Is Buying a Home With a Mould Problem Worth the Risk?

Story Highlights
  • Determine the type of mould
  • Lower your offer price
  • Do you need to move quickly?

A surprising 70% of homes are estimated to have mould lurking behind the walls, according to the International Center for Toxicology and Medicine.

Who would have thought that?!

In most cases, a property inspection will highlight that the home you’re intending on buying has a mould problem.

If the inspection does flag this as an issue, should you be concerned or is it safe to continue with your purchase?

Determine the type of mould

The problem with mould is that you can’t be sure whether it’s a dangerous type of not. Some of the most problematic types of mould found in homes in South Africa are Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium, all of which can affect the lungs.

For obvious reasons, these types of mould should be avoided.

But if you’ve got your heart set on a certain property, you could request that the seller arranges for a (mould) inspection to be carried out to determine the types of mould that are present.

If dangerous types of mould are found, you can ask for a cleanup job and mould-related property repairs to take place before you proceed with the purchase. These repairs will typically include water damage restoration, improved ventilation, roof and window repairs, and foundation repairs.

Lower your offer price

The average price of a home in South Africa rose by 3.6% last year to R900,000, but a house with a mould problem could be worth considerably less.

This is good news for you as a buyer as it gives you the opportunity to lower your offer price so that you can arrange for the mould issue to be sorted yourself. In fact, you can get rid of mould issues with the help of a dehumidifier

If you do go down this route, make sure you get an independent appraisal and repair estimation done first so you can be sure you lower your price enough.

Do you need to move quickly?

When mould has been found in the property you wish to buy, it might potentially slow down the home buying process by weeks.

The additional tests and home inspections required will lengthen the process and mould removal can easily take a week on its own, depending on the extent of the problem. This means it will take far longer to complete a purchase on a property with a mould problem than one without, so you need to factor this in when considering your decision.

Discovering that the beautiful South African home you want to buy has a mould issue can be disheartening.

But you shouldn’t let this revelation deter you from carrying on with your purchase altogether, as there are ways to still make it work in your favour.


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