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    stromboli's Avatar
    stromboli Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Apr 4, 2008, 02:55 PM
    home inspection reports
    I have recently entered into agreement to buy a home. It is a ranch style, built in 1958 in the state of Delaware. The sale is contingent on a home inspection. The home was inspected last weekend and I was there with the person doing the inspection. There were about 30 to 40 items mentioned in his written report. The most important being loose tiles in the master bath shower, electric wiring not mounted but rather laying around in a crawl space area, electrical work that was done but not checked by a licenced electrician, and most important, a sagging , bouncing floor. More than 2/3 of the home is built over a crawl space and spans greater than 15' using 2x8 lumber. In addition, owners of the home had been venting there clothes dryer in the poorly vented area for at least 30 years. The crawl space is just loaded with clothes lint. The real estate agents involved in this are telling me I am just making a big deal out of nothing. They say lots of homes in the state of Delaware were constructed this way.. and it is not unusual for people to vent there clothes dryers into crawl space areas. This problem was noted not by me but by the home inspector. He detailed it in his report , and then told the realtor at the time of the inspection that the home was basically fine and that there were no "deal breaker problems" in the home?. Am I within my rights to insist that the floor sag/bouncing problem reported by the home inspection be corrected or else I don't buy the house ?
    the home price is $400,000.00 and for what I am paying I think that the house should be right... can you help me, please.
    LisaB4657's Avatar
    LisaB4657 Posts: 3,662, Reputation: 534

    Apr 4, 2008, 03:11 PM
    People tend to forget the purpose of home inspections. You will have to carefully read your contract, but most likely it provides that the inspection must show that the house is structurally sound and that all major systems are in working order. That means that the house doesn't have to be "right". It just has to be sound and everything has to be working.

    Of course the electrical issues have to be corrected. Most likely the wiring does not conform to building codes and I'm sure the contract requires that the house will be in accordance with all codes and laws. So I would insist that the wiring be repaired by a licensed electrician.

    You could also make an issue of the loose tiles but all the seller has to do is glue them down. As long as they're sticking on the day of closing then the seller has complied and you can't hold him responsible for it if they come off after the closing.

    As for the floor sagging and bouncing, if you want to push that issue you will have to find an expert who will say that this threatens the structural integrity of the house. If the inspector didn't note that the structure is threatened then you're probably not going to have much luck there.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7692

    Apr 4, 2008, 03:17 PM
    You can ask for some or all of the improvements to be made, you can merely ask for a lower price to make up for work that needs to be done.
    Or you can merely back out.

    But you now have to see if they will play ball or not, many sellers don't have the money to fix these things, and often can't lower the price,

    But you now can go back with a request based on this inspection
    LisaB4657's Avatar
    LisaB4657 Posts: 3,662, Reputation: 534

    Apr 4, 2008, 03:25 PM
    I have to tell you that I strongly disagree with a portion of Fr_Chuck's response. If you request that the seller repair items that are not considered structural or major systems, and the seller refuses, then legally (according to the form of most standard brokers' contracts) you do not have the right to back out of the contract. In that case the seller can sue you for their damages.

    If the seller refuses to make any repairs (or provide you with a credit for those repairs) and you are considering cancelling the contract then I suggest that you speak to an attorney before you take any action.
    smearcase's Avatar
    smearcase Posts: 2,392, Reputation: 316
    Ultra Member

    Apr 4, 2008, 03:29 PM
    The r/e agents are only interested in closing the sale. They shouldn't be part of your decision about what to do about the inspection. You can't come back on them or the inspector because everything is in writing. How in the hell does the inspector know if there are deal breaker problems? He wants to get referrals from these agents when their future customers are looking for inspection companies. The inspector will simply stick by what the report says and he won't remember those deal breaker comments at a later date. I would have a licensed builder and an electrican look at he items on the report, provide estimates and then renegotiate unless the house is one of a kind and you are willing to gamble. I've had realtors tell me black was white and up was down, and I've just walked away and I am glad I did. Goodluck
    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 11,929, Reputation: 899
    Home Improvement & Construction Expert

    Apr 4, 2008, 03:29 PM
    Read you contract carefully as to what constitutes valid reason for rejection. You now know why the floors are sagging. Forget what the realtor says, he/she doesn't get paid unless the house is sold. You are correct to be concerned about the floors, a 2X10 SYP floor joist will span 15'3". The other things can easily be corrected, the floor joist will be difficult and expensive. That being said, they have probably sagged as much as they are going too.
    rtw_travel's Avatar
    rtw_travel Posts: 347, Reputation: 36
    Full Member

    Apr 5, 2008, 10:43 AM
    In Canada, (and in any house we've bought) being 'conditional on home inspection' does not specify what conditions are acceptable vs unacceptable. We could terminate for any reason - we don't even have to tell them the reason.

    As others have said, read the contract carefully. It seems surprising that you could not terminate the contract if you wanted to - particularly if the wiring does not meet code, there is a potential mould/ rot problem in the crawlspace, and the floor bounces because the floor joists are undersized. Why bother getting a home inspection if you can't terminate for these reasons!

    So, assuming your contract gives you the ability to terminate, I think you just have to make a choice. On one hand, there will always be another house to look at if you walk away from this one. One the other hand, anything can be fixed, its just a matter of money. You'll have to decide if the area and neighbours are worth it, and get an idea of the cost of repair.

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