Big time home inspection issues

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Jags4186
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Big time home inspection issues

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm

So I’d like to give you guys an update on a house we are trying to purchase.

We saw a great house in a great neighborhood with a great school system. House priced near the lower 25% of the homes on the street. Listed for $629k, we agreed to $617.5k. House built in 1922. We are aware of the “charms” of an old house and are ok living with creaky wood floors, moldings and frames that aren’t exactly 100% level, and radiator heating systems.

What we aren’t prepared to live with are the following “issues” discovered today by our home inspector. FYI I’ve read most of the home inspector threads on this site and I have to say our inspectator was amazing. She spent 6 hours at the property with us, has a Masters in Engineering and was making our realtor cringe the entire time, and also tried to talk to us when the realtor wasn’t around as she thought realtors were basically con artists.

That said let me give you the list of the “highlights”:

1) Knob and Tube wiring discovered (owners checked no on sellers disclosure form)

2) Detached 1 car garage had heavy termite and water damage. It is cockeyed, level to the ground on a decline, and she recommended it be torn down and replaced.

3) Termite and carpenter ant damage to the house in the foyer and front door. Part in parcel to this was the fact that the front step landing is pitched towards the house, built over an older stoop, and allows water to drain directly towards the house (apparently there is supposed to be 7 1/4” step up from the landing to the front door). Floor in the foyer can be stepped on and “pushed” down easily. (owners checked no to known pests)

4) Mice droppings found in the junction box. Part of basement is a crawl space with old school vertical clay tiles. She said a mason needs to lay concrete over these tiles as she can see straight through them to the outside and that is how field mice are getting into the house.

5) In additional, oil lines were found in the crawl space going out into front yard. Permits pulled on house show that a 550 gallon tank was removed 20 years ago, however she believes she found evidence of a basement tank and that is what must have been removed. She believes there is an additional oil tank in the front yard.

5) We discovered the furnace is cracked. While she was getting ready to check out the furnace the heat kicked on and steam started shooting out of the furnace. A 6” long crack about 1/4” thick was discovered in the back of the furnace.

6) Plumbing was called a “handyman special” and needs significant work. A relative of mine is a master plumber and came by and looked and said “it’ll work but none of it is to code”. He said it needs about $20k worth of work to bring into code. He didn’t know the furnace was cracked when he gave that number.

7) Roof is end of life

8) 1st floor bathroom doesn’t have proper ventilation and is believed to be an unpermited bathroom

9) Deck is deemed “handyman special” and while it has a permit from 1983, she believes the underneath structure is original and the top part is relatively new. She recommended not using the deck until it is further inspected based on what she could see underneath and suggested a large part be ripped up as it is wood directly on dirt which is a recipe for rotting.

10) House is listed as a 5 bedroom. The 2nd floor has 3 bedrooms and the attic was mostly finished with 2 very pitched wall rooms they call bedrooms. 1 room has no radiator and no closet. She said this is an unheated room and cannot be called a bedroom.

11) Recommended all windows be replaced



WHEW I think I got all of it and am still realing from the day. Can’t wait to get the official report.

So we’re likely going to walk from this house, but in the incredible event the sellers gave us significant credits to do much of this work, would you consider it? I don’t know how they will sell this house to anyone in it’s current state at this price with all of these issues. I’m also not ready to pay $250 for an oil tank sweep but no one will buy a house in NJ with an underground oil tank after what we saw today but if the sellers say they’ll play ball I might spring for it. I’m thinking we’d probably need in the area of $60-100k worth of credits.

Thoughts? The inspectator at the end of the day did say that nothing with the house isn’t correctable, but it won’t be cheap to fix everything. I also heard the sellers have put in an offer on another house so, unless they can carry two homes, they need to sell this house relatively quickly is my guess.

Also would like to add...sellers have only lived there 2.5 years... I’m guessing they did not do due diligence and are having second thoughts about this property.

denovo
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by denovo » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:43 pm

I'd thank your inspector and give her fantastic reviews and referrals.

Then I would run away from this house.
Last edited by denovo on Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Pajamas
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Pajamas » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:57 pm

That type of house is a lifestyle. It needs a complete restoration. Nothing wrong with that and it sounds like it's priced at the low end for the neighborhood, but you have to want to take on a major, expensive, time-consuming labor of love like that. Sounds like you are not interested; only a few people would be.
denovo wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:43 pm
I'd thank your inspector and give her fantastic reviews and referrals.

denovo
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by denovo » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:12 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:57 pm
That type of house is a lifestyle. It needs a complete restoration. Nothing wrong with that and it sounds like it's priced at the low end for the neighborhood, but you have to want to take on a major, expensive, time-consuming labor of love like that. Sounds like you are not interested; only a few people would be.
denovo wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:43 pm
I'd thank your inspector and give her fantastic reviews and referrals.
Fixed; agree that this is a major rehab and not something OP should get tied down in if he has no experience.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

surfstar
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by surfstar » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:17 pm

Do you need 4/5 bedrooms?

I'd go for something smaller and newer/better kept.

I also doubt that they will give near the credits (actually the credits may be limited in dollar amount, so the sale price would need to drop, which both realtors would be against, lol) necessary to make it worthwhile. They'll just hope to get a buyer with a less-thorough inspector.

Keep looking and the right one will come along. :beer

sport
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by sport » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:19 pm

Keep in mind that there probably are also hidden defects that the inspector was not able to find. The house sounds like a money pit.

denovo
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by denovo » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:20 pm

surfstar wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:17 pm
Do you need 4/5 bedrooms?

I'd go for something smaller and newer/better kept.

I also doubt that they will give near the credits (actually the credits may be limited in dollar amount, so the sale price would need to drop, which both realtors would be against, lol) necessary to make it worthwhile. They'll just hope to get a buyer with a less-thorough inspector.

Keep looking and the right one will come along. :beer
I know that in CA , not sure of other states, that the seller's agent is required to give buyers a copy of inspection reports if the house was previously in escrow and inspected.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

Jags4186
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:21 pm

surfstar wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:17 pm
Do you need 4/5 bedrooms?

I'd go for something smaller and newer/better kept.

I also doubt that they will give near the credits (actually the credits may be limited in dollar amount, so the sale price would need to drop, which both realtors would be against, lol) necessary to make it worthwhile. They'll just hope to get a buyer with a less-thorough inspector.

Keep looking and the right one will come along. :beer
Yes we will keep looking once we get this all likely gets cancelled on Monday. We don’t need 4/5 bedrooms. This house really is a 3 br with a partial finished attic. We planned to use the attic rooms as offices since I work from home and my wife works from home 1 or 2 days a week. House is just under 2000sq ft so not some behemoth 4000sqft 5 br house.

Jags4186
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:23 pm

denovo wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:20 pm
surfstar wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:17 pm
Do you need 4/5 bedrooms?

I'd go for something smaller and newer/better kept.

I also doubt that they will give near the credits (actually the credits may be limited in dollar amount, so the sale price would need to drop, which both realtors would be against, lol) necessary to make it worthwhile. They'll just hope to get a buyer with a less-thorough inspector.

Keep looking and the right one will come along. :beer
I know that in CA , not sure of other states, that the seller's agent is required to give buyers a copy of inspection reports if the house was previously in escrow and inspected.
We requested the current owners inspection report from when they bought the house in 2015. They refused. Our inspector said it wasn’t a big deal for her since she wouldn’t want to be influenced by it but before she left she said the current owners likely didn’t give it because it would say “end of life, needs to be replaced, etc etc” and she figured sellers got credits for a lot and didn’t fix anything.

mmmodem
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by mmmodem » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:26 pm

FYI, I purchased a foreclosed home with termite damage found in the garage and on the deck. The deck had many holes in it. There were mice droppings in the kitchen. None of the electrical outlets had a ground, let alone GFCI. I didn't expect them to as this was a very old home. The furnace was on its last legs. All the windows needed replacing. About the only thing positive was there were no leaks in the roof over living areas. The garage was another story. None of the smoke detectors were up to code.

Why did I buy the property? It was in a very good school district and very a safe desirable neighborhood. It was one of the lowest priced homes. None of the inspection findings couldn't be repaired. I estimated the repairs would still put me ahead on the home. I even did some upgrades. We're not carpenters or flippers. We both had professional jobs and paid contractors to do the work.

Don't worry about the sellers. They'll be fine. If they can't afford two mortgages, they likely have a contingency on their contact that their current home needs to close first.

denovo
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by denovo » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:29 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:23 pm
denovo wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:20 pm
surfstar wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:17 pm
Do you need 4/5 bedrooms?

I'd go for something smaller and newer/better kept.

I also doubt that they will give near the credits (actually the credits may be limited in dollar amount, so the sale price would need to drop, which both realtors would be against, lol) necessary to make it worthwhile. They'll just hope to get a buyer with a less-thorough inspector.

Keep looking and the right one will come along. :beer
I know that in CA , not sure of other states, that the seller's agent is required to give buyers a copy of inspection reports if the house was previously in escrow and inspected.
We requested the current owners inspection report from when they bought the house in 2015. They refused. Our inspector said it wasn’t a big deal for her since she wouldn’t want to be influenced by it but before she left she said the current owners likely didn’t give it because it would say “end of life, needs to be replaced, etc etc” and she figured sellers got credits for a lot and didn’t fix anything.
Oh, I wasn't talking about from previous sales, but that may be the case. I am talking about a week or month from now if someone goes to escrow after you back out, they are required to give your report.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

Jags4186
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:29 pm

mmmodem wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:26 pm
Don't worry about the sellers. They'll be fine. If they can't afford two mortgages, they likely have a contingency on their contact that their current home needs to close first.
Oh I’m worried 0 about the sellers. I only mention that since they might be more inclined to do what it takes to sell the house.

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Watty
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Watty » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:37 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm
I’m thinking we’d probably need in the area of $60-100k worth of credits.
And it would likely take a very long time to get all that work done.

How much is the lot worth? If the structure is not worth all that much then it sounds like it is a potential teardown since once you start major work there will no doubt be other expensive problems that are found.

Another problem is that if you do all that work you will still have an old house that might not be nearly as nice as if you put that money into building a new house.

One other thing to also look into is how you will finance the house if you are not paying cash. I would assume that you would need to get sort of building rehabilitation loan since a normal lender would likely not want to finance the house while it is in that condition.

I would bail out of the purchase.

DVMResident
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by DVMResident » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:41 pm

Everyone getting that inspection results should have second thoughts. #1, #2, #3, #6, #7, +/- #5 +/- #8 sound like gut and rehab.

Get estimates and see what the seller is willing to do. You are in a really strong negotiation position now. Buyers willing to deal with these issues will be few and far between. Even most flippers/rehab contractors won't be willing to deal with these issues. Be willing to walk without some really, really strong incentives.

Considerations:
-Where do you live while the rehab is going on? How long can you live there? Recognize rehab timelines are unpredictable (weather, contractor availability, etc.) and you really don't know what other issues you will find when you start opening walls.
-Cash reserves. How much additional capital can you bring to the project if there are overage (and there always are)?
-Time. Ideally, one adult in the family has time oversee the construction (works part-time, stay-at-home, etc.). It's nightmare when one contractor takes a shortcut and it can't be undone (e.g. plumbing done wrong then covered by dry wall).
-Emotional toll and drive. It's a pretty draining experience. You have tenacity go through all this.

On the upside, it could be a good deal when rehab brings the home back to market value and could lock low living expenses into an expensive neighborhood.

scifilover
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by scifilover » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:23 am

I was handling my in-laws affairs when MIL passed away and we had to sell their house. It was a 1925 home with lots of issues including many you mentioned. It took $150k by the time we had the non-permitted work fixed, the wiring, sewer line, termite and water damage, roof, etc., etc., etc! It also took 6 months. That was 14 years ago, and I am sure it would be more today.

Think of it as a fixer-upper. If you have the cash and time to do the work, negotiate the price down by $200k.
Also, if they turn you down, give them a copy of the inspection report, so they are informed of the problems and won't lie to their next buyer after you walk away.

cherijoh
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by cherijoh » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:28 am

denovo wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:43 pm
I'd thank your inspector and give her fantastic reviews and referrals.

Then I would run away from this house.
+1

goaties
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by goaties » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:39 am

Yes, I agree with others. Run from this house unless you are a contractor. I have owned several dumps in my lifetime and, for every problem your inspector encountered (a "her"! wonderful!), there will be two or three other problems she didn't find. That's how it works with old houses. Unless you want to commit the next several years of your life to fixing this house, it is not for you.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:58 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:23 pm
We requested the current owners inspection report from when they bought the house in 2015. They refused. Our inspector said it wasn’t a big deal for her since she wouldn’t want to be influenced by it but before she left she said the current owners likely didn’t give it because it would say “end of life, needs to be replaced, etc etc” and she figured sellers got credits for a lot and didn’t fix anything.
We are selling a house in NJ (will be on the market shortly) that is roughly the same age as the house you had inspected. When we bought it 23 years ago, it had quite a few flaws, but probably nothing like what you've encountered. Do not underestimate what a PITA it is to live through a tank removal and other fixes to a sick house.

Your inspector did a great job for you. You should give her a gift certificate for a dinner out; she has saved you from a life of resentment.

The sellers have told you who they are. They think disclosure is for creative/fiction writers. Do not give them your money.

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snackdog
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by snackdog » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:15 am

We once had a roughly similar experience. Realtor was great and suggested we run away. Instead, we foolishly suggested an adjustment to the sales price of around $75K. Seller balked, which was lucky for us. He eventually sold it for $130K less than our adjusted offer. In retrospect we were very happy we didn't buy the house. We eventually found a better place with zero issues.

Be aware that depending on what state you are in the current owner and you, if you buy, may legally be bound to disclose what the inspection found. This could affect the value of the home.

michaeljc70
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:16 am

I would forget this house. The seller likely will not offer enough credits to fix everything not to mention the aggravation of having the house torn up (replacing the electrical in the whole house is invasive). The seller will most likely keep trying to sell it until they get a buyer with a mediocre inspector or who is swept up in the charm of an older home and ignores the defects.

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fishandgolf
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by fishandgolf » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:31 am

sport wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:19 pm
Keep in mind that there probably are also hidden defects that the inspector was not able to find. The house sounds like a money pit.
+1000

This would also add to my concerns........ Many others have suggested to do a 180 and walk away......... 8-)

david99
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by david99 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:37 am

You shouldn't just look at the amount of money that needs to be put into this house but also the time. Even with a contractor managing the job you will be at the house all the time. My sister bought a house like this and they have been working on it for years. Fortunately her husband is retired and is very handy.

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Cyclesafe
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Cyclesafe » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:41 am

RUN!

A home inspection is like seeing the tip of an iceberg. 90% is unseen.

If you are committed to the neighborhood, only a seller's credit equal to the cost of demolition and the rebuilding of an equivalent sized house, plus a willingness to live elsewhere for 1-2 years, would approach acceptable. If also you are not experienced in this, this project would be overwhelming unless one of you can work on this full-time - even with an honest general contractor (ha, ha).

Let the seller find another sucker.

staythecourse
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by staythecourse » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:47 am

sport wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:19 pm
Keep in mind that there probably are also hidden defects that the inspector was not able to find. The house sounds like a money pit.
This is my bigger concern. It isn't like inspectors are not useful or not, but common sense tells you they CAN NOT see behind walls unless they are Superman/ Superwoman on their off time. If those are the obvious then who knows what is behind those walls going forward.

As good faith for future buyers I would make sure you mention through your agent that they are now legally obligated to update the disclosure forms.

Good luck.
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JBTX
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by JBTX » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:21 am

I’d be particularly wary of a potential oil tank in the ground. God knows what the worst case remedial costs of that could be.

bulkdataman
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by bulkdataman » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:23 am

The potential of another one of those fuel oil tanks in the ground is the definitive NO to buying this house.

stan1
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by stan1 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:32 pm

surfstar wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:17 pm

I also doubt that they will give near the credits (actually the credits may be limited in dollar amount, so the sale price would need to drop, which both realtors would be against, lol) necessary to make it worthwhile. They'll just hope to get a buyer with a less-thorough inspector.
Most of the time the seller's realtor will actually be encouraging their seller to make concessions in order to close the sale. Seller's realtor will point out to the seller that they will now need to disclose all this new information if this sale falls out of escrow.

As a buyer and seller we always negotiate the sales price down after getting an inspection report instead of making repairs. Realtors want a fast sale not a little extra commission. I've never seen a realtor push back on dropping the price of a house in escrow. Realtors are incentivized to close the sale not wait another 60 or more days to collect commission all while not getting any extra compensation for going through the process of listing the house, showing the house, finding a buyer, and going through escrow a second time.

stan1
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by stan1 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:44 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm

We saw a great house in a great neighborhood with a great school system. House priced near the lower 25% of the homes on the street. Listed for $629k, we agreed to $617.5k. House built in 1922. We are aware of the “charms” of an old house and are ok living with creaky wood floors, moldings and frames that aren’t exactly 100% level, and radiator heating systems.

What we aren’t prepared to live with are the following “issues” discovered today by our home inspector. FYI I’ve read most of the home inspector threads on this site and I have to say our inspectator was amazing. She spent 6 hours at the property with us, has a Masters in Engineering and was making our realtor cringe the entire time, and also tried to talk to us when the realtor wasn’t around as she thought realtors were basically con artists.

So we’re likely going to walk from this house, but in the incredible event the sellers gave us significant credits to do much of this work, would you consider it? I don’t know how they will sell this house to anyone in it’s current state at this price with all of these issues. I’m also not ready to pay $250 for an oil tank sweep but no one will buy a house in NJ with an underground oil tank after what we saw today but if the sellers say they’ll play ball I might spring for it. I’m thinking we’d probably need in the area of $60-100k worth of credits.

Thoughts? The inspectator at the end of the day did say that nothing with the house isn’t correctable, but it won’t be cheap to fix everything. I also heard the sellers have put in an offer on another house so, unless they can carry two homes, they need to sell this house relatively quickly is my guess.

Also would like to add...sellers have only lived there 2.5 years... I’m guessing they did not do due diligence and are having second thoughts about this property.
Turn around the inspection report to the seller and ask for another $50,000 off on the sales price if you want the house and are willing to deal with the repairs. Don't expect them to remodel the house to 2018 standards. If you want a new house buy one. Choose a different amount (higher or lower) if you like. Seller will make a counter offer and you can decide where you go from there. If they are in a hurry to sell the house they may come close to you. Seller's realtor will most likely be encouraging the seller to proceed with the sale somehow.

You'd have to decide whether the neighborhood and schools are worth the risk. It's a lifestyle choice as well as a financial decision. Any 100 year old house in New Jersey is going to have some of these same problems (whether disclosed or not). You got a very good inspection so you know what you might be getting into.

Me? On the surface I wouldn't buy it but I don't know your family or anything about neighborhoods in New Jersey.

Added: Even if you don't come to an agreement now you might get a call in a few months if they still can't sell it.
Last edited by stan1 on Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

JHU ALmuni
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by JHU ALmuni » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:46 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm
So I’d like to give you guys an update on a house we are trying to purchase.

We saw a great house in a great neighborhood with a great school system. House priced near the lower 25% of the homes on the street. Listed for $629k, we agreed to $617.5k. House built in 1922. We are aware of the “charms” of an old house and are ok living with creaky wood floors, moldings and frames that aren’t exactly 100% level, and radiator heating systems.

What we aren’t prepared to live with are the following “issues” discovered today by our home inspector. FYI I’ve read most of the home inspector threads on this site and I have to say our inspectator was amazing. She spent 6 hours at the property with us, has a Masters in Engineering and was making our realtor cringe the entire time, and also tried to talk to us when the realtor wasn’t around as she thought realtors were basically con artists.

That said let me give you the list of the “highlights”:

1) Knob and Tube wiring discovered (owners checked no on sellers disclosure form)

2) Detached 1 car garage had heavy termite and water damage. It is cockeyed, level to the ground on a decline, and she recommended it be torn down and replaced.

3) Termite and carpenter ant damage to the house in the foyer and front door. Part in parcel to this was the fact that the front step landing is pitched towards the house, built over an older stoop, and allows water to drain directly towards the house (apparently there is supposed to be 7 1/4” step up from the landing to the front door). Floor in the foyer can be stepped on and “pushed” down easily. (owners checked no to known pests)

4) Mice droppings found in the junction box. Part of basement is a crawl space with old school vertical clay tiles. She said a mason needs to lay concrete over these tiles as she can see straight through them to the outside and that is how field mice are getting into the house.

5) In additional, oil lines were found in the crawl space going out into front yard. Permits pulled on house show that a 550 gallon tank was removed 20 years ago, however she believes she found evidence of a basement tank and that is what must have been removed. She believes there is an additional oil tank in the front yard.

5) We discovered the furnace is cracked. While she was getting ready to check out the furnace the heat kicked on and steam started shooting out of the furnace. A 6” long crack about 1/4” thick was discovered in the back of the furnace.

6) Plumbing was called a “handyman special” and needs significant work. A relative of mine is a master plumber and came by and looked and said “it’ll work but none of it is to code”. He said it needs about $20k worth of work to bring into code. He didn’t know the furnace was cracked when he gave that number.

7) Roof is end of life

8) 1st floor bathroom doesn’t have proper ventilation and is believed to be an unpermited bathroom

9) Deck is deemed “handyman special” and while it has a permit from 1983, she believes the underneath structure is original and the top part is relatively new. She recommended not using the deck until it is further inspected based on what she could see underneath and suggested a large part be ripped up as it is wood directly on dirt which is a recipe for rotting.

10) House is listed as a 5 bedroom. The 2nd floor has 3 bedrooms and the attic was mostly finished with 2 very pitched wall rooms they call bedrooms. 1 room has no radiator and no closet. She said this is an unheated room and cannot be called a bedroom.

11) Recommended all windows be replaced



WHEW I think I got all of it and am still realing from the day. Can’t wait to get the official report.

So we’re likely going to walk from this house, but in the incredible event the sellers gave us significant credits to do much of this work, would you consider it? I don’t know how they will sell this house to anyone in it’s current state at this price with all of these issues. I’m also not ready to pay $250 for an oil tank sweep but no one will buy a house in NJ with an underground oil tank after what we saw today but if the sellers say they’ll play ball I might spring for it. I’m thinking we’d probably need in the area of $60-100k worth of credits.

Thoughts? The inspectator at the end of the day did say that nothing with the house isn’t correctable, but it won’t be cheap to fix everything. I also heard the sellers have put in an offer on another house so, unless they can carry two homes, they need to sell this house relatively quickly is my guess.

Also would like to add...sellers have only lived there 2.5 years... I’m guessing they did not do due diligence and are having second thoughts about this property.
60-100k credit most likely won't be enough. I would run away and just keep looking for another house.

RudyS
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by RudyS » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:44 pm

I bet costs would be closer to $200K, and no idea what you could do with the unpermitted bathroom (but maybe just ventilate it).

Jags4186
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:21 pm

Very discouraging to be honest. The house is super charming in a super nice neighborhood. When the final inspection report comes back (hopefully tomorrow) we will send to them with the list of things requiring remediation and requesting credits. I expect it will be rejected and we will leave.

I wonder a few things:

1) Did their inspectator not find any of this stuff? I can’t imagine termite damage/structurally unsound garage/structurally unsound deck/etc. didn’t exist 3 years ago.

2) Why did they buy the house?

3) Did they get massive credits and do no remediation? This wouldn’t be reflected in their sell price...

4) How many of these issues are they already aware of? My guess is a lot which is why they’re looking to unload it.

Fortunately for us we’ve given the sellers $0 so far (no earned money and the first deposit which I dropped off to my attorney hasn’t been sent yet. They said they wouldn’t send anything until we address the inspection). So right now we’re only out $900 for the inspection. I wonder how they’ll ever sell this house in this condition.

FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:34 pm

I find it upsetting that your inspector made your realtor cringe. When we looked at historic homes, our realtor had our back. On one property we submitted an offer in the morning. That afternoon our realtor and her husband looked at it and determined it needed $20k in HVAC work. We pulled our offer before the seller responded. On another property, our offer was accepted. When our inspector was there, our realtor, who was knowledgeable about construction, helped him point out the flaws and was helped us get out of that potential money pit. We eventually found a very well made 1970s build, and we are forever grateful for our realtor's services.

capsaicinguy
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by capsaicinguy » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:49 pm

denovo wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:43 pm
I'd thank your inspector and give her fantastic reviews and referrals.

Then I would run away from this house.
+1. Run away.

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jfn111
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by jfn111 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:02 pm

FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:34 pm
I find it upsetting that your inspector made your realtor cringe. When we looked at historic homes, our realtor had our back. On one property we submitted an offer in the morning. That afternoon our realtor and her husband looked at it and determined it needed $20k in HVAC work. We pulled our offer before the seller responded. On another property, our offer was accepted. When our inspector was there, our realtor, who was knowledgeable about construction, helped him point out the flaws and was helped us get out of that potential money pit. We eventually found a very well made 1970s build, and we are forever grateful for our realtor's services.
Good Post. A competent Realtor won't "cringe". We deal with bad inspections all the time and negotiate the price down or encourage our buyers to run! The market will determine a correct price and most likely a contractor will buy it and fix it up for a nice profit.

Golf maniac
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Golf maniac » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:14 pm

I would suspect the owners know of many if not all of the problems. Can’t you look up how much the house sold for when the owners bought it a few years ago? I would suspect it was at a deep discount or they got huge credits for the problems. I can’t imagine they didn’t get an inspection on 100 yr old property.

For me, I would run away because as others have stated you don’t know what problems were not discovered and the fuel tank issue. If I really wanted to be in the area I would take what the cost of the known repairs and double the amount for unknown issues. If they don’t accept, then walk away. You are not dealing with reputable sellers.

Jags4186
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:04 pm

Golf maniac wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:14 pm
I would suspect the owners know of many if not all of the problems. Can’t you look up how much the house sold for when the owners bought it a few years ago? I would suspect it was at a deep discount or they got huge credits for the problems. I can’t imagine they didn’t get an inspection on 100 yr old property.

For me, I would run away because as others have stated you don’t know what problems were not discovered and the fuel tank issue. If I really wanted to be in the area I would take what the cost of the known repairs and double the amount for unknown issues. If they don’t accept, then walk away. You are not dealing with reputable sellers.
We ended up settling on $10,000 more than they paid 2.5 years ago. Obviously before we knew about all these issues. No clue about credits they may have received—certainly they fixed nothing if they got credits.

Jags4186
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:09 pm

Just figured I’d give anyone who was interested a final update.

My home inspector called me today out of the blue and said that she really doesn’t think we should move forward on the house. By her estimation there could be upwards of $150k worth of rehab needed on the house. We are cancelling the deal via the inspection contingency—especially after all we were offered was a $9k credit of which $7k would go towards replacing the cracked boiler.

It’s amazing what some fresh paint jobs can do to a home.

veindoc
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by veindoc » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:54 pm

Thanks for the update. Can't believe thats all they offered despite the fact that the electricity and plumbing is not to code and the extensive termite damage. Good luck finding another home. Im sure its frustrating.

Fan23
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Fan23 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:16 am

Good you got out of it. The knob and tube wiring is a deal breaker by itself. My sister couldn't even get home insurance from her usual insurance company (USAA). They gave a flat NO to knob and tube. It should have been upgraded years ago.

spectec
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by spectec » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:39 am

I'll add a personal experience regarding a suspected buried oil tank. I inherited a house several years ago which had an ancient, unused underground tank adjacent to a brick retaining wall. Initial estimate was $350 to remove the tank, which was seemingly a matter of just digging carefully around it and lifting out with a backhoe. But nobody would accept any responsibility for damage to the retaining wall event thought it was far from the tank..

As it turned out, there was a SECOND, smaller tank nestled beside the larger tank. There was no way this could have been known at the outset. When the large tank was removed, the second one shifted, nudged the wall, and opened up a large crack. After locating and hiring someone to fix the wall, we were back to square one about $2,500 and 6 weeks later.

Never underestimate the potential for hidden problems to bite you.
You were wise to walk away from this.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

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jharkin
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by jharkin » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:43 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm
What we aren’t prepared to live with are the following “issues” discovered today by our home inspector. FYI I’ve read most of the home inspector threads on this site and I have to say our inspectator was amazing. She spent 6 hours at the property with us, has a Masters in Engineering and was making our realtor cringe the entire time, and also tried to talk to us when the realtor wasn’t around as she thought realtors were basically con artists.

That said let me give you the list of the “highlights”:
Masters in what kind of engineering? I have a degree in mechanical engineering, that doesn't make me an expert in home construction..
Unless their engineering specialty is architecture they dont really have anything in their college background that taught them about how a house is built... just 'sayin.

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm
1) Knob and Tube wiring discovered (owners checked no on sellers disclosure form)
The prior owner may not have known if they never had a detailed inspection and walls opened up. K&T in good repair and not overloaded is perfectly safe and code legal (its grandfathered) to use as long as its not modified. The concerns with it are:

1 - you cant do blown in wall insulation until its removed.

2 - Its an undgrounded system, so no grounded (3 prong) appliances on those circuits

3- *some* insurers dont like it. Some have no problems.

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm
2) Detached 1 car garage had heavy termite and water damage. It is cockeyed, level to the ground on a decline, and she recommended it be torn down and replaced.

3) Termite and carpenter ant damage to the house in the foyer and front door. Part in parcel to this was the fact that the front step landing is pitched towards the house, built over an older stoop, and allows water to drain directly towards the house (apparently there is supposed to be 7 1/4” step up from the landing to the front door). Floor in the foyer can be stepped on and “pushed” down easily. (owners checked no to known pests)
Termite damage can happen to houses of any age. My house is almost 3 times as old as yours and we dont have any termite issues. Ive also heard of houses less a than 10 years old infested. It all depends on if you are in a termite prone area and have you had the place treated.

Ive got the same kind of under built garage with the wood siding right down to grade. It could never pass code today, buts its been kept well maintained and properly painted and there is no sign of rot anywhere, so we leave it alone.
Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm
4) Mice droppings found in the junction box. Part of basement is a crawl space with old school vertical clay tiles. She said a mason needs to lay concrete over these tiles as she can see straight through them to the outside and that is how field mice are getting into the house.
If you live in an old house with stone foundations, just be prepared that no matter what you do an occasional mouse will be a fact of life. We have never been able to completely eliminate them.
Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm
5) In additional, oil lines were found in the crawl space going out into front yard. Permits pulled on house show that a 550 gallon tank was removed 20 years ago, however she believes she found evidence of a basement tank and that is what must have been removed. She believes there is an additional oil tank in the front yard.

5) We discovered the furnace is cracked. While she was getting ready to check out the furnace the heat kicked on and steam started shooting out of the furnace. A 6” long crack about 1/4” thick was discovered in the back of the furnace.
You mentioned radiators, does that "furnace" have a glass tube water gauge on the from of it? If yes its a steam boiler, not a furnace. You want a steam specialist to look at it, dont just go find any old HVAC company. Go to the forum heatinghelp.com and ask for advice.

Modern steam boilers are still made, that unit can be replaced and the system can be tuned up to be moderately efficient (85%ish) usually that's more cost effective than a total rip out.


On the oil tank issue... you will have to have the yard checked for signs of a tank. If there is a buried tank there should be an exposed filler. You can try poking the soil with a long thin metal rod to find it. It may be out there but it may not.... My old house has a number of pipe stubs going through the basement wall to old utility runs,etc that where moved.
Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm
6) Plumbing was called a “handyman special” and needs significant work. A relative of mine is a master plumber and came by and looked and said “it’ll work but none of it is to code”. He said it needs about $20k worth of work to bring into code. He didn’t know the furnace was cracked when he gave that number.
Lots of homeowners who dont know what they are doing out there. Worth addressing but I'd get a few quotes.

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm
7) Roof is end of life
What kind of roofing materials and how old is it? Home inspectors love to call everything "functionally obsolete". Its to help you negotiate a good deal, it doesn't always mean its going to fail tomorrow. If its something like slate or metal it may still have decades of life.


Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm
8) 1st floor bathroom doesn’t have proper ventilation and is believed to be an unpermited bathroom

9) Deck is deemed “handyman special” and while it has a permit from 1983, she believes the underneath structure is original and the top part is relatively new. She recommended not using the deck until it is further inspected based on what she could see underneath and suggested a large part be ripped up as it is wood directly on dirt which is a recipe for rotting.

10) House is listed as a 5 bedroom. The 2nd floor has 3 bedrooms and the attic was mostly finished with 2 very pitched wall rooms they call bedrooms. 1 room has no radiator and no closet. She said this is an unheated room and cannot be called a bedroom.
You can look up the permit history at the local building inspectors office. I would also get the tax assessors report and see how many bedrooms are listed. I forget the details but there are speciifc rules about what can and cant be called a bedroom (has to havea door or window to outside for emergency egress, etc). If there are major discrepancies on the listing I agree that may be grounds to cancel the contract.

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm
11) Recommended all windows be replaced
Why? Is there something wrong with them, or are they just "old" ?

Lots of replacement window industry marketing out there convincees people to spend lots of money ripping out perfectly functional old windows for no reason. This is another line item thats is so common on house inspection reports Im suprised it isnt just pre-printed on the form. :( The original windows in that house are probably made of quality old growth timber and *if *they are in good condition and you keep them maintined will likely outlast the cheap farmed wood and plastic replacements people put in today.
Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 pm
WHEW I think I got all of it and am still realing from the day. Can’t wait to get the official report.

So we’re likely going to walk from this house, but in the incredible event the sellers gave us significant credits to do much of this work, would you consider it? I don’t know how they will sell this house to anyone in it’s current state at this price with all of these issues. I’m also not ready to pay $250 for an oil tank sweep but no one will buy a house in NJ with an underground oil tank after what we saw today but if the sellers say they’ll play ball I might spring for it. I’m thinking we’d probably need in the area of $60-100k worth of credits.

Thoughts? The inspectator at the end of the day did say that nothing with the house isn’t correctable, but it won’t be cheap to fix everything. I also heard the sellers have put in an offer on another house so, unless they can carry two homes, they need to sell this house relatively quickly is my guess.

Also would like to add...sellers have only lived there 2.5 years... I’m guessing they did not do due diligence and are having second thoughts about this property.

My main advice is to take a deep breath. Nothing you mentioned seems to me to have anything to do specifically with the age... most of it is from poor maintenance and/or I'd want a second opinion. Home Inspectors can make any place sound like a dump, thats what they are paid to do :) I would probably walk just because there are so many potential issues here - jsut understand that most of htem are not intrinsic to old houses, some may not be issues at all, and dont become afraid of old houses in general.

- The termite damage, bad boiler and plumbing stand out to me as must fix issues and those could be very expensive.
- The buried oil tank, if real, can be an expensive remediation issue, but right now is nothing but a hunch.
- The roof and windows... Id want to see it. Thats all to common called out on inspections just for being old. May or may not be issues.

Get a few contractor opinions, think about it... but also ask yourself if you really want an "old" house. Old houses, while they have tons of charm, are not for everyone. If you dont like surprises or will just gut it all to modernize anyway then moving on to the next listing may be the best.

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flossy21
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by flossy21 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:18 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:09 pm
Just figured I’d give anyone who was interested a final update.

My home inspector called me today out of the blue and said that she really doesn’t think we should move forward on the house. By her estimation there could be upwards of $150k worth of rehab needed on the house. We are cancelling the deal via the inspection contingency—especially after all we were offered was a $9k credit of which $7k would go towards replacing the cracked boiler.

It’s amazing what some fresh paint jobs can do to a home.
Good decision. There will be other houses. Why tie yourself up with all those issues? From the sound of it the only thing holding the place together was the fact that the termites were all holding hands.

squirm
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by squirm » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:44 pm

Stuff that you can't see can be a huge issue, esp knob and tube wiring.... Plumbing....
Good call on your home inspector. I agree that agents are nothing but a con artist.

You should gift your inspector some $$$for saving you a huge headache and refer to your friends.

Easy Rhino
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Easy Rhino » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:38 pm

I strongly suspect there were other problems with the house the inspector didn't find. They can only do so much in a few hours.

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Elsebet
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Re: Big time home inspection issues

Post by Elsebet » Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:13 pm

mmmodem wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:26 pm
FYI, I purchased a foreclosed home with termite damage found in the garage and on the deck. The deck had many holes in it. There were mice droppings in the kitchen. None of the electrical outlets had a ground, let alone GFCI. I didn't expect them to as this was a very old home. The furnace was on its last legs. All the windows needed replacing. About the only thing positive was there were no leaks in the roof over living areas. The garage was another story. None of the smoke detectors were up to code.
Sounds like my house. We moved from Ohio to the east side Seattle area in 2013. In Ohio, the most expensive house I had ever purchased was $137k and that was in 2006. When we moved out here I set our max/stretch house budget to 400k but really wanted no higher than 300k. In the Seattle area that kind of budget limits you pretty severely. We looked for a few months and the houses in our range mostly had serious issues.

After a few months of searching we finally found one for 300k that had issues similar to the above, although the furnace was and is still ok. It was also on 2.5 acres which was a big plus for us. The most expensive thing I've done is put a new well in, it had an old cistern previously. We do a little remodeling each year, had to completely gut and replace the laundry area last year. Totally gutted and replaced the mud room/landing area that leads to the 1.5 story MIL suite. Put new wood floors in a lot of the rooms. The last big ticket item will be the kitchen, and then smaller things like getting the crawlspace fixed up and other cosmetic things.

We got a great deal on it even having to put the well in so I think it was worth it, but it's definitely a quirky house perfect for a pair of weirdos like us. :)

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