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3 Reasons You Need to Get a Permit

by Mary Gilbert

It all started with a shelf.

You just bought your home and, though it needed a little surface work, you were pretty proud of it. It was yours, to do with as you wanted. So the first thing you did was run out and bought some lumber to construct a custom, built-in shelf system in your living room.

Oh, man, that was a breeze, you thought to yourself as you sat watching television and admiring the shelving. That was when you realized how much your house would benefit from knocking the wall out between the kitchen and the living room. After all, if Vanilla Ice can do it, surely you can.

If you had to look back and pick the moment when everything went south for you, that would be it. Thanks, Vanilla Ice. Thank you.

Instead of getting a permit for this major structural modification to your home, you just started smashing. After all, they don’t get permits for this stuff on television, so why bother with it?

Now you know why. Oh, now you know.

Many DIY Jobs Require a Permit

Whether you’re a trained carpenter or a DIYer that binges HGTV, there are certain kinds of home remodeling that will always require a permit. This ensures that someone is looking over your shoulder to make sure that you’re doing the work correctly.

Advanced jobs in plumbing, electrical, HVAC and other specialty fields always require a permit to ensure that the home is and will remain safe for the occupants. Other jobs, like those that involve making structural changes, may or may not need a permit. That’s usually at the discretion of the permitting body.

You’ll want to speak to your municipal planning and zoning department to determine whether or not your job needs to be permitted. Typically, getting a permit requires that you describe the work you plan to do and pay a small fee that covers, in part, the cost of having expert inspectors ensure that your worksite is safe and your repairs are done correctly.

This is Why You Need a Permit

It can be a pain to go down to P&Z (or planning and development in some areas), but it’s really worth the effort in the long run. Despite the amount of documentation these can require, depending on the complexity of your project, you’ll find that going through the process properly will force you to really think about each step in your process.

Of course, that’s just one reason to get a permit, there are plenty more, like:

1. Avoiding serious legal ramifications. In any municipality that requires permits, there’s some kind of severe punishment for not getting one.

For example, in Dallas, Texas, the ordinance reads like this: “Punishment. Any person who knowingly violates a provision of this chapter or the codes is guilty of a separate offense for each day or portion of a day during which the violation is committed, continued, or permitted, and each offense is punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000. (Ord. 26029; 26286).”

Or, if you’re in St. Paul, Minnesota, you can be charged with a misdemeanor — along with a stiff fine — for any work exceeding $500 that hasn’t been permitted first. Do you really want a criminal record because you wanted to install a bay window where two tiny windows used to be?

2. Being confident the work you’ve done is done right. Unless you have an expertise in construction, you probably have a lot of gaps in your knowledge base, including how to tell if a wall is a load-bearing (aka. structural) wall. This sort of mistake is more common than you might imagine and can be devastating to a home.

For example, when you pulled that wall down in the opening scenario, you didn’t know it was a structural wall. Now, months later, you’ve been noticing an increasingly deep sag where the wall used to be and the floor tiles are cracking here and there. The reason? Your house is under a lot more stress now because you took out a wall it needed and didn’t replace it with something to help carry the weight.

Had you sought a building permit, a housing inspector would have come by to check your work and advised you to put a 10-inch header up to make the project work without compromising the house’s structure. Inspectors aren’t always there to bust your chops, they can actually help.

In addition, when you go to sell your home, you will now have to disclose that you did this work without a permit and that it has caused some pretty serious problems. It’s a complete no-win and it’s going to be costly to have an expert come in and fix what your demo saw or sledge destroyed for peanuts..

3. Ensuring that all work is safe and up to code. If home pros shared some of the most terrifying things they’ve ever seen in homes, you would understand in an instant why permits keep you and your neighbors safe. These are the times when you can’t do much besides shake your head and laugh, because human ingenuity plus human sloth makes some really crazy work arounds.

Had these creative types of work been inspected, of course they wouldn’t have passed. Today’s building inspector and the permit office attached can prevent tomorrow’s house fire, ceiling collapse, or rapid structural degradation.

Not Sure If You Need a Permit…?

If you don’t know if you need a permit, call the authorities that issue building permits for your area. This is typically Planning and Zoning or Planning and Development within your city or county’s offices. They can explain what’s permitted and what isn’t, or at very least, send you some literature.

When the permit process seems impossible, the actual work you have planned may be more than you really are ready to handle. This is a great time to reach out to your HomeKeepr community for help. Recommended pros like general contractors, electricians and HVAC experts are ready to take up the torch, including getting that permit you need.

You don’t need more stress in your life. Relax while trusted pros make your house into a home.

Contact the experts on The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs! 541.371.5500 or sold@marygilbert.com. 

By: Homekeepr

542 Blossom Creek Road: Rustic Cabin on 42+ Private Acres!

by Mary Gilbert

Roseburg OR Real Estate For Sale
542 Blossom Creek Road, Winston, OR  97496

Nestled among the trees on 42+ private acres sits a rustic cabin just waiting for your ideas and personal touches! Septic, power and unpermitted water source, plus 3 springs on the property that can be developed for improved usage. Excellent sun exposure with room for gardening, plus a barn. There is also plenty of room for farming and animals. Inside you will find 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, vaulted ceilings, wood floors, a wood stove and an open kitchen/living space. Trees near the cabin provide plenty of shade so you can enjoy relaxing on the decks. Bring your cash or private financing to purchase!

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

Finding and Fixing Leaks in Your Home

by Mary Gilbert

Anything in your home that’s attached to the water supply runs the risk of springing a leak. That also includes anything that drains water away. With so much riding on your pipes and appliances holding all their water inside, you’d think it would be easier to locate something leaking in your home. As it turns out, it can be kinda tricky. So, grab a flashlight and let’s start sleuthing!

Ask Yourself: Is it Really a Leak?

This may sound like common sense, but when you’re new to homeownership, or even just to leaking stuff, you may mistake condensation for leaks. There’s a good reason for this. Older pipes do sometimes condensate so hard that they drip. This is especially common in high humidity areas like basements and crawl spaces.

Before you panic because your pipes are leaking, take a hard look at where that water is coming from. Is it intermittent? Just when it’s muggy? Run a dehumidifier near the condensation pipe and, like magic, your condensing pipes will be no more! If the problem is in a crawl space, try opening up your foundation vents so outside air can move in and push built up humidity out. Adding pre-formed foam pipe insulation in both locations will also help fight the drip.

On the Hunt for Leaks

Usually, a homeowner will stumble across leaks on pure accident. They’re rarely loud, raging rivers, most are gentle trickles at best. In fact, you could have a leak for months and not even realize it! So how do you go about tracking one down?

  1. Look for signs of moisture damage. A leaking toilet, for example, will almost always leak at the wax ring that creates the seal between the stool to the drain pipe. When leaking happens here, it’s common that the water goes under the flooring and causes it to bubble up or soften.
  2. Smell around. This sounds ridiculous, but if you can’t see any damage, you may be able to smell the distinctive scent of mildew and moisture. Follow your nose to the source of the problem.
  3. Listen for dripping sounds. Even a tiny leak can sometimes be heard, especially if the leak in question is dripping into a closed area. For example, an air handler with a clogged or rusted condensation pan may drip into the space below, until a significant amount of standing water collects. The drip, drip, drip you hear when you walk by the utility closet could be a warning sign.

If your basic senses fail you, it’s time to start a systematic search. When you just know there’s a leak, but you can’t quite find it, make a list of all the things in your house that use water, including appliances like the dishwasher and the icemaker. Don’t forget all the drains, which can be really frustrating since a leaky drain literally comes and goes as it fills with water.

Fixing a Leak

Fixing your leak is going to depend heavily on where it’s located and what kind of materials are involved. For a basic homeowner-level repair, limit your efforts to plastic pipes and screw-on braided cables like the water lines to the toilet and sinks. Copper, galvanized steel and cast iron require special tools and specific expertise to fix.

Then again, your leak might not even be related to pipes — it could be coming from a backed-up condensation line at your air handler. In that case, running vinegar through the line will loosen the clog and let water flow freely again. If it’s a rusted condensation pan, though, you’re going to need a pro. The same goes for a hot water heater that’s leaking out the bottom.

Ultimately, leaks are huge pains, but many can be repaired easily with a few bits and pieces from the hardware store. It’s more important to know when you’re in over your head because it’s easy to make the problem worse. If you can’t fix the leak, make sure to put the shut-off valve into the “off” position until a pro can help.

Where Do You Find a Pro?

You found the leak. It’s in the copper water line under your sink. You have no idea how to get started on that and everything you’ve read on the internet has just got you more confused. Hey, it’s ok. Your HomeKeepr community has your back. Just pop by and check out the recommended plumbers in your area. They have the training and equipment to make that little leak disappear for good!

Contact The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs. 541.371.5500 or sold@marygilbert.com.

By: Homekeepr

261 NW Timothy Ave: Beautiful Custom-Built Home with Open Floor Plan!

by Mary Gilbert

Roseburg OR Real Estate For Sale
261 NW Timothy Ave, Winston, OR  97496

Beautiful custom built, move in ready home awaits one lucky buyer at 261 NW Timothy Avenue! This Trinity Hills 2 bedroom, 2 bath ranch is perfect for function and entertaining with a wide open floor plan. Comfortable everyday enjoyment in the living area with plenty of room for casual or formal dining. Sun light pours in from the many windows illuminating the space! The connecting kitchen features a huge island with bar seating, a full appliance package and an abundance of cabinetry make this space a chefs delight! A large laundry room with sink and storage, plus a built in desk create a versatile space to match your needs. Plush carpeting, plentiful closet space, an elongated vanity, walk in shower and storage make this master a sweet retreat. The secondary bedroom and bath are perfect for guests or a growing family. Appreciate plenty of room for your vehicles, tools and toys in the attached 2 car garage, shed and full RV hook ups. The covered patio is the perfect spot to enjoy BBQ’s and relaxing. So much to enjoy inside and out – you simply have to come take a look!

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

Going from Summer to Fall in Your Outdoor Spaces

by Mary Gilbert

Hopefully, you’ve made good use and great memories this Summer in your outdoor space.  Just because we’re getting closer to Fall doesn’t mean we have to wrap it all up and put it away!  There’s plenty we can do to transition our porches, decks and patios for cooler weather use.  Let’s look at some simple ideas that will keep us outdoors a little longer. 

 

  • - Change pillow and cushion covers from their bright colors to more neutral tones, with a splash of soft red or orange here and there. 

  • - Once your potted plants’ Summer blooms fade, repot your containers with ornamental grasses, decorative kale, pansies, marigolds and chrysanthemums. 

  • - Drape light blankets over the backs and arms of your seating to use on chilly evenings. 

  • - If you don’t already have one, buying or creating a firepit is a great way to warm up cool nights.  If you’re not sure of your style or if the budget is tight, morningchores.com has photos and links to 57 different DIY firepits!  

  • - The days are getting shorter and adding lighting to your porch is important.  With so many choices for inexpensive and energy-saving LED lighting, you can add torches, candles and lanterns to a table for soft, relaxing lighting without spending a ton. 

  • - Add a cozy area rug to ward off cold feet and add texture to the space. 

  • - The cool breezes we long for in the heat of July are a little less desirable on a cool Autumn night.  Add some no-sew outdoor curtains using drop cloths, of all things, to block the wind, and use strong adhesive like E6000 to add heavy washers at the bottom to weight the curtains down. 

  • - Making the outdoors more inviting in Fall means adding warmth--literally.  Outdoor heaters come in many styles and price ranges and use electricity as well as propane to keep you and your guests’ toes warm. 

  • - Finally, when the pumpkin patches open, get a variety of pumpkins, gourds and other fall produce, and tuck them into your container plantings, or create a centerpiece or to make the outdoors an even more inviting space to enjoy. 

 

There’s no need to stop going outside just because the days are shorter, and nights are cooler.  Being outside is proven to help alleviate stress, make us feel happier, and may help us sleep better, especially if we can catch the sunset.  So, don’t neglect your much-loved outdoor space this Fall; you created it to be used, and Fall is the perfect time to enjoy it.

 

Contact the experts on The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs! 541.371.5500 or sold@marygilbert.com. 

 

Photo credit: trendir.com

0 S Old Pacific Highway: Half Acre Lot with Fenced Tennis Court!

by Mary Gilbert

Roseburg OR Real Estate For Sale
0 S Old Pacific Highway, Myrtle Creek, OR  97457

Spacious half acre lot with a fenced tennis court. Continue to enjoy playing sports here or see the potential for an excellent space to host BBQs, gatherings or community events. Turn this vacant lot into whatever matches your needs. Convenient Myrtle Creek location. Power, sewer and water available. Come take a look today!

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

Exploring Roseburg Oregon: Winston Dillard Melon Festival

by Mary Gilbert

September 14 - 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM
September 15 - 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM (parade at 11:00 AM)
September 16 - 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Three days of Family Fun at the 50th Annual Winston Dillard Melon Festival!  Kids games, entertainment, parade, bingo, vendors, food, live music, frozen t-shirt contest, melon carving, melon eating contests, heart game, carnival, mud volleyball, car show, melon cooking contest, and FIREWORKS on Saturday night!!  Tons of down home FUN things!  Raffle for an ATV and many other prizes with winners announced at 3:30 on Sunday.

Riverbend Park in Winston

For more information call (541) 679-9466

Courtesy of The Mary Gilbert Group

Photo Credit: fairsandfestivals.net

Which Paintbrush is Right For My Project?

by Mary Gilbert

There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when they just can’t take that color on the wall anymore and they absolutely have to do something about it. If you’ve reached your breaking point, it’s time to make some serious decisions. Obviously, you’ll need to plan a new color scheme, but after that you’ve got to get the right hardware. Number one on the list? Your brush!

A Brush is a Brush, Isn’t It?

No. There are as many varieties of paint brushes as there are fibers in your carpet. Well, that might be an exaggeration, but not by a lot. The type of brush you choose will need to match the project you’re doing, as well as the type of paint you’re using. Here are some guidelines, not hard rules, you can follow to make it easier to choose the right tool.

Size

You’d think that bigger is better, but that’s not always true for paintbrushes. There’s such a thing as too big and too small when it comes to painting, and although the size you need for your objective may vary slightly, you can generally assume these sizes for these jobs:

Under Two Inches. Typically, a brush this size is used for trim and other detail work. The shape will ultimately determine how easy the brush in question will make your job. If you’re handy enough with a paintbrush, these little guys can make it possible to paint without taping as long as you have a steady hand!

Three Inch. This is a good size brush for general use. If it’s not too thick, you can theoretically do most of what you need to and still get a decent result. Don’t try to approach fine detail with it, though, because you’ll just have a mess.

Four Inches and Above. When you’re picking a brush this size it’s for one reason: to fill in a lot of empty space. Depending on the project, you may be better off with a roller, but this article isn’t about rollers, is it? Four inch paint brushes are great for making short work of big, long walls.

End Shape

After the size of a brush, it’s vital to know how the end of the brush is shaped. For example, if you tried to cut in trim with a square trim end shape, you’ll end up throwing the brush out the window in frustration. Instead, refer to this short list for the right end trim:

Square Trim. The ends of the brush are literally cut flush, so that each bristle is the same length. This is great for filling in big areas since you’ll get consistent paint coverage, but not so great in delicate spots.

Chisel Trim. When it comes time to cut in your corners and edges, nothing but a chisel trim brush will do. Because it’s cut at a slant, with only some of the bristles reaching the flat end, you have major control over paint application. Someone who paints with a chisel trimmed brush on the regular may be capable of doing all your cutting in without even taping first.

Angled Cut. Last, but far from least, is the angled cut. These brushes are also called “trim brushes” because, well, they’re really best for trim work. The angled end makes it possible to get near-inkpen-like precision with some practice.

Bristle Type

Many of the brushes you’ll see in the paint department at your favorite home improvement store will be made with synthetic fibers. This is because they’re the easiest to work with for DIYers who may not have a lot of time to learn how to handle a brush with natural fibers. It’s ok, no one’s judging you.

In addition, synthetic fibers are ideal for use with latex paint, since natural fiber brushes can soften and lose their rigidity when facing the water-base of these paints. However, if you’ve decided only oil will do, check out the natural fiber brushes, too. Both natural and synthetic fibers are good for oils.

Stuck at Mere Paint Disgust?

If you’re still not sure you can handle the job of ridding your house of red walls, it’s ok, Rome wasn’t built in a day. You can still call on your friends in the HomeKeepr community to recommend a painter just waiting to help you today. Your Realtor recommended them highly, so you might as well check them out, right? In a couple of weeks, all that red paint will be a long ago nightmare and your house will feel more like your home.

Contact The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs. 541.371.5500 or sold@marygilbert.com

By: Homekeepr

175 Doe Road: Country Living on 5+ Acres with Gorgeous Views!

by Mary Gilbert

Roseburg OR Real Estate For Sale
175 Doe Road, Glide, OR  97443

Private country living on 5+ acres with gorgeous views – welcome home to 175 Doe Road! The stylish and functional kitchen will likely be a favorite gathering place. A large island with breakfast bar provides seating for casual dining while the granite counters, stainless steel appliances and abundance of beautiful cabinetry enhance the aesthetic of this space. Gorgeous Madrone wood floors extend to the dining room where you will marvel at the mountain views through the window, or step outside the French doors to the large covered deck on pleasant days to enjoy some outdoor time. Enjoy movie nights in the spacious living room as you cozy up to the wood stove.  The effortlessly flowing floor plan makes family function and entertaining guests a delight. Escape to the calming allure of the first-floor master bedroom with plush carpeting, a walk in closet, large windows and a private bath with tiled, walk in shower. Two secondary bedrooms provide plentiful closet space and share a full bath with deep jetted tub and durable tile flooring. A fenced in section of the yard is perfect for the pets to safely play, plus a detached shed to store all your tools and equipment. There is so much to love at this magical property in Glide OR – you just have to come take a look!

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

Changes to U.S. Real Estate Tax Deductions for 2018

by Mary Gilbert

As a homeowner, or soon to be homeowner, you can get some pretty sweet tax deductions from things related to your home. Some tend to change from year to year, like those for energy-efficient upgrades, others are pretty stable, like being able to deduct mortgage interest.

The tax bill that will be in force in the up and coming tax season, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), has made some fairly dramatic changes to how many homeowners will file their taxes this year. Take a look at this preview of home-related points to ponder for your 2018 tax filings.

TCJA Items to Watch in 2018

When the TCJA was pushed through Congress in December 2017, many people were up in arms. The overhaul, they said, was going to be problematic for a number of reasons, which, we’ll see how that pans out. It does seem that when it comes to real estate, the TCJA is going to be a pretty prickly thorn in a lot of property owners’ sides.

These are the top items you’ll want to pay close attention to this year:

Item #1: SALT

The state and local tax deduction (SALT) is set to be a problem for homeowners in high-tax areas. In the past, you could claim an unlimited amount of already-paid personal state and local income taxes, as well as your property taxes, as a deduction to offset your tax bill. From now until 2025, you’ll only be able to use your Schedule A to itemize $5,000 worth of these taxes if you’re single or married filing separately and $10,000 for married filing jointly.

This looks like a bear of an issue for many people in those high tax areas on both coasts, but for some, the increase of the standard deduction to $12,000 for singles or $24,000 for couples may balance the equation.

Item #2: Your Mortgage Interest Deduction

If your home was purchased after December 14, 2017, you will be subject to the new limits on mortgage interest deductions. Instead of being able to deduct the interest on up to a $1,000,000 mortgage, you’ll be capped at the interest on only $750,000. Now, if you’re in the less spendy parts of the US, you probably don’t need to worry about this at all, but again, for those of you on the coasts where real estate prices are often hugely inflated by comparison, it may make a weighty difference.

According to a Zillow report published shortly after the TCJA passed, “Under the current setup [Pre-TCJA], roughly 44 percent of U.S. homes are worth enough for it to make sense for a homeowner to itemize their deductions and take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction.Under the new bill (as reported), that proportion of homes drops to 14.4 percent. Interest on second/vacation homes will remain deductible, but will also be capped at $750,000.”

Item #2B: Home Equity Loan Interest Deductions

This one is being called out specifically because of the number of people who are likely to be affected by it. If you purchased a home at any time and took out a home equity loan, you may lose your deduction this year. The TCJA says that unless your home equity loan was used for home improvements, it’s no longer allowed.

There is no grandfathering for this clause, you are paying for decisions you made in the past, not knowing this bill would become a law.

How the IRS will be able to verify how you spent your funds, especially if the loan is 10 or 15 years old, is anyone’s guess.

Item #3: Gains From Home Sales Still Protected

Despite all the new rules that are taking deductions away, the home sale gain exclusion remains. You’ll still be able to exclude up to $250,000 ($500k for married filing jointly) of gain from a home you’ve owned and used as a primary residence for at least two of the last five years. So, you’ve got that going for you.

Taxes and Real Estate: A Tricky Mix

It’s a good thing you have a whole community at HomeKeepr watching out for you when it comes to changes to the tax laws this year. When you’re ready to start discussing your own tax situation, just use the search function to find accountants and tax preparers that can answer your burning questions. Since all the HomeKeepr pros come heavily recommended, you can feel confident that you’re ready for the big tax law change.

Contact the experts on The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs! 541.371.5500 or sold@marygilbert.com. 

By: Homekeepr

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 763

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Photo of Mary Gilbert Real Estate
Mary Gilbert
Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley
2365 NW Kline Street, Suite 201
Roseburg OR 97471
541-371-5500
Fax: 541-371-5501

© Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is a real estate franchise company. Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated. Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and supports the Fair Housing Act.