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  Broken truss in AZ home - will this deter buyers?
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Broken truss in AZ home - will this deter buyers? Sign In/Join 
posted
Hi all,

My wife and I are looking to buy our first home. We settled on the Scottsdale/North Scottsdale area in Arizona.

After a long search we finally found a nice ranch in an older part of North Scottsdale. We put in an offer, seller accepted and we went on with the inspection. The inspection turned up a number of issues, the biggest being subterranean termites (isolated to one area where there was an addition done) and a broken truss in the attic.

The seller is not willing to pay for a structural engineer to asses the truss and draw up repairs, simply pay a GC to fix it. However I know the right thing to do is have an engineer in there first. Knowing this, we would have to pay for that out of pocket.

If I have a structural engineer sign off on the truss repairs and have the termites treated...how much would this impact a future buyers decision to purchase this home?

Seeing as I will have to list these things on a disclosure form I'm worried that it would scare off potential buyers; especially in Arizona where my realtor said she hasn't seen a broken truss in her 20+ years of experience.

Thoughts???

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nick M,
 
Posts: 6 | Location: Scottsdale, AZ | Registered: Oct 01, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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Wow, I hope it has a great price! In SC termite repair is the seller's problem and so is the truss. Once they are repaired I would pay for a 2nd inspection. For future sale of the property, they have both been corrected and are stated as such in the disclosure.

Keeping a termite system in place or a contract for regular inspections with a transferrable termite bond will solve future resale issues.

About the truss. How good was your inspector and what did he/she say about the problem with the truss? Any idea why it failed? Is it indicative of a larger problem? Your agent should discuss your concerns with their agent. For the seller it is now a known defect that must be disclosed. Not knowing what or how it failed it is hard to say whether or not an engineer is needed to assess the problem and determine the best course of repair.

Just this week an agent in our office mentioned a home inspection where the inspector found a truss in the garage that had 2 lag bolts installed. The inspector (very knowledgeable and not one of the johnny come latelys to the business) said it would most likely require a sister truss married to it to reinforce the compromised truss. But this one was just weakened by an idiotic home owner, not broken.

Sorry, I don't have the answer - but I hope this helps get you directed. Please keep us posted.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,


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Posts: 3564 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Repaired damage would not bother me when buying unless the cause of the damage is not fully explained.

Broken truss is a vague term. Broken fastener (they would all have to be inspected), cracked wood (maybe cracked when dumped at delivery or?), or maybe a delamination. As a buyer I would want an explanation as well as what was done to repair.
 
Posts: 7099 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Charming:
Wow, I hope it has a great price! In SC termite repair is the seller's problem and so is the truss. Once they are repaired I would pay for a 2nd inspection. For future sale of the property, they have both been corrected and are stated as such in the disclosure.

Keeping a termite system in place or a contract for regular inspections with a transferrable termite bond will solve future resale issues.

About the truss. How good was your inspector and what did he/she say about the problem with the truss? Any idea why it failed? Is it indicative of a larger problem? Your agent should discuss your concerns with their agent. For the seller it is now a known defect that must be disclosed. Not knowing what or how it failed it is hard to say whether or not an engineer is needed to assess the problem and determine the best course of repair.

Just this week an agent in our office mentioned a home inspection where the inspector found a truss in the garage that had 2 lag bolts installed. The inspector (very knowledgeable and not one of the johnny come latelys to the business) said it would most likely require a sister truss married to it to reinforce the compromised truss. But this one was just weakened by an idiotic home owner, not broken.

Sorry, I don't have the answer - but I hope this helps get you directed. Please keep us posted.


I would say the price is about 2.5% below market...so not THAT great.

The seller has agreed to have the termites treated at her expense but is not willing to pay the extra $125 for a 4 year warranty (totally shocked they wont pay $125 for the warranty!).

Our inspector is pretty good, he came highly recommended and did a good job of uncovering a lot of issues. He basically said that it needs to be addressed by a structural engineer and when he showed my the pictures I agreed. It's not simply a cracked truss, it was split clean in half and then rigged up with scrap wood. I have tried to get my agent to poll the seller for ANY and ALL information they have regarding the broken truss (how, when, why did it break). Unfortunately the seller is claiming they knew nothing about it. As you mentioned, my larger concern is for how and why it broke. Is there a larger structural issue at play here?

I'm just not sure what to do...

The seller wont pay for an engineer, if I hire one and he says there is a larger issue I'm still no better off. Granted the seller would pay to repair but I personally wouldn't buy a home with large structural issues even if it were repaired and I'm out over $1,000 for an engineer.

Hypothetically if it's just a matter of repairing the trust my concern goes back to the potential resale of the home. The disclosure form might read like a red flag list:

-Hail damage - new roof put on in Dec. 2010
-Subterranean termites found and treated 9/13
-Broken truss identified and repaired with engineers approval

Would that scare away anyone here?
 
Posts: 6 | Location: Scottsdale, AZ | Registered: Oct 01, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by metwo:
Repaired damage would not bother me when buying unless the cause of the damage is not fully explained.

Broken truss is a vague term. Broken fastener (they would all have to be inspected), cracked wood (maybe cracked when dumped at delivery or?), or maybe a delamination. As a buyer I would want an explanation as well as what was done to repair.


Thats part of the issue, the seller is claiming no knowledge of how the truss broke. It's not just a crack either, the board split clean in half.

Attached the inspectors photos.



 
Posts: 6 | Location: Scottsdale, AZ | Registered: Oct 01, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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Not knowing your market and the unwillingness of the seller to work with you, I would not be adverse to suggesting to a buyer to swallow what you're out so far and move on.

I'm not a builder or engineer but to my untrained eye it looks like the wood had a flaw that should have been caught at the factory. Someone, current owner? original owner? builder? found and did a really sloppy repair.

As for the roof - that is a selling point. I don't see a need to disclose why it was replaced because you have a roof installed in 2010.

As for the termites - like I mentioned previously - show it happened, was fixed and you now carry a termite bond.

The truss is worry some to me, but I do stress over these things. I'm not sure what to suggest. You really need to go with your gut on this one. What is your Realtor suggesting?


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Posts: 3564 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Charming:
The truss is worry some to me, but I do stress over these things. I'm not sure what to suggest. You really need to go with your gut on this one. What is your Realtor suggesting?


My Realtor called last night saying that she had an upset stomach over the truss...that frightens me a little.
 
Posts: 6 | Location: Scottsdale, AZ | Registered: Oct 01, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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I think you should suggest getting both of the brokers involved. A lot depends on how much you love the house at this point, if you need to really move quickly or if you have time to find another house.

I don't know the laws in AZ so, I would defer to the brokers. The broken truss is a significant structural defect, IMHO. The seller's agent needs to remind their client that the truss is now a known defect and could seriously impact selling the house.

One other - you mentioned in your original post - significant issues. What else besides the truss and termites? Are they bad outlet in the 3rd bedroom type?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,


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Posts: 3564 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Charming:
I think you should suggest getting both of the brokers involved. A lot depends on how much you love the house at this point, if you need to really move quickly or if you have time to find another house.

I don't know the laws in AZ so, I would defer to the brokers. The broken truss is a significant structural defect, IMHO. The seller's agent needs to remind their client that the truss is now a known defect and could seriously impact selling the house.

One other - you mentioned in your original post - significant issues. What else besides the truss and termites? Are they bad outlet in the 3rd bedroom type?


Some of the other issues were no grounds on the GFCI's in bathrooms and missing conduit for the wiring in the kitchen island.

I hired a structural engineer and he's going in tomorrow morning to investigate the truss and any other area that may have been effected by the broken truss. However, the seller has said that no matter what he finds they are only willing to pay for the repair of the single truss.

If he finds anything else we'll be washing our hands of this one!
 
Posts: 6 | Location: Scottsdale, AZ | Registered: Oct 01, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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After looking at your px I do not see the truss issue as anything significant but for your own piece of mind it is good to have it checked.

All the problems are what is to expected on an average inspection. You could just look some more but do not expect any house to be perfect.
 
Posts: 7099 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Finally some good news! The engineer said the only issue was the single broken truss, no other areas have been compromised. He is drawing up the repair and the GC will have it early next week.

The engineer was only $450 to examine, draft a report, draw the repair and reinspect after the repair. Money WELL spent for peace of mind! I'm just glad we were able to come to terms with the seller.

Thanks for all of the input, hopefully this discussion will help guide some folks in the future.
 
Posts: 6 | Location: Scottsdale, AZ | Registered: Oct 01, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That is good news! Smile. Thanks for reporting back.
 
Posts: 7099 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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Great news! I know that is peace of mind for you and your wife. After reading your earlier posts, I went and checked on trusses and you definitely did the correct thing. Trusses are systems and it is recommended that an engineer inspect and draw any repair plans; not just slap up a board as was done by someone in the past.


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Posts: 3564 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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