Closing on a New Home

Closing on a New Home

 Closing on Your New Home Can be a Headache

( Closing can be scary, you made it this far, now what?

Here are 16 things you should and should not do before and after closing.

1. First, you must remember nothing is final until you get the keys at closing.
2. Your agent is here to help you do not hesitate to ask for their advice.
3. Your lender will probably check your credit score again just before closing.

Do not do any of the following during the closing period

4. Change jobs unless it is within the same company; lenders want to see job security.
5. Allow any payments to be late, lenders hate late payments-especially close to closing.
6. Apply for any kind of credit, this will show up on your credit report and may cause the lender to panic.
7. Take out any loans for anything, no new appliances, no furniture, no cars, etc. This will change your debt ratio and may panic your lender. Do this after your closing.
8. If you have stated you have X amount of money in your bank account make sure it is still there because the lender may check this also.

We all love our lender but he or she will not be the one to make the final decision. Someone you will never meet in New York or somewhere else will make the final underwriting decision and they only look at the numbers.

So much for the don’ts here are some things you should do

9. Shop for insurance, insurance companies rate neighborhood areas differently.
10. Schedule your move, interview movers or start saving boxes and lining up help now.
11. Moving always involves lots of trash; find out ahead of time what your trash haulers rules are for large pickups.
12. Schedule to have your utilities shut off at your old home and turned on at the new home.
13. Arrange for any changes to be made to your new home such as carpet or painting after closing. So you are not left waiting 2 or 3 weeks to be fit into their schedule.
14. Change your locks and garage door operator codes. You don’t know how many other people may have had access to your new home before you bought it.
15. Meet your neighbors, they can tell you when trash pickup is, where the kids get on the bus and all kinds of things you will need to know and some you probably don’t.
16. Change your address at the post office and your driver’s license etc.

Now kick back and enjoy your new home.


Radon Testing St louis St Charles and Metro East

Radon Testing St louis St Charles and Metro East

Why Test for Radon

( Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer exceeded only by smoking.  Like smoking Radon is a long term threat with variables such as the radon level present and the length of time you were exposed.

According to the United States Environmental Agency 21,000 people die of lung cancer from Radon gas exposure each year.  That number does not include those who go through the pain and suffering of lung cancer and do not die.This is more than die from choking, drowning, firearm homicides, carbon monoxide and second hand smoke combined (20,758).

Radon gas is an odorless colorless and tasteless by product of uranium.  It is found in all 50 states and Canada in varying concentrations.  Concentrations can even vary from one end of a sub division to another.

The composition of the soil at the surface determines the local distribution of the gas.  Hard compacted clay type soils resist the passing of the gas more than sandy soils or gravel beds.

Other variables include soil moisture content and the absence or presence of strong winds.  Building construction will also influence the radon levels in a structure.

Radon Testing is Inexpensive

The good news is a simple two day test can determine the  levels in your home.  We do the testing with very little if any disruption of your daily life.

We definitely recommend the use of a licensed measurement technician over the use of hardware store test kits.  Locally purchased test kits often end up costing more than a professional would charge.  If the test is for a real estate transaction there is no guarantee the buyer or seller will accept the results as valid.

The result is the test must be repeated using an independent  testing company at additional and unnecessary money and delay.

for more information  about us visit our website

check us out at the Better Business Bureau

for more information on Radon Gas and  testing watch this short video

Shared Neutral, New Rules

Shared Neutral, New Rules

Shared Neutral, New Rules

( So often we find something we have done a certain way for years is suddenly no longer considered proper.  This is where we are today with what is called a shared neutral.  For many years electricians saved time and money by using a three wire conductor with a ground (12-3 w/g) for house hold circuits. By using the red wire for one circuit and the black wire for a second circuit.  We would share the neutral (white wire) and the ground wire (bare or green wire).  Thus saving one third of the cost of wire and one half the labor used. Instead of running two standard circuits using 12-2 w/g.

With the implementation of the 2011 National Electrical Code, the rules for a shared neutral for 120 volt circuits changed drastically.  A shared neutral is still allowed however, the way we treat them has changed.

Circuits with a shared neutral must now be protected much the same as a 240 volt circuit.  The reasoning behind this is simple.  For example if the you were to only turn off the breaker protecting the red wire, the black wire would still be energized.  Meaning the white  or neutral wire could still present a shock hazard.

To avoid this the 2011 NEC requires circuits with a shared neutral be protected by a breaker that shuts both circuits down. If one is tripped or turned off both will be de-energized..  Single breakers may be used if they are  UL listed to accept a tie strap.  The tie strap makes both breakers disconnect simultaneously.  Emphasis here is on UL listed.  You cannot use a bent nail or any other hap hazard contraption.  The second alternative is to us a factory ganged breaker that is set to trip if either 120 volt circuit is tripped.

Safety Must Always Trump Tradition

Like so many other “safety” advancements, this will be met with moans and groans until it finally becomes the accepted norm.  Many electricians will point out that it is not required by local codes. They will probably be correct in saying so.  However many municipalities do not implement current codes until they are 6-8 or 10 years old.

Our position is safety is far more important than established norms. After all, my grandfather installed knob and tube wiring in the 1930’s and my father scorned that useless ground wire introduced in the 1960’s.  I have to admit I was skeptical of the need for GFCI protection when it was first announced in the 1990’s.

This is a very simple problem to fix and there is no reason not to embrace this chance to improve safety for our customers.