Inspection came back, whoa!

HouseofsticksJuly 16, 2014

Ok, so we are currently under contact to purchase a home. We had the inspection today and feel numb. Here's the jar issues:
All the windows need to be replaced. All 31 of them:(. They are casement windows so it's quite pricey.
The old (19yr) A/C unit is working properly, the new (2yr) A/C unit is not cooling enough (-8* air exchange).
So I know what the seller paid in 2003. After realtor fees it is break even with this number (under 300k).
Do we present our report in it's entirety and ask for all repairs/like quality replacements? Or just list what is a "deal breaker" for us?

On a side note-This offer amount is at the top of our price range already.
We are not doing a contingency and have a scheduled closing in August.

Any seasoned help on how to best present this to the seller/agent?

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What is wrong with the windows?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 11:54PM
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Many (31 + 2 side lights at entry) are rotten, some the guts fell out or were unable to open or close after opening, fogging-no insulation gas still present. Wood rotten (home approx. 25 yrs old). Only 1 widow was problem free.

This post was edited by houseofsticks on Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 0:16

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 12:02AM
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Do you have any info on why the window wood was rotten? After only 25 years that's a bit disturbing. Maybe it's regional? We bought a house with woodframe windows from 1969. The windows are not efficient, but the wood is in perfect condition. We're in the PNW. If I saw a house as new as the one you're looking at with rotten wood I would be concerned about water issues.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 12:37AM
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That is a concern. We are in the Carolina's. The windows are not a branded name. Sun exposure is probably responsible for some of them, others water damage. The inspector felt confident that if the windows were replaced the problem would not be a larger issue, not sure if that's true. All materials surrounding seem to be fine except the exterior trim (no visible water damage inside). Sills are rotten outside.
This will be a huge expense my husband is estimating 25-35k plus the service of the new unit and a replacement or assist with the dinosaur A/C units. Not sure on how to best present.

These are the major issues. The list was a mile long.
furnace sucking in air /not sealed at valve.
Attic fans thermostatic setting not working.
Minor things like door alignment, missing hinges, toe kicks or rubber stoppers.
Roof needs flashing added.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 12:51AM
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Unless you are right on the coast with regular sea air exposure, I'd be really, really concerned about a house where all of the windows were failing and sills rotting after 25 years. That would be a dealbreaker for me unless the cause could be easily identified and addressed--if the sills are rotten, are you 100% sure there's no moisture damage/rot in the walls themselves? At a minimum, I'd get a second opinion on exactly what's causing that degree of damage in such a short time period. Daunting news to get--good luck with the decision!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 1:14AM
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I am leery but also leery that we won't find a house like this that checks all our boxes of must haves. I guess working windows is a must have though. The basement looks dry, we just had a 5hr storm the night before. All flooring looks dry. It's a walk in unfinished so I can easily see most of the guts. No mildew/mold or smell. I'm suspecting that they redid the roof and some siding in 2011 (also the time of the termite treatment and new A/C unit and just painted over the exposed issues then.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 1:23AM
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I'd want more information on what's happening with the windows. That will be a major expense!

I received my inspection report five days ago for the house I'm buying. The windows are 104 years old and in great condition. The report, like yours, was long, however, with a few major things (chimney repair, new furnace needed) and lots of minor things. I asked for a reduction in price of 4,000 to put toward these repairs and was astonished (as was my realtor) when they said yes. So at this point you do have the option of asking for a price reduction. If the inspector had found that all my house's windows were rotten I'd certainly be asking for a more major reduction and would probably walk away if they refused.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 6:55AM
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I agree with artemis78--I would want a second opinion on the windows issue before making any decision. Good luck; hope you can get some solid answers!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:47AM
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Seriously, if the windows are rotting, that means the walls under them are rotting ... and it just gets worse. The lack of flashing on the roof ... rafter and upper wall rot.

Unless they drop the price to close to free, that's a money pit!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:55AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Walk away. Imoroper flashing with rotten windows is a money pit of water damage behind the walls.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:55AM
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I'll post pictures later today. The roof issue is a small section and we can rip cut and redo it. The problem is a decorative finish piece was laid over it. No visible signs of water penetration on the cathedral ceiling, no fresh paint to hide it....

Is there a way to present to sellers that if they replace windows we want a structural integrity of the surrounding wall framing? I'm thinking negotiation will not get to this point. Who do I call for the wall/framing check? Another inspector or a contractor? Our inspections are only Approved for the 19th (Friday) per contract.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:34AM
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Our inspections are only Approved for the 19th (Friday) per contract.
Do you mean that your contract states that the inspections must be done by the 19th?
Don't worry about having to rush. You've had an inspection and have a really valid reason to walk away from the contract if you want to. So re-negotiate with the sellers to ask for more time if you need it since MAJOR problems were found in the first inspection. If they don't want to give you more time, then walk.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:57AM
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You do realize how unusual it is for ALL windows in a house to fail, rather than just one or two, or those on the side with the prevailing weather...

I'd be very concerned, and disappointed because I would likely walk away from this house. You have no way of knowing what has taken place under these windows in the walls until they are removed, it could be either simple (although expense considering the number of panes involved) window and sill replacement, or a nightmare of structural damage.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:01AM
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Yes Mortz, is there a way to go forward with a an agreement to replace a few and get a report on the framing surrounding the problem? Or someone to drill and scope to see if there is more damage. I don't mind paying for further inspections but not sure they will approve of demo even if we pay to repair for inspection purposes.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:22AM
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don't buy it!!!! sorry, that's my knee jerk response. you're going to have to replace that AC and the heating, probably, and god knows what else didn't get picked up on in inspection. since it's already at the top of your price range you may get seriously burned. if you can walk away, i would strongly suggest you do so!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 12:01PM
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Emoree- A/C is separate from the furnace and gas pack. Our unit was 6K at our current home (2 ton, dual fuel-Carrier). I'd anticipate less for just an A/C unit. It's a concern but the red flags are there.
I do feel like the inspection was very thorough, money well spent.
We still would have a termite letter needed. The home was treated with yearly check ups since 2011. I called to see if we could transfer the current contract for a fee. They sent out an inspection and receipt that it was free of any infestations or pests. Not exactly a "certification", but it's not due for another treatment until 2021.

Still waiting on e-report. Yes, we can always "walk away". This is however only the 3rd home we've looked at in 7 yrs. I check the listings daily since my 2nd was born as we have outgrown our home. This one checks all the must haves so we are not wanting I just "run" or "walk away". Not that I would proceed out of my financial "comfort zone."

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 12:19PM
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Picture is of the sunroom area where 2 issues exist:
Windows falling apart or rotten or both
The roof flashing has a decorating trim piece that needs to be removed. It runs behind the chimney on the siding portion and had some mossy build up.

This post was edited by houseofsticks on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 23:08

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 12:48PM
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Front with e-gas compromised seal windows and rotten trim. All glass is a little cloudy on these, even the door side lights. The wooden odd herringbone wood work around the window seems good.

This post was edited by houseofsticks on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 23:09

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 1:01PM
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Actually, not unusual if these are wood windows and they haven't been painted on a regular basis.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 1:12PM
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One thing I would not do is allow the sellers to replace the windows and rotting window sills. My fear would be that during the repairs, more rot would be found in the walls, and the sellers would be all, "Hey, we just agreed to replace the windows and sills. Cover it all back up."

The only way I would buy this house would be with a thorough inspection of the windows and the walls around them, a couple of estimates on the cost of replacing/repairing the windows and surrounding sills and walls, and the sellers dropping the price of the house the amount of the mid-range of the estimates.

No way would I let people who let the house get into such a state do the repair work.

And now that the sellers know about the state of the windows and sills, they will have to disclose that information, making the house that much harder to sell. Or they'll have to repair it. If you really want *this* house, you do have a bit of leverage.

But seriously consider backing out of the deal. And reconsidering your "must haves." This house could cost you a great deal of money more then the purchase price in hidden damage. If you are willing to spend that much money, why not buy a house that has most of your "must haves" and remodel?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:44PM
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Camlan, thanks for your time and assistance. Not sure how to word it to present it to the sellers. We have so many "must haves" and have liked very little inventory in our school systems that I don't think it'll come around again. Here's what I'm wanting:
Quality casement windows installed and the framing signed off from us and a qualified inspector or our contractor.
A/C system serviced or replaced on new unit to make it run efficiently.
Old unit home warranty
Roof issue fixed.
Bats removed from exterior vents on attic and new vents installed
Gutters cleaned

All other items we can fix or absorb as costs.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:10PM
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Please have a mold test before going ahead on this. It is possible that those walls are loaded up with mold, that could be very dangerous to your entire family, especially children.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:13PM
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This post was edited by houseofsticks on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 23:10

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:53PM
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Worst from exterior

This post was edited by houseofsticks on Mon, Aug 25, 14 at 1:05

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:54PM
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Back side of home.

This post was edited by houseofsticks on Mon, Aug 25, 14 at 1:06

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:57PM
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2nd floor

This post was edited by houseofsticks on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 23:11

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:58PM
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We asked for:
HVAC to be fixed (newer unit)
$20,000 price reduction or they replace with our approval of window and inspection.
We will still be investing another 6k in the windows (our contractor comes in at 26k with aluminum clad colored casements and some repair work.

For your amusement I also included the downspout pic. :(. It could use an Elbow or 2:(

This post was edited by houseofsticks on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 23:07

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:04PM
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This looks like a bunch of deferred maintenance that was painted over after the damage from neglect was done. I'd worry about more problems. You can ask for more time, inspect (at your expense I would guess) more thoroughly, ask for some allowance and see what happens.

I'd be really, really tempted to walk.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:08PM
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As I'm looking at these pictures, I'm wondering why these window issues come as such a surprise to you. The trim is visibly rotting on the outside. And you mentioned that quite afew have broken seals making them cloudy. Did you not look at the windows when you were looking at the house? Did your agent not point them out to you?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:21PM
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What "must have" you want in this house?

It seems you want this house, regardless.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:33PM
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4 bedrooms
MB suite
Lots of storage
Garage (2 car)
Gas range
Land-acreage, not a small lot
Extra room- will be a playroom
Shop area
All bedrooms on the same floor or MB down
Pool-not a must but a want
Flat driveway for basketball.
Bike friendly n'hood
School systems (middle and high are the same as we have now)

This is what we are able to do for it:
Redo rooms:
All need popcorn ceiling removed,
All new paint and tile needed
2 1/2 baths are dated will need to be redone
Hardwoods will be needed in 1/3 of the space. New carpet in the bedrooms needed.
We are willing to spend the 6k at this point on windows and assume we have between 0-3yrs on 1 A/C unit.
Roof repairs.
All other needed repairs (we did ask for electrical repairs to be done)

This is the 3rd house we've looked at in 7+ years of daily looking (twice daily)
If this doesn't happen we have plans drawn for an addition. The addition is approx. 150k (cost quoted plus 25%) to our current home. With our addition it will still not have many of the boxes that this property checks.

The inspector said they were cheap wooden windows and not the quality of the harder wood surrounding.

Hoping for the best outcome. We love our current home but it's too small. Next week we should have some resolve.
Pixie_lou- no we never saw the clouding. Both visits were early morning after heavy rains. It was very visible at our 4pm inspection service.
I never opened the windows upstairs (too tough to see from yard).
We asked our realtor about the visible wood damage on the front and he said that it's probably just rotten trim and we said that we'd need a full inspection (at our expense-mortgage lender did not require.).

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:27PM
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OP, even if the sellers agree to replace the windows, you should get it in writing that you and/or a contractor need to do an additional inspection, once the windows are removed, for further water damage. Once approved by you, THEN, they can continue with the new window repair. If not, you will never know what condition the framing is in.
Also, there is no way that the chimney extends far enough above the roof line, especially for a home built of wood siding. Did the inspector note this?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:59PM
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Thanks! I didn't even think about that and I knew that about the chimney height. Luckily, it's been converted to gas logs-fireplace and chimney checked out fine. We have that they can move forward with replacing the windows with our approval which will be calling our inspector back during the replacement or having our contractor do the work subject to inspection.

I appreciate everyone's assistance and opinion. We do want this home, but not at any cost.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:09PM
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I hope it works out for you. Keep us updated.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:31PM
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Please check with your local building dept. Some of this may require permits and bringing up to code, which could be very expensive. They even might be able to advise you of buying this due to they damage you have posted, not so much for windows but other things like heat/air etc.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 10:33PM
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Please listen to the voices here. All I'm hearing from them is "Money pit".

All I hear from you is "I want it."

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 12:34AM
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But, she's heard "moneypit" for her addition plans on the build/remodel forum for the last year +...

If it is comparatively less of a money pit, and they can get the current owners to pay for it, it is less than their current house.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:59AM
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The home has deferred maintenance beyond the window problem. Home inspectors are generally worthless and don't see anything beyond the obvious. Get a window contractor to give you a firm price and if you succeed in renegotiating the contract based on the windows plus other repair costs, add a second inspection as ncrealestate recommends.

I am curious to know where you live that you've found only two suitable houses in seven years? And why haven't you considered selling your house and living in an apartment while you build?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:23AM
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Kirkhall, yes, "money pit" seems to be a label I simply cannot shake.

Kswl, We are fine with our contractor's ballpark figure. I don't need it to be exact at his point, a lot will depend on the quality of window we choose.

We are in an area that most homes are built on .3 acre or less. We have 1.46 now and total privacy (cannot see a neighbor). If we add our current home we will be accepting a huge hit at resale as we would be double the cost of the priciest home in our neighborhood (300k would be invested) and still we'd have a gravel driveway for 160' , no pool, we'd be responsible for tremendous amounts of landscaping. Our garage pales in comparison and no shop. Square footage is about the same though our architects plans get the interior spaces we'd prefer. Then, there is living here throughout the construction process.
We live in a small town in the Carolina's. We would not consider renting here or an apartment for both financial and lifestyle reasons. Plus, have you seen my "must haves" list? It's why we invested in the custom plans. More land than we have now with a home that we like architecturally is rare. Just FYI I don't like the neo-Tudor look it has now and have plans to later cedar shake the peaks and odd herringbone surround, then add arbor trellis to the front. That will be after we sell our current (tiny) home. Only if the sellers are willing to work with us on the issues we found that were major.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:35AM
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I agree with above poster regarding getting a window contractor come out and look/quote.

Another thing...are you near the Atlantic Coast? In some states/counties, there are rules regarding replacement windows where they need to be compliant with current hurricane standards. In some areas this requires windows and installation that is much more expensive versus normal windows.

Another thing to consider is getting aluminum frame windows. They don't have the wood rot/painting issue that comes with wood framed windows. I am in FL and alum. framed windows are much much more popular than wood framed windows - even on high end homes.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:06AM
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Sweet tea,
We use one GC for all our needs and met with him yesterday to get the quote. It's based on aluminum clad casements with full installation of window (not replacements) and he said the quote would be higher due to the assumption that we would need some siding redone and framing replaced. This is not our first home or windows purchase (in the same, non-coastal area) so we know what we are in for. Our GC is our neighbor and we've used his company numerous times for a variety of work. So we have a comfort level with him.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:38AM
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I think the point people are trying to get at is the fact that you have no idea what the condition of the walls will be in once you remove the existing windows. You will have to fix that.

But obviously you came here only wanting to hear that this is a gorgeous house and it's worth putting up with rotted windows, moldy walls, failing AC units.

Funny how your must have list has nothing to do with structural integrity of the house. It appears you will happily buy the pig as long as fresh lipstick is applied.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:55AM
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Pixie Lou, I have had obvious reservations after looking at the window conditions. Yes, my question was how to present these repairs to the buyer for a favorable outcome. I actually don't think the home is gorgeous, but is in our price range (though in the top budget range without waiting on contingency and given a long list of repairs.).

I think your making the assumption that we are not willing to do/invest in making this safe and fully repaired before finding money to do the desired renovations. I do feel that since it was so extensive, more so than we first thought, we should present the sellers the option to repair some and we'd also share in this cost I don't feel is unreasonable. They probably will not be willing to pony up this portion as it's been "lipstick" so we will probably be either continuing our search or forced to build our addition.

I appreciate your perspective. I totally understand that the framing and structure may be an issue even though my structural inspector said it would not. This was the reason I was asking on how to present these issues. To just ask for replacement of like quality or wording so we had more control over the work and repairs. The basement is fully walkable and was moisture checked by our inspector the day after a huge storm. Yes, I am hoping that his assessment is accurate. The sellers have a longer to decide if they want to proceed with our requests:

We are doing what Serge and Ncrealestate guy suggested. Asking for an allowance and some repairs (A/C and all electrical) or they can do it with our approval. Which will require another structural when the windows go in as we'll as our approval of the condition of framing.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:27AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Ask for the $$ in escrow and address the issues yourself after the sale. You get to control the qualiy of the work done then. However, you gamble that the rot inside the walls hasn't impacted the structure too negatively.

If it were me against all reason in love, I'd add a structural enginer to the list of people to get an inspection from before I'd move forward with the contract. There's something hinky about those pictures that I can't put my finger on this morning. I'd also add a visit from a restoration contractor who does flood repairs. With an infrared camera to look for water damage in the walls. All before moving forward.

The one thing you can be certain of is that anyone else viewing the property is going to probably walk away when they see the rot. That might just put you in a power position to demand even better price concessions. Or, it might make the owners pull it off the market entirely and continue to live there. It's a gamble. And you're not leading with your head.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 12:46PM
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Your 'must have" list is not that extraordinary. As kswl, I am puzzled by your difficulty of finding a home in 7 years. Do you have a competent realtor? A good one can find homes even they are not on the open market.

You plan to spend tons (tangible and intangible) to make this house different from it is now. Why not just find a different house?

On the paper, it sounds good to ask money in escrow. You would need to know how extensive the repair would be before asking; it does not sound you know that yet.

In general, it is suggested to have 1.5 - 2 times of reserve for a project that has been meticulously detailed planned out. In your case, you just scratch surface of the scope. Too many unknown and risks. You really need to make sure if you under-estimate the cost, schedule, emotion, energy, effort...etc.

Keep in mind, it does not matter what GC, friends, strangers on an internet forum...etc. say, once you sign the contract, all the reality and consequences are yours, and only yours.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:25PM
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If the sellers agree to repair the windows, all rotten framing and the HVAC to the buyers liking, at a decent, fair price, then what's the big deal? HVACs are replaced everyday, as well as windows. Nothing structural has been mentioned. I see these kind of repairs all the time. As long as the buyer does his due diligence and inspects the framing around each window before the new ones are installed, what's the big deal? Windows pop out fairly easily once the trim is taken off. This type of sale is not for everyone, I agree there, but it does not mean that it is a money pit for the buyer. (maybe for the seller). Buying a HOME is different than buying a house. There are sometimes must haves that are just not tangible. It is sometimes about how the house makes you feel. If the buyer gets this feeling from this house, and the repairs are addressed smartly, then go for it.
And no lenders that I deal with will allow repair escrows. That was done before 2008.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:29PM
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I'm sorry asking "allowance" is not really what we are doing. We are asking for a price reduction or windows replaced with buyer's approval. The HVAC'S serviced, repaired or replaced to run efficiently and all electrical issues done. The deadline is the 23rd. I'll follow up on this thread when they respond. Thank you all again.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:15PM
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I didnt read thru all the responses, so I apologize if this is a repeat. Home inspections are done to educate the buyer on what they are buying. If there are safety or structural issues, this is usually what is addressed with either a credit, or repair. The seller is not obligated to give you a new home. Could you not see the windows were old prior to putting in your offer? Alot of houses need new windows. If the seller was going to put in new windows, he would have done it while he lived in the house. He may give you some sort of credit, but i seriously doubt he will take 20k off the price of the house. None of the issues you mentioned are unusual to a home inspection report. If you love this house and you have only looked at 2 houses in 7 years, I would suggest you move forward and replace the windows a few at a time when you can.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 7:53AM
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Update: they have agreed to the following;
Price reduction of 10k
Fix all HVAC and electrical issues
Replacement of 3 windows in the sunroom (warranty issue maybe?)

We had a verbal for 27k-ish on windows (using Alside's top model for aluminum casements+ wood trim and still replacement. I'm not sure if that's a good option as I'm gathering info on best windows forum and elsewhere.). Sending a rep for estimate tomorrow.

Linda thanks for your response. I think I pretty we'll addressed the "did you not know..." issue. Also, both our realtors (father and son) were of the opinion that it's the inspectors job to find the issues with windows and elsewhere. We did ask them about them but could not see the extent or any cloudiness due to the weather at both early morning showings. So we ordered the inspection (not a lender request). We are also doing lots of work ourselves. The 20k request was our best guess at 1/2 the cost of the inspection report recommendations.

Hoping to have some resolve by Thursday evening or Friday morning on total cost.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:00AM
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i have to say that i agree with others that the windows indicate a home not well maintained. my house is a builder basic subdivision home that we built 15 years. all our crap vinyl windows were shot( seals broken, wouldn't open) so we replaced them. we have replaced water heaters(2), appliances, flooring, lighting, fixed a roof vent issue, etc. despite all the issues that have come up, we have never had damage like those windows. we maintain our house continuously. the house you are looking at has been neglected! how could they have lived so long with those rotten windows? what else have they ignored? i would keep looking.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 7:26PM
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OP wrote:
"both our realtors (father and son) were of the opinion that it's the inspectors job to find the issues with windows and elsewhere"
Maybe, maybe not. I am of the mindset that it is always easier to negotiate on big ticket items upfront, with the initial offer. Present an offer, contingent upon all windows and any further water damage repaired by sellers, for example. Sellers HATE to renegotiate once they are under contract.
I could understand if it was one or two windows in question, but not when every window is damaged. It does not take much experience to see when every window has lost its thermal seal and/or is rotten beyond repair. I don't know if it is true of your agents, but some are just scared of their own shadow. Scared to say anything about the home besides the obvious. And then there are those that make a big stink over something that is not that big a deal because they have no experience about home construction... like removing and replacing a window. It really is not that big a deal.
Anyhow, it sounds as though you are getting to where you need to be to make this work, no?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 7:50PM
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More info: found out the rooms in the sun room are Pella and the sellers contracted Pella for repair/replacements on on 6/11 which is before it was on the market. It is pending an install date and applies to only 3 windows. The rep is calling me tomorrow to let me know if his recommendation was only for these 3. The other (all badly damaged windows) are Jeld Wen windows.

I agree that the windows have been neglected. They have made some investments: new A/C (1 unit) newer roof (poorly Installed wood trim pieces need to be rectified), new appliances and kitchen, new carpet (not my choice but new), I'm thinking it was just more financially than they could swallow.

I'll have my GC check the framing to if he's able tomorrow (same co as window quote).

Yes, still looking but still under contract. Thanks for your thoughts

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 7:53PM
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Here is your worst case scenario from someone who has been through it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leaking windows/Mold

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 2:32PM
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If you google Jeld-Wen and rotten windows, you'll find several lawyers/consumer complaints, call for class action suits, etc. One person states that they received a 50% discount from Jeld-Wen when installing new windows.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jeld-Wen

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 3:09PM
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The house has many roof/wall intersections. Any time a vertical wall abuts a roof line, as you see on the sunroom, the chimney roof and the roof left of the front entry, you have a greater risk of a roof leak. The entire roof has very little over hang, exposing the walls to more weather damage and not enough venting. I would seriously think about the structural problems that cannot be changed. If the inspector examined the attic, did he think it had enough venting and no sign of leaks?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 3:31PM
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This house plus repairs needs to be a great buy to make sense, not something already at the top of your price range.

Every home I've bought has had unreported issues. The worst is the house we currently live in, and there was evidence the sellers knew about at least some of them and covered them up -- slapped paint over some mildew, added a layer of texture to the cover the water stain on a ceiling, etc. We found at least 5 major plumbing issues behind walls, ceilings, tile and under our slab. Most folks would have sold it by now -- and it can be a challenge, but we love this house and the new kitchen we put in it. Be sure you really LOVE the house -- not it just ticks boxes, and that you can afford to give her the TLC she's been lacking.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:12PM
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Wantoretire, OH My! I'm not sure strong enough words could be written to describe the ordeal.

NoSoccerMom, Thank you! I'll look into it!

Voila, Yes the inspector checked the roof and it has vents (with bats roosting on the screen.). The fan didn't work so it"ll be on our repair to do list. The roof plan is to cut away some siding and replace with a Masonite board trim. On the windows we are putting a quarter round trim piece to help divert water from the window trim pieces.

Lascatx, We don't LOVE it yet. I'm so glad to hear you loving something so in need of primping and care:). We LOVE our current home but it's simply too small. We looked into an addition, moving is cheaper.

On a contract update: Sellers have agreed to an additional 5K price reduction (15k total). We received a quote for 38K (it's 38 windows total) for like aluminum casements and new trim painted to match. If we do double hung upstairs and vinyl casements the price goes down to 25k.

One thing my realtor was suprised is that the sellers stated they "will not warranty any repairs they've made at this lower price." My realtor said he found it strange since the contractors provide the warranty on work not the sellers. Any thoughts on this?

Side note-this price is less than their 2003 purchase price. We will still be doing 15-20K in repairs at this price (in addition to the 20k reduction provided by seller).

Thank you all. We are still moving forward, closing in late August.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:43PM
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The selling price in 2003 is irrelevant, especially since most of the issues that are devaluing the home now probably did not exist back then.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 7:27AM
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OH My! I'm not sure strong enough words could be written to describe the ordeal.

My point, as well as other posters, is that you may face a very similar nightmare. Your head is in the sand, no matter how you rationalize the obvious. In the end, yours could wind up a 'we told you so' scenario.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:08AM
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And if, when they pull the windows, there is water damage damage, he can either renegotiate or terminate the contract.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:39AM
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Wantoretire, You are right. Despite having two "expert" opinions we will not know for sure until we have the work done. I hope I am not on here 2 months from now for an "I told you so" scenario. I appreciate your warning and after reading your link I know it comes from experience. Your home is beautiful!

Ncrealestate- We have negotiated already, so at this point finding damage after we close would be compensation via successful lawsuit only and only if we can prove they were aware of the further extent of the damage, correct?
(FYI- we are not the litigious type.). We feel the sellers have worked with us to our satisfaction (happy would have been another 5k). They have moved quickly on the required electrical list.

After doing this process here's what I would have changed:
Ask for more time. Time is not in your favor when you have a 2 day or 3 at best turn around time on the agreements/contract. We gave them 5 days after the inspection results were communicated. Time would have afforded me the ability to get expert advice on here to apply.

I would have contracted to remove one window to check for further damage. This would have been at our expense just for peace of mind.

I would have asked for all repairs initially to be in a better position for negotiation. We ended up getting 75% of what we asked for but we were initially looking to split the estimated repairs.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:27AM
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That is not my home. I read about it when originally posted and never forgot it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:02PM
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OP wrote:
"Ncrealestate- We have negotiated already, so at this point finding damage after we close would be compensation via successful lawsuit only and only if we can prove they were aware of the further extent of the damage, correct?"

I thought you said that you negotiated the right to do further, hidden damage inspections as each window was removed? This is what you should have done. Otherwise, you have agreed to accept the home no matter if there is hidden damage or not. Not a good place to be, if you ask me.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:13PM
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I just bought a new window package for 24 Loewen windows last year. They are a high quality window. I think it came out to about 16k. I made a mistake in my last home and replaced all the windows with a lower end window and 17 yrs later when we sold the house they were, in my opinion, ready for replacement. Casements are great but you have the rain and standing water issue. I would suspect that the windows were not properly flashed & installed to begin with. this will not be an inexpensive project.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Ncrealestate, The sellers opted to reduce price rather than fixing to our approval. We close soon. My GC said the surrounding siding and material seems fine. Yes, we have agreed to accept the home, yes, I was asking and thank you for your frankness.

Again, more time would have afforded me better contract responses. My realtor (also brother-in-law) is purchasing a home warranty for us.

Jackfre, I love the idea of casements in the front and double hung on the back elevations. Is there always a rain/standing water issue with casements? I don't remember ever having a problem with them in my childhood home. Time will tell on the flashing...hoping for that to have been done correctly.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:33AM
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Casement windows are just fine as long as installed correctly.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:33AM
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See if you can negotiate a 50% discount on windows with Jeld-Wen, or even ask if the sellers can get the ball rolling.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 11:52AM
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Hope you love your new home. You are going in with eyes open, and that's the important thing. And you'll have nice new windows!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:30PM
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I spoke with Jeld-Wen they offered a 40% discount on the sash only. We are having a rep come out to see if any windows are sash only replacement. I know some will be more extensive than sash only. So we'll go from there.
It didn't matter to Jeld-Wen that we didn't originally purchase these, they are a Cradco brand, latter bought out by Jeld-Wen.
Susanjn, Thanks for your positive light on the subject. This will be a lot of work but this will work better for us than our current cabin. Oh, how I'll miss it...hoping that all the hardworking and dedication translates for us. Lots to do.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:45PM
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Houseofsticks Just asked for Meth testing (justifiably due to relationship with a current addict and cook). Sellers are "livid". I just want peace of mind that this property is safe and was unused for either purpose and safe of residual toxins. They approved us to have an inspector with their agent present during testing. We (agent and buyers) are not allowed on the property during testing. They are "absolutely sure" this did not occur at this property and only isolated to their rental. We still "have to close by x-date regardless of if we have the findings", so says the seller. We have a substantial earnest investment plus this testing will be an additional 2k. sounds like we are currently barred from entering the home until possibly the final inspection and check of previously agreed upon repairs. We have never just stopped by or made a viewing appointment after the initial offer and we where present for inspection meeting. I have calls into a 3rd party for a industrial hygienist to test tomorrow or Monday. We are hoping for results prior to Fridays closing. If positive we walk, negative we buy.

I apologize for removing the photos (annoying I know) but due to the nature of these findings I didn't want the current owners anymore identifiable than the "seller" title.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:27PM
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Good luck with that. Walking, if that is the case, might be best (and there is substantial reason to think you'd be able to have your earnest money back. Hardly ever does that actually mean anything anymore.)

But, really, good luck!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 1:28AM
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I don't necessarily blame the sellers for being "livid". Here it is a month after your previous inspection and a week from closing and you are asking for more inspections. You clearly made a "fuss" over the window issue. If I was the seller I would be thinking you, as the buyer, were getting cold feet and looking for an excuse to back out of the purchase.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 7:37AM
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Kirkhall, thanks! I'm hoping it all comes back "clean". My realtor thinks we "freaked them out". I am freaked out too. They said there's no way he used their place since they have a judge and officer in close proximity to the home. My fear is it was used without their knowledge for cooking or smoking. My realtor was shocked as we're we but said "yeah, we're not visiting without knowing."
Pixie Lou yes, My feet are appropriately cool. Not wanting to back out if there are no health conserns. Still think it would work for our family. Since this was the family home I'm not worried about people showing up looking for drugs just the residual danger.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 10:43AM
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For what it's worth - I recently purchased a home with a laundry list of inspection issues because it was in our desired location, met our must have list and we thought we would not be able to find anything else like it (large partially wooded lot, privacy from neighbors, close to train and highway for commute, great school district) in our price range.

We are now tearing down the house and building new. It seems that issues turn into more issues and the list gets bigger and more expensive to fix very quickly. It turned out that the cost to fix the home would be almost the same as the cost to build a brand new house! I would never buy a house with those types of inspection findings again. Luckily we love the lot and are in a position to tear down and build new. Good luck and hopefully it works out for you (either way!).

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 11:44AM
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I'm sorry to hear the home wasn't workable. Yes, the must haves rarely come available in this area, market and price range. So glad you love the lot and are able to afford the build! Your must have sound very similar to mine. I know you'll appreciate having them in a newer more maintenance free environment. Thanks for the words and the luck! (Either way;)

Update-hygienist took samples today, results will be in on Thursday. We are still scheduled for closing on Friday.

Pixie Lou-in this area it's the norm to ask for all inspection items repaired from buyers. We asked for little comparative to the estimates for repair. So the "fuss" was not out of the ordinary for this area. We were advised to have all repairs plus carpet allowance by our realtor but wanted to be more accommodating as it was only on the market for 1 day.

I'm hoping the sellers cool off by Friday and realize my consern is for the health of my family.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 1:05AM
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Does your contract not have an inspection period? It does seem late in the transaction to be doing such major due diligence. If you do find that the house was used as a drug house, it is probably too late in the deal to get your deposit back.
The reason your sellers are livid is because their forward motion of their lives are contingent upon the sale of their home. Having a large contingency right up to the day of closing would irritate any seller.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 8:03AM
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Yes, it had an inspection period and in it we agreed to a final inspection just prior to closing. We initially were only worried about HVAC. The buyers did add "as-is" to the contract after the sale previously. Any finding if positive are owner responsibility and very expensive to remediate also very dangerous to live with. I was appalled at finding out this was a possibility in this home. We did offer to extend closing pending results to any future date. It also hits the 3 issues I was advised to look for: have a cat or litter box, new fully redone kitchen or new carpet in certain areas, and no smoke alarms or CO2 detectors. I really hope it's just happenstance. I truly believe these are kind loving parents who may not know what happened during a vacation or prolonged stay. I simply cannot risk the safety. My realtor said at this point it would probably be a judgement but said after the findings we have a strong case. "Having a large contingency right up to the day of closing would irritate any seller." Yes, we are in the same boat, beyond irritated and upset. Initial disclosure was inaccurate but we moved on previously.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 3:43PM
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houseofsticks - questions for my own enlightenment, the cat/litter box is a meth lab indicator? new kitchen because they ruined the old kitchen cooking meth? and new rugs as an indicator why? these seem like normal things to me so it wouldn't send up a red flag at all. what made you think meth lab?
this is genuine curiosity not flippancy:) also i have a cat, new kitchen and will have new rugs in the future before marketing/selling it so someone may see the same triggers at my house.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 12:40AM
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Ardcp, e-mailed you as to the "why?" Yes, otherwise these things seemed normal to me as well..

The tests came back negative so we closed. I'll start a new thread if we find further issues with the window damage issue. We are bidding them out next month only doing minor things until we know the actual extent of cost/damage.

Thank you to everyone for your help, encouragement and discouragement along the way. I love this forum.

This post was edited by houseofsticks on Mon, Aug 25, 14 at 1:19

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 1:14AM
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Get rid of the cat box for showings. I don't consider it an indicator of drug production, however many people find a cat litter box in view to put them "off" for a house.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 11:35AM
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Just noticed this thread. The window problem might be related to the quality control issues the major window manufacturers had in the late 80s through the 90s. IIRC, they were using wood with a new preservative that proved not to be very good. There were class action law suits over it. We replaced our windows with top of the line Marvin windows in 1986, sold the house two years later, then heard that the owner had to replace all the windows in the mid 90s because the wood was failing.

So the problem may not be the house & water ingress or sun, it may just be the windows were bad.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2014 at 10:56AM
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Just to update: we're in the house. We thought the windows were Cradco but Jeldwen says they aren't. We will research it more. The sunroom windows are Pella, we have replaced 3 sashes in there. Our next project is the front windows. The overhang is small....our previous home had 2' but it prevented light from filling the rooms. Thanks for your info. The wood inside and just under the windows look good so we are hopeful that the sides and top will be ok and only window and trim replacement but we'll soon see.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2014 at 2:19PM
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You're in the house? My goodness, you sure had a tough slog to get the house. Congrats on your persistence! Below is a link that gives a brief account of the wood preservative problem that plagued window manufacturers back in the day. I've read they have more efficient products now: at least we haven't had any problems with our Marvin windows purchased since 1999.

Here is a link that might be useful: window rot issues in window industry

    Bookmark   October 12, 2014 at 6:18PM
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One of your next projects should be the flashing.

Inspect the house carefully after your next downpour for signs of leakage.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2014 at 2:13PM
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