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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12250
Experience:  JD, MBA
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Greetings, I bought a house in Dallas, Texas in 2012 from

Customer Question

Greetings, I bought a house in Dallas, Texas in 2012 from the Bank which was a foreclosure and "as is". It is situated on a creek in the suburbs. The issue I am concerned about is that the land the property is built on seems to be sinking slowly into the
creek. The neighbours next to and behind me all are showing similar signs of movement with cracks in the foundations, landscaping and driveways etc. When the report was done for the property inspection when purchasing, they stated that there was noticeable
foundation movement, and the advice given was that we needed to maintain moisture levels around the property. Since the property had not been taken care of properly previously and having been empty for almost 2 years, this seemed plausible. Consequently we
had the sprinkler system repaired to maintain the proper moisture levels. However the moisture in the soils does not seem, to me, to be the main issue here. When the property was built originally, it should have had a proper retaining wall built along the
creek to avoid any land movement pushing down into the creek as it slopes down. When we purchased the property we were under the impression that the soil moisture levels were the problem with the foundations, but now I believe it is a much bigger problem and
that the whole back of the property along the creek needs to be reinforced with a retain wall to prevent any more land movement downwards into the creek. Home Insurance? The insurance we have on the property with the bank does not seem to cover this but I
am not 100% sure of that either, since I did read through it and it says no cover with "Land issues". I am not sure if this problem can fall under "flood damage" since perhaps part of the problem is also that with heavy rain, the creek fills up and the water
erosion may have been a factor to the the creeks embankments wearing away and adding to the land movement problem. The original builders? The property is in a cul de sac. At least three of the properties at the bottom end of the cul de sac were all designed
by the same architectural and same builder. Would they have any liabilities? What would be the first step? Get a specialist in to assess the situation and give a diagnosis for a solution? Then take it from there? Or maybe just sell it?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions. Based upon the facts that you shared, I would likely try to sell the property as quickly as possible. The bank that you bought the house from would have no liability here since the sale was "as is," and the bank certainly wouldn't have known about the issues anyway (i.e., they couldn't have disclosed the problems since they didn't know about the problems). It seems unlikely that your insurance policy would cover the type of issues with the land that you describe. You'll have to speak to the insurance company to be sure (or retain an attorney to review your policy for you), but no matter what the insurance policy covers, it seems really unlikely that it would cover pre-existing problems. As for the original builders, you would have no claim against them because you had no contract with them. In other words, they didn't owe you any duty to build the house properly. So, based upon all of that, I would sell the property, though I'll add that you'll need to disclose the problem to potential buyers.Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied.