Boston Real Estate for Sale


Get the lead out!

Our single-family housing stock in certain parts of Boston is old. Some folks consider houses built in the 1950’s old, but in areas of Boston they are newish. A large portion of single-family homes were built before 1939.

Any house that was built before 1978 could have lead-based paint in it. Since a large majority of single-family homes and triple-deckers houses in Boston were built before 1978 it is safe to assume unless proven otherwise most Boston houses have lead-based paint in them.

Lead Paint in houses is harmful

Lead is harmful to human beings, especially to children and Federal law requires that persons buying or renting a home that was built before 1978 receive a disclosure that states that the home could have lead-based paint in it. Homebuyers can have the paint tested for lead but they almost never do.

Buyers are given a pamphlet about how to protect their families from lead-based paint. 

Washing hands and covering chipped or peeling paint is recommended. Having paint tested before removing it is also recommended.

One of my clients had a child who had an elevated level of lead in his system. Lead was found in the finish on an old built-in buffet in a home built in the late 1930s.

We are in a strong seller’s market and In multiple offer situations, sellers are likely to reject the offer in which the buyer plans to have the paint tested for lead.

Unless the homeowner has test results that prove there is no lead-based paint in the home or the home was built after 1978 please assume that there is lead-based paint and take appropriate precautions.

From the EPA

Lead From Paint, Dust, and Soil Can Be Dangerous If Not Managed Properly

FACT: Lead exposure can harm young children and babies even before they are born.

FACT: Even children that seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.

FACT: People can get lead in their bodies by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or paint chips with lead in them.

FACT: People have many options for reducing lead hazards. In most cases, lead-based paint that is in good condition is not a hazard.

FACT: Removing lead-based paint improperly can increase the danger to your family.

Also, consider that if the exterior of a home is or was wood and it has been scraped and painted there could be lead in the soil, and before unleaded gasoline became the norm there was lead in our gas tanks too and some of it ended up in the air and sold. There is more but I think this is enough for now.

Information about lead-based paint testing

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Just what the home market needs: Another expensive regulation for home renovations “as modest as a window replacement or a paint job that covers as little as 6 square feet in a room.”

What’s it for? Lead paint. It’s a major problem. No doubt, something needs to be done.

But there’s also no doubt it will be expensive — $500 and $1,500 for projects costing more than $5,000 on homes built before 1978, according to the article. There’s also no doubt it’s coming at a rough time for the housing and construction industries. They couldn’t wait until after recovery is firmly underway?

Needless to say, remodeling contractors and tradesmen aren’t happy. Health advocates say it’s about time.

Your thoughts?

File under: Lead weight.

P.S. The rules don’t apply to do-it-yourself projects.

Boston Real Estate for Sale