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Old 06-20-2011, 02:09 PM
 
4 posts, read 16,014 times
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Hi Everyone,
I'm a first time home buyer-- have found a house, negotiated a price, and then the home inspection reveals that the water heater & 15 y.o. roof needs to be replaced at a cost of ~$1500-1800 for water heater and 2800-3000 for rubber roof over flat roof.

My real estate agent says that usually buyers re-negotiate if total repairs are >$5000. I'm prob gonna try to re-negotiate for the roof or have them replace it, but what are your thoughts/experiences?

Right now, we're at 529k

Thanks
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Tempe, Arizona
4,511 posts, read 7,380,083 times
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You need to read your contract for what your options and requirements are for inspection issues. Here, there is no $ limit on negotiations, although the goal is to strike a balance between items that are critical, such as the roof, and miscellaneous stuff that can easily be taken care of by the buyer.

Why so much for a water heater? $1500 seems extremely high.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,901 posts, read 6,610,401 times
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I agree with rj.

The price of the house does not matter, although one could argue that at that price, the amount you are discussing is less than 1% of the price. If you could afford over half a mil for your first house, the few thousand you are discussing should not be insurmountable.

The real factors here are;

1) Are there other buyers you are competing with?
2) How bad do you want the house?
3) How bad do the sellers want to sell it to you?
4) What are the REAL conditions of both the roof and the water heater? Are they currently leaking, or is it just close to the "end of useful life"?

That amount IS high for a water heater.....at least to replace it with the same type/quality that would be "old". You cannot factor replacing let's say a conventional 40 gal tank unit with a state of the art hybrid or tankless.

If I were the buyer I would want to do these repairs myself, so I know it was done right and not just given to the cheapest bid just to sell the house.....

Frank
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:36 PM
 
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Absolutely renegotiate all the way until you CLOSE! The homeowner is fully aware of the problems he has with his property and should have told you ahead of time or he's simply waiting for you to approach the issue right now so go ahead and renegotiate. I have done it myself on all 3 properties i have owned and it worked.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,901 posts, read 6,610,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gersh740 View Post
Absolutely renegotiate all the way until you CLOSE! The homeowner is fully aware of the problems he has with his property and should have told you ahead of time or he's simply waiting for you to approach the issue right now so go ahead and renegotiate. I have done it myself on all 3 properties i have owned and it worked.
While I do not disagree with renegotiating, how can you say the homeowner is fully aware of these two items needing repair? I've done hundreds of inspections and some homeowners do not even know where the water heater IS in their home, and how many homeowners have EVER walked all over their roof? The questions I posted above are all factors to consider in negotiating.

Frank
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:49 PM
 
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Are you kidding me? You are prepared to sink $549,0000 into a house and "repairs" that might not even be 1% of the price are worth renegotiation???

If you had something approaching 5% of the agreed to price I MIGHT be with you. Sure, I understand that $5k is hardly "change in the sofa cushions" but in my neck of the woods the repairs that constiture a MINOR fraction of the purchase price and generally considered part of the normal "costs of moving / upgrading".

The roof is 15 years old -- that sort of lifespan is NOT uncommonly short for a FLAT roof installed with low / mid grade techniques -- if it is not catastrophically failed you simply BUDGET for its replacemment at some point over the next couple of years. Similarly the water heater is probably NOT in need of IMMEADIATE replacement -- I can just about gurantee that if it was LEAKING and rusted out the seller would have HAD to replace it, what your inspection report almost certainly says is that it is at the end of its expected lifespan. I have a a client with an electric water that, knock on wood, is still going strong since 1970. That things probably had a 10 year warranty tops, and an expected lifespan of maybe 12-15 years. If / when it leaks it will need replacement but why expect the seller to put in a new one "just because"???

It is not like you are some down and out buyer with no ability to afford these repairs, is it? Are you seriously prepared to walk away from this property over such piddling stuff? These are NOT hidden defects, these things that any well prepared buyer SHOULD have anticipated being listed as "end of life"...
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
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Thanks Chet....I was basically thinking the same thing.

Frank
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,901 posts, read 6,610,401 times
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Jetblack,
Neither of these items are dealbreakers, so it comes down to how bad you want the house, and how good that price is, etc.

Since the water heater is not leaking, but just near the expected end of it's useful life, I would just budget the replacement within the near future.

As to the roof, you say it is not leaking now. While ponding is not desirable or best practice, I have seen many flat roofs that had some small degree of ponding. If it is not too much, dries quickly, etc, it is not that much of an issue.

Personally I do not like flat roofs, as they are more prone to problems and upkeep, but that too would be something I would just budget for. If you buy the home I would suggest speaking to and getting a few professional opinions of the current roof situation from a qualified flat roofing contractor.

Good luck!!

Frank
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:11 PM
 
4 posts, read 16,014 times
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Thanks for the speedy replies
I've gotten many different opinions about this.
Actually, I was ok with doing repairs myself since $5K is not a deal breaker & that's what I told my agent, but so many people are telling me just to re-negotiate and this is a buyer's market and blahblah... haha just wanted to get more opinions
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:13 PM
 
4 posts, read 16,014 times
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thanks everyone for your input, and thank you Frank!
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