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Buying a house is as much of a PITA as buying a used car.

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March 12, 2019, 09:22 AM
PHPaul
Buying a house is as much of a PITA as buying a used car.
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.
March 12, 2019, 10:00 AM
Dusty78
If the seller changes his tune about repairing it will your grandson take it?


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March 12, 2019, 11:11 AM
PHPaul
Probably




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
March 12, 2019, 12:03 PM
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


________________________

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March 12, 2019, 01:24 PM
PHPaul
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.
March 12, 2019, 02:30 PM
bayouman
Past experience, run away.


Bayouman
Never let the enemy pick the battle site.
March 12, 2019, 02:35 PM
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. 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
March 12, 2019, 02:48 PM
PHPaul
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.
March 12, 2019, 08:17 PM
frayedends
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.
March 13, 2019, 05:49 AM
PHPaul
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.
March 13, 2019, 06:22 AM
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.


Q


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March 13, 2019, 07:21 AM
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.




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March 13, 2019, 08:11 AM
PHPaul
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.
March 13, 2019, 08:11 AM
PHPaul
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.
March 13, 2019, 02:46 PM
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.


March 14, 2019, 07:05 AM
PHPaul
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.
March 14, 2019, 07:42 AM
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.




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March 14, 2019, 08:33 AM
LS1 GTO
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.







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March 14, 2019, 12:16 PM
Gibb
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.
March 14, 2019, 01:16 PM
PHPaul
quote:
Originally posted by Gibb:
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 think he's out-of-pocket on the fees. I'll check.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.