I kept talking with Tobi via e-mail (off-line from the Forum) because I was curious as to how she made out herself. They had their inspection and the inspector said the obvious. The work should be done on the house before they buy. So, what they did was work out a deal with the seller. As it turns out, the husband-seller is a general contractor. He agreed to do the job as a 'contigency' on the sale. This was actually my advice to Tobi. I went one step further and suggested she have a real estate attorney 'escrow' the money. Since the seller-husband was doing the work, the both of them opted not to have an attorney involved. I know this is a bit off of the 'spirit' of the Forum but I'm on a roll. My advice to her, and you, was have an attorney check the wording of the 'contingency'. This kind of stuff, in my opinion, is not for amateurs. What if something goes wrong with the work? Suppose in a year or 2 there's a problem? She'll have to retain a lawyer anyway to go after the former seller. Having already retained one at closing is a big advantage. 1) You have a previous working relationship with an attorney. 2) They make sure there are no 'mistakes' in the wording of any 'clauses' in the contract. 3) They don't generally ask for a retaining fee if all they need to do is 'send a letter' or 2 when a 'clause' is breached. 4) These guys know what they are doing. 5) They're looking after YOU'RE interests; not the seller's. Think of it this way. If you're gonna spend 50, 100, 200 thousand dollars for a home and pay it off over 10, 15, even 30 years, what's another 4, 5, 600 dollars up front for peace of mind? Also, if 'escrow' money is involved, are you gonna hold it? Is the seller gonna hold it? Usually, the attorney sets up the escrow account. There's no charge for this. Oh, as you know, one of a bank's service is to loan money. If they do this all the time, then why do they have a lawyer look at the paperwork EVERY time they go to close on a home? Believe me, they do. That's because they're making sure THEIR interests are protected. How 'bout you?
Well, these are my thoughts. I know, you didn't ask but I hope it draws a bigger picture on the whole process of buying a home. It's good to see you had an inspector check out the place first. Good luck and let us all know on the Forum how you make out.