Buying New Home - Radon

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XtremeSki2001
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Buying New Home - Radon

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:14 am

Hi All,

There are several threads about Radon that I've read, but still have some questions. We've placed an offer on a home contingent on many tests (including Radon). In preparing an offer, we were provided the sellers disclosure and one section was incomplete "Additions, alterations, structural changes". In addition, the section on water damage they responded in the negative and a similar section on radon they responded in the negative.

When we sent our offer, we asked that the "Additions, alterations, structural changes" section be completed. It was then that we learned the house was tested for radon (4.4, US average is 1.4, and remediation needed when it's above 4). We also learned there was a sump pump problem (failed), which flooded part of the basement ($4,000 in damage). So this means the sellers form was filled out incorrectly (blatantly in my opinion). Since then we've been provided all the work orders and supporting invoices for all the repairs.

Based on what we've read the house had radon remediation performed, but it's still tested slightly high (4.4). We've received advice from a lot of people to walk away because the sellers (appear to have) blatantly lied and because the remediation of radon did not fix the issue.

What would you do if you were in our position?

*Our condo has sold and the closing date is in mid-April and we're expecting our first child in mid-April
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by livesoft » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:18 am

I would get them to lower thr price significantly and if they didn't, I would walk away.
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Call_Me_Op » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:41 am

Radon remediation is simple in a newer house. How old is the house and what method of remediation was employed?
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Aptenodytes » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:43 am

Determine flood damage and evaluate severity. If current conditions are ok don't worry about it other than make sure your sump pumps keep working

Get an estimate for radon remediation from a reliable service and make sure they get all documentation on prior work. Make sellers pay for remediation.

If above leaves you with the willies just walk away and start over. It is still a buyer's market.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by rkhusky » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:51 am

Aptenodytes wrote: It is still a buyer's market.
Not in our area. Too many folk underwater and can't sell, leading to fewer houses on the market. Less buyers in the market too, but if you are looking for particular characteristics in a house, you don't have a lot to choose from.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Call_Me_Op » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:00 am

Incidentally, wrto radon, 4 pC/L is the EPA suggested action level. They are not required to do anything. That said, I would want the level close to background (< 0.4 pC/L) just in case.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by carolc » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:05 am

If they have dealt with the radon issue there should be some kind of remediation system that you can physically see. I think 4.4 picocuries per liter is still high. Remember the 4 number is an 'action level' only. Doesn't mean it's really OK to live in a house with a 4. Our's was close to 15 before we had a remediation system installed. Now it is down to less than 1.

Perhaps the sellers need a 'better' remediation system. Or perhaps there really is nothing else they can do (i.e. really dense clayey soils below the foundation). I would not buy a house where the radon level couldn't get down to one or less.

EPA has literature about radon. Suggest doing a search.

carolc

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by livesoft » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:07 am

And don't forget that (if you buy) you will sell this home in the future and your buyers are going to ask about radon.
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:16 am

Call_Me_Op wrote:Radon remediation is simple in a newer house. How old is the house and what method of remediation was employed?
We don't have the specific remediation details, but it was tested in January @ 4.4. The home is 10 years old.
Aptenodytes wrote:Determine flood damage and evaluate severity. If current conditions are ok don't worry about it other than make sure your sump pumps keep working
The damage was due to a sump/power back-up failure during an extended power outage. We're not too concerned with the water.
Call Me Op wrote:Incidentally, wrto radon, 4 pC/L is the EPA suggested action level. They are not required to do anything. That said, I would want the level close to background (< 0.4 pC/L) just in case.
It's at 4.4 pC/L so remediation is required.
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Call_Me_Op » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:25 am

No, 4.4 does not mean remediation is required. There is no law requiring this. 4 pC/L is the EPA suggested action level. It is an arbitrary "line in the sand." As I said, I would remediate anything above background.

In a 10 year old house, remediation should consist of a simple sub-slab depressurization pump. Cost should be about $1k. Basically, what it does is it sucks the air beneath the foundation (drom the sub-slab gravel) and exhausts the air above the roof line. This places the sub-slab at a negative pressure, and no radon should leak into the house.
Last edited by Call_Me_Op on Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:27 am

Call_Me_Op wrote:No, 4.4 does not mean remediation is required. There is no law requiring this. 4 pC/L is the EPA suggested action level. It is an arbitrary "line in the sand." As I said, I would remediate anything above background.

In a 10 year old house, remediation should consist of a simple sub-slab depressurization pump. Cost should be about $1k.
Thank you for the information. I double checked the notes from the agent and there is no remediation installed.
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by flossy21 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:28 am

XtremeSki2001 wrote:So this means the sellers form was filled out incorrectly (blatantly in my opinion).

It sounds like the people you are dealing with have no problem with lying. You've caught them in two lies so far. What else are they not telling you?

Personally I would walk away. You are assuming all the risk here with no recourse other than to sue once you sign on the dotted line. Years from now when you sell you will have to disclose these things as well.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Flashes1 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:39 am

We just sold a house in December with really high radon (buyers paid for the test---came to 20x).....we put in a remediation system-----I think it cost us approx. $900. If it's any comfort to you, my wife is a physician, and she had no concerns regarding the high radon.....she said you would have to live in your basement exclusively for years before there would be any health concerns. If you're worried about it, ask the sellers to pay for it.

Regarding not reporting the water damage in the basement.....you're not dealing with the most upfront people, but if the water damage was only caused by a failed sump pump, and not something structural such as a cracked foundation, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I'd just have your inspector take a closer look at the basement to ensure there's no structural issues, but I might use this omission as a means to get the seller's to give a little on closing costs, etc.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Call_Me_Op » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:45 am

Flashes1 wrote:We just sold a house in December with really high radon (buyers paid for the test---came to 20x).....we put in a remediation system-----I think it cost us approx. $900. If it's any comfort to you, my wife is a physician, and she had no concerns regarding the high radon.....she said you would have to live in your basement exclusively for years before there would be any health concerns.
Really? I believe that 20 pC/L is equivalent to about 1000 chest xrays/year. I would be very concerned. There is currently no consensus as to whether there is any safe level of ionizing radiation.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Flashes1 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:50 am

Call_Me_Op wrote:
Flashes1 wrote:We just sold a house in December with really high radon (buyers paid for the test---came to 20x).....we put in a remediation system-----I think it cost us approx. $900. If it's any comfort to you, my wife is a physician, and she had no concerns regarding the high radon.....she said you would have to live in your basement exclusively for years before there would be any health concerns.
Really? I believe that 20 pC/L is equivalent to about 1000 chest xrays/year. I would be very concerned. There is currently no consensus as to whether there is any safe level of ionizing radiation.
Yea, it was really high...might even been above 20x, but again, my wife is pretty smart regarding health issues (Top 5 Pediatric Hospital).....she wasn't worried about it. However, if you live in your basement for years, then there would be cause for concern, but we lived in our first and second floors, have full time jobs, and kids are in school.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:51 am

Walk. No, wait......Run!!!! Don't let someone's problems become yours.

The problem with radon is it is an invisible gas that is location specific. That plot of land where the home is built has naturally reoccurring radon seeping from the rocks below it. Nothing you can do will really get rid of it, other than to vent it into the atmosphere, but you still have radon there.
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:55 am

Flashes1 wrote:
Call_Me_Op wrote:
Flashes1 wrote:We just sold a house in December with really high radon (buyers paid for the test---came to 20x).....we put in a remediation system-----I think it cost us approx. $900. If it's any comfort to you, my wife is a physician, and she had no concerns regarding the high radon.....she said you would have to live in your basement exclusively for years before there would be any health concerns.
Really? I believe that 20 pC/L is equivalent to about 1000 chest xrays/year. I would be very concerned. There is currently no consensus as to whether there is any safe level of ionizing radiation.
Yea, it was really high...might even been above 20x, but again, my wife is pretty smart regarding health issues (Top 5 Pediatric Hospital).....she wasn't worried about it. However, if you live in your basement for years, then there would be cause for concern, but we lived in our first and second floors, have full time jobs, and kids are in school.
Your wife may be smart, but no one is perfect. Is she an oncologist or some other practice? I ask because it's like asking a podiatrist about your kidneys - a foot doctor while a medical doctor does not have the same level of competence as a nephrologist or urologist. Why chance it? You go to the specialist that works on those problems in their sleep, daytime, all the time.

A remediation system may or may not fix it. Let it be someone elses problem.
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by rkhusky » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:56 am

It sounds like there are some minor hassles involved in the house. If the OP really loves the house and can't find anything comparable, it would be worthwhile to deal with the hassles. If the OP is indifferent and can easily locate another house, it would be worthwhile to walk away.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Call_Me_Op » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:01 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Walk. No, wait......Run!!!! Don't let someone's problems become yours.

The problem with radon is it is an invisible gas that is location specific. That plot of land where the home is built has naturally reoccurring radon seeping from the rocks below it. Nothing you can do will really get rid of it, other than to vent it into the atmosphere, but you still have radon there.
What are you saying? If it is vented into the atmosphere outside of your house, the problem is solved. The radon gas is only harmful if it accumulates inside of the home.
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:15 am

rkhusky wrote:It sounds like there are some minor hassles involved in the house. If the OP really loves the house and can't find anything comparable, it would be worthwhile to deal with the hassles. If the OP is indifferent and can easily locate another house, it would be worthwhile to walk away.
Thanks for the note. We have very specific criteria (4bdr, 2.5 bath, 1/3 acre, dead-end/non-thru street, close to major interstates, walking distance to park, and within our budget) and this home fits our criteria and we really love the home.

Since my posting, I've heard back from the seller's agent and learned some information (supported by inspecting documentation I received previously):


- Disclosures were completed in December, before the sump pump failed due to a power outage (the sellers were not living in the unit at the time, hence the basement damage).
- The Radon was identified in January, and the disclosures from December were not updated. Since the sellers were not in the home, I can't imagine why they had a test for Radon performed unless the had another offer (agent says our offer is the first).

I've also learned Pennsylvania and the specific counties where we're searching for homes have a pC/L higher than the national average. The EPA says the counties we're looking at have a predicted average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L. In other words, walking away from this home due to Radon won't necessarily solve our problems as many homes in the area have this problem. For those interested, here's a map of the USA from the EPA regarding Radon areas (http://www.epa.gov/radon/pdfs/zonemapcolor.pdf).

Our real issue right now is the sellers countered our offer and are basically not budging on their listing prices (but have agreed to remediate the Radon problem).
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Aptenodytes » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:20 am

I had the exact same flooding problem with my current home -- a flood happened while the home was on the market and unoccupied. The damage was really insignificant and it just impressed on us the need to keep the pumps working.

From what you say about the sellers offering to pay for the remediation, you should have clear sailing. Just be sure to get confirmed test results. I would suggest repeating the tests yourself after you move in just to rule out the possibility of hanky panky.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by tadamsmar » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:28 am

Call_Me_Op wrote:Incidentally, wrto radon, 4 pC/L is the EPA suggested action level. They are not required to do anything. That said, I would want the level close to background (< 0.4 pC/L) just in case.
"Pennsylvania law requires that the seller disclose the results of any known radon testing"

http://celiar.home.comcast.net/~celiar/ ... buygud.pdf

I don't think remediation is every required for private homes regardless of the level. It's true that a seller in PA is not required under state law to do anything if they are not aware of any radon test results on the home they are selling. (But local regulations might apply.)
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by tadamsmar » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:34 am

Flashes1 wrote:
Call_Me_Op wrote:
Flashes1 wrote:We just sold a house in December with really high radon (buyers paid for the test---came to 20x).....we put in a remediation system-----I think it cost us approx. $900. If it's any comfort to you, my wife is a physician, and she had no concerns regarding the high radon.....she said you would have to live in your basement exclusively for years before there would be any health concerns.
Really? I believe that 20 pC/L is equivalent to about 1000 chest xrays/year. I would be very concerned. There is currently no consensus as to whether there is any safe level of ionizing radiation.
Yea, it was really high...might even been above 20x, but again, my wife is pretty smart regarding health issues (Top 5 Pediatric Hospital).....she wasn't worried about it. However, if you live in your basement for years, then there would be cause for concern, but we lived in our first and second floors, have full time jobs, and kids are in school.
Radon is estimated to cause over 20,000 deaths per year in the USA:

http://www.epa.gov/radtown/home-radon.html

The problem is largely unregulated and what regs there are tend to protect home sellers. In some states, when the buyer signs the paperwork at closing they sign a document that protects the seller from being sued.
Last edited by tadamsmar on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by magellan » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:10 am

IMO, in a geographical area where radon is common, a house that has active remediation and tests low is may be preferred over a house that had a single short-term test that came in under the limit.

Samples taken from the same location can be highly variable depending on time of year and even the weather during the test period. You can't know for sure if the levels are really low unless you do a long-term test or a series of short term tests taken at different times of year with different conditions.

With that in mind, I'm not sure it makes any sense to "ding" a house that had a high reading but was remediated, as long as it tested low after remediation. That house may actually be safer. Personally, regardless of whether a system is in place or not, in a high radon area I'd do a series of tests after moving in just to be sure (maybe once every 3-4 months). You could do two to three sample locations per test, and it'd only cost $100-150 for peace of mind.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by waukesharob » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:12 am

I just wanted to chime in as we just purchased a new house at the end of December and the radon levels came in at 7.9 pCi/L. We asked the sellers to pay for the mitigation system and they agreed. I don't know the exact price, but it was under $1000. The system was installed to pull air from the sump crock. After the system was installed, our levels are at 0.8 pCi/L.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by johnubc » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:31 am

Flashes1 wrote:We just sold a house in December with really high radon (buyers paid for the test---came to 20x).....we put in a remediation system-----I think it cost us approx. $900. If it's any comfort to you, my wife is a physician, and she had no concerns regarding the high radon.....she said you would have to live in your basement exclusively for years before there would be any health concerns. If you're worried about it, ask the sellers to pay for it.

Regarding not reporting the water damage in the basement.....you're not dealing with the most upfront people, but if the water damage was only caused by a failed sump pump, and not something structural such as a cracked foundation, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I'd just have your inspector take a closer look at the basement to ensure there's no structural issues, but I might use this omission as a means to get the seller's to give a little on closing costs, etc.

This is foolish - especially for someone in the medical field. What was the Radon level on the first floor? 20 pCi/l in the basement could be 4 - 5 pCi/l on the first floor - exposing you to a good amount of radiation.

OP - I would seriously reconsider this house - not because of the Radon, but it seems like they are hiding some defect in the house or something. If you do want the house, make it contingent on getting remediation completed by a reputable specialist.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Calm Man » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:43 am

Flashes1 wrote:We just sold a house in December with really high radon (buyers paid for the test---came to 20x).....we put in a remediation system-----I think it cost us approx. $900. If it's any comfort to you, my wife is a physician, and she had no concerns regarding the high radon.....she said you would have to live in your basement exclusively for years before there would be any health concerns. If you're worried about it, ask the sellers to pay for it.

Regarding not reporting the water damage in the basement.....you're not dealing with the most upfront people, but if the water damage was only caused by a failed sump pump, and not something structural such as a cracked foundation, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I'd just have your inspector take a closer look at the basement to ensure there's no structural issues, but I might use this omission as a means to get the seller's to give a little on closing costs, etc.
Flashes, your wife may indeed be correct. Or not. I have read the literature. It is controversial and it is impossible to do a controlled study.
I understand and congratulate you on your wife being a renowned pediatrician (I am not being sarcastic.). That is good. We in the medical field have different specialties. A pediatrician is not a specialist in the field of radiation induced carcinogenesis. Pediatrics has a far lower rate of cancer than adult fields (thank goodness). My position has been and always will be that if there is a radon issue whether remediated or not, I will not go near the house. There are others who feel that way rightly or wrongly. So at a minimum buying the house reduces the number of buyers when OP has to sell. Also, unless technology has changed, there will always be a pump running. When I look for houses you can usually see the egress pipes or whatever they are called. And you can hear the pump always humming in certain parts of the house depending on the acoustics.

Back to OP. These people apparently had a reading of 4.4. Whether it is dangerous or not who knows? But it sounds like they elected NOT to remediate it. What else haven't they done. Worse, they have lied to you twice which means they haven't disclosed many more things. Are you going to sue them in 5 years for non-disclosure when they may be dead or in a different part of the country? But very simply, I would not take the lies personally. However, I would tell my agent that I do not deal with people who lie, period. Walk and don't look back.
Last edited by Calm Man on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Calm Man » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:48 am

XtremeSki2001 wrote:
rkhusky wrote:It sounds like there are some minor hassles involved in the house. If the OP really loves the house and can't find anything comparable, it would be worthwhile to deal with the hassles. If the OP is indifferent and can easily locate another house, it would be worthwhile to walk away.
Thanks for the note. We have very specific criteria (4bdr, 2.5 bath, 1/3 acre, dead-end/non-thru street, close to major interstates, walking distance to park, and within our budget) and this home fits our criteria and we really love the home.

Since my posting, I've heard back from the seller's agent and learned some information (supported by inspecting documentation I received previously):


- Disclosures were completed in December, before the sump pump failed due to a power outage (the sellers were not living in the unit at the time, hence the basement damage).
- The Radon was identified in January, and the disclosures from December were not updated. Since the sellers were not in the home, I can't imagine why they had a test for Radon performed unless the had another offer (agent says our offer is the first).

I've also learned Pennsylvania and the specific counties where we're searching for homes have a pC/L higher than the national average. The EPA says the counties we're looking at have a predicted average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L. In other words, walking away from this home due to Radon won't necessarily solve our problems as many homes in the area have this problem. For those interested, here's a map of the USA from the EPA regarding Radon areas (http://www.epa.gov/radon/pdfs/zonemapcolor.pdf).

Our real issue right now is the sellers countered our offer and are basically not budging on their listing prices (but have agreed to remediate the Radon problem).
I strongly suggest not believing this. Or if true, why were the disclosures not amended. It seems to me that this would be a good case for the attorney general at least against the listing broker as they are presenting false and misleading information.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by sjb19 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:17 pm

I wouldn't be comfortable with a newborn in a house that tested that high. If they can't remediate again and bring the level down it would be a dealbreaker for me.

But, I feel your pain. We looked for over a year, including backing out of negotiations on one house due to a general unease with the other agent (we later found out there was a suicide in the house that wasn't legally required to be disclosed). There will always be an information advantage to the seller, but you seem to be doing a good job figuring things out.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by livesoft » Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:03 pm

XtremeSki2001 wrote:Our real issue right now is the sellers countered our offer and are basically not budging on their listing prices (but have agreed to remediate the Radon problem).
Not budging, eh? Watch what happens when you write them, "We will offer one single dollar more and that's our final offer." I think they will budge.

Also make sure your real estate agent knows you hate the house, but would only buy it very, very grudgingly if your arms were twisted. In other words, never ever ever tell anyone you like a house. Ever.
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:24 pm

livesoft wrote:
XtremeSki2001 wrote:Our real issue right now is the sellers countered our offer and are basically not budging on their listing prices (but have agreed to remediate the Radon problem).
Not budging, eh? Watch what happens when you write them, "We will offer one single dollar more and that's our final offer." I think they will budge.

Also make sure your real estate agent knows you hate the house, but would only buy it very, very grudgingly if your arms were twisted. In other words, never ever ever tell anyone you like a house. Ever.
We deferred to our agent for negotiating, but budged on our offer only slightly. Our agent is quite good (sold our 1 bedroom 1st floor condo in two weeks) and nevers shows his (our?) hand. We're continuing to look at more homes - we're not going to be pushed around in the negotiation process. If they don't agree or counter in a reasonable fashion, we're walking away. Our original offer was 10% lower than listing price and their counter was 1-2% lower than listing. Considering the issues, lack of major appliances, and other issues - they don't really have a leg to stand on, IMHO.
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Jerilynn » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:20 am

XtremeSki2001 wrote:
What would you do if you were in our position?
I wouldn't walk away, i'd RUN away. I think you already know that and just need some encouragement. So, consider it given. :)
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Jerilynn » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:22 am

XtremeSki2001 wrote:
Call_Me_Op wrote:Radon remediation is simple in a newer house. How old is the house and what method of remediation was employed?
We don't have the specific remediation details, but it was tested in January @ 4.4. The home is 10 years old.
Aptenodytes wrote:Determine flood damage and evaluate severity. If current conditions are ok don't worry about it other than make sure your sump pumps keep working
The damage was due to a sump/power back-up failure during an extended power outage. We're not too concerned with the water.
Call Me Op wrote:Incidentally, wrto radon, 4 pC/L is the EPA suggested action level. They are not required to do anything. That said, I would want the level close to background (< 0.4 pC/L) just in case.
It's at 4.4 pC/L so remediation is required.
The house has a sump pump and 'you are not concerned about water'? Somehow these 2 statements are mutually exclusive in my opinion.
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Jerilynn » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:25 am

Flashes1 wrote:We just sold a house in December with really high radon (buyers paid for the test---came to 20x).....we put in a remediation system-----I think it cost us approx. $900. If it's any comfort to you, my wife is a physician, and she had no concerns regarding the high radon.....
Not all physicians are 100% correct 100% of the time. I know this for a fact. That's why the gods invented 2nd (and 3rd) opinions.

Sometimes it's a good idea to get one, don't you think?
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Jerilynn » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:27 am

tadamsmar wrote:
"Pennsylvania law requires that the seller disclose the results of any known radon testing"
And if they don't? Make sure the people selling the house have enough assets so you can successfully bring a civil suit against them.
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:59 am

Thanks for all the advice everyone. The sellers would not negotiate beyond 2-3% of the listing price, so we're off to greener pastures.
A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Calm Man » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:04 am

OP, congratulations.. I mean it. Now that the emotional aspect of this particular house is gone, I would suggest you see what red flags were there and this will greatly benefit you in the future. Very simply, I decided long ago that if somebody lied to me at all despite whatever protests they made to the contrary, or were inflexible, that I would simply walk at the first recognition of either. Good luck and you were blessed for this to happen.

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Call_Me_Op » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:08 am

Calm Man wrote: My position has been and always will be that if there is a radon issue whether remediated or not, I will not go near the house.
I don't understand why you would feel this way. Any tightly-built (i.e., new) house will have a radon problem if not properly ventilated. Radon occurs naturally in soils. Once the radon is remediated - regardless of how that is done - there is ZERO issue. The radon level in a properly remediated house is far lower than the average house - and is usually equal to the outdoor level of ~ 0.4 pC/L. This is part of the natural background radiation level.
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Blues » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:14 am

Call_Me_Op wrote:I don't understand why you would feel this way. Any tightly-built (i.e., new) house will have a radon problem if not properly ventilated. Radon occurs naturally in soils.
That's pretty much what I have come to learn over the years from reading up on it here in western NC.
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by Call_Me_Op » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:18 am

Blues wrote:
Call_Me_Op wrote:I don't understand why you would feel this way. Any tightly-built (i.e., new) house will have a radon problem if not properly ventilated. Radon occurs naturally in soils.
That's pretty much what I have come to learn over the years from reading up on it here in western NC.
Yes, houses without a "radon problem" fall into one of the following categories:

1.) On old leaky house
2.) A tight house with high ventilation [windows open frequently or HRV/ERV]
3.) A tight house without low ventilation but with radon remediation

It is the accumulation of the gas [in a poorly ventilated home] over a long period of time that can cause an elevated level. A home with high radon is also likely to have excessive build-up VOC's, and also CO2 if occupied on a regular basis.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by livesoft » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:30 am

XtremeSki2001 wrote:Thanks for all the advice everyone. The sellers would not negotiate beyond 2-3% of the listing price, so we're off to greener pastures.
True story: The owner of a house we bid on would not negotiate either. We learned that his employer would buy him out since they had transferred him. He had no incentive to go below the price his employer had offered him. Months later we bought the house from his employer's relo service. They readily negotiated down to our offer.

So if like this house, keep it in mind. (But never ever tell us that you like this house.)
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Re: Buying New Home - Radon

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:37 am

Calm Man wrote: My position has been and always will be that if there is a radon issue whether remediated or not, I will not go near the house.
Following your rule, you could double your lung cancer risk.

The EPA standard for an radon issue is 4 pCi/L.

A remediated house could have a radon level of 1 or less, and that would more than halve the risk.

The important thing for your health is the level of radon in the house, not the history of it's remediation.

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