We went to have the house my kid is buying inspected. They had it
winterized and then de-winterized. When they de-winterized it they left
open the drain on the water heater. When the inspector came in three
days later, we found water all over furnace room on the second floor,
bowing in the garage ceiling and all along the drywall on the wall in
the garage and soaked carpets in the hall way.
The sellers "fixed" the water problems.. in less than 8 hours of
work. I am suggesting that I should guffaw loudly at the assertion that
the problem was fixed.
It looks like they replaced the drywall in the garage ceiling and
walls. They aren't giving me a real clear answer on what they did with
the insulation and are stating that there was no black spots on the
subflooring so no need to change out that. They did not even change the
carpet padding. Also apparently had no fans or extraction machines there
for more than 5-6 hours.
Am I being shafted as much as I think I am.
you're only being shafted if the sale goes through. If there's an
inspection clause in the purchase contract, use it. If the seller
gives trouble, offer to continue with the sale so long as the seller
agrees to fix any future problems arising from this (say within a year
or so). Make sure the agreement (in writing) includes some provision
for an escrow account to be held by a neutral 3rd party until either
the year has passed or until it's needed for mold remediation.
Seriously, I would try my hardest to back out of this. Get legal help
I wouldn't want an escrow. I would want to see that this damage was
repaired correctly right now. Mold takes a long time to grow and if it
grows in areas that were covered up, like the garage ceiling, how will
you even know it's there? If this is corrected right now, mold is not
an issue. Later, it can be a big one.
This water flow was found soon after it happened. What is important is
that you be able to verify that the areas were in fact correctly dried
out. At the very least, you are entitled to another home inspection of
these areas and the seller should pay for it. That inspection should
include cutting a hole in the garage ceiling to see what they did
I agree that it's very suspicious if all this was repaired in 8 hours.
The garage ceiling, walls, carpeted areas upstairs, etc would need to
be opened up and allowed to dry for at least several days. Using some
de-humidification eqpt would be appropriate too. I'd ask to see
receipts for whatever was done, which they should have as it likely
will be a claim to their insurance company.
I don't know how much, you may want to call around to some mold-removal
contractors to see if they can give you a ballpark. They would also be
good ones to ask how long to write the contract addendum for. The
seller will likely NOT go for this and will kick and scream the whole
way. I only suggest it if you have no other way out of the contract.
I dought the carpet is any good now, it will likely smell even if
profesionaly cleaned. Mold will die when the walls dry, bad drywall will
be visable but all damage may not occur for weeks till everything drys
completely. A moisture meter should be used and a pro to go over what
flooded. I would not accept their word, verify everything yourself. Also
did the house freeze, then all pipes and traps must checked out for
Figure out what you would do if it was your house already and
the water heater blew up. Estimate what that would cost you,
and ask them to credit you that much plus %10 stupid tax.
(don't call it that)
I would call a company that specialize in this type of work and ask
what the acceptable industry practices are.
If you are not getting straight answers from the seller, I would be
real concerned and seriously consider backing out of the deal. An
escrow account is a good ideal but do you really want the hassle? Get
this resolve NOW before he has your money. Once the deal closes you
lose all your leverage. This is his problem. Once you close it is your
I find it odd that the carpet pad was not replaced. With that amount of
water, I would have guessed (heavy emphasis on the word guess since
this is not my area of expertise) that they would of pulled up the
carpet and pad and allowed the sub-floor to dry out. Once the floor has
dried out, It can be inspected for damage and replaced if necessary. If
the sub-floor was tongue and grove wood planks, it is probably ok. If
it was flake board, it could be trouble. As for the ceiling, the
insulation should have been removed and the cavity allowed to dry. Bear
in mind that as far as I know, mold needs water to grow. You need to
research this or talk with a mold expert.
If you go through with this, I would demand that you be able to pull
the carpet and pad up and inspect the floor below.
no way did they fix it right so fast. typical seller wants it fast and
get a folloup inspection of the area with a future coverage clause. A
home I owned had that for odors but I knew it wouldnt be a problem.
if they want a fast sale you might say we will take 5 grand to forget
about it since by law they will be required to tell all future buyers
of the accident....
gives you bargaining power. you are in charge bargain to save bucks.
what shape was the rest of the home?
What makes you think by law a seller has to tell all future buyers of a
water leakage accident that was fixed and is no longer a defect. You
sure don't have to do that here in NJ. If something is repaired,
that's the end of it. Suppose I have a roof leak, find it and fix it.
Are you saying I have to tell future buyers about that too? Or how
about if a window went bad and I replaced that?
I agree that if it was not done properly, which it sounds like could be
the case, then that needs to be addressed. But that's different than
saying the seller has to tell all buyers about it.
As to the roof leak, yes (even in New Jersey).
Obligations to disclose information about a property vary from state to
Under some state laws the seller and the seller's broker, if there is
one, are required to disclose all facts materially affecting the value
or desirability of the property which are known or accessible only to
him or her.
That's complete BS. Following that logic, owners would have to keep a
log of every repair ever made to a house. Should I tell them that in
the summer of 1988 I had to use a plunger on a toilet too? LOL Have
you ever even bought or sold a house? I've done it lots of times and
no seller ever disclosed that kind of nonsense to me, nor did I to
anyone else. If it was a roof leak and it was repaired correctly,
that's the end of it, period.
And since when does a repair that an owner made to fix a roof leak
materially affect the value of the property? Sure, if the seller was
told by a home inspector that the foundation on one side is sinking and
unsound, that would be something materially affecting the value of the
property. But that is way different than a roof leak that was fixed.
Sure, I've bought a sold a few houses over the years.
The property condition disclosure statement shall be in the following
form and contain, at a minimum, the following information. Additional
information may be requested if, in the opinion of the real estate
licensee, and under the facts and circumstances of a particular real
estate transaction, it would be appropriate to do so.
SELLER'S PROPERTY CONDITION
Property Address: ______________
The purpose of this Disclosure Statement is to disclose, to the best of
Seller's knowledge, the condition of the Property, as of the date set
forth below. The Seller is aware that he or she is under an obligation
to disclose any known material defects in the Property even if not
addressed in this printed form. Seller alone is the source of all
information contained in this form. All prospective buyers of the
Property are cautioned to carefully inspect the Property and to
carefully inspect the surrounding area for any off-site conditions that
may adversely affect the Property. Moreover, this Disclosure Statement
is not intended to be a substitute for prospective buyer's hiring of
qualified experts to inspect the Property.
Yes No Unknown
4. Age of roof _______
5. Has roof been replaced or repaired since seller bought the property?
6. Are you aware of any roof leaks?
7. Explain any "yes" answers that you give in this section:
Oh yes, I forgot this paragraph which deals directly with the leaking
40. Are you aware of any leaks, backups, or other problems relating to
any of the plumbing systems and fixtures (including pipes, sinks, tubs
and showers), or of any other water or sewage related problems? If
"yes," explain: _______
Well you got me on the roof repair issue. Apparently this was adopted
here in commie NJ within the last two years, which I guess should not
surprise me, as this is one of the most corrupt and over regulated
states in the country, where politicians would rather waste everyone's
time on feel good regulation like this, rather than address real
problems, like govt spending and taxes that are out of control. I'm
sure lots of people will be surprised when they go to sell their house
and are asked to provide answers about routine repairs of no
consequence that they made years ago. According to this, if a shingle
blew off 20 years ago, or there was a small leak around the flashing,
the owner now has to disclose it, which shows the mentality of the
morons that write this crap.
Don't feel singled out -- the majority of states now have similar
disclosure documents. I suppose too many sellers tried to pawn off
known house defects onto inexperienced or novice buyers, and the
backlash is what resulted in this regulation.
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