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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34280
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I recently purchased a home (Aug 15, 2015). I asked the home

Customer Question

I recently purchased a home (Aug 15, 2015). I asked the home owner and the realtor prior to pruchasing the property about flooding. If it had ever flooded, was it in a flood zone. And the response from the home owner was "It flooded 20 years ago, but since they widened the bridge, the property has never flooded", the realtor showed me a flood zone map that showed the back half of my pasture was in a flood zone, but the house and the majority of my property was not.
My property has now flooded twice in two months. There is a creek that boarders nearly half my property (which is why I asked about flooding). When I asked the city, they sent an inspector that told me the home owners had been served 2 years ago notice that the entire property would be in the flood zone beginning Dec 2016. He also stated that the realtor at the time of contract signing had access to the new flood zone rulings. He also stated that I cannot attempt to dam the property as it would cause flooding upstream.
What kind of legal recourse actions can I take? What can be done? Are there other agencies that I can engage? I would never have purchased the property had I been made aware that the property was regularly flooding.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 6 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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You have a textbook case for fraud and misrepresentation against the seller because they clearly knew that this was coming and intentionally concealed this fact. This would be a huge material fact that would have influenced your decision to purchase and now you can act to hold them liable.

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With that said, since there is no way to "correct" the problem, the you are left with two options....you can sue to try and rescind the sale entirely and force them to refund the money, which may be difficult if they have spent it.. or you can sue them for damages in the form of the fair market value of the property in a flood zone vs. one out of a flood zone.

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Whether you can get the realtor in this as well depends on whether they were made aware of the letters and was a part of the fraud or not.. But I would still name them in the lawsuit and let them try to get out of it..

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thanks

Barrister

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