This is your family's first home purchase. The answer is simple -- Do not
buy it. You would be buying a bad news property no matter what the price
is. I have a feeling that the price is what is attracting you to this
property. You are not buying a property that is below market value, even if
the price is a lot less than other homes in the area. You are buying a home
that is worth a lot less than the homes around it due to this HUGE and
obvious problem. When you go to sell the property, you will get less for it
for the same reason. So, you are not saving money. You are just taking on
someone else's nightmare.
You'll be shoveling snow uphill. Not fun.
Which direction does the house point? I have a driveway at least as
steep as that (downhill, though) but it gets the morning sun. That
makes a huge difference. As long as the bulk of the snow is shoveled
at night, whatever is left will melt and dry before I get up in the
morning. The other side of the house is permafrost.
One way or another, you WILL find out where that drain goes. It needs
to be kept clear and clean or it will clog up with leaves and dirt.
You'll find out at the worst possible time and there won't be anything
you can do about it then.
That's quite a drop from the lawn to the bottom of the driveway.
Wonder what your insurance company will think about that.
Anyways, as long as that drain leads to a storm sewer or daylight by
gravity only, it wouldn't stop me from buying the house. Especially
if the alternative was a house without a garage.
Driveway faces north, so unfortunately there won't be much benefit
It definitely sounds like we're in a tough position here with buying
this house. The price may be discounted when compared to houses in the
area, but it's still a very expensive house (for our wallet) and it
feels like there's enough uncertainty that buying it will be
Best case scenario, water drains perfectly and the basement never
floods. That doesn't help that it will be difficult to exit the
driveway when there's considerable snow, even if we get someone to
professionally clear the driveway with every snow storm.
I appreciate all the comments you've provided. I'll probably wait one
more cycle to see what the owner says about water/snow in the driveway
(he's a religious leader in the community, so my guess is that he'll
try to be honest). But in all likelihood this will now be a pass for
It isn't other houses in the area that are pertinent; it's what are
other house in the area _with this particular feature_ you need to
compare to. If there are none or this is fairly prevalent practice each
give you an answer.
Nothing says you can't make an offer of whatever you think the discount
should be and contingent upon any number of conditions...
I'm a church member and one would wish that would be sufficient but
alas, experience often shows it isn't... :(
The only way that I can see saving this house from future decline is to
fill in the current driveway and build a new garage over it. But, you'd
have to get zoning approvals and etc..which is highly unlikely. Sad, but
can support a garage addition next to the house.
Block up the garage door opening, and fill the hole. My two car garage
is just storage anyway. I have to move stuff out of the way just to get
my tractor mounted snowblower in there in the winter, otherwise I have
to store it in the outside shed and I can't start it when it is freezing
out. The throttle and choke cables freeze up.
The 2 walls on the side of the driveway make it look like a swimming
pool waiting to happen. The drop off from the yard to the bottom of the
drive looks like a nasty place for a child to fall from after not
looking where they were going..
The condition of the garage door is worse at the bottom and improves as
you go up (kind of like a big ol' tired sponge)...
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