Author Topic: Questions about recent home purchase and home inspection issues  (Read 967 times)

MsPeacock

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My boyfriend just bought his first house. He worked with a realtor that he met through a mutual friend- realtor was organized, helpful, etc.  He made an offer on a house and used the inspector recommended by the realtor (I advised getting someone not associated with the realtor but that did not happen). He has now closed on the house a few weeks ago. The inspector identified what I would call "normal" issues - some flashing that needs to be replaced, minor problems with a decorative column on the porch, a transom window with some water damage, etc. Maybe $1500 worth of misc minor repairs that needed to be made. Boyfriend was able to get cash back at closing for these issues.

The inspector's report says this " "The inspection is limited in scope.
The inspection is not intended to be an exhaustive evaluation of a home, systems or components. The inspector
does not disassemble equipment, dismantle items, move furnishings or stored items, lift floor coverings, open walls,
or disturb items which belong to the occupant(s). The inspector may not specifically address every component in the
home, e.g., numerous items such as windows, electrical outlets and light fixtures may be randomly selected and
evaluated. The inspector does not evaluate items that are inaccessible, concealed or underground. Therefore, the
home or property may have issues that cannot be discovered by the inspector. For more information, please refer to
Limitations and Exclusions in our Inspection Services Agreement."

So the issue is that the inspector told him that the plastic drain from the A/C was blocked and that the only thing that the A/C or furnace needed was a new piece of plastic tubing. When my boyfriend went to replace the plastic tubing he found an extremely rusted and corroded unit (see attached picture). He has now had 3 different HVAC companies out and all have said that the unit really needs to be completely replaced. One has also noted that the furnace coils are rusted and corroded as well, and that the furnace should also be replaced. Both units are from 1996. The raised wood platform that the a/c sits on was quite wet and obviously had extensive water damage from the a/c leak.


My question is - is this something that an inspector would typically not check or not look at? Both issues are easily visible if the from panel from the unit is removed. Does he have any recourse with either the inspector or the real estate agent. (Agent is not advocating or assisting him in any way with this issue, although he has been informed of what happened.) I have bought and sold a number of houses over the years, but have no encountered this issue before - what seems to me to be a major oversight, that likely would have stopped the house sale, or resulted in major price negotiation.

I guess I'm looking for two things
1. Is the typical scope of home inspection to not look at the actual unit (e.g. remove the front panel on an a/c)?
2. If it is typical to look at the unit (behind the panel) and the inspector failed in that regard, is there any recourse that my boyfriend ca take?
 
Thank you in advance for replies.

Jon Bon

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Re: Questions about recent home purchase and home inspection issues
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2019, 09:23:39 AM »
Welcome to home-ownership! It is a hell of a ride!

1. Probably not
2. Absolutely not, dont even bother.

He DID notice the clogged pipe, so he discovered the root of the issue. But he was unable to notice all the issues inside the AC unit. He is not an HVAC guy, and I probably would not pop off the panel either. Those things are usually sealed with tape and dope. If he caused a major air leak the buyer and seller would probably get grumpy about it.

Usually they can give you an approximation of how old a unit is. 1996 is getting up there in age, but there are many 23 year old furnaces and AC just chugging along.

If it still safely runs I would leave it for now. BF probably does not have a bunch of free cash right now for a new HVAC system.

affordablehousing

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Re: Questions about recent home purchase and home inspection issues
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 11:17:57 PM »
total bummer, there will be some discoveries like this, and hopefully some pleasant ones to balance it out. Sounds like the whole shebang ought to be replaced. Maybe $10K? If he likes the house it will be worth it in the long run. Inspectors are pretty much useless, and your boyfriend's time is better spent earning money to buy a new unit rather than trying to sue a property inspector.

Remember this, the inspector did identify the issue. Presumably, if you stop the leak pooling there, it won't corrode further and if it works, it will just work, if work ugly.

MsPeacock

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Re: Questions about recent home purchase and home inspection issues
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2019, 03:05:50 PM »
Thanks for the replies - pretty much what I expected. There is nothing to do regarding the inspection except to move forward w/ getting the repairs made. At this point given the amount of damage to the unit and the furnace below it, both will have to be replaced. They are 25 years old and pretty much at the end of their life expectancy anyhow. It would have been nice to know before (from the inspection) because of 1) ability to negotiate the house cost and 2) planning for expenses.

What is done, is done.

AMandM

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Re: Questions about recent home purchase and home inspection issues
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2019, 09:31:15 PM »
Too late now to do anything about it, but I am very surprised that the inspector didn't flag the age of the units as a "will soon need to be addressed" issue. That is pretty basic.

MsPeacock

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Re: Questions about recent home purchase and home inspection issues
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2019, 02:59:22 PM »
Too late now to do anything about it, but I am very surprised that the inspector didn't flag the age of the units as a "will soon need to be addressed" issue. That is pretty basic.

I agree!