Should I buy a house with mold?

Friday, June 22, 2018

You love everything about the house: the floor plan, the neighborhood, the backyard, the kitchen, even the colors. But it has some mold and the seller is unwilling to do anything about it. Take it or leave it. How do you decide?  

    “The most important thing is determining the source of the mold,” according to Jonathan Dreyer, of Dreyer’s DKI, a Gainesville cleaning and restoration company. “A light dusting of mold on a few surfaces around an empty house because the air conditioning was turned off is not a reason to be freaked out. Knowing what has caused the mold is the first step to figuring out how much there is and how to fix it.” 

    Once you determine that it is a roof or plumbing leak, for example, and the location, then you can begin to evaluate the extent of the problem. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a standard of 10 square feet of mold as the maximum area that can be safely cleaned up by a homeowner. But sometimes there is more mold hiding inside walls and ceilings that is not visible. This is where the advice of a mold professional can make the difference. A pro can determine the source of the moisture causing the mold, if it is not obvious, and give you a good idea of the extent of the infestation. 

    From there, you can get an estimate of the cost to remediate the mold, and add in any additional expense for time you won’t be able to occupy the home while it is being remediated. Once you have a number and a time-frame, you can make a sensible decision as to whether to go ahead and make the purchase.

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  To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?

Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

Can I do my own home inspection?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? 

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1940s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

    Visit our MOLD, LEAD & OTHER CONTAMINANTS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.


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