02:55AM | 03/01/02
Member Since: 02/28/02
5 lifetime posts
Hey All,

I'm in the process of buying a house. Yesterday I accompanied the home inspector and he discovered two rather large areas of concern. Here is an excerpt of his report:

Moisture level in floor joists checked at 14 to 17%. This time of year (winter) moisture levels generally check much lower (8 to 10%). There is a significant amount of mold on the joists. Crawl space vents are closed, and apparently have been for several years. There is no plastic on the crawl space earth.

Step footings and 5 steel jack posts have been installed in the crawl space under the kitchen area of the house.

It is suggested that a structural engineer be employed to evaluate the effects of items 1 & 2 on the structural frame of the house, and his (or her) recommendations on corrective actions.
I contacted a local structural engineer for information. Their fee is $350/hr - 1 hour minimum. The seller would like to split the fee. I don't feel this should be my responsibility and want him to pay the total fee. What are your thoughts?



Jay J

09:03AM | 03/01/02
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi Matty,

My thoughts are to proceed w/caution no matter how you proceed. Objectively, the Seller can tell you to take a hike and, thus, take his chances on another potential 'victim' (or Buyer.) There are LOTs of folks out there that don't hire a Home Inspector.

Now, if you're really interested in the house, I think that his offer to pay for half is very generous. You see, he will benefit from the information that's learned whether you buy, or not. If you don't, he's all the wiser. The key here is how bad do you want the house??? If you want it REALLY bad, but will only make a decision on what the ENgineer says, then you should be willing to pay for the ENTIRE fee that the Engineer will charge. So, your decision here can 'hinge' on your emotions. (I don't know.)

You didn't ask but what I would do is, first, hire a Real Estate Attorney too. His job is to be SURE that whatever it is that gets WRITTEN (whether is contracts or Engineer costs), it's all written to protect YOUR interests! A Real Estate Attorney is VERY cheap right now. Later on, should you decide to sue, it will cost you a WHOLE lot more because you don't have one ALREADY retained.

After hiring the Attorney, you DON'T agree to ANYTHING until you talk to him/her. Got it??? What I would propose to you is you get the Seller to hold off on paying any fees at this time (so you need to ASSUME that, at worst, YOU will pay for everything because there's nothing in writing.) Consult your ATtorney to see if he (i.e., you) and the Seller can agree to hold off on having other potential Buyers look at the house until you have an Engineer inspect AND GIVE ESTIMATES on what it would take to PROPERLY fix the 'problem'. (Maybe you all agree to 5 days, then put it in writing, then sign it.) This way, once you have ALL the Engineering fees (which MAY run into MORE $$$ than just his fee), and all the ESTIMATD REPAIR COSTS, perhaps you can propose to the Seller to DEDUCT that cost, plus 10%, off of the SELLING PRICE. In doing it this way, (assuming the house needs to sell AND you're very, VERY interested in buying it but you don't really let him know how excited you are), it costs you nothing (at this time), AND you get the house for less $$$ up-front. (Whether you end up having the problem fixed or not is another matter.) OR, the 2 of you can 'split' the expense, OR you can ask the Seller to pay for ALL the fixes, OR you can hve $$$ put in escrow, OR whatever. You see, once you have ALL the costs in front of you, you and YOUR lawyer can make a NUMBER of proposals, starting with the one that benefits you the most.

Sorry for rambling on for so long. My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: Hire that Attorney and DON'T sign or agreee to ANYTHING w/o talking to one ...

PPS: God Bless America!

Click to reply button
Inspiration banner


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button

To test the boundaries of small-footprint living, interior designer Jessica Helgerson moved her family to a 540-square-foo... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... The Audubon Society inspired wallpaper in this Adirondack-styled mudroom will get you in the outdoor mood. Grab your coat ... Chalkboard paint opens up endless possibilities for customizing your dresser time and time again. Use chalk to label the c... A fireplace in the bathroom creates the ultimate setting for relaxation. Homeowners often choose electric or gas over wood... This roomy boot tray made from punched metal stands up to all the elements. Station it in your mudroom or at your back doo... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... FLOR tiles are an affordable way to customize a carpeted floor covering for any space. Make anything from runners to wall-... Chalkboard paint features prominently in this elegant yet unpretentious headboard design. Add a new message daily to reflec... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... The indecisive homeowner need not fret over choosing one (or even two) cabinet colors. The kitchen cabinets in this artist... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... First dress up your metal shelves with a coat of paint in an accent color that complements your kitchen decor. Then arrang... Dark wood shelving and a matching upholstered bench keep this closet sleek and refined. The large window brightens the sub...
Follow banner a
Newsletter icon Flipboard glossy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss icon