This is the final post in a series of articles written for home buyers who are parents of young children. You can read about the previous tips:
Tip #5: UNDERSTAND THE RISKS OF AN OLDER HOME
Older homes are beautiful and unique and might be worth the time, energy, and cost to update for many people. However, parents of young children might want to consider the potential dangers present in homes built before 1978 before making an offer, especially if they intend to remodel parts of the home.
The first concern is lead-based paint. According to the CDC, all houses built before 1978 are likely to contain some lead-based paint. In fact, if you purchase a home built before 1978, the seller is required by federal law to disclose information on lead-based paint hazards. You can find out more about the dangers of lead-based paint HERE. The presence of lead-based paint isn’t the end of the world. The danger it poses primarily affects small children who are prone to ingesting the flakes or dust as it deteriorates over time. So if you decide to purchase a home that contains lead-based paint, you’ll need to quickly repair any chipping or flaking paint and exercise caution with doing any kind of home renovations. Visit the EPA’s website HERE to learn more.
Another concern facing owners of a home built before 1977 is asbestos. There are many health implications to asbestos exposure, which you can read about HERE. Depending on the age of your home, asbestos may be present in a number of different building materials. It was a common component of insulation between 1930 and 1950. Until 1977, it was used in many textured paint and drywall joint compound products. Unfortunately, this means that if you decide to scrape the hideous popcorn ceiling texture off of your 1975 home, you may be exposing yourself and your family to harmful asbestos fibers! Luckily you can purchase asbestos testing kits online or from home improvement stores and obtain a lab analysis for less than $50.
Again, none of this means that you shouldn’t consider an older home. Just be fully aware of the risks and do your due diligence during the home inspection process and during any future home renovations.
Contributed by Cassie Villela.
Cassie Villela is a real estate investor and mother of two in San Antonio, Texas.