First Time Home Buyer

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INSPECTION RED FLAGS?

Posted Jun 27 2022, 21:14

Hi all. I am a first-time homebuyer and I am under contract for a SFH that I plan to use as my primary residence initially. My plan is to relocate from San Francisco to Chattanooga. The home is 83 years old and is built on a sloping piece of property. A few things came up on the home inspection today that seem like pretty major structural concerns and I contemplating whether to back out of the deal. Here are the key points of concern:

1. Moisture/water intrusion along rear wall of home during heavy rains (there is some negative sloping at the back of the house).

2. Crushing/deterioration to sill plate and joist ends was observed along the center wall (note the right rear crawlspace was not viewable due to low clearance and obstructed views)

3. Bowing to right rear foundation wall observed. The foundation wall and or framing behind wall cladding has shifted/settled

4. Old appearing stains and/or minor deterioration to wood was observed around one or more plumbing pipes in the crawlspace.

5. Sloping or non-level flooring was noted throughout home. Cause is either foundation settlement, floor joist changes or subflooring related.

6. Nontraditional shingle overlap was observed at rear plumbing pipe vent boots.

Any insight or guidance would be greatly appreciated! 

Chattanooga, Tennessee

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Greg Scott#2 Buying & Selling Real Estate Discussion Contributor
  • Rental Property Investor
  • SE Michigan
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Greg Scott#2 Buying & Selling Real Estate Discussion Contributor
  • Rental Property Investor
  • SE Michigan
Replied Jun 27 2022, 21:26

My thoughts:

1) fix the grading.  Not too expensive

2&3) Talk to an expert

4) This is an 83 year old house. There are probably stains and rotting wood everywhere.  It needs to be a specific, major issue to be a concern.

5) Old house, talk to a foundation expert

6) Minor issue easily fixed.

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Replied Jun 28 2022, 11:14

Thanks for your input, @Greg Scott !

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Julian Gonda
  • Realtor
  • Bay Area, CA
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Julian Gonda
  • Realtor
  • Bay Area, CA
Replied Jun 29 2022, 10:21

Hey Kara,

Congrats on being in escrow! I definitely understand that home inspections can be an influx of information, especially as a first-time homebuyer. It does help to have an extra set of opinions, and Greg Scott provided solid input.

For (1) and (3), water intrusion and wood deterioration are not uncommon for older homes. Having a pest inspection done is helpful as well because it notes the areas of dry rot, fungus, termite damage, water damage, etc. and give you actual bids on how much it would cost to repair.

(6) is not a major repair, as Greg mentioned.

For (2), (3), (5) -- any foundational notes like these I would agree to consult with a structural engineer or expert, as it likely suggests in the home inspection. If you haven't done so already, I would ask the inspector transparently how severe this sloping/grading/foundation is affected and if it would be a major expense. What I like to do as an agent is to get the inspector on the phone (sometimes with my client) and inquire with the inspector that exact question, along with any other areas of concern in the home that you feel is a major issue. 

Hope this helps and best of luck!

-Julian

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Replied Jun 29 2022, 16:04

Thanks @Julian Gonda, I ultimately decided to terminate my offer. I did speak with the inspector as you suggested, and the structural findings were quite severe and costly.