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Experience:  20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
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My house was built over a stream, which is evident on landscaping

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My house was built over a stream, which is evident on landscaping plans. I had water problems during the construction of my home, which led me to purchase a sump pump from my builder. I have a hole in the grass of my front lawn as a result of the excess water running from my home. The water runs on the curb, street, and in front of my neighbor's home. My next door neighbor had the same problem, but it was fixed during the construction of her home. Did the builder have an obligation to disclose this information about the stream during the construction of my home? During the two years that I have been in the home, they provided different reasons as to the problem.....even though they knew what the real problem was. What should I do now? My neighbor is willing to help me in whatever I do, because she also feels deceived by the builder. When she realized that her home was over a stream, they assured her that no other home was affected. I will not be able to do a lot of the landscaping that I wanted to do as a result of this water problem. What about my resale value? How calpable is the builder? The county?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 4 years ago.
What do you want to accomplish?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I want to be certain that I will not have future problems. The builder has since offered to build a drain pipe to extend uphill to a storm drain, but there are only providing a six month warranty. I am worried about water running uphill.....if that will really work. They are done building, and they will be leaving soon. The water runs from my house and affects other homes. I do not want this water affecting my home or those of my neighbors'. I feel that they should have told me before purchasing this house, because there were other lots that I could have bought. I would like a longer warranty. I would like something else offered also because this has to decrease the value of my home. I am unable to do landscaping that I planned and I am scared of future water problems.
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 4 years ago.
I am going to opt out and open this question to my colleagues.
Expert:  Law Pro replied 4 years ago.

OK, the stream would be considered a "patent" defect or issue. Owners/buyers are subject to patent defects because they should have known or been aware of the problem.

 

You contracted with the builder to build the house - correct?

 

How long ago was the house built?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I had a contract with the builder to build the house. It was built at the end of 2007. When you say that I should have been aware of the problem, did the builder have responsibility to share that information? If I sold my home, would I have that responsibility to share that information?

Expert:  Law Pro replied 4 years ago.

Well your builder had a duty and obligation to correct the problem when the house was under construction. As the builder didn't - they have breached the contract or failed in their warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, breach of general workmanship in the building of the home.

 

So, you have to inform the builder that it's their problem to correct the situation - they are/were the experts constructing your house.

 

If the builder won't correct the problems you will have to get another builder to correct the problems and sue the builder for the costs thereof.

 

What about my resale value? You probably won't be able to sell it with the current problems unless you fix the problems OR you reduce the price of the home by what it would take to fix the problems BECAUSE you have a duty to disclose known problems.

 

 

How calpable is the builder? The builder is the one who is liable for fixing the problems - all the costs and expenses incurred in fixing the problems.

 

 

The county? No liability on the county - they have no duty to you in the matter.

 

 

 

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Once they fix the problem, are they absolved from any future problems? They have made a proposal to fix the problem, which would accompany only a six month warranty. Would you accept that? Once the problem is fixed, does it still affect my resale value? They will run a pipe from my backyard to the front, which would prevent intended landscaping things from occurring (i.e. patio). Since I can no longer do things like build a patio and other landscaping, does the builder owe me anything for that? Is their only obligation to fix the problem?
Expert:  Law Pro replied 4 years ago.

Only if they fix it correctly. Clearly they can't give a warranty for the life of the house - but, if they correctly fix the problem you shouldn't have any future problems.

 

I absolutely would NOT accept a 6 month warranty!! No way, no how. What I would do is get other experts in to view the problem and ask them what, in their expert opinion, should be done to correct the problem.

 

6 months is nothing more than a band-aid over the problem potentiallly. You should NOT agree to that. They're scamming you with that offer - with the hope you'll take it.

 

They are liable to completely correct the problem - whatever it takes.

 

If the correction does limit your abilities to use the property - it would depend if they would have done something different to begin with would have alleviated the problem or not. If not, then your stuck. If they would have done something different and would have alleviated the problem - then they owe you something - it's because of their negligence and blunders which caused the problems to begiin with - they're the experts and should have informed you of the problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 23606
Experience: 20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
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