When you get a property record report you want it to have as much information as possible. Your expectation is that if there is anything wrong with the property the records will let you know about it. In most cases this is true. But there is one problem that effects older houses that you currently can’t get from any property record search service. That problem is whether the water is carried into and out of the home through lead pipes.
This is obviously a danger. When lead pipes were installed nobody knew that the lead could cause massive brain damage in people over time. Lead was assumed to be safe metal and people didn’t think one way or another about it. But now we know that lead is extremely dangerous and if we found out that lead pipes were pumping our water we’d have to get them replaced for our own safety.
But replacing all the pipes in your house could end up costing you thousands and thousands of dollars. Therefore it is something you’d certainly want to know about before you invested in that home. Imagine getting your first mortgage and then finding out you couldn’t drink the water or shower there. That would be a huge blow.
The problem is that in most jurisdictions the lead pipe records were not stored with the general property records. They were put on index cards and stored in drawers. This is because lead pipes were used so long ago at a point in time where nobody thought they would ever become an issue.
Recently the city of Flint, Michigan, decided to do something about that. They allocated $50,000 to scan and digitize pipe records into their general property records system. When this is done you will be able to find out in Flint about whether the pipes are lead or not when you do a property records search through PropertyRecord.com.
Digitizing these vital records was important for homeowners to know which lines have been replaced and when they were replaced, along with recording the city of Flint affidavits that could be searchable online, John Gleson wrote in The Detroit News.
“Digitizing the records has made it easier for people to find out which pipes have been replaced, and which homes are now free of these “dirty” pipes. It also has allowed for greater transparency, with the seller to the buyer knowing the home was remediated or never had a problem in the first place. With this information now accessible, owners will have critical information on the status of their property,” he continued.
Now other cities are thinking about setting aside some money so that homeowners and potential home buyers can find out if lead pipes are pumping any of the water into a home. They to will end up putting that information into property records.
This is a good thing. The information you can currently get from a property record search are good, but every bit of new information added to it makes it even better.