Post # 1
We bought our house in 2012 and since then, there has been a steady stream of renters in the house next door until 2 months ago when it was vacated and put up for sale by the owner who lives out of state.
In February 2014, the tenants moved out but improperly turned off the water causing the pipes to leak in 10+ locations! While walking around their property to see if my friend wanted to buy it, we noticed the breakage and 4ft of water in the basement. We contacted the owner and they sent someone to deal with the situation until they could drive down and prep the home for sale. Since it’s been on the market, we learned from a real estate friend that they are lying on the property disclosure statement and just saying “new hot water heater!” Instead of “as is” or whatever you would say had your basement flooded and your pipes burst in 15 spots.
What should we do? Do we find a way to tell potential buyers? A lot of the people looking have been young couples, and we would LOVE to finally have neighbors, especially neighbors our age! However, if they bought the house, and we befriended them, I would feel awful knowing about what happened to their house and not telling them. Would you want to know if you were looking at buying? If so, how do we go about it? How do we have a friendship with our neighbors without ever bringing up their home’s history?
Post # 2
LaurenKK: One would hope that any potential buyers would have an inspection done by a licensed home inspector. She/he should find evidence of any water damage if repairs were not properly done. Just because they had a leak doesn’t mean it is an issue forever.
Their obligation to disclose a leak very much depends on the wording of the disclosure laws where you live.
Post # 3
julies1949: Agreed. If it were an ongoing leak from a cracked foundation or something of that nature, I would be far more concerned than a leak that was caused by burst pipes that has been rectified. If they repaired the pipes and cleaned up the damage from the leak, I would say it is no longer an issue that NEEDS to be disclosed (it still should be, but it isn’t something I would worry too much about).
Post # 4
I totally understand where you’re coming from, but I would stay out of it. Other than walking up to strangers when they are viewing the house, what else could you do? A good home inspector will hopefully notice any issues with water damage and be able to point it out to potential buyers.
Post # 5
I don’t think this is an issue, as most houses have had floods or leaks at one time or another! It sounds like they fixed the problem and got a new hot water heater and repaired the pipes? Just because a house had a flood does not mean it’s damaged forever.
However, if you did find out they scimped on repairs and where shady, you could always call your town board / housing inspector to report a problem.
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2015 - City Hall!
I wouldn’t say anything. When someone pays for an inspection, they’ll usually find this problem.
Post # 7
If you truly think they are breaking the law MAYBE contact the real estate agent, but honestly I wouldn’t say anything. Like PP’s have pointed out they should have a home inspection and if it is an issue they should point i tout. Basements flood from time to time and evidence of water damage is something the inspector looks for.
Post # 8
That’s what inspections are for.
Post # 9
Ok cool, thanks guys! Somehow I forgot about inspections…. duh! Silly me. I know for a fact that the homeowner did all the repairs himself, didn’t hire anyone to check it out, and that there might be foundation damage due to how long the basement was flooded (weeks!) and how far out from the house the ground was squishy. Hopefully they get a good inspector! But for me, I will stay out of it! If it’s illegal, then it’s the inspector’s job to bring that up to the prospective buyer I would imagine.