Don't rely on the home inspector's report. Home inspectors are, as a general rule, incompetent, in collusion with the realtor, or both.
If you are working with a real estate professional, ask for a copy of the CLUE report for the property that you wish to purchase. The sellers should provide a copy to you, or, if not, offer to purchase the report if the sellers will order one for you. Water damages and insurance claims are very critical issues for a buyer, and the cost of the report is extremely moderate--in most cases, it's only about $20-30 for the report.
Have your agent check to see if this report is included in the disclosures package to be provided by the seller, and , if so, the information may be included in the documents available to the Realtor on line.
Good luck and happy house hunting!
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
I am writing this in response to the answer you received from Louis Peasley. He is correct in telling that you need to research every resource available to you in obtaining as much information about your prospective purchase as possible. However, as a home inspector, I take issue with him on several points. Firstly, after over 43 years as a general contractor, sub-contractor, and journeyman member of four respected trade unions, I do not consider myself incompetent. In addition, I am not, and never will be, in collusion with anyone. When I do a home inspection, my only concerns are the protection and safety of my clients, 99% of whom are home buyers. Many of my reports are over forty pages in length with as many as 100 color photos documenting all areas of concern. The fact is, I have had many home sellers do there best to hide flaws and problems with a home prior to an inspection. Due to the non-invasive and visual nature, by law, of a home inspection, there is the possibility that hidden damage may go undetected. On my own inspections, to date, this has not occurred. I also occasionally have done inspections for insurance companies to assess the full extent of damages to a property. Often, in the case of water damage, the damage is cosmetic and not structural. However, I have also found whole walls that were completely destroyed by wood decay rot, carpenter ants, or termites due to an undetected water leak that persisted for years. If a homeowner requests, I have scopes that can peer into walls to assess possible leaks or evidence of mold, or microbial growth. I have written many published reports and blogs on the issues that homeowners and buyers should beware of and look for when considering buying or selling a home, and for the purposes of home maintenance. I remain confident and proud of my work as a home inspector and of my ethics. In fact, all of the home inspectors that I associate with are above reproach. There are bad apples in every profession. I do not associate with them and do not condone anyone else's actions. Having said all of that, I suppose that the bottom line is that nobody is perfect. I know plenty of Louis'es that are not. Steven H. Allmann Allmann Home Inspection Services in Bellingham, Wa.
In the state of Massachusettes the seller can complete a seller's disclosure document that should give you the updates on the home. It usually contains problems, work done etc. If you are looking for more information on a home you can always check with the town or city hall to see what permits were pulled for the property and I have even had clients talk with neighbors.
All other questions I would search out during the home inspection and always call in an expert if you need to. Home inspectors give you the basics if you feel there is an electrical problem or structural problem call in a electrician etc.
Contact your agent and have him discuss this with his client the sellers and request further information. If that does not work, use your attorney and have him write a letter to the sellers attorney to get further information. If the seller had previous water issues, that should have been disclosed on the property disclosure form. You may need to do a more through inspection of any living area below grade. Also you can check with the neighbors in the area for additional information. Home inspections don't allow for opening walls to check for any water damage. Your agent and home inspector can help you find professional help in this area because they work for you .
All the best,
You will need to make sure you are accounting for all types of features including but not limited to Bed rooms, bath rooms, garage, pool, square footage, land size, age, road/intersection and other important statistics...
Have your agent contact the seller's agent and request a copy of the CLUE report. If they don't have it their insurance agent can get it for them. If you are dealing direct with the seller call them an request as above. Whenever a claim is made they have records.
All the best,
Work with a local agent or Realtor, it will help. Best of luck.Spirit
I know a number of folks have said look at the property disclosure, but the owner may not know what happened in the house prior to his/her purchase of the home.
Have you tried asking your agent to call the selling agent and ask the seller about this? Also, have you done a home inspection, that. will tell alot about a home. Just some suggestions, call around and get other quotes and see if other companies will reveal that info. Sorry I couldn't help more.
It could be as simple as a malfunction of an ice maker or dishwasher, but you need to know. What has the listing agent said? Did they ask the owners for you?
Laurel Grandle, Broker EXIT REALTY KNOXVILLE 865 389 2551
First Weber Group
Certified Distressed Property Expert
The inspection often won't show water damage. It'll show visible damage. If there was water damage a few years ago and the drywall was painted over with primer and then paint, you probably wouldn't see anything. If there was still a problem, the inspector might have been able to detect areas of excess moisture. But--for example--if there had been mold which is now painted over and the area is dry, that'd be nearly impossible to detect. And yet the mold spores would still be there--behind the drywall. The point is: A home inspection won't uncover a lot of problems. They're well worth it for the problems they do uncover, but they're not a guarantee that problems don't exist.
You also should see whether the homeowner filed a disclosure or disclaimer (if he/she has that option) and what that said, if it was a disclosure.
If you're really concerned, knock on the neighbors' doors and ask whether they're aware of any water damage problems with the house. Just ask. You may well get some useful information that way.
Hope that helps.
Best tax roll prior property owners determine if you can locate them.
If home past inspections does it really matter?
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
You didn't see any water damage because the claim money repaired it. I've run
into issues like this when working with my buyers in the past. I always go straight
to the seller's agent and tell them I have been informed of the insurance claim. Then I ask for details
about the repair. Works like a charm.
Most agents are careful to provide disclosure and we encourage our clients to be truthful. After all
we are not here to sell one home and walk away with our fingers crossed. We are here till we