Watch Out for Lead Based Paint
A lot of towns have a lot of houses built before 1978. This means they are at risk for lead based paint. Environmental and health groups are worried about them.
If you have had a child in the house that’s been diagnosed to have high levels of lead, the health department gets involved. They want to protect the children and stop the problem.
I had a couple that lived in one of my houses and bought it. They then wanted to move out of that house because their family kept growing. They had enough for a baseball team. It was a two-bedroom that they were living in.
They moved out and moved into a huge old, beautiful house that I’ve got. I bought it from another real estate investor. The first thing they did was paint the house and the first room they did was on their little girl’s bedroom. They’re in there in the wintertime sanding all the woodwork. The next thing that happened is the girl’s system skyrocketed with lead paint. We found out that she already had lead exposure over at her dad’s house.
The mom and the dad were divorced, and she had remarried this other guy who had bought the house from us. And so she had already been tested for lead there, and I guess what they did was a follow-up, and it really spiked because of the work they were doing within the house.
I didn’t want to do the fix up work on the house. Since they were in making all the dust, we got tagged with lead paint. Remember that this was a huge house and it was really, really expensive.
I had to make a choice whether I wanted to fund the whole thing or whether I wanted to use some of their money. I eventually used some of their money.
The deal of it is that if I used their money I couldn’t sell the house in a three-year period. And my goal was to sell these people a house, so that’s why I had to make a decision on it. We went ahead and used their money, and the people went ahead and bought the house anyhow.
Learn a lesson from this one, if you own investment property that was built 1978 or prior, call the health department and make sure there’s no lead paint. If there’s lead paint, you probably don’t want to buy the house.