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timsal 05-21-2007 10:17 PM

Hello to the site!
So, I'm buying a house here in Dallas...a complete rehab of a 1964 ranch including plumbing and electrical replacement. We had our inspection last friday, and we were told that the electrical panel was located in the clothes closet of one of the bedrooms, and was against code. He implied that we would need to have the box moved to be in code, and that it probably cost around 2k to do it. He told us that according to TREC, he had to inform us that it was in a "hazardous location," and that the panels weren't grandfathered in. So, we drafted our demands for the seller to repair, and included the panel. My concern, which i included in the list, were that if we were to buy the house with it being out of code, and something happened such as a fire, that we might not be able to make a claim for insurance purposes. Or, if the city had to come in for something else, and saw that it was out of code, we would get hit with the bill to move it. Now, today, the seller's agent said he talked to the city, and that it WAS grandfathered in, and besides, there were thousands of homes in the city that had the same setup and were able to be insured.........I don't know what to do, as we love the house, but don't want to get burned.....any advice?

NateHanson 05-21-2007 10:35 PM

I'd be very suprised if any of the things you are worried about happened. But if you want to set your mind at ease, call the city, and call your insurance company. Ask them about it. They'll say it's not going to cause a problem in the future.

How long ago was it rehabbed?

If you want to go after someone, go after the guy who pulled the permit for the electrical work to replace the panel. That should not have been allowed to remain in the closet.

Personally, I wouldn't let this get in the way of the sale if you like the house.

timsal 05-21-2007 10:44 PM

Thanks, Nate! We really do love the house.....and i had planned on calling the insurance co. and tell them about it, but only after I found out some skinny (wouldn't want to be flagged without due cause, doncha know) He bought the home in Sept of last year and basically took it to the's a beautiful job! Regarding the permit (and this was my next issue) I was guessing that he did this work without a permit, as that would be the only way he could do the work without the requisite inspection from the city to verify code.....sound right? If that's the case, do his actions/work become my nightmare some day.......maybe I'm too worked up, but 1st time buyer, and like to Cover My A@#!

NateHanson 05-22-2007 06:39 AM

I think that uninspected home-owner work is a much more more valid concern. I'd go downtown to your Code office, and see what permits were pulled and inspected for his work. You know all the work he did in the last year. See if it matches up to the permits that were pulled.

This might be a case where it's worth hiring a couple specialists to inspect his work more carefully. Hire an electrician to give the electrical system a close inspection, hire a builder to check out his construction practices, have a plumber check his plumbing work, etc.

It'll cost you a few hundred dollars, but you'll gain a lot of confidence, and uncover a lot more than the home inspector can show you.

jwhite 05-22-2007 09:34 PM

Every county/city has their own rules regarding what can and cannot be grandfathered in. some like where I live mostly let the inspector decide.

I would be concerned about someone who took the house to it's bones and did not real work on the electrical. What did he do about the plumbing? How about the bit of rot? or the insect infestation?

This sounds like a red flag to walk away.

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