Would appreciate some first time home buying advice..re home inspection and negotiation

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First I'd like to say I'm a upright, honest sort of guy. I'm buying my first home from someone, the seller/home owner. When I went to the morgage broker he suggested having a home inspection before making the contract final - and I would be the one to pay for the inspection. No problem.
When I told the Seller, he said he had no objections to the inspection, but he was told by a "friend" who buys and sales homes, that people often take the Inspection report to the bargining table and use it as a deal breaker, ie, EITHER FIX ALL THE PROBLEMS IN THE REPORT or DROP THE PRICE OR WE WALK. And the seller said when he quoted me a price, he gave me the firm bottom price. He had it marked up to 'account' for any negotiation.
I have to tell you this never, never occured to me. I am hoping that the report will save me from buying a "Money Pit." I realize the home I am trying to buy is not new and there will be MINOR problems.
I don't have a friend who is a realestate agent to ask these questions. Not even a friend of a friend of a friend who saw a show.......
But, while I know some wear and tear is quite reasonable, what is not. The easy answer would be "What can you afford." But that is not a good answer. It the report comes back with a problem of say Water Damage and $2000 to repair, should I eat the cost What about $5000 for the Damage or $10 K.
ANY ANY ANY ANY advice whatso ever you can give me re buying my first home would be greatly appreciated.
If I sound Ignorent, its cuz I is. Please help me.
All apollogies if this is not the right Forum to post this questions, but I lurked for a while and the people of this group seemed to be in the know.
Stephen H.
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Get an inspection, you now think the house is fine and not needing any repairs now or soon. If you find a big problem now that was unknown deduct it from the price . If you find out you will soon need major work, ex roof , heating, electric you can negotiate or walk. You want to know what you are buying and dont want a money pit. If it needs work, depending on type of problem, you get estimates and fix it to be sure it is done right.
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you gotta do what you gotta do. forget what the seller thinks of what you are doing.
everything is negotiable. the worst that can happen is one party backs out of the deal.
randy

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ps.. go to the library. get 5 books on how to buy a house and read them. you'll get the idea..
randy

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The seller has just made it simpler for you to decide what to do.
Get the inspection. If it turns up minor things you can deal with, go ahead with the deal. If it turns up something you don't want to pay for, tell the seller the deal is off because it doesn't meet your inspection contingency.
Ordinarily, at that point, the seller negotiates a price allowance for the repairs. But if this seller says he won't negotiate, you don't have to worry about that, just tell him the house failed inspection and you aren't buying it.
(This assumes that your offer includes a contingency for inspection -- if the house doesn't pass and you can't reach an agreement with the seller, the deal is off, you get back your earnest money, the house goes back on the market.)
--
snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
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but you dont get the inspection fee back. educating yourself via the library can get you quite a ways without having to pay someone.
randy
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says...

True, but in the context of an ongoing real estate transaction, starting from scratch as a do-it-yourself inspector may be either too slow, or too superficial.
--
snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
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im certainly not saying its a substitute for a proper professional inspection, but you should be able to spot obvious problems yourself, and the books will give you a 'punch list' of things you wouldnt have thought of checking. stuff like making sure there is flashing around a chimney, problems with the ground sloping towards the house, etc...
if thats too much for someone, i have to wonder how they held a job and earned enough money to buy a house in the first place...
randy
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A book is a poor substitute for a professional home inspector. To expect a typical home buyer, who won't even know what flashing is, to climb up on a roof, inspect it and determine if it's done correctly is crazy. Home inspectors see thousands of homes and all the common problems so they know what to look for. I know someone is going to say inspectors don't know squat, and I would agree there are some that are not worth their fee, but this is like choosing any contractor. If you do it right, you'll get a good one. And even if you don't, for someone who isn't knowledgeable about home construction or maybe hasn't even owned a home before, any inspection is better than none. Another key point: An inspection report done by a home inspector is going to carry a lot more weight in negotiating with the seller than a non-professional opinion of the buyer. And in most cases, the inspection more than pays for itself. It's rare for an inspector to not find at least a few hundred dollars in repairs that the seller will then negotiate off the purchase price. When I bought my home, I got $1K+ in concessions from the seller after the inspection and the house was only 8 years old.
For the OP, I'd make sure the purchase contract has an inspection contingency. Then, get an inspection done. If it shows no major issues and the house is fairly priced, then you can go ahead and buy it. If it needs some bigger cost repairs, then either walk or get estimates to repair and ask the seller to lower the price. And I'd make sure I had a lawyer review the contract before signing, as for most buyers, that is money well spent too.
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On 8 Feb 2005 12:39:50 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Most home inspectors are a poor substitute for a professional home inspector. And if you don't know enough to evaluate the house, the chances are pretty good that you don't know enough to evaluate the inspector, either.
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wrote:

well said.
randy
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I'm looking forward to reading your tips on how to do that. Will you be posting them today?
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wrote:

As a consuer, the best you can probably do is ask for American Society of Home Inspectors certification- Their requirements are relatively stringent and continuing education is required- There are some other organizations out there, but the requirements are considerably less-
Dan
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Yeah, and ... The seller IS responsible to fix/remedy all major defects. Every home has some minor defects.
Get an inspection, find very reputable inspector been in business for a long time.
If a house has structural problems, water damage, failed septic system, asbestos, bad plumbing (PB pipes), termites, faulty aluminum wires, non-functional HVAC, or leaking roof you will be out a lof of money.
Most states require sellers disclosure. Seller must disclose those issues.
If your inspector find any of the major defects ask seller fix it, or reduce the price.
If he refuses, remind him and his agent that he NOW will be required to disclose major defects found by your inspector. If his broker values his/hers license they will.
I had to spend some dough to fix major defects on my house, prior to market.
Minor defects is a different issue, I refused to fix em, unless they cheap to fix.
Brian
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Things are always negotiable, especially if you discover a major defect that was not disclosed to you. That would also obligate the buyer to repair or disclose that defect to any other potential buyer. And if nobody met the seller's price, they either drop their price or keep the house.
Of course some people are stubborn. When my boss discovered a structural defect in a home he was considering (about $6000 to correct), the seller refused to repair it or drop his price. So my boss bought a new home in a nearby town (lower taxes anyway). But he heard that the guy with the defect had to repair it before he could sell that other home.
When I bought a home, the problems that the home inspector found were minor, like hot/neutral reversed on some outlets (which I fixed myself), would probably need roofing within 5 years (no leaks or missing shingles), and chiminy needs tuckpointing. But the home had been around since 1910 and reasonably priced (I paid less than assessed by lender). My only unexpected expense since May 2002 was a vent damper for the boiler.
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often being the first perons to tell someone there house isnt perfect is a bad place to be. the seller is gonna have to fix somethin but wont accept it easily.
randy
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On Mon, 07 Feb 2005 22:03:35 -0500, Stephen Huckaby

I don't understand the problem. Are you buying his home so he will be friends with you? I hope not. You are making a business deal that needs to be done professionally. That requires the inspection and the inspection often leads to negotiation with the seller on the repairs. The seller always has the option of backing out of the deal until he signs the escrow contract papers, so there is not really a problem, here - providing you get the inspection.
Remember that you will be making an offer which he must accept for there to be a valid contract. His offer to sell is really just an invitation for bids(offers to buy).

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My advice is, ignore the price that the seller is offering it at marking it up by, wanting, or whatever, and decide what the house is worth to YOU. If there's something that you think needs to be fixed, don't ask the seller to fix it, figure out what you think it would cost YOU to fix it, and reduce your offer by that much. If the seller doesn't want to sell the house for what you're willing to pay, walk. There are other houses, and if it takes another year to find one you like, you can use the intervening time to build up your downpayment.
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this is rule 1 in the home buying game. the sellers listing price is almost meaningless.
randy
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Stephen Huckaby wrote:

....
You have gotten some good advice. I will make one additional suggestion. You are going to part with far more money than you have for anything before. It is likely the third biggest commitment of your life (wife and kids are #1 & 2). Get a professional on your side. Any realtor is no the sellers side, they get paid more the more you pay. Get an attorney or other professional representative that is not benefited by a higher price to the home.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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