Polybutylene Plumbing Crisis – 99% Bad

Polybutylene Plumbing Crisis – 99% Bad

Is Polybutylene Plumbing Bad? Yes.

Knowing The Difference

     Whether you’re buying a house, selling it, or replacing pipes, you should know the differences between all of the materials. One of the most popular materials used for about three decades was polybutylene plumbing. Polybutylene is a type of plastic resin. This type of plastic resin was commonly used in the manufacture of water piping, from about 1978 through the end of 1995, and is known to flake off and deteriorate after several years of use.

     Polybutylene plumbing is bad because it breaks off into the water supply. The flakes can be toxic, causing sickness upon ingestion. Furthermore, naturally occurring substances in tap water cause the deterioration process to become accelerated. If you have polybutylene piping in your home, it’s best to remove it as soon as possible.

PolybutylenePolybutylene chemical

     Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following information:

  • Several reasons that polybutylene plumbing is bad
  • Suggestions for buying and selling houses with polybutylene plumbing
  • Answers to common plumbing questions and concerns

What’s So Bad About Polybutylene Plumbing?

Polybutylene used to be one of the most common piping materials around, but it’s not as popular these days. In fact, it was only used from 1978 to 1995, according to Polybutylene.com. Once people started to realize all of the issues associated with it, they immediately tried to remove the substance from homes.

Here are five reasons that polybutylene isn’t used anymore:

  1. As mentioned above, it starts to flake and crumble apart. The remnants can be toxic, but they also have the possibility of causing choking hazards. Regardless of the method, polybutylene is dangerous from the deterioration that happens when it comes in contact with most types of tap water. 
  2. Polybutylene can cause serious leaks. The deterioration that you’ve read about can cause the pipes to become quite porous. You’ll end up spending more money on lost water and pipe repairs if you don’t replace them completely. Not only that, but they can start to break and slow water pressure. 
  3. Long-term leaks can eventually lead to structural damage. When water continues to drip or pour from cracked polybutylene pipes, it starts to cause a pool underneath your home. The process weakens the foundation of your home, causing it to shift and become unstable. You’ll end up having to spend tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. 
  4. Some insurance companies refuse to provide policies for houses with polybutylene pipes. The unreliability is so bad with the material that companies don’t want to be responsible for the inevitable damage that they’ll cause. Even if you manage to secure a policy, they’re typically much more expensive than traditional offers. 
  5. Finally, polybutylene pipes can have a negative effect on a house’s value. If potential buyers are made away of the material’s presence, they’re much more likely to look elsewhere. Much like insurance policies, possible buyers won’t want to deal with the certain destruction caused by polybutylene.
    As you can see, there are all sorts of reasons that polybutylene is terrible for modern plumbing. If your home has it, you probably will notice leaks within the near future. Best Plumbers points out that polybutylene starts to show signs of flaking and deterioration within 12 years of installation.

Should You Buy or Sell a House With It?

     If you’re looking to buy a new home, it’s important to pay attention to the small details. Everything might look perfect on the outside, but never forget to ask about the plumbing. Even a tiny leak can lead to disastrous results.

     Upon finding out that the plumbing is made with polybutylene, you should immediately request that they repair it beforehand. Buying a house that has this type of plumbing is a surefire way to cost tremendous amounts of money and stress. If they’re unwilling, then there needs to be a financial compromise.

     You’ve read all of the negative effects of having polybutylene pipes, so don’t settle for the asking price. Another way to get around it is to get an inspector to deliver a price estimate. If they tell you a certain amount, you can request to shave it off of the total price after negotiations. For example, a $10,000 repair quote should mean that you pay that much less for the house.

     On the other hand, if you’re selling a house with polybutylene plumbing, always disclose it to potential buyers. If they find out later, you might be in deep water. Many states require that sellers inform all potential buyers of the presence of polybutylene since it’s such a bad substance to have around.

     If you want to work around the potential red flag, have them replaced before the house is ever put on the market. Get a quote and have plumbers come out to replace the polybutylene plumbing with new-age, modernized plumbing. This route means you’ll never have to tell anyone that there was a possible hazard.

     Buyers and sellers should both take caution when dealing with and discussing polybutylene plumbing. The substance is toxic, unreliable, and costly to replace. Unfortunately, a clean sale isn’t very likely without simply replacing the plumbing beforehand.

     If you’re still curious about the issues surrounding this material, proceed to the next section.

FAQ

     There’s no longer any doubt that polybutylene needs to be removed from all plumbing around the world. However, you might still have a few questions about why it was used, what you can do, and so on.

Here are the most common questions about polybutylene paired with their respective answers:

  • Does homeowner’s insurance cover polybutylene plumbing? Most policies no longer cover these types of pipes because they’re bound to break soon enough. Since policies are designed for “what if’s” rather than “when’s,” it’s easy to see why so many companies are shifting away from coverage.
  • How much does it cost to replace polybutylene plumbing? According to Home Advisor, these pipes cost about $2,500 to $15,000, depending on how many pipes need to be replaced. Leaks, corners, and straightaway lengths can all affect the overall price estimate. 
  • How do you replace polybutylene piping? Replacing the pipes around your house can depend on where they are, how much water flows through, and what types of materials are available in your area. Check out this good demonstration on replacing polybutylene plumbing with PEX. 
  • How do you identify polybutylene plumbing in a house? The best way to know if your pipes are made out of polybutylene is to look for the ‘PB’ marker somewhere along the pipes. They’ll likely be followed by several other letters and numbers, but PB at the start of the code is a clear indicator. 
  • Are polybutylene pipes illegal to install or own? While there currently aren’t any laws banning the use of polybutylene plumbing, they’re not sold anywhere. Even if you want to start installing them around your house or on a side project, you’d only be able to buy them off of someone who’s replacing them.

     Polybutylene is an undoubtedly nasty material to have sitting in your house. It can leak, ruin the value of your home, and cause numerous structural issues.

Conclusion

     If you’re about to move into a house with polybutylene plumbing, or yours already has it, then it’s time for a change. Get quotes and do whatever you have to do to remove the pipes from your home. The longer you wait, the more damage you’ll have to pay for in the long run. Polybutylene plumbing is clearly 99% bad and likely closer to 100% bad, but I was generous and gave that 1% in recognition of this type of pipe being capable of carrying water, at least for some period of time.

     Here’s a quick recap of the post:

  • Polybutylene can crack, leak, crumble, and deteriorate.
  • Ingesting the substance can cause sickness and/or choking.
  • Most insurance companies won’t cover polybutylene plumbing.
  • You should always request to know about the plumbing of a home before buying it.

Sources

 

Don’t Save To Lose.

Contact Bill Moore today!

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Tax Refunds Buy Homes

Tax Refunds Buy Homes

Tax Refunds Buy Homes

A substantial tax refunds, or even a small tax refund, could buy homes for many Americans. According to FreddieMac, the Internal Revenue Service began accepting tax returns on January 29, and estimates nearly 155 million individual tax returns will be filed for the 2018 tax filing season.

Here are three ways it could bring you closer to home-ownership.

Save for a down payment

One of the biggest barriers to home-ownership is the lack of savings on hand for a down payment. Don’t overestimate the size of the down payment you may need. Your credit history, along with other factors, will dictate how much of your money is needed for a down payment. Many borrowers are permitted to make a down payment of about 5 to 10% — not 20%, which is often the percentage borrowers confuse with the amount of equity needed to avoid Property Mortgage Insurance (“PMI”). For example, Freddie Mac’s 3% down mortgage, known as the Home Possible Advantage®, helps qualified borrowers make a down payment of as little as $6,000 for a $200,000 home.

Down Payment Assistance Logo

 

Down payment assistance programs can also be leveraged too fill thecash gap. Get in contact with me about the many programs across the country that can help you save on your down payment and closing costs. In fact, Orange County Government and the City of Orlando offer some programs to qualified borrowers and some are offered based on the location of the home. Check to see what Down Payment Assistance programs you may be eligible for by clicking here.

 

Pay for closing costs

A home-buyer will typically pay between about 2% and 5% of the home purchase price in closing fees. However, these fees can fluctuate depending on the interest rates, incentives offered, etc. The average for closing costs, by state, can be viewed here and further understand your costs.

Lower your interest rate

You can use your tax refund to pay discount points in order to “buy down” your mortgage interest rate. A “point” equals one percent of the loan. This is commonly used to lock in a lower interest rate on your fixed–rate mortgage. For example, if you are borrowing $100,000, paying one discount point would mean paying $1,000 upfront at closing. Here’s the great part. By having a lower interest rate you may even end up saving more in interest payments over the life of the loan. FreddieMac’s Mortgage Calculator can give you an idea of how paying extra points might lower your rate.

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Learning From The Best: Gogo Bethke

Learning From The Best: Gogo Bethke

I had the opportunity to attend Gogo Bethke’s, real estate Social Media Marketing Course, hosted by First American Title & Escrow – Southwest Orlando. Prior to the class, I learned that Gogo is one of the Top 5% REALTORS® in the nation and owner of Gogo’s Real Estate, LLC. I can say that I was genuinely looking forward to learn about effective marketing techniques from one of the BEST. I constantly attend marketing classes like Gogo’s for one reason – to help my clients. I am a firm believer in continuing education and constant training in whatever field you decide to enter. If you are a licensed real estate sales associate, I highly recommend taking Gogo’s course. Take a notepad. You will need it.

CHOOSE A MARKETING SAVVY REALTOR®

     Consider that the brain receives visual information 90% of the time. As a Seller, it only makes sense to hire a licensed real estate sales associate committed to using video and imagery in marketing real estate; your real estate. A Buyer, possibly out of the area, who hires a technically savvy licensed real estate sales associate also benefits. This is because their real estate agent will know how to bring forward desired properties capable of being viewed remotely, over the Internet, beyond just digital pictures from the local Multiple Listing Service.

FOR THE CLIENT AND THEIR REAL ESTATE AGENT

Imagery Assets

Assets available to my clients to market their property.

I’ve written about marketing property in other articles. But, it’s worth re-stating the basis as to why marketing real estate is important.  A study showed that effectively using video in marketing of a client’s property increased inquiries on that property by 403%. Additionally, Dr. James McQuivey, author of How Video Will Take Over the World, estimates that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words. Now, the statistics show videos should be short. Jun Group Productions, LLC. found that videos that are 15 seconds or shorter are shared 37% more often than those lasting between 30 seconds and 1 minute.  Certain social media platforms cater to shorter videos, like Instagram. Instagram was founded in 2010 and now has 1 billion users. Instagram used to limit videos to 60 seconds, but to combat YouTube’s popularity, Instagram increased the limit to 10 minutes. Instagram went further and introduced IGTV for content creators to have their own channel, like YouTube. Unlike YouTube, IGTV video is broadcast in a portrait view (phone held vertical) as opposed to in landscape view (phone held sideways). Instagram’s IGTV portrait format seems a bit wonky to begin with, but after considering that most people hold their phone in a vertical position, it makes sense to create video to match the smartphone’s handheld position. It may be time to rethink video composition, especially since Instagram has the most users.

TAKEAWAYS

    Find a licensed real estate sales associate, ideally one who is a REALTOR®, who can correctly and successfully market real estate. REALTORS® of this caliber attend training and continuing education courses on a regular basis from leaders in the industry like Gogo Bethke. They also leverage existing technology and seek out emerging technologies to further compliment real estate marketing strategies. It’s no wonder that successful businesses allocate a substantial portion of their budget to Advertising and Marketing. The same is true for a successful real estate transaction.

WHAT I WILL DO AS YOUR REALTOR®

     After interviewing a client, I will develop a marketing strategy that will best showcase their property. I will utilize my graduate level education, training, and experience, and deploy audio/visual assets that I deem appropriate for the situation; i.e. aerial drone and various video equipment. These assets will be deployed in the most efficient and cost effective manner to produce a successful real estate transaction. In addition, I will utilize my various social media accounts to showcase a property to my followers. This increases the probability of “Shares,” “Re-Tweets,” “Mentions,” and higher visibility on the Internet. Now, when a particular asset isn’t available, I will contract out for services, such as Matterport; a 3D camera & building scanner used to create virtual tour accessible over the Internet.

If you read this far…

I have an exciting announcement coming up! Check back to see the latest set of tools I will utilize to showcase your property to the masses!

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Saving To Lose – For Sale By Owner

Saving To Lose – For Sale By Owner

SAVING TO LOSE?

     The thought of placing a For Sale by Owner sign out in the front  yard and selling your home by yourself is very appealing. Doing the sale yourself conjures up the thought of potential savings from cutting out the real estate brokerage.  But, be careful before taking this huge step with your biggest financial nest egg.  There is more to the process of selling or buying real estate successfully.

     The data is in for 2018. The National Association of REALTORS® reports, in their 2018 PROFILE OF HOME BUYERS AND SELLERS report, that 7% of homes were For Sale By Owner sales. This is a decreasing trend from 2017 and the “…[t]he lowest share recorded since this report started in 1981.” It comes as no surprise that FSBO homes sold for less than the rest of the market. The report states that, “FSBO homes sold at a median of $200,000 last year (up from $190,000 the year prior), and significantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $264,900.” Now, there were some positives in the report for those who want to list For Sale By Owner. FSBO homes sold in less than two weeks and was attributed to those homes being sold to someone already known to the owner.

     As far as selling a property, it entails more than planting a sign out on the lawn.  The headache and work involved may not be worth the savings.  Consider the following areas our team of professionals will undertake. Then, reflect on what you would need to know should you decide to buy or sell a home on your own. These concepts can also be applied to buying, selling, or leasing any type of real estate; commercial, vacant land, condominiums, etc.

Exposure

     Getting the word out.  Real estate brokerages utilize networks to market your home outside of the city or suburb. This increases the probability of selling your home in the shortest amount of time. The longer your property stays on the market there is an increased likelihood for the sale price of your property to be reduced and reducing your profit margin.

Market Information

     The real estate market is ever-changing and always in flux. Listing prices fluctuate constantly, sometimes quickly, with the rhythm of the market. It is very important to correctly gauge the market’s direction and speed.  Failing to assess your property’s correct value will effectively render the property “out of market.” This would likely result in selling at a low value. On the other hand, overpricing the home will keep you waiting for a buyer who may never come. Real estate agents have access to home sales information. Our team at Alpha Real Estate of Central Florida, LLC can effectively evaluate your home and provide a Comparative Market Analysis (“CMA”). The CMA process takes subjectivity out of the equation and provides a narrow range of listing prices based on a particular market’s dynamic factors.

Negotiating Ability

     The ability to negotiate may be the most overlooked part of the do-it-yourself (DIY) process, and should not be taken lightly. Do you trust your ability? Do you have the skill set necessary to successfully negotiate the sale of one of your most valuable possessions? Can you effectively manage the selling process all the way through to a ‘closing’ against a seasoned broker or real estate lawyer?  If you have never been involved in serious negotiations with professionals, then you are at a serious disadvantage. The lack of experience could translate into negating the benefits of having done the transaction yourself. Any savings dwindling as negotiations go on or becoming non-existent at closing.

Legal Issues

     Arguably, the most dangerous aspect of selling or buying a property involves contracts and closings.  You will need to have advocates on your side when negotiating terms and who can steer the process to a legally sound conclusion with the assistance of an attorney.  Our team utilizes title companies who have attorneys on staff to deal with legal matters before and during closings to avoid problems.  This is definitely the part of the selling and buying process that you do not to undertake without professional assistance or access to an attorney.

Value Added Services

As technology evolves, real estate agents are deploying this technology to sell homes faster and provide buyers with imagery and virtual viewings of properties.  The use of drones to capture the overall beauty of the landscape surrounding your home is a  big plus – and we use drones. Next, there are imaging devices that scan the interior of homes and provide virtual tours.  These services are offered by Alpha Real Estate of Central Florida, LLC.  Research has shown that videography and imagery can increase the probability of a sale by 40%!

The Quirky Factor

Some prospective buyers will be apprehensive about engaging a “For Sale By Owner” property simply because it’s not the standard approach in selling a property.  As such, prospective buyers will likely be apprehensive. Buyers will also be anxious about engaging with a “For Sale By Owner” property and steer clear from visiting the property altogether.

Your Time

Selling a property on your own is possible. But, you will need to be prepared and committed in order to sell a property successfully. Consider how much time do you have to spend on marketing your property, what methods you will use or have to learn to determine how much your property is worth, and what your personal time is worth.  Ultimately, determine whether your investment of time and energy will be repaid by the commission you save.

 

Don’t Save To Lose.

Contact Bill Moore today!

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Advice to Sellers

Advice to Sellers

7 STEP GUIDE TO SELLING A HOUSE

Prepare to Sell Your House – Home selling has become more complex than it used to be. New seller disclosure statements, longer and more mysterious form agreements, and a range of environmental concerns have all emerged in the past decade.

Find a REALTOR® – In the maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating, it makes sense to work with professionals who know the community and much more. Those professionals are the local REALTORS® who serve your area. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®.

Set the List Price of Your Home – Several factors, including market conditions and interest rates, will determine how much you can get for your home. In other words, home selling is part art, part science, part marketing and part negotiation.

Market Your House for Maximum Exposure – Your REALTOR® should share a marketing plan with you, but the more you know about the process of selling your home the easier it is to support your REALTOR®’s efforts. Make your home sell fast with these tips.

Negotiate a Real Estate Offer – Perhaps the most complex moment in the sales process comes when you get an offer for your home. Whether you have one offer or several to consider, these tips will help you navigate the negotiation.

The Art of Settling – When you have a signed contract with the buyer for your home, you may feel as if you can breathe a sigh of relief. But before you can completely relax you need to get to the settlement table.

Plan Your Move – Some of the activities required to sell your home can actually help with the moving process. For example, by cleaning out closets, the basement and the attic you will have less to do once the home is under contract.

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