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Old 02-08-2013, 07:55 PM
 
11 posts, read 34,104 times
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My family found a nice home that was advertised as having a working fireplace. The trouble is that an inspection revealed it should be put out of use because of structural issues.

I am upset because I really like fireplaces and had one growing up in Minnesota, but we like other aspects of the house.

How much value is lost with a non-functional fireplace if we relocate again for work, say in a 3-5 year timeframe ? I have an estimate about the cost of sealing it up, but I want to renegotiate the purchase price because we are not getting what was advertised. Any thoughts from any agents or really anyone?

Sincerely,
Stacey
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:13 PM
 
240 posts, read 431,443 times
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I would either walk away or make the seller fix it. You want a fireplace, so you should buy a house with one.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:39 PM
 
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Thank you so much for the quicky response Gtmo. I'm told that the fireplace can't be fixed.

I like the psychoanalysis. You are on to something. I DO prefer a house with a fireplace, but it isn't essential. My husband is the practical one. He simply wants the price lowered because we aren't getting what we were supposed to be getting one and he isn't so sure that prospective buyers down the line will want a house with a fireplace that is not a working fireplace. They will certainly pay for the cost of covering it, but if we do agree that we want the house (and we're still not in consensus) how much should we demand taken off the price?
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:29 PM
 
673 posts, read 1,232,810 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzerstacey View Post
Thank you so much for the quicky response Gtmo. I'm told that the fireplace can't be fixed.

I like the psychoanalysis. You are on to something. I DO prefer a house with a fireplace, but it isn't essential. My husband is the practical one. He simply wants the price lowered because we aren't getting what we were supposed to be getting one and he isn't so sure that prospective buyers down the line will want a house with a fireplace that is not a working fireplace. They will certainly pay for the cost of covering it, but if we do agree that we want the house (and we're still not in consensus) how much should we demand taken off the price?
What kind of fireplace? And where is it located?
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,576 posts, read 40,130,038 times
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I am not sure why it cannot be fixed. Anything can be fixed. If not it should be removed, not just closed off. It will become a maintenance headache for you in the future. I would get another opinion on getting it fixed. I think the seller just does not want to pay the price to do it and it is cheaper to just close it off. Jay
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,044 posts, read 1,290,557 times
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You could always cap it off and then put a gas fireplace set-up inside of it.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:27 AM
 
11 posts, read 34,104 times
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Thanks again.

The house is in Fairfield County but I don't want to see anything more than that. Then again, I would not be one bit surprised if it's already clear who I am, if the sellers participate in this forum.

The fireplace and chimney need to be sealed off and/or removed. It's true that anything can be fixed, but you'd need to move a wall of the house. The chimney inspector basically said 'As much as we'd love to take your money from you, you really don't have any other options here."

Given the chimney problems, they need to directly vent their furnace too, and the furnance has its own issues.

So if I'm to go through with the purchase, they have to pay to seal off the chimney and fireplace and they'll probably need to pay to replace the furnace, but my question is this: since I know they'll be willing to make concessions for this to be done, how much value have I lost in the house? Is a non-working fireplace and a sealed/partly removed chimney an unnecessary eyesore. DH and I have debated last night and this morning about what to do and I am leaning toward following his advice not to walk away *if* they will lower the purchase price. I have been reading that a fireplace is one of the most desirable things other buyers would look for. Any opinions will be warmly received!
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:35 AM
 
2,766 posts, read 8,840,570 times
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If a fireplace was on my list of must haves for a house, then I would certainly want a working one. Most people assume when they see a fireplace that it will work. In a place like CT I would assume it would help resale a bit for people who like to have one for the winter.

I would personally walk away....but that's just me. I love our fireplace! What price range is the house in? The higher the price range the more I think people would expect fireplaces.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:14 AM
 
240 posts, read 431,443 times
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I would insist that the fireplace is repaired of have a pellet or gas insert installed. You will some day regret buying a house with an inoperable fireplace. You will also have trouble selling the house in the future. Don't inherit somebody else's problem.

Anything can be fixed. 20k - 30k? Find somebody who can fix it.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:27 AM
 
11 posts, read 34,104 times
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The home is about 700k.

Fixing the fireplace and chimney would entail altering the kitchen and there is no room for that unless we expanded the house. The fireplace and chimney are in the middle of the house and a gas fireplace would still have no place to vent.

I know this is a small sample of opinions, but DH is paying heed to the advice of walking away. DH thinks we should get 30k off, not counting the cost of the repairs. I'm not so sure they will take 30k off (over 4%) so we might be looking for a new house after all.

Thank you again for your invaluable opinions.
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