Buying a home can be stressful, especially in Southern California where the competition is aggressive! Drafting up a request for repairs can make the whole process seem even more stressful. However, buyers need to keep in mind that in most cases they are not buying a new home. So when making your requests for repairs focus on safety and livability issues, and try to avoid cosmetic or minor repairs. Here are 6 repairs to try and avoid.
1. Outdoor landscaping, porch and fence repairs
During the first and second showings any issues with the landscaping, fence, and outdoor areas were visible, and therefore should have been settled in the initial offer and negotiations. It is not a good idea to ask for things that were obvious like weathered paint on the porch or sod replacement.
The obvious exception to this is if the repair is necessary as a part of the loan process such as in an FHA or USDA loan.
2. Hairline cracks in the driveway or walkways
Here’s the thing . . . concrete cracks over time, it expands and contracts with temperature changes and this will eventually cause cracks. As long as the cracks are minor and not a nuisance, avoid listing them on the request for repairs.
However, if the breaks are raised or are over a quarter inch, it would be wise to have a structural inspection to cover all of your bases. Structural cracks are a whole new ballgame.
3. Minor plumbing & electrical issues
Usually a whole-home inspection will include simple electrical and plumbing issues in the report, such as an upside down outlet or a loose toilet lever, these issues are more cosmetic than safety concerns and should not be listed as part of your request for repairs.
4. Cosmetic issues
Chances are you are not buying new construction, and the home you are putting an offer on was built years ago. Normal wear and tear should be expected in any resale home, and so we recommend leaving uneven paint of stained baseboards off your request for repairs.
5. Easy repairs under $15.00
You’re a homeowner now! Time to put your DIY hat on and head over the the hardware store. Inspectors will usually come back with a myriad of quick and inexpensive fixes. Choose your battles and avoid frustrating the sellers by fixing these simple repairs yourself.
6. Failed Window Seal Replacement
This repair comes back to the fact that you are not buying a new home. Window seals fail over time with use, and unless the window is under warranty most sellers will not want to incur the cost of fixing them.
Remember when thinking about your request for repairs always keep perspective. A whole-home inspection will come back with a laundry list of repairs, big and small. Focus on the safety of the home, and the health of the structures and systems.