I'm becoming one of you!

nickel_kgSeptember 10, 2013

Oh my gosh, the seller just accepted our offer for a house here in Virginia, built in 1940. One owner. Pristine wooden floors because they carpeted early on, and just tucked the rugs under the baseboards rather than using nails or tacks. Wow. Plaster walls look smooth, true. All sorts of charm and character just ooze from this place. I've still got stars in my eyes about it.

So -- home inspection will be scheduled soon as part of finalizing the mortgage. We know some basics that will be found (electric, some trim work, guttering, total lack of modern insulation and old windows which I realized might/might not be a problem etc), and accounted for them in our costs.

Question is this: how much do I talk to the inspector beforehand, to ensure he's looking at the areas I'm concerned about (such as that wierd little bump on the roof where a pipe sticks out), and how much do I just let him do his job?

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sometimes it is possible for the buyer to be able to meet the
inspector at the property when it is gone over. If you can't do that for one reason or another then do talk to them ahead of time and ask about anything which concerns you. You are paying for the inspection, and it will be your house, right? congratulations on the impending new home, and of course you know we all want pictures!!!!!
It sounds wonderful. Being the new owner of a 1948 home I wouldn't be prejudiced... best wishes!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 6:28PM
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"sometimes it is possible for the buyer to be able to meet the
inspector at the property when it is gone over. "

Here in Rochester NY, the sellers are always absent from the property when the inspector is there. Both real estate agents (sellers' and buyers') are there, and the buyers are expected to be there too. I remember a very nice conversation with the realtors as we waiting for the inspector to get to everything.

I guess it would make sense to speak to the inspector about anything the bothers you. We were concerned about wiring and plumbing. Remember that even a good inspector can't see inside the walls; they miss things.

Just be there and talk to them before they start. They can tell you what their normal modus operandi is.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 7:18PM
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thanks guys. I'll get my list together of 'items of concern' to pass to the inspector. This home has a detached garage -- he will inspect that too, won't he?

I'll post pictures in a few days ... got to get a name for what style it is.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 8:57PM
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A good inspector is a wealth of information about all kinds of things, not only specific issues related to the sale of the house. It's a good education about houses in general, and your house in particular - how things work, things that arent a concern now but you might want to plan for long term.. Also - what things are GOOD about the house - what's well built, what things you should be happy about.

Youll want to be there esp if you're a first time home owner. Even though you get a written report you might want to videotape or take copious notes .


    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 9:30PM
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Well I'm crushed. The deal fell through; apparently someone emerged with a prior claim so the house was not legally for sale.

It's not the last house in town, so I know we'll get another -- but this will always be "the one that got away."

And darn it if I don't have old house fever BAAAAD now. Oh well -- at least my dear husband got a dose of it too....

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 5:27PM
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Maybe for the best. Never know what sorts of problems are there.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 12:33AM
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Thanks for the kind words, j. But I think this will always be "the one that got away" ... just too many details felt so right.

Oh well -- we're looking again, and a real interesting 30's house near the tracks is available. It says it has "cistern water" ... if things progress, maybe I'll be asking the forum about that!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 8:01PM
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nickel_kg, if you're anything like me, you'll forget about this house as soon as you find one! I had two that "got away" and now that I'm in the inspection process for the one we're going for now, its good features are outweighing the good features of the other two.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 9:35AM
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We bought our 1940 Virginia dutch colonial a year ago as an "as-is" purchase. The house had been occupied by the same family since 1947. The husband has passed away and the wife was now moving into a retirement home.

In general the house had only been updated to meet their minimal needs. It had the original oil boiler, no A/C, no dryer (but a clothes line), and no microwave, disposal or diswasher. It also had very nice hardwood floors that had been covered by carpet for years. Floral wallpaper was everywhere.

I went through the house with the inspector, but I'm not sure I got much value out of his work. For example, he started up the oil boiler to make sure it worked, and then wrote a note that "oil boiler shoud be inspected by qualified HVAC technician". He didn't understand the electrical panel that had been upgraded in the 1960's to a split bus type that is no longer used, so he noted that it needed to be inspected. However, as I have worked on the house over the last year I have found it is a very solid house with no significant problems.

Overall the house was in very good condition and we bought it for a good price in "as-is" condition. Over the last year we have upgraded the electrical panel and some key wiring, converted to a gas boiler, and added central AC. We also just signed a contract to renovate the kitchen and open up the floor plan. The key condition was that the house was already livable when we bought it, but everything was just very old. It is also located in a good neighborhood where it was underpriced due to its lack of upgrades.

Good luck with your search and future purchase.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 8:45AM
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