Home Buying in 95051>Question Details

Cecri Chen, Home Buyer in San Jose, CA

water leakage in the home we are interested in

Asked by Cecri Chen, San Jose, CA Sat Dec 22, 2007

The town home that we are interested in has some water leakage issues according to the disclosure . The master bath was found to leak under a water test. Evidence of past treatment of water leakage were noted on the laudry and central air area . There was also a mention of a slight leakage at the ABS waste pipe beneath the laundry. When we were visiting the property , we saw droplets of water on the first floor right below the second floor guest bath area. The owner says, the seal was broken and it has been fixed. In general, the property shows well. What are we looking at here? Is it something serious or is it worth making an offer?

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It appears you've already done a "general" home inspection that probably called for "further inspection" of certain areas of the home. Hire a licensed plumber and termite inspector. If you decide to write an offer on this property, you can have the results of your further inspections contingent upon completion of the sale. In condos and townhome communities, there may be a Home Owners Association (HOA) wherein sometimes they are responsible for pipes in common walls, termites relating to dryrot, etc. so check into that as well. Bottom line, do your homework or move on to another property. You may have already invested a few hundred dollars in a home inspection that could have saved you thousands in headaches. If you decide to move on, you can search the MLS for more townhomes on my website below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2008
If you like the property, it's worth writing an offer. But please, be sure you give your self time to have an experienced, licensed plumber check it out. Also, a pest inspection for water damage, and home inspector or someone who knows about possible mold from water damage.
There are several types of water pipes. ABS which is a plastic, galvanized which are old, copper, and now there are new poly-type systems. All are functional when installed and maintained. All have a life span.
ABS pipes (like other pipes) can be prone to failure. It can be due to improper joint seals, freezing, and/or unusual movement. Such as on mechanical equipment, like a garbage disposal and washing machines. It may not be a big deal. Sellers are required to disclose everything and this is for your benefit to inspect to your own satisfaction. Leave it up to the professionals and go from there. Disclosures and reports can be daunting, but do rely on the inspectors to help you sort through what are big items and what may be just minor maintenance. Good luck and hopefully it will not be a big deal and you will have a new home.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 8, 2008
Cecri, Have you seen any disclosures from the HomeOwner's Association yet? You could have a major lawsuit of the Homeowner's Assoc. against the initial contractor and sub-contractors. I can't tell you how many times here in the greatest state of California we've had lawsuits regarding contruction defects. At one time in Santa Rosa we had 5 complexes all in lawsuits with the builder. It took years to settle and caused the financing to dry up on the project as lenders were very relunctant to lend on a project with a major defect litigation in place. Be very careful here!! Start talkign to the neighbors, the Association's president, etc. How old are the units? Ask the Seller for all the disclosures on minutes of the Association and then call the Association management company directly and TALK TO THEM!!
If the builder goes belly-up in this marketplace good luck in getting the issues resolved.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2007
Yes, it could be something serious and, yes, it still could be worth making an offer. Sounds as if, in addition to a home inspection, you need a master plumber to examine the situation. Find out if the plumbing was done right at the beginning, whether repairs have been made, and if so whether those repairs have been made properly. Also, some pipes are prone to pinhole leaks, and that ultimately can result in the entire property needing new plumbing.

You say you saw droplets of water beneath an area that the owner claimed had been fixed? If it'd been fixed, you should be seeing water.

Also keep in mind that water leaks are sometimes difficult to trace. Water will sometimes seep between floors, then run along joists, outside of pipes, or similar for feet or yards before dropping down onto the ceiling of the floor below. So, just because there's evidence in a ceiling of a water leak doesn't necessarily mean that the leak originated there. Thus, replacing a seal above evidence of a water leak doesn't mean the problem's been fixed.

Ask your agent (uh oh, you do have one, don't you?) for his or her advice. At the very least, you'd want any and all repairs done at the seller's cost, and to be approved by your experts (a master plumber) before buying the property; purchase should be contingent on satisfactory repairs. Then, just to be safe, your agent might suggest that the seller put an additional amount aside in escrow to be used in case of further problems.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2007
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
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If you do write an offer, be sure to allow sufficient time to inspect the property AND negotiate any repairs. If you really want the home, it may be worth the expense of a qualified home inspection...or continue looking.
Web Reference: http://www.darinprovost.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2007
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