Home inspection items for repair

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Triple digit golfer
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Home inspection items for repair

Post by Triple digit golfer »

My wife and I are finally purchasing a home after many months searching.

We had the home inspection yesterday and along with several small, non-material issues, some larger issues were discovered:

-Roof has a couple missing shingles and a couple deteriorated shingles
-Radon is greater than the 4.0 "acceptable level" in basement
-Mold in attic
-Bathroom fans are venting into the attic instead of out through the roof
-Furnace is 5 years old but did not function - wouldn't even turn on. Inspector suspected it just needed a good cleaning (house is a rehab)
-Two VERY small gas leaks in the fuel piping near the water heater

We are requesting that the seller fix all of these items, but what is the best way to do so to make sure we don't get stuck with either a shoddy job or a major bill later?

My realtor says simply request that the seller repair/correct all of the issues.

But how do I know that he's going to do it right? I told my realtor that either I wanted to pick the professionals who come look at the items (particularly roof and mold) or at the very least, I want to see a written inspection/estimate from a roofing contractor and mold remediation company.

Any words of advice on how to proceed? I don't want to be too demanding, but at the same time these are major issues that should be repaired.
ralph124cf
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by ralph124cf »

These are serious issues, except perhaps the gas leaks. I would consider backing out of the purchase.

Ralph
quantAndHold
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by quantAndHold »

Is this a fixer upper? Or is the house supposedly in good condition?

If it's a fixer, I'd just ask for mold remediation, then some money off the purchase price. If it's supposed to be in good condition, I'd walk away. Unless your inspector is Mike Holmes, you're not done finding problems yet.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
Topic Author
Triple digit golfer
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by Triple digit golfer »

The house is a recent flip.

They seem like major issues, but I don't see anything that can't be fixed.

The inspector seemed to shrug most of it off as things he sees every day that can easily be corrected.

Obviously there are some major expenses in here, but provided that the seller is willing to make the repairs/corrections, I don't want to walk away.
DSInvestor
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by DSInvestor »

I'd look for another house.
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hand
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by hand »

If you have the seller make repairs, there is no way to guarantee they'll do a good job.
If a flip, the sellers are likely expert at doing the bare minimum to make the sale, making it more likely you'll end up with shoddy work.

If you're serious about moving forward, get quotes for the required work, and require the sellers drop the price of the house, or provide cash back at closing so you can make the repairs. (Assuming professional flippers, they'd probably prefer to give you cash than deal with the hassle of doing the same quality of work you'd want for your property.)

More than likely, these aren't big deal issues (though mold & furnace could get expensive, radon remediation likely <$2k).
That being said, inspections are limited to what the inspectors can see - you're trusting the quality of work behind the walls to flippers who were sloppy / cheap enough to allow some seemingly obvious issues to go unfixed - major red flag to me.

P.S. Realtor suggestion to have seller fix is self interested - this is easiest for the realtor (quickest path to close), but almost certainty not in your best interest. I assume your realtor also hasn't warned you of flipper specific risks? If you don't move forward on this house, suggest firing your realtor and working with someone who is more committed to protecting your interests.

P.P.S You should absolutely be demanding - don't let "your" agent and the flippers sell you a bill of goods. At this stage, you're the only one protecting your own interests, everyone else just wants to get the deal done.
jharkin
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by jharkin »

I'd run away screaming from a flipper house... Who knows what other shoddy work was done....


Having said that:
- A couple missing shingles dont automatically mean it needs an entire new roof, get a good roofer to look at it.
- Radon has to be dealt with. Get estimates for installation of mitigation systems before deciding.
- The attic mold was caused by the bathroom vents. Get the mold removed and reroute the vents outside and it should not come back. The question is how extensive is the damage?
- Hard to say about the furnace without looking at it. At 5 years old it should have a lot of life in it, but I would want an opinion from an HVAC guy. Could be something very simple, could be a big problem if it was abused or the house was abandoned a long time.
- I'd want ANY gas leak fixed.

None of these on their own would be a deal breaker for me unless further investigation revealed a big $$$ repair... all of them together + flipper house = I would probably move on.
sls239
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by sls239 »

The inspector is a generalist. What you need now that problems have been found are specialists. In particular, you need the entire HVAC inspected.
Swansea
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by Swansea »

Did the home inspector "walk the roof?" Or just look at it from the ground.
Bigfish
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by Bigfish »

Who is paying the inspector you or the seller? I went through this a few years ago the realtor who was working for the seller hired the inspector, not good.
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Toons
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by Toons »

Roof has a couple missing shingles and a couple deteriorated shingles
-Radon is greater than the 4.0 "acceptable level" in basement
-Mold in attic
-Bathroom fans are venting into the attic instead of out through the roof
-Furnace is 5 years old but did not function - wouldn't even turn on. Inspector suspected it just needed a good cleaning (house is a rehab)
-Two VERY small gas leaks in the fuel piping near the water heater



Do you really want that house? :shock:
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Topic Author
Triple digit golfer
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by Triple digit golfer »

I see all of your points. However, if I look at each issue individually, I don't necessarily think I'm being taken here.

Roof - seller probably never even looked at it. The parts with missing shingles was the highest part, not above the garage or back area where the roof is more accessible. Yes, inspector walked the roof.
Radon - was never tested before; very common and nobody's fault
Mold and attic fans - seller never went into attic. The mold is only on a portion of one wall.
Furnace - I think it'll work fine once an HVAC guy gets his hands on it; there was a lot of construction dust.
Gas leaks - only detectable by a device. Couldn't even smell gas.

I already demanded that we get professional inspections of the roof, mold, and furnace, and either get the issues fixed BY A PROFESSIONAL at the seller's expense or give me credits for the full amount of the estimates.

I guess my point is that none of these are uncommon issues; there are just several of them. But it is a 35 year old house. We love the house, area, etc. and hate to lose it over these issues. There's no guarantee another house won't have similar issues. If the seller is willing to correct, why walk away? The owner before he purchased the house six months ago lived there for 16 years.
Movingshrub
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by Movingshrub »

I would be curious what they worked on since they purchased the house. Those areas would definitely invite invite extra attention for me to ensure there wasn't shoddy.

The mold in the attic is likely due to the bathroom exhaust fans venting to the attic; east to have properly vented.

Ask for the issues to being fixed using businesses licensed and in good standing with the local government; not DIY repairs by the seller.

I understand the concern about the sellers opting to go with POS vendors that do a low quality job. You all could get estimates and ask for that amount as a check at closing. With that being said, the risk of other issued discovered during the work then become your problem.

I would make sure the furnace is brought into serviceable condition prior to closing. HVAC issues can get expensive real fast. I'd rather that be their problem rather than mine. Also, check and see if there is any kind of transferable warranty.

Gas leak should be easy to resolve. Mold issue *may* go away once bathrooms are no longer venting into the attic. Radon mitigation, no clue on that one. Roof can be fixed when the vents are installed for the bathroom. How old is the roof and is its condition priced into your offer? If there is damage the current owner may be able to file a claim against their insurance to have the roof replaced.
quantAndHold
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by quantAndHold »

I would run away as fast as I could. This is an expensive disaster waiting to happen.

In any deal, you have to look at what the financial incentives are. Flippers have very strong financial incentives to cover up expensive problems rather than fix them. You have no idea what's buried under the walls and floors in this place. You already know there are a lot of expensive problems that the inspector found. What you don't know is what's there that the inspector didn't find.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
engin33r
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by engin33r »

Can't believe all the replies to run away. This is small potatoes. The mold could be a bit of work to root-cause and resolve, the rest is super easy.
Beth*
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by Beth* »

For anything the seller fixes, I would ask for a receipt from a licensed contractor showing what was done. You want to make sure it is all done by someone who is licensed and knows what they are doing. This is particularly important for mold and radon remediation, as well as fixing the gas leaks.

Depending on when your settlement date is, you may not be able to get some of these things fixed before settlement. In that case, get an estimate of what it will cost to fix them and have the seller set up an escrow account with the estimate plus 10 percent at settlement time. All costs for fixing the items can come from the escrow account and any remaining money goes back to the seller. A competent real estate agent or settlement attorney should know how to do this. We did this with our current house because it tested high for radon but we were unable to get the mitigation done prior to settlement. The cost of the radon mitigation was paid from the escrow account.
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Watty
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by Watty »

DSInvestor wrote:I'd look for another house.
+1

Among other things you will likely have disclose the mold problem to the next buyer when you try to sell the house even if it is fixed. That may make the house worth less so you may want to also get a price reduction in addition to the repairs.

If you do decide to go ahead with the deal then you should have the house reinspected after the repairs.
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hand
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by hand »

engin33r wrote:Can't believe all the replies to run away. This is small potatoes. The mold could be a bit of work to root-cause and resolve, the rest is super easy.
In normal circumstances, these are likely small potatoes issues. When you find these issues in a house that has been "rehabbed" by a flipper, it seriously calls into question 1) their skill, and 2) what other expensive issues they may be hiding with pretty finishes.
engin33r
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by engin33r »

hand wrote: In normal circumstances, these are likely small potatoes issues. When you find these issues in a house that has been "rehabbed" by a flipper, it seriously calls into question 1) their skill, and 2) what other expensive issues they may be hiding with pretty finishes.
I guess I don't see a flip as being more risky than any other kind of work done on a home, including the initial build. Everyone's always trying to do things for the lowest cost as quick as they can. No matter what resale house you buy, there's probably lots of questionable stuff behind the drywall.
anoop
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by anoop »

engin33r wrote: I guess I don't see a flip as being more risky than any other kind of work done on a home, including the initial build. Everyone's always trying to do things for the lowest cost as quick as they can. No matter what resale house you buy, there's probably lots of questionable stuff behind the drywall.
With initial build there's reputation at stake. For a house that has been lived in for a while and not remodeled, the people that were there probably cared about quality. A flipper is usually just looking to fool the eyes of the next buyer at the lowest possible cost (and the eyes are easily fooled).
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by Kosmo »

engin33r wrote:Can't believe all the replies to run away. This is small potatoes. The mold could be a bit of work to root-cause and resolve, the rest is super easy.
This was my thought also. Aside from installing a radon mitigation system (which might not even be necessary) these are relatively cheap and easy fixes. An experienced DIYer could have these done in a couple of weekends. Hiring professionals would probably be a few thousand bucks.
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by edge »

You may want to see if there is a more extensive home inspection option from your home inspector where they dig deeper. Some offer more expansive (and costly) services that dig into everything.

Not worth walking away from if you really like the house but there are more items that are normally found.
boglegirl
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by boglegirl »

anoop wrote: With initial build there's reputation at stake. For a house that has been lived in for a while and not remodeled, the people that were there probably cared about quality. A flipper is usually just looking to fool the eyes of the next buyer at the lowest possible cost (and the eyes are easily fooled).
I'd walk away, not because of the items found on the inspection, but because of the bolded above.

We looked at a couple of flippers last time we were house-shopping, and while the pictures were beautiful, everything was cheap cheap cheap when seen in person. If the visible stuff looks shoddy, imagine what they've hidden. Fresh carpet and paint can hide a lot, until you've been in the house a while. :shock:
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TT
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by TT »

Triple digit golfer wrote:My wife and I are finally purchasing a home after many months searching.

We had the home inspection yesterday and along with several small, non-material issues, some larger issues were discovered:

-Roof has a couple missing shingles and a couple deteriorated shingles
-Radon is greater than the 4.0 "acceptable level" in basement
-Mold in attic
-Bathroom fans are venting into the attic instead of out through the roof
-Furnace is 5 years old but did not function - wouldn't even turn on. Inspector suspected it just needed a good cleaning (house is a rehab)
-Two VERY small gas leaks in the fuel piping near the water heater

We are requesting that the seller fix all of these items, but what is the best way to do so to make sure we don't get stuck with either a shoddy job or a major bill later?

My realtor says simply request that the seller repair/correct all of the issues.

But how do I know that he's going to do it right? I told my realtor that either I wanted to pick the professionals who come look at the items (particularly roof and mold) or at the very least, I want to see a written inspection/estimate from a roofing contractor and mold remediation company.

Any words of advice on how to proceed? I don't want to be too demanding, but at the same time these are major issues that should be repaired.
I don't want to be too demanding- Why is that? A house is a major life expense and that is the exact reason you should be. I would look for another house. I inspected 2 houses for my son that were previously purchased by contractors and some of the cosmetic and mechanical repairs/ alterations were absolutely pathetic in nature. By time we were halfway through the houses the contractor knew there was "no sale".
BIGal
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by BIGal »

ralph124cf wrote:These are serious issues, except perhaps the gas leaks. I would consider backing out of the purchase.

Ralph
A gas leak is a serious issue. As someone who has experience in this field, I can tell you for certain that a GAS LEAK no matter how small, is the MOST serious issue, period. Mold is also very serious....moisture, from a leak in the roof or from the vent fan discharging in the attic would come in second, in my estimation....Once these issues are resolved a follow-up inspection to verify is what I would insist on...paid for by the seller.
engin33r
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by engin33r »

letsgobobby wrote: And compared to a longtime resident homeowner who has taken pride in his home, well, there is no comparison . I rarely use the cheapest service, I use the best quality. I frequently upgrade materials. Everything is done exactly to code or greater. I get every permit. Longevity of the materials and craftsmanship is paramount. None of this will be true with a flip.
But how do you pick a home previously owned by someone who took pride and did things right? How can you tell the difference between a home that was truly well-maintained versus just cleaned up right before being put on the market? To me, this is a bit like trying to market-time or choose a winning active fund manager, which is to say it's a total crapshoot, and thus not worth trying to discern. If you treat every home like it will be full of problems (because it will be, and that is OK), then you're more likely to be satisfied.
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by tacster »

engin33r wrote: I guess I don't see a flip as being more risky than any other kind of work done on a home, including the initial build. Everyone's always trying to do things for the lowest cost as quick as they can. No matter what resale house you buy, there's probably lots of questionable stuff behind the drywall.
You got that right on the initial build. I discovered all kinds of stuff over the years on my new build house. Everything from failure to install flashing on exterior doors leading to water intrusion and rot, to leftover drywall scraps stashed between the walls and empty beer cans hidden under the insulation. Not saying a flipper would be better or worse, I'd take them all with a large grain of salt.
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hand
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by hand »

engin33r wrote:
letsgobobby wrote: And compared to a longtime resident homeowner who has taken pride in his home, well, there is no comparison . I rarely use the cheapest service, I use the best quality. I frequently upgrade materials. Everything is done exactly to code or greater. I get every permit. Longevity of the materials and craftsmanship is paramount. None of this will be true with a flip.
But how do you pick a home previously owned by someone who took pride and did things right? How can you tell the difference between a home that was truly well-maintained versus just cleaned up right before being put on the market? To me, this is a bit like trying to market-time or choose a winning active fund manager, which is to say it's a total crapshoot, and thus not worth trying to discern. If you treat every home like it will be full of problems (because it will be, and that is OK), then you're more likely to be satisfied.
Many flippers aren't shy about sharing the fact that they rehabbed the property, and do a good job of marketing to those who want move in ready and up to the minute finishes. Property records are also generally public record, and make it easy to see a 20 year owner vs. a short term flipper.

While it is always possible that a long term owner will have cheaped out on repairs, or that a flipper has done a high quality job that will stand the test of time, it is much more likely that for most of the ownership period, the long term owner has made long term decisions, and the flipper has made only those investments needed to get to closing (e.g. builder grade or worse for everything but finishes).

Every property deserves to be evaluated on its own merits, but a flip with obvious sloppy workmanship issues begs the question - what shortcuts can't the inspector see (flashing, insulation, poor wiring, poor plumbing, substandard materials)?

If this were owned by a family for the last 20 years, I wouldn't be too worried about the issues.
If these were ignored by the flipper, I would be terrified regarding the possible unseen issues.
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leonard
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by leonard »

I'd go for a discount to cover these items.

Also, mold in the attic seems like a deal breaker. It's probably from the BR fan venting in there, but it also could be inadequate ventilation.

How precisely does someone remove all mold from an attic? Scrape all surfaces? "Treat" all surfaces with something? There are a lot of surfaces in an attic. I don't even see how this is possible without very expensive and labor intensive work. I'd likely back out of this purchase.
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anoop
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by anoop »

engin33r wrote: But how do you pick a home previously owned by someone who took pride and did things right? How can you tell the difference between a home that was truly well-maintained versus just cleaned up right before being put on the market? To me, this is a bit like trying to market-time or choose a winning active fund manager, which is to say it's a total crapshoot, and thus not worth trying to discern. If you treat every home like it will be full of problems (because it will be, and that is OK), then you're more likely to be satisfied.
Do some due diligence (which the OP seems to be doing by coming here) and then go with your intuition. In this case due diligence would look at the length of time they were there and maybe a look at the appliance brands, the type/quality of the furnishings, etc. There will always be a case where things can go wrong (lemon cars, e.g., from a brand known for reliability), but that's just bad luck.

Not all the advice you get here will be good or applicable to your situation and, as you can tell, it can even be inconsistent. Only you can decide what makes sense for your situation.

The folks here seem to be pretty paranoid, so it's a good place to get a critical review. :)
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Triple digit golfer
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Re: Home inspection items for repair

Post by Triple digit golfer »

Thank you all for your comments.

A couple of my own:

-A family lived there for 17 years prior to this guy buying it. He got it fairly cheap and remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms and replaced all the flooring.

-He did no work on the electrical, plumbing, roof, or HVAC.

-I don't see any of these problems having anything to do with the house being a flip. The flipper likely did not even look in the attic, go on the roof, or test for radon or gas leaks. Or if he did, knew of the issues, and just did not fix them (realistically, this is likely for some of the issues). Either way, the point for me is that they were not the result of cheap or shoddy work.

-My gut tells me that all of these issues are fixable and should not be recurring problems. If there were only one or two issues, I probably wouldn't think twice. Because there are several, it seems worse than it is.

-Plumbing and electrical is in good working order.
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