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Should we walk away of a house which has lots of water and mold in crawl space?

After home inpection,we found there are lots of water and mold in the crawl space.Seller asked for a high price for this house.Since it has many upgrades inside,we signed the contract.Now we konw the bad condition in crawl space.I serched online.It seems a serious problem for a house.II am thinking maybe I need to just walk away?

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September 21 2013 - Newport News
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YES!!!
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September 30 2013
Profile picture for sunnyview
"He didn't agree to terminate our contract with him."

Sorry I misunderstood. You need to dump that rotten agent. Put your complaints in writing to his broker and him with a bcc back to yourself. Tell them your agent is not available/has slow response times, that he failed to negotiate for needed inspection items on the house and that he failed to protect your as a buyer by pushing you forward without recommending important inspections.

Tell the broker that you want to be released from the contract and that you will not accept no for an answer based on your agents lack of professionalism. You deserve a better agent. Ask for the termination in writing and set a deadline that is reasonable like 2-3 business days. 

If they don't agree, let them know that you intend to file a complaint with their Board, file a complaint with the licensing commission and leave reviews on Yelp/Zillow/ratemyagent/BBB to let others know that you are not satisfied. In most cases, the broker will begrudgingly agree to a release if you remain calm and direct.
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September 30 2013
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I'm planing to talk with his broker.
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September 30 2013
May I suggest you ask to speak to his employing broker?  If he is the same, you may consider speaking to the regional authority he operates under. 
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September 30 2013
Profile picture for user4890021
He didn't agree to terminate our contract with him.This home's list price is 489K.Sellers asked for 482K without a refrige.They said if I want to keep the refrige,I need to pay for full price.He said he could sell two 300k at the same time means he could make more money if he spend the same time on other two.He never picks up his phone so we need to leave messages for him or e-mail him.HIs response time is super long.One day is his fastest speed.I need to wait for his call from morning to evening.He said it's normal he didn't think his response time was much longer than other agents.I had an agent before.She works in VA beach so I don't use her this time.She seldom missed our calls and she responded quickly.How long is normal response time for agents?
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September 30 2013
Profile picture for sunnyview
"I terminated this contract yesterday."

So glad that you terminated the contract and trusted your gut. The agent you had was a bad apple so I'm glad to hear you terminated his contract. 

PS Good for you for standing up for yourself. I have no doubt you will find the right house. Good luck! :)
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September 29 2013
If there are others on the market, you should look seriously at those and then compare, especially if the seller is not willing to correct the findings. 
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September 29 2013
Dear User,
You need to consult with a professional about the Mold and Water Intrusion to know what it will cost to correct it. It is only then that you will be armed with enough information to make an informed decision.
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September 29 2013
I just caught up on this thread.  Your agent was mad because you terminated the agreement?  He said he could sell two 30K homes in the same time?  Was this a home priced at 30K?

I'm glad you terminated the AOS.  You would have bought a nightmare.  I'm sorry you had a bad experience with your agent.  Once you knew the magnitude of the problems it should have been a no brainer to walk away.  The agent should have advised you what your best recourse was.

Water problems continue unless the root cause is eliminated - not just cleaned up and mold re-mediated.  Termites to boot.  This place was a train wreck.

If  you do not have a buyers agency with the agent (but I bet you do) you can find another agent.  If  you do have a signed buyers agency you will have to have the agent agree to terminate it.  Otherwise if you buy something with another agent during the term of the agreement you may still owe the old agent the entire commission.
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September 29 2013
Profile picture for wetdawgs
User.....21.    You mentioned that you had done an inspection quite clearly.  My pet peeve is someone providing an answer without reading the question (or the rest of the discussion)


Original post:  After home inpection,we found there.....

One late response:  What I would have recommended is to have a professional do a home inspection of your property.
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September 28 2013
Profile picture for user4890021
I did a home inspection by a licensed inspector two weeks ago.I was told about the crawl space problems by him.Then I hire a foundation repair company to check to see where's  the water from and how to fix it,
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September 28 2013
What I would have recommended is to have a professional do a home inspection of your property and let them take the liability for your decision
 whether to purchase or not.
 The approximate cost for an inspection is between 300-500 to do a whole house inspection. Inspectors are licensed and you get a full written report.

You can also make your contract subject to inspection or you can take the property as is in which case your inspection will be for informational purposes only.
Best of luck to you
 
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September 28 2013
Profile picture for wetdawgs
I'm glad you terminated the contract for purchase.   It was a good choice.

When you interview candidates for new buyer's agent (if you don't have a contract with the current one), make sure you ask questions about response time, available hours etc.    (I also am astonished when agents compare themselves to attorneys, so sympathize).   The interview process can include several candidates and can be rigorous.



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September 28 2013
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I terminated this contract yesterday.Sellers did termites inspection and treatment this week.We ask for the report three times.They refuse to send the report.So we have to terminate this.My agent is angry about this.He told me seller's agent told him they got quote 18K.And sellers' agent will try her best let seller pay 10K on repair.I'm glad I walk away.I don't want to spend extra money on repairs since they asked for almost full price. My agent is angry.He said he spend a lot of time on us.He said he can sell two 30K house in the same time.The truth is he is hard to reach. I can't find find him on every weekends and holidays.He never answer  phones when we call on weekdays.He replies our morning calls on evening.We don't have much time to see properties since  he tells us after 6pm is his family time.He works for us for 4 months.He said I was lucky to get his response in the same day compare he usually gets his  attorneys' response within several days I don't know why he compares himself to attorney.The question I asked him are always simple not like the questions for attorney.I feel he is the worst agent I met in hampton roads.He didn't want  to terminate our contract.I feel if  an agent lazy and rude  like him can make money it's unfair.I saw many agents they work hard.and response quickly.He never compare himself to peers.He thought he is my boss.
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September 28 2013
This saga just keeps getting worse.  26K to remove the water and maybe keep it at bay.  Unknown estimate to remove the mold.  Already deterioration in the foundation ie: wood rot.  Now termites.

RUN away from this house. 
This condition has gone on a long time and the homeowner did nothing to remedy it.  You are getting over your head in repairs which may continue long after you buy the home.
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September 26 2013
Profile picture for sunnyview
If your foundation inspector found wood rot that was not in the other inspections, I would not buy the house without an independent pest inspection.

I think that there is more going on with this house than anyone is telling you. Any undisclosed issues will be yours to deal with after the close. Without an indication of a significant price change by the seller, you may be wasting your money on further inspections. Honestly, this deal stinks based on everything you are saying.
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September 25 2013
Profile picture for Pasadenan
I'd be more inclined to believe "broken water pipe" or "broken sewer pipe".

If rain water, one can easily check the exterior grade and the roof rain gutters and downspouts to see where water is collecting on the outside, and how it is entering.  Condensate from HVAC would imply A/C is running quite a bit in a humid environment.  And one can see where the condensate lines drain anyway.

For broken water pipe, turn off all water, then check the meter at the street to see if water is still flowing.  Could be a broken sprinkler line too.

If all water is off, one can often find the source.

If broken sewer line, have a camera run down the line for inspection of the line from the inside.

As for mold, it really depends on the kind of mold, and how much the growth has spread.  Drying it out is the first step; but one still needs to remove the mold spores without spreading them.

If you have site drainage issues, having a sump pump is not the complete solution.  You need to get a french drain and moisture barrier installed at the side of the house the water is entering.

If you have clogged storm drain lines that the rain gutters are supposed to be draining into, you need to have them cleared.  If they are filled solid with roots, they need to be replaced.

I'd be more inclined to get a plumber to look at it than a foundation contractor.

If you have an underground stream, or the water source is from neighbor's sprinklers, you have an entirely different issue.
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September 25 2013
Profile picture for user4890021
Sellers agree to extend one more week for home inspection.I hired one foundation repair company to check yesterday.He said he's not sure where's the water from,maybe from rain,maybe from hvac.What he can do is move away the water.He's planing to put two sub pumps and one air blower in the crawl space.he quated for 26K.But these machines only have one year warrenty.He found mold there but he said 26k without mold treatment.His company doesn;t do mold things.He also mentioned there is one wood badly destroyed by water and termites in the crawl space.I may walk away this house.
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September 25 2013
Profile picture for sunnyview
Yes, you should probably walk away. Your agent suggesting 3K without an estimate for repair is not right. I would start looking for another agent who will represent your interests instead of throwing you under the bus to close the deal. Do not buy that house without a tight bid to remediate the mold and address any issues of faulty grade around the house that is contributing to the water under the house.

If your agent is not available for showings, make an email trail and tell him that you expect him to represent you fully not just when he feels like it. Be reasonable about your expectations. State in writing what you feel he is not doing that he promised before you signed the rep agreement.

He may shape up, but if he doesn't you will have to get a written termination from him or wait out the contract before you hire another agent.
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September 23 2013
Mold is a serious problem and can cause sickness. You can either ask the Seller to get all the mold completely removed, extend your inspection time, and then re inspect the property afterwards hiring professionals in mold identifying, have the air in different parts of the houses measured for mold particles or cancel and look for another property that doesn't have this issue.  
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September 23 2013
At this moment, time is of the essence.  Indeed you can walk out if you make the seller know the reason within the time frame allocated for the Home Inspection, after that you are out of luck!
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September 23 2013
Profile picture for user4890021
My agent told me it is common.He just closed two properties with this problem.I said I might ask for 10K repair fee.He said I can't grab money through home inspection.He thought 3k is enough.He never check the crawl space.My husaband and inspector went into check.They said lots lots of water,like a lake..
I signed a contract with this agent for half year.I am not happy with him.He is late everytime.He never work on weekends.Now I feel he is working for sellers.How can I terminate my contract with him?There is only one month left.Or should I just wait?
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September 23 2013
Be sure to give notice of cancellation within the deadline in your contract, following the provisions of your home inspection contingency precisely.
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September 22 2013
Did the seller disclose the problem in the sellers disclosure?

I lived in VA for 30 years and was licensed there.  I am currently licensed in PA.  Mold issues in both places.

If you just clean up the mold without repairing or eliminating the underlying cause - the mold will return.  Mold can be a serious health hazard.  It can be as simple to overcome as fixing drainage issues.  Or it can be a never ending battle.  Where you are there is a high water table.  You have to know what the origin of the water is to determine if it is fixable.

Water present creates an atmosphere that will ultimately cause wood to become weak and deteriorate.  The crawl space probably does not have sufficient ventilation. That may be a contributing factor but not necessarily the causation. The crawl space is part of the foundation.  It may have been compromised already.

 You have done research on your own.  This is not a simple problem.  It is not cheap to deal with.

If you were my buyer I would advise you to look elsewhere.  If you are within your contingency period to reply I'd seriously suggest you consider terminating this agreement to protect your escrow.
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September 22 2013
What is the advice given by your buyer agent?  Read your contract to ascertain the time frame for the home inspection.  If you do make your intentions known in writing within that period of time, you are in essence waiving your rights. 
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September 21 2013
Did they know about the problem or were they surprised to find it, too? 

(Not that it matters; you have to proceed according to your own plans.) 
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September 21 2013
Profile picture for user4890021
I was planing to get some quotes.But  after serching online,I changed my mind.It seems a serious problem .It is not a forclosure.They asked for almost full price.
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September 21 2013
Your inspection contingency should allow you to exit the contract and get your earnest money back, should you choose to do so.   If you do proceed, I recommend getting a couple of quotes for repair and remediation.  Ask for the money from the seller for those repairs. 
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September 21 2013
Profile picture for wetdawgs
I wouldn't purchase a problem of that magnitude, but it is up to you.   Perhaps some minor regrading would take care of the water problem, but perhaps something bigger is required.  In addition, of course, is the mold remediation.
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September 21 2013
 
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