February 25, 2014
Property Max House Flipping – Day 1
Laurie and I started the warm sunny Florida morning out with high hopes of finding a few good flips. One after the other was rejected; bad roof, wood frame, unfinished and no CO (Certificate of Occupancy), too old, copper & electric striped, trashed with too much repair, or on pilings and crooked. Then, we eyed the very last house. Laurie’s reaction, “It’s cute!” We stood in the driveway looking at a CBS (cement block structure), cozy cottage-like house. The welcoming front porch, baby blue paint with a touch of yellow trim reminded me of a gingerbread fretwork vacation getaway that you might see in a quaint seaport village. We liked it immediately and thought that since its owner had refused to negotiate an offer of $34,000 when the asking price was $39,000 (which we could do), it might be a keeper. So, with quick strides to the door and multiple tries with the lockbox, we were finally in!
The attack was immediate!
The assaulter, Stachybotrys chartarum A.K.A. S chartarum or S atra. Better known as Black Mold. Being a fungus, Black Mold carries out a function like excretion that thrives on moist organic materials. Areas like wall surfaces, behind dry wall and under carpets are perfect “hot spots” for growth. The incredibly powerful odors of urine, dirty socks, and rotten wood were so strong that we couldn’t get our hands to cover our mouths and noses fast enough. Then the visual assessment confirmed our olfactory findings. We knew that we should leave immediately but had to take just the quickest inventory to see what could cause such stench. In the kitchen, the black smudge climbed up all the corners and ended with large ceiling holes spouting dark brown shreds of insulation. In every room, on every wall of this “cute cozy” there was a uniform, three to four inch, dark fuzzy band about two feet up from the floor (Think low black chair rail). Laurie’s deduction was that the previous owners had turned on all the faucets, closed and locked the doors then simply walked away creating massive water damage and destruction.
So, taking a body wrap of odor, and nose and throat irritations with us, we made our way back to the office. Driving away, Laurie reached for her inhaler saying. “But it was really cute”