Would You Buy a Property With a Pool...of Standing Water??

3 Replies

Hello BiggerPockets!

Got a question for my peeps. So, I have a duplex under contract right now. Great neighborhood, recently rehabbed, happy with the numbers on paper....but, the inspection came back today with a little surprise.

There's standing water in the crawlspace. Now, we're not talking an 18 foot deep high dive pool down there...it might be 1" - 2" deep (but, I'm still trying to decipher the photo from my inspector and get a hold of him).

It also (oddly) looks to be on top of a sheet of plastic. Anyone know what that's all about???

So, with this limited information, what are your thoughts?

1. Ask the seller to evaluate the issue and get a quote to find/fix the issue?

2. Ask the seller for a reduction in sale price? But, how much?

3. Pay a contractor to get out there, evaluate it, and provide a quote?

4. Run away!

FYI - I invest out of state and this property is 2,000+ miles away from me, so I can't just pop down there. I've got a few more days in my inspection period left and have the option of extending it another 10 days if needed.

Thanks everyone! I appreciate any feedback you have!


That's definitely not a great situation, and I'm sorry to hear that it happened to you my friend @Tyler Jahnke . My personal opinion is that you should do steps 3 then 2, and if 2 doesn't work then step 4. Get someone that YOU trust NOT who the buyer wants, to get a quote for the damage and how much it will cost to fix. Don't be mean or rude about it, but bring this up to the seller and show him/her the bid and ask for a reduction in price or for them to fix it completely. Here is the tricky part, depending on how great the deal is, and what they say will determine your next steps. If it is a 2%er then I would do my best to get the buyer to fix it, but if they don't just suck it up because that's a great deal. However if it isn't even a 1% deal, or is a borderline 1%er I would say that if the buyer doesn't fix it, walk away. It has to be a slam dunk deal in order for you to suck it up and deal with it. Whatever you do make sure the numbers work and it is a deal regardless of your next step forward. Good luck my friend!

The plastic is called a Vapor Barrier. 

The water isn't necessarily detrimental to the deal, but it is worth looking in to. Could be poor grading of the surround land, poor drainage, and then add rain to it. It would also be wise to look for mold in the area. And see if they would flip the costs to get it either encapsulated or maybe even a sump pump. 

Definitely talk to the inspector. Because it’s on top of the plastic, that likely means it’s a plumbing issue, dripping into the plastic.

If it were ground water, it should be under the plastic.

I would ask if the inspector noticed any mold or rotten wood as well. He should be able to tell you where it’s from, and what (in general) should be done to fix it.

Could be as easy as cleaning gutters or extending downspouts. Or could be more complicated too. Don’t know from just that picture.