I’m under contract for one half of a duplex. Offer contingent on inspection and appraisal. A couple closed on the other half of the duplex last week for $65k under my offer. My unit was recently updated while theirs is in need of some serious updating, so it made sense that they would go lower.
There have been a couple of red flags throughout this process. First, my unit was on the market for almost 3 weeks before I put in the offer. They also accepted an offer $10k under listing price. The red flag part is that the area is highly desirable and offers have been made on places without the seller even seeing them in person. Those offers usually end up being at least $20k over asking price. I figured it had something to do with it being a duplex, so I charged ahead anyways.
I got the inspection back and there were a number of issues that threw up multiple other red flags. Many of the issues were related to a half assed remodel. This was confirmed by the inspector, my realtor, and a former builder. However, all reassured me these were fixes we would get them to make before closing and they are all cosmetic.
Examples of issues:
Standing water on the vapor barrier in the crawl space, likely condensation, but the source is unknown.
Firewall dismantled for unknown reason
Incorrectly wired outlets, wiring without junction box touching water lines, missing gfci’s near sinks. Main breaker box painted shut, so it couldn’t be inspected at all. Inspector notated that a professional needs to come and take a look due to the number of safety issues.
Multiple areas of drywall separating from ceiling and the tape coming off in other areas. Cracks in the ceiling and walls that will need to be taped as well. I researched and these appear to be normal from the age of the place (built 1985).
Brick steps leading to the front door are cracked and damaged in multiple areas. Looks like repair may be needed, but not sure of what other fixes may be available.
Windows not operable, one set even has insulation stuck in them. Another set needs full replacement. Another set may need to be replaced depending on the issue with seal coming off.
AC/heater and water heater are all operable, but are old and will need to be replaced soon. I would have to pay for those since inspector did not recommend replacement.
New laminate flooring throughout is bubbling up in certain areas, inspector notated it was put in too tightly. Other areas have loose transitions or don’t fully cover areas, like around the stair railing.
Back porch roof has roof rot, gutters need to be replaced, soffits need to be replaced. Insulation removed in certain areas and not put back up properly. New fence needed (which I already knew). Damage to front and back door trim, which will need to be replaced. Light fixtures not fully secured. Unfinished spots in the kitchen remodel. Multiple other things too, but generally very minimal.
I know some of these are easy fixes and were caused by crappy remodeling, but I can’t shake the feeling that the remodel was done to cover up a bigger issue. I trust my realtor and she keeps telling me this isn’t bad at all and that I should negotiate to have everything fixed/replaced by the seller. However, she is out to sell, so I don’t know how much I should buy into it.
This is my first place and the first time I’ve made an offer, so I’m not sure if this really is normal and I’m just freaking out a bit or if I’m right to be concerned with these red flags. I have a few days to make the call, but because closing is so soon I really need to make the decision today. Any feedback, advice, etc would be greatly appreciated!