A 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.