Surprisingly, buying a house that had mold means different things to different people. For some it could be a deal breaker – for others, the means to getting a stellar deal for a little extra effort. There’s no right or wrong answer as to purchasing a home with mold issues, however it can add a few sales complication
How Common are Mold Issues?
Not every home has a mold problem or is at risk of developing one. Every home has mold in small quantities – it’s normal. The possibility for serious mold growth depends solely on moisture accumulation. Bathrooms and other poorly ventilated, moisture-prone rooms, attics, basements/crawlspaces, behind water heaters, and other high-humidity or water damaged areas are all prime locations for mold growth.
Is it as Big of a Deal as the Press Pushes?
Everyone responds to mold differently. Some have no reaction, other are extremely sensitive, and many somewhere in-between. Length of exposure, quantity and mold types also play a role. Immune-compromised, children and elderly, and those with allergies/asthma are most prone to reaction, particularly with toxic, black mold, experiencing sneezing, runny nose, coughing, and frequent illness.
Buying/Selling a Home with Mold Damage:
Selling a house with mold problems, whether or not they have been professionally confirmed, is not a wise idea. There are many buyers who will bail-out on a mold-infected home, particularly with toxic black mold, which can lead to substantial liability issues – whether you knew and failed to mention it, or didn’t take the time to have it professionally inspected and addressed before the sale. A substantial investment, homebuyers may be raising a family in your home, and have every right to be cautious. Addressing the issue prior to sale probably costs less than you think – and can help you achieve maximum asking price. Though necessary disclosures vary by state, selling a home with mold is not something you want to take lightly, lest you end up facing serious consequences. If you choose to repair (rather than steeply discount) your moldy home, be certain to document all repairs and subsequent testing in case of future legal action. You may also wish to consider an official inspection as proof the situation has been satisfactorily resolved.
Buying a house with mold in basement or attic, or even buying a house with mold in crawlspace may earn you a steep discount in the purchase price. Never take an agent’s or seller’s word on the issue – if you see mold or mold pops-up in an inspection, it is well worth the money for testing and a remediation quote. It’s up to you to decide if the home is worth it. You should also plan on postponing your move-in date till after cleanup. Rest assured, addressing the issue is often far easier and less expensive to resolve than people realize. Do your due diligence before putting in an offer – and offer accordingly. Mold does effect appraisal value, and is often a surprising ‘find’ during inspection as both sellers and buyers tend to overlook eyeballing basements, crawlspaces, and attics for mold issues.
Suspect Mold Damage ?
Whether you are buying or selling, if you think there may be mold contamination, it’s best to simply get an inspection. Don’t fear the results. The good news is, almost all real estate transaction can be saved if mold is discovered, especially if you’re buying a house with mold in foreclosure, where you could earn steep discounts. In fact, with a great remediation company, not only will the mold be removed, but the underlying cause addressed, alongside a warranty guaranteeing area’s addressed remain mold-free.
Take a head-on approach to mold problems, enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a clean sale.