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Pipes burst in the house I want to buy. I am concerned about mold & rot. My agent is a joke. The seller is also an agent and of course has disclosed nothing as the house looks great. I only found out through some additional research. The home inspector doesn’t cover mold. I have been told that “mold inspectors” are untrustworthy and they just take a small air sample from one wall. The home warranty doesn’t cover mold. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover mold existing prior to purchase. Any ideas to get a clean bill of health on this house and put my mind at ease?
The agent said nothing has to be disclosed if it was fixed properly. Is that true?
I guess I should add that there is no visible mold. I am concerned about covered up problems.

10 Thoughts on How can I protect myself prior to home purchase?
  1. Reply
    pura_rosa
    August 11, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Do two things, first get a real state attorney and explain your worries, he will be able to write something up that protects your investment, then get a mold inspector and make sure YOU pay them, also ask for written confirmation of the test results and any (if any) guarrantee that they may offer, DO NOT buy this house as it is, you could be in a big bind!!!!

  2. Reply
    0mn1tr0n
    August 11, 2011 at 3:09 am

    homeowners are required to disclosed those information. if you are uncomfortable with your agent, look for another one. buying a home is a major investment.

  3. Reply
    Lori H
    August 11, 2011 at 3:37 am

    It is good you have not yet closed.

    DON’T !

    If the pipes in the house had previously burst and moisture has gotten into the walls, you very well could end up with a VERY expensive mold problem. (This could also cause you alot of problems when you go to re-sell the house)

    Shame, shame on the Realtor for not disclosing that the pipes had burst. Their non-disclosure should give you an “out” on this purchase without loosing your earnest money deposit.

    Again, I repeat, you are not comfortable with this purchase (for good reason) Do not close. Do not buy this house.

    Good Luck

  4. Reply
    jamsoftheweek
    August 11, 2011 at 4:12 am

    If your contract is contingent on an inspection, get another inspection! and get a mold inspector too – be PICKY!!! if anything comes up negative, it will give you a way out of the contract or a way to bargain the price down.

    I’d say terminate your contract with your agent, find a decent, reputable agent, and forget about the house if you are worried about the mold (if the seller is shady like that, then you cant trust that other things arent wrong as well).

    you can file a complaint with your states real estate commission (and board of realtors) about the selling agent if anything comes up that the seller has been made aware of. the seller AND selling agent are REQUIRED to disclose a number of things about the house that they are aware of, including disrepair (they wouldnt have to tell you if they had a burst pipe last year and fixed it, but they would have to tell you if the roof was leaking or there was mold in the house).

  5. Reply
    Mark C
    August 11, 2011 at 4:28 am

    A good mold remediation specialist will perform as many tests as necessary to give you a good degree of certainty that the house is “mold free”. I quote that because no house if mold free. What you are really looking for is the presence of toxic molds or a large population of mold in an area.

    Technically, the seller must disclose the problem. If s/he doesn’t you have legal recourse later but you’re stuck with the house’s title at that point.

    BTW, I wouldn’t close on this house. You’ll find a better situation in another house.

  6. Reply
    words_that_live_on
    August 11, 2011 at 5:16 am

    You get a discount first. Then dry the house out totally in the winter months. Then you burn some sulfur on the stove to kill the spores . Summer will be bleach time as everything needs to be wiped.

  7. Reply
    Cupid
    August 11, 2011 at 5:24 am

    Get a home inspection done, a home inspector can detect a bursted pipe and mold problem.. and then demand a reduction in the home price to fix the problem, or fix it themselves before close of escrow, in your real estate contract. If they won’t fix it or give you the credit in cost, then don’t buy the home, unless you are willing to foot the bill yourself. You are not obligated to buy the house.. if it were me, I probably would move onto the next prospective house.. it’s a buyers market right now.. I am sure you can find a better home. I know how it is working with a joke of an agent, when I sold my home last year, unfortunately, I listed with a horrible, unsavvy agent that was referred to me. Best of Luck.

  8. Reply
    editor@bcdisabilities.com
    August 11, 2011 at 6:21 am

    Study some of the toxic mold links at http://www.bccondos.ca under Toxic Mold
    http://bccondos.ca/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1226#1226, esp the Elia Sterling powerpoint link under Moisture Issues at Feb./08 construction seminar set out at website. This is the mold investigator’s take on U.S. mold litigation, so you’ll see elliptically an assessment of what mold ‘experts’ have done wrong and how they plan to correct it to avoid liability. Pura is wrong. Real estate atty cannot draft anything that exceeds legislative rules for insurance industry. Nevertheless, atty will likely have a list of inspectors s/he works with who meet local qualifications and standards. But do arm yourself with the mold powerpoint so you can at least speak the language. Even if you can’t get the clean bill of health you’re after, you’ll have an idea of what might be required to do so.

  9. Reply
    alterfemego
    August 11, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I see too many red flags to proceed with the purchase of this property. It sounds as if you have taken on the correct steps to protect yourself, however no one wants to insure or make guarantees regarding mold.

    There are too many properties on the market right now to take that chance. I would suggest you cancel the contract, tell your agent to take a hike. And begin again.

    You might consider paying a agent to represent you. If you do make sure to write up a contract to that effect. Then you have someone who is really looking after your best interests.

  10. Reply
    MoldKiller
    August 11, 2011 at 6:53 am

    A certified mold professional will come out and take air samples of the house and also do thermal imaging of the house (by far the biggest tool in finding mold) you need to make sure that the mold professional you hire will do all the above mainly the thermal imaging of the house, if the mold company says they do not do thermal imaging of the house hang the phone up or remove them from your house ASAP and tell them to get lost. Thermal imaging is by far the best tool a mold professional will have when locating mold that can not be seen by the naked eye.

    Ask for references from the mold company and do research if you feel like there being shady.

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