**We purchased a large 1920’s farmhouse in June 2010. We are active duty military & were transferring from south FL to NE NC. We took a 20+ hr. drive to see the house on 04/30 and signed the contract @ 7:30 PM that day. We knew the house needed work, but from our perspective and what we were told it appeared to be grossly cosmetic. There were a few minor things that we noted, but nothing we did not feel we could handle. My husband has flipped several houses over the years.
We opted for a home inspection. The inspector was recommended by the selling agent, who was also our agent. We were not able to be present for the inspection since we were in FL. We received the report about 2 wks prior to closing, which was a “9 page summary”. When we questioned the full report, we were advised it was not ready but everything important was mentioned in the summary.
The summary included only some minor issues that mentioned previous WDI, 1 window leak which appeared to be a flashing issue, some wood on the porches that needed replaced, crawl space access needing repair and steps that needed repaired (cement). The HI mentioned he was “unable to access the crawl space” and did “not go up on the roof.” The Seller’s Disclosure did NOT list any known problems w/ the house.
The seller’s would not allow lease back until closing (2 wks) so we headed for NC w/ 5 kids, 9 birds, a cat, a 28 ft. truck pulling a pick up & an SUV pulling a 12 ft trailer.
Upon closing and moving into the house we immediately notice MULTIPLE problems which include, but not limited to the following:
(1) upstairs bathroom leak through to the 1st floor ceiling;
(2) 3 roof leaks
(3) dishwasher didn’t work – it was not grounded & tripped the breaker, but yet the HI report said it was “working properly”
(4) bat infestation in attic (150+ bats);
(5) water damage around many of the windows on the inside
(6) a few other minor things listed on the inspection that were not completed prior to closing by the sellers (not a major ordeal).
W/in the following 4 to 6 mos we noticed the following:
- 3 substantial roof leaks, going into the attic in multiple places you can see daylight;
- Multiple window leaks and water damage (we’re talking 3 to 5 ft puddles in the floor leaks);
- the foundation is sinking
- All 3 bathrooms leak water under the house substantially, 1 not connected to the drain field for the sewer, 1 bathroom has sewer leak
- downstairs heat unit did not work (said it was checked & working properly) – advised by AC contractor it had not worked “in a long time”
- 1 side porch had been enclosed and modifications to the original load bearing exterior wall had been altered to the tune of removing 7 wall studs w/ no bracing, just cut out. The wall & ceiling sagged.
- OLD LIVE WIRING exposed and laying on the ground of the crawl space and in both the attic and side attic.
- Side attic had NO insulation.
- Under the house the OLD LIVE wiring runs AROUND the water pipes w/ the leaks.
While my husband has done most of the electrical and water repairs, the foundational issues and roof problems will cost in excess of $35,000 to $50,000 to repair. These are beyond our ability to do. This is only a touch of what we have found. Upon questioning the agent and the inspector in December 2010, we were suddenly provided w/ a 42 page inspection report with the “You didn’t see this?” comment. However, even this 42 page report does not come close to the problems we have found.
Had we known about these issues we would NOT have purchased the house and I doubt the Seller’s would have been able to sell the house to anyone? I find it seriously hard to believe that the sellers did NOT know about the vast majority of these problems. We have all the estimates and repair costs. What type of attorney handles these matters? Does anyone know? I know what we need to do … I’m just not sure WHO we need to do it.
We paid $425 for this inspection and got nothing. Interestingly to note also, the house is 2 stories, 3315 sq ft. We learned after the fact that the inspector took 1 ½ hours (w/ our agent there) to complete our inspection??? What was the point???