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Old 02-21-2010, 01:48 PM
 
3 posts, read 11,981 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello all,

My wife and I have been house hunting for a little over a year now, and we finally settled on a house that we love. After a lot of back-and-forth between us and the seller, we have met on a price. It is definitely the limit of what we want to pay for the house.

Anyhow, last week we had a home inspection. There were some minor issues: electrical outlets that aren't working, double-paned glass that has lost its gas, and grouting between bathroom tiles. The major issue, however, is the fact that the exterior garage wall has a 0.5 inch bow to it. The driveway goes alongside the house, so I am assuming that it is caused by hydraulic pressure.

I had Matthew's Wall Anchor Service in and they said that it definitely should be fixed; their quoted price is 2,650. As the quote was going on, the owner of the house (wife) was there and she said that they DEFINITELY weren't going to fix anything; she said this even before she asked the price.

Long story short, their agent called my agent and told me that the sellers will not fix any of the issues with the home. He recommends terminating the contract and seeing if they will come back to us. I'm not looking for them to pay it all; I would accept half.

The most interesting fact is that they did not even include the bowed wall on the disclosures. However, they DID know about it, as she told my agent that they wouldn't fix it because it was like that when they moved in 3 years ago, and her father, a contractor, said that it was no big deal. Also, they recently painted the wall (presumably to hide the cracks to the wall).

Does anyone have advice? Some people tell me that a .5 inch bow is no big deal, and I understand that MWA is trying to sell me some wall anchors. Is it common for a seller not to fix a thing? It would have been nice of them to let me know that they wouldn't fix anything while we were negotiating....


Thanks for all of the help.
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Southern NC
1,915 posts, read 2,868,015 times
Reputation: 2381
I agree with your agent...in this market, if they want to sell, they're going to have to fix stuff.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:26 PM
 
3 posts, read 11,981 times
Reputation: 10
My other concern is that the rest of the basement (aside from the garage) is finished. Instead of simply painting the foundation walls, they have placed some type of plaster-board over it for a nicer, finished look. How do I know that the walls are not bowed just behind this board?

Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:54 PM
 
43,017 posts, read 50,768,899 times
Reputation: 28811
Quote:
Originally Posted by HalJordan View Post
My other concern is that the rest of the basement (aside from the garage) is finished. Instead of simply painting the foundation walls, they have placed some type of plaster-board over it for a nicer, finished look. How do I know that the walls are not bowed just behind this board?
That's the bad thing about finished basements. There is no way to know if the basement is completely underground.

I have known people who have purposely finished their basements to hide a bad foundation.

These homeowners will eventually find a buyer for the price they want or they will lower the price.

It doesn't sound like they are ready to lower the price yet. It all comes down to how long you want to wait it out.

Only you can decide if you want to move on and look for another house.
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:24 PM
 
Location: In a house
31 posts, read 59,215 times
Reputation: 23
Whoop whoop whoop, wait a minute here.

Where does it say that a person selling something has to fix everything before they can sell it. Yes it wouold be nice to get your dream home at your price with a turn key where all you have to do is move in.
But these people are trying to sell you their house as is , and if you want things fixed, you are going to have to fix them yourself or go elsewhere.

Where in the world have you ever seen a honest car dealer - where if the car was broke - he fixed it before he sold it to you? Most times they want to sell you a warranty and then when you bring it back, they pay for the parts and you pay for the labor and they can charge as much as they want for the labor - so basically they get paid to fix their own car after they sell it.

Basically this is what is happening with your house. You want the house at your price, but you also want the person selling it to you to fix everything before they sell it to you - so you do not have to put out any of your own money. Well mom and dad are not in the picture and my guess is that they held your hand from the time when you were little and now that you have to stand on your own two feet - you don't know how to do it and so you expect everything to be done for you.

A house is a big responsibility - even bigger then a car. Things can and will go bad all the time, and at the most inconvienient times. Like 2 Am in the morning when the furnace decides to stop working or a pipe breaks on the coldest day of the year or the roof leaks when it rains.

In this economy, you have to ask yourself, if this house is so wonderful, why are they selling it. My first guess would be because they are broke and they cannot make the payments anymore and there is a couple of things wrong with it and they cannot afford to fix them themselves and it would cost too much to bring in a contractor and all they are trying to do is get out from under it.
Let's face it, not everyone is equipped to be a homeowner and for some people it is easier for them to rent and complain to the landlord everytime something does not work - then to have to save their money and pay for the repairs themselves.

If you are unsure about this house, LEAVE. Run, don't walk!

I bought a old company house from my grandmothers estate. I paid very little money for the house. But because she was old and my family was tight, it needed everything replaced and right now. All the roofs, all the windows, the porches,build a bathroom, insulation in the walls, wiring, sheet rock, stud the walls - because the house is double plank. What started out as a cheap house quickly grew to the point of when I have her half a house done, I will have $80,000 into it. I could have bought a house up the road that was brand new for $60,000 and just paid the taxes and put a new roof on it and lived in it. But I thought I knew it all and I bought this old looser of a house and now I am stuck with it.
I couldn't get half out of it what I put into it. Yet it is mine and I do not owe anybody anything. I can fix it as I go along and I do not have to put all my money out at one time - like I would have if I would have bought the new house up the road. But I don't have a garage either.

So all I can say is that you need to take it slow and find the right house in the right location at the right price. Make sure that it is in the condition that is acceptable to you. Make sure that even when you buy it that you have money put aside for repairs that might come down the road.
Like others has said, there are people who would remodel just to hide defects. A 1/2 inch bow in the roof or on a wall is nothing to be concerned about.
The difference between manufactured trusses and framing might be as much as a inch and is still acceptable. Most manufactured homes has a mininum standard which is not very high.

When you lay cement blocks for a living, if you make a mistake on one course, you just make it up on the next course. You don't tear down the whole wall just because it is out of plumb 1/2 of a inch.
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:37 PM
Status: "Snow is coming for Christmas!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
70,138 posts, read 60,884,914 times
Reputation: 20235
You could get a second opinion from a second inspection. You could probably find a civil engineer who could evaluate this problem and tell you if it's cosmetic, inconsequetial or a big deal. It seems like the owners went to some effort to hide the problem, so I'd guess it's towards the latter end of the spectrum (towards a big deal). I can't tell you to wak away, but if it's likely to cause a lot of problems in the future, that's what I'd do.
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:18 PM
 
3 posts, read 11,981 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dream Rainbow 24 View Post
Whoop whoop whoop, wait a minute here.

Where does it say that a person selling something has to fix everything before they can sell it. Yes it wouold be nice to get your dream home at your price with a turn key where all you have to do is move in.
But these people are trying to sell you their house as is , and if you want things fixed, you are going to have to fix them yourself or go elsewhere.

Where in the world have you ever seen a honest car dealer - where if the car was broke - he fixed it before he sold it to you? Most times they want to sell you a warranty and then when you bring it back, they pay for the parts and you pay for the labor and they can charge as much as they want for the labor - so basically they get paid to fix their own car after they sell it.

Basically this is what is happening with your house. You want the house at your price, but you also want the person selling it to you to fix everything before they sell it to you - so you do not have to put out any of your own money. Well mom and dad are not in the picture and my guess is that they held your hand from the time when you were little and now that you have to stand on your own two feet - you don't know how to do it and so you expect everything to be done for you.

A house is a big responsibility - even bigger then a car. Things can and will go bad all the time, and at the most inconvienient times. Like 2 Am in the morning when the furnace decides to stop working or a pipe breaks on the coldest day of the year or the roof leaks when it rains.

In this economy, you have to ask yourself, if this house is so wonderful, why are they selling it. My first guess would be because they are broke and they cannot make the payments anymore and there is a couple of things wrong with it and they cannot afford to fix them themselves and it would cost too much to bring in a contractor and all they are trying to do is get out from under it.
Let's face it, not everyone is equipped to be a homeowner and for some people it is easier for them to rent and complain to the landlord everytime something does not work - then to have to save their money and pay for the repairs themselves.

If you are unsure about this house, LEAVE. Run, don't walk!

I bought a old company house from my grandmothers estate. I paid very little money for the house. But because she was old and my family was tight, it needed everything replaced and right now. All the roofs, all the windows, the porches,build a bathroom, insulation in the walls, wiring, sheet rock, stud the walls - because the house is double plank. What started out as a cheap house quickly grew to the point of when I have her half a house done, I will have $80,000 into it. I could have bought a house up the road that was brand new for $60,000 and just paid the taxes and put a new roof on it and lived in it. But I thought I knew it all and I bought this old looser of a house and now I am stuck with it.
I couldn't get half out of it what I put into it. Yet it is mine and I do not owe anybody anything. I can fix it as I go along and I do not have to put all my money out at one time - like I would have if I would have bought the new house up the road. But I don't have a garage either.

So all I can say is that you need to take it slow and find the right house in the right location at the right price. Make sure that it is in the condition that is acceptable to you. Make sure that even when you buy it that you have money put aside for repairs that might come down the road.
Like others has said, there are people who would remodel just to hide defects. A 1/2 inch bow in the roof or on a wall is nothing to be concerned about.
The difference between manufactured trusses and framing might be as much as a inch and is still acceptable. Most manufactured homes has a mininum standard which is not very high.

When you lay cement blocks for a living, if you make a mistake on one course, you just make it up on the next course. You don't tear down the whole wall just because it is out of plumb 1/2 of a inch.
Nobody said that it is their responsibility to fix it; however, it is their responsibility to disclose known problems with the house. That's the law. My point is that I'm about 1,000 into the house already (between loan origination fee / inspection). If they would have done what the law dictates, I may not have even gone this far. OR, I would have factored this into our negotiated price.
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,894 posts, read 10,266,714 times
Reputation: 4721
Basically, it all comes down to money. If you agreed to a price contingent upon inspection, then upon inspection they don't want to negotiate AT ALL, then that's a big increase in the price.

There's a difference between not fixing anything and not negotiating, though. It's okay for them to not actually fix it per se if they're going to accept a reasonable reduction in the price to offset at least some of the repairs. When I bought my house, the sellers fixed zero of the few things we found in the inspection, but the price was cut $1000 from our previously agreed upon number.

If they're not willing to do even that despite finding some $$$$ worth of repair, then I'd say it's time to walk. I mean, unless you enjoy a big last-minute price increase and are willing to accept that. I wouldn't be.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:40 PM
Status: ".Thread-Crapper!!!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Great White North Hills
8,528 posts, read 7,786,385 times
Reputation: 4749
My guess is they based their asking price on the current conditions of the house. If everything was perfect, would you pay more?
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:55 PM
Status: "Snow is coming for Christmas!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
70,138 posts, read 60,884,914 times
Reputation: 20235
It sounds like they were trying to cover up. Not cool.
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