Would anyone buy a home with major mold issues? - Posted by adam in Indy

Posted by michaela-ATL on June 07, 2003 at 16:24:33:

Mold has been overhyped in the Media. The CDC has done a 2 year study recently and retracted earlier finindgs. Mold will not create any kind of health problems. It can potentially increase excisiting health issues like asthma.
Mold is an issue for Attorneys, that teach seminars like “mold is Gold” to tenants, so that they can sue their landlords, who’s insurance company will settle instead of going to court.


Would anyone buy a home with major mold issues? - Posted by adam in Indy

Posted by adam in Indy on June 06, 2003 at 17:53:41:

I’m looking at a home that just came on the market at 34k in a neighborhood where values are 95k-100k. It’s a 1000 sq ft, 3 bed, 1 bath, with a 1000 sq foot basement, which is evidently the source of the mold because of water.

The bank won’t even let anyone in without signing a release form.

Would anyone out there touch this? A normal rehab is looking at about 18k-20k, which leaves plenty of room for profit, except for knowing how to deal with the mold. Do I simply gut the place and start over?

How do you handle the mold and what sort of costs am I looking at?

Any suggestions would be great.


anyone buy a home with major mold issues? - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on June 07, 2003 at 07:25:52:

talk to mold remediators. They will want to remove all drywall, insulation, and any other porous surface from the property. They will wear space suits and respeators. The severity of the mold is a key factor.

And you must fully disclose to any buyers, the disclosure itself will scare buyers away.

One alternative is to buy super cheap, correct the water problem, do nothing to the mold and sell to a rehabber, with full disclosure.

What is the Lot worth…? - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on June 06, 2003 at 22:06:22:


Many times folks see a problem, as a problem. When investing in RE you learn to see problems as opportunities… and the more problems, the better.

I have recently bought a house that has a serious mold issue. I have “noodled” all week on how to approach the problem…

  1. Do I cut out the mold issue, and redo the area effected…?
  2. Do I sell it as-is to another “more hungry” investor…?
  3. Employ a proefessional mold abatement company…?
  4. Sell it at a loss, due to the fact that I am worried that no one will want the place…?
  5. And the list goes on…

Well, after seeking answers that are not obvious, I have finally figured out how to make lemonade out of lemons… I had a number of ideas, but continued to seek the profitable solution, so today I have discovered a little known angle. It seems that due to some unusual zoning, I will be able to tear down the house and subdivide the lot into two highly desirable building lots… The net result is that the two lots will be worth 60K more than I have in the entire place at this point.

The moral here is, I had not even considered the tear down idea, and because I was in “heavy search mode” for a profitable solution, and wouldn’t settle for one of the easy ways out, I will be taking a big negative and converting it to a BIGGER POSITIVE…$$$

When you think you explored all avenues, maybe you have missed a street or two. Be diligent in finding an acceptable, yet profitable answer…

Just the way that I view things…


Sometimes - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on June 06, 2003 at 21:53:36:

There have been numerous discussions here about mold, and its abatement etc.
Try searching the archives.
I think I even recall someone mentioning estimated costs, and perhaps where/how to get them etc.

Not something I’ve dealt with personally, every house I ever purchased with mold was wholesaled away.

Good luck, seems to me if you could get the place cheap enough, and not have to totally tear the place down, it might be something.
Then again, check local laws with regard to mold as well, it is becoming a very big issue in some areas.
You’d certainly hate to buy the place then sell it and get sued later for something to do with it.

Again, good luck,
Jim FL

Re: What is the Lot worth…? - Posted by michaela-ATL

Posted by michaela-ATL on June 07, 2003 at 09:10:43:

and then you can donate the hosue to the fire department for practice and get a tax decution for the tax value of the house :wink:


You’re always thinking JT - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Kristy-AZ on June 06, 2003 at 23:24:48:

Hey JT,

Great job on the mold house! You always seem to find an uncommon way to turn a profit.


Re: Sometimes - Posted by keith hutson

Posted by keith hutson on June 07, 2003 at 06:30:32:

Common mold is one thing, the Stachybotrys mold is another. If the area affected is larger than a 2’x2’ the property is shut down and a team of hazard experts, clothed with protective materials come in and remove it.

There was a documentary on this type mold, showing where the father in the house lost considerable memory and now disabled, the son, age 5 died. The insurance company never wanted to acknowledge the issue. When the wife sued she received many times over what she asked for.

Last but not least the house was distroyed.

This mold, they say is the result of water (in the case mentioned, the water line to the ice maker in the refrigerator leaked on the wall behind it)activating the spores that are common in most building materials).

I also have a friend who just left a job, had serious respiratory and eye problems due to this mold.

I believe a quick sample of this mold taken to a lab is worth the time and money. If this type of mold is present, seems the price would have to be reduced.


Re: What is the Lot worth…? - Posted by JHyre in Ohio

Posted by JHyre in Ohio on June 07, 2003 at 11:39:17:


To clarify: The tax benefit would only be for your investment in the thing (and that would reduce basis and increase gain on sale) in this case. If the property were a capital asset and held for more than a year, then the contribution would equal FMV of the property. If you intended to hold, the consequent reduction in basis wouldn’t bother you. I like the way you think :wink:

John Hyre

Great Point… and Profitable too - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on June 07, 2003 at 10:12:16:


I have not personally used this technique but someone that I sold a commercial property to last year, did exactly that. Early on Sunday morning, I received a number or phone calls… “YOUR BUILDING IS ON FIRE!!!” in a screaming tone…

Well, it is not my building anymore; recently sold to a restauranteur. Well he had the good business sense to do exactly as you say, and he benefited from the tax deduction nicely. The Sunday morning fire was the local Fire Dept setting fire to the structure… and in no time it was a pile of rubble… It is definitely a great way to go…

I will look forward to using this for the disposal of the house if it is not too close to the neighboring houses. The house is situated within a 120 ft. wide lot, so the proximity to the other houses is not more than 50 feet or less. Hopefully it could still work, as I could surely use the tax benefit from the donation, and the fire dept may be able to benefit from the experience too.


Excellent job done on the mold house, you got profit from the moldy house by doing mold removal.