Drywall made in China and put into homes here in America between 2003 and 2009 has caused serious issues. It erodes wiring, copper pipes and can make you sick. You'd want to know if you were buying a home that had chinese drywall wouldn't you? Of course you would.
There's a tiny bit of good news here. A newly passed law (Senate Bill 942) addresses this exact issue. It requires real estate agents involved in a transaction who have actual knowledge of defective Chinese drywall in a dwelling unit to disclose that information to the prospective buyer or tenant.
But, would a real estate agent know of the Chinese drywall if it was in the home? Quite honestly, we might not. The most likely way for us to know of it is for our sellers to tell us that it exists. But, we don't standardly ask this, and many owners may not even know of its existence. Even if they notice that wiring is corroding, they may not know why.
The burden of discovery remains heavily with the buyer. Check out this post (click here) to learn how to recognize Chinese drywall, and always, always have a professional home inspection. It's not standard, so specifically request that your inspector note if he found any issues that could be caused by Chinese drywall and if he recommends further examination.