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ON THE LEVEL Inc.

Nationwide Experts in Manufactured Housing

By John DL Arendsen | Broker in Encinitas, CA
  • What Impact Will Trulia & AR Have For Members of Both Platforms?

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in San Diego County  |  September 9, 2014 6:36 AM  |  29 views  |  1 comment

    What Impact Will

    Trulia & AR

    Have For Members of Both Platforms?

     

    Having been a contributing member on both Trulia and Active Rain for several years and having been fortunate to rank reasonably well with both platforms I am beginning to get somewhat confused about the CROSSOVER or maybe a better word would be the BLENDING  of the two sites/companies and what the impact and significance of contributing to both is.

     

    I love the blogging  experience, education, corporate staff engagement and involvement and the social networking and online friends that I've garnered from Active Rain over the years. There's no doubt that AR is a very solid platform and has a very large following of extremely talented members and staff.

     

    Trulia has been excellent for my Nationwide SEO and website presence. Or Google Juice as I've often heard it referred to with the Q/A platform they offer. However, lately it has been very frustrating to participate on because they discontinued their NOTIFICATIONS and it's become very difficult and time consuming to stay on top of any questions you ask or any discussions you wish to continue participating in.

     

    Active Rain's Q/A on the other hand pales by comparison to Trulia's when it's running the way it used to. If Active Rain offered points like Trulia does I'd be very active on that platform and would be tempted to abandon Trulia's. 

     

    The fact of the matter is that I've made a lot of online friends and garnered a tremendous amount knowledge and information about blogging but in 7 years I have never recieved one lead.

     

    On the other hand because of Trulia's Q/A platform I've received over 140 leads, many of which have converted to some form of business, yet I've never had the same level of leadership from the staff as I've realized from AR nor have I developed nearly as many online friends and contacts albeit those I have gotten to know have become very good online friends. 

     

    So I guess this has been the long way around a straight line but what do you think the advantage of trying to keep up with both platforms will be in the short and long term?

     

    This post will appear on both Active Rain and Trulia so Answers from both would be greatly appreciated

     

  • HAPPY LABOR DAY TRULIA LEST FORGET WHY OUR FLAG STILL WAVES

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in San Diego County, Agent2Agent in San Diego County  |  September 1, 2014 7:25 AM  |  50 views  |  4 comments
                                                              HAPPY LABOR DAY

     TRULIA

     

    LEST WE FORGET WHY

     

    OUR FLAG STILL WAVES

     

     

    Please take a few moments out of this

    special day to listen to this story, reflect

     and appreciate

     

     

     

    Perhaps this will give us some understanding of

    what it means to be an AMERICAN and the BLOOD so

    many of our forefathers sacraficed in order for us to

    enjoy these special days we hold so dear.  

  • The Value of A Thumbs Up On Trulia.

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Leucadia  |  August 14, 2014 6:53 AM  |  76 views  |  12 comments
    The Value of A Thumbs Up On Trulia.

    I've been ignoring the Trulia Q/A platform for the past few months until recently. One of my biggies dissapointments and the main reason I became so active with Trula and the main reason I climbed to Level 3 VIP status so quickly was because of the Q/A platform.

    In my niche of Manufactrured Housing there just aren't too many other members that really know that much about the Factory Built Housing Industry and when they do comment they often times don't offer up valid or accurate information or they just bad mouth the industry. 

    So having been in this industry for the past 3 decades I thought I try and fill the void and it has worked fantastically. My knowledge of the Factory built Housing Industry has garnered me Nationwide recognition as an expert by thousands of homeowners, buyers, and myriad industry stakeholders and I've generatee ove 140 pretty qualified leads many of which have been converted.

    All of this was just by offering qualified information and knowlede about a particular niche I know and understand so well and one that is changing everyday.

    But here in lies the problem

    Now that notifictions have been taken off the table I'm no longer getting notices from the Q/A platform any longer. This require's me to go back to each and everey questions regulary to see if anyone has commented or asked a quesiton.

    This obviously can be a very arduous and time consuming effort which I don't always have the time for. But if I don't do that then I'm going to make someone very unhappy with me for ignoring them.

    Noting worse than someone reaching out to you and you not reacing back.

    So I've startd leaving a THUMBS UP  on every answer or comment I recieve thinking that it will make commenters revisit the comment to find out what it was they said to earn them a THUMBS UP

    Well, it seems to be working. I've recently noticed an increase in my Trulia Q/A activity and folks are indeed revisiting my questions to see what it was they said that earned them the THUMBS UP.

    Now the only really challenge is how to get non members back when they've left because you never answered their question or comment and they left the page thinking they were being ignored.

    BTW, can anyone tell me how to make the Thumb go up? I can't find a rotation prompt. LOL!


    Call On Us Anytime To BE Your

     

    Go To Guys

     

    For Information & Knowledge about

     

    MANUFACTURED  HOMES

     

     ON THE LEVEL GENERAL CONTRACTORS INC.

     

     800 909-1110

    JOHN ARENDSEN 760 815-6977

    onthelevel@cox.net

     

     Scott Arendsen 760 415-1923

    scottarendsen@mac.com 

     

     

     

     JANIS ARENDSEN 760 415-1982

     

                                                            janlinden@mac.com




  • Manufactured Home Foundation Retrofit Procedures

    Manufactured Home Foundation Retrofit Procedures

    We represent a variety of manufacturers and proprietary systems , so the homeowner and borrower has the option of selecting the best system for the soils condition, the wind, seismic or frost zone of the home. All systems are state-approved but only an engineer can determine in a site-specific determination if the home meets HUD guidelines. There are NO blanket FHA-approvals!

    Generally, the process is as follows:

    1. Inspection:
      The home site and understructure are evaluated to determine the most cost effective system for the home and the environmental conditions. Since the retrofit permanent foundation system is designed to work in conjunction with the existing pier and pad system, the structural integrity of the current components is also of overriding concern.
       
    2. Formal Bid:
      If the foundation does not meet state of HUD guidelines, we will provide you with a bid.   Bids outline all expected costs including permits, system installation,  recordation of applicable documents, cost of Engineer's Certificate, etc.
    3. Sign Contract:
      Once a contract has been signed and we are assured the underwriter has all the required information, we are happy to schedule an installation.
    4. Job completion:
      Most installations can be completed in 1 working day. Some individual cases may take slightly longer depending on the scope of the job. This will be stipulated up-front and will entail no hidden costs.
    5. Billing:
      We can be paid out of Escrow! Once the document has been recorded we will fax, or send the recorded document and a copy of our invoice to the billing party.


    Call On Us Anytime To BE Your

     

    Go To Guys

     

    For Information & Knowledge about

     

    MANUFACTURED  HOMES

     

     ON THE LEVEL GENERAL CONTRACTORS INC.

     

     800 909-1110

    JOHN ARENDSEN 760 815-6977

    onthelevel@cox.net

     

     Scott Arendsen 760 415-1923

    scottarendsen@mac.com 

     

     

     

     JANIS ARENDSEN 760 415-1982

     

     janlinden@mac.com


  • Preventing Drainage Issues From Damaging Your Home Part 5

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Diego County, Home Selling in San Diego County, Remodel & Renovate in San Diego County  |  August 8, 2014 10:05 AM  |  126 views  |  No comments

    Preventing Drainage Issues From

    Damaging Your Home


    Part 5


    If you missed Parts 1-4 it would be in your

    best interest to read them. Here are the links

    Don't Let A Drainage Issue Dampen Your Deal Part 1

    Drainage Issues Can Dampen Your Deal Part 2

    Here's A Great Way To Dampen Your Deal Part 3
    The Roof Over Your Head Can Dampen Your Deal Part 4


    MH PROCESSING LLC

     

    In Parts 1-4 we discussed how "Drainage Issues "Can DAMPEN A DEAL". 

     

    If you've been following this series hopefully you have a much better understanding about how these various scenarios can kill your deal.

     

    Thus it should be much easier for Real Estate Professionals, Lenders, Home Inspectors and most importantly Homeowners, Buyers and Sellers to understand the importance of how to mitigate and prevent these situations from ever occurring.

     

    MOISTURE PENETRATION INTO THE HOME FROM THE CRAWL SPACE

    The graphic above illustrates what is called the:

    • "Flow path" of water intrusion from the various
    • "Flood Plains" aka "Standing Water" or "Ponding" 
    • that collects "Runoff" from around
    • the "Perimeter" of the home
    • or from "Water Intrusion" from
    • the "rain gutters"
    • or from the "Roof"
    • and the "percolation" aka "seepage" that surfaces from beneath the home
    • caused by "hydro static pressure" which is water that is forced up from the Earth once it becomes saturated and can no longer absorb additional water
    • and into a "flood plain" aka "standing water" or "ponding".

     

    MOISTURE WORKS WAY UP FROM FLOOR THOROUGH INTERIOR

    The blue upward pointing arrows in the graphic above shows the continued flow path of moisture that "wicks and seeps" its way up through the ground through various structural building components i.e

    • skirting,
    • rim joists,
    • flooring,
    • wall studs
    • and finally into the interior cavity of the home where it can create a very unhealthy and unpleasant environment for its inhabitants.

    This situation if neglected can result in a build up of chronic and inherent moisture which not only produces a very unhealthy environment leading to potentially serious structural issues for the home but can result in major health and safety issues as well due to air born spores from serious and pervasive mold and mildew build up. 

     

     

     DRAINAGE ISSUES IMPACT THE ENTIRE STRUCTURE

    The graphic above illustrates a much clearer picture of the various structural components that are often impacted by moisture related issues. These problems, and MAKE NO MISTAKE they are PROBLEMS begin with a chronic and pervasive INHERENT DRAINAGE ISSUE or even a SLOW PLUMBING OR SEWAGE LEAK that has gone unattended or unnoticed for an extended period of time.

    NOTE: Most insurance companies will not cover a mold, drainage or plumbing issue if they deem it a long term or chronic issue.

    Having worked with insurance companies for over 30 years I can tell you first hand that you had better be able to convince an insurance adjuster that the problem was acute. These are usually defined as problems caused by

    • a broken pipe
    • sewer line
    • or O ring below the commode.

    Other than what can be proven to be an "ACUTE BREAK" it will be very difficult for any insurance company to recognize a drainage or long term leak as a "POLICY COMPLIANT"claim.

    Evidence such as

    • mold
    • mildew
    • deteriorating and/or decomposing structural materials i.e.
    • flooring
    • siding
    • paneling
    • drywall
    • rim joist
    • sill plates
    • wall studs
    • insulation,
    • carpeting, etc

    are pretty convincing tell tales that the damages were long term.

     

    TYPICAL PERIMETER FRENCH DRAIN INSTALLATION

     

    Now that you have all the gory details about how this cannot only be a deal breaker for a homeowner, buyer, RE Professional and possibly even a home inspector let me share the good news.

    All is not a loss

    By installing a properly designed and engineered "FRENCH DRAIN SYSTEM" around the perimeter of your home (above graphic) to catch and divert runoff and percolation (hydro-static pressure)you can mitigate if not totally avoid the costly nightmare described above and in parts Parts 1-4 of this series.

    A successful FRENCH DRAIN integrated with a well designed "SURFACE DRAIN" (graphic below) will not allow much if any water to seep in around, under or into the home.

    Both the surface and French drain will catch, divert and redirect the water to either a natural gravity flow path to the street gutter which then directs the water to a storm drain system and not allow it to re enter your property. 

    In the event the fall line (flow path) does not enable the water to gravity flow naturally to the street gutter it may then become necessary to install a sump well (catch basin) and sump pump system which will require a dedicated 110v water proof electrical receptacle with a GFI. The sump pump will then pump the water to the street gutter or in some cases directly to a storm drain system.

     

    COMBINATION FRENCH AND INTERFACING SURFACE DRAIN WITH CATCH BASINS l

    The green lateral extensions projecting outward around the perimeter (above graphic) are drain lines that connect to catch basins (black circles conencting to green drain lines) that were designed and engineered by a Civil Engineer for this specific property.

    These catch basins are placed in flood plains on the property and are designed to catch and divert the collected water to the main French Drain line which will then direct the water to the sump system and/or finally to the storm drain system.

    TYPICAL CROSS SECTION OF A PROPERLY INSTALLED FRENCH DRAIN

     

    The graphic above is a typical CROSS SECTION for a FRENCH DRAIN SYSTEM. It thoroughly depicts detail by detail how a French Drain should be designed and installed. Please feel free to refer to these graphics.

    However, we do not encourage you to attempt to install a sophisticated drain system such as this unless you are an qualified, experienced and hopefully licensed, bonded and insured contractor with years of drainage experience and working with Civil Engineers and installing these types of drain systems.

     

    Some of my biggest ATTORNEY CLIENTS have kept me busy for the past twenty plus years as an EXPERT WITNESS dealing with multi-million dollar class action lawsuits on drainage related cases.

     

    If you're not an expert don't try to become one overnight. This is serious business and it could end up costing you a lot more than you ever bargained for.

     

    We hope you have found this information useful. But more importantly we hope you will take the time to refer to it and follow the guidelines we've offered on this fourum. It could not just save you the loss of a deal. It could save you an agonizing and very costly lawsuit.

     

     

    Call On Us Anytime To BE Your Go To Guys For

     

    Information & Knowledge About

     

    MANUFACTURED  HOMES

     

     

    ON THE LEVEL GENERAL CONTRACTORS INC.

     

      

    TOLL FREE: 800 909-1110

    CELL: JOHN ARENDSEN 760 815-6977

    CELL:JANIS ARENDSEN 760 415-1982

    CELL: Scott (Bubba) Arendsen 760 415-1923

    Email: 

    janis@mh-processing.com 

    John Arendsen at onthelevel@cox.net  

    scottarendsen@mac.com

  • The Roof Over Your Head Can Dampen Your Deal Part 4

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Diego County, Home Selling in San Diego County, Remodel & Renovate in San Diego County  |  August 8, 2014 5:53 AM  |  128 views  |  No comments

    The Roof Over Your Head Can Dampen Your Deal Part 4

    In the previous 3 Parts of this series we discussed how drainage issues can kill a real estate transaction and how the related damages, costs, time, inconvenience and frustration can burden a homeowner, buyer, seller, Real Estate Professional, Lender and Home Inspector.

     

    These issues if not disclosed and addressed from the onset of a real estate transaction can and often do end up in a very costly and time consuming lawsuit that in the end can cost everyone except the attorneys and their team of expert witnesses a lot of time money and energy.

     

    In this, Part 4, we will address the costly issues resutling from the lack of something as easy as a little PRO ACTIVE DEFERRED MAINTENANCE on one of the most important items of your home; THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD.

     

     

    LARGE TREES OVERHANGING ROOFTOPS

     

    There are several large trees on this lot with large threatening branches overhanging and very close to the roof. This situation caused a tremendous amount of damage to various roof, fascia, siding and trim components on this home as is evidenced in these photos.

     

    To add further pain one of the branches from the tree above actually broke and fell onto the roof breaking some of the roof trusses which are the structural framing members forming the gable or the ridge where the two sides meet. This caused extensive and very costly damage resulting in thousands of dollars in repair.

     

    Unfortunately insurance companies do not cover damages caused by long term ware and tear or neglect so it falls on the homeowner or worse yet a new owner.We all know where this will end up and it can get real ugly. 

     

     

     

    EXCESSIVE LEAVES AND DEBRIS ACCUMULATION ON ROOF TOPS


    These leaves, branches and debris fall almost 24/7 thereby building up and collecting in cracks, on top of the roof and awnings, on and around the window and door trim. Additionally, the fall ends up clogging the rain gutters which causes the runoff to overflow down the siding and around and under the structure thereby causing and exacerbating drainage issues.

     

    FUNGUS ACCUMULATION FROM OVERHANGNING TREES AND MOISTURE


    Once damp, a result of rain, dew and trapped moisture, it begins to develop a sludgy and sticky like pudding fungus in the openings of the roof material be it shingles as in the photo above, wood shake or tile. 

     

    This is an open invitation for mold and mildew as well as a way for the dampness to permeate into the cavity (attic) between the roof and the ceiling resulting in extensive exterior and interior damage.

     

     

      

     

    DAMAGE TO FACIA CAUSED FROM TREE BRANCHES AND WIND


    In the photo above a tree had to be removed because of ongoing wind whipping of branches on the roof and siding of the home. The damage to the fascia although it appears only cosmetic allowed water to eventually seep into the interior causing damage to the wall studs, insulation and interior siding. 

     

    What looks like and should have been a very minor damage and repair project actually turned out to be a very costly one in the end as this neglected issue was exacerbated by extensive damage to the exterior wall cavity and the interior paneling and unhealthy mold related issues.

     

     

     

    DAMAGE TO HOME CAUSED BY TREE BRANCHES

     

    The photo above shows a prime example of the direct damage that the overhanging tree branches combined with the wind whipping of large branches slapping against the various parts of the structure, fall of branches, leaves and debris turning into a grimy residue and running down, over, behind and around the fascia and misc. trim thereby leading to premature deterioration and decomposition of many structural and cosmetic components of the home.

     

     

      FAULTY ROOF REPAIR AND SEALING CAN LEAD TO INTERIOR DAMAGE 

     

     The photo above shows what can happen as a result of wind driven rain peeling back the leading edge of roof shingles. As you can see there is also evidence of attempts to mitigate potential damage with a futile attempt at caulking and sealing. But eventually Mother Nature had her way.

     

     

     

      CRACKED CAULKING CAN ALLOW WATER TO PENETRATE INTO ROOF CAVITY AND SEEP INTO CEILING MEMBERS      CEILING DAMAGE CAUSED BY LEAKY ROOF

     

    The small little cracks around the skylight in the top photo albeit looks relatively harmless ended up causing the mess you see in the photo below.

    This was just the damage on this side of the wall. The damage on the other side directly below the skylight was even more extensive. That photo could not be shown as it is evidence in a pending non disclosure case I've been retained on.
     

     

     

     

     

      IMPROPER INSTALLATION OF ROOF VENT CAN ALLOW WATER TO PENETRATE ROOF VELT AND SHEATHING     CHRONIC LEAKS IN ROOF LEAD TO INTERIOR DAMAGE


    The upper photo shows a vent with the edge bent up and that has pulled away from the gray mastic (sealing material) as seen on top of the roof shingles. Once again what appears to be rather insignificant to the average lay person ended up costing thousands of dollars in repairs. 

     

    The lower photo is actually about 5 feet from the open vent. However with very costly destructive inspection (removing roof, insulation, ceiling and wall material for further forensic study and evaluation) it was clearly evident that the ceiling and interior damage was directly related to the vent issue.

     

    The damage in this series of photos could have been prevented very easily with simple proactive mitigation and preventative maintenance.

     

    Instead years of neglect and just plain ignorance of proper construction protocol allowed what you see in these photos combined with inherent drainage issues to manifest into a total loss for dozens of homeowners.

     

    This resulted in a major lawsuit and an award of several millions of dollars in direct repair and replacement costs as well as a sizable award for punitive damages.

     

    Don't let this happen to you. A thorough home inspection can and usually does save all the stakeholders a lot of time, money, pain and aggrivation.

     

     

    ON THE LEVEL GENERAL CONTRACTORS INC

     

     

    Call On Us Anytime To BE Your Go To Guys For

     

    Information & Knowledge About

     

    MANUFACTURED  HOMES

     

     

      

    TOLL FREE: 800 909-1110

    CELL: JOHN ARENDSEN 760 815-6977

    CELL:JANIS ARENDSEN 760 415-1982

    CELL: Scott (Bubba) Arendsen 760 415-1923

    Email: 

    janis@mh-processing.com 

    John Arendsen at onthelevel@cox.net  

    scottarendsen@mac.com

  • Here's A Great Way To Dampen Your Deal Part 3

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Diego County, Home Selling in San Diego County, Remodel & Renovate in San Diego County  |  August 8, 2014 5:26 AM  |  131 views  |  No comments

    Here's A Great Way To Dampen Your Deal Part 3

    In Parts 1 & 2 we addressed the inherent drain issues that occur when inadequate or a lack of proper drainage is not provided under and around a structure be it a Manufactured or Site Built Home.

    In Part 3 we are going to address roof related drainage issues  i.e. the causes, effects and how to prevent and/or mitigate them once they have occurred.

     

    LACK OF RAIN GUTTERS



    One of the biggest contributors to drainage issues around and under a home actually starts on the roof. A roof without rain gutters is a drainage fiasco waiting to happen.Always install rain gutters and keep them free and clear of clogging.

     

    OVERHANGING TREES



    The photo above
     shows the enormity of the trees that overhang thousands of homes  everywhere in the World. Albeit trees do provide a beautiful landscape and shade they can also be our worst nightmare if not properly maintained. T
    he branches as you can clearly see extend from ½ to ¾ over the rooftop in each direction of the home. In many instances they lay right on the roof.  

     

    ACCUMULATION OF TREE LEAVES AND FALL WILL CLOG RAIN GUTTERS


    The photo above 
    is another pervasive, invasive and chronic problem for literally millions of homes be they Manufactured or Site Built. Year around fall of leaves and branches 
    or wind blown leaves that fall onto the roof from these overhanging tree branches and into the rain gutters, on the awnings and carports and over the window and door trim will clog the rain gutters and allow the runoff to run down the side of and under the home creating and exacerbating inherent drainage issues all the more.

     

    BROKEN OR MISSING ROOF FLASHING CAN ALSO CAUSE RUNOFF


    Another common problem resulting in major drainage issues around and under a structure is damaged or missing flashing connecting appurtenances such as awnings, patio covers, carports, etc. to the home. If neglected this can lead to a chronic drainage issue. It is wise to periodically inspect your flashing; especially after a major storm, wind or seismic event just to make sure you do not have any damaged or missing flashing.

    Home inspectors need to check flashing as well. I've been retained as an expert witness many times on issues like this and have yet to see the defendants be they RE professionals or Home Inspectors fare well in court to a homeowner sympathetic judge and jury.

     

    Now that you have a better understanding of the effects of inadequate, improper or a lack of drainage can cause to a home we will discuss in our next post how the acute and chronic effects of roof damage and neglect can be as big of an enemy as a drainage issue. Look for that post tomorrow.

     

    ON THE LEVEL GENERAL CONTRACTORS INC.

     

    Call On Us Anytime To BE Your Go To Guys For

     

    Information & Knowledge About

     

    MANUFACTURED  HOMES

     

     

      

    TOLL FREE: 800 909-1110

    CELL: JOHN ARENDSEN 760 815-6977

    CELL:JANIS ARENDSEN 760 415-1982

    CELL: Scott (Bubba) Arendsen 760 415-1923

    Email: 

    janis@mh-processing.com 

    John Arendsen at onthelevel@cox.net  

    scottarendsen@mac.com

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