Just about to sign a purchase agreement on a park in Texas. The exceptional hard freeze we had has killed some large trees ((pines being evergreen that now suddenly aren’t green are a dead (pardon the pun) giveaway)). My concern is, over the next few months we may see hardwoods that are dead and prevalent in the park. How should I handle that to be fair to the seller and myself since any damage done has already occurred, but I haven’t purchased the park yet? Keep money in escrow at closing for 6 months in case tree removal expense is required? Other ideas?
I would certainly start with a professional opinion (or two)— get an arborist out there to do a survey of the trees. We have a clause in our P&S that if an act of nature of this sort occurs with damages over $X, we have an out. That runs up until closing day.
In reality, maybe it’s a cost that is split between you. Or the seller could tell you to pound sand and it’ll be on you to run or stay.
I would negotiate a repair escrow reserve account. Whereby the Seller funds the reserve account to X dollars. You have Y number of months to either have dead trees removed or refund the seller their money.
You will have to negotiate all the details, but that is one approach I have used in the past.
We purchased a park in 2017 that had trees everywhere. Huge silver maples that were intruding into our sewer lines and pines that were either dead or looked like they were about to uproot. We asked for a $30k reduction on the selling price. The seller agreed and we left it at that. To date, I’d estimate that we have spent right around $30K total for tree removal.
As others have suggested, get a licensed arborist to assess the situation and get some quotes. We got this park at a major discount so it still made sense. However, I’m not sure that I would buy another park that had this many trees because the price on tree removal goes up every year and for us, even the “good” trees are now creating problems.
Trees are beautiful but they are a menace. But, as long as you understand the costs and can verify this with an estimate, a price reduction should be a no-brainer for you and the seller.