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Old 03-19-2016, 03:16 PM
 
21 posts, read 11,293 times
Reputation: 12

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Hi! I posted a while back about a house we are currently under contract on having an unsafe fireplace and an electrical panel in the bathroom. Permits were pulled for all recent upgrades except for the bathroom and an electrician verified the non code status of that panel. The fireplace was listed as working on the disclosure and is a big selling point for us, but an inspection revealed that the fireplace is not safe to use at all at this point. Among other things, the ash dump was drywalled over in the basement so needs to be mortared closed. The foundation and roof are all in great shape, and other than an old AC, water heater, and several small electrical things we can take care of ourselves, there aren't any major concerns (the house was built in 1960). We paid to have two inspections done on the fireplace to get the best price. We are asking the seller to cover to move the electrical panel by a licensed electrician, Radon mitigation (it was close to 7), and for the fireplace to be brought up to safe working order. All of these add up to around 6K. We paid almost asking price, and have been the only offer on the house.

6K seems like a lot, but to us these big items are a pretty big deal. The panel will have to be moved if we ever decide to sell, the radon is a no brainer, and the fireplace because it was listed as being in working order and we are paying at the higher end of homes in that neighborhood. Are we asking for too much? I know only the seller can answer that with what they choose to fix but we feel that we are being reasonable.
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Old 03-19-2016, 03:31 PM
 
Location: My House
34,802 posts, read 31,320,679 times
Reputation: 25965
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestBuyer View Post
Hi! I posted a while back about a house we are currently under contract on having an unsafe fireplace and an electrical panel in the bathroom. Permits were pulled for all recent upgrades except for the bathroom and an electrician verified the non code status of that panel. The fireplace was listed as working on the disclosure and is a big selling point for us, but an inspection revealed that the fireplace is not safe to use at all at this point. Among other things, the ash dump was drywalled over in the basement so needs to be mortared closed. The foundation and roof are all in great shape, and other than an old AC, water heater, and several small electrical things we can take care of ourselves, there aren't any major concerns (the house was built in 1960). We paid to have two inspections done on the fireplace to get the best price. We are asking the seller to cover to move the electrical panel by a licensed electrician, Radon mitigation (it was close to 7), and for the fireplace to be brought up to safe working order. All of these add up to around 6K. We paid almost asking price, and have been the only offer on the house.

6K seems like a lot, but to us these big items are a pretty big deal. The panel will have to be moved if we ever decide to sell, the radon is a no brainer, and the fireplace because it was listed as being in working order and we are paying at the higher end of homes in that neighborhood. Are we asking for too much? I know only the seller can answer that with what they choose to fix but we feel that we are being reasonable.
You can ask for whatever you want. There is no "too much." If the inspection found that they are damaged/not up to code, you can obviously feel secure in asking that they be repaired.

Doesn't mean they'll do it, of course.
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:16 PM
 
Location: City Data Land
16,654 posts, read 10,059,484 times
Reputation: 32107
Ask and ye shall receive. . . maybe. But if you don't ask, the seller has no way of knowing your desires. It sounds like you're in a good negotiating position, since you offered near asking price and there were no other offers.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:56 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
33,473 posts, read 60,852,619 times
Reputation: 37132
That $6,000 is not much. Any seller having to pay for a new roof will have to spend more than that. It depends on how anxious they are to sell. They are more likely to go for it if they have already started a deal on as new home, but if not in any hurry, might refuse, and hold off for a better offer from someone else that would help them cover the cost of the work.
That seems unlikely since it sounds like your market is pretty slow. Here it would still sell for over asking in a few days despite the problems. Go ahead and ask for it, you have nothing to lose by trying.
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
11,304 posts, read 9,591,591 times
Reputation: 16662
The OP has the perfect, logical situation. The inspection revealed some situations that have to be addressed. Myself, I would rather be able to have items fixed to my satisfaction so I would go for a price reduction. Also the items are not stopping one form closing and moving in.

I say offer less, move in, and have the items fixed at your convenience.
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Georgia
4,574 posts, read 4,573,716 times
Reputation: 15858
It's reasonable, but I'd be leery of them having the repairs done, since they don't seem to be the type to go by the book, in the first place.

Going for a lower price doesn't really put money in your pocket for the repairs -- it's just a tiny bit less in the amount you're getting for a mortgage.

One option, would be to gather estimates for the work being done, and ask for the work to be done prior to closing by a repairman of your choice. (For example, if the average of the estimates was $6,000, and the workmen you wanted ended up being $7,000, then ask for the $6,000, and pay the difference.)

Another option is to escrow the money and have it paid out after closing so you can do the repairs after closing. Fewer are doing that, though.

Are the closing costs high enough that the seller could pay $6,000 in your closing costs, so that you'd have the money free to make the repairs after closing?

The radon is something they are going to have to do no matter who buys the property, now that it's been disclosed. The others seem to be safety issues, so those would have to be addressed no matter who bought the property, I'd think.

Time to start negotiating.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,865 posts, read 59,508,472 times
Reputation: 19239
I would much rather choose who to do the work! Get an escrow for the costs as others have suggested.
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:05 PM
 
21 posts, read 11,293 times
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Thanks everyone for all of the advice! We heard word back today. We got the house for 3k less than asking, 3k (of 5) in closing costs, and 4k to be put in an escrow account so we can have the repairs done ourselves. It will leave us with about $1,500 to cover ourselves for the fireplace. We probably could have haggled more but we feel comfortable with their counter! We love the house and probably would have still gone through had they offered less. There is a serious shortage of houses in our market and an even bigger shortage of houses that fit all of our criteria.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:32 PM
 
21 posts, read 11,293 times
Reputation: 12
The appraisal came back same as purchase price (which I know is common), and they are leaving brand new kitchen appliances and a washer and dryer. We love the house and whether or not we could have shaved a few thousand off isn't really important! Very excited.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:01 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
1,758 posts, read 3,384,074 times
Reputation: 3055
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestBuyer View Post
The appraisal came back same as purchase price (which I know is common), and they are leaving brand new kitchen appliances and a washer and dryer. We love the house and whether or not we could have shaved a few thousand off isn't really important! Very excited.
So happy for you!! Sounds like you got a good deal on the house, too.
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