When you purchase a home, you are making a major investment that may require decades to repay in full. You expect that the price that you pay reasonably reflects the actual value of the house.
Sadly, if the seller intentionally chooses not to disclose certain issues with the property, you could pay far more than the property is actually worth. What are some of the common issues that sellers should disclose but don’t?
The seller might try to hide known but hard-to-notice defects
If the foundation of the house has begun to settle unevenly, there could be issues with the floor slanting or doors and windows not opening. Sellers might do something unscrupulous, like using area rugs to make the floor seem even or trim parts of doors that don’t open smoothly.
The intent here is to hide the symptoms of the defect from potential buyers. Thankfully, those cheap solutions can often serve as evidence of intentional nondisclosure. Sellers should always disclose defects in major systems in the home.
Sometimes, defects stem from things that occupants of the home were doing. Most people don’t want to advertise or brag about the fact that they, their children, their spouse or even a tenant had issues with substance abuse. Unfortunately, drug use and especially drug manufacturing can impact the safety of a house.
The chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine, for example, require professional remediation to remove them completely. Growing marijuana in a house could lead to water damage and mold. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to correct these issues when you discover them after you make a purchase.
The good news is that if a seller intentionally hid defects from you when you purchase the property, you may have grounds to take legal action against the seller to either seek the cost of repairing the defects or at least addressing the effect those issues will have on the value of the property.