My wife and I are retired and own a condo on the ocean in North Myrtle Beach, SC. When we bought this condo for close to $300,000 in October of 2004, ( 80/10/10 financing) we had a Home Inspection company inspect the interior and it appeared everything was fine. We soon discovered that there were major problems with the building itself. The building was built in the mid 80’s and it is not the reinforced concrete structure that they would build today. It consists of aluminum studs with fascia siding attached to these aluminum studs. Over the years, there has been moisture intrusion and the aluminum studs have deteriorated from the ocean salt water causing structural problems and also mold and mildew.
Plans are now underway to repair this older structure and access each homeowner $ 100,000. for the repairs - may be as high as $ 150,000. or more. With my present mortgages on this condo, plus insurance, taxes, HOA condo fees & utilities (expenses run about $ 27,500. per year) and with the status of the economy – it is just draining our savings. There is very little return ( $ 9,000. per year) if the condo is rented out.
It would be difficult to sell this condo in this market and we can’t afford the new assessments which will start coming in this year.
We just don’t know how to handle this dilemma. Can you offer us any assistance as how to get out from under this mess?
We don’t need this aggravation in what are supposed to be our golden years. We never expected our investments (403B) would also take about a 40% hit in this economy. Is foreclosure the only option? Please help us.
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
(A) Trying to find out if there is a statue of limitations for going after the previous owners (nondisclosure)?
(B) Trying to find out if there is any basis for defect construction?
(C) How do we deal with our banks who provided the three loans to purchase this condo on the ocean?
You are in a tough spot. Sorry for that
Your statute of limitations for contract in NC is 3 years...now you may be able to extend to 3 years from the time of discovery, or when you should have discovered, but you may be past that time (to sue on a contract breach)
When you purchase a home, the seller is required to disclose all known defects. If the purposely did not, and if you can fit your case into the 3 year window, that would be a very good place to start.
Construction statute of limitation I also believe will fall under the 3 year window...again this may be extended to the time when you discovered the defect or reason the construction fell apart.
I suppose one small silver lining is that with the current mortgage crisis and the incoming administration, it may be that a law is passed in the future that will give some relief, so waiting a few months may be a good thing.
Aside from that your limited...really if you discovered this in the last 3 years, you will want to press hard to hold the seller or the builder responsible. But if it has been more than 3 years you may be out of luck
Please let me know if you have further questions; if so I will do my best to answer them. If not please hit the accept button, its the only way I get credit for my work.
Are the limitations 3 years in South Carolina because this is where our condo is located (not NC as you referred to in your answer)? Also, Is foreclosure an option? If this is an option, how do we deal with the banks? There are 2 mortgages and 1 home equity loan used to purchase the condo. Thanks
SORRY, misread that
IN SC, it is also 3 years EXCEPT for a contract under seal, which is 20 years.
I believe that the 3 years would apply.
We can't wait a few month's for the possibiity that laws will change. Something has to be done soon. Therefore, is foreclosure an option? If this is an option, how do we deal with the banks? There are 2 mortgages and 1 home equity loan used to purchase the condo. Thanks
Mr. & Mrs. M
Certainly foreclosure is an option
SC law allows for judicial foreclosure only
In judicial foreclosure, a court decrees the amount of the borrowers debt and gives him or her a short time to pay. If the borrower fails to pay within that time, then the court will issue a notice of sale.
SC also allows for deficiency judgments (so you could owe money AFTER the foreclosure if the court awards a deficiency judgment.
You have a few options
You can ask the lender to allow a short sale
More info here:
Or you can ask the lender to allow a deed in lieu
I recommend you talk with the lender and see if they will support a deed in lieu or a short sale and see if that will help your situation.
Your goal out the process is to avoid a deficiency judgment...as this would allow the lender to pursue your other assets to satisfy the judgment
Best of luck
Real Estate Law Expert
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