When looking to buy or refinance a property you already own, you want to make sure that your money is well spent. One of the steps you need to take to ensure this happens is to assess the property you are looking to purchase or refinance. 

A phase 1 environmental assessment is a thorough inspection of a property to ensure the property is safe and is not associated with hazards such as mold, asbestos, or contaminated soil.

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An environmental assessment typically consists of two distinct phases: a phase I assessment and a phase II assessment. Not all properties have to go through both phases. If you selected a stage I assessment of your property and no evidence of environmental hazards was found, you do not need to proceed to stage two. However, if certain hazards are indicated, a more detailed property inspection is required. 

Phase I evaluation – A Phase I assessment of your commercial or residential property is the first step to ensuring that the property is safe and worth investing in. This usually begins with testing for mold and asbestos. Phase I evaluations often also include:

  • Check property records to determine previous use of the property

  • Surveying nearby properties to determine environmental risks

  • View local, state, state, and tribal ownership records

  • Aerial photography investigations to determine drainage and runoff

  • Phase II evaluation

If a Phase I assessment reveals any indication of a hazard on your property, you are advised to undertake an additional environmental assessment.