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Bad inspection at townhouse purchased in NC

In 2005 I purchased a townhouse in Wilmington, NC. The home inspector for the bank said everything was fine. This past week I find out the there is major rotting of the back side of the unit and 2 decks as well as flooring for the second floor has to be replaced. Question, do I have any legal protection regarding this bad inspection ? An engineer stated that there wasn't any flashing ever installed and the upstairs deck was installed with "NAILS" any advice would be appreciated.
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June 21 2011 - Wilmington
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Answers (5)

You bought that townhouse five years ago. At that point there may not have been any issues. Rotting can happen quickly if a home is not maintained. I doubt whether you can prove this was a bad inspection because the question would be, did you maintain the home? 
I am not an attorney so if I was you, I would ask one. Sorry about your problem , thats really a shame.
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June 22 2011
Car54wru,

Although I am not an attorney, as others have already mentioned I too believe it is unlikely that you have any recourse against the bank's/your inspector.

However, I do wonder when the townhome was built and if you purchased it from the builder. Because if you are in a relatively new complex and this is an issue that is widespread thoughout your development you and the HOA might try to go after the builder for faulty construction. I know of several cases in Wilmington where the homeowners are trying to recover funds from builders because of substandard construction. It is not a cheap or easy process but you should think about it and talk to others in your complex to see if it is worth pursuing.

Please feel free to contact me if I can be of further help. I hope you can get your unit and the complex fixed up. Have a great day!
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June 22 2011
I  doubt that you have any protection, as the other stated the inspector for the bank is really looking to see if the home value was acceptable for the loan value.  Even in VA and FHA loans they sometimes pick at things that seem like a silly issue and then don't look into detailed things that would seem to be a big deal.  A home inspector is the one who is charged with determining that things are in normal working order and they are working for YOU.  Also it is very possible that the rotting wasn't present in 2005 when you purchased the home.  The inspector at the bank might have looked and not seen any rotting, where a home inspector would have noticed a condition that allowed for water intrusion or something else that will lead to rotting.   another example is a house without gutters, appraisers/inspectors for the loan don't typically make an issue of the lack of gutters unless there is already a problem with soil erosion where the water hits the ground, where a home inspector will comment on the need to have them in the future to prevent such problems.

the lack of flashing allowed the problem to occur but the problem likely wasn't present when the house was purchased, just the potential for it.  I don't really have any advice.  It's not a happy answer but I don't see that there are many options other than a lesson learned.  If you didn't get a home inspection when you bought the house you might consider getting one now so that you can get some expert advice on other things that you might want to prevent.  you don't have to be in a real estate transaction to benefit from an detailed, professional inspection.
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June 21 2011
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What did the home inspector hired by you, the buyer, say?     It is the inspector you hired that should have caught some of these things.   As far as protection, please  Read the disclaimers in the inspection report you received from your inspector.
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June 21 2011
Do you mean the appraiser for the bank or home inspector?  Usually the home inspector is hired by the buyer and works solely for the buyer.

The appraiser for the bank does not perform an inspection unless it was an FHA or VA loan, and then their focus is limited not all inclusive. They might note existing damage they could see, but normally would not "write up" a condition likely to lead to damage later.
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June 21 2011
 
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