Okay, so you've finally got the contract accepted and its time to do inspections. For just your basic home inspection you're looking at forking-out a few hundred dollars or so depending on the size of the home. Then you also have to consider getting a termite and radon inspection.
"A what? A radon inspection? No, I am not worried about that and honestly I don't want to spend the money"
9 of out 10 times this is what you'll hear from a buyer. Some will be willing to pay extra for a termite inspection because they are aware of the destruction those pesky insects can cause, but surprisingly many buyers don't want to pay extra for a radon inspection...WHY?? Because they aren't sure exactly what it is and think it is not a hazard.
If buyers knew the destruction radon can cause to their health their jaws would drop to the floor. As a real estate professional it is our job to educate these buyers on every aspect of the deal, especially for something as potentially hazardous as radon. Especially for those living in Kentucky since it is way above the national average for radon levels in homes.
Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that enters the home through cracks or openings in the foundation, slab, or sump pit and can accumulate in dangerous levels if not mitigated. It is a Class A Human Carcinogen and is responsible for more than 25,000 annual deaths - making it the leading cause of Lung Cancer among non-smokers.
Radon is measured in pico curies per liter of air. 4.0 pCi/L is the established level by the EPA when action should take place to mitigate the building or home of the excessive radon levels.
Nationally, 7% of all buildings contain elevated levels of radon. In Kentucky, 42% of all buildings contain elevated levels of radon - in some areas it was even as high as 65% of the buildings contained high levels of radon. Are you holding your breath yet?
Just so you have a better idea:
4.0 pCi/L = 200 chest x-rays per year or 8 cigarettes per day!
10 pCi/L = 500 chest x-rays per year or 20 cigarettes per day!
40 pCi/L = 2,000 chest x-rays per year or 80 cigarettes per day!
100 pCi/L = 5,000 chest x-rays per year or 200 cigarettes per day!
Okay, by now I know your jaw has hit the floor and your eyes are about to pop out of your head...and yes there are buildings here in Kentucky and throughout the US that have tested way over 100 pCi/L.
YOU ARE LITERALLY DYING IN YOUR OWN HOME! - I don't mean to scare you but people need to be aware of the dangers of radon so they will know to get their home tested for their own personal health. So next time you are in the deal to buy a home or currently own a home, I would strongly suggest you reconsider the value and ROI of the dollar you are spending towards a radon inspection...because you're health is truly priceless
Sean S. Williams
Licensed Broker, Realtor®, ABR®, e-Pro®
1st Time Buyer & Relocation Specialist
of Louisville, Kentucky
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