From the category archives:


The media has been creating a lot of scared parents as of late with the various recalls on toys made in China. Seems the Q & A divisions of these companies in China have been dropping the ball and contaminating the toys with lead paint. But toys, in general, could be the least of parental concern when it comes to lead poisoning.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), research suggests that the primary sources of lead exposure for most children are:

  • deteriorating lead-based paint
  • lead contaminated dust
  • lead contaminated residential soil

The issue of Lead Paint is nothing new to Minneapolis real estate agents. Since 1978, the United States government has banned the use of lead paint. This can be a major concern with older homes in Minneapolis, that might still have the original paint under years of remodeling. Some of the areas that lead paint is most easily accessible in an older home are:

  • Windows and window sills
  • Doors and door frames
  • Stairs, railings, and banisters
  • Porches and fences

If you are thinking of buying a home in the Twin Cities that was built prior to 1978, than you should be given a copy of the EPA brochure “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” or you can view a copy online. Reading the pamphlet and understanding the cause and effect of lead, can help prevent ingestion by children or yourself. The EPA provides a checklist on how to check and determine if you have lead based paint in your home.

It is also required that you sign a Lead Based Paint Disclosure when buying or selling a home built before 1978. A sample disclosure form is available on the EPA website. If your real estate agent fails to mention this requirement, get a new agent.


I was recently reading a post on Active Rain about Global Warming. The author wrote that he believes it is real estate agents duty to disclose to any potential buyers thinking about purchasing coastal property that Global Warming could render their property useless, under water, washed away, etc. He also stated that if an agent does not disclose this possibility, they should be sued, fired, etc.

I am not here to debate Global Warming, but now is not the time to get twisted up in knots about events that may or may not happen. Remember, an Inconvenient Truth was worse case scenario. But my questions are, why should real estate agents disclose to a buyer that his property might be under water? How could a real estate agent be held liable to a force of nature beyond his control? How can you disclose something that might never happen, or happen 50 years from now?

My answer would be that he can’t, nor should he. Common sense has to come into play sometime.
The fact is, global warming can effect anything. It can cause crops to dry up due to lack of rain, it can cause massive land slides due to excessive rain, it can blow in a record number of hurricanes in one year, it can cause no snow to fall for a decade, and it can make your lake home overlook nothing but Lilly pads.

Yes, our climate is changing. Everyone understands that, but don’t make it an agents responsibility to point out a fact so readily available to anyone.

What do you think? Should an agent be responsible for disclosing something that may or may not happen? Should disclosures now include speculation or opinions?


I know, you just love that old home in St Paul on Ramsey Hill. Or maybe that mansion in Minneapolis is calling your name. They have the original plaster walls, beautiful wood carvings, and antique tiled floors. Everything looks great…or does it?

Have you considered the hidden dangers that might be lurking in the home? If not, don’t worry. A home inspection will certainly find anything you may not. But there is one thing you might like to know before you buy.

Is there any lead still present in the home?

Federal law requires that any home built prior to 1978, must carry a disclosure to any potential buyers that lead or asbestos might be present in the home. Lead is most often found in the wall or trim paint, and asbestos usually resides in floor tiles. The disclosure also allows the buyer the option of having the home tested, but doesn’t require the seller to pay for any removal. A buyer should also receive a pamphlet from the Environmental Protection Agency about the dangers of lead based paint before they write up an offer, but if you don’t, an online version is available at the EPA website.

Lead is extremely harmful to young children so make sure to do some homework before you buy that historic home.