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In NJ, our contract states we are buying the home as-is and can only walk away from the contract if certain major issues are not addressed - the home's structure, major systems not working, mold/radon or flooding issues, etc. Thankfully our home inspection did not reveal any of these. However, there are a number of things the report did point out that we will need to budget for in the near future, just due to the age of the home. .
Our sellers are an older couple in their 80s and are the original owners - the house is 52 years old. We dont want to offen them by asking for certain repairs, and we know we're not entitled to them, but we'd at least like to ask. Do you think these requests are reasonable or should we eliminate a few?
- adding GFI outlets in kitchen, bathroom and outside where needed. The house also still has older wiring and a few 2 prong outlets but we figured we'd do those updates on our own eventually.
-sidewalk has a few "lifts" where roots pushed them up, and we think if the twp doesnt require them to be replaced/fixed, our insurance will.
-garage door opener is older and doesn't have the auto-reverse safety feature. asking for that to be replaced.
-wall unit a/c in a bedroom doesn't work. House has central air, so we dont know why the wall unit was needed, but since its in the wall and not a window, we can't easily patch it up and would like a new one.
- garbage disposal doesn't work. other appliances are included in the home (dishwasher, fridge, washer, dryer) and they are giving a home warranty, but we dont know if the disposal is covered.
We will also suggest/request they consider negotiating with us for a credit for the repairs or assisting with closing costs. Do you think these requests are excessive? Should we focus on just a few? Or, do you think there's no harm in asking
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"-sidewalk has a few "lifts" where roots pushed them up, and we think if the twp doesnt require them to be replaced/fixed, our insurance will".
"-garage door opener is older and doesn't have the auto-reverse safety feature. asking for that to be replaced".
"-wall unit a/c in a bedroom doesn't work. House has central air, so we dont know why the wall unit was needed, but since its in the wall and not a window, we can't easily patch it up and would like a new one".
Easily seen and checked while viewing.
"- garbage disposal doesn't work. other appliances are included in the home (dishwasher, fridge, washer, dryer) and they are giving a home warranty, but we dont know if the disposal is covered".
Easily checked while viewing.
FYI Insurance and home warranties usually do not cover pre-existing conditions.
I'm only licensed in VA, so I'm not familiar with NJ sales contracts. However, you and your agent should carefully review the contract to see whether, in fact, you agreed to buy the home as-is, or if the seller warranted that appliances and mechanical systems are in working order. This "warranty" may be in a different paragraph of the sales contract than the "as is" language, and one paragraph should say whether it supersedes the other paragraph. If in fact you agreed to accept everything as-is, did you retain the right to cancel the contract based upon the results of your home inspection? If not, then you are obligated to proceed and have no basis to request any repairs from the sellers. However, if you have the right to cancel, and your time to cancel has not run, then everything your inspector found is negotiable. As for my view on what is fair: 1) GFI outlets were not required when the house was built. Unless there was a renovation since the electrical codes changed, I don't think it's fair to ask the sellers to install GFIs. 2) Sidewalk -- are you sure that's the homeowner's responsibility rather than the township's? If it's the homeowner's responsibility you might ask the township to inspect; if they cite the current owner, then you have a solid basis to ask the seller to repair before settlement. 3) Garage door opener -- as with the GFIs, I don't think it's fair to ask the sellers to replace a functioning device that met codes when it was installed. 4) Wall A/C unit -- I think it is fair to ask sellers to repair or replace. You may find that this room doesn't get sufficient cooling from the central system. 5) Garbage disposer -- I think it is fair to ask sellers to repair or replace. Your home warranty will not cover an appliance that was not functioning at the time of settlement (a "preexisting condition"). 6) Credit in lieu of repairs -- This always is a good idea because sellers don't have to deal with repair companies, and buyers can be sure the repairs/replacements are done correctly. However, your lender may require that the purchase price be reduced by the amount you and the sellers agree to, rather than this being a credit toward closing costs. Please reply and let me know if this was helpful.
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