtor for all or part of their home search, purchase or sale.
If you’re looking for a home in North Texas and you contact a RE/MAX real estate agency in Flower Mound TX for help, you’ve likely already done some searching on your own online. And while the internet is a great tool for narrowing down a search – you can see inside hundreds of homes from the comfort of your couch – the fact is that nothing can replace the experience and knowledge of a great realtor when it comes to viewing homes in person, deciding on a home, making an offer and completing the closing paperwork. And while you will have to pay a realtor’s commission for his services, he will earn every penny. It’s true that you can find help or answers to questions online for free – but remember, when something is free, you get what you pay for.
The realtors who survived the housing crash know that the new market is more complicated than ever, which makes it doubly important to retain the services of a RE/MAX real estate agency in Flower Mound TX. Tighter lending standards as well as the prevalence of foreclosures and short sales, which have their own particular rules, have made buying a home without help difficult. Getting financing and negotiating atypical contracts requires the experience and input of a realtor who will look out for your best interests.
Entering a new profession, any profession, is a difficult decision. Home inspection is no different. You should clearly understand not only what the new profession will be like, but the best path to success for you in that profession. Below are a few points that will give you a representation of the home inspection industry.
Historically, home inspectors are people that have had previous careers. This has been a transition industry filled with men and women that are on their second, third, and sometimes fourth career.
Over 75% of all home inspectors are between the ages of 42 to 65. This should not discourage the younger generations. With the internet, computers, smartphones and the like, younger men and women are in the process of changing the home inspection industry for the better. The youth are finding this is one of the last industries where you can run your own business with few regulations and overhead while generating a respectable income.
Everybody is different. Some people enjoy climbing a ladder to inspect a roof, and are willing to get down on their knees and inspect a crawl space. Other people enjoy record keeping, reports, marketing, and relationship building. All of these are integral parts of the home inspection business. Think about what you enjoy, what you are willing to do, and what you are good at.
Are you the kind of person who doesn’t want to be tied to a desk all day?
Are you interested in construction and how things work?
Are you good at identifying problems and defects?
If so, then home inspection might be a great career option for you.
Definite estate tasks in Pune and correspondingly a couple of various other municipalities in India are considered as the best economic investment option presently in the Indian market. The surge in real estate market has dropped afterwards depreciation of rupee versus dollar. Centro Lushlife Developers Real Estate is the one investment from which you can get a firm income, and at the same time relish a steady appreciation. If you plan to realistically invest in the real estate market, please ensure that you have a timeframe of a few years. It’s still cheap compared to Bangalore !! High incomes of IT employees, a bull run on the stock market and foreign repatriations have made the Indian real estate market a little volatile at this point. Pune Centro Rates Real estate; whether land or houses will always sell at a premium. For most people who live in 3 storeyed apartments that are over 20 years old, builders have offered schemes where current apartment owners sell the land and building to the builder, in return for a bigger apartment. Builders get prime land in the city and the apartment owners get an upgraded apartment that has a lot more market value. http://www.firstpuneproperties.com/centro-handewadi-pune-by-lushlife-developers-review/ The real estate market in Lonavala is growing by bounds and leaps. Be it infrastructural development by the government or the construction of villas, apartments, bungalows, etc., the real estate market in Lonavala is in heading north. This is one of the prime reasons for the Lonavala real estate boom that many people talk about these days. Lonavala has excellent road and rail connectivity and it takes around 3 hours to reach there from Mumbai. It also has a major railway station and there are a number of trains that stop there. Easy accessibility has also led to the widespread interest in the Lonavala real estate. Lonavala offers serene and peaceful environment to people. Many retirees have made Lonavala their second home as they want to spend quality time while being closer to nature. Experts working in the Mumbai and Pune Lushlife Developers Centro too are very keen to buy property in Lonavala as the venture promises great returns in the imminent. If you are seeing for properties in Lonavala for sale, you will be glad to know that over the years, many prominent builders have come up with exciting new projects. Today, people have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to buying property for investment purposes as builders offer a wide range of apartments, bungalows, villas to stockholders. Most leading developers are of the view that in the coming years, Centro Pre Launch Lonavala will become a major city with infrastructure that will be second to none. People who make wise venture conclusions today will become good returns in the times to come. It will be one of those rare places that offer access to all the modern amenities while being serene and peaceful at the same spell. The eminence of Centro Pune life in Lonavala will petition to people not only from Maharashtra, but then again from other states as glowing.
As a self-employed contractor, you have to be able to balance the work you’re doing today with the work you’ll be doing tomorrow. Leads are the lifeline of your business. If you are like most contractors, you didn’t get into the trade because you loved sales and marketing. So finding, nurturing, and converting leads may be something you struggle with. We’ve assembled this quick list of strategies you can use to attract new and better clients, and make your marketing dollars stretch further.
1. Become an Expert
Many contractors market themselves as a jack of all trades. After all, the guy who does “everything” well never limits his opportunities, right? But if you need open heart surgery, would you rather have it performed by a world-renowned heart surgeon or a guy who dabbles in heart procedures, nose jobs, and knee replacements? The answer is simple…people want to work with experts.
You don’t need to limit yourself to performing one type of job. But there’s a lot of value in being known for something. In a business that relies so heavily on word of mouth, it’s important that you know what customers are saying about you. If you become known as the go-to in your market for complete kitchen remodels or awe-inspiring deck projects, you will be the first choice of anyone looking to have that type of work done on their own home. And you will likely receive tons of referral traffic for unrelated jobs too.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Google is the new yellow pages. When people are looking for local goods or services, they’re doing it online. The web gives customers the opportunity to compare and contrast companies and see examples of their work. That means you need to make sure when people in your community search for the contracting service you provide, you’re on the first page of search results, and preferably near the top.
There are companies that will help you do this with pay-per-click advertising, but that’s expensive and isn’t sustainable. Plus, they’re also helping your competitors. Focus instead on optimizing your website for organic search (unpaid search results). Use the expertise we defined above to write articles about things your audience cares about. Topics such as:
– The 4 Key Differences Between Granite and Concrete Countertops
– 5 Energy Saving Tips that Could Save You $250 a Year
– Build or Remodel? A Simple Checklist to Help You Decide
People are searching for this type of information every day. Wouldn’t it be great if they were getting it from you?
3. Active Social Media Presence
Social media is a tool you may be overlooking or misusing. It presents a real opportunity for you to market your contracting business at little or no cost. Many people create a business page on Facebook, but then soon abandon it because they “don’t have anything to say.” The second worst thing you can do on Facebook is overwhelm your audience with blatant self-promotion. But the worst thing you can do is nothing at all.
Social media works best when used regularly to deliver valuable content that engages your customers. If you begin optimizing your website with articles, as detailed above, you will have a treasure trove of content to share. You can also use social media to hand out smaller nuggets of information, like a weekly do-it-yourself tip. There’s a limitless supply of valuable information you can share to keep people engaged with your page. Social media is a tool to help you stay in front of clients and demonstrate your expertise when they don’t necessarily need your services. When they do, you’ll be top of mind and likely to get the call.
4. Easy to Refer
The job is complete. The customer is satisfied beyond their wildest expectations. You’re certain that you have a new fan who would be happy to refer you to anyone and everyone they meet. But how can you be sure of it? You need to empower your satisfied customers to be advocates of your brand. Leave them with a dozen business cards or flyers for discounted services. Better yet, offer them cash or credit on future jobs for referrals that turn into clients. Take steps to turn your biggest fans into your most active advocates.
Marketing, sales, and lead generation may not come easy to you as a contractor, and that’s alright. The more you actively commit yourself to it, the more comfortable it will become. Implementing the tips above will help you create a funnel of new leads coming in so you can focus your attention on what you do best.
A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Salesperson
A real estate agent, as defined by Cambridge Dictionary, is a person whose business is to arrange the selling or renting of houses, land, offices, or buildings for their owners. While that is a technically accurate definition of a real estate agent, it doesn’t give an accurate description of what a real estate agent does on a day-to-day basis. Each day is unique and different for a real estate agent; while this can be an appealing aspect of the real estate profession, it can also offer unique challenges or opportunities, depending on the agent’s skill set. So, just what does a real estate agent do in a typical day?
Managing Your Real Estate Business
There are a number of administrative tasks that are at the core of a well-run real estate business. A good real estate agent:
- Keeps up with local and regional market activity and industry news
- Researches active, pending, and sold listings and reviews the daily MLS Hot Sheet or Activity Report
- Completes, submits, and files paperwork, such as real estate documents, agreements, and records with the proper state agencies
- Plans and coordinates appointments, open houses, showings, and meetings with clients and other real estate agents
- Develops marketing plans for listings and creates fliers, newsletters, and other promotional collateral
- Responds to incoming emails and phone calls
- Update websites, social media profiles, and blogs
Many successful real estate agents have an assistant or office manager to assist with the day-to-day activities, allowing the salesperson or broker to focus on more direct revenue-generating activities.
You’re Not Just Selling Homes, You’re Selling Yourself
Attracting clients is crucial to a real estate agent’s success. Below are some tips to attracting new clients:
- Market yourself. Competition is fierce. You need to develop your niche in the local real estate market and be known as the expert in the type of work you enjoy. This will help differentiate yourself through effective marketing. Websites, postcards, television and radio spots, billboards, fliers, and blogs are all channels that can be utilized in effective real estate agent marketing plans.
- Lead generation. Generate leads through networking and relationship development. This starts with people you know, such as friends, family, business associates, and so on. There is little that is more valuable to a real estate agent then a thriving database of leads.
- Everyone is a prospect. Basically, everyone you meet is a prospective client, because everyone rents, buys, or sells a home at some point. A real estate agent’s day is often consumed by cultivating leads, as well as meeting and following up with potential buyers and sellers.
Working with Sellers
- Meet with and understand the needs of sellers with new listings.
- Demonstrate your market knowledge, marketing abilities, and negotiation skills.
- Research the current local market activity and comparable properties to establish an asking price.
- List the property with relevant listing services.
- Take digital photos of the property, inside and out, to prepare a listing presentation and advertising collateral.
- Stage the home properly so it shows well and conduct open houses.
Working with Buyers
- Meet with, interview, understand, and qualify prospective buyers.
- Research the listing services for potential properties that fit the needs of your clients.
- Plan property showings for buyers and set up appointments that fit your client’s schedule.
- Show selected properties to buyers and communicate any details of the property you learned during your research or while talking to other agents.
- Demonstrate negotiation skills, making offers of purchase on real estate.
Networking with Peers
Real estate agents typically work in an office with other agents and brokers and have many opportunities to discuss new listings, get updates on listings, and discuss buyer’s and seller’s needs. Another option that agents utilize to narrow down a search for a buyer or to perform research on the competition for sellers is the MLS tour. This allows agents and brokers to quickly gather first-hand knowledge on a number of available properties in the local market.
Developing Your Skills
Although continuing education is a requirement to maintain a real estate license, it is also an opportunity to develop the skills that will keep an agent at the top of their game or open a door to new real estate opportunities within the regional or local market. Continual development is crucial to long-term success of real estate agents and brokers. Continuing education not only widens their scope of expertise, but it also improves their proficiency, knowledge, and marketability as a real estate professional.
It’s official—the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) announced that the 2012 International Residential Code will take effect January 2015.
Homes that start construction (permits pulled) before January 2015 will be governed by current code. Homes with permits pulled in 2015 will be governed by the newly adopted codes.
Proposed changes of particular interest to building contractors include residential fire suppression, window fall protection, replacement windows, thermal envelope requirements, and more.
Code changes will impact:
- MN Building Code
- MN Residential Code
- MN Mechanical and Fuel Gas Code
- MN Commercial and Residential Energy Codes
- MN Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings Code
- MN Accessibility Code
- MN Fire Code
The Kaplan team is currently developing training materials to address the new codes. As always, we will professionally and accurately deliver the information you need to keep your business running smoothly and profitably.
For more information, see the DLI Construction Codes and Licensing Division’s Summer Newsletter.
Stay tuned for additional Kaplan communications as books and training courses become available.
Attention Certified Renovators —Your EPA Lead-Safe Certification Expires Every 5 Years!
Are you approaching 5 years since you become EPA lead-safe certified? If so, you will need a 4-hour refresher course to remain a certified renovator. Once your recertification course is completed, your certified renovator status is active for 5 years from the course completion date.
If you are close to your fifth year of certification, don’t delay taking the certified refresher course. If you do not complete the 4-hour refresher course before your certification expires, you will need to retake the 8-hour initial certification course. For more information on lead-safe certification, visit the EPA website.
More on the Lead-RRP Rule
The EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP Rule) requires firms that perform renovation, repair, or painting projects become lead-safe certified. According to the EPA 2008 RRP Rule, anyone who disturbs greater than 20 square feet of lead-based paint on an exterior wall, or disturbs an area greater than 6 square feet of interior paint per room, needs to be trained in lead-safe work practices.
This rule applies to anyone who is paid to perform work that disturbs paint in housing and child care facilities built before 1978, such as general contractors, residential rental property owners and managers, and special trade contractors, including:
– Painters – Carpenters – Electricians
– Plumbers – Roofers – HVAC Technicians
To learn more about the EPA’s RRP Rule, visit the EPA website.
On April 8, 2015, the Administer of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed the final rule to extend the certifications for certain individual renovators. This rule pertains to individual renovators who received certification prior to March 31, 2011.
Under the final rule:
- Individual renovators who received certification on or before March 31, 2010, now have until March 31, 2016, to get recertified.
- Individual renovators who received certification between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2011, will have one year added to their 5-year certification.
- Subsequent certifications for renovators receiving the extension will be five years.
Please note that these extensions only apply to individual renovators. It does not apply to firm certifications. Further, these extensions only apply to certifications that fall under the EPA’s Lead-RRP Program; it does not apply to renovators under authorized state programs.
Why the Extension?
In January 2015, the EPA proposed a rule that could change the refresher training requirements for recertification. One amendment under consideration in the rule is to remove the hands-on required module of the refresher training. If removed, renovators could take the refresher course online, without having to travel to a classroom. If the agency does issue a final rule to eliminate this hands-on requirement, it may not happen until the end of 2015. The EPA is extending the deadline for the renovators whose certifications would have otherwise expired before the rule could be finalized.
To learn more about this extension, see the Lead-based Paint Programs; Extension of Renovator Certifications rule document. For more information on the EPA Lead-RRP Program, visit www.epa.gov/lead.