Should I Buy a House That Has Asbestos Siding?

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Q: My husband and I are in the process of buying a house. The house we are interested in is in a perfect location — near a great park, close to restaurants and public transportation, and in a good school district. The house is a great size for us and has almost all of the things on our wish list. Everything was going well, until we found out that the siding on the house is cement-asbestos.

 I did some research (including contacting the county's health department) and everyone seems to say that as long as the siding is in good shape it should not be a problem. The siding seems to be in good shape but we would of course have this verified by an inspector. We could also have the siding removed, which would cost about $5,000, plus the cost of re-siding the house. We were fully prepared to buy the house before we learned about the siding. I don't know if this should be a dealbreaker or not. Is it crazy to buy a house covered in a known hazardous substance?

Sent by Amanda

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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