Homebuyers concerned about environmental hazards can get some guidance from a booklet published by California Realtors.
"Environmental Hazards: A Guide for Homeowners and Buyers," published in a question-and-answer format, offers some insight into the primary hazards -- asbestos, formaldehyde, lead, radon and toxic wastes.
The 47-page booklet is far from comprehensive. Much of its space is devoted to lists of phone numbers, agencies and titles of other printed materials on the subject.
But Michael Lyon, president of the Sacramento Association of Realtors, says the booklet "educates buyers about a field where more knowledge is needed." Too often, he said, the public has been scared by environmental hazard warnings that have been exaggerated. "This booklet puts things into perspective."
The booklet is available for $9.44 from the California Association of Realtors. Send a check payable to the association to: Customer Service, California Association of Realtors, 525 S. Virgil Ave., Los Angeles, Calif., 90020. The association's phone number is (213) 739-8200.
Other real estate notes:
Housing prices don't always soar higher or faster in controlled-growth communities than in pro-growth ones, according to a study by the University of California, Berkeley.
Neither do strict limits on new housing often slow population growth, said John D. Landis, an assistant professor of city and regional planning at Berkeley.
MA Mr. Landis evaluated data from seven small-to-medium Northern
California communities, including Lodi, for his report, "Do Growth Controls Work?" He concluded that control regulations were ineffective in some communities because they were not as restrictive as they appeared, and that growth kept out of the cities "probably spilled over to neighboring non-controlled areas."
Lodi was among the cities that were successful in controlling growth in the '80s, and it did it with some of the most unusual growth programs in the state, Mr. Landis said. Growth was directed almost exclusively into previously passed-over sites. Some residential development that would have occurred spilled over into unincorporated areas along Lodi's northern and southern edges, he said. As a result, residents in those areas have been able to take advantage of many of the city's serviceswhile paying much lower property taxes.