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Question DetailsAsked on 12/25/2016

House hunting, found jagged 2" hole between new shower and sink. Cause?

Enclosed porch, LR, DR, and kitchen look new. Rest of place looks very old and in need of repairs. Could there have been a leak and wood rot before the renovation or since? How much will a home inspector be able to tell us without pulling out the vanity or the drywall? Also heard from a neighbor that the whole section of the house that appears new is new, while nothing is mentioned of updates, other than enclosed porch, on county report card. Please advise, should we run from the thought of buying a possible money pit?

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2 Answers

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A 2" hole I certainly would not think wood rot would be the problem - and even if so, a 2" holeis nothing to worry about as long as the water source was located and shut off.


A close visual look should identify if it was cut with a sabre or sawzall type saw, drywall penetrating saw, utility knife, or teeth. IF by any but the last then probably previously had wiring or a pipe running through it.


IF teeth marks then maybe some critter (probably mouse with that size hole) got trapped in there one time or chewed its way in along a cable run or such - but at worst you put out traps and eliminate the mice. If you did not notice droppings around perimeter of rooms or in basement/crawlspace could have been a LONG time ago.


If this hole is through the side of the vanity in the direction of the new shower, likely there was piping running through there to old shower or maybe a washing machine or wash tub or such - even a connection for water from under the sink to a portable washing machine or an old wringer washer, if house is that old. It is VERY common to have holes cut through the side or back of vanities to run piping to washers, bathtubs, wash tubs, etc. which were added after the house was originally built. Could even have been for a temporary water connection whilethe house was being remodeled.


Certainly a 2" hole I would not worry about - just plan on plugging it up or even (if totally out of site) just taping it over with duct tape and call it good - no reason to consider the house a lemon because of that one tiny item.


As for the addition/remodel - might be an idea to check city/county building department records, especially if code enforcement is tight in your area, to see that the house as it stands matches what their building permit records show. However, interior remodels (flooring, cabients, countertops, appliances, interior finishes like paint and wallpaper, drywall treatments, panelling, etc) in many areas do NOT need a building permit to be done, and even in those areas commonly do not if a DIY job by the homeowner - so it is quite possible that a significant remodel could be done (provided there were no signficant electrical, plumbing, or structural modifications) without a building permit required - leaving only the enclosed porch as needing a building permit when it was done.


NOTE - you generally do NOT have a right to ask the city/county out to see if the building as it sits was permitted properly, UNLESS you make such an inspection part of your contingency list, but that would be very rare for a residential (as opposed to commercial, where that is fairly common) building. But nothing prevents you from having them pull the file and show you what has been permitted in the past at that address. And if the neighbor says the "new" portion was built as a new addition certainly you do not want to be trapped into possible code violations built into that area. Plus, if the addition is not reflected on the assessors files, then the property taxes currently showing on the property may be well below what you will pay if it gets reassessed after the sale.


One other clue - get your realtor to pull the OLD MLS info on the property (if possible in your area) from the previous sale, and see if the number of rooms, square footage, etc has gone up on that since the last sale or since the last real property tax assessor's statement.


OF course, the old part needing fixing up your inspector can help identify significant issues with - if he comes up with a lot of deficiencies then (within the timeframe allowed by the contract), you might want a general contractor to take a look at it and give you an estimate for fixing it up to the level you would intend to do shortly after closing, so you have a ballpark on how much it could cost you.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD

0
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Hi,

This is Erick in Member Care. Thanks for your interest in Angie's List!

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Answered 1 year ago by Member Services




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