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Buying a house is as much of a PITA as buying a used car. Login/Join 
Three Generations
of Service
Picture of PHPaul
posted
Addendum to my earlier rant about misleading real estate ads:

After looking at nearly a dozen places for my grandson, we finally found a place that was in decent shape and reasonably priced. They went back and forth a little and agreed on price.

The appraisal went well. Grandson got approved for the loan, put down earnest money, hired a professional home inspector and the inspection went well. Minor issues, easily fixed. Owner agreed to have the furnace serviced, the rest of it was just routine home maintenance.

The basic home inspection did not include the septic system. Being rural and on a tank-and-drainfield system, I advised him to pony up for the inspection. NOT a place you want to have any surprises.

KA-RASH! Septic failed bigly. Drain field not working, tank full, evidence of ponding and even having had sewage backing into the house.

Okay, bad, but not terminal. Surely the owner will either get it fixed or deduct the price of a new system from the price of the house.

Nope.

Well, uh...how about splitting the cost of a new system?

Nope. Not one dime. Sucks to be you.

Yeah...uh...not as much as you planned on it doesn't. Fuck this, fuck you, fuck your agent. Expect to hear from our lawyer in Small Claims Court to recover nearly $2000 in inspection and appraisal fees.

Oh, and Good Luck trying to sell a house with a known bad septic system.

So the hunt is on again. Also, Grandson has 17 days left to get out of his place. So we'll be storing most of his stuff here plus hosting the 4 of them for however long it takes for them to either find another house or a rental.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 11441 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Rail-less
and
Tail-less
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If the seller changes his tune about repairing it will your grandson take it?


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Posts: 12975 | Location: Charlotte, NC | Registered: May 07, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
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Probably




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 11441 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Crusty old
curmudgeon
Picture of Jimbo54
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There is no way the owner didn't know about the problem so your grandson should come out winning in court. I'd be worried about what other things he didn't mention. If it was me I'd walk away but I don't know squat about the housing market there.

Good luck.

Jim


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Posts: 7429 | Location: The right side of Washington State | Registered: September 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
of Service
Picture of PHPaul
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quote:
Originally posted by Jimbo54:
There is no way the owner didn't know about the problem so your grandson should come out winning in court. I'd be worried about what other things he didn't mention. If it was me I'd walk away but I don't know squat about the housing market there.

Good luck.

Jim


First, I think the decision to walk has been made. There might be a slim chance that the owner will see that as a wake-up call, but I doubt it.

Second, I was there and accompanied the team that did the inspection of everything but the septic. As mentioned, we did find a few things that need attention but nothing that couldn't be handled in an afternoon or two of attending to details. Two main things were that the furnace had no record of cleaning or maintenance on hand (tho a visual looked okay) and both bathroom vent fans dumped into the unfinished area of the attic. No mold/moisture/mildew issues, and it would be a simple matter to vent them out through the wall under the eaves.

However, I don't think the owner is going to work with him on the septic issue, so it's bye-bye and don't let the door hit you in the ass.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 11441 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of bayouman
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Past experience, run away.


Bayouman
Never let the enemy pick the battle site.
 
Posts: 631 | Location: New Orleans, Louisiana  | Registered: June 28, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Make sure the inspector documents evidence that the system backed up. I'm not a lawyer but I'm guessing you'll need to proved that the current owner knew of the problem. The key will be timely documentation by the inspector and having the inspector testify as an expert witness.

If I was on the other side I'd say something like -
> I didn't know it existed
> there was no evidence found by the general home inspector.
> I'm not a plumbing expert
> If the general inspection company didn't find evidence of a problem I meet a 'prudent man' standard which supports the position that I had no knowledge.



If it's a small town, perhaps you can figure out whether the prior owner called a plumber when the system backed up. It would seem that information, if it exists, would pretty much seal the deal.

Make sure you have the legal right to exit the contract and can't be sued for specific performance. Consult an attorney!!




Speak softly and carry a big stick loaded Sig
 
Posts: 4250 | Location: Raleigh, North Carolina | Registered: September 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
of Service
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quote:
Originally posted by SR:
Make sure the inspector documents evidence that the system backed up. I'm not a lawyer but I'm guessing you'll need to proved that the current owner knew of the problem.

<snip>

Make sure you have the legal right to exit the contract and can't be sued for specific performance. Consult an attorney!!


The decision to abort was made before the window of due diligence closed. No contract had been entered into.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 11441 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
paradox in a box
Picture of frayedends
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I can’t imagine winning anything in court for inspection costs. Maybe it’s different in Maine but in Massachusetts the buyer is responsible for inspection costs. The seller isn’t responsible just because problems are found. That being said in Massachusetts the seller generally needs to have a passing inspection on the septic done. It’s the rest of the inspection the buyer pays for.




These go to eleven.
 
Posts: 9906 | Location: Lancaster, MA | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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magnificent creatures
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Are they going to give back his earnest money?


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Posts: 6081 | Registered: March 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
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quote:
Originally posted by deepocean:
Are they going to give back his earnest money?


As far as I know, yes.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 11441 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Oriental Redneck
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quote:
Buying a house is as much of a PITA as buying a used car.

Not true. It is a much more PITA experience.
 
Posts: 17200 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: September 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Cruising the
Highway to Hell
Picture of 95flhr
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The last time we bought, 2 stipulations in the contract, seller must provide septic and well inspection reports from within the last 6 months and must correct issues found during home inspection.




“Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”
― Ronald Reagan

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of my employer.
 
Posts: 5802 | Location: Near the Beaverdam in VA | Registered: February 13, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
of Service
Picture of PHPaul
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by 12131:
quote:
Buying a house is as much of a PITA as buying a used car.

Not true. It is a much more PITA experience.


Indeed. As I'm finding out.

He walked away from that one, I get to go look at another one tomorrow.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 11441 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
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Picture of PHPaul
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quote:
Originally posted by 95flhr:
The last time we bought, 2 stipulations in the contract, seller must provide septic and well inspection reports from within the last 6 months and must correct issues found during home inspection.


I will mention this both to him and his realtor. (You'd think she'd know that already, but...)




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 11441 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
outta the oven!

Picture of PASig
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Well, now this seller can't play dumb with any future potential buyers with a bad septic system.

This now MUST be disclosed to any potential buyer.

Sucks to be THEM.


 
Posts: 24462 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
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Picture of PHPaul
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Once more unto the breach, dear friends...

Going to look at another house for grandson this morning. 1980 vintage with recent updates. Looks pretty good on the realtor's site.

In town, which would be a bummer for me, but that's offset by a 2600 square foot, insulated, plumbed for heat garage! Garage appears to be quite a bit older than the house and was once a commercial operation.

Private well and septic, so those will be getting scrutinized. Live and learn...




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 11441 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ice age heat wave,
cant complain.
Picture of MikeGLI
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
Well, now this seller can't play dumb with any future potential buyers with a bad septic system.

This now MUST be disclosed to any potential buyer.

Sucks to be THEM.


Which makes me wonder why they're being so stubborn about resolving the issue.




NRA Life Member
Steak: Rare. Coffee: Black. Scotch: Neat.
 
Posts: 8570 | Location: Orlando, Florida | Registered: July 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Unmanned Writer
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by MikeGLI:
quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
Well, now this seller can't play dumb with any future potential buyers with a bad septic system.

This now MUST be disclosed to any potential buyer.

Sucks to be THEM.


Which makes me wonder why they're being so stubborn about resolving the issue.


Because either they know just how expensive it'll be to repair or they are ignorant as to the seller's responsibility.







Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.


Help, I'm having premonitions of future flashbacks.

Only in an insane world are the sane considered insane.

Some people listen to the noise of the world,
And some people listen to the quiet.
 
Posts: 10163 | Location: It was Lat: 33.xxxx Lon: 44.xxxx now it's CA :( | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not as lean, not as mean,
Still a Marine
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PhPaul, what lender is he using? Many will forgive fees in situations like this.

You can email me privately if you prefer, my wife is a processor and suggested to have your grandson ask the lender (if the fees went through them)




I shall respect you until you open your mouth, from that point on, you must earn it yourself.
 
Posts: 2448 | Location: Southern Maine | Registered: February 10, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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