(Begin Transcript) Host: Good morning! It’s time for the Redefined Realty Show on News Talk 1130 WISN. You know, Brett Favre is playing a flag football game at Camp Randall?
Bob: I heard that.
Host: How weird is that?
Bob: It’d be kind of fun to watch.
Host: That would be a blast to watch. Spencer goes, “Would you pay 34 bucks to watch Favre and some Andre Rison’s of the world, you know, retiree?” Yeah, I think I would. I think that’d be kind of fun. I know you wouldn’t, Spencer. I actually would. He wanted it at Lambeau and they have a country concert going on or something, so they’re moving it to Camp Randall. So anyway, that was just my little line. I heard the Badger theme and I had to say that. We are joined today by your host Bob Tarantino. In addition to Bob from Redefined Realty, Scott LeMarr is here, Inspector Gadget himself from Honest Home Inspections and from Accurate Basement Repair is Chris Mancuso. Welcome back first to you, Chris. Good morning!
Chris: Good morning.
Host: Uh, microphone?
Chris: How about that?
Bob: There we go. That sounds much better.
Chris: Good morning, everyone.
Host: Good morning, Chris.
Chris: Happy Memorial Day weekend.
Host: Same to you.
Chris: Absolutely! God bless our soldiers.
Host: Thank you very much for saying that. Once an hour, I’m making a point of reminding people what Memorial Day is all about. And Bob, you are actually going to give away American flags today on the show.
Bob: Yeah, we’ve doing that a couple of weeks in a row now and that’s a popular giveaway.
Host: They’re awesome! I saw them on our promotions office, by the way. They’re big!
Bob: Yeah, 24-inch flags. It’s the stick flags that you can put out in your flower gardens, whatever, so we’re going to send a 10-pack out to all the callers today that have a question.
Host: A 10-pack! So 10 of them in a little bundle, kind of.
Host: And we’re giving those to every caller with a question. Scott LeMarr from Honest Home Inspections. You have so many titles, I don’t know where to begin. Good morning, Scott.
Scott: Good morning.
Host: But not only are you a home inspector, I mean, you do it all. You’re board certified master inspector, master indoor environmental specialist. We talk a lot about the mold and radon testing. We can take those questions. I’m hearing more and more about radon these days, just from general people asking is that real legit concern.
Scott: It truly is. If you look at the statistics, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
Host: Think of that!
Scott: Yeah. And it’s so preventable. I mean, put a system in and you’re done. It’s truly that simple.
Host: Have a guy come over, put that system in that we talk about. It’s a fan blowing it out of your house, basically, right?
Scott: Basically, yeah. Well, it’s more suction than it is blowing, but, at the same time, yeah, it still does the same thing.
Host: Then they don’t even have to worry about it, right?
Scott: Right, and it’s done. Now, the neat part about a radon system too, a lot of people don’t realize, is, once that system is in place, it tends to keep your basement a little drier because, as it’s sucking the radon gas out from underneath your floor, it’s pulling a lot of moisture as well.
Host: You know, I’m running my dehumidifier right now in the basement.
Scott: Good for you.
Bob: I’ve got a question for you, Scott. I’ve run into this a few times recently. I don’t know why, but we’ve shown some houses that actually have radon systems in already and the buyer’s concerned about the failure of the system. I mean, I tell them that there’s basically a motor with a fan in it and that’s really the only mechanical parts of the whole thing.
Scott: As simple as it gets. There’s a motor there. The motor has a 10-year warranty on it so, 10 years is right around the life of that thing. Now there’s two things too, especially here in Wisconsin. If your fan is outside, it’s not going to last as long as a fan that, if you can put that fan in the attic or in the garage, it’s going to last longer for obvious reasons. We do live in Wisconsin.
Host: Yeah, it gets nippy up outside.
Scott: It does! Short of that fan going out, though, I mean, that’s about the only thing that ever happens. And there’s two rubber couplers in that fan, so you pull the fan out, you put a new one in, and they even sell it at some of the big box stores. I’ve seen the fans there. There’s a couple of different size fans, too, based on the application and how much radon you may have had in the house.
Chris: What’s the name of that little thing that’s on the pipe with the little pink liquid in it?
Scott: It’s called a manometer.
Chris: A manometer. I can never think of that.
Host: What is that?
Scott: What it does is it gives you a visual to tell you that the fan is running. So, as long as the liquid is uneven, then the fan is working.
Host: And we know it works.
Scott: If the liquid is even, then you don’t have any vacuum in there and that fan has failed.
Chris: Well, that’s something you should check as a homeowner, just like your smoke detector batteries.
Scott: It should, yeah. It should be checked regularly.
Host: Like a sump pump almost, right?
Scott: Now, if your fan is in the garage, you can usually hear it running. Mine’s unfortunately right outside next to the driveway and I walk by it all the time. It’s the only place we could put it, so I always know it’s running.
Host: Hey Chris, as a basement guy, I’ve got a question for you. Basements are poured and the concrete’s poured, underneath the concrete, do they still put those vapor barriers in?
Chris: It’s supposed to. By code now, there’s supposed to be a vapor barrier.
Host: And under that is the gravel, the stone. The stone is compacted.
Chris: Correct. And if you live in an older house, your humidity levels will probably be higher because they don’t have that stone base underneath there.
Host: Or the vapor barrier.
Chris: Or the vapor barrier.
Host: Which is a plastic barrier, basically.
Host: And then concrete. So my question is how does the radon come up? Is radon coming through, like, every little porous hole it can find?
Chris: It does.
Host: Path of least resistance?
Chris: With that vapor barrier, you have less likely high radon readings.
Host: So newer homes might be less likely.
Scott: It can get through the plastic and if that plastic is short on the edges, because you typically have an opening, for the most part, in between your floor and the wall because they’re butted up against each other but the wall is separate from the floor. So, you will get some radon through there. So, you could caulk around that area. That will help a little bit, too.
Host: Not a bad idea.
Chris: And even if you’ve had a system put in, if you’re buying a house, for example, and you feel comfortable with that or if you’ve owned a home and you’ve owned it for a while and you’ve had a system put in, it’s a good idea to have it checked again.
Host: A radon test.
Chris: Scott and I talked about that. The system was put in my house a while ago and he said, “Oh, have you checked it again?” No. But he had mentioned it’s not a bad idea to check those sometime down the road.
Scott: The EPA says you’re supposed to do that every two years.
Host: Test for radon?
Scott: Yeah. I think that’s a little much if you have a system in place.
Host: Peace of mind, maybe?
Scott: It is. It is.
Host: You mentioned lung cancer, my red flags went up.
Scott: We have a hard enough time getting people to change their furnace filters every two years.
Chris: It’s hard enough.
Bob: You are so true!
Chris: We have them shut off the water spigot.
Bob: I’ve heard people say, you know, we mention what furnace filter. We have a filter?
Scott: While we’re on this subject, you mentioned humidifier and you mentioned filter, and a lot of people don’t realize that the dehumidifier has a filter in there. And I don’t know how many times I’ve been in the basement on a mold inspection and I look at the dehumidifier and say have you cleaned the filter and they look at me and go, “What filter?” There is a filter in there. Pull it out, basically. Most of them are cleanable. Put it in the laundry sink.
Chris: Yeah, clean it out.
Host: You know what else has a filter that nobody knows about, the Aprilaire systems.
Scott: Yeah, it’s true. Those are supposed to be changed annually as well. There’s a pad in there that really should be changed.
Host: No kidding!
Scott: If you’re on a well, particularly, they get real bad because of all the mineral deposits in the well.
Bob: I actually took mine out I think it was two winters ago, kind of based on recommendations that you said, you know, because you get that extra moisture in the ducts and that can grow mold and that type of thing. So I took mine off.
Host: Me too.
Chris: Me too.
Bob: My house got a little bit drier than I liked but I went up to Walmart and I bought a couple of room humidifiers and they were perfect.
Scott: That’s what we use.
Host: So, it’s like any kind of an appliance, right? Just like a dehumidifier? Is it any kind of appliance, you can plug it in and put it in your basement? If you’ve got a large basement, sometimes two are required, right?
Scott: Yes. Yeah.
Chris: A lot of them are based on square footage.
Scott: Plus, if you have a finished area and you’ve got an unfinished area and they’re kind of partitioned off, if the doors are open, then you can get that air circulation.
Host: Forecast calls for 70’s all of next week, guys. We’re warming up. Now’s the time that we need these.
Chris: And today’s a good day for people, I mean, you’re out running around, but if you’re listening to our show, obviously, you hear us talking here, good time to make a list, get your stuff ready because it’s supposed to rain tomorrow and Monday.
Host: Yeah, and the humidity.
Chris: If you’re not chasing around outside on your new boats, then you should probably do some honey-do lists this weekend and get it done before it gets, you know, even warmer.
Host: It means the grass is going to grow even more. I’ve had this outpatient surgery and I’ve been told not to sit on my lawnmower, so I had a follow up appointment yesterday and my first question, can I cut my grass? She’s says, “Got a rider?” I go, yeah. Yeah, go for it. You guys and your lawnmowers, that’s all she joked about. I go I’m sorry! I’ve got dandelions. I can’t stand it any longer. I’ve got to cut the grass!
So, we’re going to take your calls. We’re getting calls and if you call in, give Spencer your name and address, a little Memorial Day gift from Bob Tarantino of Redefined Realty, a bundle of 10 flags. Not one, but a bundle of 10 American flags are sent to every caller. We are mailing these out, Bob.
Bob: Yeah! When we first did this a couple of weeks ago, took me a little while to figure out how to mail them.
Host: They’re pretty big! I saw.
Bob: I know. I had to go down to the post office. They had some box that worked, that folded it up like a triangle. I’m like, yeah, will fit in there. Perfect!
Bob: Yeah, we get them out in the mail and it takes a couple of days.
Host: So, everybody gets 10 of them?
Host: That’s awesome.
Bob: Put them up in your yard, along the driveway, wherever it looks best.
Host: Yeah, I mean, you know, you’re not going to get them by Monday, but we’ve been doing this for the last couple of weeks, so many of you have gotten them already.
Bob: Yeah. Independence Day is right around the corner, so.
Host: Yup! Yup. Keeping that flag up.
Bob: It’s always a good holiday to have a flag.
Host: And if you don’t have it out now, put your flag out now. Go outside, get your American flag out for this weekend. It is Memorial Day weekend. Scott LeMarr from Honest Home Inspections. Before we take calls, I just want to give out your website. HonestHomeInspections.com.
Scott: It’s that simple. There’s also MilwaukeeMoldInspector.com as well.
Host: Inspector Gadget, we call him. Chris Mancuso joins us, Accurate Basement Repair. That’s your website, AccurateBasementRepair.com.
Chris: That’s it and that’s a good place for people to take a look and they get a lot of questions answered on the website. And if you’re not that savvy with surfing the internet, you can call our office and one of us will be happy to walk you through because most people aren’t quite sure what they’re looking for or even if they have a problem in the basement. So, we like to help folks out with that. It’s always best to be proactive before it gets out of control.
Host: Give your phone number out there, Chris.
Chris: It’s (414) 744-6900. That’s (414) 744-6900.
Host: Any waterproofing and foundation restoration, wall rebuilds, full excavation, egress windows. We talk a lot about those. And drain tile testing, crawl space repair, all of that, foundation crack repairs. So, if you’ve got those questions, Chris is here. You’ve got questions about the mechanicals and the rest of your entire home, Scott LeMarr’s a home inspector. Of course, he can answer those questions. Bob is here from Redefined Realty. All I hear about is, Belling’s been talking about this. Everything’s turning around, right? Why aren’t millennials buying homes? Well, we’ve been on that for a year.
Bob: We’ve been at it for a long time, yeah.
Host: Way ahead of the curve. And you saw that a long time ago. They’re renting, they’re not buying. Well, now we’re seeing some of these 27 year olds going wait a minute, the timing is perfect!
Bob: The timing’s perfect and the landlord’s are jacking the rents.
Host: Yes, because they can get it!
Bob: Right. There’s so many people that want to rent right now and it’s supply and demand, you know, right? Now, the demand is huge for rental properties and there’s plenty of supply out there. So what’s going to happen is these landlords are going to keep raising rent, year after year after year until you get to a point where you say well, I might as well buy a place because paying the rent’s ridiculous!
Host: Pay two grand a month in rent. What kind of house could you, in a 30-year mortgage, with the rate under 4%?
Bob: You’re going to be in the $200,000 house range with that kind of rent payment.
Host: And building equity and it’s your own place.
Bob: You know what? I’ve talked to a lot of young millennials, if you want to call them that. Seems weird, 25 year olds seem like kids to me all of a sudden. Just tells you how old I’m getting. But buy a house, buy a duplex, take a couple of your friends and move them into the other bedrooms because that’s what they’re doing a lot of times now anyways. They get an apartment, you know, two to three bedroom apartment and there’s a couple of guys in there. You buy the house and then rent the rooms to your friends. They’re going to love it because it’s much better than the apartment and they’re going to pay the mortgage for you.
Host: It’s a real house. Yeah, it’s not a bad idea. I love that idea.
Bob: I did that with my first house. I made the payments and I picked up a roommate and he made the same payment, so I was making double payments and we were able to pay that off in a short time.
Host: You know, we’re not saying that’s a lifetime, Bob. This could be your first house. You live there three, five, six years, you build equity, you sell it. Hopefully, you sell it for much more than you bought it, and you move up to that next level.
Bob: You know, and this is one of the things that’s going to change. The generation that wasn’t buying houses saw, over the last seven, eight years, how a lot of people got crushed in the market and real estate went down and values went down and they saw the foreclosures. And sometimes, it was friends or family that were getting foreclosed on, so it was very close to home. And now, all of the sudden, they start seeing, well, wait a minute, people are building equity and prices are going up, let’s say 5% a year. On a $200,000 house, if the price goes up five percent, that’s a $10,000 increase in value. That’s money in your pocket someday when you sell. So, if we have a couple of good years in a row, you know, five, six, seven good years in a row, everybody’s going to jump back into the market and the demand is going to go through the roof and then prices are going to go through the roof as well.
Host: Bob’s website, RedefinedRealty.com, will give you more information. 3.99% commission is going to catch your eye. That’s right, not six, 3.99%. That’s at the top of the page and we’ll explain more. In fact, if you’ve got questions about Bob, about real estate, buying or if you’re a seller, on the process, what Redefined does, please call and he can answer those questions. It’s time to get your questions on the phone lines and everybody again getting 10 American flags wrapped up in a bundle, mailed out to you. Don’t stop by the station. Courtesy of Bob Tarantino and his little gift to all of our listeners out there listening. And we hope you’re having a great holiday weekend so far. We’re getting some radon questions, just a heads up, guys. So, let’s tackle a couple of these. Dave in Pewaukee, you’re up first. Good morning.
[14:45] Dave: Good morning, gentlemen! My question this morning is if radon is such a prevalent hassle and potential health hazard for us, is there anything in the building codes coming up such that new homes will require this kind of a system rather than to retrofit your home after it’s recently been completed?
Scott: Yes. As far as I know, there was one in legislation. I thought it was passed and then I was told it was not, but one of the things that they’re doing for new construction is putting up what’s called the passive system. So, for the most part, they’re just putting in the pipe. They’re not putting in the fan but they are putting in the pipe. Some of the better builders that I know are doing that. I know it’s in legislation and it has passed in Illinois. We usually follow them a couple of years later but that is in the works. They are looking at that.
Dave: Fantastic! Because it certainly helps the pocketbook if you can do it during the first brush rather than having to take something apart and redo it.
Scott: It’s so easy to do it while you’re framing, absolutely. It’s just plastic pipe, that’s all it is.
Dave: Terrific! Thank you, fellas!
Scott: Thanks, Dave!
Host: That’s a good question, Dave. We thank you so much. Dave in Pewaukee. Now we go to John who’s calling from Franklin. You’re on WISN, the Redefined Realty Show.
[16:02] John: Good morning. My question is I’m getting a radon system put in and I’m wondering if it’s possible to have the piping run horizontally to get to a more aesthetically pleasing part of the roof where you won’t have to see it.
Chris: On the outside of the home, there’s typically a–
Scott: You’re probably running through the attic, you’re talking about?
John: Well, the options are either going outside or, if I go horizontal for a while, I can get to the garage and go up through there.
Scott: Like horizontal through the basement?
Scott: You can and I’m not an installer but I do know that there’s a limit to the length that you can go, and it’s a calculation. I’m pretty sure, don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure that the longer the horizontal, you can go with a bigger fan too, so that will help your situation out as well.
Host: Radon’s a gas, so we’re blowing this–
Scott: It is a gas, right, but we’re also picking up a lot of moisture too, so a horizontal pipe has to be pitched backwards so that moisture falls back and the fan doesn’t kick out, otherwise it’s going to all collect someplace.
Host: And then eventually it’s got to turn and go back vertically.
Host: At some point.
Scott: At some point.
Host: And then it vents out your house.
Host: So you see some of them, and I remember when we sold our first house, Bob, I told you about this. We had to get these radon tests. At that time, they were these little cardboard boxes and now they’ve advanced.
Bob: That’s charcoal. They can still use charcoal. We use all digital equipment but there are some inspectors out there that use charcoal canisters, which is still okay.
Host: Our levels were just on the cusp enough for the buyer to say I want that kit put in and I had to pay for it.
Scott: I see that all too often. Bob does too, when he sees that 4.0. The charcoal canisters are great if you’re testing your own home just to test but, when there’s a sale in process, I’ve heard stories, let’s just say, of homeowners moving the charcoal canister outside and then bringing it back in. Can’t do that with the digital equipment.
Host: That’s cheating!
Bob: Canisters have to be sent in to the lab, too, so you lose a couple of days doing that. And I went to digital equipment because the post office lost mine one time and, during the real estate transaction, that’s a bad time to not being able to come up with the test. You can’t mess with digital equipment either. It knows if you even move it.
Bob: It does and I will show you. I’ve seen one where I looked at the graph later on and after I left, a couple of hours after I left, there was movement and then the radon went down to nothing and then a couple of hours before I showed up, there was movement and the radon went back up. So, we know that somebody actually moved the equipment.
Bob: What’s the level where we have to get the system put in?
Scott: 4.0 picocuries per liter of air is how that’s measured but 4.0, we call that the line in the sand. EPA says, at that point and time, they kind of dictate that you do something. 2.0 is when they recommend that you do something.
Host: John, I think we answered your question.
John: You did. And last question is when you got the fan, obviously, it’s electrically powered. Are those cords typically a certain length, where you would need to have an electrical outlet put in or do people use an extension cord or how does that work?
Scott: You cannot use an extension cord. That’s against code. The radon fan is considered a fixed appliance and you can’t use an extension cord on a fixed appliance.
Host: Ours is near a sump pump and then you’re going to have power near that, too.
Scott: Yeah. And then, when they run them up in the attic, there’s usually power up there someplace, so they’ll pull off of that and they’ll just put an outlet very close to the fan.
Host: So, the installer will take care of it?
Scott: Right, right.
Bob: Do they hard wire it in or is it a plug?
Scott: It’s usually hard wired if it’s on the outside. It’s plugged in if it’s on the inside. You have to be able to disconnect the motor within sight of the installer.
Bob: That makes sense.
Host: John, thank you!
John: Thank you. Bye.
Host: Have a great weekend. And remember, everybody calling in today, Bob Tarantino is sending you 10 American flags. I’ll bet you your house has got like a thousand of them in the yard.
Bob: I’ve got all kinds of them, yeah. In fact, I was just putting them up yesterday.
Host: Like on each side of the driveway.
Bob: Up and down the flowerbeds and the walkways, yeah.
Host: That’s perfect timing for it. Pretty good weather, too, for the weekend. I’ll give you details when we come back. We’re at 63 degrees, looking to hit 70’s, but there is a chance of rain. I think you mentioned that, Chris.
Chris: Chance of rain, I think, tomorrow and definitely on Monday.
Host: Don’t you have a boat?
Chris: I do have a boat.
Host: That’s why you’re watching that weather.
Chris: I’m watching the weather.
Bob: Of course, we’re having our party tomorrow, yeah.
Host: Every lake, lake country, Bob, where you live, is going to be jam packed.
Bob: Yeah. Everybody’s boats in the water.
Host: It’s the beginning of summer.
Bob: Today is going to be a perfect day, so everybody will be out today and then we’ll see what happens with the weather tomorrow.
Host: Yeah, cross your fingers. There’s scattered thunderstorms, I mean, a lot of the stuff. Don’t cancel your plans.
Bob: Some of the funnest days I’ve had on the boat are during a storm.
Chris: I’m going to encourage them to get out during a thunderstorm.
Host: That’s good fun.
Bob: It makes it exciting!
Host: When I think of, like, my childhood, growing up in summer, thunderstorms were the great memories. You know, sitting outside watching, you know, put that metal golf club down, you know? And then enjoy the thunderstorms.
Bob: Watch those aluminum pontoon boats on the water when you have a lightning storm.
Host: Exactly! That’s not a good idea.
Chris: We are just kidding. Definitely don’t float on the water on a thunderstorm.
Host: There’s a disclaimer. Now, after the break, we’ve got a lot more callers coming. For some reason, radon is really catching people’s attention today and that’s fine. We’ll answer those questions but you can call in and Accurate Basement Repair’s Chris Mancuso. He can talk about anything concerning your basement and waterproofing or if it has anything with foundation restoration. AccurateBasementRepair.com. Scott’s company, HonestHomeInspections.com, is the website to check out. Scott LeMarr is here the entire hour. And then Bob Tarantino from Redefined Realty, of course, can talk to buyers and sellers. Let’s get some rates when we come back too, Bob. I like every week updating current 30-year mortgage rates.
Bob: Yeah, I will jump on the Landmark Credit Union website and we’ll come back with some 30-year fixed rates for you.
Host: I want to see if they’re still under four. I missed last week’s show. I wasn’t in. So we’ll see where we are with rates. And then your calls continue. And when you call in, give your name and address to Spencer, we’re going to send those flags out. You’ll get those relatively quick, right Bob?
Bob: Yeah, you should get them in the mail. Well, it won’t be Monday, of course, this week. Tuesday or Wednesday. You should have them next weekend, for sure.
Host: Yeah. Enjoy that bundle of 10 flags to each caller that has questions. 799-1130. Kessler’s Diamond Center, toll-free numbers 800-838-WISN. We’ll be right back.
Bob: 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.
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.
Female: 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.
[24:25] Host: Back at News Talk at 1130 WISN, possibly the best bumper cut of music ever.
Bob: It could be!
Host: AC/DC. Simple, straightforward. I still am requesting some more patriotic bumper music later today, Spencer, so we’ll work in a few yet on Memorial Day. Hopefully, you’re having a great holiday. We’ve got a lot of questions to get to. AccurateBasementRepair.com, HonestHomeInspections.com. So, Scott LeMarr is here from there, from Honest Home Inspections. I’m screwing this up.
Bob: Did you say Honest Homeless Inspections?
Host: I did not!
Bob: I think you did!
Host: Chris’s company is Accurate Basement Repair. Bob from Redefined Realty, did you look up the rates?
Bob: I did. All right, so I’m on Landmark Credit Union website and we’ve got 30-year fixed rates with no points. They are reporting 3.875.
Host: Under four.
Bob: Still under four, yeah.
Chris: Both of you on a mission, yeah. This weekend, go.
Host: Our next two hours we’ve got, you know, investment show, retirement clinic. The guys from Annex Sales is talking. Inflation, we’ve always heard it’s right around the corner, which should push rates back up, Bob. And we’ve always been hearing for like two years now rates are going to go back up, right? It’s going to go back up.
Chris: They have gone up a bit from where they were.
Bob: Yeah, we were down to 3.5, 3.625. That was kind of the bottom, so.
Host: I’m talking like 5, 6, 7 percent.
Bob: Yeah. You know, the whole inflation thing, that’s a debate I’ve been having with a friend of mine for 10 years now. And they keep piling more money into the system and it seems like there’s going to be inflation but I think, when you look at the bigger picture, I mean, I’m just one guy with an opinion but I don’t see it coming anytime soon.
Host: Locally, real estate-wise, Bob, you’re kicking butt right now, correct?
Bob: Yeah. Houses are selling so fast, if they’re in good shape. You’ve got to have them in good shape. We’ve talked about how the buyers don’t want to do any work anymore. Scott, you’d know this one, going through inspections and all that. Everything needs to be perfect, but houses are selling fast. We’re listing them for 3.99% at closing plus a flat fee. The flat fee is either $499 up front or $699 at closing. There’s no risk at all if you do it that way, but most people are paying the $499 up front because they know their house is going to sell right away. And if you start doing the math, you know, especially when you get out in the Lake county and Washington county and Ozaukee county and you start talking two, three, $400,000-plus houses, we’re going to save you thousands and thousands of dollars and we sell almost as fast as anybody.
Host: More expensive the home, the more you’re going to save, basically.
Host: A lot of questions to get to.
Bob: I’m going to list a real nice one up on Big Cedar Lake, I believe it is, after the show today, so.
Scott: We’re doing more seller inspections than we have ever had before, so people are being more proactive in having their house checked before they put it on the market.
Bob: Well, yeah.
Scott: So, that those show stoppers don’t stop that deal.
Bob: And you know, I had this conversation two days ago with somebody. They were asking, they had some issue at their house which was going to cost them a couple of thousand dollars and I think it was windows we were talking about. And I said, “You know what, if you do them now, you can put in the windows with your contractor and get your price and you still want to put in some quality windows but if you wait until the buyer comes through and demands the new windows, now you’ve got to deal with them and the contractor that they want and who knows what you’re going to pay.”
Host: And it also delays the whole deal.
Bob: And sometimes you scare buyers away.
Scott: If they’re looking at two houses and they’re going yours or the other one and they may go to the other one.
Chris: Basements are the biggest deal killer out there.
Bob: Basements and mold. Mold is the four letter word in the real estate industry.
Chris: Yeah, one of the big deal killers.
Bob: A little crack in the basement will do it as well. You know, a good real estate agent will take a walk in that house and one of the things that I look for and we train our agents is to look at the basement walls and identify if there’s some cracking somewhere or a bulge that maybe you can see with your eye. And it’s great, if you have that, to call somebody like Chris and get them out there ahead of time because you could put those beams up, you can fill the cracks with, what’s it? The epoxy?
Chris: It’s a urethane fill.
Bob: Yeah. You can do that stuff ahead of time and save the deal because, if you wait, a lot of buyers just walk away.
Host: Not only save the deal, it might help promote it, even, if they see that it’s been fixed correctly.
Chris: And it does because, after the basement is repaired, then it’s a good time to paint and clean it up so it looks presentable. But otherwise, if you try to do that kind of thing beforehand, if you don’t have a basement evaluation or if you don’t have some sort of repair done, all of a sudden you paint it–
Host: It looks like you’re covering it up.
Chris: It looks like you’re covering something up.
Scott: Fresh painted basement makes us look just a little harder.
Chris: Yeah. Home inspectors will be fairly aggressive on that, so anything that comes out, it’s a good time to do it beforehand.
Host: Let’s get back to your questions. This is WISN Redefined Realty Show. Joe in Muskego, good morning.
[29:13] Joe: Hey, how’s it going, guys?
Bob: It’s going great!
Joe: Hey, I don’t know a lot about the radon and I want to know, like, is there areas that have it a lot more prevalent? I’m out in Muskego and I just want to know how is it out there, if I should get one of those radon tests. I want to know the symptoms of what radon causes in people.
Host: Lung cancer.
Scott: Lung cancer is the major. There are some studies for some other symptoms and I think they’re unverified at this point in time.
Host: Next to smoking, radon causes lung cancer.
Scott: Lung cancer is the leading cause. Non-smokers, it’s the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
Scott: Now if you are a smoker, the radon can affect you three times as much.
Scott: So it is a big deal and–
Host: If you’re smoking in your basement, now it goes up to like 20 times!
Scott: It might. Yeah, as far as hot spots, Southeast Wisconsin, period, is in a hotspot. We have high radon all over. We do know that Waukesha tends to be a little higher. Waukesha County, for the most part, tends to be a little higher. I’ve seen numbers in Brookfield in the 50’s. We’ve seen Muskego and the hard part about understanding radon is we tested my house and my house was right around a five and my neighbor’s house is at 13, so it doesn’t necessarily–
Joe: Wow. So this goes up and down too. Can it be elevated one month and then the next month be way down?
Scott: Absolutely. There’s a lot of things that can affect radon measurement and one of them would be a storm.
Joe: Rain, right?
Scott: We have rain, ice. You know, in the winter time, your radon is higher because the radon gas seeks the path of least resistance. If it can’t get out through the ground, the ground is frozen, then it’s going to start coming in through your basement.
Host: I see.
Scott: So you will have higher numbers during the winter than you do during the summer, especially if–
Chris: Can’t escape.
Scott: Soil is dry. If the soil is saturated, we’ve had some heavy rains, now, again, the radon gas is coming into the house more.
Host: What is the cost for a homeowner just to have the test done?
Scott: We do $150 for a digital radon test.
Bob: And that’s the best kind of test to do.
Joe: How long does it take to get that?
Scott: 48 hours is a minimum to run the test. Typically, we run ours for 72 hours, mostly because it’s an average and the more points you have, the better your average is.
Host: All right. So, let’s just say it comes back high, it comes back at 6 or 12 or whatever, $800 to $1,000 to put a system in?
Scott: $800 to $1,000 to put a system in, yes. And usually, they’ll put a system in in a day. I mean, they’re not that complicated.
Joe: So, obviously, it’s best then to keep your windows open during the summer and stuff, if you can, rather than closing them up with like central air or something.
Scott: Well, there’s some variables to that too.
Chris: A window opening in the summer–
Scott: Chris and I were talking about pollen.
Chris: Yeah, pollen and a number of–
Joe: Everything kills you.
Bob: I was just going to say that!
Chris: If it’s moist, warm air, remember that, warm air is attracted to the cooler air in the basement, so if you leave your windows open, a lot of times, you can draw a lot of humidity into your basement.
Joe: Yeah. Yeah, that’s true.
Chris: So that’s why we tell people–
Scott: Just put a system in.
Chris: Yeah, just put a system in and it really will help with humidity levels in your basement by having the radon system in.
Host: We’re getting a lot of these radon questions. MilwaukeeRadonTesting.com. Scott, that’s your site.
Scott: It is.
Host: MilwaukeeRadonTesting.com. Check it out for more information and we’ll be right back. We’re going to get some more calls in here, talk more with Chris from Accurate Basement Repair, and of course, Scott LeMarr from Honest Home Inspections. Bob Tarantino joins us. He’s your host, giving you those American flags, 10 to every caller that has a question here in the Redefined Realty Show. We continue at News Talk 1130 WISN and your weekend holiday, Memorial Day forecast is up next as well.
Bob: We’re back for the 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 and we’ll 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.
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[34:52] Host: Inspector Gadget is with us today. Scott LeMarr. Honest Home Inspections. Joining us from Accurate Home Repair is Chris Mancuso. We’re going to give you their phone numbers and websites before we run out of time today. And of course, Bob Tarantino is your host from Redefined Realty. And his website, RedefinedRealty.com. Spend some time, search all the homes. The pictures, Bob, are phenomenal. And now that you have advanced your technology, so to speak, at Redefined, the pictures have even gotten better.
Bob: Yeah, there’s a couple of things you’ve got to consider when you list your house and, obviously, one of them is commission. I mean, you don’t want to overpay, especially on a hot market, but it comes down to finding an agent that you trust and that you’re comfortable with and that’s what the interview process is for. You have the agents come out to your house and walk around, give them a tour and we sit down with you at the kitchen table. Everything always seems to end up at the kitchen table. But you get comfortable with an agent and then, after that, you know, the Multiple Listing Service kind of leveled the playing field for all real estate companies. So, it comes down to who takes the best photographs, who puts in the best information, is it accurate. And that’s what it is. I mean, it’s photographs, information and a comfort level with the agent that you trust.
Host: A little advice along the way. Sellers sprucing up that house, that curb appeal you so often talk about, fresh mulch…
Bob: I just put 10 yards down on my house last week. I’m not even selling but it looks so good.
Host: And the lawns now, Bob, are just lush and green. They’re looking good.
Bob: Yup. Cut the grass and put a big rug out in the entryway in case it’s raining, so everybody can take their shoes off. Do all those little things.
Host: I’m a lawn geek. Love the green grasses, too. I’ve got some dandelions going on this year. I don’t know what that’s all about, but it’s a different story. Norm is next from New Berlin. Is it another radon question, Norm?
[36:38] Norm: Yes, it is a radon question and I guess the other gentleman asked the general area. I’m wondering how does it look for New Berlin area, east of Sunny Slope and south of National?
Scott: There isn’t necessarily one specific spot. The example I gave a little bit ago was a fact that I had, my radon was at five, my neighbor was at 13. So, you will vary with the weather, you will vary by location, and some of it is based on the amount of clay that’s underneath your home and/or in the amount of gravel that’s underneath your home. If you have more gravel than you do clay, that radon gas is easier to get up to your house.
Host: I always forget, as you go west away from like Michigan, you get more clay, right?
Scott: No, you get more gravel.
Host: It’s the opposite.
Scott: And the radon, it tends to be higher that way.
Host: So, we have more clay closer to Lake Michigan?
Scott: And the sand and the clay. I’ve seen, you know, we’ll do radon right on the lake shore and it’s usually fairly low, but we can get in the little west of Milwaukee and we’ll end up with a higher radon number, so it’s really all over the board. The only way to know is to test.
Chris: Then your best bet is to test it. And if you’re comfortable enough, you can go to one of the local hardware stores and pick up one of those do-it-yourself tests but if not, by all means, you can have a professional do it but you should have it tested.
Host: Scott, you said you do a digital test.
Scott: We do the digital test.
Host: And it’s a hundred–
Scott: $150. And we’ll leave the unit there and we come back three days later and we’ll push the button and we can tell you what it is.
Host: Sure. They’ll know right away.
Scott: It prints out a really great report with a graph that shows us if there’s any issues but we can look and see what our radon levels were throughout that whole process.
Chris: If you’re going to get a test done and you’re going to hire a professional like Scott, then you know it’s going to be–
Norm: What’s the government’s rates at this time?
Chris: Pardon me?
Host: I’m sorry?
Norm: The rate. What is the acceptable rate of radon?
Host: Oh, we talked about that earlier.
Scott: Yeah, the levels, you want to be below 4. EPA kind of dictates that at 4.0, they say you need to do something.
Host: And if you’re over 4, what happens?
Scott: At 2.0, they recommend you do something. Actually, the World Health Organization has gone to 2.7, so many of the countries around the world are at 2.7. We’re still at 4.
Host: And we’ve got to take a break here, but Norm, thank you for the phone call, by the way. Good questions on radon today. Bob, if it is that level and the buyer requests the radon thing, if they write it in the offer to purchase, then the seller has to install it?
Bob: Well, what happens is it’s going to be a contingency.
Scott: It’s important to write that.
Bob: If you’re a buyer, you’re going to want that contingency and you do the test as the buyer. That’s something you pay for and then, if it comes back high, then you negotiate with the seller to see who’s going to put a system in or what you’re going to do to take care of it.
Host: But get it in writing.
Bob: Yup! That’s why a good buyer’s agent, you’ve got to have them when you’re buying a house.
Host: We’ve got to sneak in this final commercial break, but all these important websites with all these information. Boy, a lot of radon questions today, Bob. Chris’s company Accurate Basement Repair and Honest Home Inspections and of course, Redefined Realty. We’ll give you all that information when we come back in WISN. Never gave details on weather but today’s high is 74. No rain in the forecast. Tomorrow, we’ve got scattered showers and thunderstorms along with Monday, Memorial Day, but scattered. So, don’t cancel anything. Enjoy the weather, 70’s both days. We’ll be right back.
Bob: We’re back and have just a few more minutes here on the Redefined Realty Show. As you already know, we’d love to list your home this year. Nobody beats the combination of low commissions and full service MLS that we offer and I’m confident that our agents are knowledgeable, experienced, and work harder than any other agents from any other company. Before you choose another broker, interview a Redefined Realty agent on the phone, or at your house. You will be impressed. The direct line to the office is (262) 732-5800 or visit us online at RedefinedRealty.com. Thanks again for listening!
Female: 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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[41:38] Host: Back on News Talk 1130 WISN. We’ve only got one minute left in the hour, so we’re going to do this fast. We start thanking our guests, Accurate Basement Repair. Chris Mancuso, thank you. Have a great Memorial Day.
Chris: Absolutely! And everyone, make sure you take a look at those basements. Next couple of days, it’s supposed to be raining on and off. Take a look downstairs, make sure that sump pump is working properly. And if you don’t have one, look in your floor drain, you should have something called a Palmer valve. Any questions, give us a call.
Host: You phone number?
Chris: (414) 744-6900.
Host: It’s AccurateBasementRepair.com. We want to thank you.
In Southeast Wisconsin, we have the only Nationally Certified Structural Repair Specialist on staff and two Nationally Certified Waterproofing Specialists on staff.
Accurate Basement Repair is a member of the NAWSRC (National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors), NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry), the Basement Health Association, the BBB (Better Business Bureau), WAHI (Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors), BIASEW (Building Inspectors Association of South Eastern Wisconsin) and Angie’s List.
We are proud to say that we have an A+ rating with the BBB and we won two Super Service Awards from Angie’s List in 2010 – one for foundation repair and the other for basement waterproofing. Our professional and knowledgeable staff will educate you on various self-help procedures to save money on your foundation and waterproofing needs. We are NOT a franchise. Our dedicated team works year round! We use high quality and well maintained equipment which will provide the lowest impact to your landscaping. Our team of trustworthy and competent staff attends regular training, seminars and/or trade shows, so they are able stay up-to-date on everything that is happening in the foundation restoration and waterproofing industry. We provide outstanding customer service throughout the entire repair process – from estimate to completion. And last, but not least… Accurate Basement Repair is the #1 referred foundation repair company by professional engineers, basement consultants, realtors, municipal building inspectors, home inspectors, lenders, property management companies and most importantly, our past customers.