How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34253
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
19958803
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My husband and I bought a house in Sept/Oct last year. The

Customer Question

Hi, My husband and I bought a house in Sept/Oct last year. The prior owners did not disclose that they smoked in the bathrooms. In Jan/Feb, during heavy rains, we started getting water coming in the house. Water was coming in through a section of the roof and down a wall in our garage. Water was also coming in through the top of the sliding glass door that leads out to the patio, and water was coming in from the bottom of the frame of a window in the master bedroom. The prior owners did not disclose ANY of those issues. We thought that maybe they were new but the wall in the garage showed signs of water drying on it, the sliding glass door and the bedroom window show rust and oxidation. Home inspection did not identify any of these issues.
We spent a couple thousand dollars repairing the roof and garage wall. Contractors tell us we will need approx. $12,000 to repair the water problems around the sliding door and window. It is not just a matter or replacing the door and window. There are problems around the framing, flashing, stucco, etc.
The prior owners were the original owners so they must have known. The oxidation points to this being a problem which has been happening for a while. Also, they painted over frames I guess to conceal the issues. The house was built in 1998 and we bought it in 2015.
I have also learned that other people in this same neighborhood have filed construction defect cases involving these problems against the home builder. However, I also learned that there is a 10 year statute of limitations to file a claim against the home builder and that time has passed. We would like advice on how we should proceed and what it might cost us to pursue a claim against the prior owners through legal means. Your help is much appreciated
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 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.

Normal
0
false
false
false
EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE<w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="true"
DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99"
LatentStyleCount="267">
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="34" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="29" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false"
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/>/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}

Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

If you have proof and evidence that the sellers concealed defects intentionally and failed to disclose things on the seller's disclosure, then your recourse is to sue them under a breach of contract, fraud, and misrepresentation case and seek damages in the form of whatever the costs are to put the property back into the condition of what you thought you were buying..

.

Since this likely involves some fraud, you should be able to recover your attorney fees and possibly punitive damages if you can prove that they actively concealed problems..

.

You are likely looking at $2-3K as a retainer to get started and then the costs will increase depending on how hard and how long the seller fights..

.

.

thanks

Barrister