I finally had a response from the sellers to my request for some credit and repairs on the house (based upon the findings of the home inspection). Basically, the only thing they are willing to do is replace a toilet seat that is broken. Most, if not all, of the windows in the house have some kind of permanent damage (fogging) so the panes will have to be replaced. I requested that these be repaired or, if they prefer, they could leave their washing machine & dryer in lieu of the repairs. There is a piece of sheetrock missing from the garage that my home inspector said is a big safety issue. With it missing, it leaves the house vulnerable to fire (a fire in the garage could now easily & immediately spread into the rafters of the house). This is a small cut-out and shouldn't be too hard to replace. The fence around the property is rotting and falling down. It is stated in the condo bylaws that any structure like this that is unsound and/or unsightly is subject to removal or replacement by the HOA, at the owner's expense. Lastly, the roof is 20 years old and the home inspector seemed to think it would need to be fixed soon. Depending on who I've spoken to, it seems I can expect this to cost anywhere from 5K - 10K+.
The realtor's response on the behalf of the owners was:
* There is nothing wrong with that roof.
* There is nothing wrong with that fence.
* They were never led to believe from their inspection on the house 7 months ago (oh yeah, have I mentioned that they've only lived there 7 months?) that there was any safety issue with the missing sheetrock -- and this is my problem, because?
* They are keeping their washer & dryer because they are new.
* The sellers have put 10K into the house since they moved there.
* They need the entire selling price out of it.
(they said nothing at all about the damaged windows)
When my realtor asked what they spent the 10K on, the response was, oh new counter tops and flooring, new carpeting and some other stuff. Well, that granite counter top in the kitchen is beautiful, I'll give them that. But who in their right mind would install an expensive slab granite counter on top of
formica cabinets??? To me that's insane. It will now be extremely tricky and difficult, if not impossible, to upgrade those lower cabinets without damaging or destroying the nice counter. Or you can maybe do some bastardization project of replacing the doors and doing some kind of laminate on the rest, but it's F*ed up as far as I'm concerned. The flooring in the kitchen is nice, but it's pergo, not hardwood. And the carpets already look worn and soiled (with 5 kids and a dog, that's no surprise).
I guess I'm maybe being petty about my requests, but this house was not listed as a fixer-upper, I'm paying their full asking price and there are some things that are damaged or in need of pretty much immediate repair. I didn't really feel like my requests were that out of line, but I feel that the seller's refusal to even negotiate for any compromise is a gesture of bad faith. It's leaving a bad taste in my mouth.
In the meantime, because I was pissed, I asked my realtor to bring me to see this condo for which I had seen a online listing:
I really liked the condo and it's also a lot cheaper (and it is a little bit bigger). However, it doesn't have a garage, a screened porch, or a yard. The kitchen is considerably smaller, as is the deck. But still, it was in perfect condition and in a very nice condo complex with lots of walking trails, etc.
So, I think I am now even more confused, but I have to make a decision soon about what I'm going to do. Like in the next 24 hours.
On a good note, I ended up talking to a local moving company and it looks like the move isn't going to cost me nearly as much as I had feared (my expectations of prices for everything around here are so skewed by my experience with NYC costs). So that is a huge relief.