This is a most interesting topic. I thought a friend of mine could give you some ideas, I walked over to her house to sign us in and will turn it over
to her here --
Hello Friend, My name is Zoe and I am interested in topics like this. My friend here seems to think I'm Einstein (ha) or - that I would know something
about "The Manhattan Project" since I attended the University of Chicago. However, I studied biz there and don't really know too much about that. Try
their websites though, esp. the Physics dept., you might find some useful stuff.
You might also want to look at - Argonne Labs, which is connected to UC. There might be some relevant info on material handling, waste disposal, to be
found, that may be relevant to your area too. You may also want to look at or contact the EPA office which handles the Chicago (and or Great Lakes)
area - some disposed materials may have gone through this, or there may be info there you could use. (Same for any other area you suspect any
materials may have come from.)
I have some knowledge of Real Estate also, which may be of help. You need to learn how to read "legal property descriptions". You do not really need a
'name' of a parcel, you will do better with PIN numbers or the legal description. And you can 'work backward' off of these. You can see what has come
before, various divisions, etc. I would try to explain it, but it's confusing and it's best if you learn the basics yourself. To make a simple example
- lets say we here live in lots 5 and 6 of Joe Blow's Second Subdivision of Some Land Co's First Subdivision of the quarter section of -
See, then you can go back to the previous subdivision, and back before that. It's actually pretty interesting stuff. Once you get the hang of it - you
can do much research online. Otherwise - you need to go to the municipality in question's "Country Clerk's Office." Or the "Property Record Clerk".
They will let you look at records, they will want PIN numbers. They index by those. If they are not busy, they will help you with research. You will
also want to learn about easements - because some land could have an easement granted to another party for drainage, say. You want to pay attention to
things that have been 'vacated' - this means it's 'gone away' / a court has 'vacated' the previous legal agreements - do watch that stuff. You may
come across a map that indicates that an easement was vacated - oh it's all Kiddie Play Park now, that was got rid of. Don't ignore those. It might
have been nothing, a strip for phone poles, it might have been something relevant. Some Polluters easement might be noted as Trust #'s Etc. Easement,
Vacated XDate - and then you will have to keep digging. You also need to watch mineral rights, water (riparian) rights, and some parcels may be
'surface only' (eg what's under that has been deeded as separate parcel(s).)
It can be quite complicated stuff. Learn how to read property records, you absolutely have to. I Googled 'how to read legal descriptions of land' and
there is a wealth of info on this, you can probably teach yourself via this online info.
Another thing to look at - the websites of the municipalities in question. Or, the county. Go to the tabs where it says 'for business' or 'for
developers'. You may find info on there.
I am interested in going into the RE biz and I read a great deal about these issues too. Here in N. IL, pretty much the entire lower half of Lake
Michigan - there are many, many, polluted areas. My friend and neighbor 'FM' here and I - we both have been exposed to many toxins. I in MI, her in
My latest concern - I am interested in RE in Lake Co, IL. It's polluted. The prices are *dropping* while most of this region is increasing, 12, 15% in
the last year. There are also numerous parcels of foreclosed *vacant land*. As a biz person, this concerns me. An REIT would not allow such to go to
foreclosure, my guess is that it was some wanna be developer or investor seeing the cheap land and thinking they're going to make $. Everything I
mention here - is what you have to watch. Somebody probably grabbed up a bunch of lots without careful research - there are probably many restrictions
in place. And yes, you must disclose.
Anything that 'looks odd' *must* be researched carefully. Don't get stuck with something you cannot resell. This, or some of this *might not be*
anything 'bad' either - maybe some person just decided to gamble without researching and just got stuck with crap. Some hoped for employer may have
passed on the area, causing price drops. It could be anything and you have to watch it all.
Look at zoning on municipal websites also. You can find all sorts of relevant info tucked away in various places. Look at your local EPA sites also.
And pay attention to any contractors listed for past projects - you can then possibly find more info by looking at them.
Hopefully there's a few tips in here that you can use ~
~ Z & T (FM)
edit on 18-5-2014 by FalseMove because: clarity