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Old 07-12-2009, 12:03 PM   #1
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Buying first home


I'm new to this forum -- but suspect I'll be posting here a lot as I go through the process of buying my first home.

After a lot of looking I finally found something that I really liked. I didn't see any issue that stood out too much and I made an offer. The offer was accepted -- this is a short-sale -- so now I must wait for their bank to either approve or deny the offer before I start inspections.

I took a whole bunch of pictures of the house when I looked at it..and looked at them way more closely recently. The home is a split-level and the bottom level is mostly under-ground which includes the garage. The walls in the garage are not finished and you can see the foundation. It does appear to be dis-colored from moisture or moist.



That hole in the floor, which I think is a sump pump pit, has some water and no pump. I thought that it might be a good thing that it hasn't flooded without a pump..and putting a pump in might resolve the issue:

I couldn't see any obvious signs of water damage in the finished area of the basement.

The house is basically built into the side of a hill.




So..If their bank accepts the offer..I'm trying to figure out how I should proceed. I really don't want a huge expense trying to fix this....

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Old 07-12-2009, 07:46 PM   #2
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Buying first home


With a sloped backyard like that you will havea lot of water run-off right into the house/basement
IF they already installed a drainage system out back then you may be OK
Do you know why it is being sold as a short sale? Value drop?
Did you look at the property on a rainy day? or when there had been rain recently ?

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Old 07-12-2009, 08:16 PM   #3
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With a sloped backyard like that you will havea lot of water run-off right into the house/basement
IF they already installed a drainage system out back then you may be OK
I think there is already one installed based on that picture but I don't know fur sure. I"m assuming those two hoses are coming from tile and then you're supposed to stick a sump pump in there to pump that pit out..but that is just a guess.

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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave
Do you know why it is being sold as a short sale? Value drop?
Not really. I am paying about $6,000 less than the owners paid in 2003. That is a little property value drop but that is to be expected. I don't know why they dont' have $6,000 of it paid over the last six years.

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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave
Did you look at the property on a rainy day? or when there had been rain recently ?
No it was not rainy. But I suppose I could wait until it is and go look at it.

I'm guessing that if it is tiled it helps..but those walls do look like there is or was moisture there. If there *was* moisture and there isn't now would it still be that same wet color?
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:41 PM   #4
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Buying first home


Based on the pictures, it does look like there is moisture on the walls. As the rest of the basement is finished, you could have a problem. There may be mold in the walls that are finished.

I'm guessing that there is a drainage system already installed, but if there is moisture present, it doesn't appear to be completely solving the problem.

I personally would move on and start looking at other houses. You have the potential problem of moisture in the basement and finished areas of the basement, and it's a short sale so you will be waiting months to get a reply from the bank. Rather than waste all that time waiting for bank approval only to do inspections and find out you have major problems, I would just move on now and save the aggravation.

Btw, if you are curious about the sellers and why it is being short saled, you can access your local registry of deeds for the mortgage documents on the house and find out what the deal is. Usually you can find this info online, but if you can't you can head down to the registry building and look at them the old fashioned way.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:57 PM   #5
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Buying first home


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Based on the pictures, it does look like there is moisture on the walls. As the rest of the basement is finished, you could have a problem. There may be mold in the walls that are finished.

I'm guessing that there is a drainage system already installed, but if there is moisture present, it doesn't appear to be completely solving the problem.

I personally would move on and start looking at other houses. You have the potential problem of moisture in the basement and finished areas of the basement, and it's a short sale so you will be waiting months to get a reply from the bank. Rather than waste all that time waiting for bank approval only to do inspections and find out you have major problems, I would just move on now and save the aggravation.
100% agreed. All indications point to water infiltration (drainage problem) and there's no way to fix that on the cheap. Even if the wall isn't structurally compromised it is obvious that it is getting some water. The sump pit is a good start, but is of little value if not connected to a perimeter drain system on the exterior side of the wall at the footing level. I'd be concerned about spending my money on it unless you can get a drainage contractor in there to check the integrity of the system in place and the condition of the wall.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:04 PM   #6
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Congrats on hopefully getting your first home. It looks like a nice place and it might take a little bit of money to get the minor things fixed, but it will be worth it in the end. Hopefully you are getting a good deal since it is a short sale.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:07 PM   #7
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Run!!!, don',t walk, away from this one, never buy a house with slope towards the house, there will always be water problems which could affect the foundation. Always look for slope running away from the house and good drainage. Gutter down spouts as well should be directed away from the foundation. This looks like a real money pit.

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