A Mothers Nature: A Force to Reckon With When It Comes to Mold and the Home

by | BiggerPockets.com

MoldRemidiator by SyrilothA few years ago, I bought a house that had been infested with black mold but it had been cleaned up by a professional remediation company months before I had bought it.

The house had an ARV over $300,000 and I got it for $160,000. Most of the walls did not have drywall and it was obvious that the mold had been treated as the wood framing had all been treated with Kilz paint. The rehab ran about $50,000 for the 5 bedroom, 3800 square foot house and we put it on the market for less than the going rate in hopes of a fast sale.

We had a lot of traffic during the first month. A lot of families were interested in the house because it was located in a nice part of Dallas and the house was perfect for a family.

The feedback we were given was almost all positive. Kids seemed to like the basketball court in the back as well as the swimming pool on the side. The men had commented how they were impressed with the media room and the large 3-car garage.

We were told the women liked the all new kitchen, improved master bathroom and how close the schools were.

We wondered why no one had made an offer on the house with such positive feedback.

In Texas, sellers are required to disclose and past mold issues. We had listed the previous mold problem on the sellers disclosure and provided a copy of the environmental report. I had personally located the source of the moisture that had led to the mold and corrected it. If mold was going to show up in that house, it would have needed to come from a new source.

It didn’t matter.

Mold is one of the biggest, most over rated issues in real estate. It is very easy to get rid of yet it continues to get negative attention.

We were trying to reason with mothers. When it comes to mothers and the health of their children, there is no room for compromise. To go to the extreme, we could have bulldozed the house and I doubt I could find many mothers who would buy the property as long as they knew there had been a previous mold issue.

I have asked mothers who have attended my classes if they would ever knowingly buy a house that had a previous mold issue, even if it had been cleaned up.

Thus far, I have not had a single mother admit that they would.

The bottom line is, no matter who might be buying the house or making the payments on a house… If the buyer has a family, the mother decides whether or not a house is bought.

It ended up taking 13 months to sell that house. The carrying costs added up to over $20,000 and in the end, it was bought by a pilot with American Airlines who was single and had no kids.

People say that “Mother Nature” is not something to mess with. I agree with that and I also agree that a “Mothers Nature” is not something to mess with either.

In the end, you won’t win that battle.

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  1. In the end, with kids, it’s always “better safe than sorry”. From their perspective, even though you asssured and even likely showed them the mold was gone, they believed it could come back. If it did, then they kids could be harmed by it and they would have a hard time selling it. Its a tough thing to overcome.

  2. No… Its not me in the mold suit! I am taller than that.
    I’ll have to tell the story about losing a sale last year because of the back yard. Turns out mothers care about the back yard more than I thought.

  3. Your blog post was very informative. I’m sure most people, especially men, would not have at all thought about this issue.

    Once, my uncle wanted to buy a house in Toronto that was previously used as a grow-op (of the marijuana type), and his wife did not and could not object. In the end, the sellers didn’t accept his offer, but the point is that his wife had no say (they have children). The reason being that they are Chinese, and in Chinese culture, the male is the decision-maker in the family. It goes the same for a lot of other Eastern cultures, too. I guess you just had born-in-America families looking at your home, eh?

  4. I am sure I don’t have any idea where any of the prospective buyers were born nor do I know the chain of command within their famileies.
    However, in my experience with that house… It was the mothers that decided if their family would be living in that house.

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