Oregon’s Wood Stove Law, Robert Riensche, Pillar To Post Home Inspection Company

Most of us are now aware of the new Wood Stove Law that went into effect on August 1st, which requires homeowners to remove, destroy and notify DEQ of any uncertified stove at the time of home sale.


Rule-making is now underway to help implement this statute, including procedures for home sellers to verify that stoves have been removed and destroyed and how to submit notification to DEQ.  The public has a short window of opportunity give their imput to this process by sending in comments to DEQ.  All comments must be received by DEQ by 5:00 pm October 29, 2010.


The comments can be emailed to:heatsmartrule@deq.state.or.us


or mailed to:

Dept. of Environmental Quality

811 SW 6th Ave

Portland, OR 97205

or faxed to:



Public Hearings are also being held this month at various locations around the state.

In Portland it is on October 20th, at 6 pm.

DEQ’s headquarters office Conference Room EQC-A, 10th floor

811 6th Ave

If you would like to know more about the wood stove law, DEQ’s web-site is a good source of information.  You can also contact me about holding a 1-hour class on the subject at your office.  (503) 542-7711 or robert.riensche@pillartopost.com


Robert Riensche
(503) 452-7711


CCB #154041


U.S. Apartment Vacancies Decline for the First Time Since 2007, by Hui-yong Yu, Bloomberg.com

U.S. apartment vacancies dropped for the first time in almost three years in the third quarter, suggesting the trend of people moving in with family or friends might be abating, Reis Inc.said today.

The national vacancy rate fell to 7.2 percent from 7.9 percent a year earlier and 7.8 percent in the second quarter, the New York-based research firm said. It was the lowest rate since 2008’s fourth quarter, when it was 6.7 percent, and the first year-over-year drop since 2007’s fourth quarter. Vacancies reached a three-decade high of 8 percent late last year.

Rental demand usually goes up during the second and third quarters, when people tend to lease apartments, said Victor Calanog, director of research at Reis. The U.S. recession interrupted that pattern starting two years ago as widespreadjob cuts prompted many people to move in with parents or friends instead of renting their own apartments.

“Those guys are starting to move back to the rental market,” Calanog said in a telephone interview. “What we’re seeing might be these folks who realized, ‘Hey, I love my father and mother, but I don’t think I can live with them forever. I’ll take a chance on a yearlong lease and maybe I can find a job in six to nine months.’”

The change in occupied space, known as net absorption, rose by 84,382 units, a record since Reis began keeping the data in 1999, the company said. Net absorption totaled 157,788 apartments from January through September, compared with almost 21,000 units vacated a year earlier.

Concessions, Jobs

Signing of apartment leases has risen as a surge in home foreclosures forced many people to rent and landlords offered concessions amid a weak economy. Job growth will determine whether the apartment market continues to improve, Calanog said.

“If the pace of job growth is really lackluster, then I wouldn’t be shocked if vacancies suddenly rose in the fourth quarter,” Calanog.

About 90 percent of the rise in net absorption came from leasing up existing apartments, Reis said. New properties came to market almost half empty, and the total supply of new stock was the smallest since 2007’s second quarter. The 21,906 new units that came to market in the third quarter had an average vacancy rate of 60 percent, said Reis.

Landlords’ asking rents climbed to $1,037, little changed from $1,033 a year earlier and $1,032 in the second quarter, according to Reis. Actual rents paid by tenants, known as effective rents, rose to an average $980 from $971 a year earlier and $974 in the second quarter

New Haven, Connecticut, had the lowest vacancy rate in the third quarter, at 2.3 percent, followed by New York City; Long Island, New York; San Jose; and Central New Jersey, according to Reis. New Haven is home to Yale University.

The Reis survey measures about 9.1 million apartments.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hui-yong Yu in Seattle at hyu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

New HUD program offers up to 24 months of mortgage assistance to unemployed, by CHRISTINE RICCIARDI, Housingwire.com


Seal of the United States Department of Housin...

Image via Wikipedia


A new program run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development allows delinquent borrowers who are unemployed or suffering from a severe medical condition to receive assistance with mortgage payments for up to 24 months.

The Emergency Homeowners Loan Program offers up to $50,000 to eligible borrowers at a 0% interest rate. HUD officials called it a true bridge loan because all deferred payments are forgivable provided the borrower lives in a home and remains current on payments for five consecutive years.

But the program isn’t for everyone. Brian Sullivan, public affairs representative for HUD, said borrowers must have a consistent track record of making mortgage payments on time. A household’s yearly income also may not exceed 120% of the area median income and must have had its income reduced by at least 15% in two years due to sudden unemployment, underemployment or a medical condition.

The property must be the borrower’s primary residence and at risk of foreclosure.

“This is about families who were paying their mortgage, were current, were working, and then something happen,” Sullivan told HousingWire. “It’s for low- to middle-income, working families.”

HUD announced plans for the program in August, after the agency was designated under Dodd-Frank to create an emergency homeowners assistance program with an allocated budget of $1 billion. Funding through the new program is only available in the 32 states and Puerto Rico that were not otherwise funded by the Hardest Hit Fund.

Borrowers must meet with their local NeighborWorks division or state finance agencies with HUD approved standards to receive funding. NeighborWorks is a national nonprofit organization created by Congress to provide financial support, technical assistance and concealing services to homeowners.

HUD hopes to begin accepting applications by the end of the year. HUD announced Tuesday how the $1 billion would be divided by state (chart below, in dollars):

Write to Christine Ricciardi.

What Up With That?, by Lee Adler, Wallstreetexaminer.com

Logo of the Federal Housing Administration.

Image via Wikipedia

So there was this big jump in mortgage purchase applications today. I thought to myself, “Hmmmm, I  wonder how many will make it to closing. And I wonder what triggered the pop.” Pop is relative of course. Yeah, it was a 9% jump from last week, but the level is still 35% below last year in the same week and 62% below the May 2005 peak (I sold my house in Florida in April 05, closed in June, thank you very much Mr. Greenspan).

So I dug a little deeper, held my nose, read the press release straight from the MB Ass. And there it was.

“The increase in purchase activity was led by a 17.2 percent increase in FHA applications, while conventional purchase applications also increased by 3.6 percent,” said Jay Brinkmann, MBA’s Chief Economist. “This is the second straight weekly increase in purchase applications and the highest Purchase Index level since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit program. One possible driver of last week’s big increase in FHA applications was a desire by borrowers to get applications in before new FHA requirements took effect October 4th, which included somewhat higher credit score and down payment requirements.”

The old “BUY NOW before we make it impossible for you” trick.

So much for that pop.

I’ll be updating the chart and commentary in the Professional Edition Housing Report tomorrow. You can stay up to date with regular updates of the US housing market, along with the machinations of the Fed, Treasury, and foreign central banks in the US market in the Fed Report in the Professional Edition, Money Liquidity, and Real Estate Package. Try it risk free for 30 days. Don’t miss another day. Get the research and analysis you need to understand these critical forces. Be prepared. Stay ahead of the herd

Home Purchase Loan Applications Highest Since May, thetruthaboutmortgage.com

It was a good week for home purchase applications as refinance apps fell for a fifth straight week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Overall, mortgage application volume decreased 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending October 1.

The refinance index slipped 2.5 percent from the previous week and the seasonally adjusted purchase index jumped 9.3 percent to the highest level since the week ending May 7.

The unadjusted purchase index was up 9.1 percent compared with the previous week, but still 34.7 percent lower than the same week a year ago.

“The increase in purchase activity was led by a 17.2 percent increase in FHA applications, while conventional purchase applications also increased by 3.6 percent,” said Jay Brinkmann, MBA’s Chief Economist, in a release.

“This is the second straight weekly increase in purchase applications and the highest Purchase Index level since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit program.

Brinkmann noted that FHA loan apps may have jumped as borrowers rushed to get applications in before the new FHA requirements took effect on October 4th, which include higher credit score and down payment requirements.

The increase in purchase activity pushed the refinance share of mortgage activity to 78.9 percent of total applications from 80.7 percent the previous week.

Mortgage Rates Hit New Record Lows

Meanwhile, the popular 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a new record low 4.25 percent, down from 4.38 percent a week earlier.

The 15-year fixed also hit a record low, falling to 3.73 percent from 3.77 percent.

Finally, the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage increased to 7.11 percent from 7.04 percent.

The mortgage rates are good for mortgages at 80 percent loan-to-value – pricing adjustmentscan lower or raise your actual interest rate.

Keep in mind the MBA’s weekly survey covers more than half of all retail, residential loan applications, but does not factor out duplicate or rejected apps, which have surely increased since the mortgage crisis got underway a few years back.