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toolmaan 08-01-2007 11:25 PM

Electrical issues with home inspection
 
I have a contract on a home I was planning on purchasing. I just got doen with the home inspection tonight. There is major electrical issues. First off there is a lot of wire being used that is like extension cord or lamp cord wiring. the breaker box in the garage has 1 braeaker that has 5 wires going into it, the inspector said it should only have one, several other breakers have 2 wires going into them. The hot water heater is electric and has 2 wires going out of it that are plugged into a 110 style outlet but someone wrote on the outlet itself 220.
I have a little experience with electrical, on those breakers that have too many wires on the lugs can't I just run one wire to those 5 and connect those 5 into one? The lamp cord wiring needs replaced I can do that but ther is a lot of it. The 220 stuf I have no clue about.
From what I see this needs immediate attention, is this a fire hazard?
Thanks for any info

Dansbell 08-02-2007 01:30 AM

From the sound of it, the previous owner had a disregard for your local building codes and tried to make do with what they had. Just because it functions doesn't make it right. You should be able to do all the work yourself as the homeowner if you go through with the purchase. I would recommend having an electrician look at the project now and give you recommendations and a bid. I assume your contract is contingent upon your inspection. You should consider a counter offer based on the cost of repair. I am sure these so called upgrades were done with out permits from your building department.

As for just tying the wires together before the breaker that may be OK but it will be based on the load (number of lights and outlets) on the circuit. Most likely it has been overloaded. The answer to the 220 outlet is similar. at best the wire in the wall is OK (proper size) and you can simply change the plug to the proper amperage 220 outlet. I am not an electrician, however it seems odd that the HWH is not hard wired. It probably should be.

Mike Swearingen 08-02-2007 06:40 AM

I'm not a professional electrician either, just a long-time DIYer and a 20-year + NC real estate broker. This sounds like a fire waiting to happen.
Do NOT purchase (close on) this property as it is.
This is a bad high-risk situation with multiple major electrical code violations (and obviously done with no legal permits or inspections) that will void any homeowner's insurance if there is a fire caused by any of it.
If your lender was notified of this (and they should be), they probably would not approve your loan until it was properly corrected in advance (or had a definite specific written plan to be) either.
Renegotiate your purchase agreement (with a written addendum signed by you and the seller to the effect) that:
A.the seller is responsible for having this home properly re-wired to code - from the seller proceeds of the sale, to be escrowed with YOUR attorney - based on three bids from licensed electrical contractors with proper permits and inspections, and with final approval being by your local Building Inspection Department and your General Home Inspector,
OR, B. the purchase price is reduced to cover all of the above and you -at your expense - properly complete or have the work done and inspected/approved prior to occupancy.
Is your state a "full disclosure" state like NC? The seller and their agent should have disclosed this illegal hazardous wiring prior to your offer.
If the seller refuses to renegotiate, you can get your Earnest Money back and walk, which is exactly what you should do if he doesn't. I promise you, he won't be able to sell this mess to anyone else until it is corrected or properly addressed.
Good Luck!
Mike

toolmaan 08-02-2007 08:18 AM

Thanks for the info. Today I am getting hold of an electrician and hopefully they can look it over and get me a bid so I have somethign to work with. Kansas is a disclosure state and they did not discolse any of these issues, looking of the disclosure it only has a section on electrical that says what type of wiring, thye put copper and working. Well it is all working it just ins't wired right. I feel they should of disclosed this but these people built this house themselves so they probably think it is right. There is a clause in my contract for inspections and we are going to go back to the bargaining table as soon as I get some estimates. My other issue is yes I realize I get my earnest money back but the bank has already had an appraisal done, that was $375, I bet I will have to pay for that if I end up not getting this property since it was already done.

toolmaan 08-02-2007 08:20 AM

Hey another questions, if I were to get a local building inspector to look at the property that works for the county couldn't they provide soemthing in writign as to what codes are violated?

HouseHelper 08-02-2007 09:05 AM

"...they built the house themselves". That is a HUGE red flag, not just for the electrical, but for other utilities also. From the electrical violations you describe, and the fact it was owner built (and probably owner wired), I would have your electrician do a thorough inspection of the wiring and be prepared to find a lot more wrong.

Mike Swearingen 08-02-2007 09:40 AM

Yes, even if you back out of buying this house, you will still have to pay for any expenses incurred, such as the appraisal.
This seller-built home probably has many more code violations, many of which are probably hidden and cannot be seen (structural, plumbing, etc.). I don't understand how this seller passed ANY inspections or even if he had building permits.
If you were my client and I was your buyer's agent, I would advise you to just walk completely away from this one. If they handled the electrical like this, a potentially deadly hazard, how do you think the rest of the house was done?
My best advice on this "free advice forum" is run, don't walk.
Mike

JohnJ0906 08-02-2007 06:50 PM

Mike has the right of it - DO NOT BUY THIS HOUSE.

clasact 08-04-2007 09:11 AM

I dont totally agree with what is being said here ,as far as going back to the table for repriceing great you should be able to come out with a good saveings,and yes it is a fire trap,but if you know what your getting into and see potetial in the house and want to put the time and money into fixing it then dont walk from it.I bought a house two years ago that had major additons put on by the HO and no codes to follow in this area. Many had passed on this house but I saw what it could be with alot of work.Yes I have run into many problems and have had to replumb ,rewire,and rebuild almost all of it but some people who passed on it are now sorry they did and I got a 4600sqft home on 3.5 ac of land for under 100 tho which is now appraised at 365 tho and I am not even done so it kind of depends on you and how much you are willing to put into it and how much it will be worth.I dont know what home sell for in your area but if you really want it and are willing to fix everything that you find (their may be alot more then just this wireing problem) then you may be able to get that price way down

gregzoll 08-05-2007 12:01 AM

Personally I would not even close on the deal until the sellers correct the issues. Do the words "Fire-Trap" come to mind?

gregzoll 08-05-2007 12:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by toolmaan (Post 55853)
Thanks for the info. Today I am getting hold of an electrician and hopefully they can look it over and get me a bid so I have somethign to work with. Kansas is a disclosure state and they did not discolse any of these issues, looking of the disclosure it only has a section on electrical that says what type of wiring, thye put copper and working. Well it is all working it just ins't wired right. I feel they should of disclosed this but these people built this house themselves so they probably think it is right. There is a clause in my contract for inspections and we are going to go back to the bargaining table as soon as I get some estimates. My other issue is yes I realize I get my earnest money back but the bank has already had an appraisal done, that was $375, I bet I will have to pay for that if I end up not getting this property since it was already done.

It is not your worry at this moment, due to it is up to the Sellers to find a licensed Electrician to do the work. Stop doing their work for them.

JohnJ0906 08-05-2007 07:22 PM

clasact has a good point - if the land is nice, or if you really like the house, AND are willing to put a lot into it, you could have the price knocked down enough to make it worth it.

rjordan392 08-07-2007 09:31 AM

The would be new owner is asking, if what he sees is a hazard and asking for confirmation on the electrical inspectors report which was negative. Even with that, he would also have to get a plumbing inspection and a building inspection performed also because if the owner did most of the work himself, then that gives one something to ponder, if there are other violations that are not readily seen.

Here's how I would approach this:
The land value without the house. Does it have possibilities?
The owner did a lot of electrical work not to code; so its doubtful that he did the rest of the house according to code. So if the would be new owner wants the land, maybe that what he should offer to purchase and tell the owner that he will tear down the house and build another.
If the real estate offers proof of certified inspections of everthing, then he has something to work with. But it appears that they offered nothing and
Like the others, I say walk away; but if he wants the land, find the value without the house and make an offer. As it stands now, this house could cost as much to repair then to have one built.

skymaster 08-07-2007 11:43 AM

Toolman: If you had to pay 200 bucks to avoid multiple thousands of dollars of added expense,aggravation, NOT knowing what new disaster is hiding around the next board that you HAVE to remove, Ya think you would hesiatate to spend 200 and be gone? I shure as heck wouldn't. Pay the assesment, and be gone. Also I would have my lawyer start a suit against the the real estate brokers for non-disclosure, and notify the building dept.
Betcha the brokers will be real willing to give you back that assesment money and buy dinner.
Mike Swearingen I know I said sue broker, you seem a fair and reputable person as many in your profession are. This sucker sounds like one that should be run outta town on a rail, tarred and feathered, have his liscense burned in front of him.
JackM

Mike Swearingen 08-07-2007 01:03 PM

Since Kansas is a "full disclosure" state and neither the seller or the agent disclosed that this home was not built to code and was built without proper building permits and inspections, IMHO, the buyer would only have a legal case to sue the agent IF the buyer had actually closed on the property and could prove that the agent knew of the defects in advance and concealed them. He would have a much better legal chance against the seller, who DID deliberately conceal these defects (apparently from the agent too).
However, I am not an attorney, and I try not to practice law every chance that I get.
As it is, I believe that the buyer could get any upfront fees reimbursed by simply demanding them from the agent under threat of a complaint to the Kansas Real Estate Commission.
I still would advise him not to buy this house. While a few people may have the skill, knowledge and experience to turn a pig's ear like this property into a silk purse, I believe that his lender and his homeowner's insurance company would have major issues with even going through with this one.
Mike
P.S. Jack, I've been a real estate broker for more than 20 years. I've always tried to do business as I live...by the Golden Rule. (I've never been sued, and I've only had two false complaints filed against me in an effort to extort money from me under false pretenses. I won both of those cases after lengthy and detailed investigations by the NCRE Commission. Thanks.)


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