So my head is going in circles I'm so confused how to proceed from this point, any advice help would be GREATLY appreciated:
My wife and I are in the process of purchasing our first home - we recently found a home we loved, went through the negotiations/offer game, agree'd on something with the seller then proceeded with our inspection.
Inspector raised some concerns, primarily about the insulation - the home was built in the 1930s, the insulation in the attic was fiberglass, but the inspector said that he could see through a "knot hole" in the attic that there was vermiculite insulation, which commonly has asbestos contamination (Something about where it was mined pre-1990s).
This was by far the biggest concern I had, we have a baby on the way in July, so safety is a big concern of mine.
I should also note I'm really not much of a maintenance, knowledgeable guy about a lot of this stuff, so if my questions come off as stupid...forgive me, I'm trying to be manly!
Anyway: After doing my research I get about 50/50 opinions regarding the vermiculite - some people say to have it tested and go from there, others say it will certainly come back positive, even if the test were to come back negative the test are not that reliable when it comes to vermiculite and as long as you don't mess with it, you will be fine.
The direction I'm leaning is just assuming it's asbestos contaminated, and not messing around with requesting it be tested from the seller - do you guys think this is a recommended direction to go? Is it worth messing around with a test, which from my search on the internet are notoriously unreliable anyway?
Further complicating my thought process is that I'm fairly certain if it were to come back positive anyway, the seller would likely not pay for any re-mediation, as she has already done a bunch of upgrades on the home.
It's just super tough decision, because of the wide array of opinions I'm getting about the vermiculite, everything from some people who will say it's not really worth worrying about at all and others saying it could really come back to haunt us down the road (when we sell the home, or if we try to do work on the house..) Any thoughts/opinions would be super appreciated..Would it be a can of worms most of you would go after? is it worth pushing with the seller?This message has been edited. Last edited by: sullydog,
Hoping that your Realtor told you to make this sale contingent to the inspection. And yes, you need to be extremely concerned about your insulation issue.
Hoping that all other problems that such and old home naturally has is looked also. like your electric and your plumbing, Your inspector cannot see these things but both electricians and plumbers could provide you with very good advise.
Remember, inspectors cannot see what's behind the walls, such as do you have aluminum wiring? many homeowner insurance will not insure you unless you have copper wiring. Be aware of many facts that are usually hidden in homes that are that old.
Be aware at what is called renovations and upgrades that only amount to being cosmetic. like lipstic and mascara types of upgrades.This message has been edited. Last edited by: rker321,
Yes, the sale is/was contingent on the inspection.
I've had an electrician look at the house, it was completely rewired before it went up for sale, and the electrician was satisfied with it. electrical does not appear to be an issue.
The only issue at this point is the vermiculite, and we literally don't know what steps to take from here, we meet with our Realtor in a few days to discuss our 'counter offer' for repairs (or whatever it's called) and we are not sure if we should request vermiculite be tested or not..
Thank you for your response, and again to reiterate, the sale was contingent on the inspection, were first time home buyers, but we are not stupid =D
A look through a knot hole is not proof of what is there. Not that vermiculite would be uncommon, I just question how he came to that conclusion without really seeing it.
I am of the school that as long as it is encapsulated it is fine. My parents had kitchen vinyl(?) tile with asbestos. The floorer laid underlayment and then new floor. They lived into their 90's with no problems. And I have handled vermiculite with no problem. There are thousands upon thousands of people that have handled asbestos with no problems. It's presence does not mean every one gets sick.
I think you are doing a good job checking it out and getting lots of opinions.
Thank you for your response.
This is exactly what the inspection report says:
"A vermiculite type insulation is currently located in the attic of this house, which can been through a knot hole in the sidewall attic floor area." (when walking through the inspection with him he showed me the hole)
"One sidewall attic area can be accessed with verification of fiberglass batt insulation installed in the rafter areas, and small amounts of a vermiculite type insulation in the joist areas"
remember you have "x" days to comply with inspection contingency intention.
Sullyboy, I didn't mean to imply that you are stupid, simply that many times first time buyers are not instructed by the Realtors on what to look for in such an old home.
I am with REL, yes, shop on. the house is much too old. and eventually you will find many other things that need to be taken care of. And to me, asbestos is nothing to be playing around, find out how much it would cost for the remediation and then make your decision.
As you are aware the tests are expensive and not always reliable. Removal is very expensive and could create greater problems.
The question you need to decide is what exactly do you want the seller to do if the test comes back positive? If your bottom line is you want it removed then just go ahead and require testing and removal in your inspection reply. It may save everyone a lot time one way or the other.
How long has the owner owned the home? Was the insulation put in when it was built or later? Vermiculite mined in MI has a 25% chance of being asbestos free...but I am not sure how you would know where it was mined?
I think you and your partner are the only ones who can decide if this is house for you! Good luck.
A 70+ year home has issues, hoping that they don't find them later on.
I appreciate everyone responses, we are going to have another inspector that specialized in insulation take a look and go from there.
..but what is behind the walls???
REL that was my question, they said that the seller had re wired their home previously to putting the house for sale, I don't believe that they have had a plumber. but apparently no noticeable leaks, nothing on the roof how many years left. hoping that they rewired the house with copper wiring.
As first time buyers I feel that they seem to get personal when offered advise that they may not want to hear.
As far as they seem to think their only problem ins the insulation problem let's hope that there is all there is.
Sully dog, the second inspection sounds wise.
Good call Sully, come back and let us know how it goes.
My experience is that all houses have issues and require care. New houses are sometimes shoddily built, old houses are sometimes money pits, but sometimes new homes are well built and sometimes older homes have charm,character, affordability, and have been taken care. Good luck with your process.
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