Being able to live in a home that you have bought is one of the most rewarding achievements in one’s life. But owning a home carries with it a stream of never-ending attention, awareness, and maintenance. Your home protects you from the weather and other various elements but for it to be able to properly do this you, in turn, have to take care of it.
Unfortunately, there are a whole host of issues that can plague a home. Some of these issues will be very apparent and for the most part, you will not be able to live comfortably in the property until the issue is sorted. Other issues, however, are more subtle and can go unnoticed for a long time, all the while causing damage to both the property and the health of its inhabitants.
When it comes to some of these more subtle issues, there is perhaps none more problematic than mold. Besides the more obvious problem of the harm that mold can cause to the health of its inhabitants, there is also the problem of the damage that it does to the value of your property and it is this latter point that this article will focus on.
Also, there is the fact that mold has the potential to threaten the structural integrity of your house. This is one of the greatest threats to the value of your property.
Two things come into consideration when it comes to the valuation of your home; these are its actual and perceived value.
The actual home value would be dependent on things like location, square footage, property age, etc. Your perceived value can be something else entirely. It could be dependent on the color, the feel of interior design/decorating, any sentimental attachment to it, etc. It is for these reasons that most experienced real estate agents almost always insist on a home staging to try and both increase the value of a home and also to potentially help it sell faster.
But what does this have to do with mold? Mold not only decreases the value of your home because of the repairs it will need but also because it can drastically hurt both the perceived and actual value of your home.
A buyer purchasing a large investment like a home wants to ensure that their family will be safe while living in the property. Mold presents a major health risk to the inhabitants of a home, and even when it is disclosed as being repairable, the home’s perceived value is still lowered. The human mind isn’t always the most logical thing. If we feel that the home may present a risk to our family, we are less likely to be keen on buying it or at least paying top dollar for it.
The other question is that of convenience. People often want to purchase a turn-key property that they can move into right away. Any time you make a major purchase, whether it is a home, appliance, or vehicle you expect to feel like you’re getting something new.
Getting a house that needs repairs and mold removed will undoubtedly hurt the value in the buyer’s eyes.
The Cost of Removing Mold
Mold often starts as a small colony that is easy to ignore. If it grows in an area that you do not access regularly it can even grow undetected, which is a big problem.
Unfortunately, mold is not just something that you turn your vacuum cleaner against and expect it will go away. The longer it takes to discover and treat, the more likely it is that it will need a professional’s service to help you get rid of it completely. Given that mold comes in various types, shapes, and sizes, the cost of removing them will similarly vary. It is, therefore, not uncommon to find mold removal or remediation services that range anywhere from $500 to $6,000, depending on the severity and location of the mold.
Additionally, when mold is allowed to fester and get very bad, not only will you have to get rid of the mold, but you may have to replace carpets, curtains, wallpapers, drywall, among other things. If all these things are not done before a potential buyer has the house inspected, the worst-case scenario is that they may opt-out of making an offer. Or, they may simply value the property below what the actual value is. Both scenarios can be a downer if you are looking to sell your house fast.
Common Causes of Mold
Mold starts as a simple growth that can be easily overlooked, or put on the back burner to be dealt with later. That’s when they strike.
Some of the common causes of mold include:
- Leaking pipes and air conditioning systems
- Leaking roofs
- Poor or insufficient ventilation
As you can see from the list above, there is quite a variety of sources and ways that mold can begin to form in your house. The worst and most problematic types of mold are those that hide in areas that cannot be visually seen in the home, whether behind the walls, in your basement, attic, or behind your appliances. So by the time you discover it, it will have spread throughout your house, causing major havoc.
As has been previously stated, getting rid of mold around your home can be a costly affair, either in terms of potentially scuttling a deal to sell the house or by reducing its value. What is more, some states require you to disclose to the buyer whether your home had a mold infestation that was treated. Even though you may no longer be facing the issue, the value of your home may be affected by this declaration. This will especially hurt the perceived value of your property if you are looking into selling your house with mold problems.
Kanayo Okwuraiwe is a startup founder and a digital marketing professional. He is the founder of Telligent Marketing LLC, a digital marketing agency that provides law firm SEO services to help lawyers grow their law practices. Connect with him on Linkedln.