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Old 02-04-2014, 05:08 PM  
nealtw
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Originally Posted by oldognewtrick View Post
Bud, I think you bring up an excellent point, at what point is it better to replace than repair.

But I think what you're saying is "When does painting over the ceiling stain and selling the house become a moral issue if you don't have complete disclosure with the new owner."

Correct me if I'm wrong.
If there was disclosure laws, houses would be in better repair when we buy them. It's one thing to mickey duck things for your self but coming here for ideas on how to fool the buyer, I don't like.
Buyers should be aware that they can asked for a binding disclosure just like asking for an inspection. And yes I have asked for one and was amazed at what I learned from that.


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Old 02-05-2014, 06:15 AM  
bud16415
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I think disclosure is great but bottom line is most people don’t even know what’s in their homes. My old house the old guy died and his wife was selling it and I asked about the septic system no one even knew where the tank was even though they lived there for 50 years. She said well Frank used to dig here and there. I’m old school about this in a way and I believe in “buyer beware” with anything used. If you don’t have the skills to look a house over get a family member or hire an inspector. If you are buying a used car and the one selling it won’t let your mechanic take a look then walk away. The abandoned home we just bought off short sale was cash only and the disclosure list would have taken a dump truck to hold it. With a new product I believe you have every right to expect perfection in every detail. But for me used comes with the caveat it is what it is. I do think it’s awful if someone knowingly covers over a problem to swindle a sale, and I personally wouldn’t do that. Those people have to live with themselves and what goes around comes around. I get a kick out of these house flipper shows on TV now. Everyone I watch to me looks like a scammer’s training course. They all have a tight budget and slap coverings on everything and at the end it looks fantastic and they brag about making big money with a few weeks effort.

I guess my litmus test is would the fix be good enough for me and is it a safety issue. I’m never in the position where I’m fixing something just to sell like the OP and I guess in that case I might go that extra little bit. Painting over a water stain that I know will come back rather than fix a leak no. Painting over an old water stain I lived with for years after I fixed the leak and now want to spruce the house up to sell yes.

It’s just me I guess but I want to take care of my own life even if it means making mistakes. I don’t think we need more laws I think we need more education. The more we let government take care of our every worry the weaker we become. The very nature of this forum is DIY and education and very many of the people coming here are asking help with things that are fast becoming illegal to do on your own for the fear they might not be done correctly. I don’t believe people should be given bad unsafe and not to code advice what they do with the advice is up to them.



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Old 02-05-2014, 08:15 AM  
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I agree with all of that, but when I asked for a disclosure it was because the house had some alum. wiring and some copper. He told me where the hidden boxes were, how may fixtures he changed and where he had covered some mold, saved a ton of work and I knocked him down a few bucks.

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Old 02-05-2014, 06:32 PM  
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Bud, I wasn't trying to pass moral judgement, but just hoped he would "see himself in the mirror" and think about how he would feel if it were him buying a house with something known to be wrong. I've used JBWeld, and it is a good product. It is quite possible that done properly, it could last a lifetime. But what if it doesn't? What if, a year from now, the handle comes off on the new owner? Now this guy (or lady) is stuck with paying a plumber to come and fix something that SHOULD have been corrected to begin with. Remember, chrisp indicated that this faucet would've been under warranty, so it wouldn't have cost him that much to fix it. I don't buy that he didn't have time to wait for a warranty part ... a phone call and explanation that he was moving in less than 2 weeks would probably have gotten him the part shipped "overnight". Remember, most companies WANT your business, and will do whatever it takes, within reason, to make things right. Then, there's the legal aspect. Not sure how things work "across the pond", but I have now owned and sold 4 houses in my life, and every time, I had to fill out a "seller's disclosure". Knowingly hiding a problem with plumbing, electrical, or structure, can land you in legal hot water. Unless he was losing money on the sale of the house, I wouldn't think it would be worth the risk.

I'm in total agreement with you on several points; you should have the house inspected, you should be able to fix a few things yourself, and buyer beware. However, I have known several people in my life who were so mechanically inept that i wouldn't trust them to properly install one screw, much less fix a faucet. Also, there is a BIG difference in buying "as is", and buying something that is presumed to be in good shape, and in a seller honestly not knowing things about their house.

Our house is a 120 year old fixer-upper. We bought it as-is, and I paid about $450 for a thorough home inspection. I told the inspector beforehand, "I KNOW it's a fixer-upper; I just want your professional opinion on where the priorities are, and if there are any structural or other issues that aren't obvious." We got a 3 ring binder with all of his observations and recommendations, and photos. He even included the sidewalks (which do need to be replaced).

I just don't think it is ever good to be dishonest. I don't roll like that, and have low tolerance for "cheats, liars, and scammers". I would rather lose money than deceive you (guess I'd never make a good used car salesman, huh? ) .... just sayin ...

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Old 02-05-2014, 06:47 PM  
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" I wasn't trying to pass moral judgement," Not me I was passing judgement

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Old 02-06-2014, 06:11 AM  
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Dthornton, I think we actually think a lot alike. I was brought up to do the right thing also and not the easy thing. I was also taught and learned over the years that everyone doesn’t work the same way and it’s important to look out for number one. What most folks would have done and what I see all the time is go buy the cheapest faucet you can find and stick it in there before you list the house. Spec houses sometimes seem to be a whole house built this way.

Like you said a lot of home owners selling a house don’t know themselves what should be disclosed if they had to offer a disclosure in that way ignorance is bliss. When I bought my old house it was a 100 plus year old gem with some new wiring and some knob and tube still. I looked it over pretty good and figured I knew what I was getting worked at converting wiring as I went along and after a few years went to remodel the kitchen and got into the attic and found a wire nut connection in the insulation. I pulled it up and in another foot another wire nut and then another all different kinds and sizes then I find some lamp cord and no wire nuts just Xmas tape turned yellow then more short pieces. This homeowner ran an outside light about 20 feet and used maybe 10 short pieces of wire twisted together. The reason they sold the house was he passed away and it was just the older woman and she would have had no idea that was in there. So in this case he wasn’t trying to hide it. It was how he chose to do it for himself. After that I went back and checked every inch of wire. He had similar rigged up things underground with the plumbing etc. I think stuff like this is why fairly competent DIYers join a site like this to help others. At least that’s why I do it, that and always trying to learn myself.

When buying a house I try and stand out front and say ok if this house was perfect in every detail in this location what would it be worth. Sometimes that’s the asking price sometimes it’s more than the asking price telling me they know of things and have added some allowance already. I then do my inspection and everything I find I assign a price to make it right in my mind. If the roof is 70% to its life expectancy then I add that to my list. When I’m all done I have what I feel is a fair price for me. I don’t do this to try and scam the seller I really don’t care if they except the offer or not only for me I have a feeling of knowing the value along with the work I will have to do. I then sit down with the realtor and they always ask are you a home inspector? Even when they tell me my offer is to low they ask if they can have a copy of my report. I think everyone should somehow approach buying a home in this way and if they don’t have the skills pay someone to do it in this exact same method.

Last year I made a bid of 20k on a house that was worth saving but the numbers said the work would be more than the value and I told the realtor I valued the land with improvements at 20k. They laughed and said we need to get 58k for this house or they wouldn’t offer a bid. A year passed and the house came up for auction and they saw me there and said we want a starting bid of 20k only 3 people showed up for the sale and I wasn’t bidding nor the nosey neighbor. I told them I was just a lurker as I had looked at the house the year before but bought another. The place sold for 7k.

I believe once you buy it you bought it. The time do your figuring is before you make an offer and once you buy it you get some good and some bad surprises. The whole process of bartering if it’s a house or a car is one guy claiming it’s the best thing in the world and the other pointing out each fault. Chances are when I found the glued faucet I would have laughed and said well that equals out for the beautiful hardwood floors I found under the dirty carpet. Or something like that.

And yes I agree it’s a crappy trick to glue something and pass it off as good. I just expect some things will be like that in the world we live in. I hope my comment wasn’t taken that I was condoning or advising deception only that I have fixed a few for myself that same way.

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Old 02-06-2014, 07:30 AM  
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I appreciate the discussion and the viewpoints that have been tossed out on this topic. Hopefully, some one coming here and reading this post in the future will consider what happens when repairs are done in a less than adequate manner. It's not only what happens that effects us at the moment, but what is transferred to a new owner down the road.

Being in the roofing business, I get homeowners and even contractors ask us to cut a corner or cover up a problem. We'll walk away from those jobs. Our main concern is not to the property owner, but the structure itself. Plus our companies name is on the building long after the property may sell. Have we made mistakes, you bet. Have we tried to learn from every one, you bet. Are we perfect, no and never will be.

I'm glad there are forums like this one where, hopefully we've made a difference in helping someone do things a better way. And a special Thank-You to all the folks who freely give their time and share their knowledge with helping others here at House Repair Talk.

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Old 02-06-2014, 10:03 AM  
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I went with a friend to look at a house that the owner was flipping, it was beautiful. He and I found a few things that looked questionable so he hired an inspector who came up with the same questions and a couple more. The offer was writtin to include a disclosure and or the right to cut and repair holes in a basement wall.
What came back was ammazing. He had a three ring binder with an earlier inspection, his notes on what was to be done, permits, engineers reports and photos of everything he had done.
My only question was why they hadn't left that for people to see in the first place. My friend bought the house at full asking price and had no problems.

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Old 02-06-2014, 10:41 AM  
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I completely agree something like that and disclosure is a big selling point and should add monetary value. I would document everything in a similar manner and offer the disclosure. The more voluntary the better and then the guys that don’t may be hiding something. I’m not a big fan of having laws making people do things. Even building codes, when someone tells me this house is built 100% to code I know code sets the minimum acceptable level. There is a lot more quality than just what code is. Not very often do you hear this house exceeds code to 150%.

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Old 02-06-2014, 11:28 AM  
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We see all the time from guy like Mike Holmes about min. code not being good enough. I have a problem with that. First does anyone have a full handle on what the code writers are trying to accomplish and then do they know how to improve on them. I have a copy of the code, nowhere does it say min., it is just the code.
I agree that some of the stuff in there has had to much influence by people selling the products or the people who don't want the expence of the better products. Sometimes you have choices like this new deal with closed crawl spaces, you better know what you are getting into. We just finished framing a huge house that took forever to get closed up. Big hole had to be cut in the floor to dry out the crawl space, mold was growing there before the roof was on. Once it was dryed out everyone shrugged their shoulders and said well it smells ok. So now the guy has a $3m house with a crawl space that is being conditioned and pumping mold spores all over the house.
So when someone tells me they exceeded the code, the red flags go up and the questions begin.
One guy told me he had updated the electrical above code. when I questioned him, he said the code said 15 amp breakers and he went with 20 amp breakers and no he never changed any wires they were still 14/2 alum.



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