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Old 02-09-2013, 08:37 AM
2,856 posts, read 10,433,028 times
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If I was to buy a 700K house, I would require it to have a working fireplace personally. But maybe not everyone would.... I suppose it's personal preference.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:13 AM
Location: Connecticut
34,930 posts, read 56,935,296 times
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If you have an agent they should be able to tell you what the value of a fireplace is. Here in New England, for some odd reason, having a fireplace is very important. It is some sort of tradition thing. I can only guess that this is an older house and that the chimney does not meet current codes. You still might want to seek a second opinion. If you feel this house is right for you, I would say do what you can to fix the problem. Jay
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:09 AM
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I would get an estimate from someone who specializes in restoration of fireplaces before you decide. A few different estimates wouldn't be a bad idea. If you choose to purchase, make sure you deduct for the complete restoration and maybe a bit more for your trouble. The sellers know this problem can be a deal breaker for a lot of people. If it were me, I'd walk away but I find fireplaces can be a pain in the neck anyway when it comes to maintenance. And the chimney cleaning/maintenance business can be filled with scammers, so be careful.

Shouldn't the realtor for the seller have a duty to disclose this is a non working fireplace to prospective buyers?
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:13 AM
35,095 posts, read 51,230,433 times
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Personally I would not give anyone money AFTER they lied to me about something as simple as the fireplace working or not. Hard to say what else they have not told you that would not be found with an inspection.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:16 AM
6,500 posts, read 6,035,382 times
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I dont want to come off the wrong way here, but if you can afford a 700k home, wouldnt it be worth it just to keep looking? Ive heard Fairfield is an expensive place, but even so, it cant be hard to find 700k houses that have pretty much anything you would want.

Id walk away and get another house if it were me. It just seems from the outside looking in, you are in a position financially to have plenty to chose from.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:58 AM
Location: Connecticut
1,289 posts, read 1,975,155 times
Reputation: 1502
There are vent-free gas fireplaces that you could put in. Talk to your real estate agent about how this changes the value.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:10 AM
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 33,029,371 times
Reputation: 28903
Point 1: It was advertised as a working fireplace, meaning that the current owners are presumably using it.
Point 2: It was the inspector who deemed that it should not be used. So the current owners are not lying.

If you want the house AND a working fireplace, the current owners should be asked to absorb the cost of repairing it. If they won't do that, I'd walk away -- you don't want to be in the position of then selling the house and have the same problems as you're now facing as the buyer.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:37 PM
1,844 posts, read 2,423,364 times
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Don't talk to your realtor about a darn thing concerning the chimney. Keep strictly mum about what you are thinking. All your realtor wants to do is sell the house. And yes, she likely knew the fireplace cannot be made functional unless this was Day Two of the listing. The owners surely weren't going to volunteer the information. NET: the house is functionally obsolete. Walk away.

Get another opinion and written estimates if it will make you feel better. But do not rely on her referrals. She already lied to you once, and you are short-timers here. After she collects her commission, you are of no further use to her.

I'm going with your DH's thinking.

Good luck.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:49 PM
5,064 posts, read 15,899,308 times
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I'd walk away from the house, it could be a hard sell in the future. Most people in New England prefer a wood-burning fireplace. I don't think it's a matter of "tradition", I just personally don't like anything about gas fireplaces whatsoever. They just don't have the same smell/feel/aura. We burn a fire most nights a week all winter long, I wouldn't buy a house without one.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:34 PM
Location: Northern California
2,496 posts, read 3,246,983 times
Reputation: 2946
For a couple of thousand you could have a nice wood-burning stove with it's own vent pipe. They are much more efficient than masonry fireplaces and you can still enjoy a view of wood and flames.
Im considering installing one in my home even though the 1950's fireplace works fine. My 2c worth.
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