would you buy this house?
We are interested in a house that is in a fantastic neighborhood, backs up to protected property that cannot be built on, and is otherwise beautiful (it has GREAT bones). It is a foreclosure.
There are a few things wrong with the property, though:
- it has been on the market for 410 days and is priced quite low--itself a warning sign
- the attached deck looks like it is rotting and all of the paint is peeling off (I'm not afraid of refinishing/repainting the deck, but I'm not sure it is salvageable)
- the biggie: We thought the house smelled musty, but it's a foreclosure and has been vacant for two years, so thought that was no big surprise. We went into the finished basement and while it seemed dry--none of the carpet was damp, and we've had lots of rain lately--we did notice some splotchy dark-colored mold on the lower part of one of the exterior walls and some greenish blue mold on a ceiling tile as well. We are planning to un-finish the basement anyway by demo-ing all of that anyway, which would presumably get rid of all of the mold food down there. I am, however. assuming there is more where we can't see it and am concerned about how extensive this problem might be.
This house was built in 1957 and an addition over a crawl space was added sometime later. The exterior wall with mold on it is underneath the addition and lines up with the beginning of the crawl space. So if there is a moisture problem I am concerned about how hard it would be to fix in this location.
I am also quite concerned about the mold issue. The basement has carpet, drywall and ceiling tiles, all of which I am assuming will need to be removed. Would you be very concerned about this? The price is excellent for the neighborhood but we don't want to buy a house that will make us or our pets sick. Googling this issue is making me freak out, so I am trying to sense here whether mold is over-hyped or whether this is something that should make us walk away.
the house was pending just a few weeks ago and apparently the deal fell through during the inspection, which increases my concern.
There was a dehumidifier down there that obviously hasn't been used for a long time because no one has been around to turn it on. Also the sump pump looks like it hasn't been on in ages--the basement seems quite dry. There is a leaky sliding glass door near the edge of the beginning of the addition--when we were there the carpet around it and the wall immediately next to it was wet from all of the recent rains. So I'm thinking that door plus the lack of dehumidifier use is the issue.
Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer...