Radon in Allendale?

Asked by Jenny, New York, NY Sun May 11, 2008

My husband and I are set to close on a home in Allendale next month. The radon test we had done came in high. The first reading was 10 pCi/L, which was a shock to all parties involved. We then had two more (simultaneous) tests done. One came in at 4.4 pCi/L and the other at 4.6 pCi/L. No one can explain the discrepancy between the first and subsequent readings. The sellers are willing to remediate immediately. The two questions we have are: (1) is a high radon reading common in this area and (2) will a remediation system affect resale value (we are paying over $1M for the house)? Any advice would be appreciated!

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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Sun May 11, 2008
Hi Jenny, I specialize in Somerset County and so I can't comment on radon levels in general in Allendate. However, radon is not uncommon in New Jersey. I'd would look at it this way - it is fortunate that the radon was detected - because the seller will remediate and you can then rest easy that your home is safe. Remember that radon levels can fluctuate and so a home that tests within a normal range could become elevated at a future point and you may never know. This happened with a home sale I was involved with here in this area - newer home, tested normal when sold, the family had three small children who spent loads of time in the basement. Came time to sell, radon test done - and reading around where your first came came in - around 10. Same reaction...everyone was shocked. In that case, the home had been closed up which likely caused the radon to be even higher - that can definitely be a factor. The seller remediated, and the test after the system was installed came back with a reading that likely made the air safer than outdoor air.

I say to my buyers - don't be alarmed if the radon test comes back at a level that requires remediation because once that system is installed, you need not worry or wonder.

In terms of resale, I do not believe it negatively impacts. When I show a home, I point out the radon system and explain to my buyers just what I have explained to you.

Good luck with your home purchase. I wish you many years of happiness in your new home!

Jeannie Feenick
Weichert Realtors
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
1 vote
Lyle Wolf, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Thu Dec 30, 2010

I suggest you read and get the facts on Radon:
What Every Home Buyer, Seller, and Real Estate Agent Should Know About Radon
0 votes
Sean M Farley, Agent, Ramsey, NJ
Thu Dec 30, 2010
Jenny- radon is common throughout this area of bergen county. There are a handful of ways to lower the levels but all with the objective of ventilating th air in the home and decrease the amount of radon in the home. One thought on the wide disparity between 10 and 4 pCi/L is how much the house was ventilated between each test. This is why inspectors tell homeowners to leave the test kit undisturbed in the basement and not open any windows or run fans. This can skew the results. Jeanne is right that it is no cause for alarmas it is easily addressed. And with regards to it's impact on value.....having a system that keeps that levels lower or within acceptable limits is a bonus as the next buyer does not have to worry that levels will elevate for their family. Only challenge might be the life of the system just like a furnace, a/c compressor or roof......they all require maintenance and at some point might have to be replaced.
Good Luck!
0 votes
Helena Liu, Agent, Paramus, NJ
Tue Sep 14, 2010

Radon in Allendale generally does not compose a problem. I am surprised the first ready was so high. I have been a real estate broker in Bergen County for 19 years, and I sold a couple of hundred houses in the area. I can recall there were merely 3-4 cases when the radon reading was higher than the standard.

The remedies will not affect the value of the house. If the reading was corrdect, you should not worry about it.

0 votes
Simon, , Pittsford, NY
Sat Jul 4, 2009
Radon readers that are in the unit for a short time (less than 30 days) may measure high Radon gas concentrations if the process takes place during a wind storm or as low barametric pressure is moving
to the area. I have had suchan incidence when the measurement came at 8 pCi/L. The following 2 measurements which were done for a longer duration came at 3.0 pCi/L. Because your level is above the recommended level which 4 Pci/L you would need to remedy it to sell it later. I am also told that having
a remediation system is mandatory on all new housing units in certain states. I am not sure that NJ is one of them. So having the unit should not ba a handicap as even houses with favorable readings are recommended to be tested again every 2 years as the readings may have changed. So it is great that the seller will be putting the unit for you.

I hope that this helps

0 votes
Frances Flynn…, , State College, PA
Fri Dec 5, 2008
Radon is not a big deal? Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, according to the U.S. Attorney General. A remediation system that is operable will enhance a future sale. I encourage all buyers to have a radon test ... homeowners are also wise to order a test in their homes to determine if there are unsafe levels of radon.
0 votes
Chad, , Tacoma, WA
Sat Jun 7, 2008
I would buy it! If my kids started to glow in the dark I would probably move out. And yes I would go back and visit the family at Christmas. I am not an animal...
0 votes
Dianne Mitch…, , Wyckoff, NJ
Sat Jun 7, 2008
Hi Jenny
Yes radon is common in most homes coming from the Earth, the degree is what is debatable.
But with remediation professionally, usually done by the sellers, you should have no problem at all.
I have seen this at many inspections but if you love the house this can be corrected, not to worry.
Dianne Mitchell-Satriano
Web Reference:  http://DianneMitchell.com
0 votes
Rick Johnston, , Chicago, IL
Sat May 24, 2008
Radon can be found virtually anywhere, and especially in the eastern U.S. 4 pCi/L is the EPA standard, but frankly no one really has a good sense of what exposure at what levels causes health problems.

A remediation system would help the value of the house, or in other words radon without a remediation system would cause the value to drop a little. Usually, remediation systems are not that expensive, and usually involve venting the radon gas. Radon is a very heavy gas, yet with ventilation can be dispersed easily. Testing in different places (especially the height of the sensor), or testing in places where doors remain open or closed, has a huge effect on the testing results.

It also matters where you find the radon... its much more of a problem in a bedroom than it is in a basement storage closet.
0 votes
Ashok 'Shooo…, Agent, New York, NY
Sat May 24, 2008
Radon is not a big deal. It is a naturally occuring gas. The remediation system does do the job to lower the levels in the home, but it shouldn't be a deal breaker by any means. I recently had a deal where the radon came back at 24pCi/L, it didn't stop my buyers--not at m urging but my clients lawyer explained that this is not a big deal, in fact he said when he bought his home his level was upwards of 30 or 40 pCi/L when they purchaed the home. He has lived in the home for over 15 years and has not ever had any problems at all!
Web Reference:  http://www.shoookie.com
0 votes
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