Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ask Erin: Requests for Repairs

I was asked recently by one of my buyer clients if the seller of the subject property was "responsible" for replacing all of the old galvanized plumbing pipes with new copper pipe. The property my client is purchasing is a little cottage in Fair Oaks built in approximately 1941...galvanized pipe was the standard when the home was built, however newer homes are generally plumbed using copper pipe, or flexible "pex" pipe.

So let me Real Property transactions in the State of California (other states may vary), the only state or local requirement that mandates a seller to bring anything in a home up to a higher standard applies to making sure there are operable smoke detectors in a home, and that the water heater is braced with seismic retraints. Aside from those two items, almost anything else is fair game for negotiation, but the seller is certainly not "responsible" to repair or update anything.

In short, a seller is not required by any mandate to bring a house built using old or out-of-date building code standards (or older-type building materials) up to current standards when selling the subject property. If you absolutely want a house built to current code and with up-to-date building materials, you may not want to purchase an older home...

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