Question: We purchased a home in central Phoenix last summer from an investor who had bought the home at a foreclosure sale and had never lived in the home. The investor had simply “renovated” the home and sold the home. We had a home inspection which found no major problems. In addition, the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement furnished to us by the investor showed no major problems.
The home had no washing machine, so when we moved into the home we had to buy one. When we hooked up the washing machine, however, we immediately had a drainage problem. We hired a plumber who told us that the interior plumbing lines were completely rotted. Our homeowner’s warranty will not pay for the $2,000 repair cost because the drainage problem was a “pre-existing condition.” Do we have a claim for the $2,000 repair cost against the investor who sold us this home?
Answer: Probably not. Unless you have evidence that the investor knew of this drainage problem with the interior plumbing lines when the home was sold to you, you probably have no claim against the investor. If a buyer purchases a home from someone who has never lived in the home — that is, an investor, a bank or a probate heir — the rule of caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”) is generally applicable. Therefore, this buyer should do an extremely thorough home inspection, and even should consider having home inspections done by two different home inspectors.