Test Before You Buy

By: Elyse Webb Email
By: Elyse Webb Email

How do you know what has taken place in a home that you plan to buy? Well, a new law that gives buyers the right to take action before moving in.

They are scattered all around the Grand Valley, both new and old, but how do you know what happened in that house before you buy it? Toni Heiden, Heiden Reality, says, "We want to make sure that that property is something to give enjoyment of life." That combined with health and legal issues is the purpose of senate bill 2, which is now in effect.

"This gave property buyers the right to test properties for the presence of residue that would indicate a meth lab," says Steve DeFeyter, Director of Mesa County Environmental Health. If this tests does show an unsafe amount of residue, the seller has the right of a secondary test. DeFeyter says, "The seller can hire another industrial hygienist, a certified industrial hygienist to perform the test to challenge the first test." Then if dangerous amounts of meth residue is still found, the potential buyer can cancel the contract up to the closing date. "The only out for the seller is if they clean up the meth prior to the sell, and then they can be exonerated," says DeFeyter.

With this law and in these contracts it doesn't matter if meth was made in the home twenty years ago or just last month. Instead safety is determined by how much meth residue is actually in the home.

DeFeyter says, "If the results of the test shows greater than five micrograms per hundred square centimeter then it's a meth lab."

This small amount of residue may cause the seller to shell out about thirty thousand dollars in renovations. In extreme cases the interior of the home including the sheet rock and under flooring may all need to be gutted out.

So if a seller suspects there may be a problem from previous owners or renters the test is recommended before putting the home on the market.


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