June 6th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
So in this post I will talk about my experience with “Lender Required Repairs”.
I was not able to get this copy of appraisal from my mortgage man until after the fact. Had I read what was above and was able to point at the pictures that were attached – my experience may have a changed a little bit. So that would be my first suggestion: Demand a copy of the appraisal that outlines the lender required repairs before the seller’s contractor does the work so everyone is clear about what needs to be completed.
My experience was this: Someone in the process took the above items and made a list to send out to bid to three contractors. One contractor came in with the lowest bids. The owners of this property – the bank- was supposed to approve the work and the contractor in 24 hours, three days later it was Thursday and the contractor was told he had to be done by Monday! That had two huuuuge repercussions for me.
1. Until that point, I had been told that only two items were required to fix, the moss on the roof and strapping down the water heater. The list that went out for bid included interior finishes such as carpet, tile and flooring in the kitchen, bathroom and dining room. The owner was going to pay for the repairs but I had no previous knowledge of these repairs and therefore had no previous time to try to help guide product selection.
2. Once the contractor received the go ahead, he did not care about anything except getting the job done. I was also told that the bank had approved contractors in the area they would only do work with. I’m not sure this is true; if I could do it all again, I would have sat down with everyone involved and ask that I be given the opportunity to submit names of contractors I trusted.
The following Friday morning I met the contractor at the house and asked that he do everything that did not require an interior material to buy me time to pick materials out with my limited time frame. He agreed as long as he wasn’t expected to buy any of those additional materials. I stupidly agreed and off I went to the ReBuilding Center in North Portland. Luck would bring me a pile of flooring tiles, still in their boxes and in great shape, next I ran off to EcoHaus to pick up a marmoleum remnant so no new flooring for the bathroom had to be purchased. Lastly I ran into our local contractor supply showroom and picked out some slate to bring to the house for the hearth and entry repair. I did not have time to pick out suitable reclaimed or sustainable flooring in the two bedrooms and sadly, cheap carpet had been included in the bid and so cheap carpet is what was installed (horrible). Sunday morning brought an early trip back to the showroom to purchase the slate, a trip to the distributer to pick it up and a stop off at the house to unload the car full of items….that’s when I opened my car door in front of the house and smelled the bleach that had been poured over the roof to kill the moss, I saw the contractor beginning to install a sink over a moldy patch in the bathroom and the nightmare continued. I went back to check on the progress Sunday night assuming that it would be crunch time but the house was empty before 5pm. Problem after problem continued and on Monday afternoon when the work wasn’t done the contractor blamed me for having not brought him the materials in time for him to finish in time. Thank goodness i took pictures on Sunday to prove he wasn’t there.
Below are pictures from the process and the results of the horrible workmanship.
Sunday Night’s Surprise Progress
In the end, the contractor “finished” by Wednesday, I had to sign that the repairs were done because my rate lock was expiring and i wasn’t willing to pay for that and the bank claims that they sent the appraiser back through to check on all the repairs. I can’t prove whether he/she did or not but I can prove that some of the items on the list were never done, like cleaning the existing carpets and fixing the damaged siding, and I can also prove that the work that was done was poorly done.
I guess the moral of this post is that no matter who you have on your team during the buying process, make sure YOU cover all your own bases. I wish i had heard a horror story like this so I could have brought it to my agent and said “I do NOT want this experience, please help”. It’s a double edged sword to have someone else pay for repairs on something you are agreeing to buy. If i had had more time and knowledge, i could have more easily procured product for the contractor to install before the deadline, I could have appropriately used the budget that was being allocated for each project to the contractor and educated him on more appropriate methods of doing work and product selection instead of incurring the extra cost of products myself .
After taking ownership of the house, i called and asked the contractor to come fix some of his mistakes. To his credit – he sent a weekend warrior out who tried his best but I would still never work with or recommend this company to anyone.