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Old 11-28-2011, 08:32 PM   #1
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


So my fiancee and I recently put in an offer on a place that was accepted. Upon inspection a few things came up that we did not expect. Two of them being, what we believe, to be quite major.

1. The master bathroom needs to be redone, the tiles in the shower stall have lifted, and water has gotten underneath them. It will require re-grouting, re-sealing, and re-calking the shower. Approx $1000 or more. The seller have agreed to hold back 1k to have this done, but no more.

2. Our inspector found a slow drip on the newly installed roof, and mentioned this could be a larger issue.

After mentioning these 2 things to my Realtor, [the sellers Realtor] had a 3rd party inspector come in a take a look a the roof leak. The roof, which is under warranty since it was just recently replaced, was inspected and the inspector said there was nothing wrong and its in absolutely great condition. Verbatim from the strata manager "no sign of water intrusion, not sure what the inspector was referring to. If you need written confirmation please let me know and I can arrange for him to put something in an e-mail".

I worry for a few reasons...#1 this is out first place so we're hesitant to get into something that could provide more issues later. #2, the bathroom [eventually we will want to renovate] and this will be a band aid job and will get redone at some point that we're there. I worry if they lift the floor in the shower stall, more issues will come up [wet wood that has dried and now needs replacing too]. #3 - the roof. our inspector found a slow leak after a major storm. ok, perhaps it was from that [thats what the strata guy has said]. i guess the leak only happened after a big rain storm, who's to say this wont happen again, and perhaps its happening in other suites other people are just not reporting it?!? I just want to be cautious going forward as we also have plans to redo the kitchen and open it up and having these 2 issues come up was unexpected and worry that more stuff will start to unveil itself after opening up floors, ect.

Just curious on thoughts of others and any tips ...

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Old 11-28-2011, 09:18 PM   #2
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


Trust me, more stuff WILL come up, regardless of how old the house is. That is what home ownership is all about.

Neither of the issues you cite are ones that would deter me from buying the house if I liked it. And certainly to fear that there are other things wrong with the house because these two things emerged is an unfounded fear. Understandable in a first time home buyer, but unfounded all the same unless you have some other indications that the sellers might be less than forthcoming.

As far as the shower goes, yes there may be other work that needs to be done as a result of the water intrusion, but in all likelihood it is some minor wood replacement. $1,000 will get you a very basic repair, but it should hold you until you get around to the full renovation.

Regarding the roof, it's not totally uncommon to experience a leak in a new roof after a hard rain. But clearly you want to have it diagnosed and fixed. If the inspector signed off on the general quality of the new roof then in all likelihood the fix should be very minor...a fix to some flashing or something similar.

I would not let either things deter you from buying the house. They are problems that can be fixed and their presence does not mean there are other things wrong as well.

Two other things to keep in mind. A good inspector will give you a general estimate on how much it is going to cost to fix something. Your inspector should have explored the roof leak and provided you with a figure for correcting the problem.

Also, sellers are required to fill out a disclosure form regarding the property. If you subsequently discover that the form was filled out in bad faith and is not accurate you can sue. And the law will be heavily weighted in your favor as I understand it.

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Old 11-29-2011, 06:06 AM   #3
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


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Originally Posted by Ironlight View Post
Trust me, more stuff WILL come up, regardless of how old the house is. That is what home ownership is all about.
True words spoken by someone with experience.....Ditto....

I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect home (except maybe mine).

The truth is.....I really enjoy working on my home as does my wife....so much so that I doubt our home will really ever be done....

I have a garage to support working on the house....I have the house to justify the garage.....

On that roof leak....if there was one, there would be evidence....insulation would be flat and damp....the drywall below would be discolored.

On the shower...if you plan to change it later...take the $1000....bank it and use it towards the upgrade. No reason to patch something that is going to get ripped out.

If you have more than one bath....make that shower the first project...

Time to jump in and join the ranks of us DIY'ers....
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:09 AM   #4
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


I agree---those are not deal breakers----nothing structural or unrepairable---

The roofer will service the roof problem--the shower is in need of replacing----

Like Ddawg suggested---I would simply retire that shower until I could find the time and money to gut it out and replace it----

All houses (even new ones) have some issue that is irritating or expensive---this house sound like one with few problems-----Mike-----
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:53 AM   #5
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


The bathroom issue doesn't make sense. Tiles are lifting? What does that mean? If the tiles are coming off the wall, it will require more then regrouting and sealing.
As for the roof, there should be evidence of the water intrusion. Why did the Inspector see it and not the roofer?
Had a customer buy a house with a new roof. Inspector noted it on that report. What he failed to note was that there were only 4 nails in some of the shingles. The other shingles had 3 nails, most of which were punched through, so now the shingles are starting to slide down the roof with a 6 in 12 pitch.
When they put on the new roof, did they remove the old one(s)?
I'd ask to see the paperwork for the roof to see exactly what they did.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:02 AM   #6
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


I think the "yes" or "no" depends on several variables.
- Do you already have your financing finalized? A lot of mortgage underwriters will not approve a loan on a house with these kinds of problems. In other words, this all may be a moot point.
- Both the problems you mentioned are moisture-related. There could potentially be serious problems just below the surface - especially in the shower area.
- Is the amount of the mortgage loan going to push you and your fiancée to your financial limit? If "yes," you need to pass on this house. With these kinds of problems already surfacing, there are almost certainly more problems to come.
- Can you and your fiancée do home repairs, and enjoy doing them? Home ownership - especially in a home that has some issues - will be extremely expensive if you have to hire every little thing done.
- Is this house a "killer deal" that, with some minor repair, could increase rapidly in value?

What concerns me more than whether or not you buy this house, is what it might do to your (soon to be) marriage. This sort of scenario has the potential to destroy your marriage. I've advised young couples against premature home ownership many times. Be careful. Don't jump at this house, just because you want to own one.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:38 AM   #7
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


Ugh - I'd just say no . . . I mean - no place is perfect, of course. But this seems to have become a jumbled mess already - one person says there's a leak - someone else says there's not.

What - did it just fix itself? I think not.

Bathroom tiles 'lifting' - likely to be water damage to the subsurface and who knows what else is wrong. All the tiles might have been applied incorrectly with the wrong thinset like the pre-mix stuff that's not suppose to be used in wet climate areas.

If you really like the house, though - crawl through it yourself. Never mind trusting other people who have conflicting views. Is there a crawlspace? Check it out - is there an attic - check it out, too.

Get a good quality face mask and a headlamp and have at it.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:09 AM   #8
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


Depending on how much the previous home owners have deferred on maintaining the property, you could end up walking into a Money pit. The bath alone can cost you in materials at least $2500, or more. Especially since it starts out wanting to repair, but turns into a full blown remodel. The roof, it could end up being a whole tear off and replace. That alone depending on the size of the roof, could cost you upwards of $10,000 or more, if a large home, or multiple story.

Depending on how through the home inspector was, most are just going to do the bare minimum and "recommend" others come in and do the job, that the inspector should be. In order to properly check out a place, you need to have the plumbing inspected, hvac checked out, electrical, structure, permits looked for if any changes to structure, mechanicals, electrical, etc.

We have lived in our place going on nine years now. In the first two years, we replaced the old Octopus/gravity furnace. Had to replace the roof in the third year, updated the electrical from the mish-mash of changes, and over 70 year old wiring. Bath was remodeled in 2010. Pulled out a couple of windows up in our attic space, put in a vent fan, put a chimney cap on the brick chimney, that only the water heater uses. It is an on going thing, when owning a home. It just never stops, so be ready to have a cash reserve for those emergencies that may happen, and savings for other stuff, so that you do not have to take out loans from the bank thorugh a heloc, or from family.

If I had to guess on money spent, I would probably say that we have so far sunk around $15,000.00 in home repairs and upkeep so far, in the past 8 and a half years.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:19 PM   #9
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


You guys are going to scare the #*@! out of this guy, lol.

Seriously, if you enter into "worst case scenario" mode, you'd never buy a house unless you could strip it down to the studs and run the systems for a full year to see how they performed.

If your inspector is reputable and comes with good references, then you have to trust him to a large degree if you're not well versed in the mechanics of houses. If you can't bring yourself to do that then you should rent.

But you do need to go into home ownership with an understanding that things wear out, break and fail on a fairly continual basis and that fixing them costs more or less money based on the house.

We just bought a new house last April and fairly immediately put on a new roof, relined the chimney, and replaced a 25 year old AC compressor and air handler all to the tune of $15,000. But we knew making our bid that we had to do that because it was obvious. The roof was twenty five years old and curling. The fireplace had chunks of terra cotta flue sitting on the hearth, and the AC unit was clearly antique. But the house dates from 1925, was largely original, and was exactly what we were looking for.

What the OP is looking at is chump change and in truth pretty mild stuff to uncover during a home inspection. To caution him that they point to bigger problems is irresponsible given the information provided. Yes other things will go wrong, but a small leak in a new roof and some mold and tile separation are NOT in any way shape or form signs that there are more substantial things wrong with the house.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:55 PM   #10
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


I'm not going to read all of this thread to see what others have already said but I can tell you from your brief description of the bathroom shower issue - you are way off base there. A measly one thousand dollars WILL NOT fix that problem. You just don't understand the depth of the issue.

The shower is gone - G-O-N-E !
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:48 PM   #11
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


Did the Real Estate recommend the Home Inspector?
This is a big mistake and should never be done.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:37 PM   #12
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


In every area I have ever worked in, the Realtors and Home Inspectors have been in cahoots to make a quick sale. BE CAREFUL.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:59 PM   #13
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


Not all Realtors are in cahoots to make a quick sale....some like to sleep at night ...like me. In this case the op stated he hired an independant 3rd party inspector.
Like everybody is saying ongoing home maintenance is just part of home ownership. However, the op also stated the Realtor stands to double end the deal. This Realtor does not want the deal to die.
Go in with your eyes wide open.. don't let anybody minimize the defects, be prepared to have some issues that will cost you, but don't be afraid to own a home. You don't want to spend your life paying somebody else's mortgage and building their equity.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:41 PM   #14
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


I have always gotten independent inspections on property I have purchased. It does seem to me that you had things out of sequence if you brought in an inspector after you made an offer and it was accepted unless it was contingent on the inspection. Ordinarily the problems you mentioned would have become negotiating points.

I guess the other thing to think about is warranty. Is the house being sold as is, with problems identified, or is there some sort of warranty protection being extended you. And are you in title closing state or do you need an attorney to close. You may be able to have another shot at things if you can negotiate some things into the closing.

Of course if the home's condition was misrepresented to you it might enable you to pull your offer. Good luck getting your deposit back though.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:34 PM   #15
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To Buy or not to buy, that is the question.


I am with Bud on this one, the shower is more like 5-6K++ (depending on tile and trim selection) to have it done, lifted tiles are from improper installation in the first place which would lead me to believe that there is far more damage behind what you can see.

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