old house questions.?
The house I am looking to buy extremely cheap was builted in 1892, and needs repairs, if anybody else has an old house, I would like to hear form your experiences and I am talking about the good side, and the bad side, about repairs, maintenace, and any toher details, because I don't want my future house to be my future night mare.
Question answered by J
How old is the Furnace/Air conditioning system; when will they need to be replaced. How efficient is the unit installed. If something breaks on the current unit can it be serviced or will in need to be replaced entirely?
Is the siding in good shape? soft spots? signs of rot or insect infestations. How many coats of paint (lead paint?) Are the fascia boards showing rot at the tails, near the gutters.
Are there gutters and downspouts that drain away from the foundation.
Is the roof in good shape? How many layers of roofing are there on the house. More layers of roofing lead to huge expenses when it comes time to address roof problems. If there is a chimney is the mortar in good shape. Are there any signs that the roof leaks either in the attic or anywhere else that you can access the underside of the roof.
Is it a block foundation or poured? Are there cracks? Are the floors inside wavy or sloping. Is there any indication of settling?
How many amps is the main panel? 100A panels are standard in older houses but won't accommodate additions like hot tubs; you would need to upgrade to 200 Amp service which is a substantial cost. When was the house wired? Old knob and tube wiring is common in older homes and it is safe as long as you do not have to touch it. When it does get bumped the old brittle insulation sheathing the wire does come off easily leading to hazard conditions. That is more a problem in light fixtures as over time people choose to update and the repeated handling degrades the insulation on the wires. Adding circuits is not difficult but it can be a costly proposition especially if your service panel needs to be updated.
Insulation was not made a code requirement until the mid 1970's. Blow in insulation is a good option in the attic and walls for these older homes. To achieve R-30 will cost you around $0.45 per square foot in materials if you do it yourself. Bat insulation is more costly and needs to be installed under your floor.
How many bathrooms? Bathrooms add value to the resale of a house. I would suspect that there is only 1 bath on this property. How easily could you add another well located bathroom?
Do you have any knowledge of the pipe running to the sewer main? Old sewer pipes are known to collapse leaving you without functional plumbing. Fixing an old sewer line can get very expensive. Many of the old Terra-cotta pipes have to be unclogged every year because root systems from nearby plants infiltrate them.
are the water lines in the house iron or copper? If they have been replaced recently they may even be PEX (plastic tubing aka polyethylene cross tubing). Old iron pipes are a pain to work with. Copper is best but if the home sat vacant in an urban setting I doubt the copper remains intact. Whatever type of pipes feed your house just expect that unless it is old copper, old plumbing is plumbing in need of replacement. Old copper was frequently soldered with lead solder, so it is a good idea to run the water before you drink as water sitting in the lines picks up lead from the sweat connections.
With windows what you see is what you get. Old wooden windows have a lot of character, but no efficiency. If there are glass storm windows that go over the wood framed windows that is a plus. The storm windows increase efficiency quite a bit (not sure exactly, but it is significant).
New or updated windows in this home would be an energy wise decision, but take away from the character of the home.
I hope that helps you make a little more informed decision.
What does is a buyer obligated to fix with a seller's FHA loan?
We're selling our house and the buyer's realtor has come up with a nice list of things that need to be fixed before the FHA appraiser comes to appraise the house. The items include fixing the paint (where we scraped it but didn't paint it) on a window sill outside, installing GFCI outlets in a couple locations, and fixing a cracked window (which would require replacement because of the condition of the frame.)
So - first, will the cracked window likely be flagged by an FHA appraiser (it's a double pane, cracked on only the outside side.)
Also, *and more importantly* what is our obligation as a seller to pay for the buyer's FHA repairs? Obviously, they could walk away, but is it reasonable to ask them to pay for these repairs?
Question answered by Glenn S
Your obligation is whatever you agreed to in the purchase contract and how badly you want to sell your property. Just remember, chances are if the first buyer passes on your property so will the next buyer if you are unwilling to sell the property in a livable standard. Most FHA buyers are purchasing on a wing and a prayer. Other words, they have just enough money to purchase your home with the down payment and closing costs. They don't have the money to make repairs.
Cracked windows don't have to repaired, broken window do. Here in California, hot water heaters must be strapped down.
Required Repairs: Required repairs are limited to those repairs necessary to preserve the continued marketability of the property and to protect the health and safety of the occupants, A.K.A. the three S's:
Safety: protect the health and safety of the occupants
Security: protect the security of the property (security for the FHA insured mortgage.)
Soundness: correct physical deficiencies or conditions affecting structural integrity
Listed below are the most common repairs or requirements noted by appraisers. These items, I noted by the appraiser, will have to be corrected prior to proceeding to settlement.
1. Paint. Chipping, peeling paint must be scraped and painted. This includes interior, exterior, garages, sheds, fences, etc.
2. Windows. Broken windows should be replaced.
3. Handrails. Handrails should be installed at three or more stairs.
4. Infestation of any kind should be exterminated and carry a 12 month warranty/ guarantee (i.e., insects, mice, bats, etc.).
5. Exit Doors. Cracked or damaged exit doors that are otherwise inoperable.
6. Trip Hazards. i.e. cracked or partially heaving sidewalks, poorly installed carpeting.
7. Driveway. Lack of an all weather driveway surfaces.
8. Countertops. Rotten or worn out counter tops.
9. Inadequate access/ egress from bedrooms to exterior of home.
10. Flooring. Defective floor finish or covering (worn through the finish, badly soiled carpeting, etc.)
11. Walls. Damaged plaster, sheet rock or other wall and ceiling materials in homes constructed post- 1978.
12. Crawl Space. If there is a crawl space, it will be the homeowner's responsibility to make this area accessible so that it can be thoroughly inspected. All debris and trash in a crawl space has to be removed
13. Wet Basements. The cause of Wet basements should be cured (i.e., improve drainage away from house, gutters, etc.).
14. Structural or foundation problems must be repaired. Such as foundation damage caused by excessive settlement, bulging foundation wall or standing water against the foundation.
15. Well/ Septic. Abandoned inoperable wells must be capped and sealed by a licensed well sealing contractor. A clean well and septic inspection can be required at the discretion of the lender.
16. Flammable storage tanks must be removed and filler cap sealed from the inside (i.e., buried oil tank).
17. Poor workmanship.
18. Roof. Roof should have 2-3 years of useful life remaining and no more than 2 layers of shingles. If the home is over 10 years old, you must remove snow from a large portion of the roof for inspection by the appraiser. A roof certification may be required at the discretion of the lender. Leaking or worn out roofs (if 3 or more layers of shingles on leaking or worn out roof, all existing shingles must be removed before re-roofing).
19. Plumbing, electrical, heating systems. Electric service must be 60 amp or greater. Electric certification may be required if 60 amp appears to be overloaded (i.e., larger than 1000 sq. feet with many major electrical appliances). Damaged or inoperable plumbing, electric and heating systems should be repaired. The appraiser will check these areas. This includes leaky faucets or running toilets. Any faulty or mechanical systems must be operable prior to settlement.