J.T. from Virginia writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I’m looking to make an investment, and a condo I visited recently has an unfortunate feature: a very strong musty “old library” kind of smell. How often does that smell mean MOLD, and is it the condo associations job to take care of the mold if it’s throughout the building/HVAC, and not in the specific unit? I’m concerned about health issues associated with living in a mold/mildewy place, and couldn’t possibly address an entire building’s problem… Is it best I just move on and look somewhere else?
Mister Condo replies:
J.T., depending on how this building has been used over the years, there could be a lot of reasons there is a musty smell. I dare say there are some people who fancy the smells of an older home or even and old library. It isn’t necessarily mold or mildew but you might want to have a thorough inspection before purchasing the unit to make sure you don’t have such a problem. As buildings and building materials age, they break down and commonly emit different types of smells. Some people enjoy them, some people hate them, some people don’t even notice. Since you are one of the people who do notice the odor, I am thinking you would not be happy with this purchase, whether as an investment or as a personal domicile. If they are other equally attractive investment opportunities nearby, I would suggest you invest there instead. There are plenty of newer and better smelling properties to choose from, I am sure. All the best!