Blog

  • 16 Dec 2015 11:27 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    ·         Check out “IRS Security Awareness Tax Tips” here <https://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Security-Awareness-Tax-Tips> . They’re part of the TAXES. SECURITY. TOGETHER <https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Taxes-Security-Together>  initiative.

    ·         Health Care Law: Tax Considerations for Employers with Fewer than 50 Employees <https://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Employers/Tax-Considerations-for-Employers-with-Fewer-than-50-Employees> .

    ·         If you missed 10 Cybersecurity Mistakes You Cannot Afford to Make - Tips from the Federal Trade Commission, you can access the recording on YouTube here <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLrnI5ZEl9Y&feature=youtu.be> . You can access the slides here <http://mmsrv01b.intellor.com/sba/2015/Start%20with%20security%20presentation%20-%20for%20SBA%2012-8-15.pdf> . The webinar shared information found in Start with Security: A Guide for Business <https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/plain-language/pdf0205-startwithsecurity.pdf> .  

    Check out the IRS Video Portal <http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Small-Business-Video-and-Audio-Presentations

    Sign up for e-News for Small Businesses <http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Subscribe-to-e-News-for-Small-Businesses>   


  • 01 Dec 2015 1:07 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” ­ Unknown

    Pursuing a new career path is something most people do at least a few times in their life. Some people are born with skills that rocket them into a career, but most take a while to decide. Those that don’t want to sit behind a desk all day thrive in environments where they can build with their hands. For these types of people, construction is a fulfilling and exciting career to pursue. Whether you have found your true calling or are still trying to find it, we are here to tell you why

    you should choose a career in the building trades.

    It’s Rewarding...

    Construction is hard work, but is also incredibly rewarding. Building something with your own two hands gives you pride in your accomplishments and a sense of purpose in your work. You may begin at the bottom, but you find that you can quickly work your way up. With a career in the construction field, you will always keep learning and growing in your career.

    ...In More Ways Than One

    Careers in construction are also high­paying. The average salary of a St. Cloud carpenter is $42,152 yearly, and the salary only increases for those with a degree. As with many careers, the more work and dedication you put toward your career in construction, the more it will financially pay off for you.

    Degrees Are Attainable

    There are many career paths available in construction. Those that attend some form of higher  education receive greater employment rates and have a higher potential in the field. St. Cloud Technical and Community College, for example, houses many construction programs that offer  tuition costs as low as $13,861 for the program.

    Job Security

    Job security is a huge perk that comes with working construction. The construction field is constantly growing, and opportunities for advancement are always available.

    Supportive Organizations

    St. Cloud (and other areas of Minnesota) is filled with supportive organizations for the field of construction ­ like the CMBA. Many construction workers become members of a union.

    Working in the construction field is a career path that you can take pride in and feel accomplished. With the rewards that come with the job, attainable degrees, job security, and a variety of support at your disposal, just imagine what your future could look like with a career in the building trades!

  • 19 Nov 2015 4:19 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    ►Upcoming webinars:

    • Local Webinar: Employment Tax e-File

    DateTuesday, December 8, 2015

    Time10:00 a.m. Central

    Highlights of What's Covered:

    • Modernized e-file migration
    • What is a Reporting Agent?
    • Benefits of becoming a Reporting Agent
    • Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization
    • E-Services for Reporting Agents
    • Tips for Reporting Agents
    • Plus live Q & A

    CPE:  Earn One CE Credit – Category: Federal Tax                                                        

    PTIN Holders: In order to get your CE reported to the IRS, ensure that your first name, last name and PTIN match your account. Your PTIN must begin with the letter P followed by 8 numeric characters. If your name and PTIN are incorrectly entered, you may still receive a certificate but your credit will not be reported to the IRS.

             

    Click on the following link to registerhttps://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/1154/11583

    • Local Webinar: IRS Resources at Your Fingertips
    Date:    Thursday December 10, 2015
    Time    10:00 a.m. Central; 9:00 a.m. Mountain
    • Highlights of What's Covered:
    • IRS.gov offers tax professionals, small business owners and individuals a wealth of information and resources, in both English and Spanish, to fulfill your filing season and business tax needs. You will be able to save considerable time and effort by simply visiting IRS.gov before picking up the phone for assistance.
    • CPE: Earn up to two CE Credits – Category: Federal Tax

    The SSA/IRS Reporter is a quarterly, online-only publication for businesses, payroll professionals and others who work with payroll taxes and employment tax issues. The Fall 2015 edition of the SSA/IRS Reporter is now online with information on retirement plans, year-end reminders and more.

    2016 Inflation Adjustment Amounts Released, Rev. Proc. 2015-53: The IRS has released new inflation-adjusted amounts for 2016. These inflation-adjusted figures generally apply to tax years beginning in 2016 or transactions or events occurring in calendar year 2016. Included are the tax rate tables, the beginning income levels for the limitation on certain itemized deductions, and the beginning income levels for the phaseout of personal exemptions and credits.

    IRS Announces 2016 Pension Plan Limitations; 401(k) Contribution Limit Remains Unchanged at $18,000 for 2016.

    ►AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

    Understanding Your Form 1095-B, Health Coverage. Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, is used to report certain information to the IRS and to taxpayers about individuals who are covered by minimum essential coverage and therefore aren't liable for the individual shared responsibility payment. By January 31, 2016, health coverage providers should furnish a copy of Form 1095-B, to you if you are identified as the “responsible individual” on the form. Read the article for more information about the “responsible individual”.

    Understanding Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage: Employers with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, in the previous year use Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, to report the information required about offers of health coverage and enrollment in health coverage for their employees.  Form 1095-C is used to report information about each employee. Individuals who worked for multiple employers that are required to file Form 1095-C may receive a Form 1095-C from each employer.

    Three Tax Considerations during Marketplace Open Enrollment:When you apply for assistance to help pay the premiums for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, the Marketplace will estimate the amount of the premium tax credit that you may be able to claim.  The Marketplace will use information you provide about your family composition, your projected household income, whether those that you are enrolling are eligible for other non-Marketplace coverage, and certain other information to estimate your credit. Read the article for three things you should consider during the Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period.

    ►ACA for Applicable Large Employers

    Publication Helps Health Coverage Providers and Employers Understand ACA Information Return Electronic Filing. Health coverage providers and applicable large employers – and those assisting them in preparation for electronically filing the 2015 health care information returns - need to understand the IRS ACA Information Return electronic filing process. Publication 5165, Guide for Electronically Filing Affordable Care Act Information Returns for Software Developers and Transmitters, outlines the communication procedures, transmission formats, business rules and validation procedures for returns transmitted electronically through the AIR system.

    ►ACA Resources from the IRS and other agencies

    Consumer Guide for Annual Household Income Data Matching Issues: This is a guide to help you understand how the Marketplace uses annual household income to decide whether you qualify for help paying for health coverage through the Marketplace.

    ·        Health Care Tax Tips help you stay informed about ACA topics

    ·        ACA Information Center for Tax Professionals

    ·        Keep up-to-date on the latest ACA news by visiting our What’s Trending page.

    ·        Affordable Care Act Legal Guidance and Other Resources

    ►IDENTITY THEFT

    IRS Tests W-2 Verification Code for Filing Season 2016: For filing season 2016, the Internal Revenue Service will test a capability to verify the authenticity of Form W-2 data. This test is one in a series of steps to combat tax-related identity theft and refund fraud. The objective is to verify Form W-2 data submitted by taxpayers on e-filed individual tax returns. The IRS has partnered with certain Payroll Service Providers (PSPs) to include a 16-digit code and a new Verification Code field on a limited number of Form W-2 copies provided to employees. For the purposes of the test, omitted and incorrect W-2 Verification Codes will not delay the processing of a tax return. The IRS will analyze this pilot data in a “test-and-learn” review to see if it is useful in evaluating the integrity of W-2 information.

    IRS, States, Industry Continue Progress to Protect Taxpayers from Identity Theft:A public-private sector partnership announced success in identifying and testing more than 20 new data elements on tax return submissions that will be shared with the IRS and the states to help detect and prevent identity-theft related filings. Known as the Security Summit, the unprecedented collaborative effort began in March and culminated in the development of several recommendations in June between the IRS, leaders of tax preparation and software firms, payroll and tax financial product processors and state tax administrators.

    In Announcement 2015-22the IRS states that the value of ID theft services is not taxable income if it is received in connection with a possible data breach. Therefore the value of these services is not reportable on either Forms W-2 or Forms 1099.

    ►EMPLOYERS

    General Employment Tax Issues. The IRS reminds business owners how critical it is to understand the various types of employment-related taxes they may be required to deposit and report. This fact sheet provides information on some of the more common employment tax topics posed by business owners, including:

    • ·        Worker Classification
    • ·        Voluntary Classification Settlement Program
    • ·        Fringe Benefits
    • ·        Officer Compensation
    • ·        Backup Withholding and Information Return Penalties

    ►NEWS FROM OTHER AGENCIES

    SBA: Do Year-End Tax Planning Now: It’s that time again for owners to think about taxes. It may not be the most enjoyable endeavor of the year but it’s certainly one that will put money in your pocket. The sooner you get started, the more opportunities you’ll have and the less stressed you’ll be. Here are some basic planning ideas that you can use now to improve your tax picture for the year.

    The U.S. Treasury Department has introduced myRA, a retirement savings account for individuals looking for a simple, safe, and affordable way to save for their retirement. Over thirty percent of all American households have no retirement savings. myRA provides a way to start saving for retirement. Designed for people who don’t have access to a retirement savings plan through their job, myRA offers a favorable choice for those who want to save for retirement. With myRA:

    ·        There’s no cost and no fees to open and maintain an account;

    ·        The investment will not lose money;

    ·        Account owners choose how much to save ($2, $20, $200 – whatever fits their budget);

    ·        If account owners change jobs, the account stays with them; and

    Learn more about myRA at https://myra.gov/  

    ►IN EVERY ISSUE

    See the latest:

    ·        Find the latest IRS news via Social Media options.

    The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) At-A-Glance

    Latest News and Guidance from OPR

    Subscribe to the Office of Professional Responsibility’s newsletter. 

    Find the latest Tax Pro News and Resources.

    The Issue Management Resolution Systemhelps solve issues with policies, practices and procedures. Tax professionals should forward significant issues regarding IRS policies, practices and procedures to their Stakeholder Liaison.

    Outreach Corner. Find it easy to spread the word about key income tax topics! This page offers electronic communication materials to use in reaching out to the people you serve. Get free news you can use each month, targeted by time of year to coincide with what your customers, employees, volunteers, etc. need to know about new tax law legislation, IRS events and other activities that affect them.

    Industries/Professions Tax Centers. Tax Centers contain links to topics such as tax tips, financial resources, trends and statistics, forms, and more.

    Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs)

    Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs) help IRS examiners during audits by providing insight into issues and accounting methods unique to specific industries. While ATGs are designed to provide guidance for IRS employees, they’re also useful to small business owners and tax professionals who prepare returns.


  • 14 Oct 2015 2:46 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    message from the Builders Association of Minnesota

    The Minnesota Court of Appeals issued its ruling on both the sprinkler mandate and energy code in the petition brought by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities and supported by amici Frank Kottschade, NAHB, Minnesota Realtors, and BAM. In the simplest words, the Court announced "We declare the Energy Code valid and the Sprinkler Rule invalid.” The Court goes on to say that “...we hold that the Sprinkler Rule violates substantive due process because it is arbitrary and not the result of a reasoned determination."

    Below is the DLI message sent to Minnesota's Building Officials regarding the Court of Appeals decision.

    • The Minnesota Court of Appeals issued an opinion on Oct. 13, 2015, that the Minnesota Energy Code is valid and continues to be in full force and effect for construction in Minnesota.
    • The court's opinion also stated the adopted Minnesota Residential Code rule that requires the installation of automatic sprinkler systems is invalid for the construction of all new:
      • two-family dwellings; and
      • one-family dwellings over 4,500 square feet.
    • Based on this court decision, municipalities that administer and enforce the Minnesota State Building Code may not enforce Minnesota Rules Part 1309.0313, Section R313.2.
    • View the Court of Appeals decision here
    Scott McLellan
    Director/State Building Official
    Construction Codes and Licensing Division
    • As of October 13, 2015, the sprinkler rule is invalidated and cannot be required in any single-family or two-family (twin home) project.
    • For projects that were permitted prior to the invalidation, counsel recommends that builders seek a permit amendment and a re-stamping of the project’s plans to reflect the invalidation of the sprinkler rule.
    • If a project is underway, counsel also recommends that builders seek a permit amendment and re-stamping of the project’s plans to reflect the invalidation of the sprinkler rule.
    • DLI has a 30-day window to request review of this ruling by the MN Supreme Court. 
  • 12 Oct 2015 9:58 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Hire CMBA ProfessionalsNeed a plumber, carpenter, or roofing specialist? Look no further! ​C​MBA i​s your one-stop shop for everything you need to complete your next home project, remodel, or update. 

    Our member list has recently grown to over 415 certified building specialists.  There are thousands of home improvement businesses out there, so ​w​hy should you hire a CMBA member?​  Here, at CMBA, we provide a wide range of local businesses that are the best in the building industry. These businesses focus on educating themselves as much as they can to stay on top of current events, market trends, and networking with their competitors. Many of our members volunteer in service events to be an active participant in the building industry. Our Members work hard to be the best in the business.  

    Each of our businesses must strictly follow our ​C​ode of Conduct. ​Members use their specialized skills, superior materials and construction practices to offer safe, sanitary, and livable homes. CMBA Members must follow licensing laws, warranty, and building codes to ensure legibility, along with abiding bylaws, rules, and procedures of the Association. These professionals prove to be the best Central Minnesota has to offer – and they are all located in one place to make searching for the perfect handyman that much easier! 

    To ensure that we provide the right person for the job, do your research. It is important for the success of your project that you get referrals from family, friends, and neighbors. Check out our ​m​ember directory ​and interview 3-5 prospects. At the CMBA office, we provide free consultations to help you find your home improvement match. 

    The Central Minnesota Builders Association provides easy access to cater towards a variety of your home improvement needs. We encourage you to call (320-251-4382) with any questions you might have regarding your next home improvement job. Check out our ​w​ebsite for more information! 

  • 16 Sep 2015 1:58 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    CMBA members met with building and planning officials from Sauk Rapids and Sartell to review ordinance language that would require a  Certificate of Survey at time of residential building permit.  Thanks to David Werschay, Werschay Homes; Terry Strus, Westwood Professional Services; and Jack Brandes, Lumber One, Avon for working through the proposed changes, including staking requirements, which are expected to go into effect on January 1, 2016.

    We’re watching as area cities and counties begin to set 2016 fees, including those for development and building.  Stearns County is the first to set its public hearing: Oct. 13.

    Also watch for details in the CMBA’s Weekly Online about the  District 742 (St. Cloud) school levy referendum on November 3.  School district representatives are scheduled to present levy information during the CMBA’s Government Affairs Committee meeting on October 23.  The $167,000,000 referendum includes a new Technical High School; repair and renovation of the existing Apollo High School; construction of secure entries plus safety and security upgrades to various schools and facilities; and software, computer, mobile devices and technology systems throughout the district.  The additional estimated tax impact of first year is $302.34 for a $200,000 estimated market value, residential homestead property; $1,553.67 for a $500,000 commercial / industrial property.

    Take time to complete your BAM policy adoption survey now!  

    This important survey is open to all members and will run through mid-October. The survey is divided into three categories: Local Governments & the Environment, Construction Codes and Licensing, and Legal, Contracts and Business Transactions.  From Appraisals to Water Permitting, the survey is populated with policy items vital to our industry. 

    BAM staff will compile all of our members’ responses and in two meetings this Fall, the BAM Government Affairs (GA) Committee will select and approve BAM’s policy platform based on your survey responses.  BAM looks forward to seeing what our members and GA Committee set as our priorities for the 2016 legislative session!

    The value of a good defense cannot be overstated.  From a state government affairs perspective, the value of stopping a bad bill now is greater than the costs related to repealing a bad law later – both in terms of cost to your business and the expenditure of our industry’s political capital.  The value of a good offense is equally important, according to Forrest Cyr, BAM’s Communications & Government Affairs Associate.  Bringing new ideas to the legislature, instead of always saying no, solidifies our industry’s place at the table. 

    Engaged membership is of the greatest value the Builders Association of Minnesota.  The credibility, insights, and relationships each member of BAM brings to the table are essential to BAM’s ability to execute a strong defense and effective offense.  The act of participating in advocacy may feel like an intangible, however, ideas set in motion often become a tangible law with real impacts – positive or negative – to your business.

    Completing the survey will assist BAM to help you make the most of your passion for the future of the industry.  Details are on the CMBA Blog; www.cmbaonline.org

    Sixth District Congressman Tom Emmer

    Emmer  recently visited the CMBA and met with members concerning federal issues impacting the building industry.  Discussion topics included appraisals, Davis-Bacon requirements, endangered species, immigration and potential employees, lead paint rule, recent National Labor Relations Board – NLRB – rulings.

    Facebook Post with images

    L to R, front: Representative Tama Theis; Gloria Vande Brake, Infinite Mpressions dba Minuteman Press; Sue Lentner, Tri-County Abstract and Title Guaranty; Will Huston, Westwood Professional Services. Back: Remi Stone, BAM; Jane DeAustin, CMBA; Mike Gohman, W. Gohman Construction; Congressman Tom Emmer; Dale Gruber, Dale Gruber Construction; Matt Cecko, Home Check Plus; Jeff Schoenwetter, JMS Homes; Bonnie Moeller, CMBA

    Questions?  Would like more information?  Please contact the CMBA office; we are here to help you!


  • 18 Aug 2015 2:11 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    It’s time to start thinking about classes and training to increase your skills and knowledge.

    St. Cloud Technical and Community College Fall Classes are starting in September! 

    Register Now! SCTCC is offering the following classes:

    Autodesk Inventor 2015 – Basics Refresher

    Starts:  October 19    

    www.sctcc.edu/inventor

    NEC – National Electric Code

    Starts:  September 17 

    www.sctcc.edu/NEC

    (Various classes throughout the year.)

    OSHA 10 Hour – General Industry Safety Training

    Starts:  September 22    

    www.sctcc.edu/osha-10-general

    OSHA 30 Hour – General Industry Safety Training

    Starts:  October 12    

    www.sctcc.edu/osha-30-general


    For a listing of other classes: 

    www.sctcc.edu/trade-industry

    For assistance with registration or training at your site or for customized training please contact me directly.

    Respectfully,

    Cheryl Brown St. Cloud Technical & Community College

    Client Partner – Business & Industry Training Solutions

    1215 15th St. N. | St. Cloud, MN 56303

    Phone: 320.308.5300  Fax: 320.308.5568

    www.sctcc.edu/trade-industry


  • 11 Aug 2015 11:49 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Building a single family home in St. Cloud?  

    The Building Safety Department has a six page checklist of all permits, applicable codes, required submittal documents, minimum plan requirements, and more.

    Building permit checklist St. Cloud.pdf


  • 27 Jul 2015 10:05 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)

    Thanks so much to all for supporting the CMBA 29th annual golf outing!  We had 168 golfers networking and enjoying the day. 

    With your help, we were able to raise revenue for our scholarships and educational programs. 

    These sponsors, donations, participating teams and committee members are very much appreciated!

    Gulfeagle Supply                                  Corporate Gold Tee sponsor

    Company                                              Hole                  Sponsorship

    Rinke Noonan                                       1                        Tee

    BankVista                                             2                        Tee/Green

    AGStar Financial Services                      3                        Tee

    Hardrives, Inc.                                     4                        Tee/Green

    Stearns Electric Association                  5                        Tee

    Tri-County Abstract & Title Guaranty   6                        Tee

    Rengel Printing Company                     7                        Tee/Green

    Caesarstone                                         8                        Green

    Central MN Credit Union                      8                        Tee

    Marvin Windows                                  9                        Tee/Green

    The Builders Group                              10                      Tee

    Trustone Financial                                10                      Green

    Finken Companies                                11                      Tee

    Brandl Motors                                       11                      Green

    Thermo-Tech Windows                        12                      Tee/Green

    Liberty Savings Bank                           13                      Tee/Green

    Simonson Lumber                               14                      Tee/Green

    Great River Federal Credit Union          15                      Tee

    Quarry Title & Closing                         16                      Tee

    Bayer Built Woodworks, Inc.               17                      Tee/Green

    St. Cloud Area Assoc. of Realtors         18                      Tee & Meal Sponsor

    H&S Heating A/C
    Residential & Service LLC                    18                      Green

    Brock White Co.                                   Driving Range sponsor

    Minnwest Bank                                     Fishing Hole sponsor

    Bayer Built Woodworks, Inc.                Beverage Cart sponsor

    Brock White Co.                                   Beverage Cart sponsor

    ProBuild                                               Beverage Cart sponsor

    Times Media                                         Cart/Meal sponsor

    Miller Auto Plaza                                  Cart

    TriComm Security                                Cart

    Thank you to these companies for door prizes.

    Agstar, wine basket

    BankVista, $50 MC

    Xcel Energy, 2 $50 restaurant gift cert.

    Trustone Financial, $25 gift card

    Probuild, Mills Fleet GC $25

    Probuild, Golf Balls

    Miller Auto Plaza, 2 oil changes 

    Brock White, phone charger

    BankVista, $50 MC

    Golf Teams - Sold Out event!

    Acme Tools

    American Door Works

    Bayer Built Woodworks

    BD Exteriors

    Benusa Appliance Sales & Service

    Brenny Custom Cabinets, Inc

    Brock White Co.

    Central Minnesota Credit Union - Team 1

    Central Minnesota Credit Union - Team 2

    Charlies Angel's

    Combatt Team

    Darlington Construction

    Falcon National Bank

    Finken Companies

    Godzilla Brenny Real Estate

    Gopher State Contractors

    Gulfeagle Supply - Team 1

    Gulfeagle Supply - Team 2

    Gulfeagle Supply - Team 3

    Gulfeagle Supply - Team 4

    H&S Heating &  A/C Residential & Service LLC

    Hardrives, Inc.

    Hirshfields Paint

    Home Check Plus, Inc.

    JME Companies

    KDV

    Mark J. Traut Wells

    Mathew Hall Lumber

    Mechanical Energy Systems

    Meemken Custom Homes, Inc

    Menards

    Minnesota Lighting, Fireplace, Flooring Showroom

    ProBuild - Team 1

    ProBuild - Team 2

    ProBuild - Team 3

    Ron's Cabinets - Team 1

    Ron's Cabinets - Team 2

    Thermo-Tech Windows

    TriComm Security

    United Products "A Division of Allied"

    W. Gohman Construction dba Artistic Stone & Concrete

    Westwood Professional Services, Inc.

    Xcel Energy

    Thanks to the committee members who provide an enjoyable golf outing for the CMBA members and their guests.

    Chair Angie Hill, Granite Services

    Kurt Koopmeiners, Acme Tools

    Tammy Reis, American National Bank of MN

    Jamie Kuklok, Corporate Connection, Inc

    Allen Faber, Great River Federal Credit Union

    Jen Peters, Gulfeagle Supply

    Nicholas Delaney, Rinke-Noonan

    Amanda Schreiner, Schreiner Appraisal, LLC

    Steve Squire, Simonson Lumber

    Mary Schneider, Tri-County Abstract and Title Guaranty

    Matt Nikodym, UBS Financial Services, Inc

    Jim Heckendorf, Werschay Homes, Inc




  • 10 Jul 2015 3:35 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)
    Feeling Creepy?  

    Minnesota’s residential code has addressed termites for decades, and its preventative construction methods continue to exist in the newly adopted 2015 Residential Building Code. Our climate and building techniques make termite infestation a low risk in our state. Nevertheless, HUD / FHA recently updated its guidelines regarding disclosures and potential pest tests and treatments. Interestingly, the newly released guidelines were prepared in consultation with the National Pest Management Association, a trade organization representing the pest management industry. 
     
    For builders, the code provisions are nothing new. What is new is that FHA may be securing new disclosures or pest testing / treatment at the time of closing.

    Builders and realtors working with FHA buyers may hear more about this from the lending community unless the home is located in one of the “Termite Treatment Exception Areas”. In Minnesota the exception areas are: Becker, Beltrami, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Grant, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Roseau, Stevens, Traverse, Wadena, and Wilkin Counties. It may be required in any other county. 

    See HUD’s list at: 
    http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=SFH_POLI_TERMITE.pdf
     
    Members interested in the federal regulations regarding termite protection can find them at 24CFR §200.926e(g) and Mortgagee Letter 2001-04. They reference the code's termite requirements found in Minnesota’s adopted IRC section 318.1 “PROTECTION AGAINST SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES’.
     
    HUD’s official statement on the matter is below.
     
    “Do all areas require termite inspections and treatment?
     
    FHA no longer mandates automatic inspections for wood destroying insects or organisms in existing properties (over one year old). However, pest inspections are required if, there is evidence of active infestation, it is mandated by the state or local jurisdiction, it is customary to area, or at the lender’s discretion. 
 
     
    The appraiser must report any evidence of infestation in the “improvements section” of the appraisal report under “foundation” by marking the evidence of infestation box. The box is checked only if there is evidence of infestation which may include the appraiser noting a prior treatment. 
     
    FHA requires a clear pest inspection report on Wood Destroying Insects/Organisms only if there is evidence of active infestation, it is mandated by the state or local jurisdiction, is customary to the area, or at the lender’s discretion.  
     
    “Customary to the area” would be driven by local market practices such as incorporating provisions addressing termite or wood destroying organisms in the standard real estate sales contract in termite prone areas or where the potential of infestation exists, or local requirements such as states requiring the use of their own wood destroying insects/organism form.  
     
    Lender discretion and prudent underwriting is key to properly evaluating the risk associated with a property’s condition including its geographic location. Lenders may refer to the Termite Infestation Probability (TIP) zones and use that information as one of the tools in their determination of whether or not to require a pest inspection.  
     
    A copy of the TIP zones map is on the NPMA website at http://www.npmapestworld.org/techresources/hud.cfm  
     
    Handbook 4150.2 Appendix D
    http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/administration/hudclips/handbooks/hsgh  
     
    ML 01-04, ML 0311  
    http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/administration/hudclips/letters/mortgagee

    Star Tribune Article:  U.S. housing agency wants Minnesota builders to watch for termites
    http://m.startribune.com/business/306331041.html?section=/business
     



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