In dealing with Baltimore City row homes, this is probably the single most asked question I deal with in the course of my business.
My answer is always, it depends. Once you have a lead test you then have to disclose that information to a potential new owner and then that owner must also disclose when they sell. It also depends on whether or not you plan to live in the property or rent it out. If you plan to rent the property then you MUST have a lead inspection, it is the law. It also depends on which county the property is in as to how much inspection needs to be done and whether it has been tested in the past and what the results were at that time. Sometimes the owner of the property may have to have a lead inspection at the beginning of each new lease.
Margaret Woda has touched on some excellent points here.
Real Estate Q&A
Q. So many homes in my price range were built before 1978… Should I worry about lead-based paint?
A. Across Maryland and the United States, there are many homes which were built before 1978 - the year when lead-based paint was banned in residential property.
Federal and State regulations exist to protect occupants of homes where lead-based paint may have been used prior to 1978. For example, sellers and landlords across America are required to provide home buyers and tenants with a booklet produced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) titled Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home. All parties to a sale or lease of any home built before 1978 must sign the Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and Lead-Based Paint Hazards.
In Maryland, buyers of homes built before 1978 have a 10–day window to obtain an assessment or inspection by someone certified by the Maryland Department of the Environment. Maryland REALTORS use a Lead Based Paint Inspection Addendum and a disclosure regarding the Maryland Lead Poisoning Prevention Program as part of the offer to purchase/contract for these older homes.
When a client asks me whether they should be concerned about lead in a Crofton area home built before 1978, it would be foolish for me to do anything other than refer them to these official documents and suggest they obtain a lead inspection.
Most home buyers are apparently satisfied with the results of their inspection, since older homes change hands every day, but that alone is not adequate justification for waiving the opportunity to have an inspection.
Better to be safe than sorry, when it comes to the well-being of your family!
Samples of the publications mentioned in this post are available for download on my website, MargaretWoda.com.
Posted originally to FocusOnCrofton.com on May 4, 2012 by Margaret Woda
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DISCLAIMER: Information contained in this post is deemed reliable on the date of publication, but it is not guaranteed and it is subject to change without notice.
Margaret Woda, REALTOR and Associate Broker
Direct: (301)346-2923 or click on EMAIL
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., 2191 Defense Hwy., Crofton, MD 21114 (410) 721-1500