Should I buy a house that has asbestos?

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The mere mention of the term “asbestos” turns off many potential house purchasers. Is asbestos, however, really so dangerous? And, if your ideal house has asbestos, should you give up on it? Here are some of the most important facts about asbestos-containing properties.

Is it against the law to sell a house that contains asbestos?
Some first-time homebuyers feel it is impossible to purchase a property that includes asbestos. After all, asbestos was outlawed in 1999, so selling a home with asbestos in it must be impossible, right? In reality, this isn’t the case. Although asbestos was prohibited from usage in 1999, a large number of houses still contain asbestos. Indeed, many homeowners may be living in an asbestos-contaminated home without ever realising it.

If a homeowner is aware of asbestos in their house, he or she is compelled by law to disclose this information to potential purchasers. The property can still be lawfully sold as long as the material is in excellent shape. Only when asbestos is harmful and represents a risk does it become difficult to sell the home.

When does asbestos become hazardous?
Asbestos is only harmful if the material has been damaged or is in poor condition At any time asbestos fibres can be dispersed into the air and inhaled.

So, if you’re contemplating about buying a house and the existence of asbestos has been reported to you, you may still go ahead and buy it as long as the asbestos isn’t posing a health risk. Of course, asbestos deteriorates with time, and removing it may be costly and inconvenient.

What options do you have?
In any event, if you are considering purchasing a home, it is a good idea to have an asbestos study performed. If there is asbestos in the property that the homeowners are unaware of, a study can identify its location, perhaps allowing you to negotiate a lower asking price.

It can also help you understand the state of the asbestos and what type of remedial expenditures you may expect if you need to have the asbestos removed in the future.

Should you buy a house with asbestos in it?
Finally, asbestos in excellent condition should be considered an annoyance rather than a cause to avoid purchasing. If you learn that the property includes asbestos, you may be able to negotiate a lower price.

If the asbestos is in bad condition, you should strongly consider either having the present owner remove the asbestos at their expense before you commit to the purchase, or negotiating a significant price reduction to allow you to pay for these necessary repairs.

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