(NAPSI)-More Americans are getting a prime opportunity to conduct more due diligence research – from getting a home inspection to neighborhood environmental screening – as a way to protect their health and wallets from poor investments.
A housing sales slowdown gives homebuyers more time to look deeply into, under and around their properties, and homebuyers can use the extra time to sidestep common and often costly risks.
According to the nation’s leading provider of environmental information reports, Environmental Data Resources Inc., a growing number of homebuyers are following the trend of investigating environmental risks associated with the property and its surrounding area – before closing on a sale.
Environmental due diligence has been a common practice for nearly 20 years in commercial real estate, but a growing number of homebuyers and real estate agents now use home inspectors to gather detailed and accurate environmental information reports to better understand the environmental risks associated with a property and the surrounding neighborhood.
Without a need to rush through sales like homebuyers did in previous “sellers’ markets,” homebuyers are now able to take time to get important information before purchasing. Five simple things every homebuyer should do are:
1. Get a home inspection. It seems obvious, but in a hot sellers’ market, homebuyers often don’t take the time.
2. Meet the neighbors – it’s important to know whom you’ll be living next to, and they can often provide valuable information about the property and the neighborhood.
3. Find out if there is contamination under the property or in the surrounding neighborhood. Ask your home inspector for a neighborhood environmental report that provides information about nearby leaking underground storage tanks, landfills, hazardous waste sites and facilities that handle hazardous materials.
4. If you have children or plan to have children, visit the local schools. A quick walk-through and conversation with administrators can be very revealing.
5. Drive through the neighborhood at different times of day. A first pass can’t show its full character or show if it is too noisy (or too quiet).
While there are numerous areas for investigation when buying a property, environmental concerns are clearly growing as a priority. Few issues can have a greater effect on health and property values than environmental contamination, and just because an area appears to be pristine does not mean environmental hazards aren’t present. Many of the worst hazards in the nation are in affluent and rural areas.
In the past, information about nearby contamination and potential sources of contamination was too expensive and time consuming to provide for residential real estate. Now, low-cost, professionally prepared environmental risk reports are increasingly offered by home inspectors, and they usually provide the only way to screen for possible contamination.
For more information or to learn how to get an EDR Neighborhood Environmental Report, go to edrnet.com/residential.