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Are Mold Foreclosed Homes a Bargain?

February 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 142

There are many foreclosed homes on the market; half are mold foreclosures.Banks are holding on to properties that have had the utilities turned off. How long the utilities are off is an important consideration; you have a 50% chance of buying a mold foreclosure. Usually no one is going to tell you that you are looking at a mold foreclosure; however, in a lot of cases it is obvious. For instance, a foreclosed home in humid Florida will not take long to fill up with mold. Mold can grow 24 go 48 hours in high humidity. Mold requires warm, dark and damp places to grow. What is occurring in mold foreclosures is called the "stack effect". Natural ventilation sucks moisture up through the attic; driven by air conditioning and heat in the seasons. There is also the factor of people moving through the house promoting circulation through movement. Without air conditioning, heat and movement, houses quickly become moldy. Germs, viruses, bacteria and fungi love high humidity. To stop mold, the utilities must be left on preferably with a dehumidifier for basement running.

Should you buy a foreclosed home? Here is a real story to consider: A woman in Florida bought a short sale home; saved $90,000. However, she cannot enter her house without wearing a mask. She did the right thing: she had a home inspection. The inspection came back clean: no mold. She did not have a mold inspection. However, the mold was not obvious. It was in the walls and behind the baseboards. She stayed a bit and discovered that the house had a major problem: she needed someone to come and kill the mold. To kill mold can cost a lot of money. A minor mold abatement can run around $5,000.00. This woman realizes that she is looking at major mold renovation. She now lives in a motel while she finds a mold restoration company to hire. lesson learned: if you live in a humid area, have a mold inspection.

Put a contingency in your contract that the sale is void if mold is discovered. If you go into the house and you start not feeling well, there probably is mold. Look for signs of water intrusion. Most cases of mold start in the basement. Start there. Water stains are another sign. The attic is also a place to look. If leaves gathered in the gutter and ice dams formed, water can easily work its way into the attic. You should water stains and possibly see mold. Mold comes in many colors: brown, yellow green or black.

If pipes broke and that were not attended to in a reasonable amount of time, mold grows.Ask if there are any repairs that need to be done. Here is a list of where you can find mold:

Bathrooms, basement crawl spaces, shower stalls, ceilings, bathroom walls and ceilings, attics due to improperly built roofs, leaky plumbing, insulation, air ducts, laundry room, air conditioning ducts, peeling drywall, carpeting in a finished basement, closed rooms or doors in a basement, beneath wall paper, paneling, and finished basements.

If not sure there is mold, hire a mold remediation company to test and check around; mold tests are around $300.00. Mold testing should be done by a lab. Mold can be spotted in walls with a thermal imaging camera. Companies also take samples. Do your research: a bargain can be a nightmare or the mold foreclosure can be a bargaining chip if you are willing to take the chance. Get estimates as to what it will cost for repairs and to make sure to kill mold. If you are willing to buy an obvious mold foreclosure, hire a lawyer who specializes in the buying of mold foreclosures to protect yourself. Don't be surprised at attempts to hid mold. Some folks will actually paint over the mold to hide it. Houses sitting on the market for years are prime places for mold. Happy home hunting.

Author: Judy Kojadinovich Water intrusion and high humidity in the basement create the perfect atmosphere for mold growth. Steps to keep mold out of your house are: 1. prevent old: basement with dehumidifier. 2 Use allergy air purifiers 3. Sweep all surfaces with a hepa vacuum. Clean all surfaces with Borax or mild detergent. Visit We have all these products at below retail.

Source: EzineArticles
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