You could likely have some recourse IF the break occurred prior to the sale AND if the seller knew of the problem. The trick, of course, is determining whether the seller knew of the problem. Since you're talking about $2,000-$5,000, it may be worth some investigation.
Did the plumber you called out give you any clue as to when the break may have occurred? Or did the home inspector (who should have at least run the dishwasher) notice any evidence of prior basement flooding?
But to really figure out what the seller may have known, call all the plumbing companies serving Warrenton. Say something like: "Hi. I just bought the house at 123 Main Street. I'd like to know whether you've done work here, since we'd like to maintain consistency in the service providers we use." If any of the plumbing companies says, "Yes, we've done work at 123 Main Street," you respond, "Great. Can you fill me in on what you've done." And if the response includes, "Well, we took a look at some basement flooding" or similiar: BINGO! Then you get a lawyer and go after the sellers.
Hope that helps.
mark Leach | http://www.aabsoluteplumbing.com/service-bergen-county.nxg
It actually requires, that a Buyer generally do their own inspections before the purchase
and close of escrow. Clearly, when the break happen is tough to prove, hence sadly you are stuck with
Check with local plumbing companies, if the sellers had called them out in the past, and then not disclosed it.
Also, go through the Contract that was signed.
Hopefully, you got a home warranty, to cover such repairs which is typical at closing and buying a home.
Michael Foster http://www.patontheplumber.ca/
Dean Reese | http://www.thedraindoctor.ca
One last word, the prices you quoted sound excessively high and I would encourage you to shop around.
If you have conducted inspections and done your part, it's unlikely that the seller is liable unless they knowingly mislead you by providing inaccurate information.
Issues of liability are always best addressed by an attorney.
Say.... if I bought a used car from someone off the side of the road-, I got into an accident, and then wanted to sue the last owner of the car because I just bought it-. Where do you think that will get me?
Was there any evidence of water intrusion that was notices during your visits or inspections? Was there any indication of this type of problem on the "seller's property disclosure?" Was this a regular sale? Was the property occupied up to the closing date or left vacant for a period? Have you spoke with your agent about this? Are the sellers aware of your problem?
There are so many question! The responsible this to do would be to offer to assist you if not totally, in part by offering to pay a percentage of the repair bill. In the event this is not the case, I would strongly recommend seeking the advice of an attorney.
I always scratch my head when I see situations like these posted on Trulia, for unless a professional has ALL the information pertaining to your purchase, they are not in a position to provide you with useful information.
Questions regarding liability should be directed to an attorney. Check with the state bar association and they can refer you to an attorney who specializes in real estate law and will provide to you a consultation for little to no money.
Also, I recommend looking into purchasing a home warranty. It will not cover this situation, but will offer you future protection.
However, if the seller in someway made it difficult for you to discover the defect they could be liable. For example, the seller can not lie about the problem if they were asked directly about it or by not allowing you to perform a home inspection.
I hope this helps.
If it happened after, you are. A home warranty would be helpful in this case.