Would you? Do you even know what that is? How would you know? When I do an appraisal I look at surrounding lots to determine the uses and influences that would affect the subject. It could be conservation land, commercial or industrial businesses, high-tension power lines, or a Superfund site. A Superfund site is a site that has been SUPER contaminated…my definition, not the actual one.
The typical buyer wouldn’t know how to begin a search on site influences other than what they see driving by. Would your typical real estate agent know this information? If they know, they should be disclosing it to you, but they don’t always know. The appraiser would be reporting site influences in the appraisal report…you need to read that report thoroughly. Unfortunately, by the time you get a copy of the appraisal you will be near your closing date, or worse, you find out after you move in! In many cases these sites have been cleaned up, but it could affect the marketability long-term.
Whether it be buying a house, stocks, or even a Doctor’s diagnosis, you need to be your own advocate. Do your own due-diligence. Research, research, research…takes time and practice but the more you do it the better you get. I happen to do it for a living, and my endless curiosity pushes me to take extra steps in researching a property…be it for an appraisal or a client.
The reason for this post is because I just finished an appraisal on such a property. The state owns the property behind this lot, the tax records do NOT indicate it’s a Superfund site, but town has the owner as the State of NH, Dept of Environmental Services. Hmmm, so I went on the EPA site and found out it indeed is a contaminated brownfield. EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/swerosps/bf/index.html check it out to see what’s near you.
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