Mold: Deal Maker or Deal Breaker?

Ever opened the door to a house that’s been unoccupied for a while? It’s got that characteristic musty smell. That’s because being closed up and stagnant is a perfect breeding ground for mold, bacteria, mycotoxins and endotoxins. That’s what you get in foreclosed homes too. Because when the people move out, these other nasty little occupants move in. In fact, if there’s a bit of a leak somewhere, or humidity (especially in locations like Florida or Louisiana), mold can take over in a very short time.

That’s bad news, with all the foreclosures out there, which are already selling for less than they’re worth. Once they’re infested with mold, these moldy foreclosed homes can sell for a fraction of their alleged value. And it might cost a fortune to get rid of established mold, bacteria, mycotoxins and endotoxins.

So if you’re one of those brave souls buying foreclosed homes, make sure you bring your mold inspector along when doing that house inspection. If your inspector does find mold, you might as well see if you can get the remediation warranted into your contract. (A bank probably won’t do that; they tend to be pretty immobile where contracts are concerned–but a seller just might take care of the remediation–or drop the house price accordingly.) In any case, if you’re buying a mold infested house, you need to be doing it with your eyes and wallet wide open, knowing exactly what you’re going to be dealing with. Fixing it is likely to get really expensive. That bargain may not be such a bargain after all.

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