Buying house on contract (need help!)...

4 Replies


I'm currently buying a house on contract here in Indiana from someone, and 4 months into the purchase, we're getting nickel and dimed to death on repairs (new plumbing for clogged drains, hot water heater going out, etc.).

My question...

Is it my responsibility to pay for a new hot water heater (around $1500) for our house, or do I have some recourse so that the actual owner pays for it?

We had no warranty, or anything, so I assume it's up to me to do it since we're buying the house, but thought I'd ask for feedback from anyone willing to help.

Money's tight right now with 2 house pmts and Christmas for 4 kids, so this couldn't have happened at a worse time for us.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


Andy in Indiana

Well, let me just start by talking about how Contract for Deed works. Let's say you set up 30 years of payments or 360 total payments. Each time you make a payment you get 1/360th of the ownership.

Since you BOUGHT THE HOUSE this way, you are an owner, and responsible for the repairs.

You now own 4/360ths or 1/90th of the house congrats!!!!

How is the market these days down in Indy?

Thanks, Ryan. That's what I thought.

We're actually buying it on a 1-year contract (we have that long to get financing, but they have the option to extend it past that year, if necessary).

The market is horrible in my neck of the woods. Small town about 40 miles outside of Indy. Definite buyers market. Many homes listed with Realtors, sales are very slow. Numerous foreclosures.



Yep, exactly. You bought it, its your responsibility to maintain. It would be the same if you had conventional financing.

You did have it inspected before you bought it, right? This is the sort of thing an inspector might have noted.

Nickling and diming you is what houses do. For rentals, landlords figure they will spend 10% of the rent each month for routine maintenance. You need to budget a similar amount, since, as you're finding, houses are always having something go wrong.

$1500 is a lot for a hot water heater, assuming you mean the hot water heater and not the boiler for hot water heat. They're a couple hundred at HD or Lowe's, depending on quality and size. They're not difficult to install. If you have a bid from a plumber for $1500, I'd get some more bids.



I have heard about a ton of foreclosures there. The question I have, is what is the rental market like for those houses?

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