Investing in a molded home

4 Replies | Dallas, Texas

I'm a new investor looking to flip a house that has a heavy mold problem. I know that this can be a major issue being that mold has to be professionally removed and can grow to an uncontrollable level. However, the house has a great ARV that I would benefit from. Just to clarify, this home has mold in the walls, ceilings, and even on the siding. A lot of replacing of sheetrock and joist. Has anyone had experience in such a rehab? I need to know how the city may be involved in permits.

That is a big project, especially for a new investor.  I applaud your tenacity for being willing to take it on, but you have to be careful to properly account for everything in your numbers up front and keep a large pad for the unexpected. Make sure you double and triple check everything!

@Carl Hess IN the walls or ON the walls? Worth getting a mold expert out there because sometimes houses that haven't had air conditioning run in years (probable if foreclosed)  will build up mold that's not the "bad" stuff but will scare off other buyers. Could be a much more manageable expense but still scary enough to keep others from offering.

Adam and Neil, thanks for the advice. I called up 3 different mold removal companies and they gave me expected pricing for such a big job. This 2,000 sq ft + home needed almost a total gut. The most was 70k to re-sheetrock or 10k to replace wood as needed. 

The other was 6-9k for removal  only, no rebuild. As I listened, I realized that properly protecting my own workers and disposing of the mold properly at a facility, I could save a few thousand bucks. I'm currently scheduling my contractor to do a walk through before I place a bid. Wish me luck!

@Carl Hess You need to remove it properly but know that it is probably not toxic. In homes there is only a very small % of mold that is actually toxic... and it is very rare. I will leave this Washington Post article for you from 5 years ago specifically on home mold and remediation. Most mold is very easily treated with a simple wash or seal. You will want to have it tested to be sure but you probably will be looking at the lower end on your remediation. Just have it tested before you sign any contracts with a remediation company as they will almost always go into homes with the worse case scenario to sell their product/service when it may not be needed.