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Q s because it is decision time about buying a house/lead paint

15 years ago

There is a house we have been watching for awhile - It has been foreclosed on and will be auctioned in October. We were thinking of waiting awhile before we made an offer but our hand will be slightly forced because of the auction. We expect it to sell low because it's a tiny rural town in WV

The house has lots of character, lots of problems - but the one that really stops me cold in my tracks is lead paint. The house was built around 1890 we guess, although the realtor says 1840. There is lead paint in the house. The paint on the outside of the house is peeling off after a failed paint job. The 40 original single pane windows have peeling and flaking paint. The prior owner recarpeted thru the whole house with a beige carpet. I think the recarpeting was done prior to some repair and construction and thus may also be contaminated with lead.

My question is this:

My daughter is 5.

If, prior to occupying the house - I remove all carpeting, put that winter plastic shrink stuff over all windows, vacuum all surfaces in the house, wash all surfaces in the house with TSP, have the heat and air adn ductwork professionally cleaned and follow up with a good house-over HEPA vacuum and the leave the house undisturbed by construction until she is 6 or more, oh and get the yard tested. Does that sound like a reasonable assurance of her safety? I'm not asking anyone to take responsibility for the decision of course :) just wondering if that would constitute thoroughness. I also thought about having the windows in her bedroom, a guest bedroom, the bathroom and our bedroom pulled out and redone prior to cleaning and occupation. I doubt we could afford to tackle more than that at one go-round given that there are a few other things that need attention. Lastly, the lead paint that is peeling on the outside of the house - we could certainly have our soil tested - even removed and replaced if necessary - there is a lot of vegetation close to the house which would prevent her from playing close to it - if I keep our house "shoe free" and keep her from digging near the house - can she play on the lawn in safety? I just don't know how far to take this - although I certainly want to err on the side of safety. Obviously the safest alternative seems to be to not buy the house - but I wonder if it can be made safe.

Also the outside paint is peeling - by the time it is auctioned and purchased, it will be seasonally too late for a paint job. I'm wondering what to do to stabilize the bare wood against winter and sun.

Oh and lastly, if a house has been foreclosed on is there any way to get a history of gas and electric bills if the realtor doesn't have them, the auction company doesn't have them and the prior owners aren't available? Will the companies give out that info?

Here's a link to the house in case you'd like to look around :) It is in very rural WV near the Ohio river.

Thanks for any help and ideas -

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