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Many common issues have popped up in my practice in recent months, including serious mold.
One could reasonably ask, "Is this the reason the home was abandoned to begin with?" The answer is likely, "Probably not!"
With the abundance of foreclosed homes in the home sale inventory these days, I am seeing a large number of homes experiencing an inordinate amount of significant mold problems. The reason for this is a simple and logical one but nonetheless theoretically avoidable.
The problem stems from the owning forclosed banks having already lost a heap of money on a bad mortgage which they were forced to "buy back" at foreclosure. The bank in it's infinite wisdom has decided that it doesn't want to spend a dime more on the foreclosed home, so they shut off the utilities and "winterize" the plumbing until the house can be purchased. Sounds logical right?
The problem is, ordinarily homes that are occupied typically run their heating and air conditioning systems around the clock, even if at reduced levels while a home is being market for sale. The heating and air conditioning systems are a very effective way to eliminate naturally occuring moisture permeation in enclosed spaces like basements.
In the central Atlantic Region as well as most areas of the Northeast, homes are built with concrete, stone or brick basements. These basements are subterranean bastions surrounded by seasonally wet soil pressing up against the cold structures.
The moisture in the soil typically seeps in, in small quantity through a natural process of permeation through the foundations. Various materials used in building these foundations depending on the era of construction are better or worse at preventing that moisure to seep through. But almost all basements have some degree of moisutre permeation naturally.
In most cases, an occupied home with a functioning HVAC system will naturally eliminate the moisure rapidly just by simple operation of the HVAC system which inherently removes moisute from the air as it heats or cools the home.
But when banks "winterize", their foreclosed homes they eliminate the one tool to manage the permeating moisture. Thus the moisure accumulates and pools and festers, allowing mold spores to germinate and reproduce wildly.
Add to that, exterior conditions where poor drainage of runoff water pools up against the exterior foundation and you now have the makings of a nightmare situation.
The foreclosure listing brokerages who are hired to get these homes sold, are not tasked with doing any more than the minimum required to maintain the homes and therefore nobody is looking out for the bank's investment. MOLD runs rampant.
Mold IS a BIG problem, make no doubt it is serious business. As an asthmatic let me attest to the seriousness it posess in peoples lives. However, the causes and removal of mold conditions ARE manageable, and need not be deal killers.
Under most circumstances, mold remediation and it's causes, really have some very basic and simple solutions. Even in the face of a MASSIVE and overwhelming mold infestation.
If handled properly, these issues can be solved and ended permanently with modest cost and don't pose an insurmountable situation.
Keep in mind however, that unless you are paying cash for a foreclosed home, most mortgage loan programs will require that the remediation of those mold issues be completed and certified by mold specialists prior to the complete funding of the purchase loans.
Special loan programs like an FHA 203K loan might be the answer to a problem like this. Finding a qualified lender who offers a package of streamlined 203k loan programs is essential and can give you a great opportunity to buy a great home at a fantastic price.
Under-promising and over delivering is what I strive for!
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Topics on the practice of Residential Real Estate in the Metro Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia market area. Contracts, Ethics, Certified Distressed Property Expert, 203K FHA Purchase-renovation projects/loans, luxury properties, Virtual Tours, 17 year licensed Realtor experience. Condos, detached homes and townhouses.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.