Home » Blog » Chicago Cleaning Services » Is it OK to buy a home that has mold in it?

Is it OK to buy a home that has mold in it?



    After searching forever for that perfect Chicagoland home, you finally find the one of your dreams. But just before signing on the dotted line you discover one tiny issue — the home has mold in it. And thus, you ask yourself: is it OK to buy a home that has mold in it? 

    The short answer is, it depends. Buying a home with mold might not be a bad idea if you’re willing to temper your expectations; but buying a home that has mold in it could be a terrible idea if you were hoping not to put any work into your new dwelling. Since mold is a type of fungus, it covers a wide variety (thousands, to be exact!) of species. In homes with mold, most of those species could possibly be represented — from the kind of mold that grows on bread and fruit to the kind that inhabits humid spaces. It’s the wide variety that makes buying a home with mold in it an ambiguous task — some types of mold are more toxic than others, and constant exposure to large quantities of mold may cause health problems such as breathing difficulties, coughing and worsening asthma. Brief exposure to nontoxic mold is unlikely to cause serious problems, but either way, you’ll need to get the mold removed from the home as soon as possible to be safe.

    Before buying a home with mold, you should be sure to have it professionally inspected to identify the types and causes of the mold.  Insist that the inspection contains a contingency clause (which defines a condition or action that must be met for a real estate contract to become binding). Never take a seller’s or real estate agent’s word about the presence of mold. Even if you’re getting a steep discount, be sure to get an inspection, because the cost of removing mold from a house can put a large dent in your savings. If mold is exposed during the inspection, you have a bargaining chip. 

    Finding out more information about the nature of the mold gives you a leg up in negotiations about the home. As you’re buying a home with mold, be sure to either:

    1. ask the seller to reduce the asking price
    2. ask the seller to fix the problem
    3. walk away from the deal

    Sellers are required under Illinois state real estate disclosure rules to disclose if there’s an ongoing mold problem in the house or if it’s been previously flooded, but they don’t always do so. If they do not, the owner may be liable to you for failure to disclose. Buying a home that has mold in it could actually be an OK move if you’re willing to pay removal costs given that they do not outweigh the savings you generate using mold as a bargaining chip. (See this Nolo article for useful advice on determining who’s legally responsible for home defects and how to file a suit.)

    If you do buy a house with mold and decide to tackle the cleanup yourself, here are a couple of sites the include advice on mold removal:

    But the Illinois Department of Public Health points out that even dead mold can cause allergies, so simply killing the mold with bleach or other substances isn’t enough. The mold must be completely removed, and for that, specialized equipment is needed. So, unless you have considerable experience in cleaning mold, you would be better off contacting ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons. We specialize in mold removal — give us a call if you’re planning to buy a home that has mold in it!

    There’s no right answer for whether it’s OK to buy a home with mold in the Chicagoland area. Your primary concerns should be your budget, your health and how soon you need to move in. For example, if you suffer from allergies and there’s a lot of mold in a home, it’s ill-advised to buy it if you need to move in right away. On the other hand, if you’ve got the time and money to get rid of the mold, purchasing a home with fungus growth in it could save you money, especially if your home is appraised lower because of the mold.

    ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park/River Forest, and the North Shore.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides Disaster Restoration Services including  COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration,  Mold Remediation, and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning,  Post-Construction Cleaning,  Carpet Cleaning, and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers. ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons provides Specialty Cleaning Services For Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, and the North Shore.  For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit


    • Nasutsa Mabwa

      Nasutsa Mabwa is President of ServiceMaster by Simons, a MBE/WBE City of Chicago and State of Illinois certified firm. She is a 2020 Daily Herald Business Ledger C-Suite awardee, a member of Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 and a 2018 ServiceMaster(c) Achiever Award recipient. She is a Civic Federation Board Member, an Advisory Board Member for as President Elect on the Executive Committee for the Evanston Chamber of Commerce. She is IICRC certified for WRT & FSRT.

      About ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons
      Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving both Cook and Lake County, Illinois. Recently, the company was awarded a variety of honors, including the SB100 Best of Small Business Award Winner 2021, Bronze Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business, recipient of the 2020 Better Business Bureau's Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and the recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including water and flood damage restoration, fire and smoke damage restoration, mold remediation, to residential and commercial customers in both Cook and Lake County IL.

      LinkedIn Profile
      Forbes Profile

      View all posts