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Old 08-10-2008, 06:09 PM
 
6 posts, read 15,843 times
Reputation: 12
Angry Home buying Nightmare! Help please~!

After renting a home for a year and looking for a new home for a couple of months my husband and I found what we thought was the home of our dreams, we made an offer and the seller accepted! We got this house at an awesome price, the inside has been completely rentovated and you can tell it has been cared for... we were thrilled until the home inspection came back.

The home inspector found active termites in the sill plate and 2 of the wood members. He said the sellers would have to hire a contractor to come out to physically lift up the house to take out the one piece of wood and replace it as well as any other damaged area. He did note that one piece of wood was the only he could see damage in.

He also found fungi on the wood members of the crawl space, which he was puzzled by because the moisture level was a very low 11%. The only thing we could figure out is that the vents in the crawl space had been closed, so maybe there wasn't enough air flow. He said we could spray bleach water on it and get rid of it.

The roof will also need to be replaced soon, there is not proper ventilation in the attic and because of that it has aged a lot faster than a normal roof would. There are no signs of leakage.

So after hearing all of this we got freaked out, primary by the termites...My aunt and grandfather are both contractors and said that it was be an easy 5 grand to fix and repair the termite problem! And what if the walls crack or something when they are lifting the home?? What if the sellers dont realize the cost of fixing this and just hire anyone with a license to slap something together.

We ended up sumbitting our repair request hoping the sellers would say no to something so we could legally terminate the contract and they did. They refused to fix a window with a broken seal so we immediately sent the termination paperwork. They did say they would fix everything else we asked for though.. We thought everything was done and over but then sellers agent emailed us saying that they would fix the window and therefore they will not sign the termination agreement. I didnt think you could come back and counter offer a reapir after the buyer sent the termination!

I then contacted our Real Estate Attorney and he said we were perfectly with in our rights to terminate the contract, I relayed this info to the sellers agent and she responded that the sellers were staying in their position and would not sign the termination or release our earnest money!!

Im so confused right now, we really like this house but everyone just keeps telling me to walk away but now we cant even do that! My grandmother called me this morning and told us it would turn into a money pit. My dad says go for if the sellers are willing to fix everything and then my mom called and told me she doesnt want to hear it when something goes wrong and we should fight for this termination! Our realtor doesn;t understand what the issue is...and I am just conflicted by everything! We have to be out of our rental soon, we have no dryer here and all of ours things are packed.

Can someone help me, does proceeding in this sound like a bad idea?
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
19,395 posts, read 30,242,542 times
Reputation: 16331
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCmom0507 View Post
After renting a home for a year and looking for a new home for a couple of months my husband and I found what we thought was the home of our dreams, we made an offer and the seller accepted! We got this house at an awesome price, the inside has been completely rentovated and you can tell it has been cared for... we were thrilled until the home inspection came back.

The home inspector found active termites in the sill plate and 2 of the wood members. He said the sellers would have to hire a contractor to come out to physically lift up the house to take out the one piece of wood and replace it as well as any other damaged area. He did note that one piece of wood was the only he could see damage in.

He also found fungi on the wood members of the crawl space, which he was puzzled by because the moisture level was a very low 11%. The only thing we could figure out is that the vents in the crawl space had been closed, so maybe there wasn't enough air flow. He said we could spray bleach water on it and get rid of it.

The roof will also need to be replaced soon, there is not proper ventilation in the attic and because of that it has aged a lot faster than a normal roof would. There are no signs of leakage.

So after hearing all of this we got freaked out, primary by the termites...My aunt and grandfather are both contractors and said that it was be an easy 5 grand to fix and repair the termite problem! And what if the walls crack or something when they are lifting the home?? What if the sellers dont realize the cost of fixing this and just hire anyone with a license to slap something together.

We ended up sumbitting our repair request hoping the sellers would say no to something so we could legally terminate the contract and they did. They refused to fix a window with a broken seal so we immediately sent the termination paperwork. They did say they would fix everything else we asked for though.. We thought everything was done and over but then sellers agent emailed us saying that they would fix the window and therefore they will not sign the termination agreement. I didnt think you could come back and counter offer a reapir after the buyer sent the termination!

I then contacted our Real Estate Attorney and he said we were perfectly with in our rights to terminate the contract, I relayed this info to the sellers agent and she responded that the sellers were staying in their position and would not sign the termination or release our earnest money!!

Im so confused right now, we really like this house but everyone just keeps telling me to walk away but now we cant even do that! My grandmother called me this morning and told us it would turn into a money pit. My dad says go for if the sellers are willing to fix everything and then my mom called and told me she doesnt want to hear it when something goes wrong and we should fight for this termination! Our realtor doesn;t understand what the issue is...and I am just conflicted by everything! We have to be out of our rental soon, we have no dryer here and all of ours things are packed.

Can someone help me, does proceeding in this sound like a bad idea?
If your Buyers' Agent is lost in this, demand to talk to the broker-in-charge ASAP.

Why do you have to talk to the Sellers' agent at all?
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:37 PM
 
9,064 posts, read 18,327,477 times
Reputation: 8346
I agree with Mike. If your agent is confused on how to handle this you need to speak to somebody above him/her (Their Broker in Charge) to get some answers.

By the way, did you have a Cost of Repair Contingency in your contract? When we bought a house our agent put something in to the effect that if the repairs identified exceeded $5K we could walk away even if the seller was willing to do the repairs. It didn't matter in our case, but it was nice to know we had that option. I am under the impression this type of contigency is fairly common here in NC. I'm not a RE pro so don't take my word for it. Check with your Realtor or the Broker in charge. Good Luck!
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:44 PM
 
6 posts, read 15,843 times
Reputation: 12
We do have a cost of repair contingency, in the amount of $2000.00, We would have to hire a contractor to come out and do estimates. The bigger problem is that now Im doubting my decsion to walk away from it..I just feel like Im not sure what direction Im going with this anymore!
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Southeast US
1,229 posts, read 3,243,422 times
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KCmom0507

The fact that you are seriously doubting the decision to proceed with closing tells me that you should push for termination and walk away.

Just my little observation...
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:00 PM
 
Location: North Raleigh
820 posts, read 1,843,406 times
Reputation: 468
If you feel like you still want the house ask for access to the property to hire your own contractors for proper estimates. You need to agree to have the problems fixed correctly. The seller can either go with the companies you've gotten estimates from or go with theirs, but compare them and make sure no short cuts are made.

As far as termination, did they submit the refusal to repair the requested item in writing? Actually, I wouldn't even fool around with that part of it, your cost of repair contingency should be enough all by itself.

I think you can do what you want to do here, just don't jerk the sellers around and be honest; It is important to make the right decision for yourself but you should also be courteous as these people need to move on as well. There is probably a date in your contact where you need to terminate by or forfeit earnest money so you have until then to decide. Good luck!
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
7,362 posts, read 14,269,830 times
Reputation: 4517
I personally think it sounds like too many non-professionals are giving you too much emotional advice and that is playing into your indecision (your mom is guilt tripping you into doing what she thinks you should do.) If you dad is a contractor and he says he thinks it's OK, I would be more likely to listen to him considering he probably knows what he's talking about. You need to work with facts.
IMO, it sounds like you like everything about the house. It sounds like the problems are fixable and it sounds like the sellers are willing to work with you on fixing the problems. I think I would go ahead and hire the contractor to give you a real estimate on the costs and risks involved in fixing the problems. Then you can move forward from there and keep making individual decisions based on the facts you are presented with at the time. The cost of repair contingency is really all you need at this point to get you out of the deal if it really does turn out to be lemon.
So, I guess my advice is: go ahead and hire a contractor and have them evaluate it if you really do like the house.

Last edited by lamishra; 08-10-2008 at 08:18 PM..
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:16 PM
 
1,785 posts, read 2,503,226 times
Reputation: 2432
Default Bingo!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamishra View Post
I personally think it sounds like too many non-professionals are giving you too much emotional advice and that is playing into your decision (your mom is guilt tripping you into doing what she thinks you should do.) If you dad is a contractor and he says he thinks it's OK, I would be more likely to listen to him considering he probably knows what he's talking about.
IMO, it sounds like you like everything about the house. It sounds like the problems are fixable and it sounds like the sellers are willing to work with you on fixing the problems. I think I would go ahead and hire the contractor to give you a real estimate on the costs and risks involved in fixing the problems. Then you can move forward from there and keep making individual decisions based on the facts you are presented with at the time. The cost of repair contingency is really all you need at this point to get you out of the deal if it really does turn out to be lemon.
So, I guess my advice is: go ahead and hire a contractor and have them evaluate it if you really do like the house.
Lamishra speaks the truth. Too many cooks spoil the pot and too many contractors confuse the home buying process.

You have the right to have the repair work inspected after it's completed. I know because of what we went through when buying in North Carolina last year. If the work is/was done satisfactorily than that's it. Every house is potentially a money pit. But with access to all these home repair experts you shouldn't have much trouble getting free or cheap labor to help.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Holly Springs
3,507 posts, read 5,828,087 times
Reputation: 2299
Lift the house to fix a sill plate? Not nearly as bad as it sounds. Temporary house jack($20 x 2) under the the joists for support while old sill is removed, a pry bar to remove old sill, a new sill, and some nails. No big deal. Send me pics of the area if you can and I can give you a more accurate view of what you are getting into. I would recommend a good termite company to understand the scope of the infestation.
a1houseinspectors@gmail.com


ps- keeping crawlspace vents closed and having 11% moisture level is fantastic!
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,354 posts, read 17,413,853 times
Reputation: 6043
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacredgrooves View Post
Lift the house to fix a sill plate? Not nearly as bad as it sounds. Temporary house jack($20 x 2) under the the joists for support while old sill is removed, a pry bar to remove old sill, a new sill, and some nails. No big deal. Send me pics of the area if you can and I can give you a more accurate view of what you are getting into. I would recommend a good termite company to understand the scope of the infestation.
a1houseinspectors@gmail.com


ps- keeping crawlspace vents closed and having 11% moisture level is fantastic!
Ok...here is a dumb question...why remove the sill plate? Can you just add a "sister" one? If it has termites, that can be treated.

Termites are not a big deal here. We have them in nearly every other house!

Vicki
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