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Purchased home 2005, nothing went well during this process. After 3 months in the house, roof was leaking, basement started showing cracks in the walls, leaks into the basement thru the walls and windows. Aug 2006, hired building engineer to give structural inspection. He found many issues of nondisclosure. 8/06 hired good attorney. Filed non disclosure against seller. Seller hires attorney in same building as my attorney. My inspectors find 45,000 dollars in damages. Her inspector says we are the cause of the damages. We are going to mediation next week. What am I to do? I am not sure whats going on and my attorney never answers any of my questions.
Long story short, I was told I could get an inspection or an appraisal. My realtor said get the appraisal it’s cheeper. So I did. I am a single woman and never purchased a house before. I was all new to this and I now know I was taken advantage of. The broker and the seller are friends and my broker fell through two days before I was to move out and into the house. Her (the seller) broker offered to help me and found me a loan etc.
But wait there’s more, the basement was freshly painted white, and crack filler was found in the basement. she left all the evidence behind. Also, when viewing the basement the first time I saw the house, she stated and signed a statement that there were no cracks or leaks. Then on 1/4/07 when she was here with her inspector and attorney she said (I have a witness who heard her clearly) “Those cracks were there when I purchased the house in 1991. I bought the house in 2005.

8 Thoughts on Home owner in mediation for non disclosure, I have alot of issues here?
  1. Reply
    Miss V
    February 27, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    If this was new construction sometimes the builder offers a one year warranty.

    Sellers have to disclose what they know. The person to sue would likely be the inspectors not the owner. Seller would know only if there is evidence of those problems you describe. That they only appeared 3 months after you took possession indicates that there is a problem that should have been discovered, but didn’t because of possible weather conditions.

  2. Reply
    February 27, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    The time to get an inspection is BEFORE you buy and make your offer contingent on an approved inspection. Inspecting it after you buy it is worthless. A buyer cannot disclose what they don’t know about, but a good inspector should be able to tell some things about the integrity of the property because they are a professional. Also, all houses have problems. Don’t turn your own buyer’s remorse into some lawsuit. It is up to you as the buyer to do your investigation prior to purchasing. If you did not have the home inspected prior to purchase, you will have a very difficult time proving the buyers hid anything from you because you didn’t do any due diligence on your end.

  3. Reply
    February 27, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Unless there is evidence of prior problems, you might be fighting a losing battle. Were there any indications of possible problems prior to settlement of the home?

    One important thing, did you get a home inspection prior to purchasing the home? Review what was in the report … also, your lawyer should have asked for a copy of that. If you did get the inspection, and you do not have the report, ask your agent for a copy. Even though the settlement was almost 2 years ago, they should still have copies of all paperwork relevant to the sale of the home.

    Your lawyer should be communicating with you, especially this close to the mediation. Are the lawyers working for the same firm or just in the same building? Keep calling the lawyer until you get all of your questions answered. He is getting paid to help you. Plus, you need to know the ins and outs of what will happen in the mediation prior to walking into the room.

    The neighbors of one of my clients are going through a similar situation. I know this can be stressful. Good Luck!

  4. Reply
    February 27, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    You would have to prove that the homeowner knew about any problems. Did you have an inspection before you purchased? That’s what inspections are for…to see whats wrong before buying.

  5. Reply
    kirsten h
    February 27, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    unless you had an inspection done PRIOR to buying the home, you are more than likely going to lose this case. You have to be able to PROVE damage was there BEFORE you purchased.

  6. Reply
    February 28, 2013 at 12:48 am

    If you waived your inspection rights, you’re going to have the difficult task to PROVE that the seller knew about the defects in question and intentionally did not disclose them. Sellers have the obligation to disclose defects they know about, but they don’t have the obligation to find all the defects for you. If you didn’t even become aware of any cracks/leaking until 3 months into your ownership, it seems perfectly reasonable that the seller wouldn’t know of anything to disclose.

    Foundations do move over time. If the foundation moved when you were the owner, it’s not due to any fault of the prior owner. If there were subtle signs that the foundation was starting to move prior to the sale, and you chose not to hire an insured, licensed inspector, its not the fault of the people that sold you the property.

    Basically I think if you can’t come to some settlement in mediation and take it to arbitration or litigation you’ll be wasting your time and money. Sorry, but you’re screwed.

  7. Reply
    [email protected]
    February 28, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Not only is the seller liable for non disclosure, but if what you say is true, the real estate company and the
    agent are also liable. Hang in there, you will win.

    I am a real estate broker – and non-disclosure is the biggest reason for legal issues in real estate

  8. Reply
    manny d
    February 28, 2013 at 1:11 am

    An attorney that doesn’t return calls, either has a bad billing system, they are a bad attorney or you may not be grouping your calls.

    Talk to the first home inspector (when you purchased the house). Did they take pictures? Did you real estate agent tell you don’t worry about that hole in the wall? Did the 1st inspector miss the hole? There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

    Go through the yellow pages and call the service companies that may have been called by the past owners for the current problems. Try to establish non-disclosure. I believe its very hard to prove unless you can find evidence the previous owner was well aware of the problem. Ask your insurance agent to pull a Clue Report. Maybe there was a past insurance claim. Proof is in the pudding.

    As for the $ 45K in damages, talk to licensed contractors they will be able to give quotes based on damage. I’m not certain an inspector has the proper credentials to estimate what it cost to fix the problem, they typically assess there is or isn’t a problem.

    Good luck!

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