Vista View Home Sales Slow; Offers Well Below Quoted Prices

It's been just about six months since people living in the Vista View area found out about the TCE contamination there. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management is doing more testing for TCE, a fence has been built around the ditch where the chemical has been found in surface water and people have decided to move.

Some residents have been concerned about property values, and some of them are testing the market?

We did an informal survey of the Vista View subdivision this afternoon, and what we found, just looking at signs and talking to realtors, may surprise you. There are approximately 300 houses in the area and just driving around, we discovered nine for sale through four different realtors.

We talked with several agents, and they quoted prices on the homes ranging from 89-thousand dollars for a brand new house to 78 thousand for an 11 year old home.

Agents say it's difficult to tell if there are more homes for sale because of the TCE contamination, but they do tell us there has definitely been an effect on the market. A couple of agents tell us they've taken only one or two calls for listings in the neighborhood, while one agent, Jerri Baker, says she's had several calls on one home priced at 78-thousand dollars.

Baker says the people she's shown the home to aren't concerned about any possible health risk from TCE because they think the government will take care of it.

Baker says she's seen offers of 15-20% below the listed price for homes; not an attractive number for an 80-thousand dollar house.

An independent appriaser says it's going to take some time to see how the market will shake out. He says appraisals probably won't change for a couple of years, if at all.

The realtors we talked to say they're providing potential buyers with a notice telling them about the TCE contamination before closing any deals.