Foreclosed homes can be a very attractive deal. When a bank sells foreclosed property, the price put on it is often lower than the average. In a rush after a great AND affordable house, many home buyers miss important alarming signs. If you don’t want to buy property that will result in extra expenses – or worse, health problems – for your family, keep an eye open for mold infestation.
Why Are Foreclosed Homes Infested with Mold so Often?
Inhabited homes are regularly ventilated, so the moisture that inevitably gets into the building dries out easily. Plus, water leaks and broken pipes are immediately noticed and repaired.
When a building is unoccupied and remains closed all the time, however, there is no electricity, heating, or air circulation to prevent moisture from accumulating. Standing water can appear in the basement, and minor pipe leaks remain unfixed for weeks.
All this creates perfect conditions for mold – a fungus that thrives in dark and humid environments. At early stages, it is difficult to notice mold infestation, so if you smell a musty odor inside the building or see mold on the walls, most likely, the infestation has already progressed pretty far.
What Are Your Risks as a Buyer of a Foreclosed Home?
The problem for home buyers is that they buy the property ‘as is’, so the cost of mold remediation (which is pretty high if the problem is serious) becomes their own burden. Often, walls and floors need to be completely torn out and renovated to fully eliminate the fungus. No need to say that a mold-infested home is unfit for living, because exposure to the fungus can lead to allergies, asthma, and more serious medical conditions.
With foreclosed property, processing the paperwork takes much longer than when you buy a home from a private owner. It may take the bank months to complete the sale, even if you make the offer right there, right now. So, even if you haven’t noticed any problems when you saw the home for the first time, it doesn’t mean the property wasn’t infested. While the paperwork is being processed, the mold may be actively growing inside your future home.
So How Can You Prevent That?
The only way to be certain the property you are buying is mold-free is a professional inspection. A mold inspector is able to identify not only visible colonies, but also the spores that are in the air. That way, you will know for sure your potential home is safe – or at least be aware of the additional costs this purchase will mean for you.
If you need your potential purchase inspected, feel free to contact Expert Mold Test, and we’ll schedule an inspection at your earliest convenience.