Homeowners Associations by Nick Gromicko and Rob London Roughly 57 million American homeowners belong to homeowners associations (HOAs), which are elected bodies that govern the lifestyle and architectural choices of their members. Largely unregulated by state and federal laws, HOAs are essentially autonomous "mini-governments" that sometimes exert enough power to bully their residents into foreclosure.
Swimming Pool Barriers by Nick Gromicko, Rob London and Kenton Shepard An outdoor swimming pool barrier is a physical obstacle that surrounds an outdoor pool so that pool access is limited to adults. “Pool,” in this context, includes outdoor hot tubs and spas. This barrier is often referred to as “pool fencing,” although walls made
Surge Protectors by Nick Gromicko and Rob London Surge protectors, also known as surge suppressors or transient-voltage surge suppressors, are devices designed to limit the voltage supplied to an electrical device by shorting to ground any excess voltage above a safe threshold. These electrical devices may be installed in residential and commercial power distribution panels,
Stucco The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stucco by Nick Gromicko, Rob London and Kenton Shepard The term "stucco" is used to describe a type of exterior plaster applied as a two- or three-part coating directly onto masonry, or applied over wood or metal lath to a log or wood frame structure. Stucco is found
Static Electricity by Nick Gromicko and Rob London Static electricity is the buildup of electrical charges on the surface of non-conducting materials. It is called “static” because, unlike a home’s electrical system, static electricity has almost no current. Static typically forms when two materials come into contact, and some of the charges redistribute by moving from
Solar Panel Fires and Electrical Hazards by Nick Gromicko and Elise London Although extremely rare, fires can originate from solar panels. In January 2007, California launched an effort to install 3,000 megawatts (MW) of new solar power, according to the California Public Utilities Commission. Inspectors may encounter these photovoltaic (PV) arrays with increasing frequency
Sinkholes by Nick Gromicko and Rob London What are Sinkholes? Sinkholes are ground-surface depressions that result when a subterranean void weakens support of the overlying earth. Why are Sinkholes a Concern for Inspectors? They threaten water supplies by draining unfiltered water from streams, lakes and wetlands directly into aquifers. They kill and injure people. A person can
Short Sales by Nick Gromicko and Rob London A "short sale" is a real estate sales transaction in which the seller's mortgage lender agrees to accept a payoff of less than the balance owed on a property's loan. This typically happens when a borrower can’t pay the remainder of the mortgage loan on their property,
Sewer Gases in the Home by Nick Gromicko and Rob London Decomposing waste materials in public and private sewer and septic systems create sewer gases. Methane is the largest single constituent of sewer gas, which includes an assortment of toxic and non-toxic gases, such as hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide.
Closing Information by Nick Gromicko, Rob London and Kenton Shepard Congratulations! You have decided to buy a new home. This article will help you take this big financial step by describing the home-buying, home-financing, and settlement process. Lenders and mortgage brokers are required by federal law under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) to