The environmental and building consulting experts at EC2 provide environmental assessments for lenders and buyers of residential and commercial properties across Chicago and Northern Illinois.
A recent report from RealtyTrac showed that 154 out of 206 metropolitan areas with a population of at least 200,000 had an annual increase in foreclosure activity from January through June. On the commercial side of the property equation, Realpoint’s monthly delinquency report showed the total unpaid principal balance (UPB) for commercial mortgage-backed securities at the end of May was $57.34 billion, a 205% increase from last year.
These figures show the challenges facing both the residential and commercial property markets. More lenders are foreclosing on properties and in many areas vulture investors have begun buying distressed properties at highly discounted rates.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns are a major issue for these new properties owners. Foreclosed properties have often been abandoned, vandalized or not maintained leading to problems with mold from water damage or issues with lead and asbestos from deteriorating building materials.
As the new owner of a property the investor, or the bank that has foreclosed on the property, may face financial losses as a result of a contaminated property. Many commercial properties lenders have often first required a Phase I environmental site assessment when the initial property loan was made which provides some level of protection to the bank. Even if this was conducted at the front end the property should have a complete due diligence done upon foreclosure.
In the Midwest many banks and property investors have turned to EC2, Inc. (ec2) for Phase I audits, IAQ investigations and to inspect for other building and property issues. “Mold, lead, asbestos and other contaminants can be an expensive problem for owners of residential and commercial properties,” reported Ed Chambers, President of ec2. “Banks that have foreclosed and investors looking to make a profit can be faced with costly environmental remediation both inside and outside of a property that has not been properly inspected by a qualified professional. At ec2 we help answer these important questions.”
In addition, many local authorities having jurisdiction (i.e. local building departments), are requiring the services of a 'mold professional' prior to allowing for any permits associated with any remediation or renovations. The structure must be clean prior to the reinstallation of insulation and wall finishes.
About EC2, Inc.
EC2 is a leading provider of environmental consulting and inspection services for clients across the United States. Based in the Chicago area, the company provides their services to clients ranging from local companies and institutions to international Fortune 500 corporations.