In my previous blog “What’s the Best Investment You’ll Make Prior to Closing on a Home? Part I” I identified 3 of the 8 inspections that you have the right to include as part of the purchase and sales agreement.
As I mentioned previously, having a certified building inspector and septic system professional come to the property within a couple of weeks of a signed contract by the buyer and the seller is the best investment in money and peace of mind that you will make prior to closing on a property. The peace of mind that having inspections performed might save you money by the seller fixing any problem, or the disappointment after the sale of finding out about problems with the property that you didn’t know existed, or if the concerns discovered are so significant it will allow you the opportunity to get out of the contract.
The inspections discussed in Part I were, General Building Inspection, Sewage Disposal, and Water Quality. Here are the final 5 suggested areas listed on the New Hampshire Association of Realtors Purchase and Sale Agreement Standard Form in which a buyer, at his or her expense, have the right to have performed within a reasonable amount of time. They are;
- Radon Air Quality – Because radon gas is emitted from primarily granite and we are the Granite State, it is wise to have the basement tested. It is odorless and tasteless and is impossible to detect without testing. In New Hampshire the Department of Environmental Protection recommends taking steps to lower radon concentrations when those concentrations equal or exceed 4.0 picocuries per liter in the lowest portion of a home. The cost of having the test done is approximately $100.
- Radon Water Quality –The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services recommends that homeowners take steps to remove radon from the water supply when the average concentration exceeds 2,000 picocuries per liter. The cost for having the radon in the water tested is in the $100-$125 range.
- Lead Paint – Potentially the most destructive of hazardous conditions especially for children who may ingest flakes of lead paint. Prior to a home built in 1978, lead paint was used. After 1978 it was outlawed and homes were painted with oil based or latex paints. Even prior to 1960 some “lead paint” was known to also contain mercury. Testing for lead paint can be costly, but it is often fairly easy to visually ascertain if there may be lead paint.
- Pests – More often than not the person doing the general building inspection will be able to see if there are pest problems to the property you are buying. Critters like red squirrels, bats, and carpenter ants can
- Hazardous Waste – If there is hazardous waste on the property, it can be simple or complicated and the costs for remediation can vary widely. In the property disclosure, which accompanies the purchase and sales agreement, any knowledge of buried tanks, hazardous waste products, etc. must be divulged if known. A building inspector may suspect a problem based on the location of the property and history of the property or properties surrounding the property you are buying. He/she may suggest that you get someone experienced in hazardous waste site examinations.
For more information or questions on any of these topics, please contact us or check out the State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Protection. You can also click here for a list of certified building inspectors