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Major Problems - Need Input From Someone Other Than Family :)

Real estate problem, rather long:

My husband and I recently put an offer in on a house. We had an inspection done and to make a long story short the house needs some major updating. The entire electrical and plumbing would have to be redone to bring it up to code (the wiring is knob and tube and what isn't is a safety hazard as it was done without a permit and mistakes were made). The seller bought the house as a fixer-upper but, according to him, HIS seller was supposed to have everything up to code before he bought it. So now he has to hire a lawyer and possibly go to court. To make matters worse, the current seller is laid off of work right now and no new job in sight so obviously he can't afford the updates.

My feeling is that we should walk away, my husband wants to stick it out and see what happens (BTW, I'm due in Jan. with our 2nd). What do you think? What would you do?


Asked by Anonymous at 4:56 PM on Dec. 17, 2009 in Money & Work

This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • Unless he can bring the house up to code very soon, I would walk away and start searching for a new place.

    Answer by ameriplanmommy5 at 10:29 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Uhm.. Walk away! Why would you move in to a potentially hazard home and put your children in danger? Sorry.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:59 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • UMMM run run as fast as you can, I have a charming fixer upper that has been the MONEY PIT--LOL!

    Answer by kimigogo at 5:01 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Unless you have the time, funds and energy to bring this house to code, I say walk away !!!!!! It can be a huge task bring this house to code and having everything re-done. Also, you might run into a lot more problems once you actually get in there to do the work.

    Answer by midnightmoma at 5:01 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Honestly, I would run away as fast as I could. If the current owner is going to have to go after the previous owner, it's going to take years unless the previous owner ponies up the money immediately. There are so many houses out there, this one isn't worth the hassle you will endure. Your other option is to ask the current owner to lower the price significantly and you buy it "as is" but your bank my have an issue with that. So I still stand by my original 'run as fast as you can'.

    Answer by slw123 at 5:02 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • My husband is an electrician / handyman. We replace all of the cloth wiring in our house, and all of the hot and cold pipes. If you can do the work yourselves, and get a price consession from the seller, then buy the house; otherwise, walk away.

    Answer by rkoloms at 5:03 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • OP here - just to clarify, we would have the seller fix the problems if we were to keep it. I just don't know how long that would take. I really want to get the tax credit and if he has to go through court who knows how long it will be before we could get the house!

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:03 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • If there are plenty of houses in your area in your price range that would be just as acceptable, then I'd back out completely and start looking for a different house.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:20 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Walk away! As you said, the seller doesn't have the money to make the updates.

    Answer by acollins09 at 5:25 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • He could be tied up in court till doomsday, and still not have title free and clear. (It also could revert to the previous seller who would then have a lien on it and you would be out in the cold, minus anything you paid on it.) If you have even halfway decent credit or can get a home mortgage loan, it's a buyer's market right now. There are LOADS of homes going for really cheap. Lots of them have owners desperate to sell and will take just about any offer. If I were you I'd pass on this mess and get something that's already up-to-code, ready to move into and that you can sell in a few years without taking a financial bath. This sounds like the money pit from hell.

    Answer by pagan_mama at 5:37 PM on Dec. 17, 2009