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Guest Post: Buying and Selling a Home with Mold

Most people panic when they hear about mold or see anything that resembles mold. And understandably, mold is almost always bad news. This is especially true if you are thinking of either selling or buying a home.

But, is buying and selling a home with mold an automatic deal-breaker? Not at all! Not only is it possible, says Bill of Markham Services, but the mold problem is sometimes easier and inexpensive to take care of than many people may recognize.

Generally, both sellers and buyers are usually concerned with two main things. That is, the cost of fixing the mold problem and the potential health effects of mold.

Cost of Fixing a Mold Problem

Home inspections are a vital part of the home buying and selling process. They allow a buyer to identify any major issues with a home prior to closing. One of these major issues can be mold.

If an inspector detects mold in your home, how much will it cost you to fix? Now, the cost of fixing the mold depends on various things. They include:

  • Size of the contamination area

Believe or not, not all mold problems require professional help. In fact, EPA says that anyone can easily manage a mold problem that is less than 10 sq. ft.

But before you get into your DIY gear, also consider other factors like the degree of water damage. If the water damage is too serious, then consider professional help.

  • Location of the mold

Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected, both outdoors and indoors, all year round. If the areas where mold is detected aren’t confined, then professional help may be unnecessary.

However, if found in tight spaces like attics and crawl spaces, then seek professional help.

  • Vulnerability to mold health effects

Some people are more susceptible to mold than others. The elderly and children are more susceptible than healthy individuals.

Such people should avoid moldy areas and leave the mold removal process to experts.

  • How handy the owner is

Are you the handy type? Even minor mold removal jobs require the use of tools. If you aren’t experienced with doing household repairs, then it may be best to seek expert help.

Health Effects of Mold

Despite the media hype, some health effects of mold are either unproven or flat out exaggerated. For instance, there is no scientific research that has linked mold exposure to deadly diseases like cancer.

This is, however, not to exonerate mold from any health effects. Particularly for elderly adults, young children and anyone suffering from respiratory conditions, mold exposure can pose serious health issues.

The following are just some of the issues mold exposure can cause:

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Headaches

  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

  • Skin irritation from dermatological contact

  • Stuffy nose

  • Runny nose and nosebleeds

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation

For Buyers and Sellers of a Home with Mold

For Buyers

As a buyer, be cautious when considering purchasing a home that has mold. This is regardless of whether the mold is inside the home or outside.

When inspecting the home’s exterior, pay attention to the area near the downspouts. Remember, mold problems go hand in hand with moisture. If the downspout isn’t functioning properly, chances are that it may be directing water to the home’s foundation.

The water may then seep through the basement, ultimately causing indoor mold issues. What’s more, the flooding near the foundation may eventually cause foundation issues.

If after your visual inspection you suspect the home may have mold issues, then make a home inspection a contingent to buying the home.

For Sellers

The presence of mold shouldn’t necessarily put the brakes on a potentially lucrative real estate deal. The first thing to do when trying to sell a home with mold problems is to understand your local laws first.

In many states, there are laws that require home sellers to disclose information about past or present mold problem. If you live in such states, be upfront about your home’s mold problem with your real estate professional.

He or she will then help you avoid any mold-related legal entanglements. In most cases, you may need to lessen the cost of the mold remediation from the sale price. Or, you may have to pay for expert mold remediation before selling the home.

To sum it up, buying and selling a home with mold is certainly possible. If you’re a seller of a home with mold problems, don’t panic. Sometimes, you can have the problem fixed easily and economically. It will depend on the location of the mold and the area of contamination.

If you’re a buyer of a home with mold, don’t simply walk away from the home. Instead, insist on having the home inspected by a professional mold inspector. The outcome of the inspection should then help you make the right decision.

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