A Green (Moldy?) House

moldWill and I have been steadily advancing with our plan to purchase a house in town that would let us try out the car-free (or at least car-lite) lifestyle.   We found a cute little house less than a mile from downtown with a halfway respectable yard.  Alas, our excitement was a bit dampened today when we conducted the official home inspection and discovered several red flags, including (wait for it) a wet, moldy crawlspace.

“You’ve got green mold, black mold, white mold – the whole spectrum!” announced our home inspector from the bowels of the house.  Yum.

For those of you not familiar with the home-buying process, the next step is for us to write our “Buyer’s Response to the Home Inspection Report” in which we ask for concessions from the seller and they respond with their “Seller’s Response to Buyer’s Response to the Home Inspection Report.”  Oh, the joy.

We’re still clinging to some hope that we can get the house fixed up and move in with full confidence that we are not endangering ourselves with mold spores or lead-based paint or leaky gas lines but we’ve also returned to our dreams of building our own house.  Neither of us is particularly handy so it would be an enormous challenge and yet we’re both drawn to the idea of building a place of our very own.  Lately we’ve been reading books on eco-remodeling and tiny tiny houses and somehow starting from scratch seems easier than taking an existing house and adapting it to our own idiosyncrasies.  On the other hand, what really sounds nice is to have a house and be done with the process of looking and inspecting and negotiating.  I suspect I will have similar feeling should I ever become pregnant, but that’s a whole other ball of wax.

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    equa yona said,

    April 17, 2008 @ 3:48 pm

    How old is the house? It would seem that if it is that damp you would have some rot as well, unless the place is really new. I had a crawl space with a dirt floor once, really damp. When I found that my rug was mildewing I knew something had to be done. I had to put down a layer of construction plastic sheeting on the dirt and I then insulated the floor, dang what a difference that made in dryness and warmth! I think that if you get the seller to clean up the mold it may not be that hard to take care of the dampness.

  2. 2

    Student Doctor Green said,

    April 17, 2008 @ 6:45 pm

    Wooo girl. I would pass on the mold, but then again I have bad allergies.

  3. 3

    Maggie said,

    April 17, 2008 @ 9:07 pm

    The house was built in 1899 but has been remodeled several times. I’m no expert but here’s what the house inspector said: there is some rot so there will be some beams that need to be replaced, the leak needs to be fixed, the mold needs to be cleaned out (I think they use bleach or some super-bleach stuff), a plastic vapor barrier needs to be installed over the dirt, and then it should be just fine with no residual mold problems to worry about.

    It sounds like it would solve the problems but also might be really expensive so our next step will be getting a price quote from a local crawlspace expert and then we begin negotiating…

  4. 4

    Tiny, tiny houses | GreenCouple.com said,

    April 24, 2008 @ 10:37 pm

    […] last episode of our house-buying saga, we learned that the house we were attempting to purchase had copious mold and foundation problems. Today, we signed the papers saying we weren’t going to buy it. The contractor who gave us an […]

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