Purchasing a Home and Subsequent Repairs

We bought our house 10 months ago and are starting to find some major issues. The sellers said they installed new roof 10 years ago. We had a guy take a look with someone who does roofing for a living and they said that roof was done at least 20 years ago, and it was just a cover up-there's still cedar tiles plus an old roof on top of that, with another lay on top of that.

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We had boxes in the master bedroom, it's a very large room. We slept on one side and used the other side as storage. This summer we finally got to getting these boxes out and organized when we noticed the ceiling was wet and cracking towards the edge of the walls. Figures.

I'm trying to find out more about home purchasing and how much of a time limit do we have to be protected from stuff like this. Our realtor was no help, saying there's nothing we can do. So I'm trying to find out if there's any help and relief we can get. We live in Monroe County NY. Thank you for any leads you can provide.

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September 10, 20180 found this helpful

It is important that you get a home inspected before you buy. Those things would have been discovered.

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However, you did have a real estate agent. I would consult a lawyer and ask if you have any recourse against her and the agency she works for

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September 10, 20180 found this helpful

It is sad that you had dealings with less than honest sellers but I sincerely doubt that you have any legal recourse. This type of problem is the reason it is stressed to always have an inspection completed before purchasing a home.

  • An inspection would have identified all of these things but since that was not completed there is probably nothing in your paperwork that will give you a legal right to sue the sellers.
  • Some may say to talk to your bank or lending agency (if there is one) but I do not recommend this as businesses usually keep records of everything that is reported to them and it is possible that you may not want everything about your house on their records. By talking with a lending institution, you are basically asking them to have their attorneys look over papers (that they supposedly already reviewed) and if there are problems the bank would have to use their attorneys to sue for you. Most likely will not happen but everything about your house will be on their records for them to review if you should ever wish to refinance or?
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  • You could consult an attorney but there are no "lemon" real estate laws in NY (some states may be different) so that would probably be a waste of time and money.
  • By law, a seller is supposed to inform the buyer of defects and if that seller puts all of these claims in writing (which is rarely done) and there are provable lies then you may be able to sue them for the repairs but it would probably be a costly battle (attorneys usually make all the money).
  • Did the seller or the real estate agent put any of these claims in writing? If so, then you may have a case but you would probably still need an attorney unless you make a claim through small claims court. So if you have any of the problem areas specified in writing to not be problems then you may have a small claims case but these are not free to file and they will only go to a certain amount of money - states use different amounts and rules.
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  • You can read some NY postings on this subject:
  • ag.ny.gov/.../home-buying-tips
  • www.bankrate.com/.../how-not-to-buy-lemon-home.aspx
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September 10, 20180 found this helpful

Purchasing a home, it is extremely important to get the house inspected before finalizing such a large purchase and most lenders require an appraisal of the home too.

Most lenders require an appraisal and the appraisal person should have noted any dwelling damages or concerns they have as well as the foundation, etc. They are not a home inspector but, they want to appraise the home at x amount value.

Either way, since it it is 10 months ago - I really do hope you have purchased the seller's home warranty. This typically runs for a couple hundred dollars and the warranty will help with any problems you experience (including roofing, dwelling, etc) within 1 year of ownership.

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Please look in your files to see if you have that home warranty, it will come handy and act quickly since you have two months left!

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September 12, 20180 found this helpful

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.

Yes, ideally buyers are supposed to be educated and do lots of stuff that people are telling you before the fact...so that is a live and learn, that is not the end of the answer.

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:

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www1.nyc.gov/.../real-estate-salesperson-license

OR contact a lawyer and learn if you have any options:

www.mcba.org/.../lawyer-referral-service.aspx

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.

www.bbb.org/.../complaints

Keep asking if you aren't satisfied if someone tells you they can't help you...ask if they know anyone who can.

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