Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

Concerned About Lead in Burlington, Vt.?

by Matt Hurlburt Group

Lead and the Buying/ Selling Process. Protecting You and Your Family.

There are a number of Vermont homes that were built or remodeled prior to 1978. Why 1978? In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint, but some states banned it even earlier. Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning.

The exposure pathways for lead that is most concerning are ingestion and inhalation. Lead can effect anyone in a family, but children are at the greatest risk, due to developing nervous systems and smaller body mass. Small children also tend put everything in their mouths, which could include paint chips or chewing on windowsills. Lead actually has a sweet taste, which can encourage little ones to seek out places to chew when teething. 

Physical Effects: Lead can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior problems, slowed growth, headaches, difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, digestive problems and muscle and joint pain.

Lead can exist in many forms, but home buyers and sellers are most concerned with paint. Flaking or deteriorating paint means that there is a possibility of lead in the air, in the home's dust, and in places accessible by children. 

% of Older Homes Likely to Contain Lead-Based Paint

Source - US. EPA

 

     As a Buyer/ Seller, what are your responsibilities? 

  • Sellers must disclose in writing any information about known lead paint in the home. If sellers have performed lead tests, they must share the test results.
  • Sales contracts must give buyers up to 10 days to check for lead hazards. Home buyers aren't required to test for lead--but they must be given the opportunity to do so. You might see this information on a special addendum attached to a purchase contract. 

    Your realtor will provide your with federal and state information about protecting yourself and your family from lead exposure. 

  • As a buyer, if you are buying a home that has deteriorating lead paint, you may negotiate with the seller to hire an EPA licensed contractor to safely remediate the deteriorating spots. There are numerous do-it-yourself options, but we always recommend consulting an expert.

We hope that this clears up some of the confusion about the hazards of lead, and why it will be part of the buying and selling process. As always, we are here to help.     

    The Matt Hurlburt Group. Expect More. 

     

 

 

  •  

All About Home Inspections in Burlington Vt.

by Matt Hurlburt Group

What to Expect When Inspecting

Once an offer is accepted and the transaction is in the “contingency” phase – one of the buyer’s objectives is to ensure their understanding of the condition of the property they are about to acquire.  Inspections are a critical activity in this “due diligence” period.

While many different inspections can be performed for a residential home, the most common inspections are:

  • Structural Inspection

  • Water Test (if private well)

  • Radon test

  • Chimney

The following is some general information regarding common issues that may arise during these inspections.  Note that you are free to hire any inspection company with whom you feel comfortable.   We can refer inspection companies who have served us and our clients for years, if you desire.  In any case, we highly recommended that you attend the inspections in person.  This is a great opportunity to you to learn about the house through the eyes of the inspector, and to ask questions about any of the findings and recommendations.

STRUCTURAL/BUILDING INSPECTIONS

Structural/Building Inspections are a general inspection covering the various systems of the home.  They will typically inspect the structural components of the home (foundation, crawl space, attic, exterior, doors and windows, and interior walls and surfaces), roof, electrical, plumbing, appliances, heating & air conditioning, smoke detectors, garage door, drainage, and water heater.  They will look for conditions that are not up to code, or are not in compliance with current health and safety standards and codes.  They will typically comment on maintenance and other repairs that you may expect over time.

Home inspections include an overview of the roof and chimney, and may raise concerns that would warrant a roofing or chimney expert to advise and provide estimates, if necessary.  They also do not check for building permits.

Drainage is one area that is often a concern in this area, especially with older homes.  It is not uncommon to get some dampness in the basement or around the home, especially in the spring.  Large accumulation of water in a basement is not a desirable situation.  If you buy an older home, pay particular attention to the drainage, and what improvements you might want to consider over time.  Your building inspector can advise.

Cracking and settlement may be another area of concern.  This is normally a matter of degree, as some cracking in the sheetrock and concrete surfaces is to be expected as the property settles, lumber shrinks, earthquakes occur, and so on.  Extensive cracking, sticking doors and windows, and floors that are out of level can be a symptom of more serious settlement and/or foundation issues, so again care should be taken to understand and address these issues.

You should also determine the age of the major components of the home, such as water heaters, the furnace, and air conditioning units.  Pay close attention to the age, and ask the home inspector what is a reasonable expectation for the remaining life of these components.

ROOF INSPECTIONS

Unless the roof is brand new – a roof inspection by a licensed roofer is higher recommended for most transactions.  They will usually issue a report detailing the condition of the roof, and any repairs that are recommended to keep the roof in good condition.  It is important to ask the inspector how much life is left on the roof.

In general, wood shake roofs can normally be expected to last 20 to 25 years with periodic maintenance.  Composition shingle roofs can be expected to last 20 to 30 years depending on the materials used.  Coated metal roofs, tile roofs, and slate roofs can be expected to last well over 40 or 50 years.  Once the recommended repairs are completed, the roofer will guarantee the roof against leaks for a period of one year.

CHIMNEY INSPECTIONS

If the property has a fireplace,  a chimney inspection by a licensed chimney sweep is recommended, especially on masonry or brick fireplace.  The biggest threat is broken flue tiles, which present a fire hazard and will require a $2000 to $3000 repair.  On newer non-masonry fireplaces, the most common issues are related to separation of the panels or pre-mature aging of the refractory panels.

OTHER INSPECTIONS

Depending on the situation, other inspections may be appropriate.   Usually we start with the property, roof, and chimney inspections.   Depending on the results of these inspections additional investigation or a more detailed inspection by a specialist may be warranted.  Some other inspections might include:

  • Mold Inspection

  • Furnace inspections by your electric utility provider

  • Foundation inspections

  • Drainage inspections

  • Lead Paint

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of Matt Hurlburt Group Real Estate
Matt Hurlburt Group
RE/MAX North Professionals
40 Main St, Suite 550
Burlington VT 05401
Phone: 802-862-5337
802-861-7246
Fax: 866-660-0032