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Did you buy a house and regret it?

My sister and BIL bought what seemed like a great house back in April but it's turned into a money pit.

So far they've spent close to $110k just doing repairs like a new roof, HVAC, fixing the foundation, replacing pluming and the electrical, new doors and windows and they still haven't even started remodeling.

As they were doing the remodeling all the issues the house started appearing. The floor was actually sinking and had to be braced and that alone cost $15,000.

My sister is livid because they were fine in their condo but my BIL wanted a big house in a mature neighborhood and thought buying from an elderly couple would mean getting a well cared for house.

They've burned through their savings and now my BIL wants to get a second mortgage to continue with the work convinced that the house will double in value and they'll have lots of equity after the new appraisal.

replies 41Dec 6, 2017 12:18 PM +00:00

Were all of these problems disclosed by the seller?

replies 1Dec 6, 2017 12:20 PM +00:00

An inspection should have caught these. Shame on them.

replies 2Dec 6, 2017 12:21 PM +00:00

R1 here in Toronto they don't have to disclose anything.

R2 the sad thing is they did get an inspection the guy said her electrical would need to be replaced but didn't mention anything else.

replies 3Dec 6, 2017 12:22 PM +00:00

I would sue the inspector, then.

replies 4Dec 6, 2017 12:23 PM +00:00

BIL is a moron and sister needs to put on the brakes. Of course it all depends on their market, but STILL!

replies 5Dec 6, 2017 12:24 PM +00:00

The inspection report should have listed these. The bad roof should be covered by your homeowners insurance. Make a claim.

replies 6Dec 6, 2017 12:26 PM +00:00

Don't get a mortgage, pay cash.

replies 7Dec 6, 2017 12:29 PM +00:00

They don’t make houses like they used to.

Mine is about 30 years old and I need a new roof and have had plumbing issues all over the place. Hard water destroys the plumbing here quickly. It’s a desert.

At my grandparents’ place, beautiful mature fruit trees ended up with their roots in the plumbing and half the bathrooms didn’t work right. I’d be very hestitant to buy an older house due to plumbing and roof issues. Electrical can be an issue pretty quickly too.

Basically, if you’re not willing or able to do at least some of your own work you have to be well off. This is why old people have badly maintained houses.

replies 8Dec 6, 2017 12:30 PM +00:00

I'm with r2, did the inspector have any credentials? Was he recommended by the real estate agent or an independent contractor? They need to find out and they may have a case.

replies 9Dec 6, 2017 12:30 PM +00:00

Elderly homeowners are some of the worst sellers. They let maintenance issues slide for years, sometimes decades. Partly because of money -- roofs and HVAC systems are expensive -- and partly because they decide to "leave it for the next person". I guarantee you the sellers of OP's sister's house had known for 5 years that they needed a new roof and HVAC. Plumbing I could let slide, electrical too, because the elderly owners probably weren't washing a lot of clothes or hooking up new appliances that would call attention to shortcomings.

But yeah, dollars to doughnuts they knew about the roof and HVAC. Although to be honest, the buyers should have been aware of the likelihood of issues in those areas as well.

replies 10Dec 6, 2017 12:33 PM +00:00

some not-friends of an acquaintance in my hometown (see how i feel about these people?) sold their nearly-new shoddy construction for $240k, not sure how much equity they had, to put down $270k on a grand manse on the old money street running through town.

i understand they have no money for repairs but when i drove by today out of curiosity their cars were in the driveway, so they haven’t been foreclosed upon. the house has beautiful curb appeal, but the honeymoon ends at the threshold of the front door. ain’t that the truth, ruth!

replies 11Dec 6, 2017 12:35 PM +00:00

r11, your post is a mess.

replies 12Dec 6, 2017 12:38 PM +00:00

You should never be in the position to regret a major investment unless it's the result of a personal catastrophe or divorce. If you don't know what you're getting in to, pay someone - NOT and agent - with expertise in wherever you're dumping assets. If you don't know boats, collectible cars, houses or horses, but want in, get really good advice,

replies 13Dec 6, 2017 12:39 PM +00:00

All these repairs add to the value and added to the sale price when they want to sell.

replies 14Dec 6, 2017 12:43 PM +00:00

It's a shame about the pluming...
replies 15Dec 6, 2017 12:43 PM +00:00

Get a loan and fix it and sale it.

replies 16Dec 6, 2017 12:46 PM +00:00

Shouldn't you be grading tests R15?

replies 17Dec 6, 2017 12:46 PM +00:00

My parents' lot had several very old trees.

They did have some root problems with the plumbing, but the plumber advised them, after clearing the roots out of the pipes, that regular (1 x per month) use of Rid X (flushing some down the toilet) would prevent further problems by stopping the roots before they cause damage to plumbing.

After my Dad died, my Mom remained in the house, but she was very careful to have regular maintenance with, for example, a yearly check on the furnace in the fall before the cold weather set in. She also had a new roof installed.

After Mom died and when we sold the house, we didn't have any issues to disclose. The buyers were very happy with their purchase.

replies 18Dec 6, 2017 12:49 PM +00:00

r12, thanks! you’re welcome!

replies 19Dec 6, 2017 1:30 PM +00:00

We bought our 1957 ranch from the original owners, the family of the widow who had it custom built. They had money, the quality of the construction showed. Not many problems for us to fix, all cosmetic like new bathrooms, kitchen, etc.

replies 20Dec 6, 2017 1:47 PM +00:00

I can’t believe an inspection didn’t disclose all those problems. A bank wouldn’t have approved a loan on that mess if it had been disclosed in a proper inspection.

replies 21Dec 6, 2017 2:08 PM +00:00

It's the wild west in TO right now R21. I'm sure there was some collusion on the part of the agent and inspector.

replies 22Dec 6, 2017 2:11 PM +00:00

Damn! Your BIL didn't know it needed a new ROOF??

Then again, I'm a lesbian...

replies 23Dec 6, 2017 2:18 PM +00:00

R11, you gave me a brain aneurysm, darling.

replies 24Dec 6, 2017 2:24 PM +00:00

I smell a divorce coming OP. Does your BIL present his hole?

replies 25Dec 6, 2017 2:26 PM +00:00

I bought my house from my parents' estate. I had a professional appraiser inspect it first, to decide if I was willing to buy my brother and sister out. I was already aware of a number of maintenance issues that needed to be addressed, but I had inherited a bit of money, too, and had enough to have it remodeled. I don't regret buying my house. I'm friendly with many of my neighbors. If I ever decide to sell, I've already downsized enough that I shouldn't have to get rid of too much if I moved to an apartment or condo. I learned a long time ago to live within my means.

replies 26Dec 6, 2017 2:27 PM +00:00

You have to be very careful with inspectors. I've seen ads about how to become a home inspector from online classes

replies 27Dec 6, 2017 2:35 PM +00:00

From personal experience, as someone who also bought a home in Canada, these "building inspectors" do walk-through and tick the boxes. It was only months after I buy my home that structural issues started to emerge that had been properly inspected/disclosed. I felt the real estate agent and the building inspector were in on it to make the sale.

Never again. Eyes Wide Open.

replies 28Dec 6, 2017 2:37 PM +00:00

What r27 said.

replies 29Dec 6, 2017 2:38 PM +00:00

I grew up in a house and I hated doing all the yard work and house maintenance a house requires. I am very happy in my hi rise condo (no yard work!) which has more than tripled in value.

replies 30Dec 6, 2017 2:56 PM +00:00

We bought an English Tudor built in 1926, six years ago at the bottom of the market. Someone else already dumped money into it. We replaced the furnace and converted the wood fireplace to gas. So far so good. It's a beautiful house in a good location. No regrets.

replies 31Dec 6, 2017 3:02 PM +00:00

If they had an inspector he was probably on the take. If they didn't have one, a well vetted one with good recommendations they're idiots.

replies 32Dec 6, 2017 3:05 PM +00:00

r31 What state? We are looking for an oldie in Ga. One 1890 home had the plumbing, electric updated, a new metal roof and two new Tran ac system....Im so tempted to leave the 16 yr old shithouse in Fl with more problems than you can imagine and move into an old house.

replies 33Dec 6, 2017 3:08 PM +00:00

You usually fix things in a house over time when you have the money and not all at once. Treat it like a marathon instead of a sprint.

I have a low end condo. There's no maintenance and my taxes are lower even with condo fees. The only problem is the smell from a corpse that was across the hall. They removed the body but the odor doesn't seem to go away.

replies 34Dec 6, 2017 3:11 PM +00:00

R34, I'm sorry. That's really awful.

replies 35Dec 6, 2017 3:15 PM +00:00

Big Red Flag is to use an inspector recommended by the realtor as they are recommended because they help the sale go through.

Better to find one recommended by your attorney or via word of mouth.

replies 36Dec 6, 2017 3:16 PM +00:00

I thought the guy just didn't take his garbage out, R35. The management company said I was the only one that complained and they wouldn't have known otherwise. Since I'm directly across the hall I'm probably getting the brunt of the odor.

replies 37Dec 6, 2017 3:24 PM +00:00

I agree with the other posters: the inspector didn't do his job. Sorry this happened to them. Weird that there are no disclosure laws where they live. Even if the all foundation issues weren't readily apparent, there should have been some signs like cracks in walls etc.

replies 38Dec 6, 2017 3:25 PM +00:00

In the US, if the seller doesn't disclose these types of issues, you can sue them. Also, the inspection should have caught all this shit.

replies 39Dec 6, 2017 3:49 PM +00:00

R34, I was an assistant apartment manager back when I was in my early 20s. The building I helped manage was a 'nicer' building with 12 floors, but I dealt with multiple deaths/suicides/drug overdoses, and learned the hard way the way the 'property business' really is. I was told that I was perfect real estate material, that I'd get rich in no time. No, never. My heart still isn't frozen, despite lots of pain. I saw too much, too soon, and I've tried to purge it from my brain.

replies 40Dec 6, 2017 3:56 PM +00:00

R39 would the seller always know though? If the previous owner was an old lady, for example, who simply hadn't noticed the deterioration of the property over time, can you still sue?

replies 41Dec 6, 2017 4:01 PM +00:00