One thing that you will want to check if you are buying a home in the Twin Cities area is the radon level. According to Wikipedia, Radon is “a chemical element with the symbol Rn and atomic number 86. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas, occurring naturally as a decay product of radium.”
That sounds way scarier than it actually is. Most Radon is dissipated into the outside air and becomes harmless. In the average home, the level is 1.3 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/l), and not considered to be a dangerous level by the EPA. If the level is 2 pCi/l however, the EPA recommends taking some steps to mitigate it. If the level reaches 4 pCi/l, they very strongly recommend mitigation procedures.
There are several ways to discover the Radon level in a home. Most home improvement stores carry Radon detection kits. These kits usually cost from $15 to $20. There are short-term kits that typically measure the level over a period of three to four days. The longer-term kits will measure up to a year. You have to send them off to a lab for analysis. You can also have a professional test your home.
What do you do if the Radon level in your home (or the home you want to buy) is higher than the level deemed safe by the EPA? There are a number of ways to mitigate the level. Some are more involved (and more expensive) than others. Much depends on where the seepage is and how high the level is. If it’s mainly in the basement, and you don’t go down there much, you may not have to do as much as if the level is high throughout the house.
When you are considering a home for purchase, you should see if it has been tested. You may want to make it a contingency. The same goes with mitigation, should it be necessary. If the mitigation would take too long, you could ask the seller to pay an amount into the closing cost that would be equivalent to what you would pay for the mitigation procedures. That would prevent an unnecessary extension of the escrow period. Here’s a link to more information on the topic of Radon in the home.
I hope you found this information interesting and useful. Team Tork is always on the lookout for helpful information for our clients, and for the community! If you are interested in purchasing or listing a home in the Twin Cities area, please call me, Joey Torkildson, and I will use my knowledge and experience to get you the best deal possible! You can call me directly at (651) 379-4138 or (651) 210-1038. If you prefer, you can send an email to Joey@TeamTorkRealEstate.com. Our website has more educational information. Just go to www.TeamTorkRealEstate.com.