Structural inspection or accept credit?

2 Replies


I knew this would be the place to come to for help.  Let me know what everyone thinks.

I'm in the process of purchasing my first buy and hold property.  I had an inspection done and I knew there was some concern about a sagging roof, some old termite damage, and an old stone and mortar foundation.  I was also able to get the previous inspection report from two years prior to compare and it doesn't look like much changed.  Anyway I wanted to know your thoughts.  I'm setting up to have a structural engineer review the property which i've never used before they run about 850-1000 for the inspection and will give estimates.  I also understand that the seller is offering me a $2500 credit but no inspection.  What is everyone thought on structural engineers  I feel like it will give me  a piece of mind knowing what really needs to be done, but at the same time I don't see the sellers going much lower if the repairs are expensive?

any help would be appreciated

Hi Nicholas,

Regarding what I think of structural engineers, they tend to be very cautious. I had one tell me that he had to presume a non-load bearing partition wall in the basement was load bearing because we didn’t know when the wall was put up and settling could have shifted load to it. However, for items you will be fixing their knowledge is excellent and will give you piece of mind.

Also, your inspector specifically calls out that you need a structural engineer to look at it, so do that. The inspector did it to cover himself, so you should cover yourself.

I suspect the repair estimate will be higher than the $2500 credit the seller is offering. How much money can you pour into this property before the numbers don’t work?

If you continue on with this and the seller won’t lower the price to the point where the numbers work and there’s still something left in it for you, then there’s no point continuing on. The seller will need to disclose the issues you find to any other buyers, so that could provide a little leverage in lowering the price a reasonable amount. But they may have a certain price they need to hit. Try and find out their motivation for selling.

And throughout this, be prepared to walk away and find another property. Don’t let the excitement of doing your first deal cloud your judgment.

Best of luck. 

@Tom Hovind thanks for the response.  I'm pretty much thinking the same as you.  I guess I just needed to hear it from another person.  This is my first investment property so I have a slight connection to it already since I have already laid out money for inspections and appraisal.  The numbers still seem to work, but as mentioned I'm sure the engineers cost will be more than the $2500 credit and hoping it doesn't scare of the seller.  I guess at the end of the day if that's the situation it wasn't meant to be.