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Permits in the city are less expensive than the county and all the surrounding towns, because all the contractors/business owners have to pay an additional $75-$100 a year, just to be able to pull permits and work in the city limits. Believe me, they get their money.

I know it's different in other areas, but this is the way in works here.
A permit for the above work in Phila would cost $50, inspection would be $90 and it would take at least 4 hours of total time to obtain. (includes travel back and forth)
 

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A permit for the above work in Phila would cost $50, inspection would be $90 and it would take at least 4 hours of total time to obtain. (includes travel back and forth)
That sucks dude. Sounds like a lot of un-permitted jobs probably go on around there.
 

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BlackWhale49
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Pete m. said:
A former co-worker (and friend) is looking to sell her house and the whole house inspector said that the FPE sub-panel in her garage needed replaced. Since I don't price jobs and am not a contractor I was wondering what would be a fair price to offer the prospective buyer for replacement? Pete
Unless she's really motivated to sell, tell her to tell the buyer "No" to the panel change out. Sell it as is. The inspector puts anything and everything down. If you're friend has lived in the house with no issues why all of a sudden would there be issues for the new owner? If she's motivated tell her $250-400. That wouldn't cover the replacement of the panel but you're trying to help your friend sell the house not the buyer. If she is actually going to have the work done herself, $550-750. I know $200 is a large range but you didn't give all the factors. If the wiring is to code, another option is to just change the breakers. There are companies who make a replacement breaker for FPE. Might cost $125-250 depending on the breakers needed.
 

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Is this a city code or just an inspectors opinion? some places required a service to be upgraded from a 60 amp Edison box to a 100 amp minimum breaker box before being allowed to sell. I bet this is just a cautious inspector.

Most of what these inspectors say are only recommendations, buyers can heed them or not. If it can be fixed and save you from discounting the house by too much then you do it - if the seller does not want the hassle then they should offer $500 off the selling price. (or whatever is deemed fair).

The buyers insurance company can have a say so at this point along with the bank depending on the mortgage type, if an FHA mortgage says no lead paint, no rotten wood, or no FPE panel then it can not be bought until rectified, or in some cases an escrow fund is set up using seller cash back at closing.
 

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Didn't really answer my question

Why does it need to be replaced ?

It looks in good condition

Is it too small for the house ?

Just trying to understand why
The FPE panel was deemed unsafe because of the breakers failing to trip or trip fast enough. I don't think it was every single FPE panel but enough that people don't trust them. Some insurance companies have them flagged as unsafe and will not provide coverage if a house has one.
 

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I have always heard about insurance companies that denied coverage due to FPE panels but have never seen it first hand, or know anybody that has. I don't doubt that it is not true but a quick phone call to a local insurance provider should answer that in a few minutes.
 

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A former co-worker (and friend) is looking to sell her house and the whole house inspector said that the FPE sub-panel in her garage needed replaced.

Since I don't price jobs and am not a contractor I was wondering what would be a fair price to offer the prospective buyer for replacement?

Pete
Its most likely that you friend the seller will have to replace it or give credit(money) to the buyer.
 

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Petulant Amateur
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Is it necessary to have a home inspection prior to selling a house? Isn't it usually done as a condition of sale, sometimes required by the mortgage company?
 

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Is it necessary to have a home inspection prior to selling a house? Isn't it usually done as a condition of sale, sometimes required by the mortgage company?
When the seller has a home inspection she/he wants to know if it can be sold to the fullest value.
 

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Unless she's really motivated to sell, tell her to tell the buyer "No" to the panel change out. Sell it as is. The inspector puts anything and everything down. If you're friend has lived in the house with no issues why all of a sudden would there be issues for the new owner? If she's motivated tell her $250-400. That wouldn't cover the replacement of the panel but you're trying to help your friend sell the house not the buyer. If she is actually going to have the work done herself, $550-750. I know $200 is a large range but you didn't give all the factors. If the wiring is to code, another option is to just change the breakers. There are companies who make a replacement breaker for FPE. Might cost $125-250 depending on the breakers needed.
No wonder our prices are going down, panel replacement are around $1500-$1800. If you sell as is expect 15% to 20% lower of the total sell
 

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Electrical Simpleton
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Discussion Starter #33
Didn't really answer my question

Why does it need to be replaced ?

It looks in good condition

Is it too small for the house ?

Just trying to understand why
The "whole house inspector" (read this to mean - someone following a checklist, most likely not someone with an actual electrical background), on behalf of the prospective buyer, flagged it to be replaced because of all the negative things associated with FPE and solely because it is an FPE.

It is a small sub-panel located in the garage. It is not the service for the house.

Pete
 

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Electrical Simpleton
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Discussion Starter #34
I missed that - the seller called for a home inspection, it makes since to spend a few hundred to make sure your total is maximized before the buyer rips it to shreds.
The seller (my friend) did not call for the inspection. The prospective buyer did.

The advice I give, If I'm asked, is if you want an inspection on a home that you're looking to buy or sell contact a professional contractor in the discipline... i.e. electrician, plumber, HVAC tech, roofer, structural.

This will cost more but I think you're money is better spent than using a one man show that follows a checklist.

Pete
 
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Discussion Starter #35
Is it necessary to have a home inspection prior to selling a house? Isn't it usually done as a condition of sale, sometimes required by the mortgage company?
It could sometimes be required by the mortgage company or even the insurance underwriter but a lot of times either the buyer or seller will want it.

Pete
 

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The seller (my friend) did not call for the inspection. The prospective buyer did.

The advice I give, If I'm asked, is if you want an inspection on a home that you're looking to buy or sell contact a professional contractor in the discipline... i.e. electrician, plumber, HVAC tech, roofer, structural.

This will cost more but I think you're money is better spent than using a one man show that follows a checklist.

Pete
I would concede five hundred bucks for the panel replacement. I sold a house once where there were very minor deficiencies, some even cosmetic. There were about twenty items. The purchaser wanted them fixed. I refused but the realtor got it down to about five manageable items. If you make repairs, then the purchaser can still come back and complain if he/she doesn't like the repairs. With a cash concession, it's quick and easy.
 

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I would concede five hundred bucks for the panel replacement. I sold a house once where there were very minor deficiencies, some even cosmetic. There were about twenty items. The purchaser wanted them fixed. I refused but the realtor got it down to about five manageable items. If you make repairs, then the purchaser can still come back and complain if he/she doesn't like the repairs. With a cash concession, it's quick and easy.
I absolutely 100% agree - we call that cash back at closing or just a discount but either way it is the cleanest way to do it.
 

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I guess personally I don't put much faith into independent house inspectors to begin with. Some have little to no construction background. Now if this was the city electrical inspector telling her that it needs to be removed then I guess I'd buy into this situation providing there is a legitimate reason. As long as that panel has a UL listing I don't know of anyone that could make you take it out. I don't recall FPE having any recall to there product in the past. Granted it may not be the best panel of choice but I would want to know WHY it needs to be replaced. Haven't gotten that answer yet.
 

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I've replaced a lot of these types of panels in my time since many apartments buildings around here use FPE for their sub-panels.

While it is a little bit harder to do when cables are coming in from both the top and bottom, it's not really that big of a deal. The panel in the picture looks like only one cable coming in the bottom so it would be very easy.

That's typically a 2 hour job but a sub-panel is something you can put a bit of a premium on. I would typically charge around $550, although I have gone as low as $400 each when I had 10+ to do.
 
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