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Purchasing a house- please help with a few issues.


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I inspected the home that I have an offer on in Newberg today, and found numerous issues I would like to run by you guys before making any specific calls.

The home was built in 1964 and is single level home with about 1500 sq. ft.

The owners deceased husband built the home and she said that he worked for PG&E (power company in OR).

Electrical concerns: Bulldog Pushmatic panel. Numerous double tapped breakers throughout the panel--- None of these breakers are listed for 2 wires are they?

Numerous double tapped neutrals (Neutral/ Neutral and Ground/ Neutral) noted on the neutral bus-- improper per UL listing-- correct?

All but 4 recteptacles in the home are reverse polarity-- FYI. (wiring/ receptacles appear original)-- interesting since the PG&E guy built the home from the ground up from what I am told (he did wire the home).

Exposed UF wires from the exterior siding base and run into the ground-- conduit required in the 60's since the wires are subject to damage?

STRUCTURAL: now don't forget who the builder worked for.

Power pole rounds are used as support posts. Was it required to have all framing components grade stamped in the 60's? Obviously the home passed inspection which does not mean much-- can AHJ grant variances for the use of non grade stamped wood in a home. (I am not really concerned with the installation since they are very beefy posts, but still). What I really don't like is that the beams are on 5-6' centers.

The reason I am being careful on this one is that I was professionally attacked by the homeowner upon arrival to the home. She basically said that she didn't have any idea why I had to do the inspection, and that from what she was told by her builder we all just make everything up anyways and are a bunch of liars. I got a little irritated and had to walk away for a minute before I cornered her and went off (in a professional manner of course).

I just want to be dead on with everything since I did perform the inspection on my own home and don't want to give any other professionals a chance to bad mouth any of my calls on this home.

Otherwise, it is a pretty nice home with over a half acre in town which is hard to find (been looking for quite a while).

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Rule#1: Don't inspect your own prospective home. Get another good inspector to do it for you. You will never win because you have interest in the transaction. A inspector should not have an interest in the transaction of the home he is inspecting.

My $.02 - for what it is worth.

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Never had an inspection on any property I've bought; I wouldn't own a property where I couldn't simply tear everything out and start over.

Get an electrical panel to accommodate the additional circuits, or otherwise figure out the double taps. Fix the wiring. Install GFCI's. Do all the stuff we recommend folks do all the time.

The wood posts are probably fine. Do you really care they aren't stamped?

Don't sweat the seller; she's emotionallly involved, and what she thinks doesn't matter. Whoever did the work was a handy andy, and probably screwed up lots of stuff you didn't see. Plan on a bunch of repairs & alterations to everything, just like every old dump.

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Kurt-- you just called my potential home an old dump[:-weepn]

Rule#1: Don't inspect your own prospective home. Get another good inspector to do it for you. You will never win because you have interest in the transaction. A inspector should not have an interest in the transaction of the home he is inspecting.

My $.02 - for what it is worth.

I did not plan on inspecting this home on my own, but ran out of time to schedule something (been pretty busy). The way I figure it , as long as I disclose that I am the inspector/purchaser and have facts to back everything up that I find, I do not believe doing my own inspection is a complete no no. I agree it is not the best of ideas if I plan on asking for a lot of repairs, but I did a quick run through looking for major issues only -- I did not nit pick the home. Now that I have found some issues I can have the proper licensed contractors look at the issues I called out and perform a more thorough evaluation. I don't need to win anything, and of course the other side can ask their own experts if they would like. I believe the listing agents husband is a city or county building official anyways, so I am sure they have contacts that could look at what I called out.

I am planning on remodeling the entire place down the road, but I do think it is fair to ask for some repairs (electrical) to make the home safe for occupancy.

Regarding the use of the posts-- I am not concerned with the installation since they are treated (grade stamped ones would not be in my area), and are much more stout than typical posts that are grade stamped. This question is more out of curiosity. I would not replace them or make an issue of it on my own home. This is for an FYI only, since I would have to call this out as technically improper on a home I inspected for someone else, if it was in fact an improper or questionable installation in the 60's.

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Hi,

The only time that I'd inspect the home that I was personally planning to buy would be if I had absolutely no intention of asking for any concessions in price or repair and was only interested in confirming for myself whether I wanted the home or not. If, at the end of the inspection, I discovered that the list was just too long, I'd walk away, using Option 1, and wouldn't look back.

If I intended to whittle price or ask for repair, I'd hire another pro to go through the home and I'd accompany him and make sure that he didn't overlook a thing. If that pro disagreed with me on an issue and didn't want to include it in his report, it would be his call, not mine, I'd still be able to exercise my walk away option.

Regardless of how honest and reliable you are, the seller has a right to be indignant and suspicious of your motives if you inspect the home yourself and then demand concessions.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by Brandon Whitmore

. . . Electrical concerns: Bulldog Pushmatic panel. Numerous double tapped breakers throughout the panel--- None of these breakers are listed for 2 wires are they?

No. They were all supposed to have just one wire per lug.

Numerous double tapped neutrals (Neutral/ Neutral and Ground/ Neutral) noted on the neutral bus-- improper per UL listing-- correct?

Correct.

All but 4 recteptacles in the home are reverse polarity-- FYI. (wiring/ receptacles appear original)-- interesting since the PG&E guy built the home from the ground up from what I am told (he did wire the home).

Exposed UF wires from the exterior siding base and run into the ground-- conduit required in the 60's since the wires are subject to damage?

Yes.

STRUCTURAL: now don't forget who the builder worked for.

Power pole rounds are used as support posts. Was it required to have all framing components grade stamped in the 60's?

I don't know. My oldest CABO is from '79. It was required then.

Obviously the home passed inspection which does not mean much-- can AHJ grant variances for the use of non grade stamped wood in a home. (I am not really concerned with the installation since they are very beefy posts, but still).

Yes. There's a provision for a builder to hire a lumber grader to provide a "Certificate of Inspection." It's entirely likely that PGE has such certificates on file for their poles.

What I really don't like is that the beams are on 5-6' centers.

Is the floor bouncy?

The reason I am being careful on this one is that I was professionally attacked by the homeowner upon arrival to the home. She basically said that she didn't have any idea why I had to do the inspection, and that from what she was told by her builder we all just make everything up anyways and are a bunch of liars. I got a little irritated and had to walk away for a minute before I cornered her and went off (in a professional manner of course).

I just want to be dead on with everything since I did perform the inspection on my own home and don't want to give any other professionals a chance to bad mouth any of my calls on this home.

Otherwise, it is a pretty nice home with over a half acre in town which is hard to find (been looking for quite a while).

My advice: Swallow your pride. Tell the lady that you found nothing wrong with the home. In fact, it's the best home you've inspected all year. Her husband was a genius, an she was very clever to have married him.

It sounds like most of the stuff you found are pissant problems anyway. You can fix them later.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Thanks for all the answers and comments. I was not going into the inspection with the intent of asking for repairs or trying to whittle the price down which unfortunately is what many buyers are trying to do when having a home inspected. I did find other more expensive issues as well that are obvious-- now I just need to figure out how and if to proceed-

Thanks guys,

Lesson learned on this one-- get off my lazy butt and hire a home inspector before I start to run out of time.

Is the floor bouncy?

Yeah-- may just have to tear the house down now........... or I guess I could just fix it.

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