The above diagram illustrates several of the common property conditions which are of concern to Buyers and Sellers of Florida property.

There are many kinds of defects in homes.  Some are readily apparent to typical buyers during showings of the property, others are not.  The ones you would most likely not be able to see are known as latent defects.  In Florida, sellers of residential property are required to disclose latent defects to prospective buyers.

Foundation settling causes a variety of impacts, which, if you’re looking for them may provide a clue to their existence:  Windows may not go up and down smoothly anymore.  The small gap around doors (that were originally hung “square”) may be larger in some places, smaller in others.  “Stair-step” cracks, following the blocks or bricks, may be visible from the outside.  Settling will usually continue, leading to bigger and bigger problems over time.

Roof leaks, either present or past, may leave stains on the ceilings.

Mold can cause health problems to persons who reside in the property.

Urea-Formaldehyde Insulation can also cause health problems to persons who reside in the property.

Asbestos has been recognized as a health hazard.

Lead-Based Paint is a health issue, especially if children are present.  Lead is a toxic metal which was used in and around homes for many years, until it was banned in 1978.  If present in homes, even though it may be covered by multiple layers of paint, lead still leaches through, and ends up in the air in the home, and ultimately is found in elevated levels in the blood of the occupants.  Elevated blood lead levels in children is responsible for arrested development, and various behavioral problems.  Children six years old and younger are most at risk from lead exposure.  More information about lead contamination is available from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Ground Water contamination comes from a variety of sources, including landfills, buried fuel tanks, dry cleaning plants, and other sources.  There is a long list of groundwater contaminants that includes lead, benzene, arsenic and mercury.

Radon is present in the ground in most areas of the country.  It only accumulates in homes if there are specific problems with the structure.

Underground Storage Tanks are generally decades old, installed when standards were lax.

Electromagnetic Radiation is something many home buyers are concerned about.

PCB’s are highly toxic, and a great concern if they are present.