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Will bank refuse to loan on a house with an asbestos encased boiler? (a "snowman")?

We are selling a house in Eastern Massachusetts, which was built in the 1930.  The original boiler is in good shape, but is what brokers here call a "snowman" - it is a white, asbestos encased burner.  There is no loose asbestos.  

A friend suggested that banks might not be willing to loan against a house with this boiler, and that we should consider replacing it before we put the house on the market.  This would be expensive, and likely would force us to miss the spring selling season, and not be able to put the house on the market until the Fall.

Is there any truth behind this concern?  We certainly don't want to find a buyer, only to have the buyer's bank decline a loan because of the boiler.  At the same time, we don't want to have to invest the cost of replacing the boiler, and at the same time Ms. the spring/summer real estate season.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • April 15 2012 - US
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Answers (1)

Speaking from California, there are no remediation requirements for asbestos with regard to lenders. The EPA states action is only recommended if an asbestos bearing material has been "Damaged, Altered aand or Disturbed". Millions of homes across the nation have asbestos bearing materials in them. If a home was built prior to 1980 it's almost a given that asbestos is somewhere in the structure.

Under normal circumstances the lender will not see the home inspection report on the property and it's normally not an issue covered during a standard appraisal.

http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/ashome.html
  • April 15 2012
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