Is it impossible to overcome a minor mold issue?

33 Replies

Hi, BP family. Quick question..

We found a property being sold as is for 25k.

However there’s a mold issue (not severe). Work needed is 8k.

ARV is 63k.

I believe I can leverage the fact that there’s mold to lower the asking price significantly. Is this a legit tactic experienced investors use? If i can negotiate the price down to 15-20k it would be a win.

Does any have insight or success stories they can share about overcoming similar mold issues?

Once you figure out the source of the mold and correct it, the cleaning up is no big deal.  You can spray it down with a bleach and water mix or any number of solutions similar to that.  Finding the source and correcting it is the real issue.

A good ratio of bleach to water mix is 100% bleach, 0% water. If that doesn't kill it, it sure doesn't help it. 

I love bleach. It's the cleaner of the Gods. 

If the mold issue is disclosed and the property is as-is, they are probably factoring that in, but just offer whatever you think it's worth. As long as the mold is contained, the source is properly identified, and a clean-up plan is known, mold is not a killer at all. If you have a quote for the mold just include it with the offer and offer down appropriately. They can only say no and mold is certainly a viable thing to go down on even if it is as-is.

Key to mold is to know the moisture source and solve that. No moisture, no mold - simple as that. HGTV shows overblow the mold issue - most of the time you're talking about solving the water issue, then cutting out some drywall and washing things down with a bleach solution. That's pretty much it. 

Mold is overblown, it is just another issue to deal with. Yes I would use it to negotiate but that is probably why it is priced where it is
Originally posted by @Cedric Jenkins :

Hi, BP family. Quick question..

We found a property being sold as is for 25k.

However there’s a mold issue (not severe). Work needed is 8k.

ARV is 63k.

I believe I can leverage the fact that there’s mold to lower the asking price significantly. Is this a legit tactic experienced investors use? If i can negotiate the price down to 15-20k it would be a win.

Does any have insight or success stories they can share about overcoming similar mold issues?

Dont use sodium hypochlorite ie bleach for fungi. Its 80% water, and half life is limited, and it only kills Bacteria. This why odor of mold ie mildew baby immature fungi is reduced. But cant by itself remove root structure of mold. Only use for emergency on hard surfaces until flood is over. Then use safer more effective solution. Direct Sunlight, .03-.05 ppm ozone, dry heat over 100 degree, medical grade hydrogen peroxide, etc.  

Bleach is carcinogenic and if paint over mold after bleaching out color you can be sued by almost any half wit lawyer hired by your tenant. And you will loose in court. Its not safe permanent practice nor s.o.p for non emergency living spaces. 

 

Originally posted by @Jonathan Greene :

If the mold issue is disclosed and the property is as-is, they are probably factoring that in, but just offer whatever you think it's worth. As long as the mold is contained, the source is properly identified, and a clean-up plan is known, mold is not a killer at all. If you have a quote for the mold just include it with the offer and offer down appropriately. They can only say no and mold is certainly a viable thing to go down on even if it is as-is.

 I ve seen many people loose health and even die from mold related issues.  Dont give advice to someone who you dont personally know may have weakened compromised immune system or make mistake on improper ppe or containment due to your over simplistic analysis of your experiences. Tv shows like hgtv has been sued due to faulty advice. 

Stachybotrys spore is allergenic and reactive to humans even when the spore is dead. 

You dont want kids or grandparents breathing these spores. 

 

I bought a property with mold. Showed my GC and the next day, the leaky water line and all the affected sheetrock were replaced.

Cost me a few hundred dollars.

@Jeremy A. read what I wrote, and I have handled multiple mold remediation situations. I said "As long as the mold is contained, the source is properly identified, and a clean-up plan is known, mold is not a killer at all." That is absolutely correct, there is no disputing it. If you know the source, can confirm it's been contained, and have a clean-up plan, which would include a mold remediation company, there are no risks. Read before responding.

This post has been removed.

Originally posted by @Jonathan Greene :

@Jeremy A. read what I wrote, and I have handled multiple mold remediation situations. I said "As long as the mold is contained, the source is properly identified, and a clean-up plan is known, mold is not a killer at all." That is absolutely correct, there is no disputing it. If you know the source, can confirm it's been contained, and have a clean-up plan, which would include a mold remediation company, there are no risks. Read before responding.

Well I did read your post any lots others. Thats still big huge risk of simplifying the "what if"....again you dont know their skill level, or health of anyone reading your advise or reading what it meant that you "handled it yourself" or saying theirs "no risks"

I have seen  landlords who tried follow remediation protocol still get very sick from over exposure to mold  damage from his own units and he appeared to know the steps with neg pressure, containment and ppe etc. He was using all right equipment but still ended up in icu and now has had permanent damage to his lungs. He was heathy experienced investor trying save remediation costs. 

Seems he thought there was no risk.

And i have seen the other side with tenants and their kids get sick due to landlords who think and been told by other landlords to "just bleach it and cover with kilz."

Since your former lawyer  i cringe at these and other statements on here unless trained licensed insured and informed to the specific  of each situation. Yes you must fix source but that wont also immediately fix visible or invisible mold growth issue.

In My 17 yrs exp and yearly training i never assume anything  without microbiological test and thats still not perfect. Insurance,  laws can differ in each state. if its over 10 sqft visible mold get checked see if you can safely diy.

If over that hire experienced insured and licensed mold removal expert if dealing with any living spaces for rent. 

Thanks

JEREMY 

P.E.P LLC

 

@Jeremy A. I agree to not use bleach as it only cleans the surface. You can bleach and then come back and use a proper mold inhibitor but first find the cause. Or I have done this as well. Treat with a mold specific. Generally this will not remove the stain. Use bleach afterwards

Originally posted by @Fred Cannon :

@Jeremy A. I agree to not use bleach as it only cleans the surface. You can bleach and then come back and use a proper mold inhibitor but first find the cause. Or I have done this as well. Treat with a mold specific. Generally this will not remove the stain. Use bleach afterwards

 Problem is people dont usually "come back," fix it correctly. So they get fooled due bleach ability to remove color or odor of fungi.

Also depends on so many variables. Lumber industry stopped using bleach, now FEMA has stopped recommending it except in flood emergencies where bleach better than nothing.

As professional on public forum i hate hear about a tenant getting sick or dying cause a Landlord flipping a mold infested property or renting out didnt want hire professional in this case it can be someone health immune system or life that gets damaged. 

Disclose it to tenants or sellers see how serious they take it.

Imho

@Jeremy A. my posts refer to a clean-up plan with a mold remediation company that is certified to do the job. Not at any point did I advocate for doing the job yourself. Read the posts.

You can try to use it as a negotiating tool. If it works, why not.

I took a mold class and learned that there has NEVER been a proven case of someone dying from mold. 

The problem is not so much the mold as it is when people think there is a problem with mold. Yes, some people are more sensitive to it and it does bother them (even greatly), but it won't kill them. And NO, no one should be living on a long term basis with mold whether they're sensitive to it or not. 

Having said that, I read some good comments about about finding the water source, correcting it and cleaning up what you have and there will be no more problems. As long as the moisture level remains below 60% you should be good. 

Originally posted by @Jeremy A. :

Bleach is carcinogenic 

 

You had me worried there. A quick google search shows bunches of websites declaring bleach is not carcinogenic. Not sure where you're from, but I'm sure if it's California bleach, it probably is carcinogenic. What's that Prop 65 or something? Even wearing a backpack gives you cancer over there. 

So I'm not doubting you, but I'd like to know where you got the information it was carcinogenic from? My limited googling is probably wrong.

Also, looking at the FEMA website I see where FEMA does not recommend using bleach over 5.25% Sodium Hypochlorite. I'm not doing exhaustive research, but maybe you could clarify at least for me? I love bleach and have found it does get rid of mold long term. As others say, eliminate the moisture source and that's most of the battle.

 

@Jeremy A.

All right, that's it. BP moderators, please check the facts.

I'm calling you out, Jeremy.

You know a whole lot of hype about mold and very little about the realities. I don't know if you make money off mold remediation and magic special cleaning solution and negative pressure devices and expensive pink-colored P100 respirator cartridges and how awful bleach is and the whole rest of the mold remediation con. I don't know if you were taken in by it and now spend your days as a holy apostle for residential indoor mold remediation, as many do.

But this is all scare tactics and charlatan hype. Mold in construction has been around since the beginning of construction. Every single structure ever built by a human being has mold in it. We eat mold in cheese, soy sauce, vinegar, beer, and have been doing it for thousands of years. Stop spreading the scare and selling the remediation.

The current mold remediation scare stems from a CDC statement in the 1990s that a number of Cleveland infants got sick from immense concentrations of a specific variety of rare black mold found in their home. This rare black mold produces and lets off compounds called mycotoxins. Later studies have found no medically significant evidence of the link between mycotoxins and various illnesses attributed by scaremongers to it.

Anyone who's interested can find evidence of this online. Don't believe the paranoia, don't spread the ignorance. Here's a study from 2010.

Elena H. Page & Douglas B. Trout (2001) The Role of Stachybotrys Mycotoxins in Building-Related Illness, AIHAJ - American Industrial Hygiene Association, 62:5, 644-648, DOI: 10.1080/15298660108984664

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15298660108984664

On a more general note, here's what the CDC says about mold today:

CDC web page on mold

Here's what the EPA says about mold today:

A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home

War is not peace, freedom is not slavery, ignorance is not strength.

Originally posted by @Jim K. :

@Jeremy A.

All right, that's it. BP moderators, please check the facts.

I'm calling you out, Jeremy.

You know a whole lot of hype about mold and very little about the realities. I don't know if you make money off mold remediation and magic special cleaning solution and negative pressure devices and expensive pink-colored P100 respirator cartridges and how awful bleach is and the whole rest of the mold remediation con. I don't know if you were taken in by it and now spend your days as a holy apostle for residential indoor mold remediation, as many do.

But this is all scare tactics and charlatan hype. Mold in construction has been around since the beginning of construction. Every single structure ever built by a human being has mold in it. We eat mold in cheese, soy sauce, vinegar, beer, and have been doing it for thousands of years. Stop spreading the scare and selling the remediation.

The current mold remediation scare stems from a CDC statement in the 1990s that a number of Cleveland infants got sick from immense concentrations of a specific variety of rare black mold found in their home. This rare black mold produces and lets off compounds called mycotoxins. Later studies have found no medically significant evidence of the link between mycotoxins and various illnesses attributed by scaremongers to it.

Anyone who's interested can find evidence of this online. Don't believe the paranoia, don't spread the ignorance. Here's a study from 2010.

Elena H. Page & Douglas B. Trout (2001) The Role of Stachybotrys Mycotoxins in Building-Related Illness, AIHAJ - American Industrial Hygiene Association, 62:5, 644-648, DOI: 10.1080/15298660108984664

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15298660108984664

On a more general note, here's what the CDC says about mold today:

CDC web page on mold

Here's what the EPA says about mold today:

A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home

War is not peace, freedom is not slavery, ignorance is not strength.

In agreement with a lot of Jim's thoughts here. All mold is black and really not that big of a deal to deal with. It's actually very rare that you run into the "black mold" everyone is so scared of. 

My thoughts on bleach & mold:

1. Mold spores are everywhere, all the time. You are breathing some in now unless you are in some kind of hermetically sealed air purified chamber. 

2. Mold needs a water source to grow. That water source can be high humidity in the air, but it needs a water source. Once you start dropping below 50% humidity mold is pretty much done for as far as actively growing.

3. I use high amounts of bleach (actually, chlorine gas) every day. It is the least toxic choice for mass water treatment that is cost effective. Chlorine contact time with organics does eventually produce Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic acids (TTHM & HAA5s). TTHM & HAA5s are carcinogenic but the risk is minute; far more people have been killed by drinking contaminated water than by TTHMs and HAA5s. Sodium Hypochlorite is just a liquid way of carrying chlorine for disinfection and is safer for most people to use. 

Originally posted by @JD Martin :

My thoughts on bleach & mold:

1. Mold spores are everywhere, all the time. You are breathing some in now unless you are in some kind of hermetically sealed air purified chamber. 

2. Mold needs a water source to grow. That water source can be high humidity in the air, but it needs a water source. Once you start dropping below 50% humidity mold is pretty much done for as far as actively growing.

3. I use high amounts of bleach (actually, chlorine gas) every day. It is the least toxic choice for mass water treatment that is cost effective. Chlorine contact time with organics does eventually produce Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic acids (TTHM & HAA5s). TTHM & HAA5s are carcinogenic but the risk is minute; far more people have been killed by drinking contaminated water than by TTHMs and HAA5s. Sodium Hypochlorite is just a liquid way of carrying chlorine for disinfection and is safer for most people to use. 

Ten years ago, my wife used to buy these little bottles of tea tree oil-infused all-natural cleaners, any nice-smelling boutique stuff she found on a shelf in the local upscale groceries, the trendier the better. Then she took microbiology as part of her nursing education and looked at how different cleaners worked under a microscope.

Overnight, all the cute little bottles in our house disappeared and were replaced with concentrated bleach. Big old white gallon jugs of it, under every bathroom and kitchen sink. She buys extra when she finds the 8.25% stuff on sale and stashes the jugs in the bedroom closets and down in the laundry room. Hoarding bleach like it might go out of style. I think her real goal is to make sure I'm never farther than fifteen feet from a bottle of The Stuff, just in case.

Every single licensed practical nurse and registered nurse we know, and we know a lot in this city where the health care industry is the largest employer, does exactly the same thing.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here