Missing Garage Doors?

49 Replies

I am about to close on a turnkey property in Memphis, TN.  One thing I just noticed is that there are no garage doors in what was previously a two-car garage before they did the rehab.  It basically looks like a covered carport.  There was a tenant who withdrew her deposit after finding out that there were not functioning garage doors.  They've since taken another deposit, but I fear this may be an issue in the future - not just with getting it rented, but also due to inclement weather affecting the inside.

Why wouldn't they install functioning garage doors (I recently posed this questions to them and am waiting for an answer)?  Am I out of line to request that they install garage doors before I close on the property?  It makes me quite a bit uncomfortable closing with it as-is.  The rest of the house looks great, but this seems like it could be a big, and potentially expensive, issue later.

What happens if I refuse to close if they don't install garage doors?  What type of penalties/costs/etc. might I face from all others involved up until this point - mortgage company, title company, etc.?  I'm trying not to be difficult, but I'm also freaking out a little.  Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

If you play hard ball the seller could either install them for you, they could say no and if you back out and not close you could lose your earnest money, you could negotiate with seller to pay half. I️ think for two single short doors like this it should cost somewhere in the $750 range for both. It is a little odd they are not already installed. 

Thanks @Curt Davis . There is no earnest money. This TK provider doesn't require it. I guess I was referring to other costs like the appraisal, loan origination/lender fees (assuming they could be assessed if we don't close), etc. I'm assuming I'd be on the hook for the expenses and the lender and title company incurred, and the time spent, working on this transaction.

Assuming doors weren't installed, do you think the weather could be an issue with the interior/mold/etc.?

Is it common to have garages without doors like this in Memphis?

I️ do t think there will be any real issues but it’s the fact that the home should have garage doors and does not. Worse case just buy them if you have to. I️ don’t see it being a deal breaker assuming everything else about the deal is what you are satisfied with. 

@Mark S. putting in non powered garage doors would be cheap. Putting in auto garage doors would be a bit tougher, but not terrible. Is the house/rents factored as a house with a 2 car garage, or a house with a car port?

@Brian Pulaski , the listing on their website to tenants does not specify. The listing on their website to investors says attached garage.

We're supposed to close Monday. Do you think it's too late to ask for a seller credit of some kind for the doors since it's extremely unlikely they'll be able to be installed before closing? Or is it better to work out the details first, get the doors on there, risk having the mortgage interest rate move higher, and close when it's all done?

Adding a couple garage doors to this house shouldn't be expensive or difficult.  Easily done in one day.  There's already power (the light fixture) right where you need to put the outlet to plug the two garage door openers into if you decide to go with automatic garage door openers (which I would).  Definitely not something to "freak out" about. 

It is a little odd that they're not already installed, so you wouldn't have been out of line to ask the seller to install them or for a credit for you to install them after you close.  But I'd say at this point, since it's now Saturday and you said you're closing on Monday, it's probably too late to ask.  Definitely something you should have noticed before now.

@Kyle J. , you're right that I should have, but I didn't. I guess this is one of those lessons learned as a newbie, since this will be my first rental. Hopefully we can work something out on Monday somehow.

Did you inspect the property before agreeing to buy it? Did the property have garage doors at the time the contract was ratified? 

"As-is" does not mean the buyer agrees take the property in whatever condition it happens to be in at settlement. 

@Mark S.

Golden opportunity to squeeze serious juice out of an incompetent seller for a triviality that they obviously think is a big deal. You can do basic steel garage doors as kits for under $350 each. You can do basic remote garage door openers for less than $200 each. Putting it all in is basic handyman work, should cost you maybe a hundred each in any market in the USA.

The slope on the garage floor is right for an external carport, the epoxy coating doesn't look like something that will react badly to UV exposure like the popular Rust-oleum RockSolid flooring kits, the light fixture looks rated for external use, but I'd still put those doors in within a month or two.

You're doing good, Mark. This is a live-and-learn minor thing, not something that's going to seriously hurt your bottom line.

@Tom Gimer, the way this turnkey provider does it is they identify and put the property under contract, state what rent they will expect to get, and what the sales price will be to the investor after rehab. Most of the properties they buy are foreclosures. This particular house appears to have had garage doors in the past. The listing on the investor website says attached garage. There was never any specific mention of garage doors. In my mind, a carport is a carport and a garage is a garage, which assumes it has a garage door. I didn't specifically see anything stated that the house will have a front door, but one probably wouldn't expect this to be needed to be stated. Same with the garage door in my opinion. I simply thought the doors were open. My home inspector, yes I had it inspected, didn't say anything about it and I didn't really notice it until now, after finding out a tenant withdrew her deposit because of it.

If its turnkey, there should be garage doors.  Maybe they ahave been ordered and not yet delivered. 

@Mark S.

Foreclosed owner took the garage doors? 

No reasonable seller would try to convey a property advertised as having a garage without the doors.

As others have said, this isn't a big deal except for you should not be the one who gets stuck with no doors. I would request 200% of the estimated cost to be held back from the seller's funds in escrow OR for that amount as a seller credit in the event you do the work yourself.

One of the dumbest things I’ve seen lately.

@James K, sounds like you're in favor of me not closing until it gets done? I imagine once I close, all leverage is lost. Or are you saying it's inexpensive enough to just close and not worry about the costs as they're minor?

@Christine, I agree with you. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It appears as though they weren't planning to put them on.

@Tom Gimer, I imagine the doors were damaged and removed during the rehab and for whatever reason they didn't plan on putting new ones on. Also, I'm an out-of-state investor, and would have to hire out the work.

@Wayne Brooks, please elaborate.

Not sure if the tag feature is working; it doesn't appear to be. I'm on the app.

@Mark S.

If you can use this to drive the price down at the last moment, do it. If you can squeeze even $500 out of them, you've probably covered more than half the cost of materials and installation for the doors. I would shoot for a 3-grand last minute squeeze, then take it down to a 2-grand squeeze. Get mid-line materials rates from HD and Lowes on paper, estimate cost of installation at 30-per hour for a 2-day job, 16 hours.

Don't give an "Install them or I walk." ultimatum. I don't think it's worth it, whatever you're paying for the property.

If your sellers give you a "Close as-is or we walk!" I think you should walk away from the table and state, "I don't do ultimatums." Give then two days to stew, call them again. Explain your cost issues again. Push your paper full of solid figures at them. Let them caterwaul. If they manage to sell the property to someone else in 2 days with no garage doors or if they emotionally refuse to sell to you because you have an issue with their lunacy in trying to sell this property without garage doors...I think that's a reasonably low risk that I would take. In that case, they would be talking nonsense, and nonsense never has the advantage over substance and knowledge at the negotiating table.

That's my advice. Good luck and happy squeezing, Mark.

@Mark S. That wasn’t aimed at you, but at the seller.....selling a house with a garage but without garage doors!

Originally posted by @Mark S. :

@James K, sounds like you're in favor of me not closing until it gets done? I imagine once I close, all leverage is lost. Or are you saying it's inexpensive enough to just close and not worry about the costs as they're minor?

@Christine, I agree with you. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It appears as though they weren't planning to put them on.

@Tom Gimer, I imagine the doors were damaged and removed during the rehab and for whatever reason they didn't plan on putting new ones on. Also, I'm an out-of-state investor, and would have to hire out the work.

@Wayne Brooks, please elaborate.

Not sure if the tag feature is working; it doesn't appear to be. I'm on the app.

A "turnkey" company that sells unfinished rehabs won't be around long. All you'll need to do is post that picture in your 1-star online review to speed up their demise. 

It sounds like you may be representing yourself in this sale, which is fine... so consider that you have almost universal agreement among disinterested third parties who have heard your story. Seller owes you doors, an agreement to install, or a sizable credit. 

Thanks, @Tom Gimer .  The ironic thing about this is this is a very large and reputable provider that's been around for over a decade.  I've personally met them and their team and have been quite impressed, up until now.  I'll keep everyone posted.  Hoping to get some answers on Monday.

It's possible the provider is leaving them off to save you from future maintenance down the road. 

I'd personally try and get the seller to install them. This seems odd being a turn-key. However best advice is not to freak-out :) A pair of doors at lowes is relatively inexpensive. 

@David B. , I thought about that at first, but I'd likely have more issues/costs in the long run by not having them.  

@Michael Plante , yes.  It's taken about 1.5 months longer than expected for the rehab.  In my opinion, what's another couple days to get some doors put in?

@Joshua Tobin , thanks.  I'm trying not to, but all this is still new to me.  Freaking out about little things like this is a good example of why  I'm buying turnkey and couldn't be a landlord (mentally).

No doors lets water in...it blows in. Drywall finished interior of garage should not be exposed to water. If they don’t install doors you should...be nice to finance it in.

Thanks @Marian Smith Do you think I'd be out of line to insist they install them and send me photos upon completion before closing (and therefore likely delay closing for at least a few days)?

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