So there you are, living the dream in your new, or relatively new home, condo, townhouse or adult community, built between 2001 and 2008. This just happens to coincide with some planetary weather related issues. A hurricane here or there, some massive flooding and the entire supply of American made drywall, wallboard or sheetrock as it’s commonly known was depleted in the restoration, rebuilding process of these unfortunate areas.
Enter Knauf Tianjin Plasterboard Co. LTD, just one of several suppliers contracted to replenish the wallboard inventory here in the states. In cutting to the chase and as this remains an investigative work in progress, foreign wallboard is comprised of some common elements, some not so common. The likes of fly ash, a byproduct, actually a waste product derived from coal are apparent along with, sulfur and some organic compounds found in acrylic paints. These components are not found in American made drywall. Differentiating between Chinese Drywall and American Drywall has become somewhat complex, more daunting as evidence has surfaced specific to logo tampering, deliberate, falsified U.S. trademarks and labeling to mask what is now obvious.
Some have been identified as FeS2, H2S, SO2 and CS2,…now don’t you wish you paid attention in Science class. Ok, ok,…I didn’t know either: (pyrite iron disulfide), (hydrogen sulfide), (sulfur dioxide), (carbon disulfide). Others would include toxic gases comprised of complex Sulfurs and Strontium Sulfide.
Perhaps you’ve noticed the silverware has tarnished at an alarming rate. You’re already annoyed as this is the third time you called the HVAC repairman, the air conditioning is not working properly yet again. You’re wondering if the warranty remains valid on the refrigerator, microwave, oven and stove, as they are not functional. If the hard-drive on your computer hadn’t failed for the forth time, you could do a Google question and answer, emailed or called a local Exorcist. Actually it wouldn’t have mattered, as your land-based phone isn’t working either. If you could look behind your walls, you would also notice the wiring may be corroded. No wonder you’ve had a headache for three days,… understandably but perhaps not the only reason.
Seems like you can’t remember what breathing was like, perhaps you experience an occasional asthma attack, you’re wheezing, coughing, hacking up phlegm balls, your nose won’t stop running and your eyes are irritated. Allergies you suggest, possibly, but what about the hives, rashes, bloody nose, ear-aches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, gastrointestinal and urinary problems. Think again, these are some of the alleged side effects, dangers attributed to living in an environment laced with Chinese Drywall. Please be mindful, this is a very recent symptomatic sampling, the culprit being relatively new, the long-term effects, hugely unknown.
Once you get your computer working, go on line and read all you can about this dilemma. Do this with as much diligence as you did when booking your last trip to the Magic Kingdom. You will find solutions, viable remediation but again, be smart, stay calm, and educate yourself. Assume responsibility for the problem even though it’s probably not your fault and get it fixed now! You will find you are not alone. As I mentioned, there are case studies, complaints filed in 21 states, including New Jersey, so the information is available.
As our business is predicated on fiduciary trust, both Sellers and Buyers alike, perhaps we should simply be asking the question. It seems obvious, any construction which required wallboard between 2001 and 2008 could be suspect. The chances Chinese Wallboard could be in the mix here in New Jersey are probably pretty remote but again, now knowing what we know….
The estimates vary nation-wide as to how many homes may actually contain the product. I have read 36,000 homes in Florida alone, between 60,000 (which seems low) and as many as 300,000 throughout the 21 known states depending on what you read. The reality, nobody seems to know and as I mentioned, as you will find on your own, this remains a work in progress. So the next listing appointment you go on, the next showing you have for that gorgeous home on the hill, both newer homes, ask the question. ” Do you have any knowledge if Chinese drywall was used in the construction/updating of this fabulous home?”.
I think it’s only a matter of time, before we witness a section on the Sellers Disclosure statement pertaining to this. Perhaps it will be a separate document much like the lead-based paint form, which is mandatory. As of now, it’s my understanding there’s no way to determine, no way to test for the condition prior to it becoming an apparent problem. So for the moment, do the right thing, you’ll sleep better at night knowing you exemplified the ethical, diligent, Real Estate professional you profess to be.
Written By: Edward Vivona
Over the last few years, we Realtors, homeowners, virtually everyone has noticed in ever increasing amounts, the dreaded Pentatomidae Pente. Ok, you give up? How about the Banksia shield bug?,…Nope, you still don’t get it,….ah, the stink bug!
In our locale, we will find them most common, offered in two flavors or shapes. If you have not seen them yet, you will, as they are most prevalent during the Spring and Summer months. These creatures do not die, you’ll see them moving a little slower come Fall, with the cooler temps. They will bed down for the Winter, chances are, in your home, only to return the following Spring.
Simply put, they are insects, capable of producing large populations. They primarily feed on plants or actually, the fluids. Their bounty also includes other monsters; the Japanese Beetle, that’s right, the creature you find on your rose bushes, Mexican Beetles and many other types of insects.
This is great! I have read, Pennsylvania, perfect. That’ll teach them, calling New Jersey the arm-pit of America. I’ve also heard Jenny brought them home from that awful neighbor, you know the family. How about the plant you purchased at the local grocery store? Ah, the dreaded Laundromat,… I prefer Mars,…who knows. As for Jenny, that red mark on her arm, nonsense, stink bugs don’t bite, don’t sting, all they do is stink, big time if agitated or smashed.
Ok, this one is on the guys. The lazy bastards who leave the garage doors open all day long, you know who you are. In speaking with those in the know, through the vented, soffits of your home. They get into the attic, work they way throughout the house. Any area or space around windows and doors will provide access if broad enough. That pretty Hibiscus, even your fig tree, and any seasonal, tropical plants you put on your deck, leave out there all summer long. Check them before bringing them back in the house.
Let’s get beyond the obvious. Hmm? Maybe not so obvious. If you see one, if you see ten, twenty, whatever, simply, gently, grab it, grab them. A paper towel or tissue works nicely but do not squeeze, as little pressure as possible and deposit it in the toilet. You will find the handle, normally on the upper left side of the tank, push it in a downward direction. The paper towel should be thrown in the garbage can, not in the toilet. For you green types, you could also release the critter outside. Other devices may include a plastic spoon and prodding device, like a small section of paper. Leave the tweezers in the medicine cabinet. Don’t go crazy with the bug sprays, many will work but in some cases, these guys are immune. Chances are the crap in the bug sprays could be more of a pain. Purchase rose bushes to attract Japanese beetles. Hey, at least you won’t have to hang those ugly bags in your trees.
Unless your senses are dulled or nonfunctioning, do not use the vacuum on these bad boys. The rollers, bristles will grind the creature/s into an effervescent purée, which you will enjoy for a very long time, each and every time you use your vacuum. Be mindful of Spot & Felix, the last thing you want is for the family pet to play with or smash your new found friends, especially into the carpet, sofa or your lovely comforter.
So lets recap. Chances are, you are not a dirty person, even if you are, it won’t matter. Do not relocate to Pennsylvania, (see above). Get familiar with our buddies, when you find one, show it to your children and educate, instruct them accordingly. If you routinely converse with your pet, do the same. Do not call 911. If you have to, form a self-help group or neighborhood watch. This is not a personal problem. If this becomes obsessive, an intervention may be necessary. Use the phrase infestation when looking for an excuse to keep your mother-in-law from visiting. In closing, do not antagonize, forcibly grab, squeeze or…smash!
For Immediate Release
October 03, 2011
Edward Vivona, one of the top real estate agents in Monmouth and Ocean County, New Jersey is transforming the way real estate agents are marketing homes. His approach takes full advantage of the latest technology and the current state of the real estate market.
Distinguishing himself from other real estate agents, Edward Vivona is stepping outside of the box and taking real estate marketing to another level. The standard approach to marketing that 95% of real estate agents use consists of taking a set number of photos and putting them on the MLS, creating a virtual tour using those same photos (with the MLS Logo on them) and then placing their sign on the front lawn of the property they are trying to sell. In the current real estate market, this old way of doing things is not proving to be very effective yet nearly 95% of real estate agents use this very same approach.
Edward Vivona is making it his mission to get his clients homes sold by utilizing new ideas and taking advantage of the latest technology. He is creating Custom Property Websites for ALL of his listings. The websites feature at least 40+ high-resolution photographs along with useful links such as area maps, school reports and neighborhood resources. This information is priceless for buyers who do not know the area. The website URL(Domain) is the exact property address for the listing, making it much easier for potential buyers to find the site and more importantly, for sellers, the website is indexed by Google much quicker thereby increasing the properties exposure on the web. Additionally, Edward is the only agent currently displaying the website address prominently on real estate lawn signs. He is also making use of custom home banners. What differentiates him from other agents is that he uses the banners to promote his clients homes and NOT himself. The banners are interactive and when a potential buyer clicks on the banner, they are taken directly to the properties custom website.
Professional quality photographs highlighting a homes features are necessary in order to properly market a client’s home. Edward has taken his professional photography skills and created outstanding photographs that tell a story about the home. He does not stick to the standard formula of 12 to 15 photographs that most Monmouth and Ocean County Realtors use and put on the MLS. Edward has found that the more photographs used, the higher your property will rank on major home search websites. He manually uploads his high resolution photographs to the prominent real estate home search websites, displaying his listings by telling a visual story through photographs.
“When it comes to marketing homes, I firmly believe that the amount of photos should equate to the value, and the size of the home. Simply put, larger homes, high priced homes have more to offer, more to photograph, require more to tell the story. I’ve been on listing appointments where the previous agent pursing the opportunity told the homeowner, 12 photographs was all that was allowed or that the agent wanted to build some intrigue in the home in not showing everything. In my opinion, this is ridiculous! It’s not a price point thing, as my camera doesn’t stop until the story is told in its entirety regardless of size or price, be it 25 or 100 images, whatever is necessary. After all, I am already at the home, how much longer does it take to tell the whole story. Buyers want to see photos before they will even take the next step, consider scheduling a showing on the home, especially if they are not from the area. My approach, my exclusive property websites provide them exactly what they’re looking for.”
To see a sample custom single property website, visit http://www.3WithersLane.com
For Immediate Release
December 10, 2014
EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. – New Jersey-based real estate consultant Jeffrey G. Otteau predicts investors will be swarming the Jersey Shore this Spring, looking for post-super storm Sandy property bargains.
Because of the limits on what flood insurance will cover, and the fact that many shoreline home owners do not have coverage, “investors” will be aggressively looking for opportunities to cash out these property owners and implement a repair-and-sell or repair-and-rent strategy,” said the market analyst in the latest form his Otteau Valuation Group, which was shared with GlobeSt.com
“Expect that investors will be going door-to-door searching for these opportunities,” said Otteau. His company, based in East Brunswick, prepares monthly analytical reports to subscribing brokerages and professionals.