Oct 29

House Sellers get “MoveInCertified” Home Inspections


If you are a home seller or real estate agent, would you like to see a home sell faster and with less headaches? You can get your home pre-inspected and certified ahead of time, before unexpected problems arise. With one phone call you can have your home inspected and listed as a Move-In Certified™ home. As an InterNACHI Certified Professional Inspector®, I’m qualified to do this for you. This certification means that, at a minimum, you can confirm that there are no major systems in need of immediate repair or replacement, and no known safety hazards. There are at least 10 benefits of suggesting a Move-In Certified™ Seller Inspection:

1. Instead of addressing repairs later, jump starting the inspection process will most likely speed up the sales process in the long run.
2. Many clients today won’t even look at a home that is not in good condition with immediate move-in quality.
3. You only have one chance to make a good first impression on selective buyers.
4. It’s easier for agents to sell when they are confident about the product they are selling.
5. This step by the home seller demonstrates a good-faith willingness to be more straightforward and pro-active in the sales process.
6. There will be added peace of mind knowing that no unpleasant surprises could be waiting around the corner that might ruin a prospective sale.
7. The seller inspection will likely more than pay for itself when the final contract price comes within close range of the full asking price.
8. The report will be posted at www.FetchReport.com and will be easy to download for both the seller and agent.
9. Requesting this service will set your property apart from all the others and make it more appealing.
10. Being pro-active in helping to determine the condition of the property up front helps to mitigate against any possible legal non-disclosure claims that might arise from the seller down the road.

Most safety problems are extremely easy to fix. For example, changing electrical outlets near sinks to GFCI safety outlets costs only a few dollars. But the value of having your home checked out and certified can be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Don’t miss out on this real estate trend that can give you a competitive edge in the market as a seller. If you are interested in this service, contact Richard Warden of Southampton Home Inspections (SHI) at 631 377 2046.

Tags: SHI Hamptons seller home inspection, SHI certified seller home inspection, move-in certified home inspections, benefits of seller’s Move-In Certified™ home inspection, how to sell a home faster and better, how to stand out in real estate, trends

Jul 16

Recent EMF Radiation Inspection in East Hampton

I recently performed an EMF radiation inspection for a land purchase in East Hampton where there are some high voltage power lines. Not the huge metal towers, just thick, typical-looking power lines running down the street. Some of the EMF readings in the area came in over 100mG, which is pretty high considering that Sweden settled on 2.5mG as a safe limit after a 25-year study on the subject. In this post I’d like to give a little background on the issue and offer some reasons why you should probably know what the EMF readings are both in your home and in your yard. I know, I know, another thing to watch out for.

100 mG EMF reading in East Hampton NY


EMF (or ElectroMagnetic Field) is a broad term which includes electric fields generated by charged particles, magnetic fields generated by charged particles in motion, and radiated fields such as TV, radio, and microwaves. Electric fields are measured in units of volts per meter or V/m. Magnetic fields are measured in milli-Gauss or mG. The field is always strongest near the source and diminishes as you move away from the source.

High levels of EMF air pollution can dramatically influence property values. Southampton Home Inspections (SHI) always offers EMF testing in conjunction with home inspections and will also perform independent EMF test services. In my recent inspection I took readings at 16 locations around the property and vicinity as a basis for an objective report on the conditions.

The manufacturer of the meter I use states that it, “Measures AC electric fields rapidly, such as from overhead power lines or improperly grounded equipment. Measures major RF/microwave sources such as leakage from microwave ovens, or the field near cell towers.” The meter manufacturer describes an error factor of 20%. EMF radiation from power lines is often referred to as an ELF, an extremely low frequency condition.

Reported “Possible” Health Issues

As far as reported health effects of EMF are concerned, A 2009 EU update confirmed the opinion of a previous 2007 EU report: “The previous conclusion that ELF magnetic fields are a possible carcinogen, chiefly based on childhood leukaemia results, is still valid.” Other potential health problems have not been considered as significant. In 1995, a major law suit was filed against a Texas Utility company regarding 8 cases of children diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia who lived near high voltage power lines. The suit was filed by Joseph Jamail, one of the most successful—and richest—trial lawyers in America.

When I first began testing the microwave oven in our home and ones in other homes, we quickly decided not to allow anyone in the kitchen when the microwave oven is on. No matter how new the model, the radiation is usually high within 5 feet. Bedside alarm clocks, electric blankets (still selling at the Bridgehampton K-Mart) and, yes, cell phones also emit radiation that has not been emphatically proven to cause cancer. Yet, as recently as this past May, there is news that India will ban all cell phone sales of units that are not properly labeled. I’m not referring to the fine print in the box, but the cell phone itself. As noted, “The SAR value, which is the radiation emitted by a cellphone, will have to be displayed on mobile handsets.”

The US government presently does not regulate EMF levels in such things as power lines. However, the Office of Technology Assessment of the Congress of the United States recommends a general policy of “prudent avoidance” with respect to EMF. Prudent avoidance would mean measuring the levels, determining the sources, and acting to reduce exposure. Using an EMF meter, it is possible to know where the sources of EMF are in your everyday world and how strong these sources are.

If you are considering purchasing a home, land, a microwave, or a cell phone, I highly suggest that you do some research and learn what the EMF values are, if available. If you would like SHI to perform EMF tests for you, that would be a pleasure.

Tags: Hamptons NY EMF radiation testing, EMF survey, update of EMF health effects

Apr 30

Hamptons Designer House Market Update

200px-Cuckoo_clock_by_Pascal_Tarabay1Last week, 27East reported how Hamptons Cottages & Gardens magazine hosted a panel discussion that featured discussions by a variety of professionals related to the real estate industry in the Hamptons and, with regard to creativity and real estate, the situation is a bit paradoxical. In one sense, it’s a designer’s market:

“Mr. Collé, who said that today’s buyers are “less interested in cookie-cutter houses” and more passionate about custom-designed homes, said that he has been seeing more and more demand for “bigger and better” residences. That means more and more teardowns of existing older homes on ideally located properties, he reported.”

And yet, in another sense, the population of creative artists and designers that helped to give the Hamptons a sense of mystique seems to be on the wain:

“The artists and writers are being squeezed out by the hedge fund managers, she paused. “And the people clipping the hedges.”

Like SOHO in NYC and Red Hook in Brooklyn, the Hamptons seems to be following a similar pattern for artists and writers.

In March, Deal Book reported how hedge fund titan Steven A. Cohen paid $60 million for an oceanfront home on Further Lane in East Hampton. But this is chump change. The day before the home purchase news has it that he purchased Picasso’s “Le Rêve” for $155 million from the casino owner Stephen A. Wynn. This was apparently one of the priciest private art deals ever transacted. The art of the deal.

The HC & G Hamptons real estate update and forum included Builder Jeffrey Collé, NYC&G features editor Carmela Ciuraru, HC&G contributing editor Heather Buchanan and author Steven Gaines joined HC&G publisher Pamela Eldridge.

Image of designer cuckoo clock by Pascal Tarabay is courtesy of Creative Commons.

Tags: art and real estate, Hamptons designers, Hampton real estate update, buy designer home Hamptons NY

Feb 22

Hurricane Sandy Wiped Out Most Low NY Insurance Rates

It used to be that places like Florida and Louisiana stood out as high risk locations with higher insurance rates. Add a few Northeast Frankenstorms into the mix, however, and that’s bound to change. What does this new storm trend signify for the real estate industry? Well, for one thing, higher homeowner insurance rates in the Northeast and likely a negative affect on the sales market as well.

The Insurance Information Institute has come out with a remarkable prognosis that Hurricane Sandy caused more insurance costs than the historic 9/11 destruction did. Insured losses from Hurricane Sandy are expected to be in the range of $25 billion, according to global reinsurance firm Munich Re. If this ends up to be true, then that would surpass the $24.6 billion that private insurers paid following the destruction of the World Trade Center, outlined Robert Hartwig, president and economist at the Insurance Information Institute. But, that’s not all. This will also have a dramatic effect on New York’s historically low insurance rates.

Northeast insurance rates to rise

In a video interview, Robert Hartwig explained how one storm alone would not increase rates. However, the fact that three serious storms that have effected the Northeast in the last 14 months will definitely have consequences with regard to present relatively low insurance rates.

“Insurers are not allowed by law to recoup past losses, but what they are allowed to do and what they need to do to obviously remain financially strong and so that they’re there for the next time an event like this strikes is to charge a rate that reflects the risk.”

Home inspectors don’t have much work when people can’t afford houses and don’t buy them. High insurance costs are certainly a factor in this equation. People often choose companies like Geico because they draw from a pool of low cost insurance providers in order to find the best possible insurance rates. It definitely pays to shop around for the best possible insurance rates before you make your choice. Though costs are rising, some rates are a lot lower than others. One thing is certain, check to see how well the company handles actual claims before committing.

Tags: Robert Hartwig insurance, Robert Hartwig quotes, Insurance Information Institute, III, find best insurance rates in NY, difficult afford a house, Long Island insurance