Deal going south

parkejoApril 16, 2012

My husband and I made an offer on a 9 year old house that has been on the market for a year and a half. We are under contract. During inspection our inspector found rotted wood soffits under the gutters, disconnected downspouts, an old ceiling leak in the garage where the garage roof and front house roof connect into a valley. There also wasn't proper attic venting over the garage (per our inspector- I know it's a matter of opinion). We wanted 2 roofing estimates but were only able to get one. The new house is in our hometown that we are moving back to. We live 2 hours away. We ran out of time during the inspection period. To get another estimate my realtor had to call the listing agent to tell the seller to make an appt with a roofer. A potential buyer can't make a roofing estimate on a house only the owner can. Our agent didn't want to schedule 2 at the same time but wanted to wait to see what the first estimate was. So we sent a repair addendum to the seller's. They agreed to repair the majority of the repairs. Repairing and painting the soffits, connecting the downspouts, repairing broken windows and installing the radon system (level was high) but won't address the ventilation over the garage (says it's not needed). After talking to their roofer about the seller's estimate we found out that they had the same problems as our inspector found - soffits, downspouts, gutter seam leaking (our inspection didn't find that). The disclosure didn't list anything. The sellers' bought the house less than 5 years ago. The disclosure for Ohio states to list anything within 5 years. We feel if there are the same problems present as when they purchased the house the problems weren't corrected. We feel that these issues should have been disclosed. Their roofer said that the soffits only need repaired or painted but nothing about the gutters. We wanted a second opinion, looking out for our potential investment. The sellers refuse to let us have another roofer look into the problems. We were not present at any roofing estimate just the inspection. We feel that our only choice is to walk away from the deal. We just wanted reassurance that the problems could be taken care of and not reappear after a few years. Were we wrong?

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You can walk away, or renegotiate the price based on what they are willing/able to repair and what they refuse to repair. There isn't anything wrong with them refusing to accept your new terms. And, there isn't any reason why you can't fix the roof venting after you own the house either.

At this point, what is it worth to you?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 1:02AM
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Fixing the gutters and the soffit is no big deal. A couple of weekends on a ladder and some scaffolding. Improper attic ventilation is a bit of a bigger deal, as that can lead to moisture damage within the attic itself or premature aging of the shingles. What is improper about the venting? And did the inspector go into the attic and view all of that?

You are getting your nose a bit too much out of joint over the seller's conduct here when you should be more impartial and treat this more businesslike. I know that this is a buyer's market, but really, you are not buying a new home here. A used home always has some issues, and these are relatively minor in the scheme of things if they've mostly been corrected. If the price of the home is OK, then proceed.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 2:04AM
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After considering everything we are walking. The same problems are present as when the current owners bought the house. I understand it is not a new house but feel the owners haven't done maintenance and correcting the problems so that they don't spread to more problems. There are other houses in the neighborhood we like. We just wanted to make sure our investment in this house was more sound. We want to be in this house at least 10+ years. This isn't the first house we bought and we understand that sellers don't have to fix anything. That happened with our first house. It was a great house.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:18AM
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The seller is willing to repair all items except for the ventilation "problem", which you just said is a matter of opinion, maybe not a real requirement. You seem to be more upset that they didn't disclose these items. What's the big deal with that - the items are being disclosed now, right? What does it matter they were disclosed to him earlier but never fixed at that time? He's willing to fix them now - so whats the big deal? Looks like you are looking for a way out. If you like the house and the neighborhood, and it seems like a good fit, then go for it. These don't seem like problems that would warrant walking away. By the way - you are buying a USED house, it is not going to be perfect. Most of the time these imperfections are reflected in the price, with the understanding that the new owners will have to repair some things themselves.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 2:45PM
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Oops - I only read your first post. I would not have commented if I had read your last post and saw you had already walked - sorry, my fault. I wish you had the ability to delete or edit your posts around here. Good luck on the next house

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 2:54PM
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Now hold on guys... while I do believe that the seller is doing good on repairing the mentioned items, the buyer's request was to also repair the rotted soffits and gutters. When the seller later came back and said that he would only repaint the soffits and mentioned nothing about the gutters. The buyer then asked for a second opinion, which the seller refused. In NC, the buyer has the right to perform as many inspections and Due Diligence as they like, w/in a specified time frame. The seller is refusing her this and is therefore the party that is "walking away", not the Buyer.
And as far as the seller scheduling the roof estimate... that sure sounds like strange practice to me. The buyers and/or their agents do all of that work themselves. Are you sure this is how it should have been handled? After all, this roofer may be the seller's buddy.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 7:57AM
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We didn't feel comfortable with the roofing company that we scheduled or the one that did the work on the house when the sellers bought the house. We wanted another opinion for peace of mind and to make sure the "problems" would be fixed. The roofing companies we called wouldn't schedule an appointment for an estimate if it wasn't the seller doing the scheduling. We feel better at not accepting what the seller would fix and moving on, hopefully to a better house.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 8:12PM
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IMO if someone bought a house with existing problems and hasn't fixed them in five years of living there- well, that tells me they did not do proper maintenance on their home.
Who knows what else they neglected that lies undiscovered.

You can tell when a home has been cared for and when it has not.
I do not want one that has not been cared for.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 8:58AM
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