Home purchase question

I am looking at purchasing a new home. The home seem to be in good condition but the ceilings had large water stains (not one room but over 50% of the ceiling surface in the entire house). The realtor said the stains are from previous roof leaks that were bad but a new tile roof has been installed in the last year and later the owner who is an elderly had to go to a nursing home that is why the home is for sale. He said the ceilings will have to come down and be replaced.
My question is if the previous water leaks cause stains (and in some spots the ceiling actually dipped in some places presumably due to the weight of the water leak. It must have been pretty bad leaks - not drip drip drip leaks but puddles of water leak.
I don't mind to replace all the ceilings - popcorn I don't like anyways. What I don't want to do is to get into a contract and then find out that there is a serious mold problem. What is the likelyhood that I will have a serious mold problem to content with other than replacing ceilings? If I do have mold problems, than we are talking about replacing all attic insulation (which after getting wet is probably useless anyways) and treating all roof structural and non-structual wood members right? and may be all the AC ducts that are in the attic? That would be serious serious money.
With this information, is there a way to do a "best" educated "guess" as to whether I will have a serious mold problem?
Location is of course humid, hurricane prone, Miami Florida...
Thanks in advance,
MC
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Two thoughts, one easy, one extreme:
1) Obviously, your purchase offer should be contingent on a mechanical inspection by someone YOU choose, not someone recommended by the realtor. You'll go to the yellow pages for this, and if you can't find such inspectors, then you will call a few architecture firms and ask for recommendations. In upstate NY, this cost me $300. If it costs you twice as much, it's worth it.
2) Extreme: Get a couple of estimates for tearing down the entire ceiling, removing insulation, and starting from scratch. Add $1000.00 to the highest estimate, and subtract that from what the house is selling for. That's your offering price. Have your realtor tell the seller's realtor that you're not a gambler.
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MiamiCuse wrote:

I think you are exactly on target. Complete teardown of ceilings AND all insulation, followed by treatment of wood framing and probably ducts.
All that work will involve some degree of personal protection being worn.
Budget for the usual "unexpected" items too.
Jim
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You need to find out why the roof leaked - is there something basically wrong with the design - is that roof prone to leaking and if it is - then you are talking structural. How long did the leak go on - you may have some rot going on in the roof structure - make damn sure the inspector looks the attic over carefully. See if you can follow the leak trail - where did it go after the ceiling - down a wall. What type of insulation - fiberglass not a lot of problems unless it really got smashed down - cellulosic - or ground up newspapers - big problems - the stuff maybe still wet.
Wring every nickel out of the seller you can - if someone let a roof leak this badly - what else did they neglect - just like buying a car - if you see signs of neglect - check every major system - you maybe buying trouble - luckily they did not hide the problem. A friend bought an architectal award winning house - the seller disguised major leak problems - he had a lot of money and spent it on court costs and fixing the problems - which consisted or replacing whole roofing systems.
If you can't get a real deal on this house WALK AWAY or better still RUN.
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Related question: When you submitted the purchase offer for your house, how much time did you (or your realtor) give the seller to think about it?
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I normally give 24 to 48 hours.
MC
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The chances of mold are extremely high. They probably only put the new roof on to sell the house, and probably got prices to do all that work, but decided the price was too high. Mold can be deadly. Go the EPA web site and search on mold. There are people who specialize in checking for and removing it. Don't buy the house unless it's a lot cheaper than the cost of removing the damaged area, and that includes any mold that might be in between walls.

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MiamiCuse wrote:

You are wise to be checking this out. Sorry to say no one here can give you a final answer. You will only get that from having a local professional home inspector that you choose take a look and make a report. Don't limit the inspection the the one problem, he is likely to find more.
Get estimates and add that to any asking price and subtract it from any offer you make. Since it may involve a lot of money you may want to make sure it can be included in the original mortgage.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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