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Considering Home Purchase: Need Advice on Repairs


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  • Considering Home Purchase: Need Advice on Repairs

    I'll try and keep this post short and succinct. I am looking at buying a two story house that is located in Des Moines, Ia. The owner before the current owner was upside down and literally walked away from the home (it's a shame, the home was built in 2006). When they walked away they did not winterize. I do not know the extent of what they did or left the thermostat at, etc. but I do know that the master bedroom toilet tank cracked and the home flooded; neighbors noticed water/ice damming and called the city. The current owner purchased the house in 2010 and had to re-do all of the sheet rock in the garage (below the master bath) and they re did the flooring and carpet (which they are saying needed it due to the overall poor/filth condition that it was in). In the meantime, they updated the kitchen and finished the basement. I am concerned about purchasing the home but am unsure if it is warranted. They claim they are open to a stringent inspection and have all documentation of work completed by professionals. The "flipper's" adult son has been living in it since the renovations in 2010-2011.

    What would you guys do? I can have it inspected, but will the inspector really be able to check everything that could be messed up? They claim to have had the plumbing pressure/air checked and it was fine, but how do I know it's not a ticking time bomb?

    Any insight or recommendations on what to look for or advise my home inspector would be great, or if you think I'm crazy for even considering it, I will take that too.

    tl;dr- house wasn't winterized, flooded, supposedly fixed professionally, am I insane for considering to buy it?

  • #2
    No your not crazy as proven by your going to have the home inspected. make sure your inspector is licensed in the state you live in (very important).
    I'm always concerned when people use the words "flipper" while there are many good re modeler's out there you don't want to get caught by a short cut one. If the kitchen was remodeled was it inspected by the local building inspectors ?.
    The fact that someone has been living in the home for the past 3 years is a good thing, generally any "issues" from initial work would have shown up or left tell tale signs for any good home inspector to pick up on, like stains in drywall etc...
    Plumbing generally once pressure tested is good to go, after all once water is in the line it is under constant pressure, so any leaks naturally show up immediately. What you cannot know are the likes of future issues, there is no test for that. What your home inspector should look for is the general condition of the existing plumbing, be it copper, CPVC or PEX, there can be tell tale signs of possible future issues with each of these materials and should be reported on if he/she finds them.
    Most often in home sales the seller offers a warranty, this is covered by one of the 6 or so home warranty companies, generally there for electrical, plumbing or HVAC issues, but also cover other issues depending on the warranty company. Your home inspector must by law carry two different insurances, liability (generally for in case he/she breaks something while conducting the inspection) and E&O errors and omissions, this is for just what it says, in the case that the inspector made an error or forgot to look at something and it turned into or was an issue. NOT that insurance policies should be the end all of selection but they are there as a protection device for home owners.

    Hope this helps
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
    Every day is a learning day.


    • #3
      if you have to repair the roof, forget about it. I would at least.