Home Buyers Beware

Everyone has skeletons in the closet – it is almost an inevitable fact of life. The secrets of inanimate things can be more easily discovered, however. You know the spy movies or the ghost stories – of hidden passageways and secret treasures buried beneath creaking floorboards or stealthily concealed compartments. Not every secret can be as luxurious, however; and sometimes, these consequences can cost your family thousands of dollars in repairs and decontamination procedures – or even your family’s health.

There was an unfortunate circumstance like this just a few years ago, wherein a couple purchased a previously foreclosed house but was not informed of the reasons as to why it was so. They then started experiencing physical repercussions and had it investigated. The home this unwitting couple had purchased, according to a more thorough investigation, was found to have been a meth lab. Due to the fact that there were no procedures made to have had the house decontaminated, some toxins lingered within the structure.

That is why it is recommended that if you are purchasing a house, you are made aware of the natural hazards that it might be susceptible to. This can be acquired through a reputable source and though sellers are usually tasked with acquiring these papers, you want to make sure that these documents are provided by an agency or source you can trust. This takes a bit of research and extra diligence. Some additional care that can also be taken can be in the form of personal investigation such as asking neighbors about the environment or looking into the nearby facilities, such as hospitals or clinics, schools, police stations, grocery stores, et cetera.

You need to be aware of both the external hazards (i.e. is the house in a neighborhood that is frequented by fires, floods, or earthquakes?) as well as internal ones, such as a previous history with possibly harmful toxins? This is a legal requirement for most sellers but as a buyer, it pays less to be safe than sorry.