Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Buying a Rental Property, pt.3

Wow, if you have never done this, inspect a house you are planning to buy, then get ready for some definite eye opening. Here is modified copy of the email I sent to the seller and his realtor after our home inspection visit:

"Let me start off by saying that after talking it over, we have decided to proceed. But I have to say that both T and I are quite puzzled by the actual condition of the house. I, for one, was amazed by the fact that the only cleaning that had been done was superficial. Dust layered on the ceiling lights and on the cabinet shelves. Dirt crusted in the sliding door frame. It's as though the original plan was to rent it so why fix it up and then when it wasn't renting, let's sell it and just get out from under. But still, missing window screens, cabinet doors that don't fasten, a laundry room that looks to be decimated by mold, torn screens on the patio room, a fire place that doesn't work, windows that don't slide open and don't close completely, carpet stains and tears, broken tile and cracks that indicate leaking in the bathroom, blocked access from the outside to the sink and bathroom water works, no direct connect to the AC, a clearly visible ceiling stain in the hallway, and finally a roof that is so in need of reshingling that the current shingles crumple at the touch. We don't understand how you could think that this house would be saleable? Especially, since you, the seller, are a building contractor.

But this is what we understand the agreement to include: The seller will install new tile counters and tile the floor in the kitchen, repair the broken tile facing and rusted tiles in the shower stall, will re-screen the patio room, clean the back yard, and remove the cabinets, install open shelving, and repaint the laundry room, fix all sliding doors and windows so that they work easily.

Before the escrow can close, these are the concerns that have to be addressed: As pointed out in the Property Inspection Report, the roof has to be reshingled and the flashings need roof mastic, the large crack in the driveway/front walk needs to be repaired, the eaves and the caulking on the facia needs repair, the sprinkler heads need to be cleaned, access to the shower drain needs to be cleared, gas needs to be turned on so the heating and fire place can be checked, the AC needs to be checked by a HUAC contractor and have a direct disconnect installed, an air gap needs to be installed on kitchen sink, the kitchen cabinet latches and shelves need to be repaired, and the missing window screens need to be replaced.

In addition, once escrow has closed, we will arrange to recarpet the entire house, remove the popcorn accoustic from the ceiling, repair, repaint, or replace all interior mouldings, replace the windows with double hung windows, and possibly restructure the interior wall as a see through between the kitchen and the living room."

See what I mean? We had no thought when we first walked through the house that it was going to be a fixer-upper. It seemed livable and clean. All the windows and doors were already open and the walls had been repainted recently. Yes, the laundry room and back yard were in poor condition but the seller agreed to clean them up right away.

Still, if ever we needed to remember the rule that you must see a property personally before you buy it, this was the time

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