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Cracks in wall - new home purchase

Posted by wolverine_man (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 20:49

Wife and I are looking to purchase a somewhat contemporary looking house built in 1993- a tri-level. It has vinyl siding as well as very large angular windows common for that time period.

First concern. There's a small amount of water spotting on the ceiling in the finished basement right at the point where that wall meets the ceiling. House has what's considered a daylight basement with some small, higher up windows.

The sellers are aware of a leaking sliding door off of the living room which would be directly above this point, but one floor up. They said they are going to completely replace the sliding door with a contractor before sale. They are also going to fix the skylight that has a leaking issue but that is in a completely different part of the house.

Second concern. There is also a vertical crack that is just below one of the high wall windows but above a sliding door on the back of the house leading out to the deck.

Third concern. There is a long horizontal crack that goes right along the finished basement's ceiling support beam which is encapsulated in drywall

Please see the attached photo of the window crack. Looks like I will have to post the others separately.

We do like the house.

Now, we are definitely getting a home inspection. However, would any of these issues raise an alarming high level of concern to the point that you would not even consider the house?

Thanks in advance

This post was edited by wolverine_man on Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 21:11


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cracks in wall - new home purchase

Water spotting.


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RE: Cracks in wall - new home purchase

Basement ceiling support beam crack.


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RE: Cracks in wall - new home purchase

This is the red flag:

"The sellers are aware of a leaking sliding door off of the living room which would be directly above this point, but one floor up. They said they are going to completely replace the sliding door with a contractor before sale. They are also going to fix the skylight that has a leaking issue but that is in a completely different part of the house."

If they intend to correct the known problems, why are they showing the house as is? What are they waiting for? Do they plan on using the info from your home inspection to develop a repair list?

Why would they let such problems persist? Have they lived there the entire 21 years? What other maintenance issues have they ignored during their ownership of this property?

Think about buying a used car. After the test drive, the seller says they plan to get a tune up to fix that knocking noise before you actually buy the car. When you check the fluid levels you discover the oil is very low and the dipstick is dry. There is no extra coolant in the radiator reservoir. 3 tires are bald with uneven tread wear. Obviously the previous owner is not keeping up with the maintenance. Do not buy that car.

Houses are only a little different. You can restore them. But it costs lots of money. If your heart is set on that particular house, buy it "as is" and require a significant reduction in list price in order to restore it properly. Do not trust the current owner to do it right. Without a doubt, they will have a cheap and dirty band aid solution, if anything gets done at all.


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RE: Cracks in wall - new home purchase

Totally agree with Aidan.


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RE: Cracks in wall - new home purchase

All of your issues would definitely concern me! I'd probably get a structural engineer to look at the house at the time of the inspection, if this is a home you have your heart set on buying. What is your realtor telling you about these issues?


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RE: Cracks in wall - new home purchase

Sorry folks but these are very minor issues for a 20 year old home. The water marks are your biggest concern and if the door is being replaced, make sure it’s properly flashed as that’s likely the issue now.

Make sure the new skylight is also flashed properly and you should be ok as long as the roof shingles are in good shape.

The horizontal crack looks like the original drywall was installed with a butt joint at a bad location. The crack next to what appears to be a bulkhead is too strait and uniform to be a structural issue IMO.

Ask the home inspector about both but if these are the only signs, MINOR ISSUES!


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RE: Cracks in wall - new home purchase

If you really like the house and the only problems are these items, I would hire a good contractor to give you an estimate on all repairs and I would make sure that the purchase price reflects the fact that it needs this work. I would not trust the seller to have it fixed. All they care about is that it look ok until closing. After that, you are on your own. I also wouldn't put any stock in the opinions of a home inspector or realtor. Their sole interest in is getting you to buy the house. Good luck


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