In my line of work, mold comes up a lot. Buyers especially, want to know, “Does this home have mold in it? Will it harm me? How do we get rid of it?” The truth of the matter is, every home has mold of some type or another. Even new construction. According to the EPA, it is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoor. http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldbasics.html
Mold is part of our world, it’s natural and organic and is ultimately unavoidable. So if we can’t be rid of it, then what type and, perhaps more importantly, how much becomes the bigger question. I myself am guilty of thinking, “oh, there’s just a few spots of mold” or “it’s only in the laundry area, that’s not too bad…” What I didn’t realize is how quickly mold grows and how much damage it causes when not handled promptly and properly.
Recently I was reading an article in the “Gretna Breeze”, my town’s local newspaper, and a particular headline caught my eye. “Mansion is Officially Worthless”. Now, if you’re familiar with the town of Gretna, Nebraska, you likely know the mansion of which the article speaks. The “Kush” mansion was build in ’97 and for years was something all residents, for whatever reason, took great pride in. It was as if the 14,384 sq.ft. home some how validated our town. Proved to everyone that Gretna was more than just a small farming community on the skirts of our big city Omaha. We are solid, wealthy and desirable … why else would Mr. Kush, former NFL player and owner of Rod Kush’s Furniture, choose to build his 2.6 million dollar home on 35 scenic acres just NW of Hwy 370 and Hwy 6/31? That was 14 short years ago…young as far as homes are concerned. I myself had the opportunity to be a guest at one of the well attended parties the Kush family would host. I witnessed, first hand, the massive curved staircase in the front foyer, the full indoor basketball court, the covered balcony overlooking the sparkling pool and golf course. It really was remarkable. In 2003, the family put their home up for sale and moved out.
Since that time, roof damage allowed water to get into the home. A home that is now vacant. And the water sat…and sat…and sat…. And so mold grew. It grew in and on the walls, deep inside cracks, along the foundation…and as it grew it destroyed whatever it grew on. Deteriorating drywall, carpeting, plywood and 2×4’s, ate through window sills and floorboards. It didn’t take long for the mold to take hold and erase all the value from what was once considered the most valuable home in Gretna. It would cost more to mitigate the mold damage than the house is worth.
On June 21st, 2011, Sarpy County Assessor Dan Pittman told the Sarpy County Board that the mansion is now “worthless” and has been seroed out on the property tax rolls. Only the land on which it sits will be taxed. Kind of amazing isn’t it? Kind of scary too… Unfortunately you can’t eliminate mold completely, but you can take measures to limit its existence and inhibit its groeth.
For more information on mold in your home, and what you as a homeowner, current or future, can do to protect yourself and your family, check out this link… http://homebuying.about.com/cs/mold/a/toxic_mold.htm
If you have specific questions about this topic or anything real estate related, feel free to contact me and remember to visit my website, http://anarongisch.cbshome.com, for access to all the homes currently for sale in the Omaha/Metro area. Also, to keep up to date daily, “like” me on Facebook! Search, Ana Rongisch– CBSHOME Real Estate
Thanks for reading! Life is Sweet…take care.