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Radon in Real Estate

February 23rd, 2011 · No Comments

 

HUD Federal Housing Commissioner takes action on radon

In a 2006 letter, Brian Montgomery, the Federal Housing Commissioner at HUD informed Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgagees about revisions to its home inspection form (HUD-92564-CN). There is a section on radon testing including the EPA and U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation that all homes be tested. EPA’s 1-800-SOS-Radon hotline is also mentioned. Mortgagees are required to provide the form to prospective homebuyers at first contact. The form is mandatory for all FHA-insured forward mortgages. This requirement potentially reaches millions of homebuyers.

In 2004, Dr. John C. Weicher, the Federal Housing Commissioner issued a radon gas and mold Notice (H 2004-08) requiring that a release agreement (HUD-9548-E) be included in all sales contracts for HUD-acquired single family properties. The agreement notifies purchasers of the potential health problems caused by exposure to radon and some molds. Required use of the agreement expired on May 31, 2005. In fiscal year 2004 HUD sold about 78,000 Real Estate Owned (REO) single-family properties.

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Financing Residential Radon Mitigation Costs:   Using the HUD 203(k) Mortgage Insurance Program to Reduce the Risk of Lung Cancer in People.

The Section 203(k) mortgage financing program is the Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) primary tool for rehabilitating and improving single family homes. The program allows home buyers to finance the purchase and repair or improvement of a home using a single mortgage loan. Reducing radon levels in a home is an improvement that can be financed through a 203(k) mortgage loan. Part of the 203(k) mortgage proceeds must be used to pay the costs of rehabilitating or improving a residential property. To qualify, the total cost of the eligible repairs or improvements, including fixes to reduce radon levels, must be at least $5,000. The 203(k) program is an important tool for expanding home ownership, revitalizing homes, neighborhoods and communities, and for making homes healthier and safer for those who occupy them.

Homes eligible for 203(k) financing include:

  1. one to four-family dwellings that have been completed for at least one year; 
  2. dwellings that have been demolished, provided some of the existing foundation system remains; and, 
  3. converting a one-family dwelling into a two, three, or four-family dwelling; or, alternatively, converting an existing multi-unit dwelling into a one to four-family unit.

The 203(k) program has been used successfully by many lenders to rehabilitate properties through partnerships with state and local housing agencies, and with non-profit organizations. To further help borrowers buy homes, lenders have found innovative ways to combine the 203(k) program with other financial resources like HUD’s HOPE and Community Development Block Grant Programs. Contact an FHA-approved lender in your area for more information about HUD’s 203(k) program, or if you’re interested in getting a 203(k) insured mortgage loan. Check your phone directory’s blue pages for the HUD office nearest you; they can get you a list of the 203(k) approved lenders in your area.

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American Society of Home Inspector’s (ASHI) Radon Mitigation System Inspection Checklist

Home inspectors have a new service to offer their home inspection clients; radon mitigation system inspections. The tool that makes this possible is the Radon Mitigation System Inspection Checklist PDF (PDF, 2 pp., 43 K, about PDF), created by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), in cooperation with the EPA’s Indoor Environments Division. The Checklist promotes radon awareness, testing and mitigation with people who are having their home, or prospective home, inspected. With just seven inspection elements, the Checklist takes under 15 minutes to complete. Inspectors can easily integrate it into a general home inspection. The inspection results indicate whether the home has a mitigation system, and if so, whether the system is active or passive. It also encourages the consumer to verify that indoor radon levels are below 4 pCi/L, and to consult a qualified mitigator if the inspection notes any apparent deficiencies.

The Checklist was constructed using several sources, including EPA technical radon mitigation and radon-resistant documents, and radon inspection checklists used by state radon programs, e.g., Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Iowa. It was also field tested by ASHI and reviewed by the state radon programs. The Checklist includes information on radon risks, the NAS radon report, ASHI and EPA websites,. The Checklist also encourages consumers who have questions to contact their state radon office. This Checklist is also available on ASHI’s website exiting EPA)

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Find a Radon Service Provider Near You

If you are interested in finding a qualified radon service professional to test or mitigate your home, or you need to purchase a radon measurement device, you should:

  1. Contact your State Radon Contact at www.epa.gov/radon/whereyoulive.html to find out what are, or whether there are, requirements associated with providing radon measurement and or radon mitigations/reductions in your State. Some States maintain lists of contractors available in their state or they have proficiency programs or requirements of their own.

  2. Contact one or both of the two privately-run national radon programs (listed here alphabetically) who are offering proficiency listing/accreditation/certification in radon testing and mitigation.  (Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government.)
The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
National Radon Proficiency Program
Website: www.radongas.org/ exiting EPA
Call: (800) 269-4174 or (828) 890-4117
Fax: (828) 890-4161
E-Mail:  angel@neha-nrpp.org
The National Radon Safety Board (NRSB)

Website: www.nrsb.org exiting EPA
Call: (866) 329-3474
Fax: (914) 345-1169
E-mail: info@NRSB.org

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Radon Publications

Find a listing of Radon Publications and Resources at www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/index.html. You can order publications from EPA’s National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP):

National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP)
P.O. Box 42419, Cincinnati, OH 45242-0419
Website: www.epa.gov/nscep
Phone:  1-800-490-9198 (M-F from 9am-5:30pm Eastern)
Fax:  (301) 604-3408
E-mail:  nscep@bps-lmit.com

Preston Sandlin and Home Inspection Carolina have providing thorough quality home inspections in the Charlotte NC area for over 15 years.  Preston has a masters’ degree in Education and has taught Home Inspection classes for years.  He also is a certified infrared thermographer.  Home Inspection Carolina has  been on TV many times and has a Charlotte Home Inspector radio show .  So you are in need of a home inspection in Charlotte NC, Gastonia NC, Weddington NC, Mooresville NC, Fort Mill SC or Rock Hill SC call Home Inspection Carolina (704) 542-6575.

 

Preston Sandlin

Home Inspection Carolina

Ask the Charlotte Inspector

 

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