Home Sinking

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I have no where to go with this and I'm seeking help.
It will be one year that I purchased my home at the end of this month. I had a home inspection done and there was mention of fixing 2 cracks in the basement. I had a representative from Basement Systems come to my house today for a quote and he said he wouldn't even touch my house. He stated that my house was sinking and he didn't know how it passed the home inspection. Now I'm really nervous and concerned and have no idea what to do now. Any advice anyone can lend would be greatly appreciated.
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Cristina62174 wrote:

That sound like a bad situation. Are these crack causing you any problem other than mental anquish? Was an inpection done before you purchased the house?
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The cracks aren't causing me any major problems. We had some very severe downpours for 4 days and I noticed water coming in which is why I began getting estimates. To fix the problem before it got worse. Well it just got worse!
Yes an inspection was done. He did metion the cracks due to settling but I'm pretty sure settling is much different then sinking. I have a friend who works for city hall and advised me that there is a whole file on my house and letters that the seller wrote to the city indicating this problem and seeking assistance from the city. So the sellers knew however on all the forms that they had to mention of problems the house had, they failed to mention any of this. I am so completely upset.
Thanks for your response!!!
Lawrence wrote:

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Well, there you go. Now all you have to do is track down an engineering company that can design, price, and execute a fix, locate the sellers, and sue their ass to pay for it. No problem.
(You didn't buy the house "as is", did you?)
--Goedjn
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Cristina62174 wrote:

You need an attorney, now. You are posting from Rhode Island, and assuming that is where the home is located you have state laws that require discloure of any material defects.
http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/statutes/TITLE5/5-20.8/5-20.8-2.HTM
File suit against the seller and the real estate agent for failure to disclose, and ask for damages sufficient to either repair the house or to recover any loss on sale, should you decide to sell it. Upon the advice of an attorney, referral to the RI Real Estate Commission may result in criminal charges against the agent and/or seller.
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Travis Jordan wrote:

Before someone goes off the deep end and starts not only a civil action, but criminal, don't you think it would be a good idea to get an opinion from a structural engineer? All the OP has is an opinion from "Basement Systems?", of unknown qualification. There are all kinds of basement waterproofing companies that run around spewing FUD, with no qualifications at all.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

That's not the crux of the legal issue. The problem is that the seller (and possibly the seller's agent) knew of a material defect in the property and did not disclose it as required by law. Now that the new owner knows of the defect they must disclose it to any potential buyers. Diminished value because of failure to disclose is a cause in and of itself.
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Cristina62174 wrote:

A lawsuit involving the home inspector would be a great place to start.....
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Cristina62174 wrote:

A lawsuit involving the home inspector would be a great place to start.....
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Cristina62174 wrote:

If you are serioius, a civil / structural engineer or a forensic engineer would be a help. A sub soil investigation will be needed to determin the bearing capacity of the soil. I would gather sales agreement, inspection reports, drawings of the house that you have. Building Department inspection reports with names of designers and contractors might be available. TB
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Cristina62174 wrote:

Get to a lawyer ASAP. You may only have one year to go after the inspector, in NJ it is two years for professional liability. Be prepared to make numerous calls before you find an attorney to help you, took me about 20 to find someone to help with a similar issue.
While you are looking for a lawyer also get a second opinion on the 'sinking house' diagnosis.
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Cristina62174 wrote:

of my basement and garage. I don't know about the poured concrete walls in the basement since they are covered by a stud wall, insulation, vapor barrier, and sheetrock. The floor cracks do not allow water into the basement or garage. Call the building inspector. Let him/her follow it up. His/her reputation is on the line, and he/she will put the blame on someone else.
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
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Cristina62174 wrote:

Step one is to make sure you get local legal advice at once to assure that you don't miss any deadline that might occur at one year. Repeat: Step one is to make sure you get local legal advice at once to assure that you don't miss any deadline that might occur at one year.
Step two involves discovering just how bad, not not so bad the situation is. For that you need someone especially qualified. There may be local regulations so be sure to check out those.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Cristina62174 wrote:

Who/what is "Basement Systems"? What expertise/license does the guy have? Did he put anything in writing? If there is nothing in writing, I'd think about getting them out again. Or similar contractor. What did he state as symptomatic that your home is "sinking"? Sounds a bit like "I'm too busy .. think I'll get rid of some customers" kind of day.
If there is a warranty on the purchase, I'd pay attention to the fine print about giving notice. Then I'd have a glass of wine and start looking for reputable contractors who can assess the problem and suggest corrective measures .. licensed, in writing, etc.
You got old coal mines or sink holes in the area? Underground rivers? Other homes "sinking"? Age of home? Type of construction? If the guy simply walked away, with no explanation or suggestions, it would not be the guy I'd want to start doing major construction on my house.
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Cristina62174 wrote:

First, the guy from "Basement Systems" may simply be wrong. How does he KNOW the basement/house is sinking. The building could have been in the state he first saw it for the past 50 years. So,
1. Find out why he says what he says, 2. Get someone else to confirm the diagnosis, preferably someone with impeccable credentials (civil engineering firm, etc.). 3. Line up a slew of notaries public for all the discovery, depositions, etc. that are in your future. 4. Start taking, and dating, pictures.
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HeyBub wrote:

Sort of my first thought too. How old is this house? If a house has a serious sinking foundation problem, you typically have floors out of level, doors that won't close and are obviously out of square, and major cracks in walls. Do you have any of that?
A friend of mine bought a house with all of the above in upstate NY 2 years ago. It was a 100 year old house at a great price and he knew the defects going in. It has out of square doors, and some floors out of level, but otherwise it's structurally sound and ain't gonna fall down anytime soon.
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Cristina62174 wrote:

I wouldn't take his work as gold. You need to higher a third party inspector, a soils engineer, etc. Don't take a subs word on it.
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Thank you for your input. I have a friend who works for a Property Lawyer and they gave the number of a very reputable company to call. They are coming to look at the property on Monday so I will see what he has to say. I did find a file in city hall on my property. Come to find out that the owners of this house back in 1974 signed a letter releasing the city from any and all water damages that occur to the house. It is in the deed. I cannot find it in any any of my paperwork however. Leaving all problems to the property owner. I found out that there is a brook under my house. It was built in 1960. The seller wrote numerous letters to the city trying to get them to help with the water problems. There are also sink holes that he has had to fill several times. So far I have not seen any.
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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On 14 Sep 2006 16:15:33 -0700, "Cristina62174"

What you say should have been fully disclosed when the properety was listed.
Sounds like you have a seller that needs a lesson in 'full disclosure'.
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Cristina62174 wrote:

Oh, so many issues and so little space.
First off, there's a brook under your house????
Second, why is this the city's problem? Did they build it?
Third, the house is 46 years old. If the cracks haven't moved in 2 score and 6 years, then you're probably okay. If they are moving now, then you need to know why.
Fourth, did your attorney or title company tell you about that little item in the deed? If not, you should be talking to your attorney. That may be your recourse. The item was somewhat disclosed in the deed, your attorney just didn't tell you about it.
Fifth, relax and take the weekend off. The house has been here for 46 years and isn't going anywhere by monday.
Sixth, if your door still open and close good, the sink still drains, the water still runs, and the floors are level, you're in pretty good shape.
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