Thinking about.....buying home with mold

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Michigan? Humid? You've got to be kidding.
Ever been to Mississippi or Florida? Heck, even St. Louis...
I've lived in SW Michigan and central Illinois, and now live in central Indiana, and travel to Michigan frequently (my brother lives there) -- Michigan isn't anywhere near as humid as central IL, and that doesn't begin to hold a candle to the Gulf Coast.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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central Indiana, now live in SW Michigan, and own a house on the Gulf Coast. Central/Southern IN does get pretty miserable in the hot months. The humidity in Louisiana is worse, but at least there is usually a breeze there, and the 3 pm monsoons most days to cool things off. I find the MI climate to be similar to IN, just that growing/swimming season is about six weeks shorter. (Up here, Memorial day to Labor day, unless you heat the water somehow.) This past winter was not bad, but it was awful wide. First snow 12 Oct, last snow 12 April. Come retirement, I'm heading south. Kentucky or Tenn sounds about right, climate wise, and normal people can still afford to live there.
aem sends...
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Just about the reverse for me: moved to Muskegon at age 2, brief stint in Illinois, been in or around Indianapolis since age 15. Whereabouts in central Indiana are you from, and where in Michigan are you now?
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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wrote:

'temporary' job in Battle Creek six months after college, since I was broke. That was 26? years ago. Used to visit the old hometowns in Indiana almost monthly, till family and childhood friends scattered to the four winds. Only get down twice a year or so lately. My father ended up down in Lousiana. He was renting, and I needed an investment, so I bought a house for him to rent from me. (He insisted on paying rent.)
aem sends...
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Geez, we're even the same age.

Drop me an email next time you're heading down Indy way, and we can have a beer together and talk about Michigan. Some day I'll move back there. And I'll stay there til I die.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Sat, 19 May 2007 21:42:49 GMT, "cherie9g via HomeKB.com"

I'll have to back off advising here as I don't know your local conditions.

growth. But again it depends on local conditions. But these two instances will be localized molds.

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On Fri, 18 May 2007 15:19:54 -0700, "Steve B"

Not sure. IIUC, she has a moldy boyfriend that she has pressurized.

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I think you are being a little harsh there Steve, thanks for the concerns, but it seems as though you are attacking the situation in a rude manner instead of offering guidance.
As for the whole b/f issue, if you read earlier, it is a suggestion by him, but I am a very smart, independent person, I was just looking into his suggestion (which I do not think it is the best thing to do at this time, just fix it up and flip it)...it's a buyers market, not a seller's market. He's not abusive or manipulative, he was just giving his opinion and he just gets eager about homes.....(he is trying to do this with his brother, buy homes, fix them up, and either rent or sell them). So he was just offering advice.
I hope I have made that clear to everyone, GEESH!
Plus..... Steve, you are pretty pessimistic, there is a difference of being concerned and just tearing everything that someone says apart.... here's a suggestion for you...it wouldn't hurt to take a step back and analyze yourself to see if you are being too critical, it might be better to offer constructive criticism.....people might be a little more open to that.
Steve B wrote:

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My words of advice and guidance for you: DON'T BUY THE HOUSE.
Good luck.
Steve
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You are underestimating potential problem. The governor's house in NC was just redone for a second time for mold because the first time did not work. Hundred's of thousands of taxpayers dollars. A student dorm took years to clean up. I would walk away unless you enjoy gambling.

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I agree. To think you're gonna buy a test kit, and maybe just wash the walls with bleach is nuts. I wouldn't live there unless I knew what exactly the mold is. And when you go to sell, most places today you'd have to disclose that the house had this problem, even if it's been remediated. So, how do you think a buyer is going to react if you say "The house had mold everywhere, I just bought a test kit, tested it myself, and washed the walls with bleach? It's OK now"
I'd want a documented report from an expert company with lab work as a minimum. There have been homes that had to be abandoned and torn down because of stachybotrys. And I don;'t buy that all this came about from a sump pump failure that caused the basement to flood for awhile. It would have to be flooded for a hell of a long time for the moisture to get through the entire house. And the bad news is, if the moisture made it all the way from the basement through the entire house, it's very likely the mold is everywhere, ie inside the walls, etc.

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I agree that mold is everywhere. It always has been. People make a big deal out of everything that is potentially dangerous. wash off what you can with the bleach solution. (a garden sprayer will work awesome) Seal up the areas with Kilz. (removing the oxygen kills it). put a dehumidifier in the basement. Take everything you see in here with a grain of salt. be leary of what a professional mold removal company has to say, they want your money.
just my 2 cents
Rob
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Yes, sometimes a contractor can be honest and say things like, If you want to be certain you have it all, you need to do all this. Everyone wants to be certain. And they can make it sound even worse by lying, but my point is that it can sound like you need to spend a lot just by using a variety of honest words.
Of course some people do need to spend a lot. I don't know about your house.
The best situation would be if your possible house is like mine. I've gotten mold a couple times, twice out of 10 or 15 floods or leaks, but when I dry up the house, the mold stops growing. One time I used bleach, two or three times, because for some reason I believed the wall would turn white again when the mold was dead. That was silly. The mold was dead but the wall still had grey streaks. I had to paint it.
Another wall on another, I didn't do anything, no bleach, but it still stopped growing, and I'm sure it's dead.
My basement must be natually very dry. Someday I should measure.
I overflowed the tub later, it's gotten to the point that I don't do anything and I just let it dry, even if that takes days. I have synttheci carpet with synthetic pad, and nothing ever smells.
I'm not recommending this and if I weren't depressed, I'd do a lot better myself.
OH, yeah, and when I did have mold, for a week or so, it didn't bother me at all. Didn't make me sneeze or anything. I'm sure it plays hell with some people, but not everyone.

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Other posters have addressed the mold issues pretty thoroughly. I want to address a misconception that you appear to have regarding the financial aspect of this house.
It is NOT "worth $190,000".
If it were, you wouldn't be able to buy it for only two-thirds that much. What you're considering purchasing is a home that MIGHT BE worth $190K AFTER the mold problem is fixed. Or it might be worth only two-thirds of that.
The market value of something -- a home, a car, a loaf of bread, whatever -- is what someone is willing to pay for it. No more, no less. What an appraiser or some "blue book" says it's worth it not relevant: if nobody will buy it at that price, it isn't worth that much. Nobody's buying this house at $190K, not even you. Ergo, it isn't worth that much. It might be someday, but it isn't now.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Fri, 18 May 2007 11:53:05 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Well said!
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After reading all posted replies to your OP, the consensus is that you need an experienced unbiased (with nothing to sell and with laboratory facilities) specialist in the mold business. According to Murphy,s Law (If something bad can happen, it will). If you take on this project there is risk involved. Be certain that all future buyers will somehow learn the history and look for a discount in purchase price to compensate them for their uncertainty. A successful flip would require your remediation costs to be as your estimate ( just bleach and paint) and a future buyer to accept the house as untarnished. If it works out this way you come out fine. But as Dirty Harry said, "Are you feeling lucky"
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I agree.
If it were me, the deciding point would be how much structural remediation has to be done in the flooded basement (clearly the walls have to come off. What about studs, ceiling etc?), and whether the mold in the upstairs can be proven to be surface-only (from the very high humidity in the flooded state), needing only a really good scrub and proper treatment with Kilz or whatever, or...? Then cost out the repairs.
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Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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cherie9g wrote:

To me it sounds like you are buying a house worth 126.5K as is. 190K does not apply at the moment. After you fix it, if you want to sell, you have to disclose it was a house with mold. I don't think many would-be buyers will be interested. If you don't disclose, that's cheating. Becomes legal matter.
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Pictures have now been posted, feel free to take a look.
cherie9g wrote:

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Where?
Do you realize that HomeKB.com is just fronting a much wider, and older and more established, set of newsgroups on Usenet? Did you realize that most of your respondants come from there?
We don't 'see' HomeKB.com unless we go hunting for you.
This is one of the problems of these piggy-backing web-based message boards. Not only is it cheap and dishonest (this isn't the result of their work or sponsorship, other than just setting up the interface), folks like don't know what their posting environment is.
You'll have to post links with a message.
Banty
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