What would you do? The house is a little rougher than we expected

By glblguy

Photo by: fabbio

On Friday, I wrote about a foreclosed home we found on the internet and were going to visit over the weekend. The house is on 16.5 acres of land, is approximately 4,200 square foot including the basement, has 5 bedrooms, a huge external shop and a large shed behind the shop. The land is surrounded by horse and cattle farms and is bordered on the back side by a large creek. This house on the surface seems to be exactly what we’ve been looking for. The price is right, it has plenty of room, and our children would love the land. The land is beautiful, the house? Well it’s another story…

The House

As you can see from the photograph, the house isn’t fancy nor would it be featured in Better Homes and Gardens anytime soon, but it looks decent. It is a pre-fabricated home (also called a modular home), built by a reputable builder in the area. The HouseIt’s a base plan with little to no options. The house has a few cosmetic issues such as siding that has come loose, some decorative rock that has fallen off, rotten railings, etc. Being fairly handy with wood and tools, all of these are things I can easily fix, and to be honest would enjoy doing. Given I’m stuck in an office environment all day, I look forward to being outside and doing things with my hands besides typing. Plus I enjoy having my boys help me. The inside is a different story, and is what concerns me.

For the most part, the house has been stripped. Like most foreclosed homes, the owners decided not to leave much for the mortgage company, and even decided to do a little damage. Someone, either the previous owners or the mortgage company, removed most of the carpet and flooring. The carpet that is left is full of mud and glue. Yes glue. Someone poured glue all over the carpet going up the stairs.

The laminate hardwood floors that were put down have also been partially taken up, there are a few holes in the walls, the vinyl floor in various areas are coming up and it needs a really really good cleaning. Again, this is nothing I couldn’t fix myself. I can fix holes, lay flooring and even install carpet. So no problem right? To the basement Batman!

The Basement

The basement is the problem. It’s damp, not wet, but really damp. Basement SmallFor those of you that may not be familiar, the white deposits on the wall are minerals from water seeping through the cinder block wall and as the water evaporates, the minerals remain. The technical term for it is efflorescence. It’s a sure sign that water is entering your basement. The more efflorescence, the more water you have coming in. As you can see, there is a bit of water coming in and not only can you see the efflorescence but the dampness in the wall too. This is just one shot, most of the other walls look similar, although this one is probably the worst.

My first thought was they didn’t waterproof the outside walls but After further inspection I found they did. The picture below is a close-up of the waterproofing material.

Outside waterproofing

I am used to seeing a spray on, tar like product. For this house though, they used some type of tar product and then placed a plastic material over top of it. So what you have is a plastic barrier stuck to the tar material which is stuck to the cinder block. Anybody know what the black plastic material laying on the ground is?

While I believe their intentions for doing this were good, they unfortunately may have created a problem. The plastic material has pulled loose in some areas of the house as the dirt around it settled. As a result, I’m pretty confident water has become trapped between the plastic and the tar material and is why water is seeping into the basement.

While I am no expert on basements, I think this is a pretty big problem that may require digging around the foundation, removal of the current water barrier, and installation of a new barrier. Sounds expensive to me.

Further assessing the basement, it also looks like somehow water got around the base of the HVAC system which is also located in the basement. You can see signs of water in the picture to the right.

HVAC System

This water caused a significant amount of mildew on the drywall and framing around the HVAC unit. Again, drywall and framing I can fix. Here’s my concern though: if water got into the plenum of the HVAC unit (the plenum is where all the air comes into and the gets separated into different paths into the house) that could mean mold is up in the HVAC system. One potential indicator of this is a rusted air vent we found in the upstairs bathroom. This is the only vent that seems to be rusted, but it’s enough to make me a little nervous. If there is mold in the HVAC system, the whole house would most likely have to be gutted to fix it, along with replacing the whole HVAC system and all of the ducting. Potentially a big (read expensive) problem to fix.

Other problems that may be connected to this moisture problem include:

  • The wood laminate floor in the dining room is bowed up. Generally laminate floor doesn’t warp unless exposed to moisture. I’m concerned that moisture from the basement is coming up through the floor and causing the warping. There is insulation under the floor, along with a plastic barrier that I would suspect should keep this from occurring, but I’m not sure.
  • The bottom of the cabinets around the dishwasher are dry rotted indicating one of two things: 1) The sink or disk washer sprung a leak and wasn’t probably cleaned up, or 2) again moisture has seeped up from the basement, through the floor, and into the cabinets
  • The lower door frame on the front door is rotten. I would suspect through an incorrectly sealed or installed front door, the front door allowed water to leak up under the seal/door frame and has caused the whole lower door frame to rot. The water also caused mildew to form on the particle board flooring next to the door. I don’t think this is linked to the moisture in the basement, but more likely due to the front door being exposed to to rain with no entry way covering or storm door.

Potential Next Steps

My wife and I discussed this a great deal last night. I also discussed the house and showed my Dad the pictures. My Dad has a great deal of experience with homes and home construction. At this point we’ve decided to hire an inspector to go in and inspect the home with a particular focus on the structure, basement, and HVAC system. This will give us an experts opinion on the real shape of the house and the extent of the damage. I called a few inspectors today, and unfortunately the inspection is going to run $350 – $400.

Once we understand the problems, we can then look into estimates for getting the home fixed. This would allow us to make a counter offer to Fannie Mae (the current foreclosure owner) for their current price minus the cost of repairs. Given the asking price is already $50,000 below tax value, this would give us more than enough equity to repair the house. If it turns out the house is so badly damaged it’s beyond repair, we’ll then make an offer on just the land, minus the cost of having the house torn down and hauled away. This would allow us to buy the lot we love so much, and build a house on it.

What would you do?

So that’s the results of our weekend visit. If you were in the same situation, what would you do? Any of you out there experts on repairing homes or buying homes with issues like this that might have some advice for us? Anybody know anything about basements? I’d appreciate any guidance, prayer, support or tips you could provide!

53 Responses (including trackbacks) to “What would you do? The house is a little rougher than we expected”

  1. plonkee Says:

    I would get a builder in to quote for how much it will cost to fix up. It’s not just the cost though, but the hassle. How long would it take to fix into a habitable state, and where will you be living in the mean time?

  2. billspaced Says:

    I’d leave it alone. All houses have problems. But houses with so obvious problems have hidden ones too. I’m afraid once you buy the house and begin renovations, you’ll find even worse problems. The home inspectors really don’t look for much.

    Water damage is especially difficult to assess. Water lurks where not visible, so you’re seeing water is really problematic. That would take me out of the game right away. I’ve known people with water in their basements who have NEVER found the source; they continuously pump water out…

    I am not an expert in any of this, so take what I’m saying with a pound of salt.

  3. Marty Says:

    I think you’re doing the right thing – getting an expert opinion.

    It’s important not to get too emotionally carried away in a situation like this, where you’re in love with the house/property, and just buy it thinking you can fix the issues.

    You need to go into a situation like this with your eyes open, so you know exactly what the issue is, and how much it’ll cost you to repair.

  4. nellied Says:

    I agree with your plan of action. Make sure the inspector is experienced in dealing with water problems and basements. It’s no good if you get an inspector who isn’t experienced in your problem. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  5. Four Pillars Says:

    Wow – could be a big job.

    My only advice is don’t “rationalize the numbers” to make it work. We did this with our big reno (ie optimistic assumptions) and we paid for it big time.


  6. Lynnae Says:

    It sounds like you have a good plan. I like what Four Pillars had to say also. Since I don’t know anything about basements, I have no tips or guidance, but I can do prayer. :)

  7. Kristen Says:

    Water in the basement and mold make me very nervous. As someone with a mold allergy who is temporarily stuck in a rental with a water problem, it’s miserable and everything smells funny no matter how much I clean, open windows and spray air freshners. Cosmetic things like paint, carpeting and rotting railings are easy to fix, and they are inexpensive if you are a do-it yourself guy who actually know what he’s doing. Structural problems and HVAC problems are a whole other story. I would be very wary, especially if you think you might have to tear the whole thing down. I’m having visions of the Tom Hank’s movie “The Money Pit!”

  8. paidtwice Says:

    I would run. fast. ;)

    There will be other houses. there will be other times. Maybe this is a way of telling you that it isn’t quite the right time yet.

  9. Amanda Says:

    I hate to be negative, but currently having a house with water problems in the basement, I would run the other way and fast. :( It is a mess and not easily repaired, if it can be repaired at all. Like others said, the cosmetic stuff can be fixed easily, but structural and water issues are terribly expensive and disruptive.

  10. MITBeta @ Don't Feed the Alligators Says:

    Do your due diligence. Money for a GOOD inspector is money well spent. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was: When you need to make a decision, find out everything you need to know to make the decision properly, and then make the decision ASAP as waiting longer does not generally change the outcome.

    Since this house was built by a “reputable” builder in the area, what are the chances that they will take some responsibility for this?

  11. Llama Money Says:

    Water damage, especially to the extent that you’ve already found it, concerns me quite a bit. If you can buy the land only for a decent value, I’d go that route. From the way you describe the house, I wouldn’t pay a dime for it. Then again, I hate fixing things, especially when it sounds like there are a LOT of things that need fixing there.

    Building a house from scratch would be a route that will give you much less headaches.

  12. Sara Says:

    Two of my family members have recently bought houses with basement water issues. I’d not only hire a home inspector, but I’d also call a local contracting company and ask for a free quote to repair the damage. Even if you plan on repairing the damage yourself, a third party company has a lot at stake to bid the job accurately and would probably be more thorough in their inspection of the damage.

  13. Matt Says:

    I wouldn’t worry about the rusty vent. You said it is the only one, and in the bathroom. I think that is pretty common. Bathrooms are wet; vents get rusty. I’ve seen it a bunch. Is it near the shower or toilet? Urine will rust it up in a hurry!

  14. M3 Says:

    I’d get the information and trust your gut. I know everyone said run away, but the poster who mentioned paying for the land only was more in my line of thinking. Earlier, you said this is your dream opportunity. You’re not afraid of hard work and it wouldn’t be priced the way it is if it was turn-key ready. Get the information and listen to your gut. You’ll do the right thing for your family.

  15. Nancy Says:

    You’ve done exactly what I would do. I would certainly not want to let that 16.5 acres get away. As the saying goes, “location, location, location.” Then again, I wouldn’t want to move my family into a home with a mold problem, so getting the inspection done is the way to go. Don’t even ask me about that black plastic on the ground. It looks like a snake!

  16. Gina Says:

    I am leaning towards “Four Pillars” and “paidtwice”. I would still get the inspection – it would be worth it to know all/most that is wrong.

    Try to quantify it and remove the emotions from the deal. Emotions make you pay “stupid tax”.

    Mold in your HVAC is no joke and could make your family sick for years, even if you are not allergic to mold. I babysat for a family that had mold in their HVAC – they had to move and build a brand new home to get well – home owners insurance wouldn’t repair it. This was around the mid-90s when there was a moratorium on mold claims.

    I will pray for you all.

  17. NH Mom of 3 Says:

    I think I, too, would go ahead with a detailed home inspection, maybe get a quote for needed repairs to back up the counter offer…but if there is a way to bid on just the land, and plan to build that might be the way to go. Good luck, and I’ll be thinking of your family!

  18. Mrs. Micah Says:

    I probably wouldn’t take it. Maybe get the home inspection to be sure.

    That much water damage just sounds like it’ll be an awful lot to deal with.

    On an unrelated note: What leads people to destroy a house they’re moving out of? (I’m thinking the glue)

  19. Kristen Says:

    Mrs. Micah, I’ve been reading a lot of news about foreclosures, and there are many homes that are destroyed. It seems to be one of three things: 1) The homeowners are angry and bitter and do it on purpose; 2) Kids get into the empty homes and think it’s funny to trash the place; 3) Thieves break in and strip the home of anything left that might have value, especially wiring and appliances. It’s really unfortunate.

  20. Ken Clark - CollegeSavings.About.com Says:

    I’d skip it… it definitely won’t be the last foreclosure you see!

  21. Chelle Says:

    Did you already make an offer to fannie mae? fannie can be a bit of a hassle – lots of addendums and what not. Also important to make sure if you take the house “as-is” your lender won’t have any issues with it.

    I would probably if you want the house just low ball the offer, see what they counter with and go from there. They’ve already knocked the house down by $50k so they may or may not go lower, depends on how long its been on the market. That’s just my two cents.

    What does your agent suggest? Hopefully you’re working one with fannie experience! It is not a process for the newbie or inexperienced agent!

  22. sara l Says:

    I’d call a contractor to look at the basement and give an assessment first. Basement problems are not easy to fix and can eat up a lot of money. After a contractors estimate you’ll know how much work would be involved and can decide if you want to proceed. Based on that estimate I’d maybe move forward with paying someone for an inspection.

    @Mrs. Micah I second Kristen’s assessment. Mainly #1 though.

  23. Becky@FamilyandFinances Says:

    Wow! My opinion is pretty similar to a lot of others. The house sounds like a disaster and the mold is scary. I’m curious as to what the inspector says, but I’d just make an offer on the land.

    Good luck!

  24. HarryLou Says:

    You’re doing everything right… expert evaluation, potential to tear down and start fresh doing it correctly. Holmes on Homes has a lot to say about keeping water out. Because if it gets in, there is the potential for serious damage. That’s a nice chunk of land if it is well priced and well located for you. I recently read, “Don’t fall in love with a home.” Good advice for any purchase.

  25. Aaron Stroud Says:

    It sounds like the house might be worth very little, if anything. However, the land, septic, and utility hookups might still be worth the purchase price.

  26. fathersez Says:

    I think you have a possible great deal on your hands.

    I like the route you are considering of submitting a value on the land and then building your own house. Since you and your Dad are both capable and experienced, then slowly building the house of your dreams should not be that much of an issue.

    The land will be great for letting the children play and for growing some greens and stuff.

    Most people will take the route of “too much hassle” and walk away. So you may be able to submit a lowball offer and see how it goes.

    Like Lynnae said, I am not good at basements, but I’ll pray that you and your family will get what is good for you.

    Best Regards

  27. Chief Family Officer Says:

    I think your plan is solid, but mostly because you’d be doing much of the work yourself. I know that my husband and I, not being very handy around the house, would walk away in a heartbeat! Although I guess if I loved the land, I would make an offer for the land only and see what happened. One thing I would add, too, is the time factor and a suggestion that you think about how much time you really have to do the work that will be required. I wish you much luck with your decision!

  28. Frugal Dad Says:

    Moisture problems scare the heck out of me and in the end you may discover you are better off rebuilding. If you could get some work down to seal off the basement walls and repair the damage that’s done you may have a gem of a house in the end. It all comes down to the cost of repairs vs. the cost to demolish and reconstruct (and your time frames for each process). You are taking a thoughtful approach.

  29. Pete Says:

    Problems like this send me running for the hills. You’re a much braver soul than I. We would definitely walk away because it sounds like a huge headache.

    It sounds like you’re really researching this thoughtfully though and in the end you may end up getting a good deal. I would be very, very careful though.

    (I bought a new house just to avoid having to deal with issues like this)

  30. Shanti @ Antishay Says:

    I would spend a lot of time thinking about where God and your heart are leading you, because in the end your intuition is telling you what’s right.

    Personally, reading this story, I am afraid – particularly of the moisture problems in the basement. Here in the northwest, moisture problems are a HUGE deal and they can cause black mold and/or the whole house to rot. I know personally several families who have gone through that with their homes, and it was a disaster for all of them.

    That being said, I am also extremely wary of prefab homes. I would consider if all the money and time that you would potentially put into the house would raise the value that much. There are some people who, no matter how beautiful the finished product is, will not buy a prefab home because they’re known to be of lesser quality on all points. It’s something to consider if you find yourself needing to move for unforeseen circumstances later down the road – it will narrow the amount of people you could sell to in the future.

    The only plan I’m in favor of is bidding on the land and rebuilding ;) Now THAT sounds like a dream come true.

  31. glblguy Says:

    @All – Thank you so much for all of your comments, suggestions, perspectives and prayers! From the bottom of my heart, we sincerely appreciate it.

    Yesterday I had an inspector all lined up to take a look at this afternoon, and had even called a basement contractor to come take a look at possibly on Saturday. Then received a call from the selling agent that they had received a low ball offer on the home. Fannie Mae countered and that’s where it stands right now.

    I didn’t want pay $400 for the inspection, just to turn around and find the house sold, so I put everyone on hold.

    As everyone expressed, the only thing that I am worried about is the basement, everything else I can easily fix and to be honest wouldn’t require a great deal of time or money.

    Anyway, thanks so much, my wife and I both read every comment and you’ve given us both a great deal to think through and consider.

    I’ll keep you posted…

  32. Sara A. Says:

    It is a buyer’s market right now – you don’t have to settle for less! Severely damaged homes like this one are probably not a good idea when there will be a lot of other options available. Some companies list pre-foreclosure houses that would not be on the MLS. Your county courthouse might be able to direct you to some of the foreclosure listing services. If you have financing already in place, it might be possible for you to take over a pre-foreclosure BEFORE it gets trashed by bitter former owners. There also might be pre-foreclosures listed in the MLS system as short-sales.

  33. Dave O Says:

    A home inspector is a lender formality, and most do not have the expertise to diagnose significant water, mold, mechanical or structural problems. They point out effects, and possible causes, but donÂ’t always trace them back to the point of origin.

    Water problems need to be looked at by an experienced foundation contractor – someone who would be able to diagnose as well as do the work.

    The basement is damp now,“really damp”, which means it could be drying out and during other times it could have been wet – really wet.

    You have noted several potential red flags:
    – The property has a creek, depending on topography and underground soil structure you could have water flowing toward the house. My parents had a home in which the yard popped up mini springs each year – mole runs tapped sesonal, underground water and collected it until it ran like a large hose.
    – Most of the basement walls look like the picture which means the water is all around, not just in one spot where the barrier failed.
    – My suspicion is that they may have put a barrier in but not adequate drainage to move the water away. One without the other isnÂ’t very good but drainage in many ways is more important, it moves the water away before it gets to the barrier.
    – Digging and redoing drainage and barriers is very expensive.
    – A block foundation is more permeable than a poured concrete one.
    – Buckled floors and Dry Rot in several areas above the basement indicates moisture – and it may or may not all be from the basement. This may be a new more air tight, energy efficient home that doesnÂ’t have adequate air movement – even if you didnÂ’t have the basement issues.
    – Modular homes can be good but my default is that they are not and they require extra close inspection to be sure they will hold up.
    – You have not mentioned the electrical or plumbing – HVAC problems only visual. All of these should be reviewed closely as well.
    – This many problems are probably hiding more small ones as well.

    Age of the home is also a factor – this many problems on a newer home are a big warning.

    Even if repairable this has ALL the markings of a very big job.

    I donÂ’t know what part of the country youÂ’re in which can make a difference on the value of a modular, construction methods, drainage and soils.

    Be very cautious – the value of the property may be land only and even then you may have issues with seasonal underground water.

    Good luck – I can understand the desire to have a place like this for the price. Just don’t let your heart completely override your head and empty out your wallet.

  34. paidtwice Says:

    @ Mrs Micah – many people whose houses are foreclosed on are very bitter. We looked at quite a few foreclosures while we were house hunting and most of them were totally trashed. One was even graffiti-ed everywhere.

    We did see some well-kept foreclosures too of course. But it doesn’t surprise me when they are trashed.

  35. Luke F Says:

    Having bid on a house that was in foreclosure, the bank did not care whatsoever about the condition of the house. I am not sure if you stated how long this house has been on the market but the house my wife and I bid on a while back had at least sixty things that needed fixed. It was not the house like the one above so I am not sure how much lower they will go.

  36. JBS Says:

    Well, I’m horribly allergic to mold and turn bright red and start itching instantly when I go in a mold-infested building….so I could walk in and tell you if the mold problem is pervasive! Just kidding, I think you want a more technical answer than that! Sounds like you have done a lot of thinking about this place and your course of action sounds completely reasonable!

  37. Laurie Says:

    Leaving aside issues with the mold and contractors and inspections, how long can you afford to sit on your old house while waiting for it to sell? If the numbers don’t work with a 12-18 month window of owning both houses, I’d not touch anything (unless you have some other plan for what you are doing with your old house or you live in an area where houses are still selling like hotcakes).

    I’d be talking to a reputable real estate agent and asking these questions: 1) How many houses are on the market right now in the price range I’m going to sell in?
    2) How many houses sold in the last 12 months in the price range I’m selling in. 3) What do I need to do to my house to get it ready to sell?

    And then I’d figure out how many months it “should” take for my house to sell, and then double that number. Add that to fix up costs for your old home and then add that number to the price of the new home you want to buy. If the deal doesn’t still work, you can’t afford it.

    I’m also a little concerned about the “modular home” issue. Unlike stick built dwellings modular home structures typically decrease in value rather than appreciating (Check with the tax appraisal office to see what the value of the house has done since it was built.) Frequently, they are worth next to nothing after 30 years – not an issue if you’re planning on living there forever, but a huge one if you want to sell. Many people will not even look at a “modular” home. Finding replacement parts and matching trim etc is also not an easy task – Home Depot and Lowe’s don’t carry them, and they are typically more expensive. (I’m speaking from experience there!)

    I buy 3-4 foreclosures a year and I’m not sure I’d consider this one. I’d be praying – that God would guide your decision making and give you VERY CLEAR answers on what you should do here.

  38. Kristen Says:

    I’ve noticed several people express concerns over “modular” homes. Coming from a family of people in the construction business, I’m told that today’s modular homes are nothing like they used to be. These aren’t trailer homes. In our area we have several builders who are very reputable. You can choose your cabinetry, fixtures, flooring, etc. including granite countertops. Everything follows all building codes. Finding “replacement parts” should be no different than finding new things for a stick built home. Many are 2-story and 3,000 square feet and you would never know they are a modular. I think the key is to research your builder.

  39. DivaJean Says:

    What wussies! I’ve lived in far worse than this- it just took some get up and go and time to set right. My partner had a HUD home when we met- we brought that thing back to life again- but ultimately sold it to live closer to our aging folks and to have a better school district once the kids came along.

    The inspection is worth every penny- we had one performed on our current home and it basically outlined everything that would require intervention. It has become our handbook for the order in which updates get done and extremely helpful.

    A wet basement is not that big of a deal. What you see there could even be just due the fact that the home is empty and dehumidifiers might not be running anymore. An inspector will be able to determine what is serious versus just ugly. You need more information to make the decision.

    And so what about carpeting and flooring! Big deal. You’d eventually want different or better anyways. Now you’d have the opportunity to do it right before all the furniture etc gets moved in.

  40. Aaron Stroud Says:

    Glbl, it sounds like some people might be confusing “modular” homes with mobile homes (aka manufactured home, single wide, double wide, etc).

    Mobile/manufactured homes can financed with a reasonable fixed rate for 30 years, but acquiring financing is more difficult. These homes still arrive on a set of their own wheels.

    Modular homes (to the best of my knowledge) are an in between solution where much of the frame is built in a factory and then assembled at the build site. A good modular home should be no different than a good stick built house constructed on site.

  41. Joyce Jarrard Says:

    Wow! What a scary tale. I hope you can get the lot of your dreams, and that it works out for you, whether you repair the house or tear it down. I agree that getting the inspection, (and possible subsequent estimates from repair contractors) is the smartest next step.

    I only have one comment. My house does not have any major moisture problems, yet I have rusted grates in my bathrooms, because of my mop water that has ruined the grates since we built the house 16 years ago. I will eventually replace them, and try to look for grates that don’t rust.

  42. ammbd Says:

    Sounds like you are doing your best to gather vital information for review by yourself & qualified specialists. Don’t forget some sort of surveyor to check on the water table etc. & avoid any little land surprises down the road.

    However, I worry about 3 things:

    #1 do you seriously want to put that much time & effort into a house as compromised as described? water, vandalism, dry rot & mold to the degree already obviously visible are not minor matters to renovate.

    #2 the economy is enduring a lot right now & may for awhile. because of that, i’d not want to have to hit up newly established equity for such a huge mess of renovation & repair. better to spend that sizable chunk of cash/loan, on something you know is of value – a properly built home.

    #3 mold is really, truly not something to mess around with as it is known for causing long term health problems in people living exposed to it. it also is a right pain to get & stay rid of; plus, will likely make your insurance company quite unhappy enough to do unpleasant things to your policy.

    Those 3 worries would have me demolish the house & replace it with one I know was built right & could trust. I would save my creative & restorative skills for that new construction. My family’s health is too important to handle otherwise.

  43. Living Off Dividends & Passive Income Says:

    I buy the land and tear down the house.

    Or maybe asking a movie studio if they needed a house that needed to be blown up! :D

  44. LollieMouse Says:

    I would go for it, with eyes wide open — there are no perfect houses out there, unless you buy a McMansion like they are building in my area — I bought an 1855 farmhouse that needs a lot or work…my kids have grown up here, to them it is HOME…its comfortable, their friends like it here, too. Yeah, I have water problems in my basement, I dont even have an HVAC system, but this is HOME. It was the gut feeling I had when I looked at it, it was the gut feeling I had when I bought it, and, 14 years later, it is still the gut feeling I have. Yes, have the HVAC remediated, absolutely, but if you and your family feel this house can be HOME, don’t overlook that gut feeling.

  45. Randall Says:

    You get what you pay for. If it’s a REALLY good deal, just consider how much it’ll cost as part of the price and drive on. Get it professionally done though, as it looks like the number of repairs is enough to last you quite a while if you did it yourself. That could sour you on the house if you live in it quite a while before fixing it up.

  46. Nancy Says:

    I’m wondering how things stand with the house. Please don’t leave us hanging.

  47. glblguy Says:

    @Nancy – I won’t leave you hanging :-) Honestly, nothing is going on. There have been a few offers submitted to Fannie Mae by other people, but they haven’t accepted them yet. Once all of the offering subsides a bit, we’re going to have some contractors come in and estimate the work required and then maybe make an offer based on that.

    We’ll probably do this next week. Just taking it nice and slow, as the longer Fannie Mae sits on the house, the more they will be willing to deal :-)

  48. JC Says:

    Whatever you do, get a home inspector that IS NOT CONNECTED to the seller or to the bank doing the financing. I don’t have time to check out all of the comments to see if someone else said that but getting an independent inspector is important. Then, you can make a lowball offer. They might take it just to get this problem house off their books.

  49. Rick NHS Says:

    So did you get the job inspected yet? If so, how much will it cost to repair?

  50. Susan Says:

    I just tried to get Fannie Mae to counter with me. I got prices for repairs $33,000 worth and they wouldn’t BUDGE on the price of the home. I walked away!