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The Big Repair

June 18th, 2015 at 02:31 pm

I've mentioned we had a big repair to do on our home before we could close. The buyer found mold growing on the ceiling of our unfinished basement storage room on the same day they saw our home and made their offer. Once we accepted the offer they told us about the mold they saw and wanted to make sure we would remedy it. Sure no problem. If we had been aware we would have taken care of it prior to putting it on the market.

It seems the consensus is it resulted from construction materials that were likely left out in the rain too many times before being put on. One board would have it but the next one would not. It was a bit odd really.

The problems really started when the buyer requested to bring his mold guy in to look at. The buyer, mold guy, my agent and I all met just under a week after the offer. The mold guy talked about his method to mitigate which was to test the type of mold, to use a mold killing agent, a white paint to seal the wood. The mold guy also suggested drilling into the ceilings of our finished basement to see if the mold continued. The buyers biggest issue was to make sure the mold was mitigated before they occupied the space and that they wouldn't need to disclose it to their buyer when they sell.

The bid came in and was a bit vague about costs, particularly those that had to do with investigating further into the finished areas. We didn't want to go that far as it seemed unnecessary and over the top to be drilling for mold that wasn't likely there. If the buyers wanted that work then we suggested they pay for it, and could even witness and control how far they went and it could be done before we closed.

Let's just say our negotiations at some point came to a standstill. We couldn't get them to agree to anything we threw at them. Their agent wasn't communicating with our agent or the buyers. We were technically out of contract at one point because they didn't sign in time. We were out of contract for SIX days!!

What fixed everything was that we decided to call another mitigation company, Service Master. We knew we would need to get the work done if we were going to put it back on the market, which is where it seemed we were headed. We got someone to come out and bid the job the same day we called(a Friday). The price was within the limits we were willing to pay, in fact slightly less. The work could start on the following Tuesday be done on Wednesday. Then an air quality test was done on Friday. We had our results on Tuesday and the air quality was passing!

I guess I should back up a bit. Service Master's bid was to use a mold killer (hydrogen peroxide), then seal with a clear coat, steam clean the room, run air cleaning fans and run an air quality test. No drilling of holes in our drywall! Service Master was very confident in their method and felt it would pass the air test the first time. So we sent yet another proposal, that we would treat the mold per SM recommendations and provide a passing air quality test as soon as available. The buyers wanted us to state we would cover any additional treatments necessary. We agreed to state that because we felt so confident the first fix was all that was needed. And it was!

Looking back, the real problem was that the buyer seemed to want their hands in picking the mold person, although he did tell me any mold remediation company would be fine. I did at one point call to get other estimates including Service Master who said there would be a $250 fee. I thought at the time, I'm not paying more when I have one bid for free. The fee would have been taken off if we had the work done by them. The mold guy the buyer chose was nice, but wishy washy in his bid, his time frame and at one point seemed to indicate he couldn't even get to the work in time for closing. It just got bad in so many ways!

Really, if we are paying for any work on our home before closing we should also get to choose who we are having do the work. The first mold guy should never have come out and I think things could have gone a lot better. We did offer cash to have the buyers do the work, but of course that was a no because they didn't want the work done while they owned the home because they would have to disclose. Ethically, since they know about the mold I feel they should still have to disclose. My agent says no.

I also found out our state has no laws regarding how mold should be remediated, no air quality standards, and even the health department indicated black mold (which this was not) wasn't any big deal and could just be cleaned up with bleach! So interesting.

There are way more details and drama I could tell, but it's too exhausting. We did take care of the mold it was handled by a professional and it was done in time for our originally closing date last Friday.

Our cost for the mold remediation: $2,854.72. Yep, that's one big repair bill! We put it on our Citi card to earn the rewards. Today, I paid nearly all of it off, I sent in $2,714.14, which was the amount I saved up for the repair. I was just a little short. I will likely pay the rest tomorrow with the house proceeds. Smile

And the mold was the reason I left the AC running and set for 80 degrees when we left. I couldn't chance that the home would be getting too humid and cause another issue with mold. The cost has to have been minimal as the temperatures have been cooler there in the last week. The buyers did their walk through last night, and I haven't heard that anything was wrong so I expect closing to go super smooth tomorrow. Smile

6 Responses to “The Big Repair”

  1. snafu Says:

    Thank you for your explanation of the expensive repair project which had potential to scuttle your home's sale. It had me explore the unfinished storage zone. in our basement. I walked around with a powerful flashlight but I didn't see anything amiss. I don't know what I need to look for! Does it look discoloured, black, green or damp or smell mouldy?

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    In our case there was no smell and no running water or leaks. The wood ceiling in a couple areas just looked black speckled. I'm positive it wasn't there when we moved in at least to the degree that it was last month. I think we just weren't looking up to even notice! Google mold pictures and most of what you will see is pretty bad, ours wasn't pretty, but nothing like what you see online.

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That was definitely an expensive repair!

    I hope that the closing process goes smoothly tomorrow so this chapter in your life can be finished, and focus on the new chapter. Smile

  4. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Hope closing goes well tomorrow!

  5. CB in the City Says:

    Glad it was all resolved, albeit with a pretty hefty bill!

    I'm very curious to know how apartment living is going! Are you waiting to move into a rental house? I seem to remember you didn't want to get into buying a new house right away.

  6. creditcardfree Says:

    CB, yes, we are in a corporate apartment, so it's furnished...although I have like only three pans to cook with. It's missing plenty of kitchen needs, so I'm having to think about what I make! We'll be in our rental home in about three weeks, the owners still have to move out. Smile

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