Help!! I'm in the process of selling my home (permitted in 1984, and finaled in 1985)located in Phoenix AZ. My buyer's home inspector wants me to install GFI circuits in the kitchen and garage. My question is " When were GFIs for these locations adapted by the NEC/UBC and when did City Inspectors start enforcing this??
I was not the original owner, I purchased the home in 1996, so this was a pre-existing scenario. Do I have to fix this? Thanks for any guidence, Erik
My experience shows that if the home inspector finds issues the buyer will look for a free fix. Under the NEC you have no obligation whatsoever to fix this. Weather or not there are local issues concerning this I don't know. If this is all it takes to get the sale done I would likely do it. If this is a case of the buyer trying to squeeze you for anything they can I would tell them take it as is or walk.
Unless some one is from your city, then I don't think that anyone can help you. Now let me explain. Here in NJ, A home inspector can not make a seller bring his home up to the modern electrical code. However there may be a city law which states that certain things must be met in order to sell a home. For example, the smoke detectors must be wired and in operating condition, there must be GFCI receptacles in the kitchen, etc. This must be a law and on the town/city laws. I would call the city and ask them if there is a law that makes you bring the home up to code. Then ask for a copy of that law. Let your lawyers review it to make sure that it is a legal law. I have had many home inspectors try to make me bring old houses up to code. Now don't get me wrong, bringing an old home up to code is not a bad thing. It is actually rather good. However the new homeowner must be aware that they are buying a home that needs some work, and that they will bring the house up to the modern codes.
I do a lot of real-estate work. And it is increasing due to the increasing popularity of Homie Inspection Services. The original purpose of these services was to warn of any serious structural damage of impending failure of mechanical systems. However it has evolved into an exhaustive inspection, which includes many unnecessary (nit-picking) recommendations. This helps inflate the cost of the inspection and justify the expense. (I personally have seen the average cost of recomended electrical repairs rise from $100-200.00 to over $500.00 in the course of 3 years.) However, some of the buyers are expecting to buy a 30 year old house in brand new condition. Remember that any recommended repairs are negotiable, but as tsolanto said, don't let the deal fall through for a few (or even several hundred) dollars worth of electrical work
Re: Residential GFI's @ Kitchen & Garage#81860 10/04/0201:54 AM10/04/0201:54 AM
Home inspectors and cities can not force a seller to comply with any building code.
The purpose of a home inspector is to advise the purchaser as to what he believes is not up to some unspecified standard.
The purchaser has the right to negotiate or walk away. The seller has the right to negotiate or walk away. Personally, as a seller I would never fix any "defect" nor would I lower my price based on the "defects". The house is sold as is where is.
Cities never have a right of inspection at the time of sale only when work requiring a permit is performed.
Re: Residential GFI's @ Kitchen & Garage#81861 10/04/0208:59 AM10/04/0208:59 AM
George: Some cities/twp's etc., here in NJ have a CCO (Continued Certificate of Occupancy) requirement; it applies to commercial and residential properties in most locales. At or before the change in ownership/occupancy an inspection is required. Electric, Plumbing, Fire, Building, Etc. A fee is charged for the CCO application. The inspections are non-invasive, visual. Any blatant violations are cited and required to be repaired. Yes, the repairs have to be "Permitted" and inspected. Repairs can be made by the homeowner, or a contractor, but a Permit is required.
Further details of this can be discussed here or by e-mail.