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Upgrades Aren't Required

September 01, 2002

Home buyers need to be alert to some facts in today's residential market.

First, the majority of homes for sale were built (in the Valley and much of Los Angeles) in the 1950s and 1960s. Thus, even if a home has been upgraded, it is still a 40-to 50-year-old (or older) home. It may have obsolete but functional features such as galvanized plumbing, wood shingle roofing, evaporative air cooling system and acoustical ceilings.

The seller is under no obligation to replace any of these systems unless it is nonfunctional, damaged or hazardous. Nor is the seller obligated to credit the buyer the funds to upgrade any of these features.

Buyers' agents should make this clear up front to avoid serious conflicts after a home inspection. The most contentious part of a real estate sale is the demand buyers often make to upgrade or replace obsolete features.

SOL TAYLOR

Sherman Oaks

The writer is a real estate agent.

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