Home Buying in Washougal>Question Details

S.L., Home Buyer in Washougal, WA

Should I walk away from a house purchase where 10" of standing water was found in the crawl space? Seller didn't disclose; it was found at inspection.

Asked by S.L., Washougal, WA Fri Nov 23, 2012

We have made an offer on a home that as a result of the home inspection, found 10" (yes, 10 INCHES) of standing water in the crawl space. It's been a dry 4 months of summer, and the first (torrential) rain happened the night before. Sellers says, "this has never happened". We're not sure what to believe. The house is 12 years old, and located mid-slope in a hilly cul-de-sac.

The inspector has recommended evacuation of the water, a remedy to be put in place, and then re-inspection, since he could not get into the space to look at plumbing, mold issues (if any), etc. We countered that we want all that done.

Should we just walk away if the seller does not agree to pay for the work? The house is in otherwise great shape, and we are paying top dollar for it. I would think if we are paying top price, our expectation for this to be remedied by the seller is valid. Thoughts?

Help the community by answering this question:


So, the house gets a foot of water after torrential rains. Is that a dealbreaker? Is there a remedy for it - can water be diverted away from the house?

We cannot answer that question for you. Personally, I'd take a foot of water in my crawl space WITH a great floor plan in a great location over an engineer's love child plunked down somewhere that I'd never want to be.

I think you should figure out what you're willing to walk away over, and why. It's not for us to say. Even at "top dollar."

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 23, 2012
That's a great happy ending, S.L.! Congratulations! (and thanks for the Best Answer!)
Flag Sat Nov 24, 2012
I thank you (and everyone else) for the replies. We learned tonight that the seller is willing to do the requested work (water evac and put a remedy in place for the future) at their expense.

It is a great location and neighborhood and lot. Everything we want, and the house is super clean in every other way. The deal breaker was not wanting to pay thousands for something that we felt was a functional system in the home that should be in working order prior to purchase. Looks like all involved agree.

You are right about deciding what we would walk away from and why. We were having that exact discussion when the call came in that they agreed to every repair request. Happy ending.
Flag Fri Nov 23, 2012
You could continue toward the purchase if you have the ability to walk away unharmed after the reinspection of the work if you are not completely satisfied. Water in a crawlspace is not an unheard of situation and a good inspector will catch signs of previous events once they can fully investigate. If the seller's prove to be unreliable about this issue, how can you trust them about anything else that may be wrong with the house?
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 23, 2012
if its happened once because of rain ...its likely to occur again I would think
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 23, 2012
We live in an area where water in crawl space is a problem and who looks in space unless you have a problem. so. if you like house and location get the problem resolved if owner now that he knows there is a problem he is going to disclose it so if he wants to sell he is going to have to do repost or reduce price so you. an have it done good luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 23, 2012
If you are paying as you claim "top dollar" for the home, then I would expect an issue like this to be addressed by the seller.
Now I do not know Washougal real estate, and if the market is hot and the home meets all of your needs then go ahead and bite the bullet and get the home after addressing these issues. If the home has been on the market awhile the seller should realize the issue and pay for the fix, since after all this will now have to be disclosed in the seller disclosure statement...but maybe the seller's funds are tight?

Hope this helps!

Rob Merhaut
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 23, 2012
You have a good Realtor representing you.
You have a good Inspector who found the problem.
You have access to plumbers and contractor; all of whom can visit the property and view the carnage:
Why are you ask us; who cannot see what you are talking about?

It sounds like a plumbing leak; is that what you want to hear?
Do you want to walk away from the deal because of a leak?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 23, 2012
You sound like an dick.
Flag Thu Dec 3, 2015
haha, i like your posted.
Flag Sun Dec 2, 2012
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