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Old 09-27-2009, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Long Island
311 posts, read 846,634 times
Reputation: 297

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What would you do? Are these to many problems to deal with? I estimate roughly $30-$35K in repairs. The home was listed at $359K and the accepted offer was $336.5K. We are paying cash. Should we renogotitate the costs, or just walk away?

1. The deck needs to be torn down and rebuilt

2. The sunroom is sagging due to the construction of the deck and can be seen by looking at the windows. This needs to be redone

3. The electrical system needs to be upgraded to 200 amps

4. Potential termite problems that cannot be seen due to the finished apartment and basement downstairs. Also potential flooding problems that cannot be determined because of this.

5. The insulation needs to be improved from 3 1/2 inches to 6 inches

6. There is visible termite damage to the sill plate and header beam.

7. We would have to get a COO to replace the room and for the sunroom too This will also increase our property taxes

8. The ground adjacent to the sections of the foundation walls are backsloped and eroded

9. Interior door of garage must be replaced and have a fire proof door put in.

10. Rear wall of garage must be 5/8 inch sheet rock. It is currently 3/8 inch.

11. Need to discontinue the makshift and non profressional wiring and replace it with wiring that is up to code

12. Roof needs to be redone within 3 years

13. Exterior service wire is frayed, exposing conductors and needs to be replaced.

14. Trees on garage side of lawn need to be trimmed or taken down as electrical wires go right through them.

15. Master bathroom does not contain electrical outlet

16. Rewiring of electric garage door as extension cords are not up to code.

17. Active leaks found in main toilet

18. Cesspool is close to needing to be replaced

In addition to the problems outlined in the report, we also need to replace the carpeting and repaint due to the dog and smoking in the house.
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh--Home of the 6 time Super Bowl Champions!
11,309 posts, read 10,957,566 times
Reputation: 4913
WOW--that's a HUGE grocery list! I would reduce my offer significantly or insist they be fixed prior to closing. Some of those items should be "Code" items such as #'s 9, 10, 11, 15, 16. Code items (at least in my state) need to be fixed prior to closing by the seller!!
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:00 PM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,086,895 times
Reputation: 17978
Many oif those seem to be bring the home to surent code or satndards. not neccessily require of a older home i would thnk. inspoectors often point out potentail problems that may or may not effect the home/buyer.Soen fo those actually sound like teh homne wass built before the area was effected by any codes tho.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
1,155 posts, read 2,914,588 times
Reputation: 366
Wow, quite a large list, and as mentioned in one post, bringing up to code is one thing, and I would be supprised if seller will concede that amount, but you want know until you try. Sounds like your repair estimate, does not include some of the hidden damages, like the termites, so I would be very concerned about that, and want more inspection to that, as that could be a deal breaker. Good luck, and keep us posted.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:26 PM
 
175 posts, read 600,410 times
Reputation: 113
Wow, you'd have to really be in love with this house to take all this on. Since I don't know how the house appeals to you in other aspects (location, curb appeal, price/value, floor plan), I couldn't really judge your situation, but on the surface, it better fill a lot of your criteria to accept the problems you've listed... even understanding that some of the things on the list are total inspector CYA notations. Good luck.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
4,238 posts, read 6,198,081 times
Reputation: 10092
I'd look for another home. For that kind of money, you don't want to walk in and have to spend thousands just to make it livible.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 69,929,185 times
Reputation: 27520
That list makes it seem like it's a fixer-upper but the price sure doesn't.
IMO..I'd walk.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Barrington
41,939 posts, read 31,759,360 times
Reputation: 14090
Is this a foreclosed property?

How old is this house?

What's the building code in this area? Most structures build before a specific code do not have to be brought to code unless there is a potential safety issue involved.

Were you planning on paying cash or financing this purchase? I wonder if a lender will finance it, given it's current state?

If this place were in top condition, what would it be worth in the current market?
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:08 PM
 
Location: North Texas
23,618 posts, read 31,183,401 times
Reputation: 26682
Whether you can renegotiate the price of the house is going to depend on the sellers' circumstances. Not all of those are code violations (or would not be around here) and I bet some of the items you listed are grandfathered in. If the sellers have to have a certain amount for the house to break even, they may not budge on the price or they may feel that the condition of the house is already priced in.

Good luck. It sounds as if the house may not have been as well-maintained as it should have been.
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
1,856 posts, read 5,681,382 times
Reputation: 3066
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucew View Post
What would you do? Are these to many problems to deal with? I estimate roughly $30-$35K in repairs. The home was listed at $359K and the accepted offer was $336.5K. We are paying cash. Should we renogotitate the costs, or just walk away?

1. The deck needs to be torn down and rebuilt

2. The sunroom is sagging due to the construction of the deck and can be seen by looking at the windows. This needs to be redone

3. The electrical system needs to be upgraded to 200 amps

4. Potential termite problems that cannot be seen due to the finished apartment and basement downstairs. Also potential flooding problems that cannot be determined because of this.

5. The insulation needs to be improved from 3 1/2 inches to 6 inches

6. There is visible termite damage to the sill plate and header beam.

7. We would have to get a COO to replace the room and for the sunroom too This will also increase our property taxes

8. The ground adjacent to the sections of the foundation walls are backsloped and eroded

9. Interior door of garage must be replaced and have a fire proof door put in.

10. Rear wall of garage must be 5/8 inch sheet rock. It is currently 3/8 inch.

11. Need to discontinue the makshift and non profressional wiring and replace it with wiring that is up to code

12. Roof needs to be redone within 3 years

13. Exterior service wire is frayed, exposing conductors and needs to be replaced.

14. Trees on garage side of lawn need to be trimmed or taken down as electrical wires go right through them.

15. Master bathroom does not contain electrical outlet

16. Rewiring of electric garage door as extension cords are not up to code.

17. Active leaks found in main toilet

18. Cesspool is close to needing to be replaced

In addition to the problems outlined in the report, we also need to replace the carpeting and repaint due to the dog and smoking in the house.
Given the electrical issues noted, and specifically number 15, I would expect this is an older home. It would help to know the city, state and age of the home to provide better answers but here goes based on the list above:

1. and 2. - Not enough information there about its condition to tell. However, just looking at windows to detect a sagging deck and sunroom might not be enough. If the sunroom has a pitched roof, with a ridge, is there a visible sag in the ridge? Are there sagging spots in the floor, is the trim around floor and ceiling inside, and the fascia/frieze boards outside, separating at the joints/corners/etc.? Are the substructure members (supports, beams, joists) damaged, rotting, over spanned and unable to handle the structure? If you are seeing these, as well as other indicators, then quite possibly the deck and sunroom above will require repairs. But is it going to require full replacement?

3. - Even under the 2009 International Residential Codes the minimum required services is only 100 Amps. This is generally sufficient for most average sized homes with average usage requirements. If you have a larger home with a higher electrical requirement (not really seen all that often) then this one is a stretch. Since we don't know the homes size, intended usage now and with potential upgrades, it would be difficult to say. Either way it would require a licensed Electrician or Electrical Engineer to perform the load calculations for it.

4. This one is definitely a CYA statement. However, you should always hire a professional and reputable pest treatment company to perform an inspection for Wood Destroying Insects (WDI) and Organisms (WDO). Never use the Inspector with that extra certification as the professionals who treat the issue can do a better inspection job in that area. By the way, did the report note anything such as "There have been signs of potential WDI found....."?

5. I would expect they are talking about attic insulation. A thickness of 3.5" is roughly an R10 (depends on insulation type, age, settling, etc.). Can it be improved? Absolutely! Does it need or is it required to be improved? Not necessarily for a sale. It is always a good thing to have more insulation, up to an acceptable/prudent level. Not sure what region of the country you are in but that is, BY TODAYS STANDARDS NOT YESTERYEARS STANDARDS, deemed insufficient. By yesteryears standards (which your house most likely falls in) it might very well have been acceptable.

6. Was the damage old or new? Was this on the disclosure? Was the home treated before? The sill is damaged but to what extent, does it appear minor or otherwise? Is the sill part of the main houes, the add-on deck/sunroom or a detached structure such as a garage? A good contractor can replace that if significantly damaged but it can be pricey for the labor. I would have a contractor give you a repair estimate for this.

7. It appears by this statement that possibly these add-ons were not properly permitted work. Also if you do have to tear down the deck/sunroom and rebuild it then it will most likely need a new permit which can potentially trigger a tax increase on the property. The important thing here is if the work was unpermitted it might also be improper and that may be one of the reasons for the sagging deck/sunroom structure. If the add-on work was a feature that increased the homes asking price/value then you do need to be careful with this item. Speak with your RE Agent about how to treat its value in any counteroffer. Just as a side note I always try to check for previous permits on homes I inspect. If during the inspection I suspect potential unpermitted work I most certainly do advise the client and will also give them the potential implications of the work.

8. This is always an issue as the grade should slope down and away from the home to provide proper drainage. It is easily correctable, most times, but check the surrounding area to see if you have the ability to even grade it down and away. Also it is apparent that water might possibly have been ponding or flowing more than acceptably near the foundation. If you had any issues with basement wall cracks, etc., then the finished basement could have potential hidden water damage. Depending on the current and recent past weather conditions you could have these checked with Thermal Imaging and moisture meters. If the issue was severe enough it should already have manifested itself in damaged wall coverings, baseboards, floor coverings, etc.

9. and 10. - This is another code item and depending on the age of your home it may pre-date this requirement. Is it nice to have? Yes. Is it safer to have? yes. Is it necessary to replace it? Only if your home was built during this requirement and/or your local municipality requires it as a condition for sale or to obtain a new COO.

11. A generic statement that the Inspector has found various wiring deficiencies. Hopefully he/she has listed these for you. I would have a licensed Electrician review them, if they were problems with the homes installed wiring, and provide cost estimates for repairs.

12. I would call a reputable roofer and ask them to give you an average cost for your area for a roof replacement per square (100 Sq. Ft. of roof surface). Make sure they are quoting a tear-off and replace with a 30 or 40 year shingle. Ask them to include an average cost to replace all flashings with that as well. A general calculation to figure your roofs square footage, and excess for the roof job, is take the area of the home directly under the roof and multiply that by 1.1. Divide that number by 100 to get the number of squares. Multiply that by the roofers estimate. This will get you into a ballpark figure for replacing the roof.

13. Your electrical service is overhead drop. When the electrician comes in to estimate the other repairs have them estimate this repair.

14. A lot of people don't think this is an important item but it is. Trees swating in a wind can rip electrical wires down easily. The local utility is, most times, responsible for the wiring from the pole to the home. If your trees trash the wires they might charge you for repairs and possibly to trim the trees away. Speak with a tree trimmer about how much they will need to cut away and what the cost will be. It is always possible the entire tree might have to be removed depending on the situation at hand.

15, 16 - Another item for the electrician to estimate for you. It really is handy having an outlet in your bathroom and later you will understand how handy. But do you need it? Not necessarily. As for the garage door opener that is an easy fix for an electrician.

17. - You would have to have a plumber check this out as I am not sure how the Inspector determined the leak was inside the toilet unless it is leaking around seals at the base or elsewhere and onto the floor. A toilet repair (i.e. replacing base seals) is not a $75 job. The plumber might have other issues found when repairing this.

18. I'm not touching this with a 10' pole! I hope the Inspector is licensed in septic system inspections and/or installations/repairs. Depending on your location they might be required to have a license. If this is a valid item it can be very costly to repair/replace. I would highly advise having a professional septic company, experienced in cesspools, inspect the system. That would mean potentially pumping the cesspool which can be expensive in itself.

So far from what I read above you need to have further checks/estimates from a:

Roofer
Electrician
Plumber
General Contractor
Experienced Engineer or contractor in drainage and grading
Tree trimmers
Septic/cesspool specialist

Add to this list that I would check the permits for the home to make sure the previous work had been properly permitted.

You have quite a list there and a short time to do it in. If you really love the house then speak with your Realtor about any needed extensions on your option period. Also have your Realtor check with the sellers/Seller's Realtor if they already have some of these items ientified, etc., etc.

I certainly can't tell you whether to buy the house or not but have a long talk with your Realtor. That's what they are there for!
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