Chris Mancuso Discusses Moist Basements on Saturday August 22, 2015

Chris Mancuso Discusses Moist Basements on Saturday August 22, 2015

Chris Mancuso from Accurate Basement Repair was on The Redefined Realty Show on AM1130 WISN on Saturday August 22, 2015.

Chris Mancuso Discusses Moist Basements on Saturday August 22, 2015

Chris Mancuso on WISN radio

Paul: …And The Redefined Realty Show. A little late coming in there because of our gabbing off the air. Bob, Good Morning.

Bob: It’s 10 after, already. What’s going on here?

Paul: What is going on? We’ve got to stop talking off the air and get on the air here. Bob Tarantino joins us in the studio. He’s your host for The Redefined Realty Show. We’ve got two guests in studio. Scott Le Marr joins us back from Honest Home Inspections. Good to have you back on the show, Scott.

Scott: Always happy to be here.

Paul: Good morning to you and as well to Chris Mancuso. His company is Accurate Basement Repair. Good morning, Chris.

Chris: Good morning, Paul. Always excited to be here and always excited to answer a lot of questions today.

Paul: We had some dry spells there for a while, but then the rain came and it came hard in some areas.

Chris: Some areas it came hard, no one was thinking about it, so we got quite a bit of calls for leakage over the last week or so, when we just got at those onslaughts of downpours.

Paul: So, if you’ve got questions about your basement and basement repair, they do everything. From waterproofing to wall re-builds and foundation, full excavation, egress windows we’ve talked about. Anything to do with your basement, questions are welcome for Chris Mancuso.

Scott Le Marr with Honest Home Inspections also happens to be a master indoor environmental specialist.

Scott, we’ve talked about radon. We’ve talked about mold in the past. And any…Scott’s t-shirt, instead of saying Got Milk says Got Mold? In that same font. I love it. How many homes do have mold and we probably don’t know about it?

Scott: All of them.

Paul: Wow.

Scott: Whether or not you have elevated conditions or not is what dictates that.

Paul: So we may have…

Scott: There’s mold everywhere. Mold is in the air. It’s in the hospital. It’s in the studio.

Paul: But it’s how much…

Scott: It is.

Paul:…we breathe.

Scott: Sometimes we end up with elevated conditions and that’s when people start to get concerned about it.

Paul: Wow, you hear that, Bob, and you think, “Holy crap.”

Bob: Yeah.

Paul: And some homes are worse than others. You’ve talked about homes that have been foreclosed on where you can walk in and you can just see in the closet, black.

Scott: Yeah, there’s houses I’ve been, yeah, it’s terrible. A lot of them are foreclosures, like you say, but some of them are houses that people are actually living in and you sometimes wonder, it’s like, “Boy, don’t you see that every day when you’re walking around in your basement?” Sometimes just the shower in the bathroom, you can see it.

Paul: A little black spot on the drywall.

Scott: It’s something that should get taken care of right away, especially if you’re going to be selling your house in the near future. But the one spot that nobody sees it, ever, is that attic because nobody ever goes in their attic anymore.

Paul: No. How many people pop up that little thing and…In our house I’ve got two closets where the little trap door or whatever it’s called in the ceiling and…

Scott: You should go up in your attic once a year.

Paul: I should?

Scott: Everybody should. Nobody does, but everybody should.

Bob: At least to take a big flashlight and go, “What kind of critters are up here?”

Scott: Yeah. That, too.

Paul: Does it look like it’s all black on the ceiling? Is there mold? Is it that bad? Because if that’s the case, we need to get some people in there.

Scott: Yes, absolutely. That mold in the attic typically does not get into the living area, because all our pressure is always moving upwards.

Paul: Up and out with the vents.

Scott: Right. Well, a lot of people are concerned whether or not there’s mold in the attic it’s going to be a health issue, but it does not get into the home. The only time it ever did that I did one of those in the attic was green and fuzzy so it was probably the worst I’ve ever seen.

Paul: Green and fuzzy?

Scott: Oh, it was. It really was.

Paul: You could get a lawn growing up there.

Scott: It was pretty close. It almost needed to be mowed.

hrisBob: We don’t like to hear that.

Scott: That was an addition that was only a few years old, so the remodeler did not do the attic ventilation justice and there was all kinds of issues.

Paul: Scott, you’re a home inspector, so we can take questions on any mechanical aspect of your home from really the foundation with Chris Mancuso here all the way up to the roof. When a home inspector goes into a house, you’re looking at everything, Scott. So questions are welcomed. Bob, From Redefined, can take any kind of real estate question, and we’ll open up lines right now.

So, we’ll talk about market conditions a little bit, give you some rate information as well. It continues to be a hot market. A seller’s market. And we can talk about your home, whether you are a buyer or a seller. Call us right now. We want to get these lines filled up. When these guys come up on the show, this is a chance to talk to…I don’t know, Scott, the best way to get a hold of you is just to call your office I guess.

Scott: Absolutely. You can go through the website. There’s a contact page there if you want to shoot us off an email.

Paul: Honesthomeinspections.com?

Scott: Honesthomeinspections.com. You can also go to Milwaukeemoldinspector.com. You got some mold questions. You just want to shoot off a little email and I’ll answer it that way. Certainly you can call the office, too.

Paul: And then Chris’ website, Chris Mancuso’s company is Accuratebasementrepair.com. Your chance to call in right now and talk to these guys on-air at 799-1130. Phone lines are open at WISN. Kessler’s toll-free line is 800-838-9476. Bob, your company Redefined Realty with its 3.99% commission, it’s all on your website Redefinedrealty.com?

Bob: Yeah, you can certainly start there. Everybody likes to go to websites for information. Like Scott was saying, just get contact information, emails and phone numbers but our commission plan is different than what you’re used to. It’s not a 6% traditional commission plan, so 3.99 plus a flat fee at the end. There’s no upfront money due. It’s a good way to save a few dollars when you sell your house. We are a full-service company. That’s really the important thing to most people. Along with the 3.99% that number actually includes a 2.4% co-broke commission. We get that question all the time, Paul. People say, “Well, I’ve still got to pay the buyer’s agent, right? If I’m only paying you guys 3.99%.” The answer is no, you don’t have to pay anything additional. The 2.4% co-broke commission, which is kind of the standard here in Southeast Wisconsin, that’s part of the 3.99%. So that will be your total, 3.99.

Paul: Which some people are, “How can you do that? It’s always been 6%.”

Bob: Well, that’s been the tradition, but that goes back 40, 50, 60 years and…

Paul: Before the Internet.

Bob: Yeah. Think about how times have changed and things have gotten easier. I can’t even begin to tell you how smart buyers are. They’re searching for the properties, mapping them out and getting more details than the average real estate agent even knows. They call us and they want to see homes and the process has become simpler and that’s why we believe that 6% is just too much money these days.

Paul: So, 3.99% and to see the homes, to start looking at all the homes that are in the MLS, they can go to your website.

Bob: Oh, sure.

Paul: You’ve got it all on there. In fact, that homepage has got the drone video, something else we can talk about, but then you can click on homes. At the bottom, you’ve got the luxury homes and the lakefront homes. But you click on the homes and you will see up to 25 photos for each home. And again, every one that’s in the MLS, not just the homes listed by Redefined, but all of them are on that website Redefinedrealty.com. It’s fun looking at, Bob. I like scrolling through those pictures.

Bob: Yeah, that is fun and you had mentioned the drone. We’re actually going to have the drone out at the Parade of Homes this afternoon. We’re going to be out at Woodridge Estates in Delafield. We’ll be right across from Mike Kaerek’s big, beautiful mansion that he built out there.

Paul: Yeah, he was on last week talking about it.

Bob: Oh, yeah, yeah. We’re going to have a tent sent up so you can certainly come talk to us. A couple of our real estate agents will be there. I’m going to be there with the drone, as well. So we’re going to take it up and do a little bit of flying.

Paul: Awesome.

Bob: It should be a good time.

Paul: Don’t take out any families or anything like that.

Bob: Oops! Nah.

Paul: Bob’s talking to somebody, the joystick moves and there’s this drone dive bombing families walking around.

Bob: That’s the beauty of these drones. All GPS controlled. They fly themselves, practically.

Paul: Isn’t that amazing?

Bob: It is.

Paul: And they lock in position, too.

Bob: Yeah.

Paul: We’ve heard of roof inspections and things like that, Scott, being done by drones with the proper cameras.

Scott: I’m still waiting for Bob to let me take it out for a test drive.

Bob: It’s funny, actually, that you mention that because Craig, everybody knows Craig from the show here, he had some sort of a roof issue with one of the last big rainstorms that we had, so I grabbed the drone one day and I went over and we flew that thing around and we’re shooting high-def video 10 feet off the roof and we can zoom in and see everything. And we’re checking out…

Paul: Can you record that, too, Bob?

Bob: Oh, yeah. It’s all recording.

Paul: Okay.

Bob: So, we’re looking at some flashing and things up there, up on the second floor around the chimney and we’re looking at it going, “Yeah, that could be the spot right there.” And now at least you have an idea, before somebody has to go climb that ladder, about what’s going on.

Paul: That’s amazing.

Bob: It’s pretty awesome.

Paul: I love that. Now, there’s certain rules to drones and we’ve talked about that on this show before. We don’t need to get into that. You stay on your property, like Craig’s house. You’re over his roof. That’s his house.

Bob: Oh, yeah. Right.

Paul: If you have questions about any of that. How can it be…and you can use it for your property, Redefined will help you sell your house.

Bob: Yeah, we actually use the drones on all of our high-end listings. If you’re basically about $375,000 or higher, we do the drone shoot for free. It’s part of our listing package. Everybody’s always asking us, “Well, what do you do different than the other real estate companies?” That’s one of the things. We fly the drones.

Paul: You have your site. In addition, your office is located in Delafield. How can I reach Redefined Realty?

Bob: 262-732-5800

Paul: And to call us right now at WISN. We’ve got some lines open for your questions. Scott Le Marr, our Inspector Gadget, we call him.

Scott: That’s right.

Paul: Make sure we get that bumper…

Scott: It’s even the license plate on my truck.

Paul: Is it really?

Scott: It is.

Paul: It’s your vanity plate? AKA Inspector Gadget. You can ask him about anything in your house from the mold that we talked about to maybe it’s a furnace question. Maybe it’s a question with any mechanical situation. Along with Accurate Basement Repair’s Chris Mancuso, who can talk about your foundation, restoring it. Maybe there’s problems with recent rain that Bob just mentioned with Craig’s house. Well, give us a call. 799-1130. We’ll address your questions. We’re on until 10 a.m. on the Redefined Realty show. 800-838-WISN is the Kessler’s Diamond Center toll-free line. Call right now. Let’s take a break, Spencer, and then we’ll come back and take your questions then. News talk 1130. WISN. 67 degrees right now. And also, when we come back, I’ll give you that weekend Fox6 forecast. Outside of rain tomorrow morning, the rest of the week is absolutely gorgeous. We’ll be right back on ISN.

[10:47] Welcome back and thanks for staying with us during that commercial break. At Redefined Realty, we’re more than just your average real estate company. We’ve got many experienced, hardworking agents all over Southeast Wisconsin and we have Wisconsin’s favorite flat fee plus 3.99% commission plan. You can call our office anytime for an appointment at 262-732-5800, or start the process online with just one click of the green ‘list now’ button at Redefinedrealty.com. And don’t forget, a market analysis is always free.

Before we get started, just a quick message from our sponsors.

[11:22] Chris: Hi, Chris Mancuso here of Accurate Basement Repair. At Accurate Basement Repair, we fix your basement issues. Take a good look at your basement. Check the walls for cracking. Look down low for any signs of seepage. Don’t risk your biggest investment. Accurate Basement Repair is your resource for foundation restoration and waterproofing. Call Accurate Basement Repair at 414-744-6900. That’s 414-744-6900. Estimates are always free.

Woman: Landmark Credit Union is one of Wisconsin’s leading mortgage lenders with low rates and no closing costs for first-time home buyers. Visit Landmarkcu.com or call 262-796-4500. Landmark Credit Union. You’re worth more here.

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[12:42] Paul: We are back on the Redefined Realty Show with Bob Tarantino, your host. I’m Paul Kronforst. Scott Le Marr joins us from Honest Home Inspections. At Accurate Basement Repairs, Chris Mancuso in studio. We’re going to go to the phones and take your calls. We’re going to talk about pre-listing your house. How to get your house ready. Things you need to think about and give you some good tips and advice. We have some giveaways, as well.

The Parade of Homes is going on. Bob is kind enough to give each caller a four pack of Parade tickets, so each caller with a question gets a four pack. Spencer, you have to take their name and address. We’re mailing these out, Bob, right?

Bob: Yes. We’ll get them in the mail, first thing Monday.

Paul: In addition, Scott, you’ve got something for our listeners.

Scott: Yeah, what we’re going to do is we’re going to give away $20 discount coupons for a full home inspection. If anybody’s even thinking about selling their house, call up. We’ll give you…Just give Spencer your name and address. You don’t have to be on the radio. We’ll give you a $20 coupon. If you’re looking at buying a house, if you’re shopping right now, give us a call and we’ll send you out a coupon for that, so when you do get your accepted offer, then we can jump right in there and take care of you, and you get a little bit of discount.

Paul: Oh, a nice discount in addition to the four tickets to the MBA Parade of Homes to every caller. Let’s get going with these questions. Bob, you said pre-listing it there’s certain things you need to do.

Bob: Well, the market is so competitive right now and the buyers have…I don’t know where they’ve all come from, but they’re writing offers on houses like crazy. I can tell you from experience that it’s the good houses that are well maintained and well taken care of that are getting the highest prices and getting multiple offers. Buyers are in that stage right now where they don’t want to do a lot of work when they move in and they want a house that’s nice and clean and ready to move in without a lot of expenses.

That’s where Scott comes in. He can do a pre-home inspection for you and clean up. He can get all that little stuff cleaned up that the buyer’s home inspector is going to eventually find. Chris can do wonders by talking to you about foundation, and drainage, and rain gutters, and all the stuff to keep the basement dry because nothing kills a deal faster than a bad basement.

Paul: The foundation, yeah.

Chris: A bad basement will kill it.

Paul: In fact, a basement question is where we start with Glen in Milwaukee. First caller of the day. Welcome to the Redefined Realty Show. Glen?

[15:07] Glen: Yes. I had a question for the basement guy.

Paul: That’s Chris.

Glen: Oh, Chris. Yes. My basement is always damp and I run a dehumidifier. When it rains real hard, like last week, I get water seeping in through some horizontal cracks but my crock pot is always dry. You think I have a problem?

Chris: Do you look in your sump crock regularly? Are you sure it’s always dry, because…

Glen: It’s always bone dry. No water at all.

Chris: Because with the amount of dryness that we had lately, sometimes it takes a long time for the ground to saturate enough to take that water. For example, for those of you who are listening intently to this, when you…you have to have a certain amount of water to saturate underneath the slab of your house to get that crack to fill up. That sump crack is not made to take surface water. It’s the water as it rises underneath. So, you may or may not have a problem if you have…that’s kind of saturation. Dampness is more of an air quality thing, air exchange thing. But if you’re getting that seepage, the first thing I would do is take a good look outside and see if everything is correct as far as your grading, your gutters, and your downspouts.

Because what I’m finding lately is people haven’t been paying much attention, especially with it being as warm as it has been lately, people aren’t getting their gutters cleared out. And so I’m getting a lot of calls over the last week with those heavy rains, and I get out there and it’s just a gutter thing. That’s it. It’s coming over and people are going, “Wow. I never had water.” Your gutters are plugged and no one’s really been paying attention to it. As far as the cracking goes, you probably want to call the office if you have some cracking.

Scott: Yeah, horizontal cracks are the ones that you really want to be careful with, too. Is it a block basement or is it poured?

Glen: It’s a block basement.

Scott: It’s a block basement. I have an experiment for you. Take a piece of aluminum foil and some duct tape. Take a square of aluminum foil, like maybe eight to nine inches by eight to nine inches, something like that and tape it to the wall.

Glen: Okay.

Scott: Wait a couple of days and see if there is condensation on the outside of the foil. And pull it back and see if there is condensation on the inside of the foil. If there is condensation on the outside of the foil, that means that you’ve got excess humidity in the basement. If there is condensation on the inside of the foil, that means that your blocks are seeping.

Paul: And you’re running your dehumidifier all the time, Glen?

Glen: Yes, I am.

Paul: Which is a good idea, right, guys?

Bob: Absolutely.

Chris: How much water are you taking out of it? Are you emptying it daily? Every other day?

Glen: Probably every other day. Yeah, every other day I’m emptying it.

Chris: Yeah, it doesn’t sound like a big dampness problem, then, as far as humidity in the air because I know that you can empty those pretty regularly, but definitely call the office at 414-744-6900. Otherwise, visit the website at Accuratebasementrepair.com, Glen, and we’ll come on out and get a look at it for you.

Glen: All right. Well, I really appreciate your time.

Paul: Glen, before you hang up I’m putting you on hold so we can get your address. We’re sending out those coupons. We’re sending out Parade of Homes tickets and Spencer will take care of you. Each caller gets a four pack of Parade of Home tickets. It’s in three different locations this year. It runs through September 7th.

Bob: September 7th, yeah. There’s actually three great subdivisions. Woodridge Estates in Delafield, which is where we’ll have the drone today, Woodleaf Reserve in Pewaukee, and then Spencer’s Pass West out in Menomonee Falls.

Paul: So give us a call. We’re going to get you those tickets, and of course, Scott Le Marr has that coupon, as well, that he’s sending out. That’s what, 20%?

Scott: It’s $20 off.

Paul: $20 off.

Scott: You don’t have to be on the radio. Just call in and give your name and address and we’ll send it out for you.

Paul: Okay. Make note of that to Spencer when you call in. We continue with your questions on The Redefined Realty Show. Next is Mike in Muskego. Good morning.

[19:13] Mike: Hey, guys. Good morning. I’m calling on behalf of some friends that purchased their first home, and they’ve come to discover that the previous owners screwed on a picture in the basement. They take that off, I don’t know how their home inspector didn’t catch it, but there’s just tons of mold in there. I don’t know if it’s black mold, but that, as well as an infestation problem around and inside the basement and house that they just kept putting mulch on top of mulch every year, which created a lot of moisture as well and is holding the bugs. I’m just kind of wondering their options on how to handle that and if there’s anything they can do with the sale of that house. Would that void the contract or anything like that?

Paul: So, they were covering things up with a picture in the basement. Let’s start with that one.

Mike: Yeah.

Paul: First off, an inspector should probably…

Scott: Well, first off, an inspector is not going to remove the picture to look behind it.

Paul: They’re not?

Scott: They’re not.

Paul: Okay.

Scott: That’s intrusion. The problem we get into is I may suspect something there is something behind that, but if I take that picture off the wall and I drop that, that’s all mine. That house is not yours yet. While we’re doing the inspection for the buyer, that house belongs to the seller and we’re not doing the inspection for them. So, it does get into some difficult stuff.

Paul: What if there’s a private safe behind that picture?

Bob: That’s right. Sometimes we’ve got houses with hundreds of pictures. There’s no way anybody’s going to pull those off.

Paul: There’s no way.

Scott: Another thing that happens, when you hang that picture on the wall, it’s keeping the moisture behind it, too. Again, we were talking about moist basements and if you have that moist basement and you’re not running a dehumidifier, you can put that picture up against the wall and it’s colder up there than anyplace else and moisture always goes to the coldest spot.

Mike: Well, this is covering up a four by four crawlspace. That’s why they had the picture up or on the wall.

Scott: Okay.

Mike: It wasn’t just mold behind a picture on the wall. It was a four by four hidden crawlspace thingy.

Scott: So the buyers didn’t even know, or the inspector didn’t know, that the crawlspace was there?

Mike: Apparently so, yes.

Scott: That’s interesting. That gets into a little bit of difficulty because I would be looking at the outside of the house and I would go down in the basement and say, “Wait a minute, something’s not adding up.” Sometimes you can think it’s a slab, but it’s not a slab. It’s a crawlspace.

Chris: I would have your friends revisit their home inspection report and see if anything is mentioned about that crawlspace because if that crawlspace was missed during the home inspection report you may want to have them contact their home inspector and…

Mike: Sure.

Scott: It might have said the access was blocked, too. I just did one where I couldn’t get to the attic, so I put in the report that the attic was blocked and I couldn’t get in it.

Chris: Yeah, so people should keep in mind, if there’s not access to it, you can’t comment on it. Even when I look at basements. I looked at one yesterday off of 100th street off of Burleigh. There was a crawlspace. I couldn’t access it, so I can’t comment on it, so…

Paul: Why couldn’t you access it?

Chris: It was a board over it.

Paul: Oh.

Chris: It had screws on it, and no one was there so I couldn’t do it, but if a homeowner is there, then I will tell them, “This needs to be exposed,” but I will put that in my report.

Paul: But you can’t take the boards off without permission.

Chris: Yeah. I can’t take it off without permission, but I definitely tell people to do that because we’re talking…the difference could be thousands of dollars.

Paul: Oh, yeah. You want to inspect that crawlspace.

Scott: Plus, that crawlspace really should be ventilated to the basement, too. So, if you’re going to cover something like that up…I usually tell them, “If you’re going to cover it, use a screen use a louvered door, something like that.” We want that air moving back there.

Paul: You want to know what is behind those boards now, don’t you?

Chris: Keep in mind on crawlspaces, if you’re going to have those inspected, we do do free home or basement inspections. But if it is a crawlspace that has limited accessibility or to be honest if it’s plain nasty, we’re going to charge something for it because they can be pretty nasty.

Paul: Mike, thank you for the phone call and we hope that helps.

Mike: Thank you so much, guys.

Paul: We appreciate it so much and if they want to reach out to any of our guests. Accuratebasementrepair.com and of course, Honesthomeinspections.com.

Scott: He did mention the mulch thing and people do bring in mulch year after year after year. You can get too high up to the siding and it does become an issue.

Paul: I’m a mulch guy. I like it, but I know what you said. I took your advice. Do not go near the siding. I stay well below it.

Bob: Well, it’s interesting, too. You see mulch coming up to the house and then it’s kind of graded away and people think their grading is good around their house because of the way the mulch looks, but underneath it’s the soil that makes all the difference. You can’t see the soil unless you pull the mulch away and look.

Paul: You got it.

Bob: And that causes huge problems.

Chris: And that will come up during a home inspection if you have a sharp home inspector. They’ll take a yard stick or straight edge or whatever…

Paul: And dig through the mulch and realize that the grade is actually bad.

Chris: And that can get pricey, to re-do landscaping…

Paul: Oh, yeah.

Chris:…as far as having to re-do mulch and re-insert grade dirt to it.

Paul: A lot of good questions today. Every caller is getting four tickets to the Parade of Homes, plus a $20 off coupon that you have offered up, Scott Le Marr.

Scott: Yes.

Paul: From Honest Home Inspections. If you call in, just give your name and address to Spencer. We’re mailing all of this out. Do not stop by the station. Just look for these in the mail. The Parade of Homes is excellent this year. I’ve been told all the homes are just incredible and Bob will talk more about his appearance today with the drone.

Chris: And, yeah. Make sure you get to the Parade of Homes because if you’re buying a new home, most likely you’re selling your old home.

Bob: Probably. That’s why we’re going to have some of our real estate agents out there.

Scott: So you can come for pre-inspection, too.

Bob: Definitely, definitely.

Chris: Keep the economy going and you got to get that basement looked at because those are the deal killers.

Paul: We have dehumidifier question coming from Mary in West Alice. Good morning.

[25:15] Mary: Hi. How are you today?

Chris: Hi, Mary.

Mary: Hi. I run my dehumidifier in the wintertime. Is that okay?

Chris: It is okay. What I suggest to people is if you’re running your dehumidifier in the winter, have it elevated off the ground.

Mary: Oh, okay.

Chris: A little box. What I do at my own home…

Paul: A pallet? Maybe on a pallet?

Chris: What I do, is I just took a plastic storage bin and I put sand it and I made a base. Now I just put a dehumidifier on top of it. The temperature gradient a little bit higher off the ground is much different because those coils tend to freeze. Especially if you have an older unit.

Bob: Hey, Chris. I got a question for you in regards to that. If you’ve got a basement, whether it’s finished or non-finished even, a lot of times the duct work because the furnace is down there, they’ll actually have some vents that blow into the basement. Is it a good thing to just open those up in the winter and circulate the air through the whole house? Because that will dry it out pretty good too, won’t it?

Chris: Absolutely. And that’s a good thing that Bob had mentioned is opening up and circulating that air. Scott and I talk about that all the time is air circulation, or handling of your air, in your basement is huge to keep it dry. If you don’t have your vents open in the basement, you should open them.

Scott: Nobody wants to heat their basement, but warm air rises anyway so it’s going to head up to the top of the house whether it’s through the floor or up your stairs.

Scott: Yeah, ultimately that heat is staying in the house anyways so you’re not really losing much on your heat bill.

Chris: And if you’re going to sell your house, especially you should have all those open and circulate the air conditioning through there too because it just makes a fresher smell.

Mary: I do have mine open. Another question. I’m running my dehumidifier now and also my air conditioning, which is central, as necessary. I’m having it run into the sewer creek down in the basement. Now I’ve put it on a chair-type thing. I don’t seem to be getting water out of it. If the dehumidifier runs and there is no water, then it’s not working, right?

Scott: There’s a compressor in there and there’s a fan. Sometimes the fan runs and the compressor does not. I’m studying dehumidifiers right now and unfortunately what I’m discovering is that they last about three to four years…

Paul: Oh, my.

Scott: And that’s pretty much it.

Paul: Or I was just going to say is her home with the AC running just dry that it’s not pulling any air into that?

Scott: It can be.

Paul: Any water, I mean.

Scott: But the fan will still continue to run whether or not the compressor is running. The compressor pulls the water out.

Chris: And if you have a thermostat on yours, your thermostat, you set it to a certain humidity, and it won’t run if you reach that humidity level that it’s set to.

Mary: This is not. I don’t have that. I think it’s time to buy a new one.

Chris: It’s probably time to buy a new one.

Scott: You should get the ones that are digital.

Paul: Mary, thank you. A digital dehumidifier is your suggestion.

Scott: Uh-hum.

Paul: We thank you, Mary, for the phone call. We’re getting a lot of questions and we do appreciate that. It’s The Redefined Realty Show on WISN. We go to Steve in New Berlin. Good morning.

[28:27] Steve: Good morning.

Paul: Go right ahead, Steve.

Steve: Okay, I’ve got a question. I just purchased a house here in New Berlin about three years ago. I don’t have any grading around my house, at all. It’s just solid stone all the way to the top. I’ve never had any problem and some people are telling me, “Oh, you should put some sod, put some dirt down and seed that or something.” I don’t know. What’s your thoughts on that?

Chris: Well, if you look underneath that stone, is eventually should be some dirt, and you could put a vapor barrier between that if you’re having issues with moisture. You can put a vapor barrier between the stone and the soil, itself.

Scott: You’re talking decorative gravel around the house, right?

Steve: No, it’s just regular construction gravel filled all the way to the top. My basement is bone dry. The guy that built the house, he was a block basement himself. Our house was built in 65 and he used 10 inch block, and from the drain tile all the way to the top is solid gravel.

Chris: Well, you know what? That necessarily isn’t a bad problem just make sure your sump pump’s running because what happens is all the surface water will just run down next to your house and then settle at the base.

Steve: My sump pump hardly ever kicks on even in a downpour.

Scott: You might just be lucky. You might be one of the lucky ones.

Bob: That’s what I was thinking.

Paul: Mine doesn’t.

Scott: You might be one of the lucky ones.

Paul: If you are perched up on a hill, right? And your grade goes down…

Bob: That’s true. That’s very true.

Paul: …you may not have it run often.

Steve: Yeah, I’m at the highest point of Waukesha County.

Scott: There you go. Water runs downhill.

Chris: Yeah, yours may never.

Steve: So you don’t recommend putting in mulch or getting some grass seed in there or anything? It’s fine? Just leave it?

Chris: You can just leave it. That’s more of an aesthetic thing, at that point. If you want to plant some grass or some bushes obviously you have to put some dirt.

Paul: Or if he wants decorative stone over it, he could do that, right?

Chris: Correct.

Paul: Just for looks.

Chris: Yeah, but construction-wise, or water management-wise, or structural-wise I think you’re absolutely fine.

Scott: As long as you’re not having problems, I would say it’s okay.

Paul: Yeah, he said his basement is bone dry. Steve, thank you so much for the phone call. A bunch of things going on in today’s show. Four tickets to each caller for the MBA’s Parade of Homes. Twenty dollars off for Honest Home Inspections that Scott Le Marr is giving. If you just call in, you can give your name and address. We’re sending these all out. When we come back, Bob, I want you to talk about The Parade of Homes, as well.

Bob: Definitely. And I’ve got interest rates from Landmark Credit Union, too.

Paul: I’m interested in seeing where those are. The market has taken a dive this week.

Bob: The stock market got crushed.

Paul: The last two days, brutal. So we’re going to talk about that when we come back. You are listening to WISN’s Redefined Realty’s Show. Stick around.

[31:16] We’re back for Segment Three of the Redefined Realty Show. So, have you seen the latest photo and video technology related to aerial drones? At Redefined Realty, we have that technology right in-house and you won’t want to be left out. High-end lake properties, golf course estates, and many other really cool homes can set themselves apart from the competition by utilizing this awesome video technology. Get a higher price for your home and impress the heck out of your competition by using Redefined Realty and our aerial drone services. We’ll even take that video, put it right into the MLS for you and add it to the Redefined Realty YouTube page. In fact, you can check out all of our drone videos online at Redefinedrealty.com. Thanks again for listening. The team is coming back right now.

Woman: Landmark Credit Union is one of Wisconsin’s leading mortgage lenders with low rates and no closing costs for first-time home buyers. Visit Landmarkcu.com or call 262-796-4500. Landmark Credit Union. You’re worth more here.

Since 1961, Kaerek Homes has been delivering innovative home designs in unique neighborhoods. Visit Kaerekhomes.com, that KAEREKhomes.com, or call 414-321-5300 to see how you can with Kaerek.

[music]

[32:51] Paul: Inspector Gadget. That’s you, Scott, by the way. Honest Home Inspections. Scott Le Marr joins us. Accurate Basement Repairs. Chris Mancuso, our guest in the studio. This is The Redefined Realty show on WISN. Okay, interest rates. We’ve got callers to get to. Be patient. In just a minute, we’ll get back to you. What kind of rates are we looking at?

Bob: All right. I am on the Landmark Credit Union site which is Landmarkcu.com and the 30 year fixed rate they are showing with zero points at 3.875. So we’re still under four and it’s been that way now for, I want to say for a good month, at least. Almost like rates have stabilized a little bit.

Paul: We only went over the four for just a little bit and popped right back down.

Bob: Yeah. It got up to four and a quarter, maybe. I don’t think we reached four and a half anytime recently.

Paul: You talk about the MBA Parade of Homes, new home construction seems to be booming right now.

Bob: Oh it is. Yeah. In fact, they do new construction loans over at Landmark, as well. You’ll never believe this. A one year ARM, construction ARM, which is what most people do because eventually they’ll lock in that 30 year fix when the project’s done, 1.9%.

Paul: Free money.

Bob: Yeah.

Scott: Pretty much, yeah.

Bob: 1.9.

Paul: Scott, your mike goes off. They’re giving it away. So good rates. We are talking with our listeners about any kind of concerns about your foundation, your basement. Scott Le Marr can answer any of your home inspection questions and of course, Bob from Redefined Realty can talk about buyers or sellers and your questions, as well.

We’ve got MBA Parade of Homes tickets going to each caller, and Scott’s offering a $20 off coupon for his company, as well.

Scott: And that’s for either if you’re buying a home or if you’re selling a home. If you’re…

Paul: Yeah, because inspections are done on both ends.

Scott: Even if you’re two years out selling that home, really now is a good time to do that. We can go through our list of stuff and you can pick and choose what you want to do and you can get some estimates.

Bob: Yeah.

Scott: If you’ve got a buyer waiting for you to fix that and you don’t have time for estimates, you take whoever is available.

Bob: I highly recommend a seller inspection too, before you sell the house and like Scott was saying, not just a couple of weeks before you sell the house. That’s still good, but if you do it a year ahead of time, that gives you a chance to fix some of the things that maybe Scott recommends.

Chris: Absolutely.

Bob: It also gives you a chance, maybe, to interview one of our agents and have an agent come over to your house and give you some ideas of the things that are most important to fix. The things that we see on a daily basis that the buyers really are most concerned about because that’s where you want to concentrate your money. On fixing the things that really matter.

Scott: I just did one of these and the water heater was leaking. He didn’t know it. The pressure tank was seeping. He didn’t know it. That’s a time bomb waiting to go off. Then we talked a little about…he’s got one of these older 1950s front storm door with the jalousie windows on it. I told him you might want to consider putting a glass storm door on there to swap this really nice door. We go a little bit beyond that, too. I’ve been doing this for quite a while. I’ve moved 10 times in 20 years, so I know all about the whole staging process.

Bob: Your house looked nice, too.

Paul: We’ve got about seven minutes left in the program. We’ve got to sneak in a quick break, so we’re going to get to some callers yet in our time left. Al in Muskego, good morning. You’re next up.

[36:09] Al: Hey, how’s it going?

Paul: Good.

Al: We just had a home inspection from Honest Homes and he found mold in the attic, a little bit. The buyer was going to fix it but we’re not sure…the seller is going to try to fix it, but we’re not sure exactly what he’s going to do.

Paul: Let’s back up, Al. You’re the buyer?

Al: No, we’re the seller. Yeah, the buyer. I’m a little confused.

Paul: I’m really confused. Now, Al, you’re the buyer?

Bob: Are you buying a home, Al?

Al: Yeah.

Scott: All right, so the question basically is they found some mold up in the attic and what is the seller obligated to do or what’s agreed upon in the contract. That’s usually what it comes down to. The buyer and the seller agree to a fix and typically, the way I like to do business is we have contractors come out to quote the job and then the buyer and the seller agree on which quote they’re going to go with and which contractor. That way there is no question as to exactly what work is going to be done.

Paul: And it’s in writing.

Scott: Yeah, and that’s where your agent…hopefully you’ve got a buyer’s agent who is actually working on your behalf. They negotiate that for you with the seller to agree upon exactly how it’s going to be fixed so there’s absolutely no question about what’s done in the end.

Al: Yeah, we did that. Basically, they’re going to put vents up in the attic. I’m not sure exactly where those vents are going to go.

Scott: Well, attic ventilation is certainly key, so it’s good that what we’ve done we’ve identified the source. How come we have mold up there? You can get rid of the mold, but if you don’t identify the source you’re still going to have issues. There’s upper and lower venting so there’s roof vents and ridge vents. The lower venting would be soffit vents, typically. A lot of times what we need to do is we need to increase that lower venting. That’s very common to see that.

Bob: It would be pretty typical, too, if you’ve got a contractor in there to put these vents in, typically they would map out the locations and stuff for you as well.

Chris: And even as the buyer, you and your realtor should have talked to the installer, the contractor who is doing the installing and by all means you should have access to some of that information so everyone is on the same page. So all of a sudden you’re not surprised the day before you go to closing. I would contact your agent and definitely go over some of the paperwork that’s involved with that.

Paul: Yeah, if they haven’t done the job yet, it wouldn’t be out of line at all for you to just call up and ask a few questions. I think the contractor and the buyer’s agent, and the seller’s agent, and the seller would all agree to let you…

Chris: Absolutely.

Paul: …talk to them.

Chris: Absolutely. Everybody wants to be happy.

Scott: If you want to call the office later this morning, we can talk in detail about this, too. Make sure that you’re comfortable with what’s going on.

Paul: The office number for Honest Home Inspections, Scott?

Scott: 262-424-5587.

Paul: Honesthomeinspections.com on the web. Accurate Basement Repairs. Chris Mancuso is here. It’s Accuratebasementrepair.com. We’re going to get some thoughts from Bob on The Parade of Homes and where you can run into the Redefined team, as well, when we continue on Newstalk 1130 WISN.

[39:22] Back on Newstalk 1130 WISN. Sunshine and 72. Bob, you’re going to be at The Parade of Homes. What location and when? Where? All that.

Bob: Woodridge Estates out in Delafield. It’s right off of 83 and Highway K-E. The parade starts at 11 this morning and goes to 5, so as soon as I leave here, I’m heading over there to help set up the tent. We’ll have some agents there. We’re going to have the drone. You can come meet us. You can see the drone in action. Speaking of the drone in action, one of the requests that we’re getting right now, it’s pretty interesting, actually. A lot of people that are thinking about listing their house in Spring or sometime next year, they’re calling us now to have us come out and do the drone shoot while the grass is green and the house is in the leaves and everything looks beautiful. Because otherwise, you get to the spring and depending on the weather it stays white, and brown, and ugly looking for a while here in Wisconsin. If you want us to come out and do that, it’s $199. We’d love to help you out.

Paul: You’ve got drone video samples and these are excellent videos. Right at the homepage, Redefinedrealty.com or we can call your Delafield office.

Bob: Yeah. 262-732-5800.

Paul: We’re almost out of time so I’m going to go quickly. We’ve got Honesthomeinspections.com, Accuratebasementrepair.com. We’re picking Packers predictions for pre-season. They play the Pittsburgh Steelers tomorrow, at noon. They changed the game. Chris, we’ll start with you. Packers, win or lose?

Chris: Packers win. Packers win.

Paul: Spencer? Packers, win or lose?

Spencer: Packers. Go, Tiger Woods.

Paul: Go Tiger Woods. He sneaks that in. Bob, are they going to win or lose?

Bob: I predict a win.

Paul: I’ll go with the Packers, as well. Scott?

Scott: If Spencer says they’re going to win, I’m going with Spencer. He’s way too accurate.

Paul: And Tiger Woods is leading in the tournament, believe it or not. Stay tuned for Jeff Kowal’s Retirement Clinic. [41:10]

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