We were supposed to close on The Sunglasses House last week, but due to some title issues that haven’t yet been resolved, we still don’t have a closing date. In fact, we don’t know if it will be another week or another two months…
Normally, I wouldn’t be over-anxious about closing on a property, but due to the poor condition of this house, we’re starting to see a major mold problem. The laundry room has had mold issues since the day we first saw it, but apparently a breach in the garage allowed water to enter (there’s still a big puddle in the center of the garage), and now all the rooms surrounding the garage (including the crawl space) are starting to show signs of mold.
I’ve never been a fan of houses with mold, and we’ve even rescinded a couple offers in the past when houses we had under contract began having mold issues. But, I decided on this one that I’d bring in a mold remediator to give us his opinion of the situation, and take it from there.
The mold guy came by the property earlier in the week to meet with our project manager, assess the severity of the problem and then lay out our options. Turns out the mold is a bit more widespread than we thought — it’s migrated upstairs to the kitchen and into the HVAC ducts. That said, he didn’t consider this to be too severe of an issue, and indicated that he could completely eliminate all the mold in about a day.
While he didn’t think it would be a big deal to remediate the mold, the cost would be about $2500 to perform all the mold-remediation tasks, including demo and disposal of all moldy surfaces, treatment of the studs behind any damaged sheetrock, and then fogging the entire house with a chemical treatment.
Once they were done, they recommended bringing in a certified mold inspector, who could test for any remaining issues, and then provide a 5-year warranty on the remediation work. This, combined with the replacement of the removed drywall, the cleaning of the HVAC ducts with an anti-microbial, and the few other tasks necessary to get the house mold-free and then restored to it’s current condition would cost a total of another $1500 or so.
In other words, we’re now looking at an extra $4000 that wasn’t originally budgeted for (or needed); and the longer the title issues and the purchase closing drag out, the more expensive this is likely to get.
We’ve asked the bank to lower the price of the property by an equal amount of the remediation, or to bring in their own contractors to remediate, but that they’ve refused. If I thought we could close by the upcoming (already extended) close date next week, we’d probably just eat the cost ourselves. But, given that we don’t know when we’ll be able to close or how much more expensive this will get in the meantime, we may have to back out of this deal.
After backing out of The Unlucky House this week, I hate to do it again. Of course, had the bank been able to close by the date laid out in the contract — or if they were willing to work with us to remediate the worsening mold problem — this would not have been as much of an issue.
We’re going to see if the bank has a change of heart in the next couple days (or if they can get the closing to happen quickly)…if either of these things happen, we’ll hopefully proceed with this deal. If not, we may be skipping this project…