Moldy Foreclosure

Dear George,
I want to be in a foreclosure home but it has mold. It has black mold on the basement walls in a couple other walls in the house. Should I even consider this because it is a 250,000 dollar house going for 52,000?

Perplexed Buyer

Dear Perplexed Buyer
There’s no way to answer this question without inspecting the house.

Mold can look a lot worse than it is; or it can be a lot worse than it looks, especially when it is longstanding and hidden behind the walls or intruded into the air vents so that it circulates. Mold could be the result of malicious vandalism which is a one-time fix. OR it may be the result of structural issues, in which case you have B$G PROBLEM$.

The best thing you can do is bring an inspector in to check how intrusive the mold issue is. If it is superficial, it may only need cleaning. If it has intruded into the drywall cellulose and wood, you may need substantial remediation. Even if you need remediation, it may be worth it, if the damage is not too extensive. Or, there could be a leaky roof, which adds thousands of dollars of expense on top of everything else. If the mold is very extensive, (and if the house has been shut down for a long time or was very severely damaged by water intrusion or a flood), then the cost of remediation may make the house a money pit.

But there’s no way to determine this without an inspection.


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