Home Buying in 97218>Question Details

sresari, Home Buyer in Portland, OR

May have to replace garage. Is house worth buying?

Asked by sresari, Portland, OR Thu Sep 19, 2013

Currently under contract for a remodeled house...which turned out to have so many issues during our inspection that we stopped halfway through, thinking we'd just walk away. Seller suggested he'd make repairs and asked if we were still interested (yes). After doing his own inspection, seller is willing to address many of our requests. One that came up with his inspection (so it's not on our request list) is that the garage roof is at the "end of its useful life," and that the (detached) garage framing has extensive rot and should be considered "as-is and of little value." We don't want to buy a house without a garage (there's no other storage available), and wonder if this will be a foolish purchase. I don't know if this means the garage is about to tumble to the ground, or if I can find that out somehow. Is it expensive to tear down and rebuild a one-car, detatched garage? Any thoughts are welcome! This isn't our dream home, but it's a good start.

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There are a number of issues that immediately come to mind as I read this post: is the seller allowing you to choose a contractor to fix the issues? If not, do you trust his ability/competence to make the repairs in a good workmanlike manner? The other question I'd ask is do you really want this house? It doesn't sound like you are in love with it... You do not want to have buyers regret with something you are living in daily... Finally, is the seller willing to compensate you financially for the lack of garage? Do you already have a credit for your closing costs? These are my thoughts... Sorry I don't have a more concrete answer. I think there are more questions to be asked so you can truly answer your own question for yourself...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
Thanks for your questions! The seller (flipper) would be hiring a contractor(s) to do the repairs; I am hesitant to trust on this point, because the roof (which was done poorly) was probably part of this remodel. Other issues may have been with a prior DIY owner. However, I think it a bad job would be caught in our re-inspection -- especially b/c we'd know what to look for.
I'm not in love with this house, but I do like it. It's pretty good, but not everything we want. The seller didn't add anything about the garage in their fix-it list, but we haven't yet asked. We don't have a credit for our closing costs; I'm also hesitant to ask for a credit and then find out that the repair we want to do is far beyond that amount. More to ponder. Thanks again!
Flag Thu Sep 19, 2013
If there is plenty of value in the home, I would go for it. Improving the garage will increase the value over time. Get a few bids - that garage may still be salvageable. Also if the foundation or slab is still there, that will greatly reduce the cost of a new garage.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 3, 2014
Thanks everyone for your advice! This is all new to me, so your experience and knowledge has been helpful. Feels about as challenging as planning a wedding (and at least there I was certain about my choice in mates). :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 27, 2013
I'm curious . . . what did you decide? Was it worth buying?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 26, 2013
Thanks for asking -- we just decided to walk away. Feels like an easy decision now, but it was back-and-forth at the time. We've already found another good possibility, so I'm hoping the next inspection is ten times better. :)
Flag Fri Sep 27, 2013
It sounds like you are unsure and need more time to think through it and consult with contractors that can give you bids on the cost of repairs. Don't let anyone pressure you into making a decision. You can try requesting a time extension if you need to.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 20, 2013
Those who are purchasing a home and have budget constraints will find every home purchase will require compromise.
No less than five times you've made statements similar to..."Not our dream house" and provided a long list of elements that make you unhappy. The regret of not walking away can prove to be bitter.
You have seen the other homes on the market. What is the probability of finding a better home in the next 8 weeks? What will you find regarding the quality of homes if you bump up your price point?
I don't know when the snow starts flying there, however, you may want to keep in mind many sellers will sit on their home through the winter and not think of selling until April or May.
What I do know with certainty is the bitterness of the one that got away does not endure nearly as long os the bitterness of the one you should not have bought.
Only you know what is important to you.
Time to have a chat with your agent instead of strangers on the internet.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 20, 2013
This must be a very good deal either price or terms for it to work. From your description this sounds like it could be a money pit that you are not in love with. Good luck.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 20, 2013
about 1/3 of city homes have no garages in the city. If you like the house and the seller is willing to fix the problems great. But some of those problems need to be fixed correctly by a licensed contractor the correct way. The biggest problem with a falling over garage is you have to jack it up and save in in place if you take it down you will have to build it 5 feet from the current property line and get a survey first. You can ask for a variance to build closer but that takes time and contacting neighbors and getting permission so you are stuck waiting for a few months. If a garage roof has 2 roofs you will have to tear both off since you can only have 2 roofs on any structure. If the roof is leaking you will want to tear off any way and put down new plywood. See if other repairs have had permits pulled go to http://www.portlanmaps.com and look up address and it will say how many permits the home has had and what kind of work was done. Good luck to you, Tom Inglesby,, broker, RE/MAX
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
You just hit the nail on the head! This isnt your dream home but a good start. Here in Grants Pass area you could probably rebuid a one car garage for 10-12K so I would think you could do so there. You should still be ok with the house but your agent should be able to tell you more about this issue.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
Thanks, Lana. Yes, I think this would be a good start for us -- although that's what I thought before the inspection process! Might be a total lemon (rot, mold, bad electric, bad plumbing, poor installation of windows/roof, etc). I wonder if the seller would be willing to do something around the garage. Thanks for your bid estimate. Will chat with our realtor.
Flag Thu Sep 19, 2013
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