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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

House 3: Burgled Again!

My agent called me yesterday with the results of the buyer's inspection. The buyer basically faxed over the inspector's report and wants everything fixed. That's not going to happen. But the scarier news was the inspector called and told us the house had been broken into. They only stole the new stove that I just put in - that's about all that is in the house anyway. That by itself isn't a big deal. What scared the crap out of me however, was what else the inspector told us: whoever stole the stove, turned on the gas outlet and left it open! The place smelled of gas when the inspector showed up. I am incredibly lucky I still have a house to sell.. Thankfully, the last time I was there, I turned off the pilot lights on the two gas wall heaters - one of which is on the opposite side of the wall from the gas outlet. The water heater pilot light was still burning, but the inspector said there was inadequate ventilation in the water heater cabinet and that actually kept the gas out. The thieves got in through the back door at the laundry room by kicking it in. The inspector shut off the gas and locked the place up the best he could.

I checked it out this morning and it was not as bad as I feared. The stove was gone and the back door was kicked in, but the door itself appears fine. The door jamb is splintered and that will need to be replaced. No gas smell was present, but I turned off the pilot light on the water heater, just to be safe.

Now, on to the list of stuff the buyer wants fixed:

The roof shows signs of unprofessional repair and cracking. It shows exposed nails and is missing some drip edge flashing on one side. In addition to getting these things fixed, the buyer wants a roof certification.

The plumbing is mixed copper and galvanized pipes. The water heater had corrosion on pipes and valves. The TPR overflow pipe did not extend to a safe location outside. (Deja vu - this is very similar to a problem I had with the heat pump condesate drip pipe on the first house I sold.) Two supply pipes were not clamped to the wall.

Two rooms did not have cooling or heating at time of inspection. (Meaning there are no vents in those rooms, not that the airflow into those rooms is blocked.) The evap unit only worked at the high cool setting.

The main power lines to the building are in contact with tree limbs - contact the utility company to fix. The GFCI outlet and kitchen did not test properly. The conduit at the main panel is not clamped to the wall. Three pronged outlets did not test as properly grounded.

There was broken glass at one bedroom window. Bathroom door jamb had damage. The room laundry room door jamb was damaged. The rear sliding door dual pane only has one pane. The back windows at the room addition were missing latches.

The laundry sink faucet leaked. The dryer vent was damaged.

The kitchen cabinet doors have damage.


Some of this stuff is the most ticky-tack stuff I've seen. For instance, the kitchen cabinet doors. All I can see is one door that has some wood chips out of it. However, this was painted over and it was in this condition when the house was for sale. And the reason there was glass at a bedroom window is because someone threw a rock through it. Yet, the report does not mention the hole in the window!

Anyway, the buyer is cash poor - hence the 100% loan to purchase and the 3% seller's contribution he wants from me so he can pay his mortgage broker and others involved in the process. I did a recorded documents search on the buyer and came up with nothing, so I don't have much info about him. However, he is obviously cash poor, so I instructed my agent to make the following offer: I will fix the back door jamb and the broken window. I will give the buyer $350 at closing for a new stove. I will also give the buyer $3,000 at closing to fix everything else. I'm hoping this guy will realize he can do the work himself and pocket a nice chunk of change. We're presenting this offer verbally first, to see if it will fly. If it does, we'll write it up. If not, I'll submit a list of things I will and won't fix.

This will probably be the last time I buy in a lower income part of town.

4 comments:

SLOMONEY said...

I absolutley hate home inspectors, they have caused me numerous headaches on all my project houses. They pick out stuff that is just plain stupid and make a big deal out of it. -SLOMONEY

Anonymous said...

Maybe the seller is thinking twice about paying $200K for a house in a crappy neighborhood.

Nick said...

This market is tanking fast. Get this thing sold, grab the money and run. You don't want to get stuck with an albatross.

Shaun said...

Slomoney - I think the problem lies more with Realtors and agents that do not take the time to explain the reports to buyers. Rather than go over the report, most just fax the whole thing to the seller and say "fix it all." If they went through the report and looked at it closely, they'd see some things should be perfectly acceptable, even if they were noted on the report. For instance, the report on this property noted that copper and galanized pipes were used for the water supply lines. The house was built in 1952, so this is typical. Does the agent really think I am going to replace all the pipes in the house for the seller? No way!

Anon - you obviously have no idea of the terms of a basic real estate contract. If the buyer disapproves of ANYTHING in the inspection report, they are not required to give me a chance to fix it. They can cancel the contract immediately. As for paying $200K, there are currently three houses for sale in the neighborhood. Mine is the listed with the lowest price and that price is about 15% lower than the highest priced house for sale.

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