sarah@sarahtaylor.com | 772-485-3214

How To Avoid Touring Houses that have Chinese Drywall...

Real Estate Home Inspection Report

A lot of homes were built in Port St. Lucie during the “Chinese Drywall Era” or, to be politically correct – Defective Drywall era.

What is Chinese Drywall – a brief overview: During the real estate boom there was so much construction in the St. Lucie and Martin County area that drywall was being shipped in from places we don’t usually get it from: i.e. China. The wallboard was manufactured with sulfur that oxidizes and after about one to two years the gasses start corroding copper and metals. Owners of homes built with the defective drywall see their appliances start to fail, A/C coils corrode, and building materials like bathroom fixtures start to look pitted and corroded. The whole ordeal is a mess.

I recently had a buyer ask if we should even bother touring houses built between 2005 to 2007 (the exact dates are loosely defined).

My answer: No.

Reason: There are too many homes in Port St. Lucie built during this era that don’t have defective drywall that are viable options to purchase. As a real estate agent in Port St. Lucie I do my best to set up a search criteria that helps eliminate houses that are already known to have Chinese drywall. For example, there is a way to set up a search in our MLS that allows me to discard properties where the listing agent made remarks for Chinese or Defective Drywall.

Other precautions you can take when touring homes:

  • Check for exposed copper. The easiest way is to look at the copper wires running in to the Air Handler inside the home (not in the garage). If the copper looks black or sooty then it’s a possibility that the drywall may be defective.
  • If the property is known to have defective drywall the listing agent is supposed to put that in the remarks in the MLS.
  • See a super-low priced house on the MLS? There is probably a reason for this so have your agent call the listing agent and find out why the house is so low compared to other listings that are similar. A lot of times I’ve found it’s Chinese Drywall, mold, or something else of which they didn’t take a photo.
  • Inspection Period. If you do put a property under contract you should always ask for an inspection period. Hire a professional inspector who knows the signs of Chinese Drywall and inspect the property during this time frame.

Please don’t take this article as legal advice. The above information is generally what I discuss with customers who are looking to purchase a home and use me as their real estate agent.

Do you have more questions about buying a house in Port St. Lucie? I’d be happy to help you. You can call me directly at 772-485-3214 or fill in the contact form by clicking here.
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About the author

Sarah Taylor
As a licensed broker associate since 2008, Sarah is also a Florida native selling real estate in her home town, Port St. Lucie.

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