Please Help!! First Home inspection

4 Replies

Hello BP Members. I'm in need of serious advice. I have my first property under contract and just received home inspection report. I thought there were a lot of issues and was ready to walk out, but need your all sincere advice. This would be my first property and now that I had courage to finally pull the trigger, now I'm afraid I might be making a mistake.. I also ordered a sewer scope. This is a lengthy post, so apologize ahead of time. All comments and advice will be greatly appreciate it. Love this forum as I'm learning a lot as I'm moving along :)  

Purchase price: 85,000    Rent 950     


SEWER SCOPE: Started inspection from stack cleanout on east basement wall. Ran camera in 4 inch cast iron sewer pipe 31ft to 4 inch clay sewer pipe. From cleanout ran camera 90ft to city sewer main in street. House sewer main runs east to west. There is a floor cleanout at 25ft downstream from stack on west basement wall. There is a minor low spot at cast to clay transition. Low spots can cause debris (toilet paper or kitchen waste) to buildup in the line. Recommend not using thick toilet paper and not overusing the garbage disposal in this house. This section could need repair if the line backs up due to the low spot. The floor drain in the basement needs to have the P-Trap cleaned and flushed out and a cap installed in the cleanout. The kitchen drain is too small to camera inspect. It is open and flowing today.

Inspection Report:

INTERIOR DRAIN, WASTE AND VENT SYSTEMS: Raw sewage has backed up into floor drain on West side of basement. This is a safety hazard and may indicate sewer drain isleaking, loose or broken. Recommend hiring professional plumber to evaluate and repair to restore safe and proper drainage.Unable to determine extent of underlying damages during time of inspection.

ROOF VENTILATION: Maintenance Item.No roof vents installed. Ventilation is necessary to maintain proper airflow through attic area. Recommend installing to facilitateproper airflow and avoid possible moisture damages to attic space. None visible during time of inspection.

RANGE HOOD: Maintenance Item. No range hood installed. Recommend installing to properly facilitate airflow out of kitchen and avoid associated moisturedamages. None visible during time of inspection.

RIM/FLOOR JOISTS: Maintenance Item.Significant termite damage at floor joist on West side of basement. No previous treatment is visible and none is disclosed.Recommend professionally treating and repairing all damaged areas to restore structural support of affected framing members.No associated structural damages visible within home during time of inspection.

Sellers answer: We can get it treated and at most will need to sister in a couple floor joist.

MAIN WATER SUPPLY:Maintenance Item.Plumbing supply piping is made of galvanized steel. Over time this will become clogged and corroded. Recommend contractingprofessional plumber to evaluate and replace all galvanized areas to maintain proper system performance. No flow reductionpresent during time of inspection.

WATER HEATER: Safety Item.No cold water shutoff valve installed above water heater. Recommend installing to properly secure water for maintenance or repairs.

DISTRIBUTION PANEL Maintenance Item. Rust visible at circuit breakers. This is likely caused by elevated moisture levels in space. Recommend hiring professionalelectrician to evaluate and clean to maintain safe and reliable electrical service to home. No significant damages visible duringtime of inspection.

Sellers Answer:

Let me know when you receive the scope back. Here is what we can do.

1. Snake drain in basement

2. Trim vegetation

3. scrape and paint window on west side of home

4. Clean condenser

5. install roof vents

6. adjust front door

7. install range hood

8. treat for termites

9. repair termite damage on floor joists

10. install cold water shutoff

11. clean rust on circuit breakers.

Upon further questioning: here is the response from the seller

This was a full rehab with the exception of replacing the plumbing supply lines. We choose not to replace because they were in good condition and there were no leaks detected. We did replace the supply shutoff valves at the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and toilet. They also installed a new shower valve when installing the new shower faucet. All the other big ticket items have been replaced: roof, hvac, water heater, and appliances. A new sump pump was installed too. The windows are vinyl windows as well. We can replace the supply lines pointed out by the inspector and this house would not need any major items in the near future. I would like to address these issues for you and get you into a great property that would need little to no work for years. Also I'm not sure if we discussed this before but we do provide a 6 month warranty on our work completed if you maintain property management with us.

1. The inspector said "No associated structural damages visible within home during time of inspection" with the termite treatment there is a warranty for the first year and if you wish to continue it is $99 for renew for another year.

2. We can replace the galvanized supply line the inspector is referring to. We decided to leave it when rehabbing the house because the lines were in good condition and not leaking.

3. There was water getting in the basement earlier this year cause moisture to stay in the basement. We have since installed a sump pump and that has solved that problem. I will send out my licensed electrician to fix the wires and see if there is anything else he recommends doing to prevent this from happening again and take those precautions



Again, I apologize for such a long post. 

The seller is aware of the issues and seems to have offered an acceptable solution. I would confer with a plumber and get some worse case scenarios of the sewer replacement I do not know if you are getting a good deal as compared to market value but the rent a compared to price seems ok. Things to consider is the location of property( crime,appreciation ,etc),all costs associated with running the property (taxes,insurance,water,etc}.If the rent exceeds your costs and you have evaluated the above conditions why not proceed? Get a property profile from your realtor to further confirm

The scariest things in there to me are the termites and galvanized pipe. Its unfortunate the rehabber didn't replace the galvanized pipe, and that may be something you will want to address down the way. If the seller will replace these, I'd ask for that. That is especially a problem if this was a foreclosure at some point (e.g., the rehabber bought it as a REO) and the pipes were drained. This allows air inside the pipes and accelerates rusting. If the water is on now and its left for a few days without being used and you have reddish water out of the taps when you first turn them on, the pipes are rusted on the inside. Galvanized plumbing will be an ongoing problem. I used to think I hated plumbing but then figured out its just galvanized pipe I hate.

The termites are likely to be an ongoing problem that you will have to keep an eye on and treat as necessary.  They live in big colonies underground.  You can't really kill them, just keep them away from your property.

The sewer line is going to need replacement at some point.  I would budget for replacing it down the road, and expect an annual roto-rooting until then.  Get multiple bids.  I've had big, big variations on bids for this job.  Here's another spot where it having been a foreclosure can be troublesome.   The house doesn't get used, debris in the low spot (plumbers sometimes call these "bellies") dries out, catches more debris and turns into a clog and causes the noted backup.

I take it from the sellers note that this is a turnkey property?. i would have them fix the termite damage, replace the galvanized supply pip. the sewer pipe may last you forever, and it may not, especially the clay section. my biggest issue is the sump pump, i do not like them and i consider them a band aid. why did they get water in the basement? check the grounds and make sure the ground slopes away from the house and that all leader pipes are directed away from the house and not dumping down right at the foundation. you resolve the water problem you will resolve the termite problem.

@Steven Picker

@Jon Holdman

@Patrick Liska

Thank you so much for your input. I really appreciate it. I have a lot of thinking to do :) 

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