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Are You Buying a House with Mold Issues?

Buying a home is one of the most exciting moments in the life of an individual, couple, or family. Suddenly, you don’t have to worry about that pesky landlord anymore. You are the landlord, and the property is your kingdom. If you want to make changes to the home’s interior or exterior, you don’t need to ask permission (there are, of course, exceptions to this – certain renovations will require special permission from local and/or state governments).

Indeed, becoming a homeowner is a great feeling. But it also comes with a long list of challenges and responsibilities you may never have anticipated. There are many different risks that have to be considered if you’re going to be successful in the long run. If you make the right strategic and maintenance decisions, your home will remain on the up-and-up. However, if key issues are neglected, things can get very frustrating and costly.

Mold is one of those problems you probably never thought about much until it crept up on you – and by then, in some cases, it was too late. There was no choice but to call in a mold remediation professional. Even after the mold was cleanup, you had to report the mold event as a part of the home’s history. Real estate agents and potential buyers have a legal right to know about mold-related events on your property, so if an invasion gets out of hand, it truly can affect your property and family for a long time to come.

Let’s go back to our hypothetical situation at the beginning of this post, and say that you’re actually the one buying the home. From what we’ve discussed, it’s obvious that you should find out about any mold related events that the home might have been through. If there was a mold cleanup operation, how bad was it? Who was hired to clean it up? What type of mold was it, and where was the invasion concentrated? You and/or your real estate agent should be able to get straight answers to these questions, and if there’s any concern, you can also call for a professional mold inspection to make sure there are no lingering problems.

You should also be aware of the fact that a home with mold-cleanup events in its past – especially if those events comprised of major cleanup operations involving skilled professionals – the market value of the property should be lower. Your real estate agent will hopefully be aware of these facts, and give you solid advice on whether (and how) to move forward with a possible transaction.

Buying a house that has had mold issues in the past is one thing – but buying a home that currently has mold issues is a big headache, especially if you don’t know about those mold issues until later. Hence the importance of having the property inspected by a mold professional before you put in an offer. In most cases, the seller should pay to have this done, so that buyers can bid with confidence. Happy house hunting – and remember, the best defense against mold is prevention!