U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-05-2015, 04:55 PM
 
18 posts, read 16,987 times
Reputation: 18

Advertisements

Hi,

My husband and I are buying our first home and we've found one that we love in Ashland, MA. We're pretty far down the process of buying (signed P&S) and recently learned that our potential house is situated right between the Nyanza Superfund Site and a closed landfill. As you can imagine, we are now very discouraged.

The landfill is located at 102 Howe Street and our house (which will be completely finished in June) is located on Whittemore Drive. - just less than a half mile away in the Indian Brook neighborhood.

The house has a private well - and although the well quality tests came back OK - I don't particularly trust them. We will be doing our own tests before closing, but I'm generally concerned about the groundwater quality since the house is literally sandwiched between two hazardous waste sites. While the town's board of health and the well drillers have assured me the well and water are clean, I can't help but be concerned. Not to mention the potential negative impact this could have on resale.

My question for any of the Ashland residents that live (or lived) in the area either near the landfill:

- What do you know about the landfill and are there any health concerns living near or next to it?
- Have you experienced any incidents relating to the landfill?
- Have you experienced any negatives with reselling?

I appreciate any insight on this!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-05-2015, 07:25 PM
 
2,368 posts, read 1,556,433 times
Reputation: 1851
Not an Ashland resident but I do have a private well. There is absolutely no way I would have signed a P&S in this situation if you knew of these issues during the inspection phase. Did your home inspector not do a water quality test at the time?

Unfortunately I think you're stuck. Backing out after signing the P&S would set you back serious cash.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-05-2015, 07:36 PM
 
18 posts, read 16,987 times
Reputation: 18
It's new construction so we have the right to do an inspection before closing (as much as that might seem pointless). We also have a contingency written in our agreement regarding our satisfactory approval of the water quality tests. We were not aware of the landfill before we signed the P&S. It was not disclosed to us until after - which is beyond discouraging.

Water tests have already been conducted since the well is installed, and the water came back "clean" per the engineer. We asked to do our own independent testing because we knew about Nyanza beforehand. However, now that there is a landfill on the other side, there are two hurdles to get over. I'm not happy, and obviously don't want to lose our deposit. At this point, I suppose I should be crossing my fingers that our well tests come back unsatisfactory.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-05-2015, 07:39 PM
 
18 posts, read 16,987 times
Reputation: 18
Also - Dm84 - Thank you for the reply!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-05-2015, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
5,833 posts, read 7,537,324 times
Reputation: 4660
Quote:
Originally Posted by KB13 View Post
It's new construction so we have the right to do an inspection before closing (as much as that might seem pointless). We also have a contingency written in our agreement regarding our satisfactory approval of the water quality tests. We were not aware of the landfill before we signed the P&S. It was not disclosed to us until after - which is beyond discouraging.

Water tests have already been conducted since the well is installed, and the water came back "clean" per the engineer. We asked to do our own independent testing because we knew about Nyanza beforehand. However, now that there is a landfill on the other side, there are two hurdles to get over. I'm not happy, and obviously don't want to lose our deposit. At this point, I suppose I should be crossing my fingers that our well tests come back unsatisfactory.
I have a few questions. First, do you have a real estate agent? If yes, why did they not inform you of these issues before you ever got this far?

Second, does your contract literally say that you have to be satisfied with the results of the water quality test or you can walk away? If so, the test results are irrelevant. Unsatisfactory is a relative term. Just say you're voiding the contract because you're unhappy with the test results. Of course, consult an attorney before making such a move. I have not actually seen your contract and am making a guess basically.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-06-2015, 06:31 AM
 
18 posts, read 16,987 times
Reputation: 18
Our real estate agent did not know about the landfill. We knew about the superfund site and moved forward with the P&s only after doing extensive research on the issue including groundwater flow direction. After fully understanding that we were up gradient of the site- we felt comfortable.

Supposedly our agent and the builder didn't know about the capped landfill on the other side of the property which - from my research- would be more likely to share the same water table as our well.
Our agreement says "This transaction is subject to the buyers satisfactory well water quality and quantity test results including testing for Mercury"

To say that I'm disappointed and upset with our agent is an understatement.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-06-2015, 06:38 AM
 
2,368 posts, read 1,556,433 times
Reputation: 1851
Quote:
Originally Posted by KB13 View Post
Our real estate agent did not know about the landfill. We knew about the superfund site and moved forward with the P&s only after doing extensive research on the issue including groundwater flow direction. After fully understanding that we were up gradient of the site- we felt comfortable.

Supposedly our agent and the builder didn't know about the capped landfill on the other side of the property which - from my research- would be more likely to share the same water table as our well.
Our agreement says "This transaction is subject to the buyers satisfactory well water quality and quantity test results including testing for Mercury"

To say that I'm disappointed and upset with our agent is an understatement.
If I were you I would probably find a real estate attorney to discuss options.

Obviously I don't know the entire situation but based on what you've described I'd probably explore ways to get out of this deal.

With all due respect to MikePRU, most agents only care about closing a deal because they work on commission only. Yes there are exceptions, but never assume an agent is acting solely in your best interest.

Garbage dumps have all sorts of chemicals that would never show up in a water quality test. The fact that they are so unconcerned about that is ridiculous. Same thing with the superfund site. I'm actually amazed the builder was able to get all the approvals needed.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-06-2015, 07:08 AM
 
18 posts, read 16,987 times
Reputation: 18
Thank you both for the replies.

We have an attorney now and I will definitely discuss our options with her. I found it odd that the builder got permitted as well- after finding all of this out. Even more odd- the neighborhood that adjoins our street was built a year or two after the landfill was capped and after the superfund site was established so apparently they didn't find it a concern.The EPA was all over the area and you'd assume they would have not permitted building if it was a health concern. You hope at least.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-06-2015, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Needham, MA
5,833 posts, read 7,537,324 times
Reputation: 4660
Quote:
Originally Posted by KB13 View Post
Our real estate agent did not know about the landfill. We knew about the superfund site and moved forward with the P&s only after doing extensive research on the issue including groundwater flow direction. After fully understanding that we were up gradient of the site- we felt comfortable.

Supposedly our agent and the builder didn't know about the capped landfill on the other side of the property which - from my research- would be more likely to share the same water table as our well.
Our agreement says "This transaction is subject to the buyers satisfactory well water quality and quantity test results including testing for Mercury"

To say that I'm disappointed and upset with our agent is an understatement.
Is your agent based out of Ashland? If they are based in Ashland and this isn't their first month selling real estate then they have absolutely no excuse for not knowing about the landfill.

It sounds like that clause will give you the right to walk. You can say anything you want like "there's too much calcium in this water for my taste." Of course, I haven't read the contract and you should consult an attorney before making a decision but this clause sounds incredibly favorable for the buyer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dm84 View Post
If I were you I would probably find a real estate attorney to discuss options.

Obviously I don't know the entire situation but based on what you've described I'd probably explore ways to get out of this deal.
Incredibly solid advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dm84 View Post
With all due respect to MikePRU, most agents only care about closing a deal because they work on commission only. Yes there are exceptions, but never assume an agent is acting solely in your best interest.
I have a "view behind the curtain" if you will and I'm aware of things that are happening in the transaction that most buyers/sellers are not privy to. I can honestly say my experience has been that the overwhelming majority of real estate agents are quite ethical and do their best to look out for the interests of their clients. The problem is that a large majority of agents are simply inept. The public assumes they're pushing through the transaction to earn a paycheck but the truth is the agent is probably just bad at their job. There is absolutely a hand full of absolute scumbags in this industry though but they don't come anywhere near being a majority of the real estate agent population.

The larger problem is that the barriers to entry in this career are entirely too low. The pre-licensing requirements are entirely too easy and new agents should absolutely be required to "apprentice" so to speak with a more experienced agent before they can be involved in a transaction but that doesn't happen. Also, if you're a member of the bar in this state you can just send in a form and a check and you get a broker's license which I find ridiculous. I've represented real estate attorneys as their agent and I can say with certainty that most of them have no idea what I do or how to do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KB13 View Post
Thank you both for the replies.

We have an attorney now and I will definitely discuss our options with her. I found it odd that the builder got permitted as well- after finding all of this out. Even more odd- the neighborhood that adjoins our street was built a year or two after the landfill was capped and after the superfund site was established so apparently they didn't find it a concern.The EPA was all over the area and you'd assume they would have not permitted building if it was a health concern. You hope at least.
I'm not really surprised. As long as the soil is clean now and there is no evidence of the contamination creeping towards the neighborhood then there's no reason to prevent construction. However, you never know when that will change. Plus, if it concerns you then it will concern other buyers so it will likely be an issue when you go to resale.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-06-2015, 09:11 AM
 
2,368 posts, read 1,556,433 times
Reputation: 1851
The biggest problem is you can never test for every single contaminant that may be in the soil or water. In a sparsely populated area far away from any known issues, you just assume that if the basic water quality tests come back ok that everything is fine. However if you have active knowledge that the house is that close to two major sources of contamination then I'd absolutely be more skeptical of the water quality no matter what the test results are.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:




Over $99,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Massachusetts
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top