I don’t know about you, but there are two reasons why I don’t let my kids play under the kitchen sink: 1) There are too many chemicals, so it’s an obvious safety issue; and 2) I honestly can’t stand to work under the sink, so I don’t want my kids to mess anything up, which might cause me to have to spend time there. After installing a new kitchen faucet recently, I vigorously stand by this point.
In truth, after inspecting thousands of homes, I can safely say the space under the kitchen sink can often be dark, cluttered and even dank. Other than checking for a garbage disposal, I always look in this area because it can be a hot spot for issues that need to be resolved (often quick and easy repairs).
It’s okay if things are not tidy under your sink. But when I do see an “unknown blackish substance,” it’s something I need to disclose in the appraisal report. I never say “mold” as an appraiser because I’m not a mold specialist, but when I do see something like the photo above, I require the issue to be cured. It’s probably a very quick fix and a sincerely minor issue, but I can never make that assumption. The photos above are before & after shots from an FHA loan, and I simply disclosed there was an “unknown blackish substance” under the kitchen sink, and it needed to be cured. I was careful not to call the substance mold, fungus or even say it was growing. I did recommend further inspection by a qualified professional, and I included a standard disclaimer about reserving the right to change the appraised value in light of new information.
In the example above, the issue was easily cured (probably by using some basic products from Home Depot) and the loan closed without a problem. This is not usually an enormous red flag issue that buyers and sellers need to freak out about, but it is something that should be resolved.
Four Quick Recommendations:
- If you are a buyer, look under the sink to know what is there.
- If you are an agent, look under the sink to know what is there.
- If you are an appraiser, look under the sink to know what is there.
- If you are a seller, be aware the appraiser might call for repairs if seeing something like the photo above. It might be worth curing the problem before the appraiser comes (I’m not saying you should hide the issue if you know you have a mold problem).
Question: Do your kids play under the sink?
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