Buying a new home can be an exciting process, and it might be hard to proceed with caution. But just because you’ve found your dream house, doesn’t mean there isn’t a nightmare lurking under the surface.
Californians buy tens of thousands of homes every month, with many of those coming from previous owners. While the house may have a clean bill of health, ailments that aren’t readily apparent to the human eye could still exist. Remember that you’re inheriting all the work they put into the place, along with all the work they didn’t.
California law requires sellers and brokers to disclose natural hazards before the sale, the presence of which could seriously impact your health:
- Asbestos: Once thought ideal for durable heat retention and fire resistance, asbestos fell largely out of style when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officially classified it as a cause of cancer. The danger comes from inhaling the fibers, which the material sends into the air when disturbed. Remodelers often leave asbestos alone during renovations because of the increased risks and high costs of safe removal.
- Lead: Lead is another popular ingredient that fell out of vogue once we better understood the health ramifications. Used in a variety of fields from paints to pipes, ingestion can lead to brain damage, nerve disorders and kidney disease. While sealing lead away can help, full removal is more often ideal, though it can also be a costly process.
- Mold: Even if it’s not introduced like lead and asbestos, mold can grab a foothold over time and it can be hard to make it let go. Excessive amounts of mold spores in the air can lead to congestion, headaches and an array of breathing problems. While cleanup may be less intense than other issues, preventing mold entirely can require expensive repairs, from sealing leaking basements to patching damaged roofs.
Unreleased information can be detrimental to the health of you and your family. Make sure you know what could put you in harm’s way, and you could have one less thing to keep you up at night.