What should you know about environmental conditions before you buy a house? This book has the answers and provides the tools people need to make smart decisions about real estate. When buying a house, most people worry primarily about whether they can afford it or whether they will qualify for a mortgage. But environmental considerations can be more crucial than the purchase price. Although real estate agents are excellent sources of information on neighborhoods, schools, social amenities, and housing values, many are unfamiliar with more specialized concerns like environmental hazards. In this book, Barry Chalofsky provides a comprehensive checklist of environmental factors that customers should consider before buying a house or a piece of property. He explains in easy-to-understand language how to evaluate the potential impact of environmental factors and directs readers to the best sources of information on specific problems. Chalofsky begins his work by examining natural environmental factors including floodplains, wetlands, drainage, high water tables, steep slopes, soils, vegetation, earthquakes, hurricanes, fire, volcanoes, radon, insects, and sunlight. Chalofsky then examines man-made environmental factors, including asbestos, lead, electromagnetic fields, noise, odor, sinkholes, abandoned mines and landfills, underground utilities, underground pollution, hazardous waste sites, oil tanks, pesticides and herbicides, and air quality. A final portion of the book looks at vital utilities--like wastewater and solid waste disposal, water supply, and heat, electrical, and telephone service. Developmental considerations, such as zoning and other land-use regulations, and confusing legal terms like access, rights-of-way, easements, deed restrictions, and eminent domain, are also translated into language every home buyer can understand. This is an essential guide for anyone planning to buy a house or a piece of property.