Important Home Health Items

As a REALTOR®, I help my buyers ensure they are taking the appropriate measures to validate that the home they are buying is safe for their family.  Typically this involves an inspection by a certified inspector during the transaction period.  As standard practice, the inspector will do a whole-home inspection, but there are often optional add-ons to test for items that can cause serious health concerns.  Being aware of a few key items that can be of concern is important so you can ask the right questions to the inspector, request the right tests, and be knowledgeable moving forward living in your home.

Here are three important items to be made aware of:

#1 ~ Lead

Homes built before 1978 have a high likelihood of containing lead-based paint.  Lead can be dangerous if not managed properly and disturbing surfaces with lead-based paint or removing lead-based paint improperly can increase the danger to your family.  If you are buying, renting, or renovating a home built before 1978 and have children under the age of 6, you may want to have it checked for lead-based paint.  Lead is especially dangerous to children under the age of 6 because their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.  However, be aware that lead-based paint is usually not a hazard if it is in good condition and if it is not on an impact or friction surface like a window.  Always keep painted surfaces in good condition to minimize deterioration.

Visit here for more info on lead.

#2 ~ Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral substance whose fibers were mixed into many products, including building materials.  In the 70s and 80s, reports started to emerge that inhaling the small fibers of asbestos could cause health complications including lung cancer. Since then, the US government has restricted the use of asbestos, but that still leaves us with many homes that were built with materials containing asbestos.  The top 5 products that you can find asbestos in are:

  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Asbestos ceiling tiles popular between 1950s – 1980s, often found in kitchen ceilings or remodeled basement areas
  • Vinyl floor tiles – the most commonly produced vinyl tile product containing asbestos was the 9×9 inch tile that was sealed to floors with adhesive.
  • Heating duct pipe wrapping – asbestos insulation was widely used on heating pipes and sometimes on water pipes.
  • Vermiculite –  a popular attic insulation material used in houses built from 1900-1940s

Be aware that asbestos is not considered harmful unless it is damaged or disturbed in some way, which could release the dangerous fibers into the air. As the EPA states: “Asbestos-containing materials that aren’t damaged or disturbed are not likely to pose a health risk. Usually, the best thing is to leave asbestos-containing material alone if it is in good condition.”

Visit here for more info on asbestos.

#3 ~ Radon

Radon is toxic gas that is derived from naturally decaying uranium in the soil. Uranium is naturally found in our soils all across the nation, and is especially prevalent in Colorado.  Uranium can be found below homes both new or old and as it decays, it releases radon gas.  The radon gas rises to the surface and can rise through gaps and cracks in a homes foundation or walls.  It is odorless, colorless, and tasteless and can only be detected with radon testing equipment.  It is considered to be carcinogenic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and a leading cause of lung cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency sets radon safety levels at 4.0 pCi/L (pico-curies-per-liter) and if a home is found to have radon levels at or above this, it is advised to do radon mitigation.  Since radon can be found below homes both new or old, it would be a wise safety measure to always do a radon test within the inspection period.

Visit here for more info on radon.

If an inspector does uncover any of these items during the inspection period, you can speak with your realtor about options on how to move forward.  Most important is that you are aware of the concerns and can make a smart decision on how you want to move forward.

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If you need assistance from a REALTOR® to help in your Boulder-Denver area home search, I would love to help!!  Please reach out via email at beth@goodacreproperties.com or through the contact info below.


Finding the Right Neighborhood In Your Home Search

If you’re a home-buyer searching for your perfect home, you probably have a checklist of criteria that you are looking for: certain number of bedrooms, bathrooms, a modern kitchen maybe, or open floor plan.  One thing that should be high on your list too (and can be overlooked) is the community and neighborhood.  Factors like walkability, HOA (Home Owners Associations), access to walking trails, schools, even neighbors’ upkeep of their homes should all be something to consider too.  Trulia words it perfectly in a recent article I read:

“You can knock down walls and repaint your new home all you want, but when it comes to your neighborhood, you take it as it is. But if you choose the right one, that can be great news.” 

Here are five tips to help you choose a home in a community that is right for you.

  1. Overall ask yourself about the type of scene you are looking for in a neighborhood – a quiet one or a more lively scene.  You may love hanging out in a particular part of town, but when it actually comes to living there, you may find that all the other people hanging out there too & making noise isn’t exactly what you had in mind.
  2. How did you feel on your first impression of the neighborhood?  Did you mind that there were RVs and cars parked all around on the road and in driveways? Did you see many houses that are run down or yards that need work?  Neighborhood associations often have rules around parking on the roads, general upkeep, and even aesthetics of the houses.  If you are concerned about the appearance of your neighborhood as a whole, maybe a one with a HOA is the right for you.  If you didn’t have a good feeling at first of a particular neighborhood, you may want to stick to your gut.
  3.  Decide if walkability is important to you and if so – make sure you understand what is defined as within walking distance.  For example – if you see a house listed as highly walkable, you may have an image of walking to cute “Mom & Pop” shops and cafés only to realize, it is walking distance to a strip mall with only fast food chains and a gas station.  Go visit the house and park the car… walk around and get a feel for the neighborhood & the walks you will go on.
  4. While you are out walking, talk to the neighbors.  What better way to really hear the ins and outs of an area than from a neighbor that already lives there.  There may be complaints or positive features that aren’t obvious from you quick visits.
  5. Check the surrounding features such as whether there are parks or walking trails close to the house.  Also look for elements that may affect the day-to-day living like being near a loud, active train or even a tourist attraction that will bring heavy traffic.  It is also good to look at the school ratings in the area even if you don’t have children as higher rating schools will be better for resale.

In the end, you want to get into a home you love in an area that is right for you.  Taking the extra steps to really study the area as much as the home will pay off in the end.

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If you or anyone you know needs help on their Boulder-Denver home buying search, I’d love to help!  Please reach out through the contact form below or emailing me at beth@goodacreproperties.com.