Just came out of a four-hour inspection. Aside from being exhausted (there's alot to know about operating a house!), I'm a little depressed. We've just wrapped up attorney review on a house. It's a great neighborhood, great school, great house... or so i thought. The inspection revealed the following:- roof is on atleast it's third layer of shingles- roof has been patched at chimney (tongue/groove boards replaced w/ plywood and shingles)- patched area is still leaking- chimney is decaying and in need of re-pointing- chimney flashing is damaged- chimney damper missing and 2nd flue doesn't have a rain cap- Steam radiator plumbing is leaking in the floor and is damaging the plaster ceiling.- Other radiators leak at the valve.- Broken window- Missing pieces in parquet floor- Detached garage is minutes away from collapse (severely cracked slab, rotting boards, etc.)I'm probably a seller's nightmare, but how much of this should i demand the seller take responsibility for? I certainly do not want to absorb anymore cost.Condition of the roof has caused considerable damage to ceilings and walls. Can i use the existing leaking to get the entire roof replaced, even though it's focused near or around the chimney? The whole job could cost as much as $5k i'm told.What are the options for negotiation? Reduce price of house? Put the repair $s in escrow? Seller fixes it before we close (11/30)? For convenience, I'd like to have the work done before we move in. However, I'd like to have some control over the quality of work being done.Sorry for the novel. Thanks in Advance!
It sounds to me more like you have $20K worth of roof (etc;) problems rather than $5K. The decision comes down to how much construction you are willing to put up with before and after you buy. (if you buy) Leaky radiator piping implies punching out some walls to fix. Also, depends upon the area of the country you live in. as to availability/demand for roofers & other tradesmen/women.You sound like you're committed to closing on this house. I'd say step back and imagine what it would be like to move into your new house and see that $15K-$20K additional plus the burden of overseeing some construction and maybe having to stay elsewhere for a week or two needs to be thrown into the pot. If these things are unexpected and cannot be accomodated in your negotiations, I would be prepared to walk. I assume you have inspection clauses in your offer. If not, fire your lawyer! AL:LA
Amen! to AL:LA's comments. Run, don't walk from this home unless the condition of the home allowed you a bargain basement offer to start with. In that case, make sure your lender will cover the costs to bring the home up to standard. That is not unusual at all. I am surprised that you could get a lender and appraisal that did not factor the poor condition of the home to start with. On the other hand, if 20K brings the home up to or above what is the market value of a comparable well maintained home, then go for it. Has a reputable contractor looked at it? Can you find a contractor these days who isn't booked at least six months in advance? Good Luck.
Bushue,>>What are the options for negotiation? Reduce price of house? Put the repair $s in escrow? Seller fixes it before we close<<There are so many options and they all depend on the relationship between the price you are paying, the $ amount of the "necessary" repair, the city/state/area you are in, how much the seller wants to sell his/her house, & how much you want to buy it.Frankly, this is information and advise you should get from your Realtor. If you do not have a Realtor (shame on you ;-), then your attorney needs to get involved. Bottom line: you need some very specific advise.I will say, however, that the roof seems to be the root of the trouble. A "re-roof" (1 roof over the old)is not always a bad idea, but a 3rd roof almost always is. Most homes are simply not designed for the weight. Also, installation becomes a problem at flashing points, gutter/facia, etc. You are in need of a "tear off" (completely remove old before replacing roof. Before you negotiate, have someone inspect the decking and anything structural that has been damaged by the poor roof. The cost could easily exceed the $5K you expect.Last thought: A re-roof is done to be cheap. A 3rd roof is done to be *really* cheap. I would question a lot of other things relating to this probable "money pit".Good LuckBob
I feel your pain. we just terminated our contract b/c of the inspection findings. Bad wiring, bad venting and more. We knew about some problems but decided we didn't want to go into a house that needed 10K worth of work if that's just the stuff we knew about. The seller seemed willing to do some stuff - like cut a check to an electrician at closing, fixing some stuff before close - but we just didn't trust them at that point. We had put off the inspection a week already and they hadn't done much during that week (its in the process of remodeling). It does require alot of soul searching but we knew we had nothing to lose if we terminated (we hadn't given notice at our apartment yet)and we hadn't been looking that long to begin with.Good luck
The whole job will cost a lot more than $5k, unless this is a very small house.If you really want the house (sounds like you do), you need to do two things right away:First, feel out the seller - are they willing to cover the roof cost? Is there a limit to how much they will accept?Second, negotiate an extension on your inspection contingency. You need enough time to have a roofing contractor look at the house and give you an estimate. Also, suggest the seller have an independent estimate just for the sake of negotiation.You should also have a housing contractor take a look at your garage. These are usually simple structures, and relatively easy to repair, but it could easily run into the $thousands.Have the sellers replace or repack the steam valves to your satisfaction. Have them leave a complete set of packing and the packing tools - you will need them every couple of years.Sellers should also replace broken windows, leaky radiator and chimney damper.The missing parquet should have been in reasonably plain view during your viewing of the house, so you aren't likely to get far with this.You will be better served to do the roof repair after you own the house. Have the value deducted from the offered price. I don't think an escrow account would help you much - but your lawyer may have some ideas on this. Generally, the bank's attorney will know what's going on, and reduce the loan amount anyway.Good Luck,NJ
My first thought is, look for another house. The house you are buying has steam heat? Steam is hard to maintain, and worse yet, it hasn't been put in residential use for probably 40 - 50 years, I think more towards 50. If the radiator is leaking, I'm willing to bet all of the pipes are badly corroded. How old is the furnace...I mean boiler? If it's steam, and as old as I think it is, I'll bet it burns oil and is a converted coal furnace. If so, expect breakdowns every winter.I've never been a fan of patching part of a roof - especially one you describe. It sounds like the sheathing (the wood underneath) rotted away at the chimney from leaks. You may need to not only replace the roofing material through the entire roof, but I'll bet there is more rot in the sheathing that will be exposed once the roofing is removed.The internal damage to the house concerns me too - is there finishes or rotten wood that needs replacement? Also, I would want the current owner to demolish the detached garage. It may (or let me say most likely) has asbestos in it, and God knows what crud stored away - solvents, old paints, paint removers... You don't want to get stuck with hazardous waste disposal.If you really really want this house, I would have the roof replaced before you close, as well as demolish the garage and haul away the materials.Just my two cents...you're not the sellers nightmare, you are just being careful.George
As a further bit of advice, go rent "The Money Pit" with Tom Hanks. Remember as you watch it, the movie IS NOT an exaggeration.George
As a further bit of advice, go rent "The Money Pit" with Tom Hanks. Remember as you watch it, the movie IS NOT an exaggeration.No, that's only half of the double bill ! For anyone considering buying or building, The Money Pit and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House should be required viewing.Jacki
No, that's only half of the double bill ! For anyone considering buying or building, The Money Pit and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House should be required viewing.Jacki, "The Money Pit" is for those that are renovating. "Mr. Blanding Builds His Dream House" is for those that are building their own house. Both are hilarious because they are exceedingly accurate.George
Jacki, "The Money Pit" is for those that are renovating. "Mr. Blanding Builds His Dream House" is for those that are building their own house. Both are hilarious because they are exceedingly accurate.Mr. Blandings bought a house that turned out to be structurally unsound so it had to be demolished and then he built :)Jacki
Mr. Blandings bought a house that turned out to be structurally unsound so it had to be demolished and then he built :)AND he got in BIG BIG trouble with the lender too - since they loaned money based on a house being there. Then the troubles had to do with building the new house. Interesting enough, even though the movie was made in the early 50's, the same thing could happen today.Some things don't change.George
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