Planning on moving to the Sunshine State and buying a new property? Keep reading because we’ve gathered some important information for you to consider when taking the next step. Especially when it comes to one of the most challenging issues in warm weather: mold.
Here are 5 Mold best tips when buying a home in Florida
It’s not always easy to detect its growth. Sometimes it is visible; other times, it spreads in less accessible areas. When living in a warm and humid environment, it’s not unusual to find it. However, in some cases, it can be a health hazard causing delays in the move-in phase. Checking for mold before buying your new Florida home can save time and money.
In the following blog, you’ll learn about pre-purchase tips from a real-estate point of view, while reviewing essential steps for discovering mold in your Florida home.
Common Places For Mold Growth In A Florida Home
Visible growth may be mistaken for dirt. Basements and crawl spaces are two high-risk areas. Flooding raises the likelihood of it. If the underground space isn’t completely dry, it’s a perfect environment for it.
Any leaking pipe, roof, or window can lead to mold. Some lines are hidden, and many homeowners aren’t aware of the problem, leading potential new buyers to find out later. A special clause or arrangement for the previous owners to fix the problem before buying could help. Signs of mold come in many forms. Pay close attention to visual signals and try to notice if there is a musty smell.
Homeowner’s Mold Insurance In Florida
Florida is beautiful, but don’t let it make you think it is exempt from harsh and challenging weather. Floods and hurricanes are common, and issues come with that. The best way to prepare for these disasters is to buy a home built by code to withstand high-force winds and invest in homeowner’s insurance.
When planning how much you can afford monthly on a mortgage, don’t forget to estimate additional costs for insurance.
1. Check For Mold Before Buying A Florida Home
Water damage, leaking pipes, and poor ventilation are typical risk factors for developing a problem. Ensure that the basement and crawl space are free of any mold spores.
If there’s not visible, look for any musty or damp smell. It could grow behind walls or hidden pockets in the building structure. When in doubt, have us, Environmental Testing Agency, inspect your Florida home.
2. Does The Seller Know About The Mold?
You should never assume the owner knows about the situation.
Occasionally, owners may try to cover it up using bleach or paint. While this could change the visual aspect, cover-ups won’t eliminate the spores.
When you discover a issue, let the seller know. You’ll often face two options:
- The owner pays for the removal
- You’ll get a nice discount
3. Sign A Mold Addendum
Many buyers wrongly believe the discovery of it during the inspection period forces the seller to clean it up or allows the buyer to cancel the contract. This is not true for the standard contracts used in Florida.
However, a Mold Inspection Addendum (known as form CRSP-15) can easily be signed by both parties when negotiating their deal. The appendix says that the buyer has a specific inspection window to test (at buyers’ expense) for it. The addendum also says that if significant mold is found during this period, the buyer can notify the seller on time and cancel the sale without penalty if their deposit is fully returned.
4. Get A Professional Mold Home Inspection
Once you find the home of your dreams, you will need to conduct a thorough independent home inspection before anything is finalized. This helps protect you from purchasing a home with defects in the material, or issues.
If you skip out on this crucial process, you are left with no legal options against the seller if the house turns out to be compromised or defective. All home inspectors must complete a home inspection program backed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
A typical home inspection checks out the following:
- The presence of mold or the right conditions to breed it.
- Termites and other pest infestations
- Issues related to odor or noise
- Concerns related to heating/cooling systems, drainage, electrical, and plumbing.
- Problems with the basement or flooring.
5. Does Mold Affect Your Florida Home Closing?
The presence of a small amount does not have to kill the deal. If proper cleaning steps are taken, the real estate closing can move forward, although it might be delayed.
Suppose you have signed the Mold Inspection Addendum and significant mold is found. In that case, the buyer can terminate the contract as described above. If the home is sold “as is” and it is discovered during the inspection phase, the agreement also lets the buyer back out of the deal (in these contracts, the buyer can usually terminate for any reason during the inspection period).
If your Realtor does not include a Mold Inspection Addendum in the papers, you are signing to purchase a home, as it is. Without exception, every South Florida real estate transaction should include this paperwork.
If you still have questions about buying a home with mold in Florida, a real estate agent is the best option to seek guidance and help. Make sure you find experienced real estate agents, or agencies familiar with Florida’s specific laws and regulations regarding mold in the buying process.