Saturday, September 22, 2007

Cleveland Housing News: Lead Paint Abatement Important, Especially For Children

It's become easier, as a Realtor®, to recognize homes that might need to get rid of lead paint. Normally our homes have been painted, layer upon layer, so the original lead paint job on a 1920 Era home is sealed safely away. But what if the paint in the room is peeling? Alternatively, if you have older double hung windows that get opened and shut every day as the temperatures rise and fall, the original paint jobs could be peeling against the friction of the opening and closing of these windows. Kids love to look out the window and the youngest ones love to eat whatever is not nailed down. Including paint chips. Another problem area can be a closest or storage area under the eaves in an attic. Sometimes these areas have clearly not been painted for decades. It's a good idea to put a few coats of paint on a closet or attic storage area just to be safe.

The Cuyahoga Co. Board of Health reports that they have received a $7 million grant from HUD to take care of already identified lead paint issues in NE Ohio. About 1300 Cuyahoga County children experienced lead poisoning in 2005. This grant will allow you to apply for monies to repair your home and you can read about the criteria to get the money here.

Sellers of homes in Ohio are required to fill out a Lead Paint Disclosure form to alert prospective buyers of any lead issues that may exist before they purchase. Buyers also have the right to a lead paint inspection prior to purchasing, in addition to a general home inspection. I have to admit, I have never had a buyer opt to get that inspection.

The City of Lakewood First Time Home Buyer Program utilizes a HUD inspection as part of their mortgage lending and purchase process. Peeling paint must be scraped/patched and repainted before their inspectors will sign off on the inspection. I had a home buyer purchasing a Lakewood home with this program and the house was neat as a pin and very well cared for. But there were porch railings and garage walls that were peeling. We had to get that corrected.

If you are buying a home and you will have young children inside the home when you move in, do you have newer windows? Do you have the older double hung rope/sash windows? Please be sure to look at the condition of the window sashes so you will know what you are dealing with when you move into your new home.

You can also go here to the HUD website and read more about keeping your home safe from lead paint poisoning issues. Peace Out-3C