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View Poll Results: Buy or walk?
Push forward, work with sellers to repair mold during transaction 9 29.03%
Walk away, but stay open to re-engaging after remediation 5 16.13%
Walk away forever 17 54.84%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 07-21-2017, 07:02 PM
 
1,463 posts, read 881,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emotiioo View Post
Sounds like most of the houses around there are likely to be mold prone if that is the case.

I missed that this was in the attic. It's probably a leaky roof. That could be result in a pricey fix depending. What did your home inspector say about it?
The home inspector wasn't too helpful. He did the standard "we aren't allowed to touch boxes and therefore can't enter the attic", so he didn't really see much of it. We only saw what was visible by standing on the attic stairs. Lesson learned- I'm out $1k for an inspection and barely saw the attic or the basement because of clutter; next time, I'll require the sellers to clear the attic and basement prior to an inspection.

The roof is about 10 years old and looked decent from the outside, but I won't know until I go back in the attic and see it from the underside. Apparently the sellers are moving the stuff down tomorrow then I'll be able to go back and see for myself on Sunday.

The inspector offered to review photos if I send them to him when I go back on Sunday but this stuff was visible to the naked eye so I should be able to at least see the extent of the visible contamination. I have no idea whether it's in the insulation and whatnot though.

Last edited by NYCresident2014; 07-21-2017 at 07:11 PM..
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Old 07-22-2017, 12:35 AM
 
3,938 posts, read 1,450,116 times
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Just curious ... what's the yearly real estate tax and school on this 2800 sqft property?
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Old 07-22-2017, 07:08 AM
 
2,000 posts, read 1,014,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCresident2014 View Post
The home inspector wasn't too helpful. He did the standard "we aren't allowed to touch boxes and therefore can't enter the attic", so he didn't really see much of it. We only saw what was visible by standing on the attic stairs. Lesson learned- I'm out $1k for an inspection and barely saw the attic or the basement because of clutter; next time, I'll require the sellers to clear the attic and basement prior to an inspection.

The roof is about 10 years old and looked decent from the outside, but I won't know until I go back in the attic and see it from the underside. Apparently the sellers are moving the stuff down tomorrow then I'll be able to go back and see for myself on Sunday.

The inspector offered to review photos if I send them to him when I go back on Sunday but this stuff was visible to the naked eye so I should be able to at least see the extent of the visible contamination. I have no idea whether it's in the insulation and whatnot though.
Can you get a roof repair person to go look with you? It may cost a few hundred, but it will be worth it for a decision this big.

We bought a house once with a moldy basement. Had the test, came back that there was mold, it was a typically harmless variety, and there was a much higher presence in the spores outside the house than in, so every time we were going outside, we were breathing it. But it still gave me pause as I had very little experience with mold. We hired a waterproofing person and mold remediation person to come look at the house, and both gave estimates and told us what we would need to do. So we "stuck" and bought the house, and the sellers upped their credit for closing as a result. Once the mold was disclosed, they had no choice because if they relisted they would have to make other buyers aware, too. They got frightened that they would not be able to sell easily and the proverbial "bird in the hand" was more appealing.

Before we moved in we bid out the work and had the fixes done. It was a few thousand, all told, but we knew it was coming and we had been able to budget.

Sounds like you could have a similar scenario if the sellers are smart. You have time to stay in your leased space and can get the new place fixed before you set foot inside. I would ask if you can have some further professionals take a look with you and give you a better opinion.

As for the home inspector, in our recent purchase, ours climbed on the roof! And went all over the attic. So I don't know if its the company or a state thing.
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:53 PM
 
1,463 posts, read 881,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCardinals View Post
Just curious ... what's the yearly real estate tax and school on this 2800 sqft property?
About $17k, which is on the low end for properties in this price range in this town. It is presently slightly under-assessed (market value per the town of $750k); anything under $20k in this town is good if the house is under a million. There are some over-assessed properties on the market too; I saw one listed for 1.05m with $27k taxes, but the owners are appealing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by emotiioo View Post
Can you get a roof repair person to go look with you? It may cost a few hundred, but it will be worth it for a decision this big.

We bought a house once with a moldy basement. Had the test, came back that there was mold, it was a typically harmless variety, and there was a much higher presence in the spores outside the house than in, so every time we were going outside, we were breathing it. But it still gave me pause as I had very little experience with mold. We hired a waterproofing person and mold remediation person to come look at the house, and both gave estimates and told us what we would need to do. So we "stuck" and bought the house, and the sellers upped their credit for closing as a result. Once the mold was disclosed, they had no choice because if they relisted they would have to make other buyers aware, too. They got frightened that they would not be able to sell easily and the proverbial "bird in the hand" was more appealing.

Before we moved in we bid out the work and had the fixes done. It was a few thousand, all told, but we knew it was coming and we had been able to budget.

Sounds like you could have a similar scenario if the sellers are smart. You have time to stay in your leased space and can get the new place fixed before you set foot inside. I would ask if you can have some further professionals take a look with you and give you a better opinion.

As for the home inspector, in our recent purchase, ours climbed on the roof! And went all over the attic. So I don't know if its the company or a state thing.
Good points. I don't want to put any more money into this one until I see the empty attic (which has now been pushed back to Monday) just to see what we're dealing with. We are very close to walking away because we're already overpaying and we're not in a hurry. I don't think I have the cajones to accept a credit for the work and have it done under my watch- if they find more issues during the remediation I don't want to be stuck holding the bag. Also I don't want to pay the carrying costs on the home during a period that I can't live in it, as it is on the high end of my budget.

My realtor is being very, very pushy trying to convince me that I shouldn't care at all and that I should pay for a couple other people to come out, but I'm upset that she doesn't take my concerns seriously. She even called me a "yo yo" because I wanted out the morning after the inspection but have been slowly warming back up to the property. Of course in the meantime I was researching the heck out of mold to bring myself up to speed, but no... apparently any attempt to walk away from a house with issues is a character flaw on my part.
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Old 07-22-2017, 09:16 PM
 
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You need to see results of a mold test. From what you say, the junk in the attic may have blocked soffit air circulation, which could have caused the mold. If so, and if it is the benign type, this is easy to remedy.

We had a tenant who created this problem in an attic, and it cost about $400 in today's dollars, to correct. It was not the dangerous mold and wasn't extensive. There was no roof leak. Once the attic was cleared of excessive junk, the existing mold was treated, and the cause was eliminated.

Also, you should ensure that bath fans are not directing humidity to the attic but instead are vented outside.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:09 AM
 
1,463 posts, read 881,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACWhite View Post
You need to see results of a mold test. From what you say, the junk in the attic may have blocked soffit air circulation, which could have caused the mold. If so, and if it is the benign type, this is easy to remedy.

We had a tenant who created this problem in an attic, and it cost about $400 in today's dollars, to correct. It was not the dangerous mold and wasn't extensive. There was no roof leak. Once the attic was cleared of excessive junk, the existing mold was treated, and the cause was eliminated.

Also, you should ensure that bath fans are not directing humidity to the attic but instead are vented outside.
Thanks. I'm going there in a few hours, I'll be sure to look for bath fan vents. The inspection also revealed a bulging area in the roof and a few sealed holes in the roof, so I'll look at the underside of those problem areas.

I'm ~90% sure I'm walking away from the house since we're getting a bad deal on the home and it's in worse condition than I was expecting, but I'll be sure after today.

I naively thought that a home that was completely renovated in 2007 would be in great shape- my last home was from 1993 and was in much, much better shape, and my home before that was 1925 and also in better shape. This isn't just mold- I'm talking about the overall condition of the property. Sad.

Edit: I've attached the photos of the mold and the roof bulge.

Edit #2: I just realized- the upper left mold picture is directly underneath the roof bulge. Perhaps this is the cause. The bottom left mold photo is on the other side of the roof/attic though.
Attached Thumbnails
Mold in Attic - Should I buy or walk?-mold1.jpg   Mold in Attic - Should I buy or walk?-snip1.jpg  

Last edited by NYCresident2014; 07-24-2017 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 07-24-2017, 01:04 PM
 
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Update: I went in the house an hour ago and the attic was totally empty. The mold is pervasive and consistent on the entire north side of the interior of the roof. Interestingly, there isn't even a hint of mold on the south side. There was mold on the rafters as well as the plywood. The mold was darkest near the vents and gradually lightened in color as it got further from the vent, terminating about mid-way to the top of the roof.

The transaction also got a little weirder- the sellers were there, instead of their agent (my agent was with me), and they were bumbling idiots. They told me "there's no mold", "we don't see anything", and "oh those were just dirty building materials". I said "oh really? the builders had materials that were half dirty and half clean and they decided to perfectly align it such that the dirty materials were only used on one side of the house and the clean materials went on the other side?"

They also said "you can't see the old part of the attic from the access in the new part" but it was 100% incorrect- I looked at both the new and the old attic as there was a giant access path between the two.

And the last funny thing they said- "I am an environmental engineer, so I would know if there is mold".

Common sense needs to overcome emotion on this deal- I need to walk away. I just don't need this house bad enough, especially since we're overpaying.

Last edited by NYCresident2014; 07-24-2017 at 01:36 PM..
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Old 07-24-2017, 02:03 PM
 
Location: 'Tosa
89 posts, read 66,318 times
Reputation: 145
As long as the WHOLE attic is inspected and remediated as necessary I'd stay. One caveat is make sure the source is found, sometimes it's from improper attic ventilation. It's that's the case make sure a ventilation fan is installed in the attic.
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:05 PM
 
1,463 posts, read 881,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TosaJoe View Post
As long as the WHOLE attic is inspected and remediated as necessary I'd stay. One caveat is make sure the source is found, sometimes it's from improper attic ventilation. It's that's the case make sure a ventilation fan is installed in the attic.
I guess that's my biggest fear- without some obvious leak, any company that comes in will just be guessing at the cause of the problem. They could clean the existing mold and put in an attic fan, then it could come right back in 3-6 months and I'm left holding the bag if a larger structural change is required. The sellers and realtors would have cashed their checks and walked away long ago. Or do mold remediations come with transferable warranties?

I just keep coming back to "why bother"
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:14 PM
 
15,937 posts, read 19,051,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCresident2014 View Post
About $17k, which is on the low end for properties in this price range in this town. It is presently slightly under-assessed (market value per the town of $750k); anything under $20k in this town is good if the house is under a million. There are some over-assessed properties on the market too; I saw one listed for 1.05m with $27k taxes, but the owners are appealing.




Good points. I don't want to put any more money into this one until I see the empty attic (which has now been pushed back to Monday) just to see what we're dealing with. We are very close to walking away because we're already overpaying and we're not in a hurry. I don't think I have the cajones to accept a credit for the work and have it done under my watch- if they find more issues during the remediation I don't want to be stuck holding the bag. Also I don't want to pay the carrying costs on the home during a period that I can't live in it, as it is on the high end of my budget.

My realtor is being very, very pushy trying to convince me that I shouldn't care at all and that I should pay for a couple other people to come out, but I'm upset that she doesn't take my concerns seriously. She even called me a "yo yo" because I wanted out the morning after the inspection but have been slowly warming back up to the property. Of course in the meantime I was researching the heck out of mold to bring myself up to speed, but no... apparently any attempt to walk away from a house with issues is a character flaw on my part.
Rude and condescending. Time to fire that realtor. your concerns are the very basis of her working with you. Find a better realtor.
i'm waiting to hear what you think after seeing the attic decluttered. Fingers crossed for you...But, don't be afraid to bail.
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