Real estate transactions involve the purchase of land properties and generally, environmental issues are frequently considered before a sale is completed. Environmental issues are usually taken into account, be it a residential real estate property, or a huge industrial piece of land. Should environmental risks be associated in a particular real estate property, these are frequently manageable, but the more critical issue regarding environmental issues is the efficient identification and reaction to these environmental issues (Goeters, 1996).
Most problems arise after a real estate property sale because the environmental issues were not detected as early as possible. The most common environmental issue that is associated with real estate is land contamination. Such environmental issues generally come from the activities of the present or past owners, or better categorized as on-site contamination. Another source of land contamination could be off-site, which involves the physical location of the real property to outside sources of contamination. It is important that the source of the contamination of the land be identified so that the amount of risk may be determined.
In addition, knowledge of the contamination source allows sanctions for property responsibility. Issues are considered severe when the water reservoir and its connecting waterways for drinking water are already affected or positioned near the real estate property. Another environmental issue that is considered as a major concern in real estate is mold contamination. The spread of pathogenic fungi and its spores frequently originate from buildings that are erected using low-quality standards and currently have poor ventilation.
Such fungi often generate spores that are usually air-borne and may be transmitted through wind and any air circulating system. These spores may also stick to the walls of an existing building that is situated on the real estate property. Not only do fungal spores cause future deterioration to a building, these spores may even cause upper respiratory tract infections, allergies and immune reactions in the individuals that frequent the area involved. Several lawsuits have accumulated in connection to personal injuries or diseases causes by exposure to these pathogenic fungi.
In addition, the insurance industry has lately been involved in cases that involve exposure to building-related real estate properties. Furthermore, fungal contamination involves all types of real estate properties, including residential, commercial and industrial buildings, and the effect of such contamination is doubly felt because the building’s structure itself will continuously deteriorate unless treated, and the residents of the home or the employees of a commercial or industrial company make succumb to fungi-caused illnesses.
It has been strongly suggested that owners of real estate properties be cautious of the insurance coverage they procure for their employees should such untoward incident occurs in their company or industry. Asbestos is also an environmental issue that should be carefully considered in real estate. Asbestos is generally a component of pipes and boiler rooms, as well as in flooring materials and in roofs. Asbestos exposure cases are often higher in number in commercial and industrial companies, yet these cases may also occur in residential real estate properties.
The amount of money require to solve any presence of asbestos in a building is usually huge, hence it should always be kept in mind that any possible cause for asbestos exposure be pointed out as early as possible, before any exposure is determined to be chronic, which is turn results in more severe health problems among individuals associated with the real estate property. Individuals practicing in the real estate business should be sincere enough to advise the client about any information that may be associated with asbestos presence or exposure within a real estate property he is showing and selling.
Another element that has been identified as an environmental issue in real estate is radon. Radon gas shows no color or odor, and is very diffusible through water and air. This gas has been frequently reported in residential real estate properties, hence it is important that the water and air of a real estate property be tested for radon gas before any further step is taken towards the purchase or sale of a real estate property.
Unfortunately, the safe or tolerable level of radon gas has not been established to date, hence any tests for the presence of radon gas in the water or in the air is just to satisfy the need to know where radon gas is indeed present in a real estate property. Real estate properties such as buildings and houses are often presented to potential buyers as painted structures that are ready for occupancy. Hence, the environmental concern for lead in the paint used to coat the walls of the rooms of the real estate property is also an issue.
Individuals most affected by the presence of lead in the paint used to coat the walls are the young children who often play on the floor of the rooms of a residential establishment. Young toddlers often crawl around the house and unfortunately, ingest any little thing they find interesting in front of them. These little things may be lead paint chips that fall off from the wall and ceiling and land on the carpet, floor, or even the soil in the backyard.
Other families enjoy gardening and planting their own vegetables, hence the presence of lead in the soil may pose a bioaccumulation of lead in the people living in this contaminated real estate property. It is therefore important that pre-erected real estate structures be evaluated for the presence of lead before any further step in done towards the purchase of the real estate property. Should lead be detected in a real estate property, an abatement procedure may be performed before any family or individuals move into the real estate property.
Currently, there are several assays that may be employed in the identification and management of environmental issues associated with real estate properties (Spada, 1997). Hence, it is imperative that these environmental factors be tested before any purchase is done on a real estate property, because it these factors go undetected, the consequences on the personal health of the individuals that will live or frequently spend time within the real estate property will be affected.
Such undisclosed environmental issues often end up in lawsuits, as well as tarnished reputations in the real estate business. Hence, for those in the real estate business, it is of prime importance that reliable and specific information be obtained about the real estate property they are advertising and selling. Such caution regarding the collection of information will serve as a good method is preserving the real estate business of a company.
Certain real estate companies have established their own customized procedure in reviewing properties before they release these properties to the public and announce that this property is for sale. These customized procedures should be foolproof, robust and efficient in identifying environmental issues in a real estate property. Should this be kept in mind, there would probably be lesser cases of lawsuits and health illnesses in the future.