New Septic System Ruling Delay Vetoed by Governor


The governor vetoed a one year delay in the implementation of the septic tank inspection law. As of July 1 THIS YEAR, all septic tanks, unless exempt, will be required to be inspected and not present an unsanitary condition prior to the county allowing or recording transfer of title.

Alert your sellers and buyers on this new requirement!

If a property closes after June 30, this regulation will be effective.

Any questions may be directed to:
Mr.. Daniel Olson, R.S.
Environmental Specialist Senior
Onsite Wastewater Program
Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034

fax: 515-281-9985

E-mail: daniel.olson@dnr.iowa.gov

Key provisions of the code (IA Code section 455B.172) ---

Certified inspection report must be filed with the county, or in the event weather or other temporary conditions prevent inspection, buyer must bind themselves to conduct an inspection at a practical time and be responsible for any required modifications to the septic system.
Know exempt properties, most of the type of transfers exempt under the property disclosure law are also exempt for the inspection law, including court ordered transfers, foreclosures, bank repossessions, estates, guardianships, conservatorship and trusts, joint tenants or tenants in common, intra-family transfers, between divorcing individuals, and properties intended to be demolished or razed.
If the owner can provide documentation of the tank being properly pumped within three (3) years prior to inspection by a commercial septic tank cleaner licensed by the DNR, as long as it includes the size, condition and its components- it would be exempt from inspection.
If the tank is failing or improperly functioning, it shall be renovated to meet current construction standards. the costs and responsibility shall be paid by either the seller, or within a time frame set by the county or DNR, the buyer.
If, after inspection, the system is found to be properly treating wastewater and not creating an unsanitary condition, the system is not required to meet current construction standards.
An inspection is valid for two (2) years for any ownership transfers during that period. Abstracts for properties with septic tanks shall include documentation of the requirements of this law.

Link to the Iowa Code
http://coolice.legis.state.ia.us/Cool-ICE/default.asp?Category=BillInfo&Service=Billbook&ga=82&menu=text&hbill=SF261 Detailed administrative rules enacted by the DNR -

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First Time Home Buyers

Are you a first time home buyer; if you are you have a limited time to take advantage of the up to $8,000 tax credit. A lot of misunderstandings are out there concerning this program, here are the facts:
1) You need an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of less than $150,000 - how do you know that? If your combined income (spouse and you) is less than $150,000 you qualify it your combined income is over $150,000 call your tax advisor, they will know!

2) Have you and your spouse owner a home in the past 36 months?

3) Do you plan to stay in residence for at least 3 years?

If you answer yes to all the above questions, now is the time to buy!

Why should you buy now other than to take advantage of the up to $8,000 tax credit?
Interest rates are lower than they have been for the last 50 years.
Many homes are on the market - a lot of very good deals out there!
You've heard buy low and sell high - well it's the same for real estate, in many areas inventory is up and prices are down. Many good buys are available, in our area. You may qualify for up to $8,000 in tax credit - that's just icing.

How does the tax credit work - a tax credit is not a tax deduction. This specific tax credit does not reduce income that is subject to tax - that is a tax deduction, it is a dollar for dollar reduction in tax liability. An example of how these differ is an $8,000 tax deduction would result in a $2,240 tax savings for a 28 percent taxpayer. But, an $8,000 tax credit would result in $8,000 in tax savings for the same 28percent taxpayer.
Still have questions, please call me 712-574-5426 and I will walk you through it. Now is not the time to sit on the fence if you qualify for this tax credit, it is scheduled to be gone on December 1, 2009. That means you have to have the property closed by that date.
source Pat Zaby, CRS, CCIM, speaker at 2009 IAR Annual Convention. www.patzaby.com

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105 Peterson Street - New Listing in Alta Iowa

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Check out this beautiful large home in Alta, construction is nearly complete on this 4 bedroom 2 and a half bath home. If you are a first time home buyer call me to see if you can take advantage of the new Tax Credit, this home also has a tax abatement for 2 years, high efficiency furnace and energy star appliances. The master suite is on the main level as is the laundry, the additional 3 bedrooms are on the second floor. A new deck is located just off the large living room and is very handy for entertaining. The home has a warm open and feeling and it is wonderfully designed for either a family or a single who entertains.
Call me Georgia Weaver at 712-574-5426 to see this home or email me at Georgia@SLRealtyCheck.com

Selling Your Home? See the Top 5 Wants Consumers Have in Kitchens

The kitchen is the heart of the home and many people are looking for open spaces that can be used for entertaining and cooking. How does your home compare with the top 5 items consumers want?

#1 Walk-in Pantry - 86%

#2 Kitchen Island - 80%

#3 Built-in Microwave - 72%
#4 Drinking Water Filtration - 69%

#5 Special Use Storage (custom-made for appliances) - 66%

If you are thinking of remodeling your kitchen keep these items in mind, especially #'s 1-3 for the Alta and Storm Lake Iowa area. I am working with a couple of new construction homes and we are working hard to get most consumers wants incorporated into the plans. We also look at a color scheme that evokes warmth and homey feelings. The kitchen and the bathrooms are the most expensive areas of your home to remodel so it pays to get it right the first time. If you are not buying or building new and would like some ideas give me a call, I do remodel properties and assist in staging homes prior to putting them on the market.

The keys to a desirable kitchen are ease of use, good quality cabinetry, flooring, appliances, counter tops, adequate storage, and a presentation of the space that allows the buyer to "see" themselves in the space cooking and entertaining.

Selling Your Home? See the Top 5 Wants Consumers Have in a Bathroom

Top 5 Bathroom Features Consumers Want Today

#1 - Linen Closet - 89%

#2 - Exhaust Fan - 88%

#3 and #4 - Separate Shower Enclosure and Water Temperature Control - 79%

#5 Wirlpool Tub - 66%

How does your house stack up; if you have any questions or are thinking about adding some of these items call me to see if it will halp you sell and what percentage you can expect to recoup from the project. Georgia Weaver 712-574-5426.

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