Author Topic: Homepath property on a 40 slope  (Read 3760 times)

Beardog

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Homepath property on a 40 slope
« on: March 16, 2016, 05:04:40 AM »
Hello, real estate MMMers.

I have found a very small Homepath house in a low crime neighborhood of large, elegant houses and lots of trees in a city I'm interested in living.  I found a topographical map issued by the city and was able to calculate the slope that the back of the house is resting on at 40 degrees.  The house is shaped like and L and one part of the house rests of a flat section of the property, while another section rests on the slope.  The neighborhood is full of other houses that are also resting on this slope, which is covered with very large, well established trees.

My primary question is whether there are folks who have experience buying a house on a similar slope and was there anything special that you did to determine whether the house was secure?  The real estate agent suggested a structural engineer, but I think she's just playing it safe and I'm not sure whether that's necessary.

Secondly, do you have any advice for someone who may make an offer on a Homepath property?  Can you make an offer contingent upon a home inspection?  What is the process like?

Thanks in advance for any wisdom you can offer.

Ricky

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2016, 05:51:01 AM »
All the houses on my side of the street are on a slope. The house you're looking at isn't resting on a slope, it's hopefully resting on a secure foundation. It doesn't matter that earth is surrounding it. As long as it's been there a long time then I'm not sure what your concern is.

Yes, your offer will be contingent upon home inspection. That's your agent's job to write that out. That pretty much means you can back out for any reason less the earnest money.

Spitfire

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2016, 03:21:26 PM »
I always thought if you back out during the inspection period you would get the earnest/deposit back, but I have never done it.

KCM5

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2016, 03:33:22 PM »
Yes to offer contingent on inspection.

We bought a homepath property a few years ago. One thing is that they will not make any improvements to the property. So, here's a long story for you:

We had an inspector who put a lot of piddly little things on the inspection report: crack in cement of front porch, slightly rotten board on side of garage, antifreeze in the sump pit, and a couple other really really small things. The mortgage company wouldn't sign off on the mortgage unless things listed as deficiencies in the inspection report were fixed. So we ended up getting another inspector to sign off on improvements that were not actually made (because we didn't own the home yet, fannie mae wasn't going to make them, and they didn't really need to be done anyway). So if you do buy a Homepath property (or probably any property that is bank owned), watch that inspector!

iamlindoro

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2016, 06:17:22 PM »
We had an inspector who put a lot of piddly little things on the inspection report: crack in cement of front porch, slightly rotten board on side of garage, antifreeze in the sump pit, and a couple other really really small things. The mortgage company wouldn't sign off on the mortgage unless things listed as deficiencies in the inspection report were fixed. So we ended up getting another inspector to sign off on improvements that were not actually made (because we didn't own the home yet, fannie mae wasn't going to make them, and they didn't really need to be done anyway). So if you do buy a Homepath property (or probably any property that is bank owned), watch that inspector!

In the interest of clarification, this is exactly the home inspector's job.  You *want* them to identify all issues great and small.  The inspection report is for you and you alone. How did the lender even receive the inspection report?  Are you sure you're not talking about the appraisal?

Beardog

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2016, 04:07:11 AM »
Thank you everyone.  This is a mightly steep looking slope dropping down at the back of the house so that's why I'm concerned.  I'm in the northeast, which isn't prone to earthquakes, but I have heard many times that we could get one at any time.  I'm also concerned about erosion.  Also ... I tend to be a bit of a worrier. 

Thanks for sharing your experience buying a Homepath KCM5.  If I decide to make an offer, I'll discuss this the real estate agent in advance of the home inspection.


KCM5

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2016, 08:20:32 AM »
We had an inspector who put a lot of piddly little things on the inspection report: crack in cement of front porch, slightly rotten board on side of garage, antifreeze in the sump pit, and a couple other really really small things. The mortgage company wouldn't sign off on the mortgage unless things listed as deficiencies in the inspection report were fixed. So we ended up getting another inspector to sign off on improvements that were not actually made (because we didn't own the home yet, fannie mae wasn't going to make them, and they didn't really need to be done anyway). So if you do buy a Homepath property (or probably any property that is bank owned), watch that inspector!

In the interest of clarification, this is exactly the home inspector's job.  You *want* them to identify all issues great and small.  The inspection report is for you and you alone. How did the lender even receive the inspection report?  Are you sure you're not talking about the appraisal?

It was definitely the inspection. This was the first house we ever bought, so I'm only familiar with the process from the context of buying a Homepath property and using a specific loan program. It was almost 4 years ago and I haven't looked at the report since then, but are there two places to put deficiencies or something? From what I remember, both the realtor (not that I'd trust really trust their judgement - I wasn't too impressed with this realtor) and the bank were dismayed that a crack on the front entry stoop would prevent the sale of the house (it wasn't even a tripping hazard!)

Rezdent

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2016, 08:48:50 AM »
Thank you everyone.  This is a mightly steep looking slope dropping down at the back of the house so that's why I'm concerned.  I'm in the northeast, which isn't prone to earthquakes, but I have heard many times that we could get one at any time.  I'm also concerned about erosion.  Also ... I tend to be a bit of a worrier. 

Thanks for sharing your experience buying a Homepath KCM5.  If I decide to make an offer, I'll discuss this the real estate agent in advance of the home inspection.
Slope dweller here.
We had an epic flood (actually 2 floods) this past year that overwhelmed the drainage capacity.  Soil on the upside shifted and stopped against the side of the house.  Downside, the bottom edge eroded, even around trees and plants.

But even without floods, I've noticed a slow creep of soil. Flower beds have more compost on the bottom side, etc.

IMO, having a sloped yard just kind of sucks for people who like to be outside especially if you want to play. Balls won't roll straight; we can't set up areas for games like boules without major terracing.  We can't set up our grill where we want it.  The space is not as useable and the price needs to reflect that.

Telecaster

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2016, 10:25:19 AM »
The expert you need is a geotechnical engineer who might be able to tell you if the slope is stable or not.  Your city/state may have hazard maps that identify steep slopes and historical landslide areas, as well. 

However, my advice is don't do it.  The slope will move eventually, that's what they do.  It might be a really long time from now, but it will happen. 

TabbyCat

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2016, 06:40:21 PM »
We are in earthquake country and just bought a house on a slope, but it was built in the mid 90s and passed inspection with better results than every other house we pre-inspected or have seen the inspections for (including older, newer and on flat ground). It has seen several major earthquakes but is still in perfect condition structurally. That said, I would be very nervous about buying a house on a ravine - this is more of a steep-ish hillside that the whole neighborhood is on. We evaluated by looking at public records for the property, and by having our insurance agent dig into the records she had access to for evaluating risk.

Miskatonic

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2016, 12:52:36 PM »
I always thought if you back out during the inspection period you would get the earnest/deposit back, but I have never done it.

This is correct. I backed out of a purchase after the inspection revealed a catastrophic mold infestation, and I was able to get the earnest money back.

Freedom2016

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2016, 07:52:26 AM »
Hello, real estate MMMers.

I have found a very small Homepath house in a low crime neighborhood of large, elegant houses and lots of trees in a city I'm interested in living.  I found a topographical map issued by the city and was able to calculate the slope that the back of the house is resting on at 40 degrees.

As someone with two small kids, I wouldn't buy a property with that kind of slope (nowhere to put a swing set, nowhere to kick a ball around, etc.). So I'd have in mind that at resell you might lose a segment of buyers who care about that kind of thing.

Beardog

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2016, 04:39:26 AM »
Update: On the day I was preparing my offer on this property with the broker, another offer was accepted.  It is probably a good thing for a variety of reasons.  Thank you to everyone who has responded to my post.  I learned alot from your responses.

Drifterrider

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Re: Homepath property on a 40 slope
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2016, 05:52:27 AM »
Update: On the day I was preparing my offer on this property with the broker, another offer was accepted.  It is probably a good thing for a variety of reasons.  Thank you to everyone who has responded to my post.  I learned alot from your responses.

Something for you to consider for the future.  If you write an offer contingent on many things (inspection, appraisal, obtaining a loan, etc) you are doing more to protect yourself.  If you write it so that the seller pays the closing cost (inspection, appraisal, etc) THEY pay the cost of the inspection and appraisal and if it doesn't work out, they are out of pocket, not you.  Depending on your jurisdiction, you only forfeit earnest money if you back out without good cause.  You've paid the owner for them taking their house off the market.

Something that occurs in N.C. is there are two phases now to buying.  There is a period for "due diligence" and a period for "closing".  Your realtor can explain the two is the same applies to where you live. 

I looked at ten houses, made offers on six houses, and got to the inspection phase for two houses before I ended up closing on one house.  Don't be emotional, be "financial".   The $200 inspection I paid for saved me from buying a $30,000 rotten foundation problem.  That was the estimated cost to repair rotted support beams.  I call that a very good investment on my part.

I learned many years ago that if something was meant to be it would be.  If buying any house, car, etc starts to cause you emotional strain, that is nature's way of telling you to walk away.  There will ALWAYS be another house.