How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
How can not testing for radon be an expensive mistake for homebuyers?
Sunday, July 1, 2018
There’s plenty of scientific data about the relation between high levels of radon in a home and increased risk of lung cancer. But some people don’t believe it. Others think the science is basically good but the level that the EPA has set that requires radon mitigation (fixing it) at 4.0 pico-curies per liter of air or above is unrealistically low.
What people in both of those camps are missing is that, once a home is tested for radon and the level exceeds 4.0, then the homeowner’s options are limited to either fixing it by installing a mitigation system with an average cost of between $2,500 and $5,000, or listing it in the property disclosure form when you sell the home. It’s a fact that materially affects the value of the property, whether you believe radon is real or not, and must be disclosed.
So if a homebuyer does not test for radon during their inspection period, and the buyer they sell to years later does, then they get stuck with paying for a radon mitigation system or having the high radon level noted in the property disclosure that scares off potential buyers.
Our point is that testing for radon before buying a home makes good financial sense, especially if the home is in an area with a large percentage of tested homes that were over the 4.0 level. You can check your zip code at the Florida at the Department of Health’s website at:
The statistics range from 57.6% in zip code 32615 down to 10.5% in zip 32653 in Alachua County. So, are you willing to gamble that you are buying a home with a low radon level and it won’t cost you thousands of dollars later, or just go ahead and test to know for sure?
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