Home inspection dilemma - missing gutters

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Hi,
I'm wondering if anyone has any experience negotiating gutter repairs/replacement in the purchase of a home. Here's my situation:
I am a first time homebuyer and recently I had the home inspected, where--among other things--the inspector noted that rain gutters were missing from the front of the house (curiously there are gutters in the back). It was visually apparent from the discoloration of the concrete foundation due to splashing, that the lack of gutters (and poor yard grading) was causing rain water from the roof to puddle and become trapped next to the house, which was causing minor water seepage into the basement.
Based on the inspection results, I asked to the seller to perform a number of tasks, including re-installing the gutters in front. The seller has since responded and refuses to install the gutters, stating simply that there weren't any front gutters when she purchased the home 7 yrs ago. While that may be true, I feel that gutters are to be considered a home necessity, rather than an optional item, so I still feel that I am being reasonable in asking that they be installed.
Moreover, my point is this:
IF the house had come equipped with front gutters, but the inspector found them to be in terrible shape or nonfunctional, I would have obviously asked for them be replaced. To address this problem, I'm assuming the seller cannot simply opt to take them down and leave the house 'gutterless'. If this WERE to happen, I would have grounds to exercise my Inspection Contingency Clause and walk away from the deal with my deposit back, correct (or no)?
So to me, a house with non-working gutters is the same as a house with no gutters, although legally I am wondering they are one in the same.
My concern is that if neither side were to budge, and I tried to walk away from the deal on the basis of the missing gutters, that this may not be sufficient grounds to reclaim my deposit. Does anyone know the answer to this?
Should I hold firm in asking for new gutters, or is this wishful thinking?
Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Jon
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In article

No, they aren't a "necessity". Most homes, if properly landscaped and maintained, will do just fine without them.

Sorry, unless code in your jurisdiction _requires_ gutters (which is highly unlikely), you do not have grounds to break your contract.
--
Mark

The truth as I perceive it to be.
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<< No, they aren't a "necessity". Most homes, if properly landscaped and maintained, will do just fine without them. >>
Nonsense. That may be true in Arizona, but falling water from the eaves will leave a trench around the house that nothing will grow in.
<< unless code in your jurisdiction _requires_ gutters (which is highly unlikely), you do not have grounds to break your contract. >>
Not so unlikely. Our midwest community requires gutters on new housing per the new BOCA codes. Other areas have required gutters in public and commercial buildings for many years. Did you notice the ones on your church this morning? Cheers
Joe
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http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comtosspam says...

Did you not see my qualifier of "proper landscaping"? And, since my comment was specific to the structure (not the landscaping), what the falling water may or may not do to the ability for something to grow is irrelevant.

Assuming your hearsay is accurate, that is for new, not existing residential. Completely inapplicable to the point in question.

Completely inapplicable to the residential dwelling in question.
--
Mark

The truth as I perceive it to be.
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On 09 May 2004 22:23:15 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comtosspam (Joe Bobst) wrote:

Doesn't seem to be an issue here in SW Florida, and I guarantee we get more rain than you.

Most communities require runoff management, which may or may not mean gutters. And no, there aren't any on the local church either. Or the three-year-old commercial building I work in.
Jeff
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If the lack of a gutter is the biggest problem with this house then you don't have a lot to complain about.
The seller does not HAVE to do anything. You can buy the house as-is and then YOU can install the gutter yourself. Installing a gutter and a downspout is not a huge expense.
The grading at the foundation is a bigger problem than the lack of a gutter. Properly graded the runoff from the roof will flow away from the house rather than puddle and seep into the baement. A good mulch will help dampen the water so you won't get splashback on the house.
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Thanks for the input. You're probably right in terms of what code requires--but from what I've been led to believe, it is not uncommon for a home seller to agree to repair or replace his/her gutters if the home inspector finds them to be defective. It just makes me wonder why these people wouldn't just tear down their gutters, rather than spend money on something that apparently holds no contractual merit...
Jon
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On 9 May 2004 19:00:41 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Jon) wrote:

Except there's no contractural obligation for them to agree to do anything. You made an offer, contigent on an inspection. They agreed to the offer, which if you or your agent did their job, should have had a value up to which the seller would agree to make repairs as found in an inspection. If your offer isn't contigent on your acceptance of the inspection, they're not bound to do anything at all. If it's contigent on your acceptance of the inspection but no value for repairs is stated, then they still have no obligation.
Jeff
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On Tue, 11 May 2004 02:58:50 GMT, someone wrote:

And if the Seller and his Agent were doing THEIR job, that value would be ZERO. Otherwise a Seller might as well just give them that money off the price up front. They are putting out a red carpet inviting their inspector to justify his fee by comingn up with things to fix up to that limit.
These customs do vary by local practice, but my policy is that they can inspect all they want, but the property will be sold As-Is. If they find something objectionable they have XX hours or X days to cancel, otherwise its take it or leave it.
-v.
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Gutters are cheap yes, so its trivial.
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On 9 May 2004 11:46:43 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Jon) wrote:

I'm not a lawyer, but isn't the fact that there are no front gutters obvious? It's not like the seller is trying to hide the fact that they aren't there.
Barry
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Jon) writes:

What does your inspection contingency clause in the contract say? Usually these things are so vague that you can walk away from the deal for any reason at all within the allotted time, but you need to have your attorney (you do have an attorney, right?) look over the exact wording in your particular contract, instead of asking random people on the net for advice about it.

Well, what if the seller holds firm in refusing to install gutters? Is that really a show-stopper for you? You could have the gutters installed yourself after you move in, after all.
-Sandra the cynic
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Geez buy the house and add the gutters yourself I mean they are cheap enough and you must like the house if you have entered negotaions just buy it
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look at other houses in the neighborhood do they have gutters?
get an estimate to put them on. I would much rather get the gutters I want than have the seller put on the cheapest they could find!
Wayne

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I respectfully disagree. What if you "felt" a red front door was a "necessity?" Could you insit the homeowner re-paint the door?

Correct, because you would have placed a deposit on the home which had front gutters, and those gutters would be gone when you closed. That's not the case here.

They're not the same, either "legally" or in "real life."

I'm no lawyer, but the front pond, the front waterfall, and the front 6' tall slate wall are also "missing." You left a deposit anyway.

I think it's wishful thinking. Gutters are too cheap to hold up the sale of a home.
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You are willing to walk away for maybe $500 gutter install? Seems petty to me. Try get some money taken off the purchace price, if that woun't fly, jusy buy the house and put them on latter. Greg
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On 9 May 2004 11:46:43 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Jon) wrote:

The ranch my folks live in is gutterless. There is an eve over the front door so you don't get soaked when it's raining, but no gutters to speak of. I live in a dutch colonial that has gutters only because if it didn't you'd get soaked if it was raining, plus I don't have great drainage like the folks and I consider them "required" so I don't have basement leak issues.
Gutters are cheap enough, see if you can get him to move on the price a bit. Unless code says gutters are required (haven't seen this in a local code, just a few HOAs required them) then either get them to drop the price accordingly or walk away. If you like this place enough to have put a deposit down on it then see if she'll budge - or meet you half way. On the upside you'll be able to put in the gutters that YOU want, not what SHE wants.
Lastly, talk to a lawyer.
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Jon wrote: > [snip]

There were no gutters on the front of the house when you put down your deposit, so apparently it didn't matter that much at the time. IANAL, but it sounds like you have no basis at all to back out and expect to get your deposit back, and you either just want to back out of the deal or are trying to get something for nothing.
On the other hand, maybe the owner will agree to put gutters on -- the cheapest ugliest gutters he can find. Why not? He won't have to look at them for the next 20 years. (sounds like the makings of a good practical joke to me.)
If you wait and put the gutters on after you buy, you can get the ones that you like.
Good luck, and I hope you get what you deserve, ;-) Bob
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You have several options left: 1. Walk away from the deal now. 2. Buy at agreed price as is (and have a gutter installed at your expence) 3. Ask to have the approximate cost (or perhaps 1/2 the approx cost -- in essence you offer to split the cost) of a gutter deducted from the selling price agreed to -- and if they balk, go to (1.) or (2.) above.
As the missing gutter was always visible, and the seller is doing some other tasks, I'd suggest 3, followed by 2 if it fails, which it likely will. In the total cost of the purchase, gutters will be a very small fraction, and are probably not worth walking away from a deal for.
In any case, always be polite, you want to encourage the seller to see your point of view, but do not want to annoy them.
Good luck.

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