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Family discovers dangerous amount of mold in metro Detroit home

Posted at 7:58 PM, Nov 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-13 20:24:40-05

A Westland family's dream home has become a nightmare. 

Just three months after moving in with their newborn baby, they discovered a destructive amount of mold that both city and privately hired inspectors missed. 

The City of Westland says per policy, their inspectors don't look at the roof or crawl space of any home they inspect. 

Matt and Alyssa Blaies hired a private inspector who didn't check the crawl space because, get this, he was afraid of spiders.

Now this family is dealing with something much scarier. These first time parents and first time homebuyers thought they did everything right. 

They relied on not just one, but 2 inspectors before closing on their new home. The private inspector they paid $300 for said the home passed inspection and wrote on the report that the crawl space was not accessible because of spiders. 

Turns out the infestation growing in that crawl space was much worse. Three months after the biggest purchase of their lives ... they noticed the floor in their bedroom sinking under the weight of their furniture and an intensifying odor.

Matt went down to the crawl space with his cell phone and started taking pictures of more mold than he ever imagined encountering in his own home, eating its way through the crawl space and the bedroom floor. 

The Blaies are concerned about the health risks for themselves and their newborn if the mold goes untreated, but getting rid of the mold and repairing the damage will cost nearly $40,000. That's close to a third of what they paid for the entire house and not financially possible for them right now. 

"There should be some sort of lemon law, but there isn’t," says Matt. He's just secured a second job to try and save money, but at this point, this young family is stuck.  

Re-selling the house isn't an option, as the mold significantly reduces its value. Hiring a lawyer to pursue legal action against the person who sold them the home, they can't afford that either.

They spent everything they had buying and then moving into this new house, not expecting to need such major repairs so early on. 

Because of potential health risks, they need to get rid of the mold or move out, but they can't afford to do either. Ultimately, they may have to walk away from a house they can't sell and make payments on a home they can't live in. 

The City of Westland is looking into whether this family qualifies for financial aid through a homeowner rehab program and is paying for lead and mold tests to be conducted.