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An ugly Decatur inspection

By March 22, 2007

The Decatur

Matt: I had a reader e-mail me about the inspection they had done on their Decatur unit (Decatur is a conversion on Pioneer Square by the Wysong Group who has done the conversions for the Press, Tobira and Windsor Court. It certainly does not sound good. Are there any other Decatur readers here? What did your inspections yield?

Here’s my take on the Decatur. The units are awesome. I have taken a look at many, many, many 1-bedroom units in the city for less than $275,000 and in my opinion the Decatur has them all beat on layout, square footage, and aesthetics. So I happily, and excitedly, put in an offer.

Then came the home inspection.

Be forewarned that although Wysong Group replaced the plumbing in individual units, they did not replace the plumbing throughout the whole building – and this is a problem. A very big problem. One of the sewage pipes is leaking and corroded at every joint in the garage (yep, it’s leaking waste onto the cars that dared to spend the $45k on a parking spot)…if it’s leaking where it’s exposed, does it leak through the whole building? Maybe. There are also 4 other signs of serious leaks throughout the garage – some so bad that they’ve created puddles on the ground from where the leak comes through the roof (again – how far up does this leak go? All the way to the top floor?). Finally, the 6 boilers that heat the bldg’s water are at the end of their ropes – one is a potential fire hazard.

Wysong has stated quite clearly that they will NOT be fixing theses problems.

So, where does that leave potential buyers? It leaves them with the very real possibility of a special assessment in HOD right off the bat to fix these problems. HOWEVER, keep in mind that there are 146 or so units in the building – any special assessment will be spread far and wide and shared
among many. Will the cost of this assessment (or, the potential thereof) – when added to the sale price – weigh heavy with buyers? I guess time will tell…

I own and manage Urban Living, a boutique Seattle and Bellevue real estate brokerage. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction, and mid-century moderns, but I will help you buy or sell just about anything!

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