Homeowner Be Aware!

Real estate licensees are trained in the marketing of real estate. They are not trained or licensed to give consumers professional advice regarding the physical condition of property, legal and tax matters, survey, title, or environmental issues. Consumers are advised to consult with appropriate professionals for advice in these areas.

Environmental Issues, Toxic Substances, Water Quality

One of the best websites for environmental information is the EPA website at www.epa.gov.

A radon map for NC can be found on the epa website also.

Consumers are advised to consult with appropriate professionals regarding the possible presence of environmental contaminants, hazardous waste, or toxic substances on or near the property. Issues such as radon gas, lead-based paint, asbestos and underground storage tanks should be investigated. Consumers are also advised to look into past uses of the property.

Consumers are also advised to check with the appropriate professionals regarding the source, quality and availability of water.

Asbestos is used in many construction materials, including fireproof insulation, ceiling tiles, and linoleum. It is commonly found in older homes. Asbestos becomes hazardous when it is dry and crumbly, a condition known as friable asbestos.

Lead-based paints: Many homes built before 1978 may have paint that contains lead. Some miniblinds also contain lead paint. Sellers and landlords who offer pre-1978 housing must provide tenants and buyers a Lead-Based Paint Hazard Addendum. Consumers will also be provided with the EPA pamphlet Protect Your Family From Lead in Your House.

Information about lead paint and related hazards can be obtained at:

National Lead Information Center: 1 (800)424-5323

Health Hazards Control at (919) 707-5950


Most types of mold that are routinely encountered in homes are not hazardous to healthy individuals. However, there is at present some concern that exposure to certain types of mold (for example, stachybotrys attra) may cause or worsen conditions such as asthma, hay fever, or other allergies. Toxic molds tend to grow where there has been excessive moisture, and thus, most problems associated with mold should be approached from the perspective of dealing with drainage issues and moisture control.

Additional information can be found at www.epa.gov/mold/moldresources.html

Note: NCAR form T-2, Offer to Purchase and Contract, permits the buyer to ask the seller to correct excessive moisture or drainage issues but does not require the seller to deal with the cosmetic problems caused by mold.

Current EPA guidelines reflect an acceptable level of radon gas as less than 4.0 pico curies per liter of air. Radon is present in many counties in NC. A test by a qualified radon inspection company is recommended. A list of certified radon mitigation providers in NC can be found at www.ncradon.org/list-mitigation.htm.

Septic System
Buyers should have an inspection of septic tanks and related systems prior to purchasing a home. Vacant properties may require special consideration. It is also important to make sure that the number of bedrooms in the home matches the number allowed for in the septic permit.

Septic systems may need to be pumped. Leach fields may need to be inspected.

If you are purchasing a home with a community sewage system, or a home that has anything other than a gravity flow septic tank, it is recommended that you investigate the viability of the system by contacting:

Wake County: 919- 856-7400 www.wakegov.com/directory/es.htm

Durham County: 919-560-7800 www.durhamcountync.gov/index.html

Orange County: 407-521-2630 www.co.orange.nc.us/health/

Chatham County: 919-542-8202 http://www.chathamnc.org/Index.aspx?page=4

USTS or Underground Fuel Storage Tanks
If an underground storage tank exists and it is no longer being used, it is recommended that an inspection be done to be sure it complies with state and federal regulations regarding hazardous waste.

Well/Private Water Systems
Consumers should have an inspection and water test done by a private lab or a county health department.

EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline: (800)426-4791

Wake County Environmental: (919)856-7447

Orange County: (919)-245-2360 www.co.orange.nc.us/health/

Durham: www.durhamcountync.gov/departments/phth/Inspections/Water_and_Waste.htm

Chatham: www.co.chatham.nc.us/dept/communityhealth/ehmain.htm

General: For additional information about pollution issues in various communities, go to www.scorecard.org

Construction Issues
Aluminum Wiring
Some electrical contractors used aluminum circuit wiring instead of copper wiring, primarily in the 1960’s and 70’s. A number of electrical fires have been attributed to aluminum wiring. For information on this problem, go to the web site at

Building Code
When a question arises about building codes, the authority is the Engineering Division, NC Department of Insurance. Ask for a Code Consultant if you have a question about building, electrical, plumbing or heating.

Wake County: 919-733-3901

Durham County: 919-560-4144

Polybutylene Plastic Pipes
The existence of PBP is not necessarily a problem. There has been a class action lawsuit with a settlement, but this does not mean that there is enough money in the fund for a full recovery by the homeowner. The majority of the problems occur where plastic fittings were used instead of copper or brass fittings. Some homeowners have experienced problems with leaking pipes, and failure of connections or fittings. The North Carolina Real Estate Commission says that the seller need not disclose the fact that a property has polybutylene piping unless they have had one or more leaks. It is strongly recommended that buyers have the inspector check for the existence of PBP and any potentially related, existing or past problems. The toll free number for the Consumer Plumbing Recovery Center is 800-876-4698. For web site information go to www.Pbpipe.com.

Many NC homes are finished with one of the siding materials listed below. Class action law suits have been filed due to problems related to one or more of these products. We strongly recommend a qualified inspector examine any siding materials to determine the product; and the potential for any existing problems.

Georgia Pacific (888)-284-5347

Louisiana Pacific (888)- 820-0328

Masonite OmniWood (800)-256-6990 www.masoniteclaims.com

Masonite Hardboard (800)-330-2722 www.kinsella.com/masonite

Synthetic Stucco
If a property has a synthetic stucco exterior (EIFS: Exterior Insulating and Finishing System), the possibility of moisture damage to the exterior as well as structural members exists. Therefore, an inspection of the interior and exterior by a qualified inspector is strongly recommended. The North Carolina Real Estate Commission has determined that the presence of synthetic stucco is a material fact and that the seller must disclose to potential buyers its existence, even if it was removed. There is a class action stucco lawsuit pending. Information about this lawsuit can be found at www.ncstucco.com

Termites and Wood-Destroying Organisms
Many insects in NC eat wood, including termites, borer beetles, carpenter ants, bees, and roaches. It is recommended that consumers obtain a termite or wood destroying organism report from a licensed Pest Inspector.

Consumers are advised to hire appropriate professionals, such as licensed home inspectors or engineers to ascertain the physical condition of the property.

External Influences / Noise
Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDU) is located in Wake County along with several smaller airports throughout the County. Depending on the location of the property, it is possible that the consumer may experience aircraft related noise from time to time. The RDU Airport Authority is constantly considering changes to the airport. Sellers are required to provide written disclosures in areas affected by the significant noise from the airport. Call the RDU Noise Hotline at 919-840-2113 for more information or visit their website at www.rdu.com (Separate Addendum/Disclosure Available)

Highway Development
Many Local, State and Federal road projects are underway throughout Wake, Durham and Chatham counties. The largest of those projects is the NC 540 Outer Loop. This road will eventually make a full circle around Raleigh.

Department of Transportation: 919-733-3109

Wake County Planning Department: 919-856-6310

Raleigh Planning Department: 919-516-2626

Cary Planning Department: 919-469-4082

Durham Planning Department: 919-301-8499

Fuquay-Varina Planning Department: 919-552-1429

Holly Springs Planning: 919-557-3908

Morrisville Planning Department: 919-463-6196

Visit the NC Department of Transportation website a www.ncdot.org for other proposed /pending projects.

Railroad Service/Track
Consumers should investigate the proximity of any railroad tracks. For information on related train schedules call Amtrack @ 800-872-7245.

For information on Amtrak go to www.amtrack.com

Rock Quarries
Several quarries are located within Wake County. Contact Nello Teer at 919-380-8006 or Martin Marietta at 919-781-4550.

Municipal Solid Waste Facilities (Sanitary Landfill)
To obtain information you can contact:

Wake County Solid Waste Management 919-856-6186

Durham County Solid Waste Management 919-560-4185

Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant
Progress Energy operates a nuclear power generating facility in New Hill, NC, known as the Shearon Harris Facility. The plant is located approximately seven miles from Apex, 22 miles southwest of Raleigh, and 22 miles northeast of Sanford. Information is available by calling the Plant Welcome Center at 919-362-3261 or Progress Energy at 1-800-443-8395. Their web address is www.progress-energy.com

Land-Related Issues
Land use is governed by municipalities, ordinances and zoning regulations. Consumers should check with municipal authorities regarding the property they are considering purchasing. Below are numbers to call for any questions that may arise regarding these issues.

City of Raleigh: (919)856-6319
Wake County: (919)856-6310
Cary: (919)469-4082
Durham: (919)560-0027
Chapel Hill: (919)968-2757
Orange County: (919)245-2575
Chatham County: (919)542-2698
Note: Potential Consumers can check various mapping resources such as www.mapquest.com and/or Google Earth to see if there are any potentially offensive land uses near the property, such as airports, rock quarries, etc.

Geological Conditions
Private Roads/Road Management Agreements
Consumers are advised to consult with appropriate professionals regarding possible geologic conditions at or near the property. Geologic conditions may include, but not limited to; soil/terrain stability, existence of wetlands, and drainage problems.

Vacant Land in Close Proximity
Consumers should inquire about the existence of private roads and any related road maintenance and/or expenses.

We recommend prospective buyers inquire as to the zoning ordinances and possible land use development of adjacent or nearby property. For information call:

Zoning Section/Construction Division with City of Raleigh Inspections 919-890-3455.

Durham Planning and Zoning 919-560-4137.


Consumers should obtain the services of a licensed appraiser before selling or purchasing a home. For general information on appraisers, go to www.ncappraisalboard.org

Credit Scores
The ability to obtain financing and insurance may be influenced by a consumer’s credit score. Consumers are able to receive one free credit report per year from www.annualcreditreport.com and a number of other resources. Consumers should consult with their lender regarding issues relating to credit.

In some cases sellers or buyers may have difficulty obtaining homeowners insurance at a reasonable cost. To determine your eligibility for insurance it is recommended that you obtain a CLUE (Comprehensive Liability Underwriting Exchange) report from your insurance agent or go to www.choicetrust.com or www.Choicepoint.com.

Consumers are encouraged to obtain a current survey from a licensed surveyor to determine the boundary lines of the property. In some cases there are existing encroachments or easements that may affect the current or potential use of the property. While many lenders may not require a current survey, consumers may not be able to obtain title insurance without one. It is strongly recommended that buyers obtain a new survey even if there is no lender involved.


Economic Or Demographic Factors
Real estate licensees are prohibited from discussing information about residential areas in terms of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or familial status. For information, consumers can go to www.census.gov.

Homeowner’s Associations/Restrictive Covenants and/or Zoning: Residential neighborhoods may be governed by a homeowner’s association or community association. There may be existing or proposed restrictive/protective covenants, regulations, fees or assessments that may affect the use of the property. These covenants may deal with issues such as types or numbers of pets, paint colors, use of home, and parking of vehicles to name a few. Some neighborhoods may have current or outdated covenants online. Consumers should check with their legal advisor prior to selling or buying a home in a neighborhood regarding updated covenants.

Legal and Tax Issues
Purchasing and selling property has tax and legal consequences, many of them quite positive! However, the transfer of private property is subject to a number of state and local taxes. Consumers should obtain appropriate legal and tax advice regarding the purchase or sale of real estate.

School Assignments
School Assignments in NC are frequently in flux. Consumers who have school age children are strongly encouraged to verify the school assignment for any property they may be considering purchasing.

Wake County Schools: www.wcpss.net
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools: www.chccs.k12.nc.us/Welcome.asp? Orange County Schools: www.orange.k12.nc.us/
Chatham County Schools: www.chatham.k12.nc.us
Durham County Schools: www.dpsnc.net
North Carolina School Report Cards: http://www.ncreportcards.org/

Not all utility services are available in all municipalities. Generally, utilities include garbage pick up, gas, electrical service, sewer/water, and cable. Consumers should check the location, availability and cost of these services.

Sex Offenders
NC real estate licensees are not required to provide information about possible sex offenders who are registered to a particular location. However, consumers can check the sex offender registry by going to http://sexoffender.ncdoj.gov/disclaimer.aspx