Newly purchased house is Older tha I was told and inspector missed issues

Recently purchased a house that I had inspected prior to closing. The inspector was an overly qualified proff engineer (PE) home inspector. I recently learned that he overlooked two very obvious and important defects. Not sure I wish to persue this matter, but I wouldn't mind getting opinions.
#1---Was told that this is a 1973 house, (county records on the internet say this as well). However, I have found strong evidence that this house was probably a total remodel of an older house built maybe 10-20 yrs prior. A)--there are exposed areas of the sheathing (siding) in several places that are easily observed (where the exterior cedar shakes don't quite cover). This sheathing is shiplap. I understand that shiplap sheathing was replaced by plywood or particle board long before 1973. Also, the foundation has lines etched all over showing that before the shiplap boards were used as siding, they were used for cement forms for the foundation. This is supported by the cement stains seen on the shiplap boards.
#2--- This is a daylight basement. During the inspection, I pointed out to the inspector that the basement was missing 300 sq feet in the corner, when compared to the upstairs....I wondered what was in this missing space. He just shrugged his shoulders. Well, I didn't know enough to worry about it, but a recent re-inspection revealed the obvious...the upstairs portion (above this missing 300 sq ft) is built above a cement pad....presumably the old garage floor before the remodel. While my original inspector may not have been expected to know about the cement pad...he should have wondered what the upstairs was sitting on, if not the basement walls. A quick look around the outside shows absolutely no crawlspace access or even ventilation. It was easy to see that part of the hous was built on a fully enclose, inaccessable, unventilated void. It was obvious that this wasn't a cement slab, because the hardwood floors above sound very hollow. Obviously, this devalues the house because it is an undesirable defect that cannot be fixed....who knows what condition the framing / subfloor is down there after 30 yrs of unventilated...the old garage floor is cement and could be damp. I'm guessing there is around 4 inches of space beneath the 2x8 floor joists and the cement floor....not enough of a void to ever put in access...ie cralspace.
I am not sure if I want to sue the inspector (I already know the bit about liability waivers....and I don't believe that releases them from negligence in my area). Some considerations are #1--even if my house is a 1960 isntead of 73....it will be hard for me to quantify my damages in dollar terms (court may say the house is still worth what I paid....defense might claim that houses in the 60's are often built better than the 70's) #2--the crawlspace/void isn't necessarily a problem as there is no sign of mold/damage. How can I say how much this defect is worth in damages? #3--If I persue this case and research the records and find that the house is a remodel....someday when I sell it, I will have to disclose this fact which might make it hard for me to sell or lower the value.
This is all very frustrating for me as these defects were pretty obvious (the second inspector found them in minutes....along with completely worthless siding on the whole house.) As I said my first inspector is a lic engineer (so was the 2nd) with 35 yrs of experience and thousands of inspections under his belt...so this is unbelievable. If I had known about any of this I would have walked away from that house like it was on fire. Now I own it and am indebted for 30yrs. Just curious if anyone has thought of anything that has yet to occur to me....doubtful as I've been dwelling on it a lot.
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You have to prove financial damage. Sounds to me like you haven't found anything that needs repair yet. If you do find something, talk to a lawyer, and weigh the legal cost, time off from work, and aggravation, against what you'd get in return IF you won. Post your question to alt.legal

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Many people now believe that a dry unventilated crawlspace is better than a ventilated one since moist air enters a ventilated space, cools, and drops moisture in the crawl space. So that may not be considered a defect at all provided it is dry.

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If you are in the US many states have laws requiring sellers to disclose defects in homes to potential buyers. You should check out your state laws.

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quin snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Was the inspector referred to you by the agent?
Looking over your objections below, I don't offhand see an actual problem.

Common practice may have been to use plywood; that doesn't mean that this house therefore was built before then.
What are the building codes in your area? What were they in 1973? I have some aspects of my house I *know* aren't current code because it's a semi-rural area which didn't have codes until more recently, but they're grandfathered in.
Banty
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for their bread and butter. No inspector lasts in business long if he costs the Agents too many sales.
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Agreed.
Banty
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I say this kindly, you are over reacting. You have new mortgagee remorse. 15-20 extra years onto the age of a house that is at least 35 years old is no big deal. It is the problems that exist within the property that cause the value to lower.
I don't see where you have a problems that materially affect the value of this home. As another person pointed out the old garage area is not a problem unless it wet. Most likely if it was wet the floors would have rotted a long time ago.
Your basement may be 300 square foot smaller but if you needed an inspector to tell you that you have a vision problem. You saw it and you bought it.
Why is your siding now worthless in your mind?
And lastly you can visit the building department and determine exactly when the structure was built. The online records may be wrong but the paper on file will be correct. If they don't have this information just trace the deeds back to the initial development. Or if the toilet is the original look at the date stamped inside the tank.
Sincere best wishes and if you get the final answer let us know what it was.
Colbyt
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quin snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Since this is partly a legal issue the only useful opinion on the legal part will be that of a local attorney.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
  Click to see the full signature.
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

Overly qualified did not do proper job? Interesting!
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Home infections are just that. And no I did not miss-spell the word.
I live in Arizona and the infector is liable for squat............. Short of showing up to the wrong house their report is worthless. I have bought and sold real-estate for 30 years. NEVER saw one report that I thought was worth the power to blow it to hell.
You say PE.... in what? Professional Engineers are to my knowledge done by discipline Mechanical, Civil, or Electrical. Last time I checked there was not PE for residential construction. Hell most are carpenters and do not have a clue about electrical, or mechanical.
I do my own inspections. Save the $300 toilet paper. Like I said I live in Arizona. I filed a written complaint on the last two inspectors. Neither complaint was ever acknowledged. As far as I can see it is a lot like insurance, a license to steal.
You can tell I am not impressed with home infectors.
Suggested by other posters, if your interested, hire a shark that is into real estate law. Your probably going to spend lots of dollars, what is it worth to you?
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As far as I can see it

What sort of insurance are you refering to? If you have been buying and selling real estate for 30 years then I am curious as to what your thoughts are about title insurance?
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On 22 Jan 2006 10:43:13 -0800, quin snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Did you purchase title insurance with the home? If so, you may or may not have a course of action.
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13. Al Moran Jan 23, 7:49 am
"Did you purchase title insurance with the home? If so, you may or may not have a course of action. "
Since when does title insurance cover a crawl space that isn't ventilated or a house being older than it was represented? The title insurance covers getting a clear title, meaning the seller actually had title to the property, could sell it, had no outstanding unknown claims against the title, etc. It has zippo to do with defects or a house being older.
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title insurance should of turned up the age area, since they supposedly look bak to the beginning of time for leins
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"title insurance should of turned up the age area, since they supposedly look bak to the beginning of time for leins "
Yes, they look at any liens on the property. What does that have to do with when the house was built or renovated by a previous owner? The title company make sure the seller has clear title to the land, not at what point in the homes history it was built or renovated You could buy a pice of land, with or without title insurance, build whenver you want, rennovate, etc, without the title insurance company knowing squat. A building permit isn't recorded in the deed. Take a look at your title insurance and see if it says they warranty that the representations the seller makes as to the age of the home are valid.
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On 23 Jan 2006 08:21:02 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Ding ding ding, give that man a prize!
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You have buyer's remorse. It's not uncommon. Time will usually heal it (can be up to a year or more).
If you are losing sleep about the unventilated 300 sq ft, drill a hole in an inaccessible area and stick a sensor down there to measure humidity. If it's dry you should stop worrying. Or, if you are sure that the floor joists are not resting on the concrete (how do you know this?) then drill 2 holes, one each in opposite corners, blow air into one of the holes, and measure the air coming out the other for mold spores (test kits are available online) and humidity.
As far as legal options are concerned, it may depend on what state you live in. In some states, it is required by law that the seller must declare any remodelling. If the person who sold you the home was the owner when the remodelling was done, and they didn't notify you, then you have a legal option.
EJ
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