Recently an older house in my town has come up for sale. The house was
orginally built in 1864 but was completely gutted and renovated in 2004
except for the basement and the attic/roof. The quality of the renovations
are stunning and the lot size of the house is very good. The asking price
was very good for a house in this condition so my wife and I visited and
then subsequently put in an offer on the place that was accepted.
We then went through the process of arranging a formal home inspection at
which point the inspector turned up evidence of mold in the attic. The mold
appears as small spots on the attic rafters and appears to be fairly
uniformly spread from two feet up from the attic floor to the roof. The
contamination appears to be surface only and has not penetrated deeply. In
other words, it's not a carpet but spots here and there.
The attic used to be sealed but uninsulated and as part of the renovations
the sellers added insulation and proper venting to the attic. My inspector
felt they did a great job up there and that the mold pre-dates the
renovations and that the conditions for the mold have been removed.
The mold is being inspected by a certified mold specialist tomorrow.
Assuming the specialist indicates that it is surface only, it is rectifiable
and conditions for mold growth have been removed along with a condition
added that the seller gets the mold cleaned up and certified clean, would
you buy the house or not?
Part of me is "150 year old house, there's bound to be an issue or two" and
the other part is saying "Mold is a big issue in real estate today, do I
want to take the chance it is in fact permanently cleaned since there won't
be a proven track record of mold-free conditions"?
On every other front the inspector loved the house calling it a stellar
example of renovating a century home. The seller is visibly upset that the
home inspection he had done previously didn't catch the mold otherwise he
would have corrected it when doing the renovation and have a mold-free track
record established so I don't believe there is any duplicity on his part.