Buying a house is an exciting milestone in life, but it is also represents a major investment that comes with its own share of risks. One of the greatest concerns — whether buying a new or used home — is the potential for hidden defects. While you can hire a hidden defect lawyer to assist you in these situations, taking steps to avoid the problem altogether can save you some major headaches.
What Are Hidden Defects?
Hidden defects are any building flaw that were not discovered before the completion of a home sale. These problems may be the result of age, poor design, or shoddy construction work. Common examples include damaged plumbing, leaky roofs, or cracked foundations.
Regardless of the severity of the problem, there is no denying that it could have had an impact on a buyer’s purchasing decision. In some cases, the issues may have been severe enough to cause a potential buyer to back out of the sale entirely. In other cases, the buyer may have wished to negotiate a lower price so they could handle the repairs themselves.
When Do You Have a Case?
It is understandable that a home buyer wants to get their money’s worth — after all, a home is perhaps the largest investment an individual can make, and hidden defects seriously harm the value of that investment.
Keep in mind, however, that while many buyers may have a legal case, this isn’t applicable in all cases. Some homes are sold “as-is,” with contracts that clearly stipulate that the buyer assumes all risk and responsibility for hidden defects. Even in other home sales, if the buyer was already aware of a defect prior to the finalization of the sale and decided to purchase anyway, they effectively took upon themselves the responsibility for the repairs.
New defects that occur as the result of misuse (or even normal wear and tear) by the new buyer are also not the seller’s responsibility. To have a case, the defect must have been present at the time of the sale without the buyer being aware of it. Legal action can help you obtain funding needed to provide repairs.
The Value of a Home Inspection
Though you can receive legal assistance if a hidden defect is discovered after you’ve purchased the home, it is much better to never get stuck in a less-than-ideal house in the first place. Before finalizing your purchase, it is essential that you hire a professional home inspector to check for any damage or maintenance issues you might not notice yourself. This way, you can resolve these issues before completing the purchase, or move on to a different home.