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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Guys, looking for more advice about the house in Niagara Falls.

Apparently it was purchased in Jan./10 for 120k and the guy had the follow renovated:

(house is old, could be 80-100 years)

Kitchen- new tiles (seem average to above average quality), New sink (only 1 though), New stove and refrigerator, new cabinets (again not low quality). That it now dishwasher no vents.

A small bathroom was added on the first floor
2nd floor bathroom, small but new tub new sink, new tiles but the old toilet was left in but they added a new seat. I also noticed that the toilet didn't flush that well kind of a low pressure, but worked non the less. Do think this could indicated a problem with the plumbing and pipes?

New efficient windows installed in the whole house, except the stained glass in the front and side. Around 7-8 sets of windows.

Wall to wall carpet whole house, above average quality.

Wood trim finish and painted as are the walls and decent jobs was done.

Basement, unfinished, seems okay, a bit of dampness on the floor, slight bit of musty but not an overall problem. Would you consider this a particularly bad point? Any idea of how much sealing or renovated in the basement would cost? 20k? Would it be worth it.

Electrical, was replace but i notice some light switches did not work or seem to need connection. The agent doesn't seem to want to say what was replaced or not. Just suggest a home inspection (are these a scam? will it be one her relatives as the inspector?)

The top floor is bit small for a family but i think ideal for me.
The house seems one of the nicer in the area, many of the houses near by would be worth less and there are many much bigger house worth more around 180k-200k. Then a few block away the house are bit newer and you can see the price gets higher!
This house has a large backyard with a tree and private drive with old garage in back. The front looks good too.
The roof has recent shingles. The furnace is forced air was replaced recently. But i hate forced air heating. Tell me how great it is, how often do you get you ducts cleaned?

So the guy is asking 35k for the renovations, so 155k for the house, apparently it took 1 guys 3 months of labour. What's you opinion?

Also, how do think small town real estate will be effected by the upcoming 'realestate correction.' The agent assures me it is only a Toronto and Vancouver thing. I've heard the towns like Windsor and Niagara hold realestate values long and slow. Will this continue to be the case?

What should i offer for the house? I mention 140k but that is too little. I'm worried that if i try and wait it out someone else will grab it and I'm bit stuck now because i've sort of fallen in like with the house. It really is an old beauty and the other options don't compare, all rather shabby. You know how you feel in a great house, it's just special.
If you were the seller and had a nice renovated house like this would be open to offers, or you would hold out until get your price?
So i might have to wait along time to find another that i like so much. I might as well cough up another 10k and get it or i might be sorry even if the price do go down 10-20% in the next years i still be saving rent and time.
 

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I don't know anything about the area, so I can't be of any help there, but as the real estate agent suggested, if you think you like the house, then an inspection should be your number 1 priority. Also, given that you mention that there was a bathroom recently added, there should be permits for plumbing and possibly electrical. You should be able to request copies of them from city hall. If there are no permits, I would be concerned that the work was probably done by someone who didn't really know what they were doing. This doesn't mean don't buy, it just means make sure the inspector pays special attention to that and factor it in with your offer (i.e. you may have to do some of the work again if it is not correct).
 

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You don't want to end up on Holmes, and you've already picked up electrical issues. This is a flip, the work could be really shoddy, sounds very superficial. Get your own home inspector, not the one the real estate agent recommends.
 

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You don't want to end up on Holmes, and you've already picked up electrical issues. This is a flip, the work could be really shoddy, sounds very superficial. Get your own home inspector, not the one the real estate agent recommends.
Yes, never take a home inspector the real estate agent recommends - the RE wants the sale... conflict of interest. Make sure you ask the inspector if they go up on the roof, in the attic, what their qualifications are (hopefully they are an engineer or similar, not just a dude who did roofing for a few years then took some night school courses).
 

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If you like a house and you can afford it and the location, find out what you're willing to offer and buy it if the price is right. You should get a home inspection for sure. It's worth the investment to ensure that you have a good house.

I can't comment about Niagara either. Have no clue about the market out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes of course i'll get the home inspection. Actually i was thinking of having the home inspection before i even put in the offer, makes sense no?

I guess there are just typical problems with an old house. I'm a bit worries about that plumbing, why would they change the tiles and bathtub and everything else except the toilet?
 

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Generally you put in an offer before getting the inspection. You make sure that your offer is subject to an inspection that is satisfactory to you and subject to you being able to find financing acceptable to you.

Usually, there is no point getting the inspection if what you offer is not accepted by the seller, that would just be a waste of money. On the other hand, if you think you are going to ask for a reduced selling price, then having the inspection first might help you negotiate the price. But you can always cancel your original offer if the inspection is not up to your satisfaction and then renegotiate based on the inspection, or walk away if thing don't look good.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes but i have to drive there and put in the offer and fill out all these legal papers and have lawyer look at them, in the end it will all depend on what the survey says anyways, so i might well just call a surveyor and pay them the money to do it. That way at least i know what i'm making an offer for. And i save some time.
 

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Chaudi,

You should ask an experienced realtor to work with you on this. They can provide you with basic information and explain to you how offers and conditions work.

The seller pays the commission that covers both your realtor and the seller's realtor. It isn't great to be dealing directly with the seller's realtor. You want someone who is experienced with files that go badly to warn you away from a sale that goes badly. It's no guarantee that the sale will go fine, of course, but that's always a risk.

It isn't saving you money to deal with only one realtor - it just means that the one realtor doesn't have to split their commission.

Good luck!
 
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