When purchasing a piece of property, it is important to be aware of any environmental liabilities associated with it. For example, you should find out if there are any registered underground tanks within several miles of the property, known contaminated properties in the neighborhood, or property owners who have been fined by the government for failing to meet environmental safety standards.
Before, it took a costly site investigation to acquire this type of information, but now there are online environmental databases available at a fraction of the cost. Anyone can access reports on otherwise hard to detect environmental issues. With these databases, it is possible to obtain a list of hazards near a property, or spills and violations attributed to businesses nearby.
Some reputable databases include VISTA Information Systems, located in San Diego, California, which allows you to register and search the data bank for free, and E Data Resources, which is located in Southport, Connecticut. These services are all relatively inexpensive, but can provide you with priceless information that is useful before you make a purchase.
We were considering a home purchase in the Chautauqua Lake area and had a handful of homes that we wished to see. Richard had previously set up a search protocol for us. He arranged to meet with us on a Saturday (we are out of state) to review our search criteria and time line as well as visit the homes on our list. We were able to narrow our focus and will seriously pursue the search later this year with his assistance.Karen Weikart