Need advice--this is what home inspector found

dreambuilderApril 9, 2013

Talked to the agent and he said none of the things listed below are things that are asked to be corrected in "this" jurisdiction.....what would you ask to be fixed?
-wood handrail on deck stairs
-add deck ballisters and hand railing
-Anderson sliding door cracked
-Anderson window crank broken
-2 passive vents added to attic
-handrail to second floor
-handrail to basement
-handrail on front steps
-all windows need ultravoilet light resistant varnish put on wood that is bare to seal and protect
-add exhaust fan in laundry room
-drains put in egress window bays
-fix concrete 1 1/2" difference in sidewalk
-new garage door opener with steel strut reinforcement
and convert to torsion spring door
-all toilets are short cycling
-re-install toilet that is wobbling
-cut the excess PVC pipe off of sump pump basket so float doesn't stick
-seal the sump pump-- leaking radon
-sink the drain is not hooked on

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Whose agent shared this opinion with you, & what jurisdiction are we talking about?

You're the buyer;
you can ask for any repairs or allowances you want, but bear in mind that a laundry list of expenses & chores is likely to discourage a seller from accepting any of them.

My own "at the least" thoughts:

Leaking radon is a very large problem,
& every house should have properly functioning commodes.

Good grief.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 11:08AM
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You are not buying a new house.

It is used and likely was constructed under an older version of the building codes.

Maybe a brand new house is more your style.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 11:08AM
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Did he do a radon test? I think that would be the only issue that could/should be addressed by the seller.

The rest is a nice list of chores for you to tackle after closing.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:11PM
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I agree that these are issues that come with houses that are not new - new houses come with their own list of issues! As a buyer, my goal is to make the cleanest offer I can so that I'm attractive to the seller and not viewed as a headache in the making with nickel and dime requests. If the cost to fix the radon was not substantial, I wouldn't even ask for that fix and simply make it Job #1 after closing but I would let the seller know the test result because it will come up in any inspection if the deal with me falls through for some reason. And sometimes that little bit of goodwill can go a long way.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Thanks for the responses! I ask b/c in our "old" jurisdiction your electrical had to meet code, you had to have handrails, etc. Anything that was considered "unsafe" you have to fix. So for our home inspection on our previous home all of that was negotiated. This house they are telling me only things that are completely broken are fixed. Thank you for your thoughts on the topic!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:26PM
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These don't sound like really big things, with the exception of the radon issue. Which may or may not be a problem, but if you do a test and it turns out to be a big problem, I'd ask the seller to take care of it. All the others I probably wouldn't discuss.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:26PM
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about those handrails & similar items...

Inspectors have to report cerain conditions or deficiencies, even if it's something that *isn't there*.

One example is GFCI (ground fault circuit interruptor) switches, a safety feature in kitchens, bathrooms, etc, where electric shock from water might be likely.

Although a new house would have to have GFCI's, an existing house wouldn't necessarily have them, but the inspector would have to report their absence as a deficiency.

The fact that something is on the report doesn't mean that the seller or the buyer has to correct it, unless it's something that the lender or insurer requires.

FHA, for instance, requires GFCI's in certain areas of the house & property.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 1:46PM
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I wouldn't consider anything that you would have seen when visiting the house as something to request. This should have been considered in the original offer.

Now the radon, and the toilets are things I would request a fix for. I would expect to have functioning toilets.

The sliding door - was this visible to you? What is cracked? The glass or the door itself? This could be a simple fix or an expensive one depending on what is wrong. I would consider that part.

Some of the fixes are easy ones to do yourselves and not a big deal. Don't worry about those. Worry about the expensive ones or real safety hazards that are not just a code thing - radon is the only real one I see on your list on the safety side that is not related to codes that may or may not have changed since the house was built.

Also consider what is operational and what was disclosed as non-operational. If something was disclosed then you knew about it at the time of your offer.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 2:41PM
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Many of the items listed are building code items that may be an issue if built that way today, but weren't back then.

However, you can do a quick check to make sure you aren't required to obtain a new occupancy permit when buying a home. Here in the St Louis market, you sometimes have to and things like handrails and bannister spacing is NOT a "grandfathered" item, making it the sellers responsibility to remediate before selling. The occupancy permits are issued by the Fire District that handles fire protection.

Tht said, you can ask for as many repairs as you'd's a negotiation. Just don't expect perfection.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 6:07PM
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I would find out if he actually did a radon test, if he did and found radon leaking I would want that fixed. It is a safety issue.
Was the crack on the sliding door visable when you viewed the house?
Is it the glass or wood that is cracked? I would look into to this and possibly ask for it to be fixed.
If the laundry room is on the main level of the house, I would immediately put and external vent in. If it is basement level with a closed vent I would be less concerned.
An inspection is done to look for problems it is not a shopping list for buyers.
Codes change all the time, a year old house is often no longer up to code.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 8:00PM
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I don't anything about your jurisdiction so don't know if any of those are problem areas. I agree about looking into the radon. Around here, when I buy a house I generally look at the list for things that are expensive to fix or that I didn't know about when I made the offer and I figure what I think it will cost for fix and ask for a credit. I usually would prefer to do the fixes myself to make sure that is done right. As to things that I took it into account in making my offer then I don't expect to get a credit for those as I already gave myself a credit unless I find that the problem is more extensive than I thought it would be.

Which brings me to this your entry about the garage door. When we bought our current house, the inspection indicated that the garage door opener wasn't working property and would need to be replaced. We didn't really have a problem with this and in negotiated a credit for repairs added a small amount for this (cost of a new garage door opener), a couple of hundred dollars or so.

We close on the house, call the garage door opener guy and find out that due to the style of the garage door, no standard garage door opener will work on the door and, long story short, we had to replace the garage door to a cost of well over $2000.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 8:32PM
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Why does a laundry room need a fan vent?
It sounds as though no radon test was done... just the fact that the sump is not covered.
OP, can you clear this up for us?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:27PM
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hi dreambuilder, of your list I would ask for these to be fixed - or the cost of them deducted from your offer:

-Anderson sliding door cracked (cracked door???) !!

-2 passive vents added to attic (can cause roof leaks) !!

-re-install toilet that is wobbling (seriously / this should have been fixed before showing imho) !!

-cut the excess PVC pipe off of sump pump basket so float doesn't stick
-seal the sump pump-- leaking radon
-sink the drain is not hooked on (all the sump pump issues should be resolved / and certainly the radon leak) !!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 12:15AM
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It's really up to you. And you don't want to ask for too many things, and nix the sale, of course.

But I personally WOULD

Ask for exterior handrails--because your insurance company is almost surely going to make you put them in anyway.

Radon remediation is a must.

I'd question about that 1.5" concrete difference--you would NOT get a CO in my jurisdiction with a problem like that--better to get them to fix it.

Cracked/broken windows--I'd want those fixed

I would NOT:
allow them to put the fan in the laundry room or attic--they might make a mess of a job like that--better to do yourself, the way you want it

The rest of the stuff is minor and things I'd expect to find when buying an older home--they're not unreasonable things to take care of yourself when you move in.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:20AM
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Thank you for responses! We did have two radon tests done, one was fine and one was high by the sump pump so that is why recommended sealing that off.

The cracked door is a slider--the plastic has somehow cracked either the door was slammed too hard or something and so all that is left on the bottom corner is wood--don't know if they can fix that or have to replace door which would be expensive.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:27AM
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I would want to know why that toilet is wobbling. Are the screws just loose, or is the floor underneath it rotting out and weak? One's a quick fix, the other is not.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 2:25PM
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Have not read any responses so apologize if this is redundant--- but if you are going for an FHA loan these items would all have to be repaired/added before closing. Some of them are code violations (like the handrails). Your local govt may not allow grandfathering of out of code issues and upon conveyance of title all those may have to be brought up to current standards.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 9:47AM
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