Coldwell Banker Burnet, Edina Regional Office
7550 France Ave. S.
Edina, MN

Rose Hart is licensed in MN

Carbon Monoxide Clarification
Thanks to Vicki Carey, LEED AP, City of Minneapolis, for providing this clarification on last month's Metro Minute on CO.
"Only incomplete combustion releases CO. Normal combustion is CH4 + O2 and releases CO2 and H2O.

"It’s water vapor you see coming out of chimneys; if a chimney back-drafts the CO2 into the appliance area and the CO2 is re-burned it releases CO, or if is the area is short on O2 then you get CO instead of CO2, or there’s 'impingement’, which is combustion colliding with cold metal. There are a few other ways it can happen, but CO is not a normal part of combustion."

Regarding car starting in an enclosed garage she added:
"If you plug the car heater in- even though you are in a garage- you can minimize impingement and CO production. I would use a timer for the heater. Set it for a couple of hours before you plan to start the car."

Here’s a good link regarding wood burning:

The City of Minneapolis web site has a Green Building page, outlining the different methods and programs available. Construction Code Services has procedures for reviewing alternative building methods not found in the building code, and the page has numerous links to relevant programs. Click for the link to the Minneapolis Green Building site

Rose Hart's OutSide

unlockHomeOwnershipHomebuyer Credit, Explained
Unlocking Home Ownership In 2008 the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 included a tax credit; essentially a $7,500 interest free loan, that had to be repaid over a 15 year period. In early 2009, this was amended in two ways; the amount of the credit was increased to $8000, and the credit did not need to be repaid, unless the home ceased to be the homebuyers principal residence 36 months after its purchase.

In November 2009, the Act was again renewed and amended. The income threshold was increased, first time home buyers can still get a credit of up to $8,000 and long-term homeowners are also allowed a credit of up to $6,500 to purchase a new home. Below are scenarios that help to explain how the Homebuyer Credits works:

Scenario One:
Al and Lisa Chalmers are engaged to be married. Al has never owned a home and they want to take advantage of the Homebuyer Tax Credit. Because Lisa bought a condo four years ago she doesn't qualify. After qualifying for a FHA loan at 3.5 percent down, they purchase a new $200,000, jointly owned home that will close before June 10, 2010, and before they are married. Al claims the $8000 credit on either an amended 2009 or his 2010 tax return using Form 5405. Al doesn't owe any income taxes for 2009, so he will receive a check from the government for $8,000.00 in addition to his 1040 refund.

Scenario Two:
Toni is a single woman downsizing from a family-size home to a $62,000 condo. She has lived in the home for five of the previous eight years. Because the condo she is buying is below the full-credit limit of $6,500, she'll receive a tax refund of 10 percent of the condo purchase price, $6,200.

Scenario Three:
Rich and Veronica are married, live in an RV, file separate tax returns and each earn $140,000.00. On May 2, 2010 they sign a Purchase Agreement with her brother for a $700,000 summer home that is set to close July 2, 2010. In this case they are disqualified from the credit on nearly every level; summer and vacation homes are disqualified, their joint incomes are too high, purchases may not be made from relatives, and they will miss both deadlines.

Homebuyers who purchased a home in 2008, 2009 or 2010 may be able to take advantage of the first-time homebuyer credit. The credit:

• Applies only to homes used as a taxpayer's principal residence.
•Reduces a taxpayer's tax bill or increases his or her refund, dollar for dollar.
• Is fully refundable, meaning the credit will be paid out to eligible taxpayers, even if they owe no tax or the credit is more than the tax owed.

To see how you can take advantage of the Homebuyer Credit and to clarify how it can work for you, contact Rose Hart at 612-250-0119.

Capital Gains
If it's your primary residence that you are selling and unless the gain is over $250,000 single person, or $500,000 joint, there aren't any capital gains.

Sources used for this article:,,id=204671,00.html

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Copyright, Rose Hart, 2009