Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ark Building in 2003

I just came across this humorous anecdote I clipped from the Creemore Echo in 2003.
This is sooo relevant in the business of building today.

The earth was wicked and overpopulated.  The Lord instructed Noah to rebuild the Ark and save two of every living thing, along with a few good humans.  “Here’s the blueprint,” said the Lord.  “You will need to hurry, for in six months I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights.”  Right on schedule six months later the rains started coming down.  But when the Lord checked in with Noah, he was weeping in his flooded yard, and there was no Ark.  “Noah,” He roared; “Where’s the Ark?”
Forgive me, Lord,” begged Noah.  “Things have changed.  I needed a building permit.  I’ve been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system.  My neighbours claim that I have violated the zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limit.  We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.  Then Transport Canada and the Department of Highways and Hydro wanted a bond posted for the future costs of moving power, trolley, and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark’s move to the sea.  I argued the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of this!  Getting wood was another problem.  There’s a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the potted owl.  I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls, but no go!”
“I started gathering the animals, but then an animal rights group sued me.  They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will.  As well, they argued the space was too restrictive and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in so confined an area.”
“Environment Canada decided that I could not build the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood.  I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I’m supposed to hire for my building crew.  Meanwhile, the trade unions want me to hire only union people with ark building experience.  To make matters worse, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency seized all of my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally as well as with endangered species.
So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least ten years to finish this Ark.”  Suddenly, the skies cleared, and the sun began to shine.  A rainbow stretched across the sky!  Noah looked up in wonder.  “You mean you’re not going to destroy the world, Lord?” he asked.
“No,” said the Lord.  “Your government already has!”

Editor's note:  This modern fable was recently shared with the Big Heart Seniors and sent on to the Echo by Edith and Bob Veale.

Author unknown. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

check this out about boomers.


Check this out about boomers.

Joseph Talbot - Sales Rep- Remax Clearview INC. Brokerage - Ontario - Stayner - (705) 428-4500 411.ca

Joseph Talbot - Sales Rep- Remax Clearview INC. Brokerage - Ontario - Stayner - (705) 428-4500 411.ca

We are always looking for new ways to help serve our clients. We are a team, together with you, so we all want to succeed. Joining 411.ca is just one more new way for buyers and sellers to find us and what we have to offer. The more we do together, the more chance we have of success. The real estate market is changing and it is getting harder to sell a property and harder to find just the right one. So we hope that you will take advantage of what we have to offer. We pride ourselves in client satisfaction. If you are not happy neither are we, and when you are happy you will referr us to your friends, family and co-workers. Why wouldn't you, if you think our service is great, you would definitely want everyone you know to get the same great service. When you are visiting our sites, be sure to check out all the great information. If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you. We always strive to make our business better.
Thankyou for stopping here.
Have a terrific day!
Joseph Talbot, sales rep.
Accredited Senior Agent.
Remax Clearview Inc. brokerage

Friday, October 29, 2010

JUST LISTED: Lovely Family or Retirement Home in Creemore


This 3 bedroom home in the quaint village of Creemore has great potential for a young family, retirees or as a rental property! This double wide lot is 132' x 165' and has plenty of room for a pool or trampoline. Close to many ammenities. Thanks for taking a look.

Priced to sell, this could be your opportunity to get into the real estate market in this desireable community. Call or email today!

705-428-4500 Office
705-733-5821 Direct Line

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Should You Rent??

Good question. Well one way to quickly determine what to do is to consider whether or not you have at least 5% down payment and closing costs for a house.  If not, well, renting is a good option. It may beat living with mom and dad for the rest of your life!  Even if you love them very much.  Most financial institutions and private lenders will not lend 100% of the purchase price.  You need to show a financial interest in the home, so that the lender feels confident that you are not just going to walk away if money gets a little tight. If you are not in a position to buy this way, there is the rent to own option. However there is still a down payment required and interest rates will be higher.

Some of the types of renters are:

1. Good folks without the 5%.
2. Retired folks that are not interested in owning any longer, with good reason. (We will talk about this later.)
3. Good folks with financial difficulty (This can happen to ANYONE.)
4. Seasonal renters, for ski seasons or summer holidays.
5. Young couples or families not sure about where life is taking them.
6. Relocations, (i.e. the military, new jobs, etc).
7. Renters who just don't want the responsibilities of owning.
8. Students.

These are just a few benefits of renting :

1. You do not have the liability of ownership.
2. You do not have to maintain the buildings or grounds.
3. You do not have the fix anything that wears out or breaks. (Unless, of course, you broke it.)
4. You do not have to cut the grass unless it is in your rental agreement.
5. You do not have to do the snow removal unless it is in your rental agreement.
6. If something happens to the building you do not have to deal with it.
7. If the building needs upgrading, it is not your expense.
8. You are not responsible for paying the taxes.
9. You are not responsible for paying the building insurance.
10. You do not have to come up with 5% down to live there.
11. You may only need the home for a short term and don't want to have the hassle of selling.
12. You may be retiring and only need it for a few years, before going into a retirement community.
13. You may not be able to find just the right house, instead of buying the wrong house, rent shortterm.

These are just a few reasons why renting may be the best option for you.  Homes come up for rent on the market all the time as do folks looking for rentals. I get calls for both periodically. There are many ways to get the word out you are looking to rent a home. Call me any time and I can help you start the looking process. Whether you are looking in the Clearview, Creemore, Stayner, Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, Grey county, or Mulmur township, I can help you get the ball rolling. It can take some time to find the right rental.  Start as early as you can, so you don't miss out on a good deal. These are just a few thoughts on renting.
Thanks again for reading this blog.  I hope that you found something useful in its content. Please check back in a few days for more blogs. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just Listed a Georgeous Property, on a Large Lot, in Stayner.

You have got to see it to believe it. Absolutely incredible potential here for bed & breakfast, extended foster care, etc. Beautiful formal dining room with real wood fire place. A kitchen a chef dreams about. A gentleman's room with the perfect ambiance for pool, library or study. Massive great room with cathedral ceiling and lots of natural light. Perfect for entertaining special guests. Garden doors from the great room lead to a patio and heated inground pool and sauna & shower house. Don't miss out on this 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home on huge, well-treed in-town lot. Way too much to list. See it before it's gone! Call Joseph Talbot, RE/MAX Clearview, Stayner, ON Office: 705-428-4500 Direct Line: 705-733-5821

View more photos of this beautiful Stayner Home.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Well there is a lot to think about when it comes to renting, selling or buying. They are all intwinded together. Today we are going to talk about the SELLING END OF THINGS. If you are a seller you may want to rent instead of selling. You may want to Keep it for future income. Or you may want to avoid capital gains at this time. Rentals are a good investment overall. However there are a few challenges that come with it.
First you need to make sure you are making the best decision for you and your family.
Then make sure you find the best tenant possible for your property.
Make sure that you look at the potentials renters credit history, this you need their written consent.
Check the past two landlord referrences, very important, unless they never rented before
Check at least two personal referrences, that are not related. ( if possible)  
Check their employment, speak with their employer.
Make sure that their income can meet their living expenses or your will be paying them
Most important of all, trust your gut instinct.

Having the income each month is nice. If you have a mortgage on the property the tenant help you pay that. Also it is not a great idea leaving your property vacant. Unless of course you live in it. Keeping it and renting right now may be a good idea in today's economy. You MAY get more for the property in the future. Just take into consideration the cost to upkeep the property. Such as maintainance and repairs. Remember a happy tenant is usually a longer term tenant. Everytime a tenant moves out it will cost you money. Do your best to make the home as nice as possible, within your budget. It is a good idea to go into the home at least twice a year and check for repairs and maintainance, like leaky taps, clean out the eavestrough, check for mold in the basement. You may also have to do the grass cutting, yard work or snow removal, just depends on what is in your rental agreement. Be sure to keep open lines of communication with your tenant.
In my experience, and we have some rental properties, we feel it is a great investment. You must remember, whether you already own the property or you want to buy one as an investment, it is for the long term. In today's market it is a great time to buy. As for the selling end, it takes a little longer and prices are not as high. This will likely change in the future. Real estate cycles aways prove to increase over the year. When it dives it always comes back. It just takes time.  However at least you have something that you can liquidate if you need to. However at least you have something that you can liquidate if you need to. This is just a few things to think of when you are considering to rent your home. If you need any help making this decision, or would like some more information or help renting, just give me a call or email.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope that it was helpful.
Have a great day!!
Until next time! Be sure to check back.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Here's a Driving Tour of Wasaga Beach

Have a look at this drive through the Beach, from Superstore to the Main End. Near the end, you'll see a short clip of Kite Surfing. I'd sooo love to try that! Listen for my daughter pointing out some important tourist attractions.

Wasaga Beach is a great place to live, no matter what the season!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Check out this Tour. It is a Must!

Well here we are. It is October already!! Wow! All the fall colours are here. We have been driving around videoing all the bits and pieces of our little piece of Heavenly real estate area. You will have to check it out. We have recorded some really neat places. Like the fishing Islands on Lake Huron, which are quickly becoming the non fishing, non islands. We were there and could just about walk to them. If the water was not soooo cold we would have. Someone drove their jeep right through the water, so it can not be that deep. We also were checking out the salmon jumping up and over the Sauble falls. WOW! Now that is cool. The power and determination these fish have is incredible. They must have a real keen built in GPS system. God designed them well. There is a lot of water running over the falls right now. We also checked out the Coran ruins at Spirit Rock, just outside of Wiarton. The ruins are really interesting . . . the size of the cut stone they used and how heavy the stone must have been. They also did not have the equipment that we have today to do all the heavy lifting. Also what was really interesting was the steel spiral stair case the led us down over the cliffs. We were about 150- 200 feet above the Bay at Wiarton. Look for the video on our website under current videos on the right side of this page. Would you like a really scenic drive that will take you about 2 to 3 hours round trip? Well, start in Collingwood head west on Hwy 26 towards Thornbury. Just past the mountain and Craigleith provincial park turn left on Grey road 40 towards Walters falls, continue on that until you come to Hwy 10. Then turn left and head south. Go into Markdale. At the lights turn left (the only stop lights).This goes east. Then turn right onto cty road 30 and follow to the stop sign, turn right, this is still 30, go to the next street and turn left, this is still 30. Go down the really big hill. Follow this to the stop sign at County road 13. Then turn right and go up the big long hill into Eugenia. Then turn left onto the 8th line on the edge of the village of Eugenia. This goes east. Travel until you come to the stop sign in Feversham. Go straight through. Keep going until you come to a T in the road, this is the 10 th line. turn right. Take this road until you come to the next T in the road and turn left this is county road 31. Then go for about 500 meters and turn right onto county road 91 and go east. Go down the big hill and this takes you into Duntroon and you can go straight to stayner or left to Collingwood.
I guarantee that you will not be disappointed with this trip. I promise you that it is one of the most beautiful drives in all of southern Ontario. There are many great things to stop at and take a look at along the way. Most important, do not forget your camera and or video camera. Your will really enjoy the fall colours and the beautiful hills. It is a VERY scenic drive. You will pass through Clearview township, town of BlueMountains,  Artemesia, Osprey, and other townships all in Grey County and Simcoe county. Please let me know how well you made out with my directions and how much you enjoyed to the trip. Thanksgiving weekend is coming up and the colours will be at their peak. Enjoy and thanks for visiting my blog. Stop by and visit my website as well http://www.clearviewlistings.com/ Have a great day! Joseph Talbot, ASA, sales representative, Remax Clearview Inc. 705-733-5821 direct line if you get lost.

Friday, October 1, 2010

See the Potenial In Real Estate That May Not Seem Quite What You Are Looking For

Sometimes, when you are in the market for real estate, viewing a property can be a little disappointing. You see the photos online and when you get there, it's not quite what you had hoped.

If you dig a little deeper though, you might be able to visualize something different.

That's what we did when we bought this investment property in Stayner, Ontario. It was pretty run down. It needed new doors, new windows, new siding, and we replaced just about everything else.

Now, the main floor is a large, finished, 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment and the basement will begin soon. We'll keep you posted on the progress.

In the meantime, you can see Before, During and After photos at http://www.clearviewlistings.com/ and see view the finished video walkthrough of the Stayner Renovation Project below.

With my design qualifications and 20+ years in the building industry, I have an eye for detail and a knack for visualizing the potential in a property. Give me a call, at RE/MAX Clearview, Inc, and let me help you see your future home!

Joseph Talbot, Accredited Senior Agent, Green Agent
RE/MAX Clearview Inc. (705) 428-4500
Direct Line (705) 733-5821

Monday, August 30, 2010


Keep more of YOUR money in YOUR pocket!!!
Wow! What a Deal!
*On the seller's brokerage portion of commission only, when you list your real estate through the services of Joseph Talbot, Sales Representative, in the months of September & October 2010.
Call me at Remax Clearview Inc., 705-428-4500 or on my direct line, 705-733-5821. Visit www.josephtalbot.ca or email jtalbot@remax.net.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Secrets to Creating an Age Friendly Home

When people buy a home they intend to live in for the rest of their lives, they don't always consider if that home will suit them as they age. In fact, many people plan remodeling projects that won't help them at all when they get older, such as putting in a hot tub. Maybe that's something they can finally afford and have always wanted, but they don't take into consideration how useful - or not - something like that will be as they age. Here are a few things you should think about in creating an age friendly home. Keep in mind that everyone ages differently, and you may not know exactly what types of accommodations you'll need, but by planning ahead, you'll have some idea of what you may need.

The ideal home for seniors should include a no-step layout, including no steps up to at least one entrance of your house. If you have steps at every door of your home, be aware that you may need to add a ramp at some point in the future. This holds true even if you or your spouse isn't in a wheelchair; the fact is that negotiating steps becomes difficult for nearly everyone as they age. Doorways, both within the house as well as entrance doors, should be at least 32 inches wide to accommodate a wheelchair or walker, and doors should have lever handles instead of knobs for arthritic hands.

Your home should ideally have a full-sized bath and master bedroom on the first floor, as stairs may become difficult to navigate. Bathrooms should include toilets and counter tops that are at a comfortable height for seniors. Showers are ideal for seniors, since most falls occur getting in and out of the tub. You can get shower chairs with wide seats. If you already have a tub and choose not to remodel, add several grab bars and a bath bench to put across the tub so you don't have to stand up to reach necessary items. You should also add a grip mat in the bottom of the tub and a hand-held showerhead so you can avoid standing as much as possible. If you have room for it, you might also want to consider placing a sturdy chair near the tub to aid in mobility and dressing.

Bedrooms, particularly the first floor master bedroom, should have large closets with accessible storage and a bed that is low enough for seniors to easily climb into. Since older people need three times as much light as younger people do, you'll also want adequate lighting, not just in the bedroom, but also throughout the entire house. A good reading light will help, and you may want to consider a nightlight to make middle of the night trips to the bathroom safer. If the bedroom is connected to the bathroom, a sturdy chair near the bathroom door will be good if you need a little help getting to the bathroom.

Adequate lighting is particularly important in the kitchen because there are so many ways to get hurt in that room. You can add under-cabinet and can lights if you don't have enough florescent lighting. You'll also want to make sure cabinets are easily accessible, and add roll out shelves and more shallow shelves if necessary. Stoves should have large dials for easy viewing, and ovens should have pull out racks. Other senior kitchen necessities include a stool for resting, a lever style faucet on the sink, a garbage disposal and trash compactor, and a u-shaped galley kitchen layout so food does not have to be carried.

Other changes that will help you age in your home:

  • Low pile carpet for easy mobility
  • Low shine floors that minimize glare
  • Pressure mats instead of motion detectors that interfere with hearing aids
  • Buzzers instead of high frequency alarms and doorbells
  • Adequate heating system so space heaters aren't needed
  • Touch lamps instead of ones with knobs
  • Out of the way extension cords
  • No throw rugs
  • Furniture with firm, high seats
  • Chairs with arms and without coasters so they don't slide
  • Light colored floors and bright walls, with a contrast between the two

Outside of the home, patios are better for seniors than are decks, because decks require more maintenance and tend to be slick when wet. There may come a time where maintaining an elaborately landscaped yard is too much for you. As you get older, you may want to consider either simplifying your yard so you have less to do in it, or hiring someone to take over yard care duties. Following these tips can make aging in your home much easier.

Joseph Talbot, ASA
Sales Representative
Remax Clearview Inc. brokerage

Check out more at

This article was provided by www.worldreferrals.com

Buyer’s Title Insurance: Do You Need It?

When you purchase a home, the title of it must be researched to make sure the seller has the right to sell the house; that no one else has a claim on the house, for example. The title examiner will look closely at all available public records of the house, including past deeds, wills, and trusts to make sure the house is free and clear to be sold. If the title is clear, you can buy the house. If not, any legal problems need to be cleared up.

Title insurance protects you and your mortgage lender in the event that a problem occurs with the title at any point during your ownership. It can be a problem that just didn’t show up in the title examination, something the examiner missed, or because of an error in the public records. Let’s say a long lost heir claims a right to the house after you’ve bought it. Title insurance will cover the cost of untangling this legal problem.

There are two types of title insurance. A lender policy, usually issued for the amount of the mortgage, covers the mortgage lender. If you have to go to court with the long lost heir, the policy will cover the costs of that. If the long lost heir is indeed the legal owner of the house, instead of you, the policy will pay the mortgage back to the lender.

An owner policy covers the price of the house and pays the owner of the property for loss due to a problem with the title. If you have an owner policy and the long lost heir wins the court case, your owner policy will reimburse you for the loss of the property.

Title insurance does not cover any defects found in the property after closing, and some policies do not cover problems related to easements, mineral rights, and liens. Unless your state specifies differently, buyers must pay for title insurance, although that can be negotiated with the seller. The price is a one-time fee, usually part of the closing costs.

Most lenders require you to purchase a lender policy, but not all require an owner policy. Of course, if you’re paying cash for a property, you do not have to get title insurance, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt. It’s a good idea to protect your investment.

Joseph Talbot, ASA
Sales Representative
Remax Clearview Inc. brokerage

Check out more at

This article was provided by www.worldreferrals.com

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Adding Value to Your Property - Part 2


Maintenance of a property may seem a bit of a bind, but without continuous attention, the value of a property will deteriorate along with its condition. Regular maintenance is the best investment that can be made in a property.

Water can cause major problems so keeping it out is very important. Start by checking the roof. Replacing broken tiles or repairing the lead flashing may not be a major job, but left unattended, could lead to problems. It's a good idea to check the guttering when it's raining. Blockages and leaks can often be spotted when viewed from across the road.

It's always worth casting an eye over the drains too. A drain cleared before a blockage occurs is easier on the nose and the wallet.

A regular lick of paint will keep a property looking good and keep deterioration at bay. A newly painted front door with shiny brass fittings always creates a good impression. When selling, a surveyor will be more impressed with ongoing maintenance than quick fixes aimed at making the property more appealing.

Joseph Talbot, ASA
Sales Representative
Remax Clearview Inc. brokerage

Check out more at

This article was provided by www.worldreferrals.com

Adding Value to Your Property - Part 1


Rising property prices and the premium being placed on space, makes extensions a wise investment. However, extending a property is a major project and shouldn't be undertaken lightly. Call in professionals to get the job done properly as there are important planning restrictions and regulations, which need to be followed. Ask friends to recommend reputable builders and an architect. If an extension is botched, it could end up devaluing a property rather than adding value.

An extension should match the architectural style of the existing house. Extra bathrooms and large kitchens are usually good investments in family-sized homes and a garage in a busy, urban area will also add value. A good extension could add thousands to the price of a property.

The room that usually benefits the most from enlarging is the kitchen. Adding a kitchen diner creates the farmhouse kitchen most people want and gives extra space. The old dining room can become an office, playroom, or somewhere to set out a model railway. Better still, build above the kitchen extension to add an extra bedroom at the same time.

Victorian or 1930s houses are ideal for loft conversions because of their high roof pitches. Prices will vary depending on how many bedrooms are added and whether an en-suite is required. A loft room will require less planning and building requirements than a bedroom. So do the research and speak to chartered surveyors and architects!

If there isn't a reason to expand, why not get a further advance on a mortgage and give the house a dream makeover. A new kitchen, bathroom and carpets will revive the passion in the property and increase its value at the same time.

Joseph Talbot, ASA
Sales Representative
Remax Clearview Inc. brokerage

Check out more at

This article was provided by www.worldreferrals.com

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Will I get my money back?

Deciding whether you should renovate your existing home or purchase a new one? This is a common question and I will try to help you look at both sides. I have prepared an example of approximate costs that you are likely to recap on specific renovations.

There are many different reasons people want to renovate. People may want a lifestyle renovation like a sunroom or finishing off a basement. They may want envelope or systems projects like more insulation or upgrading your furnace, or they may just want to perform preventative maintenance on their home. Out of these we are going to focus on the lifestyle renovations.

Here is the approximate payback range of a typical renovation:

  • Kitchens - 68%
  • Bathroom - 64%
  • Interior Painting - 64%
  • Exterior Painting - 62%
  • Main floor family room - 50%

We are often asked about adding an in-law suite (check your local office for city conformity) which usually has return on investment of only about 40%.

In looking at these options, you have to decide on the length of time you will be in your home compared to the cost. For mechanical additions like a heat pump you may end up paying $5,000 up front, but with the cost savings over 5 years you will probably have recapped most of the cost. In those scenarios, you can calculate your costs savings much easier then with an addition. If you are planning on moving within 3 years, you might not get the return you expected.

When comparing this to buying a home, you need to look at the local market conditions and see what the general trend is. If the market is increasing, you may need to look closer at a renovation and decide whether it’s worth it.

Contact your WorldReferrals expert for more advice about your local market and the general maintenance guidelines for your area.

Joseph Talbot, ASA
Sales Representative
Remax Clearview Inc. brokerage

Check out more at

This article was provided by www.worldreferrals.com

Healthy House Planner- Part 3

Clearing the air.

You have a forced air heating system you'd think it would be a healthier environment, wouldn't you? So why does the smell of last nights dinner still linger? And why do you get so many headaches? And why do some children get go from one cold to another all winter and why do you feel so tired all the time?

Just a forced air system or baseboard heat might seem fine. If so, though, why does your basement smell musty, why the condensation on your airtight windows, and in some cases why does your paint discolor?

Maybe because your house can't breathe!

Indoor air can't escape. Fresh air and oxygen can't get in. There's no circulation.

Stale, stagnant air, pollen, dust, pet odors, and excessive humidity trapped between the walls accumulate and contribute to a build up of bad indoor air.

One system that may help is a called a continuous ventilation system, which will allow your house to breath. Here is how it works:

  • Vents located throughout your home draw in stale, humid air.
  • As the air is expelled, the outside vent simultaneously draws in fresh air warming it with the heat recovered from the indoor air being expelled
  • After passing through a ventilator, fresh warm air in the winter and cold in the summer depending on your indoor temperature, some systems can even work on compensating for the moisture keeping a comfortable humidity level inside the home through the year.

What about cleaning the ducts in my forced air system?

Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.

Knowledge about the potential benefits and possible problems of air duct cleaning is limited. Since conditions in every home are different, it is impossible to generalize about whether or not air duct cleaning in your home would be beneficial.

If no one in your household suffers from allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses and if, after a visual inspection of the inside of the ducts, you see no indication that your air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold (no musty odor or visible mold growth), having your air ducts cleaned is probably unnecessary. It is normal for the return registers to get dusty as dust-laden air is pulled through the grate. This does not indicate that your air ducts are contaminated with heavy deposits of dust or debris; the registers can be easily vacuumed or removed and cleaned.

Other Important Considerations...

The EPA has stated that duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts or go down after cleaning. This is because much of the dirt that may accumulate inside air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. It is important to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles that are present in homes. Pollutants that enter the home both from outdoors and indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just moving around can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. Moreover, there is no evidence that a light amount of household dust or other particulate matter in air ducts poses any risk to health.

Joseph Talbot, ASA
Sales Representative
Remax Clearview Inc. brokerage

Check out more at

This article was provided by www.worldreferrals.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Healthy House Planner- Part 2

A Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.

Why does mold grow?

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

Should I be concerned about mold in my home?

Mold should not be permitted to grow and multiply indoors. When this happens, health problems can occur and building materials, goods and furnishings may be damaged.

Some types of mold can produce chemical compounds (called mycotoxins) although they do not always do so. Molds that are able to produce toxins are common. In some circumstances, the toxins produced by indoor mold may cause health problems. However, all indoor mold growth is potentially harmful and should be removed promptly, no matter what types of mold is present.

Certain people should be particularly careful of mold. People such as:

  • Individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as allergies and asthma
  • Persons having weakened immune systems (for example, people with HIV infection, chemotherapy patients, organ transplant recipients)
  • Those with special health concerns. In this case you should consult a medical professional if you feel your health is affected by indoor mold.

Can mold make me and my family sick?

Mold can affect the health of people who are exposed to it. People are mainly exposed to mold by breathing spores or other tiny fragments. People can also be exposed through skin contact with mold contaminants (for example, by touching moldy surfaces) and by swallowing it. The type and severity of health effects that mold may produce are usually difficult to predict. The risks can vary greatly from one location to another, over time, and from person to person.

What symptoms might I see?

The most common health problems caused by indoor mold are allergy symptoms. Although other and more serious problems can occur, people exposed to mold commonly report problems such as:

  • nasal and sinus congestion
  • cough
  • wheeze/breathing difficulties
  • sore throat
  • skin and eye irritation
  • upper respiratory infections (including sinus)

Research on mold and health effects is ongoing. For more detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

How do I tell if I have a mold problem?

The most practical way to find a mold problem is by using your eyes to look for mold growth and by using your nose to locate the source of a suspicious odor. If you see mold or if there is an earthy or musty smell, you should assume a mold problem exists. Other clues are signs of excess moisture or the worsening of allergy-like symptoms.

  • Look for visible mold growth (may appear cottony, velvety, granular, or leathery and have varied colors of white, gray, brown, black, yellow, green). Mold often appears as discoloration, staining, or fuzzy growth on the surface of building materials or furnishings. When mold is visible, testing is not recommended.
  • Search areas with noticeable mold odors.
  • Look for signs of excess moisture or water damage. Look for water leaks, standing water, water stains, and condensation problems. For example, do you see any watermarks or discoloration on walls, ceilings, carpet, woodwork or other building materials?
  • Search behind and underneath materials (carpet and pad, wallpaper, vinyl flooring, sink cabinets), furniture, or stored items (especially things placed near outside walls or on cold floors). Sometimes destructive techniques may be needed to inspect and clean enclosed spaces where mold and moisture are hidden; for example, opening up a wall cavity.

How do I get rid of mold?

It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

Three things to remember are:

  • The key to controlling mold is to control the moisture in your home.
  • You should clean up mold promptly and fix the water problem.
  • If you have water damage it is important to clean this up within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

In the next issue we discuss the importance of your air ducts and whether you should have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?"

If you would like more articles on this topic please let your Worldreferrals representative know. Or contact us at 1800-867-3225

Some of our material came from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health
Here is a link for more information:


If you would like more articles like this let your Worldreferrals.com Residential Specialist know.

Joseph Talbot, ASA
Sales Representative
Remax Clearview Inc. brokerage

Check out more at

This article was provided by www.worldreferrals.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Healthy House Planner- Part 1

Is your home a healthy home?

Whether you have a castle or a cottage your home is your sanctuary. It's a place for your family. It's where you live and more often these days where you work. Americans spend an average of 65 percent of their time at home, at what is usually viewed as a safe haven.

The bad news about indoor air quality is that it often contains higher concentrations of hazardous pollutants than outdoor air. The good news is there are a few things you can do to reduce indoor air pollution.

Home pollutants such as dust mites, animal related allergens and mold are known asthma triggers, while high accumulations of carbon monoxide and radon in inadequately ventilated homes are serious health hazards.

Preventing home environment problems can be as easy as changing furnace filters more often and as complex as changing the flooring to wood or tile in main areas of the home.

Here are some essentials to healthy housing:

  • Occupant health: which includes high efficiency ventilation systems, hardwood and tile floors, and storage rooms ventilated to exterior.
  • Energy efficiency: Increased insulation levels in walls/attic, high efficiency windows and doors, energy efficient appliances and lighting, generous windows to reduce lighting costs.
  • Resource efficiency: Low flow toilets and plumbing, use of rapid growing woods like spruce and maple, use of recycled building materials.

Also one of the other potential problems you may hear more about is Radon.

**The Surgeon General has warned that Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Radon is a radioactive gas. It is formed by the natural energy of uranium in rock, soil and water. Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Once produced, radon moves through the ground to the air above. It can be found in all 50 states. Unless you test for it, there is no way of telling how much is present. Contact your local state Radon contact or try www.radongas.org

Here are a few great links for more information on healthy housing and our source for some of the content used for this article.

If you would like more articles like this let your Worldreferrals.com Residential Specialist know.

Joseph Talbot, ASA
Sales Representative
Remax Clearview Inc. brokerage

Check out more at

This article was provided by www.worldreferrals.com