Your opinion on language I should use in Inspection Addendum

8 Replies

Hi all,

I'm in the process of buying my first building, a 4-plex, and we had the inspection last Friday. Everything was OK, except that water is getting into the building at the wooden joists in the basement (big no-no and potentially very expensive to solve depending on the true cause of the problem). 

Would love to get your opinions about whether I am being unreasonable in demanding that he agree to a certain wording on the inspection addendum that we will both sign.

I worded it as follows, signed it, and sent for his signature: 

"Source of water flow/entry above joists along the east side of the property to be discovered and repaired."

He sent this bizarrely worded document for my signature:

"Have our gutter contractor review the east gutter and make repairs (if any) per his recommendations if they are causing the basement leak (very doubtful, as the basement is below sidewalk level. We will check the roof and intersection of sidewalk to building for gaps on east wall and repair accordingly. I do not agree that a minor dip in the gutter will cause water to overflow, but will have the gutter contractor give an opinion and repair or not repair accordingly. I will caulk and sidewalk the East wall gaps (if any). Note I saw city paint lines and arrows on the East sidewalk today, which would lead me to believe it is on the list to be replaced. We will check to make sure that the satellite dish wiring was properly sealed where it enters the building (which they rarely do). Install a clean out and repair the obstruction in the East downspout that is causing water back-up to be observed at sidewalk level."

Here is my problem with signing his document... We still have no solid proof that any of the things he says he repairs are the cause of the water getting in all along the east side of the building's basement. I am not comfortable inheriting somebody else's self-destructing four-plex, since it might be that we actually have to tear up the whole sidewalk along the east side of the building if the problem is underground. So I prefer that the wording be very specific about the outcome we are trying to achieve: source of water flow discovered and repaired."

What do you think? Am I being unreasonable in demanding that he agree to fix a problem prior to me buying, rather than doing certain tasks prior to me buying?

Perhaps I didn't word the question well. I trust the person who did the inspection. The problem is clear: water getting in... lots of it, where it shouldn't be. However, the solution is not clear. It could be a number of things.

I do not trust the seller, specifically, and I want to make sure that the work he does solves the problem.

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@Christopher Hikel I have come at this from both sides of the aisle.. Every property you buy is "self-destructing"... 

Water is finicky it follows the path of least resistance.. I have literally seen water coming in on the NE top corner of a roof, and not come out until the SW lower corner...  

Water problems are extremely hard to diagnose, and solve... He may be evasive because it could be a major cost or it could be a minor cost... It may be tough to get anyone to warrant the work as well..

I have a leaky basement right now on one rental.. We advertised it that the basement seeps, but the tenant says the level of seepage is unacceptable.. So I started out getting new gutters installed.. Then we unhooked the gutters from the perimeter drains and ran the water out 6' from the house. Still have water coming in... So now we are considering running the perimeter drains to a sump pump and running that way... But what then? Dig out around the foundation and put in new waterproofing and new perimeter drains? What if that caused foundation issues...... You can see how nasty a problem this could be......  

What if it was your property and you were selling it... Do you want to have all these massive possibilities, or would you limit to a certain amount of cost/repairs, or would you walk away and try to find another less stringent buyer?

I am just playing devils' advocate here... Why don't you find 1-3 people to come out and give you estimates of what it will take to fix it, and then go from there.... You need to be realistic though.. If you call a contractor out and say "Fix it, and give me a warranty, the price could be prohibitive and you will lose the sale.... Dropping this in his plate is asking for him to duck and cover.. Hell, he may not want to do your 1-3 estimates of work, but maybe you don't really want him to do all that either...

It's all up to you where you take it....