Struggling to Find a Buyer Now That an Inspector Found Asbestos in Your San Diego Home?

by | Jul 29, 2016

San Diego might not strike you as a crucial location in the history of architecture, but there’s one nostalgic style you might have noticed around the area: the iconic ranch house. These distinctive homes popped up all over San Diego during the 30s and 40s, influencing building trends around the country. If you’ve had the privilege of living in one of these beautiful houses, count yourself lucky – unless that house is hiding an asbestos problem.

The other day I was talking to one of my realtor pals and he was telling me about a client of his who was trying to sell his ranch house. They’d thought they had a buyer but then the inspection turned up asbestos behind some of the walls. Long story short, the buyer walked and they’ve been struggling to sell the house ever since.

It’s not an uncommon situation for homeowners to put their older houses on the market and then find deal-breaking problems like asbestos during the inspection. If this happened to you, it might’ve crossed your mind to keep your lips sealed. But you’re required by law to tell every potential buyer about every potential problem, and if you don’t – and if they find out after the deal goes through – you could find yourself on the losing end of a very nasty lawsuit.

So if an inspector turned up asbestos lurking in your San Diego home, what should you do?

Why Is Asbestos a Deal-Breaker?

Asbestos is a fiber that was used in building materials between the 1930s and the 1960s because it was flexible and could stand up to heat and chemical corrosion. Any home built during this era – not just ranch houses – could have this material in the walls or floors. It was most commonly used for steam pipes, floor tiles, cement sheets, joint compounds, siding, shingles, soundproofing, and decorative materials. But in the 1970s it was declared a carcinogen and eliminated from most commercial use.

When asbestos gets released into the air, it can get into your lungs and cause very serious health problems like shortness of breath, mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other lung-related problems. Asbestos exposure has also been linked to other cancers including cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, throat, kidney, brain, bladder, and gallbladder.

In other words, if you don’t get this taken care of, you’re exposing your potential buyers to serious health risks. Trying to cover it up is not an option.

Cleaning Up Asbestos Can Get Costly

Just in case you’re thinking, “Well, I guess I’ll just call in a contractor to clean this up,” you should know that you’re looking at a complicated and costly project.

The cost of asbestos clean-up in your home can vary depending on how much was found and where it was located. Since this work needs to be trusted to professionals who have experience with this dangerous material, you’ll be looking at some high labor costs – anywhere from $200 to $700 per hour. Depending on the size of your home and how pervasive the asbestos is, the whole project can end up costing thousands – as much as $20,000 to $30,000!

This additional expense probably isn’t worth it when your house is already on the market, and nothing feels worse than sinking more money into a home you’re ready to say “bye-bye” to.  

Troubles on the Market

Even if you do undertake the clean-up, put yourself in the shoes of a buyer. Would you want to purchase a home that was once infested with asbestos? Even if a professional cleaning crew removed it, it only takes a few of these microscopic fibers to trigger health issues. So why wouldn’t you look at another house down the street that’s selling for the same price? It’s possible the house could sit on the market even after you’ve spent the money to remove the asbestos.

Even if you did pay all that money to have it removed, there’s still a chance you could be sued later down the line after selling the house. Realtor.com even lists asbestos exposure as one of the six most common real estate premises liability lawsuits in the country.

How Sell Your House Direct Can Help

Truth is, it’s going to be hard to sell your home now that an inspector found asbestos. Yes, you could choose to spend thousands of dollars to try to fix the problem, but there’s no guarantee it will ever sell. My company makes fair cash offers for houses like yours and we won’t require you to pay for the costly removal first. We’ll take the house as-is and our team will handle the rest. We can close the deal in a matter of days, so contact us if you want to move on with money in your pocket and peace of mind.

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