You finally found it; your dream home. You’ve been searching for weeks, maybe even months. You’ve submitted an offer, but then something unexpected happens. The inspector walks through the home and finds what appears to be a small mold problem, maybe even some signs of water damage. “It doesn’t look that bad; I’ll just make a lower offer and buy the home anyway.” DON’T DO IT. At least not yet.
What appears to be a small mold or water damage problem may be a symptom of a more serious (and possibly expensive) underlying problem. It could also go the other way and not be too big of a deal, but you really don’t know until you get a certified inspection and mold testing from a professional. Depending on the home inspector and the bank, you may not even be able to obtain a loan until the problem is remedied. Once you have the mold test report in your hands, get a quote from an honest company like Healthy Way for the remediation and repairs, and then consider your options:
- Walk away. If the damage is extensive and you don’t have the money, time, and patience to deal with the problem(s), it may be better to start searching out another home.
- Ask the seller to fix the problem. If the seller has the resources and is motivated to sell their home, they may be willing to fix the problem (make sure they hire a professional contractor, like Healthy Way, so it’s done RIGHT).
- Offer to split the cost of the remediation/repairs. The seller doesn’t want to foot the whole bill. Are you emotionally invested enough in the house to want split the difference with the seller? There are risks involved with this option so you’ll want to consult your real estate agent or lawyer.
If the seller isn’t willing to work with you to fix the mold and moisture issues, you might consider just walking away. Bottom line is this: you MUST get the information you need first, consider your options, and then determine what this home is really worth to you.