It is a tight market out there. And I know this is a hard decision. The general concensus says to run but we're not there. I, for one, make my decision only on what you wrote and my own, personal experiences.
As far as the house being 'over-built', well, by ANYONE'S standards in Earthquake County, nothing can be 'overbuilt'. My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator
PS: Have you talked to your Homeowner's Insurance Carrier, or to ANY carrier for that matter? Perhaps they can recommend someone to look at the structure from an insurance perspective. Believe me, if they say they WON'T insure it, or if they'll have to charge you a HIGHER rate, 1) get an explanation in detail as to why (which may be interesting in its own right, then 2) RUN !!! If their reference says it's fixable, get estimates and go from there. To me, if the house (otherwise) is that nice, and all, this would be money well spent considering you'd be living there for quite some time ...
PPS: And DO keep whatever paperwork and notes you 'collect' during this process. It could prove useful when you go to sell the home should you end up buying it. And if the CURRENT seller wants to see what you have, share it w/them for at least half the $$$. They may already be 'aware' of the 'bad news' but want it confirmed. If they don't want to pay, just tell them to hire their own Pro.