Rethinking the full-price offer

Buyer loses bargaining power upon defect discovery

Q: I am a first-time homebuyer. The asking price was $275,000, and I offered the whole thing. The home is in my son's school district and one of the only nice ones that have come up in months. I didn't want to lose out on the opportunity. However, the inspector found a few major problems, and my Realtor and I were present for the inspection. First: The roof needs replacing. Second: The seller's husband (who is now deceased) finished the basement himself. Apparently it isn't up to code and no permits were pulled. The inspector found no floating walls near the furnace. The dryer vent blows into the crawl space. There is no firewall or insulation near the hot water heater. The cold air combustion vent needs to be lengthened, and several other small problems exist. Third: The man did all electrical additions himself. There are many copper (but coated) wires hanging, and many ground circuits are not there. The seller agreed to fix the roof and electrical, but not the basement...