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Old 12-04-2006, 05:42 PM   #1
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Need advice and assurance on house issues!


Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum and would like to pick all of your brains. My husband and I are under contract for our first home. While it's all very exciting, we just had the home inspection on Saturday. It did not go nearly as well as we had hoped. The house is a cape cod with 3 bedrooms including a finished attic. Here are the problems with the house:

*Termites in the garage. (will not know the extent of the damage until the exterminator comes in)

*Whole bathroom needs replacement. We filled up the bathtub and the water leaked through the basement ceiling. The toilet moves when you push on it.

*Apparently there were raccoons in the basement because there are droppings along a whole wall down there so this would have to be removed and sanitized.

*The basement stairs need to be replaced. They are separating and cracking.

*Then there are the little things. The house needs better insulation. There is only one heating duct that goes up to the attic. The door to one bedroom does not close all the way. The back door to the yard needs to be replaced.

*The kitchen could use updating but is not something that needs to be done immediately.

*There are hardwood floors, but originally there was carpet, so there are gaps between the hardwood floors and the walls that need to be filled.

*The roof was installed incorrectly and will need replacing pretty soon.

I think that is everything, although there was so much stuff I could have missed something!! The thing that is tearing me up is that that is A LOT of work that it needs. As first time home buyers it sounds like the house of horrors to us.

Are these things easily fixed? Is the integrity of the house affected? We don't want to buy a hunk of junk. The foundation is solid, so that was a plus but we don't the extent of the damage of the termites in the garage.

This is all just frustrating and I guess I just need some assurance that these things can be fixed and we will have a solid house. Right now it is soooo tempting to just pull out of the deal and keep looking. What do you think?

Thank you for any feedback you may have!!

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Old 12-04-2006, 06:19 PM   #2
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Need advice and assurance on house issues!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leikela View Post
Hi everyone,
I am new to this forum and would like to pick all of your brains. My husband and I are under contract for our first home. While it's all very exciting, we just had the home inspection on Saturday. It did not go nearly as well as we had hoped. The house is a cape cod with 3 bedrooms including a finished attic. Here are the problems with the house:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leikela View Post
*Termites in the garage. (will not know the extent of the damage until the exterminator comes in)
If the termites have not done any serious damage, then have the Owners pay for the service. It usually covers one year of additional treatment. After that, you have the option of staying on the monitoring plan for about $250.00 or so a year. = Problem solved

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leikela View Post
*Whole bathroom needs replacement. We filled up the bathtub and the water leaked through the basement ceiling. The toilet moves when you push on it.
Look for addtional water damage under the floor. Example: rotted sheathing and floor joists are very possible with what you described.
Even these are repairable. Your big expense could be plumbing related.
All can be done for about: $15K to $20K and up, dependant on your tastes. You could: Get an actual estimate from a reputable local contractor (or several of them) and have them take the highest amount off the sale price.

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Originally Posted by Leikela View Post
*Apparently there were raccoons in the basement because there are droppings along a whole wall down there so this would have to be removed and sanitized.
Try to get them to have this done professionally (as part of the sales agreement)....before closing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leikela View Post
*The basement stairs need to be replaced. They are separating and cracking.
Sounds like an unfinished basement; Easy fix for a good carpenter = 1 day job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leikela View Post
*Then there are the little things. The house needs better insulation. There is only one heating duct that goes up to the attic. The door to one bedroom does not close all the way. The back door to the yard needs to be replaced.
Better insulation: Get a quote from a company for what needs to be done. Have them deduct the costs from the sales price or have them get it done as part of the sales agreement.

One heating Duct: Get a HVAC Company in there and have the system checked out...get a price for the upgrade. Deduct of tell them to have it done as part of the sales agreement.

Door issues: Both easy fixes. one is an adjustment, the other replacement: Get quotes for the costs and...you know the rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leikela View Post
*The kitchen could use updating but is not something that needs to be done immediately.
This may already be reflected in the asking price of the home. The large majority of home buyers want to change the kitchens in the homes they buy. This is a big expense... $20K - $30K and up.
However, you can shop around and spend a lot less. (Example. We are doing an addition for one customer who purchased their kitchen cabinets and appliances from IKEA. Top end looking cabinets =$2K, 4 stainless steel appliances = $2K. They got deals on Tile and Granite too. Their kitchen looks like they spent $30K, they spent less than a third of that all together)

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Originally Posted by Leikela View Post
*There are hardwood floors, but originally there was carpet, so there are gaps between the hardwood floors and the walls that need to be filled.
EASY fix: Shoe base molding takes care of all that, if you are handy, you can do them yourselves and save...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leikela View Post
*The roof was installed incorrectly and will need replacing pretty soon.
This is a big ticket item. You absolutely shoud bicker about this issue. Again, either include this fix or have estimates from roofing contractors to deduct the costs.

[quote=Leikela;25851]
I think that is everything, although there was so much stuff I could have missed something!! The thing that is tearing me up is that that is A LOT of work that it needs. As first time home buyers it sounds like the house of horrors to us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leikela View Post
Are these things easily fixed? Is the integrity of the house affected? We don't want to buy a hunk of junk. The foundation is solid, so that was a plus but we don't the extent of the damage of the termites in the garage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leikela View Post
This is all just frustrating and I guess I just need some assurance that these things can be fixed and we will have a solid house. Right now it is soooo tempting to just pull out of the deal and keep looking. What do you think?
Thank you for any feedback you may have!!

This is what normally would be called a 'quasi-fixer upper'.
If you can haggle out a price that is much lower than the average market value of such a home in good shape in your area, then it is up to you....

This sounds like it could add up to alot of repairs and money. Anything can be fixed...
Are you willing to live in a house that is going to take several months of work to bring up to good standards?
Are you OK with the idea of buying a house that needs work, or were you planning on NOT having to do anything?

If you can get the money taken off, then you can find the right contractors and get it fixed the way you want. I would suggest this, if you are set on purchasing the home. The reason is because if you leave it up to them to fix the roof, they will get the cheapest roofers and the cheapest job they can get.

Remember that purchasing a house (home) is the biggest investment people generally make in their life. You need to put any emotions aside (Falling in love with a house)...and make the best decision for yourselves financially and mentally (Remodeling is stressful for homeowners)

Good luck.


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 12-04-2006 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:43 PM   #3
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Need advice and assurance on house issues!


First house? Run, run fast.
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:10 PM   #4
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Need advice and assurance on house issues!


I want to thank you for the replies!! Thank you AtlanticWBConst. for your long and thoughtful reply! What you write makes complete sense and I think I have to go with my gut on this one and most likely get out of the contract.

Tscarborough, thank you for your short and to the point response. It makes perfect sense though. I think you're right. I think my husband and I will be looking elsewhere.
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