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Issues During Inspection

Hi All,

We made a full price on a house that claimed to be in fabulous condition.

Inspection found several issues - most of which are easy, permanent fixes.  There are 3 items however that are very alarming.  

1) The nice raised deck, is not properly secured to the house, nor is the railing properly secured to the deck.  It is very loose and a safety risk.  Which in and of itself would be an easy fix - however, coupled with the following issues shows the owners did not take as good of care of the house as we thought.

2) The furnace has noted spillage and is 24 years old, which as the inspector said "means it has exceeded its expected life by several years".  So to us, that means we are footing the bill for a $4-7k furnace after buying a new home.  

3) And the most important, the basement is floating slab.  One portion of the basement slab is noticeably sunken.  The inspector recommended mud jacking because it is a "cheaper" option.  However after researching and also talking to an engineer we learned while mud jacking is the cheaper option, it is not the best or a permanent solution.  It is basically a band aid.  And we also do not know the root cause of sunken slab.  Say, for example, it is a poor drainage issue, there is a whole different issue that needs to be addressed. We have so many concerns about the slab and refuse to invest anymore money into this house that isn't even ours. We are close to $1000 between mortgage "good faith" fee, inspection ,radon testing, and sewer scoping.  

I know you can't gauge the full scenario without seeing the house, I am just looking for guidance on if these issues are really as big as they seem or if we are just over-reacting because we are unfamiliar with slab issues.
  • September 03 2013 - US
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Answers (4)

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Hi All!

Thanks for all the replies.  I just wanted to update that after much consideration we decided to walk from the house.  There is too much wrong with this house for our comfort.  It wasn't an easy decision but is the best for our family.  
  • September 13 2013
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If you are still in your inspection contingency period you can re-negotiate the sales price or repairs with the seller.  If you are close to the end of that contingency you can have your Realtor get an extension so you have time to get quotes and assess the repairs.

The furnace is a concern and the seller may or may not be willing to assist in the cost.  Get a firm quote. The deck is common even in my area. 

I have had concrete raised with the injection system you are referring to.  It is a silicate product.  The floor is drilled - a nozzle is inserted and the product injected into the ground raises the concrete to the right level.  A concrete stoop to my house cost $500 to drill 4 holes and raise.  I believe this process is guaranteed.

Have your agent re-negotiate with the seller.

  • September 03 2013
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It is too bad to hear of the issues but these things do come up and this is why we ALWAYS insist on a home inspection.  There are several approaches to address your concerns.

First, you should be working with a buyer's agent who can properly negotiate for you.  Remember the agent is working in your best interest and will have advice to guide you through.  The agent will prepare all the paperwork and will handle the communications as well.
 
My thoughts.  You should get quotes on the repairs.  This will help you in negotiating money for the needed repairs.  The concrete slab is a bit difficult be a certified contractor should be able to give you quotes for multiple types of fixes.

In the case of the furnace, you may want to request that the seller provide a home warranty.  This will typically provide 1 year of protection in the case of a failure and most cover the core utilities.  Since this is a deferred cost there is no guarantee that the sellers will oblige but you can always ask.

The fact that you made a full price offer gives solid negotiating space to address these issues.  It may be a different case if the property is priced to sell and/or there are multiple offers.  You agent will help you with this information.

Best of luck and I hope this information helps.

  • September 03 2013
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Hopefully you have your own agent (buyers agent) representing you on your purchase.
If so what advise they can give you would be important.

As of the issue of the furnace , I don't think that is a small matter cause I'm looking at one of the same situations now.
As you...I don't want that to be an expense right out of the box, once a HVAC unit, furnace, water heater....etc. has reached or went beyond it's life
span...it may last a few years more or it may go as soon as you try to use it.
Hopefully not in the middle of a 15 degree winter.

The issue with the slab would have to be evaluated by a contractor that deals with those issues, they will have the proper equipment to check everything without tearing it out.
Other contractors (like me) would have to deal with it as sight unseen which means process by elimination ( costly ) but in some areas there is no one else to do the work .

There are companies I have seen in advertisements on tv that claim to pump concrete under the sunken slab and bring it up to its proper position.
I don't know if that's the same as mud jacking or not...it doesn't sound like it. Goggle ' Concrete Leveling' for your area there should be some companies come up.

Well you have a little homework to do and I hope that there are some more replies on here that help you or at least educate you a little more on what to do.
Information is the beginning of understanding...no matter what the issue.
-Joseph-
  • September 03 2013
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