Author Topic: Is this house a lemon or what?  (Read 1903 times)

MountainTown

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 255
Is this house a lemon or what?
« on: March 28, 2017, 09:25:23 PM »
Ok so we all of a sudden went from back-up to primary on a house. It was cheap for our area and there were a bunch of bidders because it's relatively new, cute, and 3 bed. We love everything about the location.

However, in short, the deal from the last guy fell apart because there was mold found in the attic, roof problems, siding problems, and garage door issues and the seller was only willing to remediate the mold. The house was built in 2008 so I am starting to think this is just so crappily built...who knows what else I could run into? I mean the truth is the house is cheap enough that I could afford to pop a new roof on it...but then...well let me get into the issues:

Mold: It was reported there was mold in the attic. I don't know much about this yet as I have only seen the remediation report. The remediation is like $5000 but seems like BS. The seller is willing to pay this but it only involves an anti-microbial treatment and HEPA vacuum, replace insulation. My understanding/experience with mold has been that you really need to either power blast the wood grains our or just replace the decking in the attic.

This is from the inspector: "Sheathing and some of the trusses in the visible areas of the attic space show signs of moisture damage. This may be due to poor roof venting or high levels of moisture in home.

ROOF:"Signs of granule loss" concerning as it is only 10 years old

Gutters: There are no gutters/downspouts

Siding: The exterior siding is warped/loose in several areas.

-Garage siding: Does not have proper clearance to grade

Garage: Built on a slab without a raised edge. Moisture is building up on the outside of the structure and rolling under the exterior wall. This has caused some moisture damage to the OSB and allows moisture into the garage area

Garage door opener did not function. There is also some damage at the top of the door

Garbage disposal broken/leaking. It needs to be replaced. Previous attempts at patching it.

-0-0-0-0

So this is just a summary of the important things. At the price we are getting it is probably reasonable to spend $10k and still feel good about the price. The problem is it just seems like a lemon. I mean the mold remediation doesn't seem adequate...I'm figuring I am going to need to replace all the decking inside. The siding issue they got a bid on ...but will that really fix it or will it be buckling somewhere else next year?

I was under contract on a similar house nearby and it had these same persistent mold problems. I am pretty sure it as the same builder and it concerns me. They also just did a anti-microbial treatment on the mold and it came back. In that deal too I was pushing for them to replace the decking and sheathing on the roof and they wouldn't--just wanted to re shingle.

SO I am about to walk away from the deal. I could push for the roof(though I was told the last buyer pushed and this is why the deal fell through) and I could push for better mold remediation but I wonder if even then it's worth it or if I am just buying a headache.

I didn't want to make this post too long. I do have bid amounts on the roof, siding, and mold but....wasn't sure if everyone would just be like "WALK AWAY"

Thanks for any advice

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5104
Re: Is this house a lemon or what?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2017, 09:42:16 PM »
You have lots of evidence from this house and the other one by the same builder that the construction is shoddy.  The house will likely give you problems as long as you own it.  In your shoes, I would hold out for a better house.

MountainTown

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 255
Re: Is this house a lemon or what?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2017, 09:52:06 PM »
hmmm yea there is definitely more to learn. It's just another house inspection and mold inspection will ultimately costs 500 to 600....I would rather not spend the expense if it's a waste of time.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 11072
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Is this house a lemon or what?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2017, 01:49:47 AM »
Don't go through it with your own inspector, go through it with your own contractor.

Remember that if even if you fix all the problems in your house, if the rest of the subdivision is shoddily built,  overall resale values will still be weaker.

SnackDog

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1284
  • Location: Latin America
Re: Is this house a lemon or what?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2017, 02:17:42 AM »
If attic and roof are not designed properly to vent moisture the mold will return. If the simple garage foundation is sloppy, imagine the house foundation.  I would not purchase. Sounds like overall poor design and construction. What the inspector found may be just the tip of the iceberg.

Setters-r-Better

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 110
Re: Is this house a lemon or what?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2017, 06:02:21 AM »
If attic and roof are not designed properly to vent moisture the mold will return. If the simple garage foundation is sloppy, imagine the house foundation.  I would not purchase. Sounds like overall poor design and construction. What the inspector found may be just the tip of the iceberg.

This is my reaction as well. Would not purchase. Inspectors don't even catch everything. I'd probably require a 20-30K below market price reduction to even think about purchasing this property. Sounds like you might end up basically re-building it with all the repairs that will be needed. Surely there are better options.

MountainTown

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 255
Re: Is this house a lemon or what?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2017, 07:18:05 AM »
Thanks for the tips. I am leaning the same way...was just worried I may be missing out on an "opportunity."

Kl285528

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 136
Re: Is this house a lemon or what?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2017, 07:22:08 AM »
Setters beat me to it. I'd need a hefty discount to market to take the risk. Trust your gut and walk.

Cpa Cat

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1622
Re: Is this house a lemon or what?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2017, 07:44:06 AM »
It sounds like more than $10,000 worth of repairs and there's probably a few things the inspector hasn't spotted.

What you're describing are mostly all issues due to persistent moisture problems from multiple areas (roof, gutters, garage grading) with no real effort from the owner to fix them since 2008. It makes me wonder if some interior water damage has been covered with paint or otherwise camouflaged.

The absolute biggest issue I see with this house is the owner's resistance to fix things properly. You can pretty much imagine that for his entire tenure in the home, every single problem has been patched, covered up, or ignored rather than fixed. Deferred maintenance turns a good house into a lemon - and we're not even sure this started out as a good house.

acroy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1702
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Dallas TX
    • SWAMI
Re: Is this house a lemon or what?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2017, 07:51:29 AM »
How handy are you?
If it's a smoking deal and you can handle it yourself, go for it.
If you'd have to outsource the repair work... avoid. My 2c
Good luck!!

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5104
Re: Is this house a lemon or what?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2017, 08:06:38 AM »
Thanks for the tips. I am leaning the same way...was just worried I may be missing out on an "opportunity."

If you have to spend $50,000 on mold remediation, replacing joists and rafters, siding, a new roof (probably 5 years left unless it is rotting from below), and a multitude of other problems, it's not an "opportunity."  It's a time and energy-sucking project that is overpriced for the amount of work it needs.  As a prior poster said, if all the houses in the subdivision have these problems, then the resale value will be permanently depressed.  In your shoes, I would look at houses in areas that are a little older, when the houses were built better.  I would not buy a problem house out of frustration with the market.

ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1567
Re: Is this house a lemon or what?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2017, 09:09:49 PM »
Water on the garage floor could be fixed by adding a mini speed bump under the garage door. Paint a strip of aluminum roof sealant against the wood where it touches the floor for a trick garage look. What, $500 if you pay somebody?

Warped and loose siding - I guess vinyl? - can be fixed by climbing a ladder and snapping it back into its grooves. Worst case, put a painted aluminum nail through persistent loose / mis-spaced spots - but only one nail per piece so it can still expand/contract in both directions. Really worst case, reside the whole wall yourself in about 2 weekends and $400 in materials, making sure to space the pieces correctly this time.

The biggest issue, attic mold, is 100% due to a lack of vents or a bathroom/stove fan venting directly into the attic and causing humidity, which condenses on the cold underside of your roof at night. Surely your inspector would have noticed the later, so add vents. Roof whirly vents are about $30 a piece. Also check for soffit ventilation being blocked by insulation. With proper venting the mold will die from a lack of condensation on the bottom of the roof decking. The stain will remain for the next inspector to freak about, though. Personally, I'd leave the dead mold alone - once it's dead of course. It's not in your living space and the dead, dry stain isn't putting off spores. The wood itself is perfectly strong unless it's a full on leak we're discussing.

MountainTown

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 255
Re: Is this house a lemon or what?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2017, 10:36:33 PM »
Thanks for the feedback everyone....ugh I think I will walk away. There have been a couple suggestions to just fix it up and asking if I am handy. No --I am not. I do have the desire to be handy and do like to work on stuff when I get a chance. However I am skeptical that I would really want to take the time on the weekends and after work. My job is pretty stressful, work a lot of 10 hour days and I have a chronic health condition. I do worry about "inviting" a bunch of problems into my life...and yet I want to balance that with not being too much of a perfectionist when it comes to house buying.