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Meth Testing Loopholes

Meth Testing Loopholes on Real Estate Leave Houses Contaminated

Meth Testing Loopholes

Just recently a realtor in Utah came out and exposes a “loophole” in the real estate market that could leave houses contaminated with methamphetamine. The report was revealed by Utah’s KSL TV and reported on by Lori Prichard.

The realtor’s name is Brandon Hacker and he actively goes out and gets meth tests done on homes that his buyers are interested in. The main tip the Mr. Hacker has said can help expose the current loophole of meth testing in real estate is getting a certified decontamination specialist.

Apparently if you don’t use a certified meth decontamination specialist and do a self test there is no requirement to report it. When a specialist does the testing they are required to report it to the health department. Mr. Hacker told KSL, “If they get a certified test done, the health department will step in and protect us.”

You’d think that everyone would want to try and make sure that houses were tested for previous drug house problems. The truth is that realtors are facing tough markets and some don’t want to know the truth. Mr. Hacker also said, “With inventory low, a lot of (realtors) say ‘I don’t want to know, let’s hope the next person doesn’t want to know either.”

The easy fix is to definitely test a house no matter what if you’re looking to purchase the home. You don’t know for sure if it has been tested by a certified tester or not. MSN reports that testing, decontamination and re-testing a house can cost as much as $16,000. It’s not a cheap thing to get done but it can save your life and the health of your family.

The DEA gives some tips on how to detect whether a house might be a previous meth house that you should avoid on the real estate market or not:

  • A large amount of cold tablet containers that list Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine as ingredients.
  • Jars containing clear liquid with a white or red colored solid on the bottom.
  • Jars labeled as containing Iodine or dark shiny metallic purple crystals inside of jars.
  • Jars labeled as containing Red Phosphorus or a fine dark red or purple powder.
  • Coffee filters containing a white pasty substance, a dark red sludge, or small amounts of shiny white crystals.
  • Bottles labeled as containing Sulfuric, Muriatic or Hydrochloric Acid.
  • Bottles or jars with rubber tubing attached.
  • Glass cookware or frying pans containing a powdery residue.
  • An unusually large number of cans of Camp Fuel, paint thinner, acetone, starter fluid, Lye, and drain cleaners containing Sulfuric Acid or bottles containing Muriatic Acid.
  • Large amounts of lithium batteries, especially ones that have been stripped.
  • Soft silver or gray metallic ribbon (in chunk form) stored in oil or Kerosene.
  • Propane tanks with fittings that have turned blue.
  • Occupants of residence going outside to smoke.
  • Strong smell of urine, or unusual chemical smells like ether, ammonia or acetone.

Posted in Residential0 Comments

Argentinean Housing Market in Turmoil After Dollar Restrictions

The Argentinean government’s decision to place restrictions on using the United States dollar to make purchases has placed the nation’s housing market in a serious bind. There are fears that the residential real estate market and the construction industry may face serious declines in the coming months.

The real estate and construction industries have been a major driving force behind Argentina’s economic growth over the past few years. In both industries, the dollar has been used as one of the primary forms of payment. However, restrictions imposed by President Cristina Fernandez have made it very difficult for Argentinean citizens to obtain United States currency.

While her actions have significantly slowed down overall economic growth in Argentina, she believes that the restrictions are necessary in order to pay off the public debt. Real estate experts and economists, however, believe that the restrictions that are now in place are doing terrible damage to both the housing industry, and those that are indirectly related to it.

Construction has slowed quite a bit since the restrictions were put into place. As a result, the home improvement industry has experienced a serious decline. The United States has been an important part of the Argentinean economy for the last decade.

Ten years ago, the country faced a serious economic crisis. Nearly two decades ago, the nation also struggled with severe hyperinflation. Both of those events have led the general public to believe that the United States currency is safer than Argentina’s peso when it comes to long-term saving.

With respect to the housing market, economists fear that the market could experience a freefall if the restrictions on the dollar aren’t lifted in the near future.

Posted in International0 Comments

Canadian Real Estate Market Growing Too Competitive

The commercial real estate market in Canada may have grown too fast and too popular for its own good. Investors around the world appear to be looking elsewhere to buy property in the current market, as the market in Canada has simply gotten too expensive one to realize some sort of profit.

Investors are, instead, looking at markets in the recovery phase, as properties in those areas are most likely to bring bigger returns than a market that is nearing, or has possibly already hit its peak. The United States, and various nations in Asia are becoming more popular choices for investors due to their low prices.

Those kinds of markets carry a slightly greater risk than a market like Canada at the current moment, though one could say that it is a calculated risk that will likely pay off quite lucratively in the coming years.

With that in mind, Canada has essentially become a victim of its own success. Areas like Toronto have grown exponentially over the last year, as has Calgary.

One of the factors that caused a decrease in interest by investors is that the nation does not have very many highly populated cities. One only need look at the difference in population between the United States and Canada to realize that there is greater potential for larger growth in the United States. The United States last census report shows that there are more than 311 million people living in the United States. That is almost nine times the amount that lives in Canada. In fact, Canada last reported only 34 million people as their total population.

Posted in International0 Comments

Canadian Housing Market Experiences Slower Growth in May

The residential real estate market in Canada may finally be starting to cool down. Housing prices increased in May by roughly five percent, which is about three and a half percent less than the increases experienced in previous months.

The performance of the market varied across the nation, with some cities posting significant losses while others posted tremendous gains. The city of Vancouver was one of the hardest hit, as the total number of home sales dropped by sixteen percent. Toronto appears to have finally started to cool after many months of unprecedented growth.

The Toronto market still posted a double-digit growth in overall sales, though the rate of growth dropped tremendously. The Toronto market experienced an increase in sales of eleven percent. That number, while still very strong, pales in comparison to the eighteen percent growth seen in previous months.

Economists have worried that Toronto may suffer the same fate as Vancouver, which has started to go through a major decline. The condo market in Toronto has been one of the driving forces of the city’s real estate market over the last year. The increase in demand led to a massive increase in condo development. However, real estate experts believe that supply is starting to exceed demand as the number of newly built condos continues to flood the market.

The city that posted the strongest gain in its residential real estate market is that of Calgary. Calgary experienced an increase of more than thirty percent over the total number of sales from last May.

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China’s Housing Bubble Continues to Deflate

The threat of a housing bubble in China continues to grow less likely, as residential real estate prices fell to their lowest point in sixteen months. The continued decline comes as a result of government officials declaring that they had to plans to eliminate the restrictive measures in place any time in the near future.

Home prices in China have not exactly taken a nosedive. However, they have steadily declined at small rates for the last year and a half. The average price dropped roughly 0.3% from where it was in April.

The current decline in housing prices in China is the longest the nation has ever experienced since records were kept. Residential real estate values have fallen in nearly seventy-five percent of the nation’s cities.

Some economists believed that China would ease their property restrictions over fears that the market was collapsing. The government, however, opted not to do so, citing that the declines have been gradual and have shown no indication of a potential crash. Rather, they believe that the market is simply correcting itself after prices became overly inflated.

There is no indication as to when China will eventually ease the property restrictions. Developers have greatly struggled over the last year and a half, and have been persistent in calling upon the government to eliminate some of the limitations in place. However, the government has essentially denied those developers time and time again.

As a result of the housing decline and overall restrictions, many Chinese investors have looked to housing markets overseas.

Posted in International0 Comments

Housing Market in China May Finally Be Starting to Stabilize

After months of coping with stringent government regulations on the sale of homes and the issuing of mortgage loans, China’s residential real estate market appears to falling at a much slower pace. The overall decline in housing prices during the month of May was a bit less than had been seen in previous months.

The lessened decrease in pricing marks the first time in more than four months that the market performance was stronger than it was in the month prior. Economists are attributing the smaller decline to the easing of some of the heavy restrictions that have been in place over the last year. China’s government has opted to lax many of the restrictions in order to be a halt to the slowing of overall economic growth.

The latest numbers have to bring about some hope among developers, which have seen their business suffer greatly over the last year and a half. With that said, economists are advising developers and real estate agencies that they should not get overly excited just yet.

The housing market still experienced an overall decline in pricing. In fact, residential real estate values are less now than they were one year ago during the month of May.

Prices will likely continue to fall on a year-to-year basis, though there is an aura of hope that the market will soon turnaround, particularly if the property restrictions are eased even further.

While it is unlikely that the government will ease its restrictive limits on the number of homes that a person can buy, there are considering easing lending measures for first-time buyers.

Posted in International0 Comments

Australian Housing Prices In Freefall

The residential real estate market in Australia took a massive hit in the last month, as home prices dropped significantly in comparison to the previous month and year. Home prices dropped nearly one and a half percent during the month of May, and they are down by more than five percent on the year.

Melbourne was one of the hardest hit cities last month, as the average home in the city experienced a price decline of nearly three percent. While there were some cities in Australia that did post mild increases in pricing, the overall performance at the national level was dismal at best.

Many had expected the government to intervene on the market over the past month in order to protect it from any further pricing declines. However, the actions taken by the government were minimal at best, and they certainly were not enough to prevent a further drop in home values.

Some economists are not overly worried about Australia’s market. They believed that the residential real estate market in Australia took place in late 2010. The declines being experienced now, they believe, can be chalked up to the market correcting itself.

Whether the market is correcting itself, or it is in an utter freefall, it is clear that potential homebuyers are coming out as the real winners. They are able to pay less to receive the same home that would have cost them a fortune in the past two years. In fact, the luxury market has been hit the hardest, meaning homes once reserved for the rich and powerful are more accessible than ever.

Posted in International0 Comments

Limited Inventory Leads to Increase in Housing Prices in the UK

For the first time in three months, the average selling price for residential real estate properties increased. The small increase, which was roughly three-tenths of a percentage point, can be attributed to limited sales inventory.

With prices having fallen the past few months, many potential sellers have opted not to put their home on the market. With that said, however, consumer confidence has improved for the first time in many months as fears over the economy have dissipated. The change in the overall perception of the economy will significantly help the housing market gain strength.

The job market in the United Kingdom is still fairly weak, and will likely prevent the residential real estate market from posting truly significant gains in the near future. Though, as long as the sales inventory supply is low, prices should remain stable or even grow slightly.

In comparison to one year ago, housing prices are still down. They dropped by just under one percent from April of 2011.

While up from last month, mortgage approvals are also down in comparison to previous years. They are nowhere near the historic highs that were achieved prior to the housing market crash that took place in 2007.

Optimism over the market has gain slightly, and will likely continue to improve. Many economists, though, believe that it will remain down in comparison to previous years. The job market will have to show some serious improvement before overall consumer confidence starts to regains the strength that it once had shown.

Posted in International0 Comments

Commercial Real Estate Bubble Likely in China

Some parts of China are becoming increasingly vulnerable to a bubble according to many economists and developers. The bubble is expected to form as developers change their focus from the residential real estate market to the commercial real estate market. The residential market has drastically underperformed largely due in part to heavy restrictions set in place by the Chinese government.

With the residential real estate market in check, developers have had no choice but to migrate to the commercial property market in order to stay afloat. As such, there has been an abundance of new office and retail properties in recent months. The growth has taken place in big and small cities alike.

The heavy increase in the construction of these commercial properties will likely create a bubble, as supply will likely exceed demand. As such, the actions that the government has taken to prevent a housing market bubble are creating one in the commercial market.

While growth in the commercial real estate market is certainly a good thing, the problem being seen with this increase in properties being developed is that they are all popping up in the same area. Those cities with an increase in commercial real estate development have seen similar kinds of properties being built around one another. As such, economists are asking the question as to whether or not there will be enough consumers to go around. If not, the market could be facing a fairly significant bubble in the future.

After more than a year of struggle, many developers simply aren’t worried or even thinking about the future impact of the increase in commercial real estate properties.

Posted in Commercial0 Comments

Brazil’s Housing Market Could See Possible Trouble Ahead

From the surface, Brazil’s residential real estate market is currently one of the strongest in the world. The nation’s middle class is enjoying an upgrade in lifestyle, and property values have soared over the past ten years. In fact, the major city of Rio rivals New York and Paris in terms of affordability and availability of rental properties.

Many of the properties available in Rio’s most popular and well-known neighborhoods are impressively expensive. The price of a basic apartment with little to no view costs as much in Brazil’s elite neighborhoods as it does in the prime sectors of New York, London, and Paris.

Many of those living in the prime neighborhoods of Rio are international visitors. Executives from the biggest industries, including oil, cosmetics, and banks all own property in the area along the beach of the ocean.

While one might think that only the premier areas of Rio would be unattainable. However, rental prices have become so exorbitantly high that they are grossly unaffordable for many citizens. Even properties with bedrooms too small for beds are commanding obscene prices.

The market as a whole is booming unlike anyone has even seen in the past. However, economists are starting to question whether or not the growth is sustainable. Some believe that Brazil may face a crash that is similar to or worse than that experienced by the United States five to six years ago. Many believe that the market will not stand the test of time, and may plummet following the 2016 Olympics.

Posted in International0 Comments

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