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1969 ranch with full basement in Cleveland


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I am considering making an offer on a 1996 ranch home with full basement.  Asking price is 220k.  Area is 2000sft.  The home has two visible problems, the shingles are badly warped and there is a gas leak near the fireplace.  There are some cracks in the floor slab.  An older lady lived in this home. 

What are the drawbacks on buying a old ranch home? 

What should I be concerned about going forward, say in about 5 to 10 years time frame?  

Should I be worried about water pipes or downspout pipes getting busted due to age?

Any other suggestions or recommendations?  Also, if you know a good home inspector in Cleveland area, let me know.

Much obliged. 

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There is a whole list of things the inspector should be looking at.

1969 means there could be Aluminum wiring, which is bad, and also will make your annual insurance premiums higher. Best to rewire the house with copper. The breaker panel is at the end of its service life.

The drainage around the basement will be all clogged up with composted leaves and debris. Poor drainage means moisture in your basement and sometimes bulging walls below ground.

There is minimal insulation in the walls. There may be vermiculite insulation in the attic, known to often be contaminated with asbestos.

Asbestos is in the floor coverings such as sheet vinyl or tiles and also in the black glue. Asbestos in the plaster and drywall. Asbestos around heat ducts.

The windows are leaky and may be single pane metal frame sliders, which are the worst ever made.

Then there is the chimney, possibly has no flue liner. Mortar falling out of it. Small rooms, old leaky faucets, stained old cast iron fixtures, rot around the leaky toilets. Rusty water supply pipes. Maybe they're copper pipes, but check for corrosion on them too.

Those are the highlights. Might get lucky and find a nice home, recently reno'd. But sometimes it is just a facade, new kitchen and bathroom, major issues concealed from the buyer.

Anyway good luck with it. Might be a nice property.

Seriously, if you have a choice and are not handy, or not inclined to spend years fixing the place, look for something built in the 1990's or newer. JMO.

 

 

Edited by John Kogel
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7 hours ago, John Kogel said:

There is a whole list of things the inspector should be looking at.

1969 means there could be Aluminum wiring, which is bad, and also will make your annual insurance premiums higher. Best to rewire the house with copper. The breaker panel is at the end of its service life.

The drainage around the basement will be all clogged up with composted leaves and debris. Poor drainage means moisture in your basement and sometimes bulging walls below ground.

There is minimal insulation in the walls. There may be vermiculite insulation in the attic, known to often be contaminated with asbestos.

Asbestos is in the floor coverings such as sheet vinyl or tiles and also in the black glue. Asbestos in the plaster and drywall. Asbestos around heat ducts.

The windows are leaky and may be single pane metal frame sliders, which are the worst ever made.

Then there is the chimney, possibly has no flue liner. Mortar falling out of it. Small rooms, old leaky faucets, stained old cast iron fixtures, rot around the leaky toilets. Rusty water supply pipes. Maybe they're copper pipes, but check for corrosion on them too.

Those are the highlights. Might get lucky and find a nice home, recently reno'd. But sometimes it is just a facade, new kitchen and bathroom, major issues concealed from the buyer.

Anyway good luck with it. Might be a nice property.

Seriously, if you have a choice and are not handy, or not inclined to spend years fixing the place, look for something built in the 1990's or newer. JMO.

 

 

It is a 1969 home with unfinished basement.

Breaker panel is updated.  Don't know if it is aluminum wiring.  Will check on it?  Is rewiring a costly job, I am guessing it is.

The home is not built on a flat lot.  1 basement wall is not covered by soil. 2 basement walls are only partially (half) covered with soil.  One basement wall (front wall) is completely covered by soil.  Basement walls made of hollow blocks.  Some cracking in hollow blocks, not alarming.  Some cracking in floor slab, may be settlement or shrinkage or combination.  

Home has mostly hardwood floors and carpet.  

Kitchen is updated.  Gas stove.  There is a gas leak near the fireplace, one could smell gas.  

Some windows are new, some are not. And yes, single pane windows.  Some can be opened and some cannot.

Chimney exterior appears in very good shape from visual observation from outside.  Some minor cracking.  Don't know about flue liner, will check on it.

Bedrooms are not small but not large either,  home area is 2100 sft with full basement.  3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.  

Faucets are not old or of cast iron.  They look fine.  Will turn on the faucets and check for water flow.  Bathrooms do have wall paper but its not ugly.  

No rot around toilets as far as I can tell.  One toilet does not work.

And yes, I am not handy.   How big of a problem are the rusty water lines?  They might be copper but will check to make sure.  

The roof most likely needs immediate replacement.  It looks warped and buckled.  About 15k for this, I believe. 

Thank you for the detailed response, Mr. John Kogel.  God bless you.  

I know that 1990's home will be better and that is an indeed an option.  I am not desperate to buy a home, at all.  I live in a comfortable apartment in a desirable area. 

 

Edited by josephsapien
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40 minutes ago, Nolan Kienitz said:

Terry McCann and I keep in touch as we're also both amateur radio operators.

Anyway ... Terry retired from home inspecting two years ago. He did not mention any referrals and I don't know anyone else in the area as well.

Thank you for the update.

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I checked out 18 HIs in the Cleveland area.  Several were agent minions.  Only two had a sample report and neither were decent.  The best litmus test by far for inspector expertise is samples of their work product.  All else pales.  I'd look outside your immediate area.  The right inspector can make an enormous difference.  So many things can go wrong with a house, even the new ones.

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15 minutes ago, Marc said:

I checked out 18 HIs in the Cleveland area.  Several were agent minions.  Only two had a sample report and neither were decent.  The best litmus test by far for inspector expertise is samples of their work product.  All else pales.  I'd look outside your immediate area.  The right inspector can make an enormous difference.  So many things can go wrong with a house, even the new ones.

Thank you sir.  That is very very helpful.   Do you know any good home inspector outside my immediate area?  Is there a website where I can go search and look at sample reports of home inspectors?

Edited by josephsapien
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39 minutes ago, josephsapien said:

Thank you sir.  That is very very helpful.   Do you know any good home inspector outside my immediate area?  Is there a website where I can go search and look at sample reports of home inspectors?

Just enter 'home inspectors in Columbus' or in Youngstown, Toledo or what ever area you want to look into, then check them for sample reports.  As far as I know, no state in the country has a report writing standard, so the breadth of what you'll find will be very wide.  You won't recognize the good ones until you've seen at least one.  The vast majority are dismal.

I've sent you mine.  One minute per report is all it takes.

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23 minutes ago, Marc said:

Just enter 'home inspectors in Columbus' or in Youngstown, Toledo or what ever area you want to look into, then check them for sample reports.  As far as I know, no state in the country has a report writing standard, so the breadth of what you'll find will be very wide.  You won't recognize the good ones until you've seen at least one.  The vast majority are dismal.

I've sent you mine.  One minute per report is all it takes.

Now I know what an excellent home inspection report looks like.  Thank you very much for sending me your sample home inspection report.  

I wish you lived in my state :smile:  I would have requested you to do the home inspection.  

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I see my name mentioned and would like to respond. Terry (safe sailing) had me help on several Mc-Mansions as we both used the same Report (Palm Tech).  But I don't believe the "Report" is the most important part of the Inspection. If you have trouble sleeping, take a Home Inspecting Report to bed and read it. 

Results of the Inspection is what matters, so my emailed Reports have the summary (with Pictures) up front. As a ASHI member, I have to follow their Standards and issue a full report.

The interaction with the buyer at the Inspection is just as Important. I won't leave the house until I have answered all the buyers questions.

Thanks to my fellow Inspectors that mentioned my name.  

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