RADON What Morris Sussex County Home Buyers Need To Know

Dated: 01/27/2017

Views: 390

Woo-hoo! Celebrate January National Radon Action Month!  “Uh, big whoop.”, you say?

RADON What Morris Sussex County Home Buyers Need to Know

First consider this:  Radon causes about 21,000 deaths per year (according to the EPA), second only to lung cancer.  It lurks in homes across the United States. Perhaps in the Morris Sussex County home you’re buying. Got your attention now?  Good. (Spoiler alert:  Radon’s generally easily correctable to a very low level.)

An Unwelcome Intruder

Humans can’t smell, taste or or see radon, which exists in rocks, soil and water.  Through natural decay, radon releases radioactive components into the air and into structures.  Next, cracks in your home’s foundation and usage of well water allow radon into your home, which consequently traps it inside.  Nearly one of every 15 U.S. homes possesses an elevated radon level of 4 pCi/L or more.  New Jersey homes average 4.4 pCi/L.

Buyer Beware

Morris Sussex County home buyers must consider radon levels in their buying process.  Home not yet tested?  The test then typically takes place at the buyer’s expense at the time of home inspection. (Most New Jersey home inspectors include licensed radon testing in their offerings.)  Include provisions in the contract specifying:

  • WHO conducts the test

  • WHERE the test takes place (accurate results require testing in the lowest living space, finished or unfinished)

  • WHAT type of test (New Jersey allows a short-term radon test for real estate transactions)

  • WHEN the test takes place

  • HOW test results will be shared

If already tested, the seller supplies the results, information on who conducted the testing, where the test was taken, and what structural changes were made since testing (as such changes might cause increased radon levels.)

High-Level Action

Tested high?  Don’t panic!  Most Morris Sussex homes built from the 1980’s on already possess a passive remediation system, allowing an easy fix.  Other fixes involve sealing foundation cracks/openings, and installing a vent pipe/fan system.  

Typically, the seller pays for remediation before closing, allowing the Morris Sussex home to be re-tested for a typical arms-length transaction.  (In contrast, a short-sale or foreclosure in “as-is” condition places the cost of testing and remediation on the buyer.)  

After that, move on to worrying about other important things. Like that psychedelic pink-and-purple flowered wallpaper in the kitchen.

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