Author Topic: Previous owners home inspection report  (Read 4086 times)

Jags4186

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Previous owners home inspection report
« on: March 13, 2018, 02:39:06 PM »
Hello everyone,

I'm currently in attorney review of a property in New Jersey.  The previous owners have only lived there for 2.5 years, and the owners before that only owned the home for 3 years.  We've requested the previous seller's home inspection report.  They have refused to give it to us.  The seller's attorney claims that is an odd request and my attorney says they ask for it a lot--especially when the home hasn't been lived in long.  The house is an old home built in 1922, but it has been updated throughout the years--central air installed, newer kitchen, newer bathroom, etc.

I've reached out to an inspector and was told that they don't use old inspections even when available saying they do their own thing and having a prior inspection can influence what they look at.  My lawyer seems to think this is a huge issue.  I too sort of think this is weird for them not to give--it seems like their hiding something.

This is my first time purchasing a property and everyone has an opinion.  I wanted to check to see what people here think.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2018, 02:40:45 PM »
Why don't you have your own inspector take a look at it?

It is possible that they had fixed all the issues in their inspection report.

caracarn

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 02:45:48 PM »
I lived in a house for a year and had to sell due to a divorce.  I offered up my old inspection report as it might still be relevant but I encouraged the buyer's to have their own, which they did.

I have owned about five primary homes at this time and yes if I asked for an inspection report and they refused, that would be a red flag for me.  I would still have my own done, but if they are unwilling to share I feel it likely means there was something not great they chose to live with that they know you would likely want fixed and perhaps your will hire a poor inspector and they might miss it.  Not sure what other reason to withhold.

Sibley

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 02:51:31 PM »
Your information is weird and wrong, at least in my area. They paid for it, they have no obligation to hand it over. Just like you have no obligation to hand over one you paid for.

A lot can change in a house in 2 years, especially an older one. Get your own inspection done.

Jags4186

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 03:40:21 PM »
Just to clarify, of course I am going to get my own inspection done.  It is just that they are steadfastly refusing to hand their inspection over that worries me--like there is something they are hiding.  Of course, had they lived there 10 years we wouldn't have asked for it, but the fact that they are moving in 2 years (and losing money once commission has been paid) makes me slightly concerned. 

Yes I understand they paid for their own report and they have no obligation to hand it over, however I have no obligation to purchase their house and it costs them nothing to furnish us a copy of it so it seems to me a very inexpensive give to the buyers.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 03:42:28 PM by Jags4186 »

solon

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 03:42:23 PM »
I'm going to back you up on this one. They are definitely hiding something. True, they have no obligation to show you their report. It's also true that you can walk away.

Walk away.

Jon Bon

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2018, 05:32:13 AM »
It is a 100 year old house, yeah odds are it has some things wrong with it. As is ALWAYS the case with (nearly) 100 year old houses.

If that scares off you off the house, well good luck finding anything you are comfortable with. FYI I had a home inspector come through my house and claim some old wiring was knob and tube, and I can 100% assure you that it was not. So I would not want to show that to the next buyer because the inspector was wrong, and also stupid. I also have had inspectors say my roof was failing (it was like 2 years old) and she only looked at it from the ground. So yeah there are legitimate reasons to withhold an old inspection. The seller also might be worried that you are just looking for a reason to kill the deal?

My suggestion would be get a home inspection, but ALSO have a builder/contractor walk through it with you. In my state home inspectors can be rather stupid.  If there was something 'major' that they are trying to hide your guys should 100% be able to find it. Does your state have disclosure documents? Basically if anything major has happened in the past 2 years it needs to be put on the disclosures, and omission of that can lead to some major penalties.

Relax, buying a home is rather stressful, especially if it is your first one!

Good luck.

Jags4186

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2018, 05:41:19 AM »
It is a 100 year old house, yeah odds are it has some things wrong with it. As is ALWAYS the case with (nearly) 100 year old houses.

If that scares off you off the house, well good luck finding anything you are comfortable with. FYI I had a home inspector come through my house and claim some old wiring was knob and tube, and I can 100% assure you that it was not. So I would not want to show that to the next buyer because the inspector was wrong, and also stupid. I also have had inspectors say my roof was failing (it was like 2 years old) and she only looked at it from the ground. So yeah there are legitimate reasons to withhold an old inspection. The seller also might be worried that you are just looking for a reason to kill the deal?

My suggestion would be get a home inspection, but ALSO have a builder/contractor walk through it with you. In my state home inspectors can be rather stupid.  If there was something 'major' that they are trying to hide your guys should 100% be able to find it. Does your state have disclosure documents? Basically if anything major has happened in the past 2 years it needs to be put on the disclosures, and omission of that can lead to some major penalties.

Relax, buying a home is rather stressful, especially if it is your first one!

Good luck.

We’re going to move forward with our own inspection—eyes wide open to the fact we’re buying a 100 year old home. Where we live almost all normal/non McMansion homes were built between 1920-1940 so it’s not like we have new build options around every corner.  This house has been updated over the years—and not by flippers—so that is a good sign to me.

mavendrill

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 09:12:37 AM »
I'm going to back you up on this one. They are definitely hiding something. True, they have no obligation to show you their report. It's also true that you can walk away.

Walk away.
It depends on location but the "they have no obligation" part is sketchy.  They have an obligation to disclose known faults (at least in almost all the US).  Did their disclosure documents include anything?  If not (and some  realtors try to treat those as pro-forma), its a big deal.  If they found out about those faults from an inspection report and don't disclose them, it is also a problem.

caracarn

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 09:43:00 AM »
It is a 100 year old house, yeah odds are it has some things wrong with it. As is ALWAYS the case with (nearly) 100 year old houses.

If that scares off you off the house, well good luck finding anything you are comfortable with. FYI I had a home inspector come through my house and claim some old wiring was knob and tube, and I can 100% assure you that it was not. So I would not want to show that to the next buyer because the inspector was wrong, and also stupid. I also have had inspectors say my roof was failing (it was like 2 years old) and she only looked at it from the ground. So yeah there are legitimate reasons to withhold an old inspection. The seller also might be worried that you are just looking for a reason to kill the deal?

My suggestion would be get a home inspection, but ALSO have a builder/contractor walk through it with you. In my state home inspectors can be rather stupid.  If there was something 'major' that they are trying to hide your guys should 100% be able to find it. Does your state have disclosure documents? Basically if anything major has happened in the past 2 years it needs to be put on the disclosures, and omission of that can lead to some major penalties.

Relax, buying a home is rather stressful, especially if it is your first one!

Good luck.
I get what you are saying but you could easily explain what you thought the inspector found wrong and still hand over the report if asked. 

I totally get where OP is coming from.   Being on the other side of the transaction is made total sense to me that buyers were wondering why I was moving in less than a year.  It raised questions.  I thought being transparent and sharing the inspection report would be a way to ease their fears and it was.  Turns out the people who eventually bought the home did use a piece of information off it when they unsuccessfully tried to sue me for repairs they needed to do.  I still did not regret providing the report as I had nothing to hide.  I was also selling at a loss, but it was right after the housing crash and things no recovering as well (2010-2011).  Now in a decent housing market I'd be totally in the same boat and be curious about why someone would sell at a loss after just two years. 

Jon Bon

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2018, 10:53:04 AM »
It is a 100 year old house, yeah odds are it has some things wrong with it. As is ALWAYS the case with (nearly) 100 year old houses.

If that scares off you off the house, well good luck finding anything you are comfortable with. FYI I had a home inspector come through my house and claim some old wiring was knob and tube, and I can 100% assure you that it was not. So I would not want to show that to the next buyer because the inspector was wrong, and also stupid. I also have had inspectors say my roof was failing (it was like 2 years old) and she only looked at it from the ground. So yeah there are legitimate reasons to withhold an old inspection. The seller also might be worried that you are just looking for a reason to kill the deal?

My suggestion would be get a home inspection, but ALSO have a builder/contractor walk through it with you. In my state home inspectors can be rather stupid.  If there was something 'major' that they are trying to hide your guys should 100% be able to find it. Does your state have disclosure documents? Basically if anything major has happened in the past 2 years it needs to be put on the disclosures, and omission of that can lead to some major penalties.

Relax, buying a home is rather stressful, especially if it is your first one!

Good luck.
I get what you are saying but you could easily explain what you thought the inspector found wrong and still hand over the report if asked. 

I totally get where OP is coming from.   Being on the other side of the transaction is made total sense to me that buyers were wondering why I was moving in less than a year.  It raised questions.  I thought being transparent and sharing the inspection report would be a way to ease their fears and it was.  Turns out the people who eventually bought the home did use a piece of information off it when they unsuccessfully tried to sue me for repairs they needed to do.  I still did not regret providing the report as I had nothing to hide.  I was also selling at a loss, but it was right after the housing crash and things no recovering as well (2010-2011).  Now in a decent housing market I'd be totally in the same boat and be curious about why someone would sell at a loss after just two years.

Sure that makes sense too, so basically they can have any number of reasons for not wanting to share the report?! People are cranky and stubborn sometimes, they can do odd things for odd reasons!

If I am reading you right, you showed an OLD inspection report which they then turned around and tried to sue you with? Would not have showed them the previous report made their case against you weaker or stronger?

I think in regards to the OP, I would get my inspection and due all due diligence. If anything does come up then ask them directly did the old inspection report address this major item? If old report did mention it then yes maybe they have all the more reason to see it?

ncornilsen

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 05:30:51 PM »
It is a 100 year old house, yeah odds are it has some things wrong with it. As is ALWAYS the case with (nearly) 100 year old houses.

If that scares off you off the house, well good luck finding anything you are comfortable with. FYI I had a home inspector come through my house and claim some old wiring was knob and tube, and I can 100% assure you that it was not. So I would not want to show that to the next buyer because the inspector was wrong, and also stupid. I also have had inspectors say my roof was failing (it was like 2 years old) and she only looked at it from the ground. So yeah there are legitimate reasons to withhold an old inspection. The seller also might be worried that you are just looking for a reason to kill the deal?

My suggestion would be get a home inspection, but ALSO have a builder/contractor walk through it with you. In my state home inspectors can be rather stupid.  If there was something 'major' that they are trying to hide your guys should 100% be able to find it. Does your state have disclosure documents? Basically if anything major has happened in the past 2 years it needs to be put on the disclosures, and omission of that can lead to some major penalties.

Relax, buying a home is rather stressful, especially if it is your first one!

Good luck.
I get what you are saying but you could easily explain what you thought the inspector found wrong and still hand over the report if asked. 

I totally get where OP is coming from.   Being on the other side of the transaction is made total sense to me that buyers were wondering why I was moving in less than a year.  It raised questions.  I thought being transparent and sharing the inspection report would be a way to ease their fears and it was.  Turns out the people who eventually bought the home did use a piece of information off it when they unsuccessfully tried to sue me for repairs they needed to do.  I still did not regret providing the report as I had nothing to hide.  I was also selling at a loss, but it was right after the housing crash and things no recovering as well (2010-2011).  Now in a decent housing market I'd be totally in the same boat and be curious about why someone would sell at a loss after just two years.

Sure that makes sense too, so basically they can have any number of reasons for not wanting to share the report?! People are cranky and stubborn sometimes, they can do odd things for odd reasons!

If I am reading you right, you showed an OLD inspection report which they then turned around and tried to sue you with? Would not have showed them the previous report made their case against you weaker or stronger?

I think in regards to the OP, I would get my inspection and due all due diligence. If anything does come up then ask them directly did the old inspection report address this major item? If old report did mention it then yes maybe they have all the more reason to see it?

Yeah, I don't get that either. If the repair they were suing over was listed on the inspection, it makes thier case weaker. If the inspection report said "Piping to toilet is in perfect shape!" and it failed, maybe... but inspectors always say things like "appears to be in functional condition" so if it fails they can fall back on "well, it LOOKED solid."

Jon Bon

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2018, 08:35:51 AM »
Honestly I dont think it matters either way.

*Not a lawyer*

But I have read that proving the previous homeowner knew of an existing considering and went to lengths to cover it up is about the hardest thing to prove legally.
So never try to sue the previous owner of a house, and dont sweat it if they try to sue you over a house that you sold!

Let us know how the inspection turns out OP!






caracarn

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2018, 09:04:53 AM »
Honestly I dont think it matters either way.

*Not a lawyer*

But I have read that proving the previous homeowner knew of an existing considering and went to lengths to cover it up is about the hardest thing to prove legally.
So never try to sue the previous owner of a house, and dont sweat it if they try to sue you over a house that you sold!

Let us know how the inspection turns out OP!
So yes it would make their case weaker.  The old inspection report mentioned a fuel tank (used to have a boiler in the house so it was oil tank) that was buried on the lot and filled in.  So it was not a problem, but they had a leaky roof and a leaky toilet that they claimed I must have known about but did not disclose.  Their inspector found nothing.  They wanted $100K plus legal fees, pain and suffering etc. 

With regards to hardest thing to prove I would think so.  In our case we never actually spent a day in court, but they kept appealing all the way up to our state's Supreme Court (I wish I was kidding) which refused to hear the case but as the defendant I was along for the ride.  $60K in legal bills and not a day in court.  It sucked. We offered to settle at one point, but they refused to budge from their full amount.   And I feel my attorneys did a great job keeping costs down and were very competent (why the thing got tossed every time before it got heard).  It is only after you get to experience the legal system yourself that you understand how important it is to focus on blocking frivolous lawsuits and not just allowing the system to handle it.  I was blessed in that I could absorb this cost without much impact (although I'd much rather have that money for FIRE), but for the average joe, it would drive them into bankruptcy. 

So my guess is to the OP the original home owners are being advised to not share the report to avoid something similarly stupid.  Not saying you'd do that to them, but it is possible there is nothing to hide.  I'm a pretty transparent person, but I get that trait may not be that common, so maybe they just want to only do what they legally are required to do to avoid any possible complications.

Jon Bon

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2018, 09:58:21 AM »
Holy shit!

Glad that they did not get a penny out of you, screw those guys.

Like why would you even do that? Like either their lawyers had to tell them it was an unwinnable case, or they just were happy to purse a frivolous lawsuit as long as they got paid? A new roof and toilet is like what 10 grand on the high end? WTF is wrong with people.

I guess that would indeed give you a unique prospective. I have not yet had the privilege of experiencing the US legal system.  Sounds like justice was served but at one hell of a cost. Hopefully they ended up spending more.


MishMash

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2018, 12:34:45 PM »
Your information is weird and wrong, at least in my area. They paid for it, they have no obligation to hand it over. Just like you have no obligation to hand over one you paid for.

A lot can change in a house in 2 years, especially an older one. Get your own inspection done.


Or they could have lost it...I couldn't tell you where a single one ours was after we lived in the house six months..Why? they are pretty much useless once you buy the house.

SnackDog

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2018, 12:45:05 PM »
The old inspection is irrelevant.  It could contain things which were repaired or not repaired.  If they were repaired they may have since re-failed. In any case, you must do your own inspection to find out what needs the house has.  Get a top notch inspector who has experience in general construction, electrical and plumbing.  Or, just assume some major things are wrong and figure those in your offer amount.

Jags4186

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2018, 01:35:05 PM »
My attorney definitely thought it was weird they didn’t offer up the inspection.  She spoke with a few other attorneys and they seem to think that the likliest reason why they didn’t provide it is that there is something in there would be an obvious fix, they took a credit for it, and never fixed it.   I pulled all of the permits on the property as far back as the town had (1984) and the current owners have done nothing to the property that requires a permit.

On a side note, reading through a permit history on a property is incredibly interesting.  I also learned that the roof which “they have no clue how old it is” was put on in 1993 and that the oil tank I was concerned about was taken out in 1998.

trollwithamustache

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2018, 02:01:43 PM »
  I pulled all of the permits on the property as far back as the town had (1984) and the current owners have done nothing to the property that requires a permit.


Are you sure? they could have done unpermitted permit required work.

shelbyautumn

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2018, 02:19:37 PM »
My husband and I just sold our home last July after living there for 3 years. We gladly gave the old inspection to our buyers, along with the receipts the previous sellers had given to us. I had nothing to hide.

Jags4186

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2018, 04:17:16 PM »
  I pulled all of the permits on the property as far back as the town had (1984) and the current owners have done nothing to the property that requires a permit.


Are you sure? they could have done unpermitted permit required work.

Let me rephrase—the owners hadn’t applied for any permits.

robartsd

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2018, 04:43:36 PM »
I think I would look elsewhere if the owners are refusing to share the inspection they got a couple of years ago. I'd share the report (noting which items in it had been addressed) and expect the buyer to consider any faults disclosed in their offer.

Blatant

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2018, 09:27:02 AM »
Not a lawyer or realtor, but I have bought and sold half a dozen primary residences over the years.

I can say, I’ve never asked for nor been asked for a previous inspection report.

Maybe there’s an ulterior motive. Or maybe they just don’t have the report, lost, misfiled, discarded, etc. I know if you asked me to provide the report for the house I closed on last week, I’d have a tough time putting my hands on it.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2018, 11:54:56 AM »
Couldn't you just call up the home inspector? Or at least authorize the home inspector to give it up if asked? Or just fess up and say you lost it, everybody would have dropped it if they just said they truthfully lost the report and can't remember who the inspector was (I think it states it on my bill of sale who did the inspection though).  I imagine inspectors keep digital records, if they ever reinspect a home it would be embarassing to miss something they noticed the first time (probably a liability).

I would be concerned if a homeowner tried to hide a report they had.

I bought my homeowner report for my house off another person, 1/2 off when they walked from the purchase (their viewpoint is they recovered 1/2 the cost). They could sell it to you, offer them $100 and see if they bite. In the grand scheme $100 is a pittance, if it saves you from buying a problem house. 





YttriumNitrate

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2018, 01:45:36 PM »
Since you are getting information 3rd hand about the report (via two lawyers) it's possible that "They have refused to give it to us" started out as "We'll check our records and see if we still have it" or "sorry, we don't have it anymore"...but it seems unlikely.

MommyCake

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2018, 03:13:35 PM »
Im also in NJ.  The inspection report is the property of the person who paid for it, as others have said.  It is not customary to ask the sellers for a copy of their inspection (in fact I've never heard of someone asking), so I wouldn't jump to conclusions about why they will not furnish you a copy.  Get your own inspection, and ensure the expensive things (foundation, roof, electrical, plumbing, septic, etc) are looked at closely. I don't see staying in my house more than a few years, and I would not want anyone to see the inspection our guy did.  He put EVERYTHING in there, even minor things like trim that needed painting.  It was insanely detailed.  It was also digital, and I had to log in to a website to view it, and I doubt I ever printed it because it was like 50 pages.  If I needed it for some reason, I would have to call the inspector and asked for another copy or for log on info for his site.  Maybe the sellers just don't want to do extra work, especially if they view it as a strange request.  Their attorney or realtor perhaps even advised against it since it is not normal practice.  Anyhow, good luck and let us know how it goes. 

caracarn

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2018, 06:43:01 AM »
Im also in NJ.  The inspection report is the property of the person who paid for it, as others have said.  It is not customary to ask the sellers for a copy of their inspection (in fact I've never heard of someone asking), so I wouldn't jump to conclusions about why they will not furnish you a copy.  Get your own inspection, and ensure the expensive things (foundation, roof, electrical, plumbing, septic, etc) are looked at closely. I don't see staying in my house more than a few years, and I would not want anyone to see the inspection our guy did.  He put EVERYTHING in there, even minor things like trim that needed painting.  It was insanely detailed.  It was also digital, and I had to log in to a website to view it, and I doubt I ever printed it because it was like 50 pages.  If I needed it for some reason, I would have to call the inspector and asked for another copy or for log on info for his site.  Maybe the sellers just don't want to do extra work, especially if they view it as a strange request.  Their attorney or realtor perhaps even advised against it since it is not normal practice.  Anyhow, good luck and let us know how it goes.
Not specifically singling this post out, just the latest in a series about how this could be a strange request and therefore they are not responding.

These interactions at this point are not legal proceedings.  There is nothing governing candid and direct feedback.  If I viewed a request like this as strange, then that's what I would tell the requstor; "That's a strange request".  Not that hard to say.  Or explain, "I am not required to provide it and I do not feel it is relevant as you should get your own inspection" is also a direct way that closes the door to speculation on "why" I did not want to provide it.  Unless these sellers have no concept of a sales process, they have to be aware that a flippant response that they will not provide the report will raise suspicions.  If I was buying a used car and the seller told me they had pulled a CarFax report and I asked to see it and they simply said "no" and refused to elaborate it would raise at least a token sense of concern about the seller.  If they instead said, "No, spend your own money and get your own copy.  It will also be more updated than mine.", then that is much clearer. 

I stand by my original comments that I smell a rat.  You should always get your own inspection, but to discount the fact that this seller is being evasive about why they will not provide a report, regardless of whether they view it as strange, is not something I would simply overlook.  If everything else they have done is very transparent and does not raise your spidey sense, then sure, this is just an outlier, but if they have given short, vague answers to everything, that shows a pattern and you have to determine how that plays in to your thought process.  Said another way, trust your instincts.  If it feels wrong, it probably is.

caracarn

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2018, 07:01:33 AM »
Holy shit!

Glad that they did not get a penny out of you, screw those guys.

Like why would you even do that? Like either their lawyers had to tell them it was an unwinnable case, or they just were happy to purse a frivolous lawsuit as long as they got paid? A new roof and toilet is like what 10 grand on the high end? WTF is wrong with people.

I guess that would indeed give you a unique prospective. I have not yet had the privilege of experiencing the US legal system.  Sounds like justice was served but at one hell of a cost. Hopefully they ended up spending more.
My attorneys indicated that the plaintiff in these cases ends up spending 2-3 times as much, however, given the exorbitant price tag and ridiculous things they did (they videotaped my deposition, which is not normally done in basic cases like that and used a videographer my firm had used for other cases so they knew their rate was $2K per day), where me and my attorneys ended up as the most likely scenario was that the firm took this on a contingency basis and would only get paid in the event of a payment.  That removes the expense from the plaintiffs and if the firm kept pushing saying they felt they had a chance (which of course they always did until they exhausted all options) what was the harm to them?  They felt the initial summary judgment ruled on a question of fact (which requires a jury) rather than a question of law (which does not).  One judge on the appeals court agreed with them enough to vote in their favor, though their dissenting opinion still basically said they felt there was enough question to warrant a trial but not that it was definitive in any way.  Perhaps that sliver of hope then encouraged them to bump it up again to the Supremes.  The whole process took almost two years so it was not a fun time in my life. 

And I met these people a couple times in the process at both the depositions.  They were both highly educated with advanced degrees in their fields of engineering and science, so you'd think they could understand the situation and see about throwing good money after bad.  That's why we felt it was likely the contingency situation as it seemed unlikely to us that the clients actually were simply being bamboozeled by a lawyer bent on dragging the fees up.  The lawyer was younger and seemed very ineffective.  At the end of my deposition I was basically doing his job for him as he could never remember which exhibit he wanted me to look at so I'd keep letting him know which document we wanted for that line of questioning.  It was rather ridiculous if you ask me and I was not very kind when he wanted to extend into another day.  I flat out told him he had already used my whole day today, and if he had actually been organized instead of spending multiple minutes after each question sifting through documents in his briefcase of in the already presented exhibits to find his place then we would have been done.  I indicated I was not going to lose another day at work because of his ineptness.  We pressed on and ended up finishing that day. 

It is an experience, I tell you, but I think people get excited about the thrill of the chase and if the law firm was pressing their belief onto the clients they may have led them astray.  I do know a senior partner got much more directly involved after my deposition (I'd guess because it was such a sham and anyone reviewing the transcript could see I was not exactly an idiot and that this would not be a case of tripping someone up on the stand, which I'd guess is how these ambulance chasers win most of their cases).  I thought for sure with the body language of the plaintiffs every time their attorney did something stupid and was called out for it that they'd see though the issue right then and there, but they did not for some reason.  Who knows.  I hold no ill will against these people.  I trust they were acting rationally in their minds, but it was an eye opening experience to how the whole process works and how awful it can be (I can totally see how people end up being wrongfully convicted of crimes).

narrative

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2018, 09:40:59 AM »
Does the seller not have to fill out disclosures in New Jersey?

In every house we have purchased in both IL and CO there is a legally binding disclosure sheet where the seller is required to list anything they know to be an issue. It is also a go-to place to list when things were fixed, updated, etc.

That's not to say that people are always honest, but having that sheet is on-paper proof of what they do or don't know about the house. Basically if you purchase it and find something that was blatantly left off the disclosure you have legal recourse. (It still might not be worth the time or money to follow through legally if it is a minor issue.)

A quick google turned this up: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/new-jersey-home-sellers-disclosures-required-under-state-law.html

That said, it sounds like your gut is telling you to move on. I would listen to that.

And ditto what has been said about inspectors. There are good ones and bad ones. Our last house was fairly thoroughly inspected (we thought) and then we found a slew of aluminum foil cooking pans lined in super nasty paper towels catching drips from leaky pipes in the drop ceiling. We fixed the pipes and replaced the drop ceiling tiles for maybe $150. Simple fix, but should have been caught by the inspector.

The house before that was 6 years old. Inspection looked good. The day we moved in I washed my hands in the main level bathroom sink and water poured out into the basement directly below. Supposedly the inspector had run the sinks, etc. The seller claimed they didn't know about it. Got someone out. It was a long trim nail through the drain pipe below the sink - from when they built the house. There was no way the seller hadn't used the only sink on the main floor ever. Still, it wasn't worth the cost to fight it. We fixed it and called it day.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 09:48:21 AM by narrative »

Jags4186

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2018, 03:37:58 PM »
Hi everyone,

So I’d like to give you guys an update on a house we are trying to purchase.

We saw a great house in a great neighborhood with a great school system. House priced near the lower 25% of the homes on the street. Listed for $629k, we agreed to $617.5k. House built in 1922. We are aware of the “charms” of an old house and are ok living with creaky wood floors, moldings and frames that aren’t exactly 100% level, and radiator heating systems.

What we aren’t prepared to live with are the following “issues” discovered today by our home inspector. FYI I’ve read most of the home inspector threads on this site and I have to say our inspectator was amazing. She spent 6 hours at the property with us, has a Masters in Engineering and was making our realtor cringe the entire time, and also tried to talk to us when the realtor wasn’t around as she thought realtors were basically con artists.

That said let me give you the list of the “highlights”:

1) Knob and Tube wiring discovered (owners checked no on sellers disclosure form)

2) Detached 1 car garage had heavy termite and water damage. It is cockeyed, level to the ground on a decline, and she recommended it be torn down and replaced.

3) Termite and carpenter ant damage to the house in the foyer and front door. Part in parcel to this was the fact that the front step landing is pitched towards the house, built over an older stoop, and allows water to drain directly towards the house (apparently there is supposed to be 7 1/4” step up from the landing to the front door). Floor in the foyer can be stepped on and “pushed” down easily. (owners checked no to known pests)

4) Mice droppings found in the junction box. Part of basement is a crawl space with old school vertical clay tiles. She said a mason needs to lay concrete over these tiles as she can see straight through them to the outside and that is how field mice are getting into the house.

5) In additional, oil lines were found in the crawl space going out into front yard. Permits pulled on house show that a 550 gallon tank was removed 20 years ago, however she believes she found evidence of a basement tank and that is what must have been removed. She believes there is an additional oil tank in the front yard.

5) We discovered the furnace is cracked. While she was getting ready to check out the furnace the heat kicked on and steam started shooting out of the furnace. A 6” long crack about 1/4” thick was discovered in the back of the furnace.

6) Plumbing was called a “handyman special” and needs significant work. A relative of mine is a master plumber and came by and looked and said “it’ll work but none of it is to code”. He said it needs about $20k worth of work to bring into code. He didn’t know the furnace was cracked when he gave that number.

7) Roof is end of life

8) 1st floor bathroom doesn’t have proper ventilation and is believed to be an unpermited bathroom

9) Deck is deemed “handyman special” and while it has a permit from 1983, she believes the underneath structure is original and the top part is relatively new. She recommended not using the deck until it is further inspected based on what she could see underneath and suggested a large part be ripped up as it is wood directly on dirt which is a recipe for rotting.

10) House is listed as a 5 bedroom. The 2nd floor has 3 bedrooms and the attic was mostly finished with 2 very pitched wall rooms they call bedrooms. 1 room has no radiator and no closet. She said this is an unheated room and cannot be called a bedroom.

11) Recommended all windows be replaced



WHEW I think I got all of it and am still realing from the day. Can’t wait to get the official report.

So we’re likely going to walk from this house, but in the incredible event the sellers gave us significant credits to do much of this work, would you consider it? I don’t know how they will sell this house to anyone in it’s current state at this price with all of these issues. I’m also not ready to pay $250 for an oil tank sweep but no one will buy a house in NJ with an underground oil tank after what we saw today but if the sellers say they’ll play ball I might spring for it. I’m thinking we’d probably need in the area of $60-100k worth of credits.

Thoughts? The inspectator at the end of the day did say that nothing with the house isn’t correctable, but it won’t be cheap to fix everything. I also heard the sellers have put in an offer on another house so, unless they can carry two homes, they need to sell this house relatively quickly is my guess.

Also would like to add...sellers have only lived there 2.5 years... I’m guessing they did not do due diligence and are having second thoughts about this property.

Lmoot

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2018, 05:07:14 AM »
I have never heard of a house “credit” before. Is this the same as renegotiating the price? I wouldn’t expect to get a dollar for dollar match in repair costs...they’re selling a house, not paying for a renovation. Certainly they should come down on price of it was not priced for the condition, but a house will sell only at the price someone is willing to pay for it (and sell it for), regardless of the total cost of repairs.

If you are already prepared to walk away, it couldn’t hurt to ask, but I wouldn’t tie the new offer to itemized specifics, but rather base it in the overall condition of the property. Now if the bank won’t mortgage it in its condition, then that would be a case for them needing to fix specific items, bc the alternative if they can’t find buyers lenders willing to finance the property as-is, is to sell it cash-only...which at this price point might be difficult.

Good luck.

MommyCake

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2018, 05:42:57 AM »
My opinion is the oil tank, plumbing, and electrical should be addressed by the seller.  You are right that they will have a hard time selling if there is an abandoned oil tank underground.  For this reason though, they may be willing to renegotiate on price.  I don't think lenders will give a mortgage unless the tank/soil is tested and any needed remediation completed.  If it were me, I'd probably pay the few hundred for the testing, and then use the presence of the tank as a bargaining tool.  I would get estimates for remediation/removal, plumbing, and electrical and ask for the full amount off the price.  If in the end of negotiation they agreed to 100% of tank, and half of the rest I'd probably be happy. 

Jags4186

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2018, 09:18:31 AM »
A sellers credit is when the seller reduces the price of the home to take care of issues discovered during a home inspection as opposed to them correcting issues before selling to you.  This comes back to you in the form of cash so you can pay for the work to be done.

Furnace/plumbing/garage/potential oil tank/deck/electric/termite damage are all structurally unsafe issues which need to be remediated at a minimum.  Non functioning windows are also something which would need to be remediated--I don't know many people who open every window in a house in the dead of winter before making an offer.  Perhaps I am naive on that.

Roof is something which I would likely have to deal with as it isn't leaking, however it was misrepresented as being 12-15 years old when in reality it is 25 years old and past its expiration date.

We are most likely going to pass on the house.  I am not going to pay for an oil tank sweep unless they agree to work with us on remediation for numerous issues.  I honestly don't know why they bought the house and unless they sell to a contractor they will have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to fix the numerous issues.

trollwithamustache

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2018, 10:43:21 AM »

Jon Bon

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2018, 06:41:58 AM »
Yes it sounds like I would pass too. Something to note, all the issues listed are the things your inspector found, lord knows what he might have missed!

That being said.
It is a 600k house that is, uh um shall we say a fixer upper? What does a house like this cost that has been 100% renovated in your area? If it is only 650-700k then yeah run from this place like the plague. However if houses like this done right clock in at 900k, well my friend that might be something to think about.

Good luck! (and probably dont buy this house)

narrative

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2018, 10:26:31 AM »
How did it all work out? I think Jon Bon said it all. You know your market and what this house is (or isn't) worth.

Glad your inspector was amazing! We just went through this and our guy did a great job as well. And selfishly, just hearing about all the work that house needs makes me feel better about ours.

:)


caracarn

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2018, 12:27:24 PM »
Yes, would be wonderful to hear how the story ended, or how it is going, or wherever we are in the epic tale of The Secret Inspection Report.

Jags4186

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2018, 05:15:32 PM »
Sorry I forgot to update you all.

The sellers came back with a $9,000 credit which we could have used to treat for termites, replace the boiler, and fix anything else we could with it.  Fortunately it made it very very easy for us to say ‘See ya!.’  We were very worried they were going to come back and say “here’s a $30,000 credit”.

So funny story.  Before backing out the sellers showed us an invoice for $13,000 worth of work they had done on the deck.  After we bailed, our inspector got a call from the deck builder wanting to know what he needed to do to fix it.  She told him to tear it down, start over, and get a permit.

Fortunately for us, we found another home—much more reasonably priced, albiet in ‘less desirable’ town and a little smaller but at $469k.  We had the same inspector come and she gave us the thumbs up. 👍 

caracarn

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Re: Previous owners home inspection report
« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2018, 08:36:31 AM »
Glad to hear it worked out.

Also hope that the naysayers who kept indicating the withholding of the report learn that in almost all cases the simplest answer is the right one.  If are hiding a report in many cases it is because you are hiding something.  If that's not the case, not much reason not to be open.