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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:45 PM
 
6 posts, read 33,519 times
Reputation: 18

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Hi folks. I've been fascinated with this website all evening. I would like - with all good intent - just to mention an issue that became a hurdle for me.
Is everyone aware that the way the STANDARD NC Offer to Purchase Contracts are written, if a potential buyer choses to do a radon test and it comes back above the 4p/L (the top # allowed by the EPA), the home buyer MUST allow the potential seller to "mitigate" the property, THEN the seller has the right to hire a third party retester to see if the RADON levels have been mitigated to below the top EPA # of 4p/L. THEN the seller IS ALLOWED to terminate the contract if the second testing after mediation is still above 4p/L. I think this is WHACKED. BUYERS BE AWARE. Many states have STANDARD contracts that if a buyer choses to test for radon and it is found to be above EPA standards for health & in need of "mitigation", RIGHT THEN AND THERE the contract can be terminated OR IF the buyer and seller chose they can proceed.
TAKE NOTE: Since my my radon testing came back 15 p/L and 13.7p/L in the downstairs bedroom, I was not happy. THIS IS NOT A DISCUSSION OF WHETHER ANY READER AGREES THAT MITIGATION FIXES EVERYTHING. THAT'S NOT FOR ME TO SAY. Believe me, I talked to everyone I could, learned about seasonal variations... got all info I could to "refine" what I knew/thought. I wanted to believe in it.
BOTTOM LINE: I decided FOR ME: FAIR would be to allow me to say "thanks anyway, I would prefer to sleep with my head in a space that has a NATURALLY occuring "safe" level of radon - not one that relys on a vent/blower to create a "safe" level. Could I please look at some other houses?
The problem is - I had signed the STANDARD CONTRACT and wasn't free to my own opinion. The RE agent said "Well, you said you knew all about radon". I couldva told you how mitigation fixes it" DID YOU GET THAT? The industry that has lobbied to have the contract structured this way was going to "explain" the "solution" of mitigation to me. Let's see. ...any bias?
FACTS I HAVE LEARNED. RESEARCH THEM YOURSELF. I used official Buncombe county websites, NC state agency websites, local testing service discussion.... Buncombe C. tests about 35% houses above EPA 4p/L, Henderson 45%, Brevard area 50%. I understand factor analysis. Areas with more "new" homeowners are "testing higher" - simply because they test more.
Radon testing is "new". Who cares? I don't have cancer yet. I'll probably get run over by a bus tomorrow. AGREED. But chances of getting lung cancer r/t radon are the second leading cause of lungcancer.
AND HERE'S THE THING: WHAT WOULD REAL ESTATE AGENTS DO WITH ALL THOSE HOUSES if everyone didn't agree "mitigation is THE solution?" What if people were "allowed" to say, "I would like to look at another house please"?
Thank goodness, my lender presented a higher initial rate in the Commitment Letter than was in the Offer - so I could get out of the contract - because the contractor was going to keep my escrow for wanting to move on. See, he didn't bother to test HIMSELF BEFORE putting the house up for sale. Got it?....
All the while the RE agent was actually telling me what a great guy he was to be mitigating. I think he was a good builder, but this contract is a shell game if you want to think for yourself. BEWARE OF RADON CLAUSES UNLESS YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY SURE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE THAT MITIGATION COMPLETELY CURES A 13.7p/L in your kids' room.
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:54 PM
 
14 posts, read 380,415 times
Reputation: 34
Default What?

Could you repeat that? Just kidding!

Last edited by Caveman; 02-23-2007 at 08:04 PM..
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:14 PM
 
1,453 posts, read 4,942,388 times
Reputation: 737
The key is to have a wise agent who will act on your behalf and put loopholes in the contract that allow you to get out if you're not satisfied. Example: The Cost of Repair Contigency. If it costs more than, say $3,000 to "remediate" the radon then you're out. Or write into the Addendum to Contract that you won't accept the home if it tests positive for RADON. The standard Offer To Purchase for NC just clears the way for sellers to make needed repairs that are discovered post contract.

If a seller is aware of material facts prior to listing the home for sale they are obligated by law to disclose.
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:21 PM
 
6 posts, read 33,519 times
Reputation: 18
Default you're cute, try this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caveman View Post
Could you repeat that? Just kidding!
BUYING A HOUSE IN ASHEVILLE?
THE STANDARD CONTRACT says you MUST accept radon mitigation in NC if radon levels are above the acceptable health standards set by EPA
THE STANDARD CONTRACT in MANY OTHER STATES says, the buyer has a CHOICE whether to continue the Offer or not.
WHO do you think this profits? Uhhhhhhhh could the answer be the real estate agents and contractors who don't test for radon before placing homes on the market?????????????
It could be your problem if you're buying a house.
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:33 PM
 
6 posts, read 33,519 times
Reputation: 18
Default Thanks businessperson

Quote:
Originally Posted by businessperson View Post
The key is to have a wise agent who will act on your behalf and put loopholes in the contract that allow you to get out if you're not satisfied. Example: The Cost of Repair Contigency. If it costs more than, say $3,000 to "remediate" the radon then you're out. Or write into the Addendum to Contract that you won't accept the home if it tests positive for RADON. The standard Offer To Purchase for NC just clears the way for sellers to make needed repairs that are discovered post contract.

If a seller is aware of material facts prior to listing the home for sale they are obligated by law to disclose.
Yes. I was mad at myself for missing this - acting as if it wouldn't happen to me! Yes, I should have made loopholes. MY "wise agent" never had the curtesy to "inform" me of the slight difference in Offer rate limit and Commitment Letter initial rate that was the obvious "out" after 2 days of knowing I wanted out. Could she possibly have wanted a commission more than acting in my behalf? Hummmmmmm? In fact, that could probably be proved.
She was my buddy until she understood I didn't like the whole system. BUYERS KEEP LISTENING. This IS THE SYSTEM in high radon WNC!
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Old 02-25-2007, 04:52 AM
 
Location: Lake Lure, NC
33 posts, read 125,884 times
Reputation: 11
One large "loophole" option that benefits the buyer in the NC real estate Offer to Purchase is called Alternative 2. It allows the buyer and seller to agree on a small sum (which is generally much less than the Earnest Money Deposit) which gives the buyer the option of cancelling the contract for any reason or "for no reason" if the buyer decides that they don't want the house by a specific date. The buyer forfeits this Option Fee, but the buyer gains control of the situation for a small price.
This alternative still allows for all the testing and or mitigation anyone wants, but it saves the buyer from being dependent on the lender's interest rate or perhaps having to find other extraneous issues to allow them to get out of the contract.
Regarding the benefits to the real estate agent if the buyer is forced to accept a home after Radon mitigation, I'd like to think that the agent's goal was to have satisfied customers rather than just making another sale. After all, most of our towns are so small that telling 20 or so of your friends about problems with a specific agent would seem to be a career-buster for the agent. Hopefully they learned from this experience that the Radon Inspection paragraph is not as simple as it appeared at first.
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