A North Shore couple is in limbo after learning their home may have been built on a former town dump.

Julie and David Gesner learned what lay beneath their Colonial-style house in Manchester-by-the-Sea only when they tried to sell it last year. Tests revealed the presence of high levels of chromium, arsenic, lead and other materials in the soil.

State environmental officials have ordered the town and the previous owner to clean up the 1.3 site. But town officials tell The Boston Globe they're still trying to confirm whether a dump actually operated on the site in the 1950s, as some old records indicate.

The Gesners, who have a 4-month-old daughter, are living elsewhere but continue to pay for the home while they wait for the situation to be resolved.