Archive for December, 2008

PCBA’s Position on Reclaimed Water

Posted by pcbasentry on December 18, 2008

On Tuesday, 12/16/08, The Ledger published a blog post by Tom Palmer entitled Builders’ ready to recycle critiques not water.

PCBA believes an appropriate response is necessary. Executive Director Scott Coulombe, on behalf of the Association, will submit the following piece to The Ledger for publication.

Recently, statements have been made and comments published in The Ledger concerning PCBA’s stance on the proposed Landscaping and Irrigation Ordinance being developed for Polk county.

PCBA is taking a pragmatic position on this issue, and we suggest that Polk County government do the same. It is a fact that Polk County Utilities cannot meet the current demand for reclaimed water, nor service all the reclaim systems that have already been installed. Their supply is neither predictable nor reliable. Further, according to their latest CIP, plans for extending reuse lines have been postponed indefinitely. Given this, why should the County compel a waste of capital resources by requiring the installation of yet more dry lines?

PCBA does support prohibiting the use of potable water for irrigation purposes, as well as fully supporting and encouraging the use of the nine principles of Florida-Friendly landscaping, as promulgated by SWFWMD, for all residents, County-wide.

The proposed landscape ordinance is an example of good intentions yielding unintended consequences. As the County succeeds in reducing the per capita amount of water used, the amount of reclaimed water available for distribution will be reduced proportionately. The latest figures released by PCU show that since the institution of the conservation rate structure there has been a 500 million gallon reduction in water use over a calendar year. This significant reduction further reduces the amount of reclaimed water that the County will be able to generate and distribute.

The ongoing Alternate Water Supply study, jointly funded by Polk County, SWFWMD and SFWMD, has identified industrial and commercial uses of reclaimed water as being more efficient and cost effective than the installation of individual residential connections. SWFWMD is strongly encouraging regional plans for the use of reclaimed water which favors the delivery of reclaimed water to industrial and commercial users. On the “Short List” of 15 projects that were presented to the Board of County Commissioners 12/17/08, the City of Lakeland’s project with TECO is ranked #4. While Public Access Reuse projects are included as a broad, general category, ranked as #14 on the list, no specific residential projects have been identified. It is also interesting to note that the consultants report that the individual Lakeland/TECO project has the potential to save 6.0 MGD, at a cost of $1.52 per thousand gallons.The total projected savings for the entire category of Public Access Reuse is 15 MGD, at a cost of $4.40/thousand gallons. Reclaimed water has a seasonal component. During the rainy season, when the Utility has the greatest supply, residential users have the least demand. PCU is not equipped to store this excess supply of reclaimed water. In contrast, commercial and industrial users provide a steady demand, year-round.

Another point necessary to consider, especially in the current economic climate, is cost. Reliable estimates show that compliance with the proposed ordinance can add up to $15,000.00 to the cost of the average home, and that figure doesn’t include the cost of the actual plant materials. It also doesn’t include the potential costs to Polk County of implementing and enforcing these rules.

PCBA believes that Polk County should follow the lead of the City of Lakeland. At the 12/16/08 Governing Board meeting that Board approved a renewed and modified Water Use Permit for the City of Lakeland. This permit is for 20-years and authorizes withdrawals of up to 35.03 MGD. The exceptional utilization (100%) of Lakeland’s reclaimed water that will be realized from the TECO cooling water demands enables this new permit. The City is now in the process of finalizing a 30-year agreement with TECO, the deadline for this agreement being March 31, 2009. This is a very positive development for Lakeland as the City now has an adequate water supply source for the next 2 decades. This capacity is immediately available from existing infrastructure, minimizing capital outlays for water supply. This accomplishment allows the City to focus its water supply efforts on the development of an adequate water distribution and storage network, as the source challenges are resolved.

Rather than continue the outmoded concept of requiring individual residential reuse lines, Polk County should maximize the use of its reclaimed water supply by seeking, on a regional basis, commercial and industrial users that will utilize all its reclaimed water, consistently, in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.


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What Everybody Ought to Know About Florida Home Appraisals

Posted by pcbasentry on December 11, 2008

The following article was posted on Florida Mortgage Blogger. The author, Kevin Sandridge
has given permission to repost it here.

What Everybody Ought to Know About Florida Home Appraisals

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So, What Can I Expect with My Florida Home Appraisal?

Florida home loans will go smoother if you brush up your knowledge of Florida home loan appraisals.It’s the question all Florida Realtors and Mortgage Brokers should be able to answer as the new year approaches. Things with Florida home appraisals are changing. Read on to find out how…

Fannie Mae is establishing additional appraisal requirements to go along with the existing Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). The NEW Form 1004MC – “MARKET CONDITIONS ADDENDUM to the APPRAISAL REPORT” – will be required on all Florida appraisal reports for single to 4-family home loans dated on or after April 1, 2009. However, as I will explain, many appraisers and lenders are asking for the information found on the 1004MC now!

Basically, the 1004MC asks for more information about market trends, supply and demand, marketing times, prior listings, and the like.

I’ve provided answers to some of the questions I’ve been asked most about the 1004MC. I hope they help to clear some things up for everyone.

As a Florida Realtor or Florida Mortgage Broker, Why Should I Care?

You should care because the new information requirements of the 1004MC can cause significant delays in closing your client’s Florida home loan on time. It’s not enough to say “Hey, that’s the Appraiser’s job, not mine!”

Folks, this falls into the “Help the Appraiser Help You” category. I’m not suggesting that you try to influence their decision in any way whatsoever. I’m just saying that customer service matters as much to our internal customers as it does to those we service externally.

Streamlining the Florida Home Loan Process through Appraiser Facilitation

You need to bone up on this addendum so you can be sure your client’s Florida home loan comes through with as few glitches as possible. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Banks and other lenders are becoming more stringent than ever, and as an informed Realtor or Florida Mortgage Broker, YOU can do a lot to be sure your client’s loan goes smoothly.

  • The 1004MC requires detailed information that hasn’t previously been requested. Keep in mind that this issue pertains to both Fannie and Freddie products.
  • You need to understand how appraisers reach their conclusions about the area’s market conditions AND how these conditions affect the value of your client’s property. Knowing what appraisers must include on their reports will help you understand why a value (versus the sales price) has increased or decreased.
  • Collecting this information early on not only helps the appraiser, but can help you when listing homes.
  • YOU can help provide the necessary information to speed up the appraisal and the entire lending process. Be the Super Hero!

Here are some answers the most frequently asked 1004MC questions I have received from my Realtor clients to date:

When will the Market Conditions Addendum go into effect for Florida home appraisals?

Lenders are already requiring much if not all of the information listed on the 1004MC. However, the “official date” for the addendum to take effect is April 1, 2009.

Note: If your Florida home appraiser isn’t already requesting this additional information, you can expect them to start any time now.

What if my client’s Florida home has been listed more than once within the past 12 months?

Appraisers are required to report details if the property has been listed multiple times. As a Florida Home Loan provider or Realtor, you can help make sure this information is readily available ahead of time.

Note: Even now, Florida home loans are being held up at closing when this information is not available.

Is it necessary to disclose seller concessions for use on the Florida home appraisal?

Yes. All concessions, whether seller or third-party of any kind, must be listed on the appraisal. This also applies to any concessions updated or added AFTER the appraisal completion.

Note: You will have a big problem at the closing table if the concession dollar amount on the HUD-1 does not match the figure in the appraiser’s comments.

Can the Florida appraiser still parse out smaller acreage totals for comps if my client’s is buying or selling the only large lot in the area?

No. If large acreage is not normal for the area, appraisers can no longer parse out a small acre total from a larger one to make a comparable analysis. For example, they may not take out 4-acres from your client’s 24-acre parcel to determine value against another nearby 4-acre parcel.

Appraisers must count the entire value of the land, which might really mess up its value. However, you can remedy any pricing difficulty by successfully applying for a new land parcel description that legally separates the home’s lot from the rest of the acreage prior to closing.

Will Florida Appraisers still have to check with third parties to evaluate Florida homes listed as new construction?

No. And this should be seen as good news! Appraisers may now use information provided from the Builder or Realtor instead of verifying with a third party service. The only stipulation is that there must be HUD-1’s available to verify sales prices associated with new construction comps. (Check with your title company for help with this.)

So… You Got All of That? To Help Keep Things Straight – Here’s a Short Recap of What Florida Appraisers Will Be Looking For:

  • The percentage of listings vs. actual sales over the past 6 months
  • Number of days on the market
  • Information on all seller concessions in relation to what is “usual and customary” for your area
  • The area’s median sales price vs. list price
  • The average listing price vs. sales price
  • The extent of foreclosures in the area

So do yourself, and your Florida home loan clients a great service by collecting as much of this information for your appraiser as possible. They’ll thank you for it!

Referenced: Leslie Petersen – MortgageCurrentcy.com

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Social Networking for Builders

Posted by pcbasentry on December 4, 2008

There’s now a social networking site created exclusively the construction industry. It’s Construction Exchange .

Registration is free and it’s just one moreway to stay on top of current developments in our industry.

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