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House with mold in basement, to buy or not to buy?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So the house we are trying to buy has some mold in the basement. The inspectors opinion is that it is surface mold d/t moisture in the basement and the house (and basement) being closed up for a year (estate sale), it was on the furniture in the basement and is on the walls of the stairwell, appx 15 sq ft. It isn't black its a yellow orange color. Our realtor doesnt think its an issue either, however my parents are concerned about it being throughout the house. The seller doesn't want to pay to clean it up--wants to sell as is. To have someone come in and do an air quality test and clean it up would cost thousands ($2-3000 easily) which we aren't willing to do.

Would you buy it and clean the mold yourself and feel comfortable knowing it was just in the basement?

Thakns
Leslie
post #2 of 20
I've cleaned mold from floors, walls, and furniture after a flood. It is not fun. If the current owner will not clean it up, reduce your offer by at least $5,000. You don't want to get a nasty surprise if the cleaning company finds more work to be done than you expected. Also, you need a little room to bargain.
post #3 of 20
I would stay clear! That type of mold is toxic, which is why when houses flood the damage needs to be completely ripped up and replaced.

If you have mold in the basement, it's likely a long standing issue, and cannot be cleaned on the surface. Mold digs itself in into cracks and small pockets and spawns spores which float to other areas and also grow.
post #4 of 20
I would be very careful of any mold. If you have any allergies or breathing problems, you may become sick. I am concerned that the real estate agent doesn't want to get this cleaned up before you buy it. If you do buy it, you can get a mold test kit to see what type of mold it is.
post #5 of 20
If you have kids, especially, I'd say pass on it. No question about it. It's not worth the health consequences to them
post #6 of 20
No way! Too much risk to pets and humans.
post #7 of 20
Run and run fast away from that home.

No mold, no way.
post #8 of 20
I just asked my husband (he works on a lot of houses) and he said if it's yellow/green, it can easily be cleaned with clorox, but use a mask when you're cleaning it. That isn't the really bad mold like the black mold is. I still would insist on reducing the sales price. But, from what he said, as long as you wear a mask and use clorox you should be fine. It's up to you though.
post #9 of 20
I would not buy it unless they agreed to reduce the price by whatever it costs to have it removed professionaly. In fact I would not buy it until the cause of the mold was corrected, there has to be a leak or something, not because it was closed up, and the cost of removing it all professionally. If the sellers won't do that, let them keep it. It is a buyers market right now. Don't get saddled with a major problem, and it WILL make you sick, no matter what kind of mold it it.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
Run and run fast away from that home.

No mold, no way.
Agreed. And I am an insurance adjuster..formerly a fire insurance specialist. (Fire insurance meaning property insurance...not actually fires)
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
After talking with my sister, the decision is clean it up or no sale. My gut says when we start to pull out they'll bite. The house has been on the market for a year, depreciating (dropped $55,000 in that time on asking price). My hopes aren't up though, if its the house for us it will happen, otherwise God will lead us to the right one.

Leslie
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
After talking with my sister, the decision is clean it up or no sale. My gut says when we start to pull out they'll bite. The house has been on the market for a year, depreciating (dropped $55,000 in that time on asking price). My hopes aren't up though, if its the house for us it will happen, otherwise God will lead us to the right one.

Leslie
You never know! We got our house talked down 10,000 from the asking price just by saying we were going to go look at others lol!

I agree with getting in cleaned up professionally! And I would go ahead and spend the money to have an inspection before you buy, even though they are selling as is, it just means you know what to expect when you get the house and there are no surprises! There are a lot of people really desperate to sell right now! Good luck!
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
Run and run fast away from that home.

No mold, no way.
Mold is one of the things you don't play with.
post #14 of 20
Could you check with the neighbors next door to see if they have a mold problem as well??

I would have a home inspection done to see if it would pass inspection as well.

Does the houe have a sump pump in the basement, what type of soil is in the yard? How is the soil graded/pitched around the house? It the mold in the entire basement or just one area-that would help the inspection around the house to see of what is seeping in? Any cracks in the basement?? Also look at the sill plate were the foundation ties into the floor for water stains. Is there any drywall or paneling attached in the basement or carpeting that could be pulled to look for mold underneath?

While home was empty was there any heat on in the house? There might not have been any air circulation which might have caused this as well.

I would think a motivated seller would be willing to work with a potential buyer on correction of this problem.
post #15 of 20
I'd stay away, but I have a pretty nasty mold allergy and that's just not something I'm willing to mess with. Even if it is just from dampness because the house was sealed, it could be everywhere. I think the rule is that for every spot of mold you see, there are at least 10 you don't see.
post #16 of 20
When we looked at houses, we would cross off any houses that had an obvious mold problem - even in the basement. Sooner or later you will have major problems.

There are houses out there that have no mold problems - I'd keep looking. At the prices now, you can afford to keep looking and not settle.

Keep in mind - the realtor WANTS to sell a house - doesn't mean that you accept the one he wants you to buy - sometimes they say anything to sell a house!
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
After talking with my sister, the decision is clean it up or no sale. My gut says when we start to pull out they'll bite. The house has been on the market for a year, depreciating (dropped $55,000 in that time on asking price).
Dropped by 55k or to 55k?

What makes this house so special to you? Nice yard with a good spot that gets plenty of sun in the back or side, maybe? (in some neighborhoods it's rare to find a good backyard like this) I could understand if that's a major selling point for you, otherwise the house is just a house and there are probably others that are nearly identical on the inside.

15sqft will require professional clean up, unfortunately.


I'd push the seller into taking care of the mold issue completely, too. DH would get sick even being in a home with mold issues like that, and plenty of other people would get sick over time with repeated exposure. So it's not something I'd personally want to deal with cleaning up.
post #18 of 20
I think you'd be wise to pass on this one. In our part of the country, it's definitely a buyer's market. Houses are literally a dime a dozen. You really should be able to find a house that you like, in your price range, without a mold problem. I have horrible mold allergies (this rainy summer has been miserable) and I wouldn't even consider a house with known mold problems!
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
After some pictures consults with a few friends (contractors) and some research on the EPA site we have decided to move forward even with the mold. We know where the moisture came from, the home inspection showed us that and how to solve the issue from reoccuring. It does have a sump pump also as someone asked. However this was after we asked them to clean it up professionally so we have to wait and hear what they say first.

I respect what everyone has said and thank you for your opinions they are greatly appreciated.

We have known our realtor for 25 years, he would not steer us wrong and is actually not making a dime on this house.

Leslie
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
As a side note, this is a one of a kind house in our area. Secluded yet in town, double lot with trees, quiet street. In the right market this house is probably worth $125000 and with the right work easily could sell for $165000 (bathroom and kitchen updates). Everything is from when it was built in the 50s no updates

Leslie
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