Thinking about.....buying home with mold

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Hello everyone,
I am looking for some assistance. I have considered purchasing a home that is worth $190,000 for $126,500 and the reason that it is not selling is because the house was foreclosed and throughout the fall/winter period, the sub-pump broke and the basement flooded, leaving alot of moisture in a house that was locked up.
There is now tiny mold spots all throughout the house, some a light reddish brown, others are more green, smaller spots, not too many clumped up or dark brown/black. I was wondering if I could remove this mold with a bleach formula and then use Killz and be fine....I am going to do an inspection, but I am finding that many inspectors can only tell you that there is a mold problem and not if it is a health hazard (which I wish someone would just same, it is black mold RUN!). I have also found that many mold websites are suggesting not to hire a mold specialist to come take a look because all they will do is tell you that it is mold. My main concern is if it is in the wall itself or just surface mold. If I could receive opinions on what I should do in this case please let me know.
This is what I was considering: (1) remove all the carpet (2) bleach the walls (3) apply killz (4) lay down new flooring
purchase a dehumidifier and air purifier. Instead of hiring a company to take out all the old drywall and put up new drywall which would cost be $5, 000. The house was built in 1986 and is structurally in pretty good shape, it is also in a very nice subdivision where all other homes sell for around $200,000. Please offer some thoughts on this or any experiences that any of you have faced.
Thank you,
Cherie
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Wear proper gear and masks if you're thinking about working on it.
Also, use 50-50 bleach solution, not full 100% bleach. Sounds like a great opportunity. I know I'd do it.
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sounds like a bigger problem. Could be you'd have to tear out the drywall and paint every stud and joist with kilz. They had to do that to a house on one of those "flipping" shows, and it added something like $20,000 to the remodeling cost for a 1,000 sq. ft. house for the demolition, dumpsters, kilz spray, new drywall, trim, etc. If it was wet enough to cause that much mold, there might be electric issues as well. What about the heating system? I'd be VERY careful about this one.
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h wrote:

To reply to this: I am checking with the seller's agent. He initially said on the phone that there was a slight mold problem and that a couple walls needed to be replaced (which he said was down in the basement) and now he said he hired a company to get an estimate and they said that they would rip out all the drywall (of course they would because they want to make some money, right?). So now I am just curious what is the most accurate information and if I should just get an inspector and see what he/she has to say......I just have a feeling that they won't even want to touch the issue and they will want to forward me on to a specialist.
Now I have researched black mold and looked at all the pictures and it looks nothing like the mold that is in this house. It is small little specs (almost like condensation- like the size of a pencil eraser) and just randomly throughout the house, not in large clumps everywhere. In addition, my realtor (who is also my mom's b/f) has his own drywall company and says he has seen this before and that he would just bleach it and put killz on it. That is what he has done in the past, I just don't want the mold to be deeper than just surface is all. Are there any places that I can go through like health inspectors through the county or something like that to get an honest opinion of whether this is a health hazard or if I am just wasting my time.
I feel like my brain is overloaded now, all because I keep on getting different information. I am thinking I am going to request from the seller's agent to get a print out of the inspection/estimate that they had from the "company". I feel like they are withholding information, but at the same time, if they were....can they honestly let people off the streets enter a home with no protection that has black mold.....won't they be held liable if something were to happen to those people?
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Now that I've read further back in the thread, I *would* rip out the sheetrock to remediate this house, and that should be considered in your calculations (if you do buy, and I'd still advise not buying your bf's next project).
You're not qualified to determine what kind of mold is in the house; it has set up pretty much everywhere to one extent or other. You'll have to disclose, and you won't be able to disclose what kind of mold it is.
Walk away unless you're really looking at this as your long-time residence. If the latter, have a plan for paying for everything on your own if you and bf break up.
Banty
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Not always so. A contractor wouldn't want to do the surface cleaning and risk a warranty recall if it doesn't work. Even if you are to undertake this job yourself it may actually be easier and faster to remove damaged drywall than to try to micro-fix only the affected areas. If they are only surface condensation spots with mold colonies and there is no internal dampness in the drywall or in the studs behind them then surface treatment should suffice. Its a judgement call.
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I suspect that the $35,000 discount is fairly close to what it will cost to guarantee fixing the problem in one go, and noticably less that it will cost if you try to fix it on the cheap, and then have to go back and do a total rehab.
Without more info, you're really just gambling that the mold/mildew isn't as bad as it might be. So the question back to you is, are you will to take that gamble, and can you afford to loose?
If the answer is "yes", then you MIGHT make a significant amount of money in exchange for taking the chance.
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He figures 65,000 dollar discount.
Since it's foreclosed, the original owner has nothing to gain or lose. If you could find him, you might get more info about how dry the basement was before they moved out.
Also the neighbors won't have an incentive to lie for the sake of the owner, their friend. Although they do want someone to buy it an dtake care of it, I don't know that would be enough to make them lie to your face.

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Thanks for bringing that up....
I have actually spoke with the neighbors and they gave me some good information. They moved in 8 months ago and at that time, the owners were still there. About 2 months later, the house was in the process of being foreclosed.
The neighbors said that they are not sure why people are not scooping it up (they knew about the mold issue) and they said that if they hadn't moved in next door already they would have most definitely considered it.
Can water from the basement....create mold spores throughout the home upstairs do to moisture and NO ventilation since the house was locked up for the winter? It has not been sitting like this for years, I will let you know that. But is sitting like that for a few months going to do a significant amount of damage?
Thanks everyone! mm wrote:

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I think water in a basement could produce mold upstairs, but I think it would take quite a long time to do it. If the basement was just flooded for a few days to maybe a week, I doubt it would be possible. But if it flooded and was never caught and sat that way for months, slowly drying out, then sure.
And the bad part is, if that's what happened, then you would think the mold would be everywhere, like inside the walls, particularly outside walls, where it would condense. Has anyone looked in the attic?
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We are doing this today. I will be taking pictures today and posting them so that many of you will be able to see what I am seeing. :)
snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

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Mold kills people. Documented cases prove it. I'd steer clear of it.
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Certain relatively rare molds hurt certain relatively rare people who are very sensitive.
Calm down.
Yes, mold has to be disclosed; in a weak market it's a detractor. But let's not get nutty about this.
Banty
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Perhaps you might be interested in this house, then? Would you want to live in it?
Steve
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Now *you've* gone on to a shrieky emotional argument. Exhibit A about folks going nutter about this.
My answer, as usual, would depend greatly on the circumstances.
Banty
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Steve B says...

I'm sorry. How do the two sentences I quoted qualify as a "shrieky emotional argument"?
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

I might. A couple of thousand worth of paint then flip it for a $75,000 profit.
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What about the mold?
Steve
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What does a realtor say your sales price would be? You'll have to disclose the prior existence of the mold, which will greatly lower your sales price in a weak market.... LT
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Some friends of mine bought a house in California where someone stuck a nail in the wall to hang a picture and punctured a pipe. It was a slow leak, then they put the house up for sale. It was on the market for a very long time, and they got a very good deal on it.
BUT, it was all one floor, and no basement. I wouldn't touch a house like that where you could not get on all sides of everything. I don't think there's enough spray in the world to kill all the stuff that is underground and unseen and can't be gotten to.
Whatever you save on price is going to be spent on continuous remediation. Plus, you will have a hard time selling it.
I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. YMMV.
Steve
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