Seller did not disclose water damage and grading issues

Asked by bryan_ugt, Whittier, CA Sun Mar 17, 2013

We just purchased this house from a guy who was a realtor and represented himself in the transaction.

He did not disclose any "drainage or grading defects" on the property. nor did he disclose any prior water leaks.

I did have a home inspection done. The inspector told me I should look to one day fix the concrete slope at the back of the house but that it didn't appear to be an imment problem right now. He checked the inside with a moisture meter where it was accessible, but detected nothing

I closed escrow on the house 2 weeks ago. I went to the house 2 days after it rained (coincidentally, the day we closed). I noticed the carpet was wet in the corner of this room. This is also the room that shares the wall with the concrete slab that needs changed. The inside of the wall was soaked, mildew, moldy and the carpet was wet and obviously ruined. I was unable to inspect this entire wall while the seller lived there as it was his office and this whole wall was lined with desks, boxes an

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My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Mon Mar 18, 2013
It's not likely the issue just happened that day, but it's possible the Seller may not have been aware of it if as you indicate this area was covered up with boxes, cabinets etc.

You can certainly contact the seller, explain the problem and if necessary intimate that as he is a licensed Realtor if their not willing to work with you to resolve the issue you may have to file a complaint with the state real estate commission, though this would be my course of last resort. Your home inspector may also need to be contacted (they carry insurance for things like this. They should no that ideally the exterior grad should always furn away from a home, having a concrete slope that runs to your house is always going to be a problem, it should be obvious to anyone that whenever it rains, the rain is going to run right down the slope and to the house.

What did the sellers disclosure say about issues with the grading?

If you're not satisfied with the results form the above action you always have the option of pursuing it legally with an attorney, but I would caution you that this may ultimately cost you more than simply addressing the problem.
1 vote
Scott Hulen, , 64068
Mon Mar 18, 2013
Larry is giving you very good counsel, if this is just a couple of thousand dollar fix then just fix it and be done with it. It’s water under the bridge so to speak. Everyone can be a Monday morning QB and comments that say should of, would of or could have are not helpful! If this is a question of GROSS negligence then then is a different issue. First get some estimates to have the situation corrected then talk with the parties and see if they would be willing to help resolve the situation. Many times reasonable people will help.
0 votes
Did you have any inspection done on the house previous to purchase? I think that's interesting that the seller didn't mention anything about water damage. I would have an inspector come in again and just make sure you're catching all of the damage that has been done. Good luck and I hope you figure everything out!
Flag Wed Nov 19, 2014
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon Mar 18, 2013
Could this be a new problem that the seller, like you, was unaware? It's sometimes suprising how people respond to issues of this nature when presented with them.

One of the homes I purchased many years ago had a water main break the day after we closed on the property. When we presented this to the sellers, they were happy to contribute one half of the expense to repair the broken line.

My recommendation is to present your seller with the facts as well.....hopefully their conscience and sense of good will will prevail.

Good luck,

0 votes
Did you have the water extracted? That's one of the first things you do whether or not it's your fault or the previous owner. You want to stop any further damage, because water can really do a lot of damage. Then you can figure out who should pay for it.
Flag Thu Mar 5, 2015
Leanne Austin, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Sun Mar 17, 2013
Not sure if you have your own representation. I do hope that was the case. If so, you should contact that agent (the one representing you). If not, as you did not have representation, then you may want to seek the advice of a real estate attorney.
If it can be proven the the seller likely knew that there was a problem and did not disclose that fact, there could be recourse for you.
It is always imperative that a buyer has an agent representing them. When an inspector indicates any issue that could be detrimental to the structure, further investigation is always warranted. It would have been simple to request that the seller remove personal items so that the area could be inspected to your satisfaction.

Leanne Austin
Keller Williams
dre 01444578
0 votes
I think you should have initiated an inspection before you bought the house. There isn't really anything you can have done by the seller to fix the blocked drains. I think you might just have to get your own insurance company to pay for this, because I don't think you are going to get any help.
Flag Fri Nov 21, 2014
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