The True Story Of Mold Damage & Its Effects On your Property In Washington, DC

by | Jun 7, 2021 | Blog

Discovering mold can be taunting and horrifying to any homeowner. If the mold goes undetected and the damage spreads, the effects can be costly and add undue stress. Read through this short story and either take action before things get to a detrimental point or call Akin Developers and let us assist you through the process.

Mold damage has exponential negative ramifications on the livability and the resale value of your home. Akin Developers had a lovely couple come into our doors to discuss selling their home. However, they have a dilemma in the sale due to underlying mold damage. Jan and Ian McCormick were in their sixties and had the ideal three bedrooms, two-bath home in an up-and-coming neighborhood in Washington, DC. In the time Jan and Ian had lived in their home, they had one remaining bathroom to remodel and they wanted to make this their final project in the home before placing it on the market. Ian began work on the half bathroom on the first floor while doing so Ian discovered a large sum of mold growing into the walls that appeared to go beyond just the walls of the half bath. The McCormick’s had called a contractor to come into the house to access the extent of the damage and provide them with a price of how much it would be to fix the damage from the old. The contractor appraised the mold repair to cost upward around $98,000.

That is when Ian and Jan decided to seek help. They called Akin Developers and we sent an expert property management team and home inspector to view the property and assess the damages at once. Our experts agreed with the original assessment of the property value and explained the situation, how they got to this point as well as some options from this point forward.

How does mold happen?

Akins Developers started their initial meeting with Jan and Ian discussing how mold begins and try to figure out how their growing mold problem began. Mold must have a starting catalyst and mold’s catalyst is Moisture. Moisture is always the cause of indoor mold growth. Mold doesn’t just grow on construction materials all by itself, it requires moisture. Control moisture and you control mold growth. The source of moisture is typically coming from one of three origins. The three origins are:

  1. Direct water intrusion events such as a roof leak, plumbing leak, poorly sealed leaking windows, drain back-ups, water run-off from showers and bathtubs, etc.
  2. Indirect water intrusion from “rising damp”, such as moisture-wicking up from the ground or damp concrete slabs into walls, carpet, cabinets, furniture, etc.
  3. Intermittent water intrusion from condensation is caused by humidifiers, vaporizers, high steam, inadequate ventilation, faulty windows, and high humidity.

The discussion of mold triggered a memory for Jan and Ian. When they had first moved into their home in the 1970s, the couple discovered a pipe had burst in their main bath during a very brutal winter. Jan and Ian repaired the pipe and nothing else, unfortunately for them, this minor bursting pipe would have lasting effects for them.

How does mold affect your home and you?

The obvious effect of mold growth inside buildings is the damage it causes to construction materials and personal property. The nature of mold is to decompose matter. Detecting and addressing mold growth early can significantly reduce the cost to remediate and repair damage caused by mold. However, left unaddressed like in Jan and Ian’s home, mold will eventually destroy everything it grows on.

Mold can grow on any wet building materials, including stucco. Once it is discovered, it must be addressed quickly and properly. Delayed or improper treatment of mold issues can multiply repair costs exponentially. So you can picture in your head, the kind of mold and associated issues the McCormick’s were facing mold from the 1970s.

When building materials such as wood siding, brick, concrete block, and stucco are exposed to moisture sources from outdoors, over time that moisture can penetrate exterior walls and enter the wall cavity, creating perfect conditions for mold growth in between exterior and interior walls.

Eventually, the moisture and mold can penetrate through to the interior side of wall surfaces. By that time, extensive damage to the structure has already taken place. A visual inspection by a Certified Mold Inspector can help detect water intrusion issues early, saving thousands of dollars in repair costs. We at Akin Developers have the perfect team to assist with navigating what to do next. 

Mold cannot affect your house but can affect the homeowners as well. Following our discussion with the McCormick’s about how mold begins and the effects it can have on the home, we thought it was wise to divulge how mold could be affecting Jan and Ian as well. Mold exposure can be hazardous, but it is especially concerning when you are exposed to mold for an extended amount of time. This is because the health issues that you are dealing with will take even longer to go away. The symptoms also become more serious the longer that you have been exposed to the fungus. For example, breathing problems are among the initial symptoms of mold exposure, but these issues become worse with prolonged mold exposure. You can become exposed to mold by absorbing it through your skin or inhaling the spores. This exposure allows the fungus to enter your bloodstream and your lungs. From there, they are prone to affecting your immune system. When you breathe in mold, the spores enter your lungs and can affect your ability to breathe well. The more mold spores that you are breathing in, the more difficult it will be to breathe. 

People who are sensitive to mold can suffer from various allergic symptoms: throat irritation, skin irritation, eye irritation, coughing, wheezing, nasal congestion, fatigue, and more. These problems can be more severe if the exposed individuals have mold allergies. If you have a weakened immune system, then mold exposure can result in severe infections.

Why sell your home to an Investor?

The McCormick’s came to Akin Developers knowing that they could not take on the burden of having to not only replace all the sheetrock in their home, new electrical wiring, and new bathroom tub and bathroom vanities. They wanted to walk away with the opportunity to purchase a newer home in the same neighborhood but with a smaller floorplan than what they have now. We informed The McCormick’s that if you’re selling on a very specific timeline, you usually have more control over the close date with us at Akin Developers since there is no timing a move-in date the same way a traditional buyer is. This cost to turn the home around and make it turn-key ready was much more than the market price of the home and the McCormick’s did not want to face the length construction process. We also advised them that most investors care more about the financials and less about how your home looks. After all, Akins Developers are going to turn around and quickly resell your home or renovate anyway once the deal has gone through. The market in Washington, DC is booming and a seller’s market. The McCormick’s knew that if they waited for all the construction to be completed on their home, the market could turn around and the potential of finding their new home at a reasonable price would no longer be possible. 

The McCormick’s asked about our process and we were happy to explain how to work. If you sell to an Akin Development, you don’t have to list your home on the market at all, nor do you have to accommodate showings. That’s what makes selling to Akins Developers so convenient. You’ll typically receive an offer as soon as a few minutes after submitting a request or within a few days. And since Akins Developers has no emotional connection to the home, there is usually less back and forth than there is with a traditional buyer. When you sell your house to us, you’ll receive an all-cash offer within a few days, and after a home evaluation, you can enjoy a quick closing on a date that’s convenient for you. We like to pride ourselves on the fact that unlike in a traditional sale, where a buyer will require a 45-day escrow period to allow enough time for inspections, appraisals, and mortgage approval contingencies, a traditional investor like Akins Developers can close in less than a month — and sometimes even faster.

Selling to an Investor can present you with a quick turnaround on closing. In the majority of cases, closing on a home can be months away on the calendar. Since investors eliminate realtors, there is significantly less paperwork to track and organize. You may even be able to close on your house (and claim your equity) within a week! The speed is because of the elimination of realtors and their lengthy paperwork. Investors allow you to sell your house and move forward with your life, within a speedy time frame by offering you cash.

Quick turnaround and fast cash

The McCormick’s turned to their friends and sought out advice from them on how to make this terrible situation turn around. A friend suggested to them about selling to a real estate investor and that the process is much quicker than they would think and they could have cash in their hands in a few short months. The prospects of looking to get cash fast for the McCormick’s were exactly why they began looking for investors. They knew the odds of having to spend unnecessary funds just to try to sell their house was high. Getting them immediate liquidity is why investors like Akin Developers plays such an integral role in saving you money. They eliminate the need to hire a realtor, removing commission fees, so your money stays in the bank, where it belongs. 

The next benefit to selling to an investor is that: more likely than not, your home is not nearly perfect, so, with having an investor taking over your property, you can sell your house in its present condition. The McCormick’s had the ideal location in Washington, DC but their home was nowhere near acceptable to be sold to a traditional homebuyer.

Akin Developers took the worry off of them! They were previously thinking of their health, money, etc, and now they were going to be able to move on and get a smaller place for just the two of them in the Washington, DC metro area. After they decided to sell to us we were able to seamlessly enter in and take over for them so they could be taking in the view of the Washington Monument and the National Mall in no time at their new condo.

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