Monday, November 06, 2006

Closing: Last Minute Negotiations

Here's an interesting dilemma. Remember my DIY vs. PAY rule? This time the question is not exactly whether to do it myself or pay someone else. It's whether to wait a week for the condo sponsor to do it, thereby delaying my closing further, OR accept a credit at closing to deal with having the work done on my own. (DIN vs. ATB: Do It Now vs. Avoid the Bullsh*t)
They're painting and installing the window and doing most of what I have asked for them to do. But the floor needs to be refinished in spots due to some damage during the construction. The floor guys the sponsor uses won't be able to do it right away... so should I just hire my own person who can do it right after I close?
Part of the reason I ended up deciding to buy this condo was that it would all be new and I wouldn't have to deal with having work done. The idea of renovating kind of appeals to me, but it's a total pain in the neck, especially for a woman living alone. But on the other hand, a credit of a few thousand dollars is very attractive to me! So I called in the family construction network again, to see what it would cost me to get this work done. Turns out that my connections-- and an all-cash payment-- will get me a price of WAY less than the credit I'm being offered, even when you factor in the cost of owning the place for a few days while it's unavailable to me to actually live in. So I think I'm going to take the money and run!


Anonymous said...

Good Idea. If you have the estimate and can find it for less, take the money and run!

mOOm said...

I'd do it and get rid of the annoying apartment construction people.... on the other hand are there any warranty issues involved if they do the work themselves? I know my brother moved into new construction and there were ongoing issues for a long time. But if you accept their deal now and something else comes up could that be an issue?

Anonymous said...

Excellent point about the warranty- you will most likely be accepting the condo "as is" if you choose to take the credit. Could still be worth it, but ask a lot of questions about what happens 1 week, 1 month later when/if you have a problem.

Anonymous said...

I think it depends on how bad the flaws are and whether you plan to do the work before you move in or later.

I lived in a house that needed floor work done and never got around to refinishing until I prepared it for sale. They turned out so beautiful and I never got to enjoy them myself, because as a single woman, I never had the energy to plan the work, including moving all my furniture out, and organize myself to squat elsewhere while I waited for them to be ready for me to move back in.

I can't tell if you actually closed yet - If it were me and I could swing it, I would draw on that near-empty well of patience, delay closing and wait for them to do it right rather than move in. Construction companies rely on your eagerness to get in there to get away with sub-standard work.

One of the other things I've found in my most recent home purchase (just moved in 4 months ago), I settled for a lot of things that I thought were simple little fixes (electrical outlet doesn't work, broken sprinkler, etc.). I found that the things that weren't fixed before the sale of the house weren't fixed for a reason: there was some other underlying problem much bigger than what seemed like a minor problem. Let's hope this is not your case with construction damange to the floors...

Back to delaying close if you can... I have also had a new construction house, and it took more than a year for me to get my oven working through the company because once I took possession, they held all the cards and I was continuously pushed to the back burner.

It's not the penny, it's the point!

IRA said...

I agree with anonymous above. Delay the closing and have the builder refinish the floors. If they break something while they're in there, you won't have any arguments about who is responsible for fixing what. I mentioned in a previous post all of the issues that I needed to resolve after I moved in. Every time one of the contractors fixed one thing on the punch list, they messed up something else. I think all told, they repaired and repainted the same wall 3 times. Also, if you use your own person, that person may need to coordinate or work around your builder's construction schedule. In my current condo building, you have to schedule construction with the management company (reserve the elevator, get permission to park near the building to drop off materials, have the building engineer monitor the work, etc.). It's a heck of a lot easier to have the builder do all of that for you. Just my two cents worth.