Author Topic: First home in MCOL area-- good deal but near an old laundromat  (Read 675 times)

VTKate

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Hi All,

The short of it is I'm wondering if anyone has any experience buying in an area that could be affected by laundromat chemicals like perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene. Did you regret it? Did you take steps to remediate? Does it affect how you use the property?

The long of it is that I'm looking to buy my first home in my city that is generally pretty unaffordable (SFHs selling for ~$300k at minimum and stay on the market for only a few days). I could buy outside of the city, but this area becomes suburbs very fast. And, if I buy in the city, there is a mortgage program that would allow me to put only 5% down without extra insurance, keeping more money in investments with better returns. This small SFH in an up and coming neighborhood is on the market in my price range, right next to a school, not yet listed, and looks to otherwise be a good buy. It has an awkward layout but otherwise looks to be in good condition. However, there is an old laundromat a few blocks away and recent tests have revealed some perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene in the soil gas. They tested the school and found relatively low levels on contamination, but I'm worried that a dog or a kid digging in the back yard might release some nasty chemicals.

Do any mustachians have advice?

Thanks!

soccerluvof4

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Re: First home in MCOL area-- good deal but near an old laundromat
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2019, 05:35:51 AM »
I wouldn't touch it at any price. Anytime there is any mention of things like that no matter what level its just going to affect resale and make it hard to sell.

BicycleB

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Re: First home in MCOL area-- good deal but near an old laundromat
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2019, 11:55:57 AM »
I don't know how to evaluate the risk level, but do know someone whose office job was in a repurposed factory (think circuit boards, etched by chemicals). His admin died of cancer. His coworker died of cancer. Another coworker died of cancer.

He doesn't work there any more. He told me last month that another former coworker had just died of cancer. We are hoping he dodged a bullet by working there less than 5 years instead of more than 10.

Jon Bon

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Re: First home in MCOL area-- good deal but near an old laundromat
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2019, 01:54:37 PM »


Well this is the first I am hearing about Laundromats being Superfund sites. While I dont have any specific advice or experience I am pretty sure that I am absolutely ringed by laundromats and dry cleaners. Those things go in and out of business all the time.

Just re-read, its a few BLOCKS away? I am pretty sure I have never been a few blocks away from one of those at any point living in my neighborhood. Again I have zero knowledge about how bad that stuff is, but if it is effecting entire blocks of the neighborhood would not everyone be experiencing some issues?

Continue to do research, you are going to find all kinds of chemicals in old houses.  Lead, asbestos, radon, etc. A lot of it is much less dangerous then a basic google search would lead you to believe.




VTKate

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Re: First home in MCOL area-- good deal but near an old laundromat
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2019, 09:41:48 AM »
Thanks, all. It's not a superfund site (there is one of those on the other side of town though-- old barge canals are hard to clean).

i think this is less of a big deal than I originally thought. There is a school literally across the street that is tested regularly and is not showing high concentrations. I really appreciate the feedback though.

Jon Bon, I should have said drycleaner, not laundromat. Sorry for the false alarm. It's really a problem for dry cleaners that were treating clothes on site, particularly a few decades ago when they used really nasty chemicals.

BTDretire

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Re: First home in MCOL area-- good deal but near an old laundromat
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2019, 02:08:03 PM »
 Where I grew up almost 50 years ago, we had a dry cleaners almost 3 blocks away.
 My whole neighborhood was forced to go on city water because the water table was polluted.
Had one fellow that lived on the lowest part between my house and the dry cleaners die of liver cancer,
I always wondered if there was a connection.