Home Repair Assistance

I bought a really old house because it is on some wonderful forested acres that we plan to work to produce from the land, and to create long-term income for the family. The prior owners lied about the condition of many things, would not tell me where the crawl space entrance was, claiming they haven't lived there for a long time. I hired a building inspector and a pest inspector before purchasing, and even they could not find crawl space entrance.

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After purchasing the house I found the crawl space myself (the hatch was behind a huge antique mirror in the basement bathroom!). I discovered termite and carpenter ant problems in the wood directly above the foundation. I also found that the foundation is missing about a 1' x 2' chunk because a small wet-weather stream was formed under the house! I diverted the water from uphill around the house, so no more creek, but now I don't know what to do about the excessive damage. I am scared termites/ants might be working on some of the support beams in the walls.

I bought the house at the high end of the budget, and already spent $9K+ on new metal for the roof. I don't have money to fix under the house and in the walls, or hundreds for pest treatment. I am in Lebanon, Missouri. Help!

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October 11, 20180 found this helpful

I would contact a lawyer. The owner lied to you. You hired an inspector.

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You did everything a reasonable person would do. The owner knew of these issues and lied. Good luck.

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October 11, 20180 found this helpful

Did you buy the house using a Realtor?

Realtors and the process are supposed to protect buyers and sellers. These are state licensed professionals. They have to (at least in my state) pass and exam and get continuing education.

Sometimes things are epic fails...as it sounds like your situation.

Ideally all of this should have been brought out in the home inspection, but if there wasn't one then that could be part of the issue.

The bottom line is real estate is regulated and if you feel there was any fraud, you have a right to seek help....like:

See if your state license board can help:

pr.mo.gov/realestate.asp

Another option ... and I don't know if your Better Business Bureau is of any help (ours isn't) but you can call them and see what they recommend.

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www.bbb.org/.../lebanon

OR see if you can find a lawyer who can help you:

www.justia.com/.../legal-aid-and-pro-bono-services

At the bottom of this link are your local state representatives from government offices...perhaps they can help you:

www.lacledecountymissouri.org/.../stateoffices.html

In my town, as I expect is the case in yours, you can talk to these folks without additional charges, as you pay taxes to the services. They may be able to give you the best advice on next steps.

Good luck!! Let me know how it all goes!!

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