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Asked by Jayeburney, Kimball, MI Sat Feb 14, 2009

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6
Lorie Gould, Agent, Duluth, GA
Sun Feb 15, 2009
Thomas Ledbetter brought up a valuable reminder! Contracts do state that the buyer is responsible for damages from the home inspection. It is because of this liability that most inspectors will not turn on the water to the home if the water valve is turned off, they will not light pilot lights to the water heater or furnace if the pilot is off, and they will not flip the main power switch to the home. Inspectors do not want the liability or responsibility for damages such as this.

It is unclear from your question as to whether or not your home inspector turned on the main water valve or simply turned on the faucet but for your future protection when purchasing foreclosures insist that the bank have all utilities fully functioning to the rooms in the home prior to inspection... not just at the street. This would mean toilets are flushing, water is available at the faucets, power is on to each room, and the pilots are lit to the water heater and furnace for testing. This way the pipes can burst on their people not your people! My guess is that your inspector turned on the main water valve otherwise the home would have been flooded prior to your inspection.
Web Reference:  http://www.HomesByLorie.com
0 votes
, ,
Sun Feb 15, 2009
Janet,
That's not an uncommon problem here in MI. It's been a rough winter!
I doubt you would be held responsible for the damage. Your best bet may be to just walk away from this deal. Realistically I doubt you'll have any luck getting the bank to make any repairs, and if you are getting a mortgage for this home then your lender is going to have a problem with the damage. You could technically apply for a FHA 203K loan, which allows you to finance rehabilitation costs, but water damage can be a tricky thing and have a lot of unforeseen consequences and costs so it's probably not something you want to deal with unless you are prepared for potential nightmares.

Best of luck whatever you decide
Tony
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Feb 15, 2009
Janet,

The reality of your situation is the damage will far exceed the expense of repiping the home. Having recently experiences a similar situation and worked closely with a "restoration company" we are painfully aware of the possible implications.

Wood, carpet, and drywall act as a sponge to water intrusion and has a lasting negative effect and there is a high risk for mold.

Our recommendation is to talk to the experts before committing to what could be an unwelcomed nightmare. Contact a reputable restoration for an evaluation and estimate of what the damages could involve.

DO NOT make a decision without being informed............

Good luck
The Eckler Team
0 votes
Tom Ledbetter, Agent, Chesterfield, MI
Sun Feb 15, 2009
This is not uncommon. Especially with the winter we have had in Michigan. If you still want the home get estimates on repairs and clean up. Not Joe the Plumber. Call a professional company that will do it all. Servpro or Jarvis in Macomb County Michigan.

As for responsibility???? Its a very gray area. Purchase agreements in this area say the Buyer is responsible for any damage during a Home inspection. But I can't see the bank holding you responsible?

Was the water meter disconnected?
Web Reference:  http://www.MLSMAX.com
0 votes
Lorie Gould, Agent, Duluth, GA
Sat Feb 14, 2009
Pipes bursting happens!

So it sounds like you still want the home if it were repaired? All that you can do at this point is submit the request for proper and complete repair. The bank will give their answer.

If you proceed forward with this home you have to make sure that it is properly repaired so that you do not have mold issues. Mold is bad. Mold can cause health issues!

There has to be other homes available for sale that you would like also. I would suggest moving on! Perhaps this is a sign telling you to move on since you were the only offer on this home...maybe there is a reason for that!?
Web Reference:  http://www.HomesByLorie.com
0 votes
Derek Bauer, Agent, South Lyon, MI
Sat Feb 14, 2009
Janet,

I hope you have a good buyer's agent ... do you? If so, this should be real estate and negotiation 101 for them.

If you do not have a buyer's agent, in the event you choose to terminate this contract, I HIGHLY recommend you secure one before your next transaction. There are some obvious recommendations here, and hopefully your buyer's agent will spearhead that for you...but you should have HUGE negotiation leverage with the bank at this point. If water is exiting at water outlets, the damage could be very, very extensive. Proceed with caution and with the knowledge, expertise, and advice of experts, only.

Derek Bauer, Associate Broker / Realtor
Real Estate One
Derek@DoorToDreams.com
Web Reference:  http://www.DoorToDreams.com
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