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The radon gas - deal killer

Three deals dead in three months due to radon.

This odorless, invisible gas that as far as I can tell can't be unequivocally linked to health issues has done another deal in.

I live and sell properties in the Granite State (New Hampshire)...Radon is everywhere.

If the Radon count has above 4.0 PCI based on an independent test...inside the home, its high on the front steps, sidewalk...road leading to your new home. What are you going to do about that?

Is this a Government plan to put radon mitigation specialist back to work?

Or a test to raise the home inspectors fee?

All three of these sales were done in by counts between 8 and 12 PCI...how bad is living with this?

In each case I asked the buyer what the count was at their current home...where they have lived 24/7 for years, none of them had any idea.

I know you are all itching to comment have a system put in...drill a hole in the basement slab...attach a PVC pipe and hook up a fan...no big deal...Right?

1) this questionable test has just scared the buyer...and you can't put Pandora back in the box. One canceled as not being convinced a zero could ever be achieved and children's room will be on the lower level.

2) The cost of this out of the blue concern is prohibitive. Deal  two has half a finished basement and half is a dirt floor...the only way to fix this house pour a new slab, but the seller is upside down on the mortgage and can't do anything about the required repair.

3) deal three, a five story condo with the high count on the ground floor. There are windows on all five stories and no way to get a vent system above the roof line without a major engineering under-taking...if at all possible.

I have had properties come in with radon counts over 30PCI and there - systems have made the difference. But the counts that are in the single digits, the change of barometric pressure, weather patterns, an open window or a re-test can change the results.

 

Once the cat is out of the bag…good luck coaxing him back in.

The damage is done, the buyer is scared and many times nothing can put this deal back together again. Any great advice on this subject?

 

If the seller pre-tested, would buyers accept there results...this tests are done through independent labs and the numbers are accepted to be "real"...but is there a real health concern?

What is the radon level at your house...at your office...at your children's school, or is the stress caused by this concern worse for you than the radon itself.

In new construction we are putting a vent in the floor and a pipe to the attic space before finishing the inside of the home...if a test rate the living space in a high range, a $200 fan will fix the PCI levels.

 

 

 

 

                       

                                                                                                                                                                              Your-White Mountain New Hampshire real Estate Expert

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Comment balloon 152 commentsSteve Loynd • December 03 2009 07:32AM

Comments

As more people retire to the South we are seeing folks come from areas and require Radon tests. We have had a couple fail. The sellers spend about 2k here for a system to fix the problem. In the greater scheme of things that is real money but not a lot to sell a 300k home. I am not sure what the answer is. But where ever there is a basement we talk to out buyers about this test. They seem to be ok with the results and accept a system if needed

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros (AllMountainRealty.com) about 10 years ago

It is funny Steve because most of the time a radon mitigation system is only going to drop the level to under 2.0. In Massachusetts the passing level is 4.0 Pcl. There are buyers who will back out if the level is above 4.0 yet they are perfectly comfortable buying a home that tests at 3.5. Often times people make the dumbest decisions when it comes to radon.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 10 years ago

I never hear about Radon testing around here. I'm wondering how educated people really are about it?

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) about 10 years ago

Thanks for sharing your experience. Guess you will be adding radon expectations to your initial buyer interview. It is best to know on the front end if buyers are going to be unrealistic.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 10 years ago

Steve....my builders rough in a system during construction.....they never have an issue with adding a fan for a couple of hundred dollars......

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 10 years ago

Steve:

This is the first time I have heard about properties that cannot be fixed by installing mitigation systems. Or, I guess you are saying that in these cases the cost would be prohibitive.  When I bought my house the reading was 17.  We have a very tight basement with only a couple of windows. A radon mitigation system was installed and we have never had a problem with the level since.

Readings of between 8 - 12 are something to be concerned about. I am just surprised that normal mitigation systems are not helping you with these deals. 

 

Posted by Claudette Millette, Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass (The Buyers' Counsel) about 10 years ago

99.9% of our buyers test for radon. If it is high and Saline tends to be high then the buyers ask the sellers to mitigate. To install a radon mitigation system is around 800.00 here. Most of the builders do put in the passive ones so if radon is found it is not as expensive.

In 15 years, only had one buyer walk away and my seller had agreed to mitigate.

When we show homes that have the mitigation system installed, we take a look at the meter reading and if it is below 2 which they usually are, then we don't test.

The company that mitigates for us has a life time guarantee on the system.

Most radon comes from the sump pumps in the basement, so covering those helps too.

I have never heard of testing outside. IMO this is a very solveable problem. Have you looked at the map? Some parts of the country are higher than others. We are required in MI to give them a radon disclosure by the EPA when we list and sell a home.

Look at what is acceptable in other countries. The USA is very low compared to Canada, Sweden and other nations.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 10 years ago

I grumbled when it showed up as an option on our Offer To Purchase.  We actually do have higher than acceptable level pockets here (scattered) and the news LOVES to print stories if there is a test that comes back abnormal.  Perpetuates the fear - ya know!  I am so sorry to hear of your deals and I wish I knew of a "fix".

Posted by Leesa Finley, RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate (RED Properties) about 10 years ago

I live on an island...no basements.  Radon testing is an option on our offer to purchase too because the western part of North Carolina does have basements and more likely to have an issue with radon.

To date I've only had one buyer willing to pay for the test and it came out fine so I'm glad this is one issue at least we don't have a problem with.  Now termites...that's another story.

Posted by Marian Goetzinger, Crystal Coast Real Estate NC (Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000) about 10 years ago

It can be a problem here also. I have not lost any deals because of Radon, but I have been involved in a few thta needed mitigating. Most people around here are not aware of it and so don,t  test for it.

Posted by Alan Brown, 29 Years of Real Estate Experience . (Coldwell Banker Montrose Colorado) about 10 years ago

Radon testing is becoming a standard in home inspections. SC doesn't have the natural problem but the granite counters are being tested.

Posted by Chip Jefferson (Gibbs Realty and Auction Company) about 10 years ago

Steve, I ran into someone who is so fearful of radon I don't know how he will ever buy a home. He rents right now and has no idea of the radon levels in his current home, nor of the radon levels in his business. You are so right, it is out of control.

One would think the condo complex is liable to fix the issue. But what do I know.

More scary is the water mitigation systems, I have had buyers run out of the house when they see those monster systems in the basements. Like you, we have lots of shale around here. And interestingly enough, the levels rise across the board with certain weather conditions. I can go for months with low radon readings, then wham bam, everyone has higher radon readings. Go figure.

I don't have an answer for you, I feel your pain. $1200 bucks here solves the problem for the most part. But not in your case I am afraid. Good luck.

(I heard someone say the other day that she had never read in an obit that so and so died of radon poisoning)

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 10 years ago

Do you think Radon is going to get as much mileage as lead base paint? I better get certified so I'll have a "real job".

Posted by Gregory Bain, For Homes on the Jersey Shore (Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance) about 10 years ago

Hi Steve -- This is mostly viewed in our area as no different than finding carpenter ants and the seller gets a pest treatment done.  A $700 mitigation system makes it go away and is actually beneficial then the buyer knows the radon levels are acceptable (according to the EPA) whereas if it passes during the inspection, there is no guarantee that next week it might be elevated.  5 years ago, it was a deal killer.  I haven't had one deal fall apart of it and we get high radon results all the time, as Northeast Ohio is also a hotbed for radon.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) about 10 years ago

Hi Steve,

Radon gas is common in the Ohio Valley area.

I believe it needs to be part of the educational process when you first meet with the buyer.  Explain it, provide info and give them the EPA website to learn more about it.  I'd say over 50% of buyers test for it during inspections.  If it comes in high, they request the seller to pay for a radon mitigation system.  Usually it's not a problem.

So explain about it upfront and that will probably reduce their anxiety level. 

In reality, radon is everywhere...it just depends on what the concentration level is.

Posted by Dan Weis, Cincy Real Estate Advisor (Comey & Shepherd Realtors) about 10 years ago

Radon is just another fear thrown at people.....my belief is you would have to live in a home with radon gas completely closed up for 20 yrs before you might run into any health concerns....but I guess that is why I don't work for the EPA..

Posted by Dennis Duvernay Broker/Owner (Hillview Realty) about 10 years ago

Missy, the systems we install are $1,500 and up, the cost is not always what kills the deal. Some times its the scare of the grim reaper...regardless of the repair.  Other times they are very Ugly systems to look at, other times a twenty year old multi-level condo was not designed to place a system in at all, and one last issue is sometimes the buyer is concerned about the added utility cost. We plan for systems in new construction now but not all re-sales can be saved.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Andrea, I sell mostly second homes and my buyers have no idea what the radon level are at their primary home. I have had a few buyers back out of deals because they planned on doing rentals after they owned and felt placing a tenant in a place that had radon would be a liability and potential for litigation.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

I think that education is the key - but some people are so frightful of radon once they hear about it they cannot get past the road block in their mind.  It's a tough situation and we all have our own comfort level.  I have never had a deal fall through due to mot being able to get the level down and I've had some close to 40. It seems that buyers want the new home to be in the limits but have no idea about the past places lived. 

Posted by Jody Lautenbach (Century 21 Premier Associates) about 10 years ago

Dan, The buyer understanding radon is an up-front conversation each and every time I start the showing process, but it doesn't always cinch the deal once the test results are shown to be high. Then it becomes personal and scary.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Very interesting post.  Thansk for sharing with us. Sorry about the loss of deals due to Radon.  I agree that even though you give them informative information up front, those numbers are going to scare them.  Good luck with this tough situation.

Posted by Joyce Thomas, Your Home Sold Guaranteed! (The Thomas Group Brokered by eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

 

Radon is fairly common in our area and many homes have mitigation systems. I agree with earlier comments that doing up-front education with the buyers is a good starting point. Buyers who are allowed to wander around the Internet looking for Radon information will get the bejesus scared out of them. Most sites that have Radon information place it well within the top 5 causes of lung cancer in the U.S. (I think it is usually cited at number 3).

The U.S. and most states have adopted Radon test levels for remediation that are well below the European standards. I'm not saying that our standards are unnecessarily low, just that our regulators apparently chose a lower level than those in other developed countries.

It's probably a good idea to have a whole prepared speech on potential environmental hazards in homes and how to deal with them, especially for first-time buyers or buyers with small children. Sometimes even concerns about the health of pets can trigger a rejection from potential buyers. In our area we have to tell buyers that Radon is fairly common, so looking for a house with out Radon would significantly increase the search time. What we can look for is a house that already has a remediation system installed or we can make Radon testing and remediation a part of the offer.  

Posted by Norm Werner, Helping the first time and every time (Real Estate One) about 10 years ago

The top "acceptable" limit here in Maryland is also 4.0, not sure if that is standard across the country.  Radon levels vary greatly around our area and there are pockets that will test high.  I know of one street in Crofton that tests high and then a few random houses, and we had another test high in Prince Frederick, where they put in a system.  It seems to not be as big of a deal here as in other areas and we have seen very few people choose to test for it.  When people find out about it, they do sometimes panic depending upon how you explain it to them.  I agree that education is key and discussing the possibility upfront.

Posted by David & Lisa Webber, www.webberteam.com (RE/MAX Executive) about 10 years ago

In Oklahoma, I have been through some test required by relocation companies. The test barely register since this is not common in our soil and we don't do basements because of the clay in the soil. You do have me curious so I am going to check the EPA site.  

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 10 years ago

Steve,

As you pointed out, radon levels can fluctuate widely and the "real estate" radon tests that are completed in 72 hours are not really the best way to get an accurate measure of the radon actually in a home. The best option is going to be a long term test over a period of months, but that doesn't work so well in a sales cycle. You may want to consider getting a long term pre-test on these homes so that you have completely accurate data to present the next buyer who comes along.

The EPA has determined that living in a home with a level of 4pCi/L could pose a health risk and your going to be hard pressed, in my opinion, to convince someone like me who has children to move into a home above that level. Why would I want to move my kids into a home that could cause them harm.

Sure it is a random number, but it's a number that a scientist, who has studied the problem, has determined that there could be an issue above that level. I hear over and over people choosing to blow it off with statements like "you would have to live there 20 years with the windows closed to have a problem" and my response is "How do you know? Did you do any research on your own? or did you just decide that based on what others have told you?"

We probably can't eliminate radon completely. And the couple who wants a reading of 0 in a child's room may never end up buying a house. But your sellers now have a problem that will need fixed or you will have to find a buyer who doesn't care. Educate them upfront, make sure that they have the facts and do your best to work through the problem. A home with radon is not "poison" but it also needs to be fixed if the levels are reading high.

You can send you customers to the Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction on the EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/consguid.html

 

Posted by Christa Ross, Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes (RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist) about 10 years ago

We have some people moving from out of state that mention it but no one has actually tested for it with us.

Posted by Ted Tyndall, I will help You find the Home YOU want to Buy (Davidson Realty Inc.) about 10 years ago

Steve:

I'm from NH as well (moved to Phoenix, AZ about 6 years ago). When we were selling to move to Phoenix, the new buyers had a radon test done.  The results were between 4 and 5 PCI.  It was my understanding that 4PCI was the tolerance and was considered safe.  We were decimals above that...so I thought we were safe?  Wrong!  The gentleman performing the test scared the buyers so badly that we had to negotiate installing a system.  Luckily we got out of the installation by offering a little money off which was just easier for us to do. 

 

Moral of the story - folks that perform the tests should not get involved in the sales process!  Perform the darn test and get out!

 

Hope you are staying warm in NH.  My family has been telling me that you have already had some snow.

 

Good luck!

 

~Katie Halle

Posted by Katie Halle (Scottsdale & Paradise Valley, AZ -Team Evolution - WEST USA ) about 10 years ago

Hi Steve ~ Radon is a huge issue here in Iowa as I think we some of the highest radon levels in the country in some areas. I've never had it be a deal breaker though. Both buyers and sellers know that it is something that can come up and we just negotiate our way through it. I agree that sometimes buyers can get a bit skittish about it, but I find talking about the inspection process and laying out their options before they make an offer is helpful.  They know a radon mitigation system will fix it, so when we get to the negotiations it then becomes a question of cost.

Denise

Posted by Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices (Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268) about 10 years ago

Steve, I guess Radon is equivalent to termites in Florida. If termites are discovered, it will spook some buyers no matter how minimal the damage and how easy to remediate. What I don't get is how 5 stories up you have radon. I thought it was in basements. There is an area of Florida that has radon, can't remember where, but most places don't have a problem with it.

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 10 years ago

Radon systems in my area cost about $800. We even have a radon clause in our Contract to buy and sell. I would consider crossing the bridge early. Just like a pre-inspection, find the problems ahead of time and mitigate it.

Posted by Mike Russell, Overland Park Kansas Real Estate (Mike Russell & Associates) about 10 years ago

Radon is not a very widespread problem in North Carolina though there are some pockets but the majority of my buyers, northeast transplants, request radon testing. The cost is minimal to them and there is never a better time to find out.  Remediation, Remediation, Remediation.

Posted by Debbie Sloan (Coldwell Banker United, Realtors® ) about 10 years ago

Hi Steve~ It is simply up to the buyer(s) to decide if the are willing to take the risks.  I personally would not take the risk and live in a home that has elevated radon levels, so I wouldn't expect them to either.  But, there are some that it just doesn't bother.  Basement homes are more likely to have high radon levels, but even homes without basements can have high levels.  It is just one of those things that buyers have to come to terms with on their own.

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) about 10 years ago

I'd love to see the scientific "evidence" that radon is harmful.   I don't think there is any! There would be no way to test for that (in a well set up scientific study.... (so many of them are analytically flawed due to poor science)) - and rule out other variables.

To rule out other causes when someone dies is impossible.  Perhaps they were in smoke filled bars most of their life...  Breathing passive smoke probably kills far more people than a high radon level.   Of course - they say that high radon levels really don't affect non-smokers that much - just smokers...

I still let our buyer clients know about radon and what the EPA says about it & of course - encourage a test - if only because they might have to deal with it on the other end when they sell.

But in my opinion - the "radon scare" is a bunch of horse manure.

 

Posted by Rick Hauser, ABR, CNC, CNE, GRI, SFR, Exclusive Buyer Agent-Cov (Buyer Broker Chicagoland - CHICAGO IL AND SUBURBS) about 10 years ago

Steve, it's so easy to remediate that it's hard to imagine radon being a huge big deal.  We have lots of it around here, especially in the suburbs to the north of DC.  New construction has to have a system built in.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Christa...Thanks for the link, I have read up on the Radon issues...and have lost over 50 sales in 25 years due to the levels. But as you say some scientist says there could be a health issue and that is enough for most.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Katie...I have had people approach the tolerant zone numbers like a minor car accident...get the money and not do the repair.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Radon reminds me of "Jumping Jack Flash." You know, it's a gas, gas, gas.

In reality though, Radon has been linked to cancer in some studies I've read, while others are "inconclusive" -- whatever that means. It's a bugger, that's for sure.

Posted by Aaron Vaughn, REALTOR© 512-845-4204, My knowledge is your power | eXp Realty (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

Interesting.  We deal with it all the time, but it is a non issue usually for buyers.  I don't know how to fix the 3 specific issues you proposed, they are very unique.  I think you are right in your thought process though, that the root cause is really the psychology of the situation.  Fear is a powerful motivator (or de-motivator in your cases) and once they are scared it's too late.  Most radon fears come from a lack of understanding, so before they ever do a test I make them understand just what it is and what the dangers are. 

I take the buyers to our state website (which is a very good resource, here is a link if it helps: http://www.dep.state.pa.us/brp/radon_division/Radon_Homepage.htm ) and show them that this isn't a home specific issue, but a geographic issue and it is impossible to buy a home in the northeastern part of this country and not have a chance of dealing with it, that radon levels fluctuate and a bad test today can be a good test tomorrow. 

My goal is to show them, in a time when they are calm and rational and not already freaked out, that radon is everywhere, that while it is hazardous it won't kill you in your sleep like carbon monoxide, and that it is easily fixable 99% of the time, in short, that it truly is a minor issue, not a deal killer.  If in a specific case it isn't cheap or easy to fix, it may kill a deal, but most systems costs less than $1000 here and can be done in a minimally disruptive way.  

I then ask them, before we write the contract, if there is radon, if the seller pays to mitigate it to acceptably safe levels, would you buy the home?  They say yes 95% of the time.  If the buyer says no, I tell them that they need to shop for a home in some other part of the country as that attitude is completely unrealistic given the prevelance of Radon.  This process works the majority of the time for me. 

Oh, and one other thing.  If they smoke, I tell them that radon is the least of their concerns, as lung cancer is obviously not a fear for them!

Posted by Jason Burkholder, Associate Broker, Realtor, e-Pro, CMS (Weichert, Realtors - Welcome Home) about 10 years ago

Everyplace seems to have its "Radon Gas" type issue, here in British Columbia it is the "Marijuana Grow Operation".  This is also a scarlett letter that must dangle in front of a home even after it is repaired to the specifications of the local government, had passing air quality tests taken etc.

We also have to contend with Urea Formaldehyde, Vermiculite, Chinese Drywall & Asbestos.  Just another day on the job.

Posted by Scott Leaf Personal Real Estate Corporation, Scott Leaf & Associates Real Estate Team (Keller Williams Elite Realty, Port Coquitlam, BC) about 10 years ago

As my wise old grandmother said, "Too much of anything is bad for you." Lead. Asbestos. Mold. Radon.

I used to eat lead and asbestos when I was in grade school, especially if it belonged to kids I didn't like. I'm pretty sure I'm going to die next year at the age of 55 since that was my goal anyway. LOL

There are problems with Mother and Father Nature everywhere -- radon, earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes, tornados, mosquitos, etc. Do what you can to protect yourself from their rage in your specific area, and if you can't, move somewhere else.

Here's the USGS radon map:

Radon map

Posted by Not a real person about 10 years ago

Russ...Thanks for the map this puts a true perspective on the issues...there can be pockets of concern in every state.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

I have had several deals with radon, but it hasn't killed any of them.  Two of them had systems installed and in one case the buyer closed without a system installed.

I'm not convinced that a pipe emptying a crawl space or basement directly outside at or near ground level would not be almost as good as one bringing it above the roof line.  I guess the fear is that the radon would come right back into the house, but I feel that most of it would be more easily dispersed in the moving air outside the home.

Also, I'm sure you are aware that in cold areas where the ground freezes radon will test much higher in the winter than in the summer.  Sometimes the readings will be 2-3 times as high.

Posted by Marty Van Diest, Your Alaskan Realtor (Valley Market Real Estate) about 10 years ago

We have some issues with it here too, in Middle TN.  Concern about it is growing.  Some good educational materials would be good.  And I think any buyer who is concerned about it should test their current house before being demanding on another.  They may be living in high levels and don't know it.  It is a learning curve issue for all right now. 

Posted by Monica Neubauer, Franklin, TN - Realtor, Trainer (Benchmark Realty) about 10 years ago

Hi Steve!

Great post great conversation..Russell posted the same map I give to our clients that helps everyone see where the hot spots are across the country.

The World Health Organization is trying to lower acceptable counts to 2 PCI and the EPA is still looking into it...

 2PCI is the equivilent of smoking 2 packs of ciggs a day...

Barometric pressure spikes numbers like CRAZY!!! NEVER test during any sort of storm activity if possible. The pressure will actually suck the radon up through cracks and fissures in the substrate and cause numbers to go nuts!

Radon is everywhere, like mold...simple test and mitigate to let the radon have an escape route to the outside.

Dana Reeves was thought to have died of lung cancer thought to have been caused by radon exposure.

Obviously, this is scary to people.

 As Realtors you almost have to be the clients 'protector' or 'body guard' to make sure they know about this and to be pro- active in getting mitigation systems installed.

As a buyer, I would think the world of you looking after my best interests and not just the sale.

As a seller, I would think, OMG!!!!not another test!!!

But it's always better to be pro-active I think....testing is usually $150-$200..mitigation falls between $1,200-$1,500 and it works!

Never use a tester that also mitigates!!!! YIKES! Conflicts of interest extreme-o!!

 

Posted by Lesley Burton-Dallas, Environmental Consultant (Turtle Clan Global) about 10 years ago

I live and sell real estate in the Pocono Mountains of PA. Radon is common knowledge here and should in no way be a deal breaker if your buyers are informed about radon up front. The cost to put in a radon remediation system is not a lot (I think around $1000 to $1500) and because nothing has been proven, this shouldn't be a deal breaker especially if the level is below 8.0. If you get in the mid/high double digits, just ask for the remediation system in your Reply To Inspection.

Posted by Jason Feinman, Bergen County Real Estate Expert, ABR, CNE, e-PRO (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 10 years ago

wow ,,,, now that sucks ... sorry no advice but 3 deals in row ,,, I have never had to deal with Radon myself ... good luck

Posted by Gene perez (Greater Mortgage Solutions & Valley Hills Realty ) about 10 years ago

I had a deal nearly crash in Colorado because the level was 5.5...took $3500 to vent a ranch style house OR ELSE!!!

Posted by Lisa VonBargen, Estes Park Real Estate Photographer (Photography7522) about 10 years ago

Steve,

I sell real estate in Lexington, KY and radon is a big issue here as well.  I recently had a home test at 129 p.c.!!!  Talk about scary.  The government says radon gas is the #2 cause of lung cancer, smoking being #1.  My buyers paid for the remediation. ($3000) They loved the house and who's to say the next house they found wouldn't have had an unacceptable level of radon as well?  Also, when they get ready to sell, the remediation system will be a good selling point for them. It's just one of the "hazards" of our job.  Policeman get shot at, Doctors sometimes kill their customers, and we have radon.  I'd ll  take radon!

Posted by Karen Pannell about 10 years ago

Steve

Many homes in my area also have radon. I always advise my buyers to have the radon test because if there is elevated levels it becomes the sellers responsibility - if they will not correct it than they have to disclose it on the disclosures. One of my listings just had elevated radon and unfortunately my sellers put in a mitigation system that cost the $2000.00 -

take care

 

Posted by Noah Levy, Coldwell Banker Highland Park IL (Coldwell Banker) about 10 years ago

Steve, It seems like anything can make a transaction fall apart these days.  Radon is an issue here in our area of Michigan but I can't think of a time we lost a transaction cause of it.  It seems like the average cost for us is around $1000.00 and seller seems to usually pay for it and everyone is happy.

Posted by Bob Jakowinicz, Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI RE Adventures (National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz) about 10 years ago

I have very mixed feelings about this radon issue.  I have also had it become a deal breaker.  I tell my buyers about it and it scares them sometimes. I think I need to find a different approach to educating them on it.  Sometimes I have sellers that dont want to deal with it either.  Its just one of those things.

Posted by Trisha P Realty Group, "Holding the Keys to Your Dream Home" (Realty Executives) about 10 years ago

Radon inspections are common and expected in Guildford and Forsyth counties here in NC.  I haven't had a radon reading that killed a deal yet, but I can imagine that because it is a buyer's market, a bad reading would be a "good excuse" for the buyer to move on to the next house.

There's a house in my area that had a mitigation system installed while under construction back in the 90's  EVEN THOUGH there's was no known unacceptable radon level in the neighborhood to begin with.  The homeowner just put it in while building the house "just in case" (it's easier to install while building the house).  They were hoping it will one day help sell the house if radon ever became a problem in the future. 

The house was listed last year and recently expired (it was the price, IMO). The agent remarked about the system in the listing because people were wondering what the pipe/fan was for in the basement.  The remarks brought negative attention to the house even though this was a good thing to have.  

Unfortunately in this market buyers get spooked easily.  It requires a lot of education on the agent's part to make the buyer understand the risks and be comfortable with a mitigating system.

No one knows if they're already living in a house with high radon levels if they haven't tested it...so I would take a free mitigation system any day!

Posted by Anonymous about 10 years ago

The problem is, and someone has probably mentioned this, is that Radon levels change dramatically and you need a long-term test (6 months-12 months) to really gauge the level well.  During a two week inspection period, how is that possible?  We have Radon issues in Portland, and my clients pay $150 for a test, but what good does it really do unless it is a long term test?  Its a very difficult scenario, and I am glad I haven't had deals fall through because of it.  I'm sorry that you have Steve.

Posted by Matthew Ricker (Keller Williams) about 10 years ago

Hi Steve.  We have fluctuating levels of radon here.  I do believe in its potential to cause cancer. My house comes in right around 2, but my neighbor's was 11 so they mitigated.  Five doors down.

I always counsel my buyers that radon can be a health hazard and that they should test for it.  I also counsel them on the other numerous environmental hazards around us and potential remedies.  Radon exists in the air outdoors too - and we can't mitigate that!  One last thing - I advise my buyers that they are now adults and must take responsibility for their own safety.  It helps downplay the hysteria.

Sorry to see that you had such unusual circumstances, though.  What a string of bad luck.  Three's a charm, right, so you're all set for a while.

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) about 10 years ago

What do the health "experts" say about homes in that area?  As far as having buyers perform any type of test on a home inspection, and then they decide to walk is up to them.  I'd rather have them walk after having a test then to not have a test, buy the property and THEN find out there's a condition they didn't want and/or like.  (You wrote:  and you can't put Pandora back in the box.  Minor edit: Pandora was never in a box.  She held a box given to her by Zeus, and opened the box out of curiosity, which allowed all the evils of the world to fly out.)

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) about 10 years ago

Leslie...Are you serious about the two packs a day analogy...I have not heard that comparison, and wouldn't want that statement to be taken as a fact unless there is proof. Another road block due to wild speculation is not a fair thing to throw out there on hearsay.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

I met a buyer one day a couple of years ago who, when she got in my vehicle, announced that she would not buy a home unless the Radon reading came in at ZERO. 

I politely told her that I wouldn't be able to help her.  Good luck. 

We have pockets of high readings here.  I had one about 67 in Frederick County.  Following the installation of the mitigation system, it was less than 2.

This is something I cover in great detail up front.  If a buyer is unreasonable, save your time. 

However, I do believe that all parties could be saved a lot of grief if sellers would test and remediate prior to listing.

Yeah, right, Lenn

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 10 years ago

If they do radon test explain the different tests available, the longer term electronic test in the main living space is the most accurate reading, the canisters continue to collect and are often times peak reads and that is not the case all the time.  The electronic test are best. 

Posted by Diane Daley (Caron's Gateway Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Lenn...Yeah, Right! getting people to voluntarily spend money on the unknown has never been taken as popular advice.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Diane (Caron's Gateway)... this is great advice, I do ask for a re-test to make sure you didn't get an odd test, a bad kit or a weird weather day (or two).

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Radon mitigation is about $1100 in my market area.  If the property is a townhome you will have to deal with the homeowners association, sometimes the mitigation company will deal directly with the association for the approval. 

Linda Metallo, Re/max Impact, Lockport, Il. (Chicago)

Posted by Linda Metallo DiBenardo (RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois) about 10 years ago

Steve, I think all your sellers that have those high radon reading should apply to the government for a buy out. 

I'm sorry to make light of a very serious situation.  But hell, I live in NJ and we have every problem known to 'modern man' (insert government).

Radon is just another part of, in my opinion, over regulation.  

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) about 10 years ago

I really like the idea of asking the buyer what the radon level is in thier current home! I sell homes in Breckenridge Colorado and radon is everywhere-

 

Posted by Bret & Meredith Amon, Breckenridge, Keystone, Silverthorne, Frisco, (LIV-Sotheby's International Realty) about 10 years ago

Linda...I didn't go to extreme in my post, but I do most of my work with condos...and have had to deal with all kinds of personalities when it came to a retro-fit system where exterior appearances are a big hurdle...thanks for the reminder to the readers. Condo are a special challenge, Thanks Steve

Erica...A 212 is the highest number I've ever seen...out here I've seen 60+ but nothing in the triple digits Wow!!

Laura...A job stimulus package...maybe these tests are fake to give labs something to do, inspectors...and radon mitigation system installer. But seriously this is another issue for us to explain and fix, Buyers and sellers need our help and the Government can only control so much.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago
Steve, I can so not relate to this from our area but it either is a hazard or not at certain levels. What is that level?
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 10 years ago

Gary, The question of what is the safe level is hard to prove ,we must act on scientific theory and best judgments. If there is a chance its bad someone will regulate it so it becomes another hurdle to clear when selling. 

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

I personally have never had a problem when radon results come in.   Maybe it is  how I handle it.  I act like it is a normal everyday thing and that if it is high we will just have the seller handle it. 

Posted by Damon Gettier, Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE (Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert) about 10 years ago

I seem to remember that there are Radon Health Mines in Montana.  I personally wouldn't sit in one, but I know people who have done it and swear by it. 

Posted by Carol Pease, CRS, Broker-Associate 512-721-6320 (JP & Associates Realtors) about 10 years ago

sorry to hear about your gas problem...bad joke...if it isn't challenging enough to close a deal know throw radon gas into the mix...we have chinese drywall problems in fl...not too much of radon.

Posted by Tim Ludemann about 10 years ago

I always explain radon and radon testing when I write a contract so the buyers know what to expect during the inspection process. The good news for buyers is that the seller is responsible for remediation if the level is above 4.0 pc/L. Why wouldn't they test?

I've only had one buyer cancel because of high radon - the sellers were willing eager to remediate, but the buyer was too nervous to proceed. Most of my clients were fine when they saw the new radon test result.

Posted by Lynn Michaels, Marlboro-Manalapan Real Estate (Weichert, Realtors- Marlboro & Manalapan, NJ) about 10 years ago

Steve, I forgot to say I'm sorry for your string of bad luck. You're due for a string of good luck, now!

Posted by Lynn Michaels, Marlboro-Manalapan Real Estate (Weichert, Realtors- Marlboro & Manalapan, NJ) about 10 years ago

I've just skimmed through the comments so I apologize if someone has already mentioned this:  you don't have to have a basement to have radon.  The first time I ever had a test come back with levels above 4 pCi/L was a 2-level townhouse with no basement.  They had to install the remediation system in the laundry room (approximately the center of the home).

There are some schools of thought that believe the energy-efficiency standards implemented in the late '70s and early '80s caused a rise in the incidence of high radon levels.  The so-called "tight house" contributed by reducing the complete exchange of air from several times a day to several times a week.  Others are now calling that a myth ... who knows?

Posted by Glenda Cherry, Realtor / Photographer (Keller Williams Realty) about 10 years ago

Steve-

I would never in a million years repeat anything on hearsay. I am surrounded by doctors and scientists and I get grossed out and freaked out all the time!

Guess I'm de-sensitized to it! My sincerest apologies to everyone!

However,  Radon IS the real deal. EPA says it is linked to aprox 21,000 deaths each year in the United States ALONE.

 So I just wanted to let everyone know so they could protect their clients whose health is more important than the sale anyway, true?

Radon is an extremely simple environmental issue to rectify and should NEVER be a deal breaker.

Please find some excellent fact based..not fear based info below at one of my sources, the EPA:

http://www.epa.gov/radon/healthrisks.html

 

 

Posted by Lesley Burton-Dallas, Environmental Consultant (Turtle Clan Global) about 10 years ago

Lesley, Thanks for the return comment and clarification, its really an alarming issue...but very treatable as well. I have had many ...many ..installs done in the Granite State...a pipe and a fan, but its not that easy.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Steve~

You are absolutely correct....VERY treatable!!

Everyone...check out the NRSB for contractors in your area that are skilled and qualified to do this work...better than phone book!!

Hopefully, this has been some help!

Posted by Lesley Burton-Dallas, Environmental Consultant (Turtle Clan Global) about 10 years ago

Steve, perhaps what you need is another inspection company that knows how to handle this situation.

Yes radon is a real health hazard but test results in the high single or low double digit numbers should not be alarming. I have been inspecting for almost 15 years and never had on of my clients walk because of radon.

It's all about educating the client to better understand their options. I too am from NH and inspect in the lakes region as well as the coast.  Exposure to radon has to occur over a very long period of time.

Posted by Peter Russell about 10 years ago

Steve while Radon seems to be a deal killer in your area,Mold is the deal killer in PG County MD homes. So sorry to hear about your deals that didn't go through. Great post.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) about 10 years ago

Steve, just find someone that is rich and has a desire to kill a relative. They could buy it for their chosen relative, stick their chosen relative in it, and even though their chosen relative never actually dies, you would have sold the property. It's very simple, really. Just work with the right demographics on a buyer...and there they are!

Posted by Jane Cross (Homes By Cross serving Charlotte NC Real Estate Needs) about 10 years ago

Steve, this is wild. We have radon in a lot of places around here -- I am sure it is prevalent for you because of the rock/granite -- where it LIVES. Do you realize that if people have GRANITE COUNTERS, they are actually inviting this naturally occuring gas into their homes? (Just saying...)

My home's baesment has dirt on both sides. We have a system installed. The level beforehand? 65. Now? 2.9. What else can I do? Live somewhere without dirt and rocks? OK, but then where's my yard?

Crazy! I am so sorry this is happening for you!

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) about 10 years ago

Steve I have written about this several time.  It is important to discuss this issue with the buyer even before an offer is made, I also point out that it is fixable, and how it can be fixed.

Since adopting this approach I have not lost a deal because of Radon. 

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) about 10 years ago

Marney, 65 down to 2.9 proves the issue can be rectified, and Radon can be brought down to a safe level with a simple system, let us hope this can serve to calm buyers concerns.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

I have not had anyone who wanted to test for radon.  I have heard of radon testing, but it doesn't seem to be too prevalent in our area or maybe I just haven't run into it yet?  Anyway, that is crazy that you have had three deals fall apart due to it.  I hope that changes for you!

Posted by Emily Lowe, Nashville TN Realtor (The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty) about 10 years ago

I just ran across 2 cases here in Vancouver WA. One was at 7 and we were told that was high. I guess that is nothing compared to a 65. Common belief in this neck of the woods is that it is easily and inexpensively rectified although I don't know of any properties that have radon reducing equipment installed.

Posted by Mark Hall, Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington (Realty One Group Cascadia) about 10 years ago

I've never had a deal fall through over radon - mitigation costs between $800-$1200, depending on whether it is a 1-story or 3-story house (and other factors) and that has never been a deal-killer for my buyers or sellers.  I suspect the reaction depends, in part, on how the issue is presented to the Parties.  Radon in well-water is another matter altogether, and it is a common problem in northern Anne Arundel County.  Fortunately, I've never had that occur in any of my transactions.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Emily, About half way in to the comments you'll see Russ was kind enough to add a U.S. map indicating areas of concern. I think you will find Tennessee has areas where radon can be high, and testing for it would be prudent. I'm happy to hear you haven't had an issue yet, but being forewarned is being forearmed.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

I read through most of these comments (a bunch!! ), and this comment doesn't apply to everyone. Please understand, that I do not test for radon and only have had a handful of people ask for testing.  But my question is for you "It'snobigdeal-ers", how would you feel if your own house came back with 8 - 12 pCi/L???  Would you be concerned?  How about for your children? Your perspective of the "issue" usually changes when dealing with yourself or your family. 

IMO, though, I think if radon were a really big deal, like the swine flu or something, it would be all over the news and people would be buying home test kits like hotcakes and radon testers would be livin the high life, so to speak.  The unfortunate thing is, people don't really seem to care, until a real estate transaction. 

Great post, Steve, and I wish you a blessed holiday season...

Posted by Joshua Frederick, Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio (Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC) about 10 years ago

Joshua...this was really the basis of the post, we test because its an issue...its is repairable in most cases, but some places in the country (evidenced by the map and Realtor's comments from all over the country) are not testing but should be. Whether you believe radon presents a heath issue or not...shouldn't it be up to the buyer to decide what "they can live with". Every one I know of, that had a high count that could put in a system lowered the numbers to acceptable levels...so this need not Kill a deal, but it needs to be talked about.     thanks for the response - Steve

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

You can't fix radon...it is everywhere....and achieving "0" is unrealistic.  It is great to give them the booklet that the EPA issues on radon.  I like to discuss popular environmental issues and the like at the initial buyer counseling session.  People have a difficult time making decisions coupled with the emotions of a home purchase.  It really helps to have them understand these issues upfront so they can have a plan and set expectations for themselves. 

 

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Yvette...I'm with you 100%, the only thing I can add further to this comment is...the newest homes are being designed for systems up front, older homes are not that air-tight and may not pose as big a threat as the Mid-80's construction when we all went to 2X6 construction and thermo-windows, we go so tight to keep the heat in we also trapped the Radon inside. In my opinion these are the homes that need to be closely looked at.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

The continuing ed class I took was interesting to say the least, everything has changed since then, 2 yrs ago. I had a buyer call for a test and the sellers said no when there was a system installed already.

 The whole thing has driven me to this: If the radon is important to you then test the house after the purchase date OR we will allow the test and will mitigate if it reads high but the buyer will still purchase the home and the price will stay the same as agreed on. 

Posted by Joe Vampola (NPDodge) about 10 years ago

   This information is from: The United States Environmental Protection Ageny - Site.

Studies Find Direct Evidence Linking Radon in Homes to Lung Cancer - Two studies show definitive evidence of an association between residential radon exposure and lung cancer.  Two studies, a North American study and a European study, both combined data from several previous residential studies.  These two studies go a step beyond earlier findings.  They confirm the radon health risks predicted by occupational studies of underground miner’s who breathed radon for a period of years.  Early in the debate about radon-related risks, some researchers questioned whether occupational studies could be used to calculate risks from exposure to radon in the home environment.  “These findings effectively end any doubts about the risks to Americans of having radon in their homes,” said Tom Kelly, Director of EPA’s Indoor Environments Division.  “We know that radon is a carcinogen.  This research confirms that breathing low levels of radon can lead to lung cancer.”

  You decide if you should be testing homes for sale. Steve Loynd

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

What people do not understand about radon levels, based on the comments here and my own experience is what a 4.0pCi/L represents. THIS IS NOT A HEALTH RELATED STANDARD! This number was derived from the ability to mitigate radon levels below this number. It is a mechanical standard. This does not necessarily mean if you are exposed to levels at or above 4 you will get lung cancer.

Basically it boils simply down to this;

The higher the level, the longer the exposure, the greater the risk. 

There is so much wrong information out there on radon it's unfortunately understandable that people, home buyers, sometimes react as they do to radon.

Btw if you haven't heard the WHO has set a new radon action level standard of 2.7 pCi/L. The EPA has not adopted this new lower standard, but most likely will at some time in the future. I'm sorry but this new stanard will make your jobs even more diffficult.

The best advice I could give is to educate your buyers by either sending them to the EPA web site or giving them the EPA publication Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 10 years ago

This talk of Radon got me curious so I did a bit of research.  The Chicago Department of Public Health website has some great info.  Including the following quote:

"exposure to radon gas is exposure to a radioactive element.  Radon is estimated to cause 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year.  The Surgeon General warns that radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US.  Radon exposure accounts for more deaths annually in the US than deaths from drowning, drunk driving, airline crashes and fires" 

It goes on to give a chart with risk associated with radon based on level of exposure.  If you don't smoke your risk lifetime exposure of 4 pCi/L about 4 out of 1000 people would get lung cancer.  (36 people at a level of 20 pCi/L).  If you smoke the risk goes up quite a bit. 

To put this inperspective - about 300 people out of 1000 will get cancer simply because they smoke.  People are strange - they have no problem chosing to smoke, even though the risk is 300 out of 1000, but will freak out if the risk from radon is 4 out of 1000. 

The website includes a map that shows Cook county IL with a moderate potential for radon (typically 2 to 4 pCi/L).  Interestingly - Chicago offers homeowners a free radon test.  simply call 312-746-7820

 

Posted by synthia noble about 10 years ago

 

Whoa... slow down here...

Has anyone here actually read the Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon that James mentioned?

Radon gas is a CLASS A CARCINOGEN!  That means it is KNOWN to cause lung cancer in humans. It's not something that they think can happen, or that they think might be a health risk, it is something that they KNOW is one. Your likelihood of getting radon induced lung cancer is real! At 4.0pCi/l it's statistically about the same risk as dying in a car accident. Granted that's not huge and that's not something that should freak you out, but it is real and it is easy to control.

With the possible exception of the example with the dirt floor a typical radon mitigation system will only cost between $800 and $1500. So if that is killing the deal, someone needs to improve their negotiation skills.

Most people have never heard of radon, so the levels in their current home are irrelevant to their decision on the home they are purchasing. You can equate that to the decision to stop smoking. Stopping now is the best option. Likewise, if you are buying a new home, having the radon tested is a great idea.

When I was a REALTOR, I always pressured my clients to have a radon test done along with their home inspection and termite inspection. My thinking was that if it is high, we can negotiate a mitigation system, or if that failed, my buyers would KNOW that is an improvement that they should make on their home. I not only wanted their business for this transaction, I wanted them to be around for me to sell the home for them later. (BTW, that mitigation system is a "home improvement" and can be marketed as such in a future listing.)

Today as a home inspector and certified radon technician, I offer radon testing. Of all the services I offer, this is the least profitable. The monitors are expensive and need regular and costly maintenance, the test requires multiple trips to the home, and the analysis takes time. So there really is no conspiracy. It's about keeping our clients healthy.

Call me a deal killer if you will, but I'd rather live with a killed deal than with lung cancer any day.

As a REALTOR it is your fiduciary responsibility to look out for the best interest of your clients. That means an occasional "killed deal" because of property conditions, and sour negotiations.

I'm sorry to be so blunt, and I don't mean to offend. But this is a real case of "what you don't know, CAN hurt you!"

 

Posted by Mark Nahrgang (Kingdom Inspection Network Group - Saint Louis) about 10 years ago

Education really is the key. I teach a Radon class to my local real estate board. Find a radon class in your area to take, and then educate your clients about it. As I stated in my previous post, radon should not be a deal killer for you in most cases. A well educated client will know and understand what is necessary.

Personally, I would rather have a home with a system installed where I am confident the levels are low, than a home with naturally low levels and no system. You might ask why?

  1. Radon mitigation systems also improve indoor air quality by venting all soil gasses and some soil moisture to the exterior that would otherwise enter the home.
  2. Radon levels can and do fluctuate. An installed system is one that doesn’t have to be installed later.

BTW. The electricity cost for running one of these systems is roughly $30 per year. Not something that most people would even notice in their electric bill.

 

Posted by Mark Nahrgang (Kingdom Inspection Network Group - Saint Louis) about 10 years ago

James...I hope people reading this understand I was playing Devils advocate here...there is a real concern about the Radon levels in ones home. I have had real estate continuing education teachers Poo-poo these concerns in a class room of Realtors. My feeling is you are better off safe than sorry, have a test done.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

I’ve been selling real estate next to Glacier National Park in NW Montana for close to 20 years now.  So, looking at Russel’s map, you can see we’re used to dealing with radon.  Over the years, I’ve lost one deal to radon when a seller from out of state freaked out after they found out the house they were going to buy was “radioactive”.  They wouldn’t buy even if we could mitigate to zero.  (What if the system failed in the middle of the night? )  Luckily I was on the seller’s side and didn’t have to work with that buyer on their next purchase attempt. 

 

I remember when microwave ovens first came on the scene (I’m dating myself).  There were those that preached the evils of eating “nuked” food because of the radiation it contained.  My advice… don’t waste your time with these morons. 

 

Yes, radon has been undeniably linked to lung cancer but that was in a study of uranium miners that breathed 400 picocuries/liter all day every day for their adult life (radon gas comes from the natural decomposition of uranium).  I know of an older home in our area that tested over 200 pCi/L.  A woman that grew up in that home as a little girl died at an early age from lung cancer even though she had never smoked in her life.  The EPA pulled 4pCi/L out of their hat and blessed it as the magic safe threshold number.  Am I going to tell buyers that’s hogwash?  Hell no!!!  Last place I want to end up is in court trying to prove that I know more about radon than the EPA.

 

There has been some good advice here concerning having the radon discussion with your buyer early on to determine if they have realistic expectations on radon levels and mitigation.  BTW, some posts have mentioned not having basements in their area so radon’s not a problem.  Just because a house doesn’t have a basement doesn’t mean you can’t have a radon problem.  I’ve had a link to radon information on my website for years.  http://www.montanaland.com/idx.htm

Posted by Gregg Schoh (Montana Land Company, Flathead Valley Montana) about 10 years ago

Mark, I can tell you are a strong advocate of testing and mitigation from your comments...and this being the 100th response also tells me this is a real issue Agents, Sellers and buyers need to understand.

           Thanks For the information. Steve Loynd - White Mountain NH Realtor.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Steve,

I missunderstood the "tone" of your post, and if I came off too strong because of that I appologise. I agree that it is a real issue that everyone needs to understand. Thank you for lighting up such a hot topic. It's a great opportunity to help educate and overcome many myths in regards to it.

Greg,

You are correct in that much of the "initial" testing was done with miners. That is because they were an excellent "control" group to work with. And because that is where it was first discovered. But the risks are not limited to miners.

I highly reccomed the everyone reading, take a look at http://www.cansar.org/

The people there have no dog in the fight, other than they are real people, who have suffered real illness cause by radon induced lung cancer.

Posted by Mark Nahrgang (Kingdom Inspection Network Group - Saint Louis) about 10 years ago

Hi Steve,  Only had the issue a couple times here.  I would push to get some hard science on the effects at various levels.

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) about 10 years ago

Hey Bill,

There is some good science and information available. The easiest to understand (from a laymans point of view) is the EPA's website. They have a plethora of infomation there.

Posted by Mark Nahrgang (Kingdom Inspection Network Group - Saint Louis) about 10 years ago

Steve

Interesting thread to go through here and a lot of feeling comes out depending on your view of fear factors. In the end we all will die and the cause may be disputed from many angles. Park City, UT real estate is affected, but I have yet to see it kill a deal. I do think it is becoming just another cost the seller has to bear in order to cover their backs.

Good luck

Posted by Todd Anderson, Park City | Deer Valley Real Estate (You In Park City group - KW Park City Keller Williams Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Sorry about so many deals falling through.  In Kansas City, the majority of sellers and buyers have not opted to test.  We do provide an inspections/testing disclosure telling them of all the risks of many different types. 

Since the majority/almost none of my buyers ever find it a cause for concern.  I do discuss it with them and I've had few tests over the years. Out of all the available tests recommended by the govt. MOLD is usually the concern of most clients.

Posted by Mary Wilcox BPOR, CDPE, SFR, ASD, ABR, Reece Nichols Mary Wilcox BPOR, CDPE, ASD, SFR, AB (Reece Nichols-Mary Wilcox) about 10 years ago

I've never really gotten involved in this.  But it sounds a lot like the mold issue in that some homes get an unfair label and it can cost a lot of money when it does not need to.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Mary...As I said to an earlier response, take a look at the EPA map, there are moderate Radon readings in almost every state, this is an issue to be sure of.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Hi Steve,

     We are used to dealing with radon in my market.  According to our city government, 70% of the homes in our city (Fort Collins, Colorado) have radon levels above EPA acceptable levels.

http://www.fcgov.com/airquality/radon.php

     Our city code has an ordinance stating that real estate sellers must provide an informational brochure about radon at the point of sale for residential real estate transactions.  We acknowledge receipt of said brochure in purchase offers.

     Also, city code states that all single-family homes and duplexes must be equipped with a passive radon-reduction system during construction.  If levels are still high, then a fan can be added.

     My current home is passively mitigated.  My previous home (new construction) was passively mitigated, but still tested over 12 pCi/L, so had to have a fan installed, bringing the level down near 2.  I mitigated the home before that as a condition of the offer I received.

     I have only lost one deal because of Radon, and the seller was refusing to work with the buyers on mitigation.  The common nature of the issue here has Realtors, inspectors, and mitigators well trained in dealing with it.

Have a great day

Posted by Mike Weber, 40+ years in Northern Colorado (Keller Williams Realty Northern Colorado) about 10 years ago

Hello Steve,

Radon has feed the fears for years without solid evidence or proof of its actual harms as a contributer to lung cancer. With so many Americans predominately performing radon testing in houses as part of a sale and not any other time makes it frustrating when you have to deal with it on the sales side. The entire fear comes from not understanding and humans become irrational when they scared. America is the one of the few countries that take short term test as convincing proof of radon. So one short term test may show high levels of radon and scare the socks off some one when they do not completely understand the issue. The issue is the information put out there by the EPA IMO was speculations without solid facts. SO sending someone to the EPA handbooks only feed the fear if some one was not rational to start with.

The WHO (World Health Organization) released a updated handbook in SEPT. 09 on the Effects of radon, Testing, Mitigation, and how to deal with radon findings and processes afterwords. This has been the best information I have seen about radon. I you have an Hour or so to study it I would defiantly recommend reading the entire publication. Some quick points about the publication are there have been recent studies about radon and the link to lung cancer and are outlined here, the WHO is recommending action levels be set at 2.7 piCU/L FYI the measurement are noted in Bq/m3 the conversion is 1 piCU/L = 37 Bq/m3. Short term test are not a reliable or accurate in determining radon levels. I have provided the link here. 

The most powerful tool is knowledge!

http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2009/9789241547673_eng.pdf

 

Posted by Terry Sandmeier (Above All Home Inspections, LLC.) about 10 years ago

When I sold my house in Ohio - I had the radon levels tested PRIOR to listing just like you indicated.

The buyers never asked about it - but I was glad to know there was not a problem.

 

Posted by Phil Hanner, Phil at http://www.findahomeinportorange.com/ (Keller Williams) about 10 years ago

As a Home Inspector , although I don't suggest doing radon testing to my clients, I do perform if asked. In 25 years and hundrerds of high readings I have never had a deal fall though. In Maryland it costs $800 to fix. It is often how the inspector - tester explaines the problem that can allivaite fears or highten them.   When a client walks away they typically have to pay all over again for an inspection, appraisal, radon and termite test again - about $800 and often if the buy in the same area there will be another high reading. I am also an  Enviromental Biologist but I just stick to EPA guidlines this is the best way to avoid liability. Several agents I work with tell the clients "radon is not a problem in this area or type of house so I recommend not testing" this is just needless liabilty exposure if a later radon test comes up high such as when they sell. It is a simple problem to fix - just fix it and close the deal.

Posted by BILL GOSMAN (ASHI CERT W.C .GOSMAN SINCE 1984) about 10 years ago

Terry...Your take on this issue is much appreciated , I will check this link and try to better understand the issues, For the sake of argument, I tell my buyers to test ,then negotiate a system or pay for one which ever is needed...its better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your families health.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Wow Rick Hauser,

Here is the simplest explanation of of why Radon poses a health risk that I can find for you. www.ccnr.org/radon_chart.html.  The evidence is in the men that died. Why do I feel ike I am wasting my breath...

Steve:  Not every buyer has realistiv expectations. Not every seller is willing to admit their moe may not be worth as much as they thought. If real estate was easy everyone would be an expert and no one would make any money.

Neighbouring houses built by different contractors or different crews, maintained differently, may have significantly different levels of air quality. It is a shame that the health standards are based on long term levels, and the testing is done over such short periods of time. Do we want a test box installed in everyhome? checked annually by some gov't inspector? It's easy to install a mitigation solution during new home construction, and lots of guys willing to do ugly solutions for older homes...no one seems to want to pay for a great solution of any problem.  I got nothing easy for you.

Good luck!

Posted by Michael Hunter about 10 years ago

Bill, You have given some very good advice here...if the agent tells a client its not a problem, and its later discovered as being a problem this homeowner is going to be very unhappy...and seek a remedy.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

The Philadelphia area is high on radon.  Radon mitigation on a 2 story colonial is around $1200 and my buyers generally opt for testing. The test is right up there with the home and termite inspections.

Radon testing is so common place here that if a seller has had a radon test when they bought the house and produces the paperwork, my experience has been that the buyers are comfortable with the results.

Many houses in this area have a radon system installed and buyers will pass on the testing because it's already been addressed by the seller and it saves them the $125 fee.

It's taken a few years for the anxiety level about a radon result to drop but it is hasn't been a problem that has cost me any deals...yet.

Posted by Suzanne Strickler, School is never out for the Successful. (Realty Mark Associates) about 10 years ago

Some people in the environmental business think that radon mitigation is all a bunch of snake oil.  Kitchens and bathrooms with granite counters give off radon too - - do we tell people to remove the granite for safety?  It's the same way with lead - does it really harm people?  How many of us bit down on lead weights when we went fishing?  Or ate pencil lead when we were kids?

The law says that we have to mitigate for these risks, therefore, I have to support them as a Realtor. 

Now, pressure treated plywood on decks - imbedded with arsenic - and leaching into the soil or dripping onto the ground below - why doesn't someone regulate that?  They took pressure treated wood out of the playgrounds, but not out of the homes.  I still see contractors using the stuff that they stockpiled from 1996 for residential use.

Posted by Martin Kalisker, Professional Standards & Legal Assistant (Greater Boston Association of REALTORS) about 10 years ago

Steve -If you notice in that map up there you'll see NJ is in the hot zone as well.. I have had deals go south for the very same reason even when the mitigation of said Radon was done... Buyers come in and see and herar that fan going and bam they are out of there... no questions asked except what was that fan going on in the basement for?... It's hit or miss around here but it does happen on occasion... Looks like you did open the box here... great post and well deserved gold star...

Posted by Robert Hammerstein, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) about 10 years ago

Radon in the Capital District area in NYS can range anywhere from below 1 PCI to 28 or more PCI.  We deal with this problem quite effectively, and most Buyers Agents request that the buyer do the test, unless the seller has test results already.  Radon readings do not change.  Just make sure the lab that furnishes the results is a valid lab.  Also, a seller with a "home test" I would not trust, even with a valid lab's results.  Some sellers' placements of cannisters do not furnish valid readings.  Any radon mitigation system that has been installed in one of the homes that I know of have always reduced down below 1 PCI. 

Food for thought:  Readings under 4 PCI in the United States are acceptable.  I believe I heard last that in Canada that readings under 12 PCI were acceptable?  I should look that up.  So, this is still a "new" science.

Also, it doesn't matter whether or not you live on a slab, radon seeps into ANY structure with a floor on the bottom, whether it's dirt or cement, or whatever.  So, test should be conducted on any structure, including condos.   

More food for thought:  How many hours a day does a person spend at work?  Commercial real estate does not need to test for radon.  I've asked.  Perhaps ALL buildings need to be tested. 

Have a great Holiday everyone!

 

 

 

 

Posted by Mary Harwood about 10 years ago

Bob...Its a strange paradox, is the house OK when there is no system at all (and it tests OK...that day) or are you better off having a working system that removes all doubt. One of the inspectors responded he believes you're better off with a system...than being lucky for the one test and not being sure if there is a spike at different times of the year? I don't know A radon system is cheaper than Chinese Drywall.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Mary...Regarding the point about commercial space, I commented in one of these responses: what is the radon level at work, or the kids school? people can place a mitigation system in a residence fairly easily, but radon is outside at work and everywhere.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Wow, Steve, in IL we do not regularly test for it.  It would be extra with the home inspection and most buyers choose not to do it.  In IL if you want, they will send you a free test kit if you would like.  They never follow up with it mind you but it's free if you are concerned.  I personally checked into this a few years ago and it is confusing as to what is deemed unhealthy.  I also had one of my listing many years ago (split level) have high radon concentrations near the sump area & had to be mitigated.  This reminds me of when I was a kid - I didn't have or wear a bicycle helmet & am alive & well today!  Is it the same for radon?  Is Al Gore gonna make a movie?  Let's hope not & are the 'facts' coming from the same idiots that are fudging the global warming numbers?

Good post.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 10 years ago

120 comments... you gotta be kidding me. Impressive

Time to move to WordPress

 

 

Posted by Doug Francis about 10 years ago

Lynn...Chicago, is considered to be in a moderate concern zone, without a doubt this will be an issue to keep an eye on. Disclosure is a funny thing there is no problem till there is a problem...then they remember who sold them the place.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Thank goodness, it is not a problem in the Houston area!   That would be just one more thing in the mix.  Excellent post and comments!  If someone is coming in from one of those hot spots, I will be more aware of why they are concerned and the resources to deal with those concerns.  I have only had one guy who paid for the testing, and he was moving from Hong Kong and tested for everything.

Posted by Dana Wilkinson, Broker-Your TX agent for The Woodlands-Spring-Conr (Connect Realty, The Woodlands, TX) about 10 years ago

Even though we do have some radon here in TN, I have only had a couple buyers decide to test for it and they came out ok. When you go to the EPA website( especially if you are a buyer) it can scare the bejeezus out of you, having as much knowledge and facts as possible is the only thing I know to combat panic.

Posted by Vanessa Stalets, REALTOR, Brentwood TN Homes, Real Estate (RE/MAX Elite) about 10 years ago

I haven't deal with this issue killing one of my deals yet.  Knock on wood.

Posted by Mike Henderson, HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848 (Your complete source for buying HUD homes) about 10 years ago

RADON IS REAL!  It will not go away.  A level below 4.0 pCi is not considered safe.  That level was established as most houses could be mitigated to below that level.  EPA will likely be lowering the radon action level at some point in the future. 

A seller's radon test should never be accepted.  Every sale should have a new radon test.  There is much tampering with charcoal canister type tests that have no security features.   Also, radon levels can change if windows are upgraded in a home, a heating system is replaced, insulation is added and a basement is finished. 

If a radon mitigation system is already in place, that home should also be tested.  Often a home is not independently tested after the system is installed and reliance is placed on the installer's post-mitigation radon test.  That presents a clear conflict of interest.   

I recommend that only electronic radon tests such as the RadalinkTM continuous radon monitor be used for real estate transactions.  The RadalinkTM device features a tilt sensor that determines if the machine is moved and also a power loss sensor if unplugged.  Additional security is provided as the monitor records the temperature, humidity and barometric pressure on an hourly basis to help ensure that the windows are maintained closed for the test period.   

The sales professional that is radon educated and prepared will be able to resolve radon issues and close the sale.  Professionals that discourage radon testing will have their credibility damaged and create unnecessary exposure to negative circumstances.    

Posted by Glen Fisher (National Property Inspections of Southern New Jersey, LLC) about 10 years ago

Vanessa, The EPA is a pretty scary agency in general, all the things they do have health issues behind the reason for looking in to them. But science has its place in home design and construction methods, as I have hinted at before the tighter we make our homes to save energy the more air quality concerns will come to light.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Glen, I was hoping to start the dialog with both sides of the radon issue, but by far more people voiced serious concerns than this health concern is real. Thanks for your comments, many thoughts here should solidify that testing before a sale is really necessary and prudent.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Steve, after reading all the above comments it was the first I have become aware of the effects. I know, I know, we Canadians are behind so thanks and I will do some research.

Ty

Posted by Ty Lacroix (Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc) about 10 years ago

Nice Blog.

I perform a lot of radon testing in Massachusetts and when a radon level does come back from the lab as a higher than normal reading, it usually doesn't kill the deal on my Buyers' prospective home. My Buyers simply want the Sellers to pay for the $1,200.00 mitigation sytem.

I've seen 98% of these radon mitigation systems literally lower the radon levels. I've placed radon test kits in many actively mitigated homes and most of the radon levels were in the 0.2 / 0.6 range. Mitigation systems do lower the radon levels in homes and Buyers shouldn't be concerned about a prospective home with higher radon levels.

 

Here's more info.....TESTING FOR RADON

Posted by David Valley, Massachusetts Home Inspector (Massachusetts Home Inspections) about 10 years ago

David, Thanks for you comments and perspective on this radon issue, it has been my experience that a higher than acceptable radon level can be lowered dramatically with a simple system...fear can be abated.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Rick, radon stats are credible unlike man made global warming & second hand smoke. They are based on very precise data cultivated fom dead and impaired minors over a time frame of decades. Exposure levels are well documented in their industry.

Posted by Steve Ellis (Smokies Investors Real Estate & Auction) about 10 years ago
Rick correction, that would be" miners" instead of "minors."
Posted by Steve Ellis (Smokies Investors Real Estate & Auction) about 10 years ago
Rick correction, that would be" miners" instead of "minors."
Posted by Steve Ellis (Smokies Investors Real Estate & Auction) about 10 years ago

I have never heard of anyone here asking for a radon test, I don't even know where to get one.  But if we were in a radon area, I would recommend it for sure.  My family is from a little farm in South Dakota, a high risk area - dirt basement, storage for vegetables, etc.  My parents died of cancer, and out of 10 kids, so far 2 have had mouth cancer, it is not just the breathing of the gas, it gets in the food stored in basements.

We rarely have termites here, but I order those inspections, too.  CYA and protect your clients.

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) about 10 years ago

Virginia ...you can find any number of places that sell a test kits on-line, all have a mail away lab envelope with the kit. All you need to do is put an email address on the enclosed flier (time of test-requires 48 hours exposure in a closed room), and the results will come inside of a few days. Might be worth a try at your own house, then you can judge if talking about the issue should be incorporated in your real estate work in the future.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Steve, excellent idea.  Thanks.

I moved here from California, termite inspections were standard there.  I ordered one on the first house I sold here, even the inspector laughed at me.  After 4 years, I still recommend them, if the buyer does not want to pay for it, I will.  One finally did come back positive recently and the fix was pricey - glad it was not on me - I want my clients to have full confidence in me and in the home they purchase.

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) about 10 years ago

Virginia, you'll been seen as taking an extraordinary step to ensure your area doesn't have a radon issue. Just think...you can Say I tested my own house and I am now confident of my results. There are a lot of labs that sell the test kits and the results are pretty darn reliable.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

I have lost many family members to cancer. If radon mitigation saves lifes I am for it no matter how many transactions ( not deals...used car salesman lingo) I loose.

The two areas of the country that have the highest is RHODE iSLAND (WHERE i AM A bROKER-Associate) and PA.

It really does not cost that much for mitigation 800-1500 to protect family members from potential canccer issues.

Posted by T.Todd Brown about 10 years ago

In my opinion, any inspector who is testing for radon should be certified by NEHA (National Environmental Health Association).  This is by far the most thorough certification available.  http://www.neha-nrpp.org/.  Under no circumstances should anyone rely on a charcoal canister type radon test as they only measure the picocuries at the exact instant the test was administered and radon levels fluctuate throughout the day.

Posted by Christie Welch about 10 years ago

Christie, I would agree and many times I would ask for a re-test with better equipment when you get odd readings...I'm afraid most people want to leave a kit and send it off to the lab...then take that as the final answer.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Hi, I'm in your neck of the woods - Littleton.  We've all seen some deals go down because of Radon.  I think it really has to do with the buyer's comfort zone here, you're right.  I've had buyers at all different levels of concern.

Posted by Lori Santora (Coldwell Banker LinWood Real Estate, Littleton, NH) about 10 years ago

Hi Lori, We've shown property together in Franconia, That was the theme of the post...we do have all kinds of radon level in the White Mountains...and they can kill a deal.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago

Sorry Steve, I guess you have a better memory than I do!

Posted by Lori Santora (Coldwell Banker LinWood Real Estate, Littleton, NH) about 10 years ago

That's tough Steve. We do not have much radon anround here. Only in a few pockets around the city.

Note; The comment above me is all spam.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) about 10 years ago

We've had Radon as more of an annoyance than a hindrance for sales in St. Louis.  Its a rare situation that its a serious enough problem to kill a deal. 

Posted by Kevin Cottrell (Austin Real Estate Today) almost 10 years ago

Radon can be found in Pockets all over the country, It would be a good idea to test for it in a neighborhood once in a while just to rule it out...if for no other reason.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) almost 10 years ago
Radon is an odorless gas which is produced by the normal decay of uranium in rocks and soil. And it is estimated that 1 in 15 American homes contains dangerous levels of radon. Radon can enter homes through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations, and collect indoors. It can also be released from building materials, or from water obtained from wells that contain radon.
Posted by måle radon about 9 years ago

The radon test didn't kill the deal.  The high radon did.  Don't shoot the messenger.

Posted by Steve Traylor, ASHI Certified Home Inspector (A+ Home Inspections dba A+ Services, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Thanks For sharing that Mark.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) over 8 years ago

Man, I never realized the dangers of radon.  Last year I found out that radon kills nearly 100,000 people a year by causing lung cancer. I had to get my house tested for radon as soon as I found out about that.  My levels were way high, but with my new <a href="http://www.annarborradonmitigation.com">Radon Mitigation Michigan</a> system, I was breathing easy again! :)

Posted by Radon Mitigation Michigan about 8 years ago

Okay, I understand everything about radon more today than yesterday.  It's a common problem here in the Denver area.  I'm an Exclusive Buyers Agent, so don't deal much with the mitigation side (unless I get to provide it because I forgot to wait for the results before turning in our inspection objections! Lesson learned...).

My client had the radon checked and it was 5.5.  The seller had had it checked when she bought it 5 years ago and it was 5.2.  We asked for buyer and seller to split the cost of mitigation, around $850.  Then my buyer did his own independent research and because of the charm and aesthetic of the house, decided it would make a 1923 bungalow look ugly with the pipe running up the wall, so he canceled the mitigation.  Before I canceled it I did my own research and recommended he do what the seller did, leave it for the next buyer, or take the time to do his own due diligence to get it mitigated to his taste.  I thought I'd heard everything, but guess I still have much left to learn.

Posted by Judith Clausen over 7 years ago

Judith...It a funny subject, studies are all over the place with what is bad for your health. The outside air can be very close to those numbers...but you can't live in a vacuum so what do you do. BTW there are way to hide the pipe and bring it through the roof so it looks like a chimney.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) over 7 years ago

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