Profile picture for aw hbeach

Finding pipe leak and water damage after closure of the escrow

Recently closed the escrow. About 1 month after the closure of the escrow had water leak that has been repaired by Home Warranty Insurance. While plumber worked on the leak I noticed also water damage to kitchen cabinets. Preliminary quotes came to $15,000 and I was told that the damage is more than one year old. Water damage was not identified on Home inspection report. Also found out that repairs that were identified in home inspection report that were promised  to be fixed by the seller were not fixed and permits that were promised to be pulled out were not. Real estate broker was dual agent representing seller and buyer. She works for Century 21 Award. When I elevated issues to Century 21 Award their attorney told me that real estate broker who handled this transaction does not have any fudiciary duty to buyer because they were paid comission by the seller. Is it true that in dual agency buyer is not represented by broker or real estate agent? 
  • July 15 2014 - US
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Answers (15)

Profile picture for aw hbeach
Pasedenan - please contact me on my profile email (if possible). Thank you.
  • September 06 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
I think that would be a "bad idea"; your insurance would definitely pay "nothing" then.  As it is, I think your insurance is likely to pay for a brand new kitchen including all remediation, less the deductible.  (All flood damage from a p-trap that came off on 7/4/14 without your knowledge after you closed escrow, and not getting the damage cleaned up properly quickly enough because of a home warranty plumber that only looked at the pipe, not all the water that spilled when the trap came off).

Waiting for your update on what the insurance adjuster for your home owner's insurance stated.

Now, if it can be proved that the contractor "bumped it" when re-connecting the dishwasher prior to close of escrow, that contractor's insurance may end up paying something as well.  But that would be extremely difficult to prove.  And it would be your insurance company's responsibility to try to recover damages from that contractor's insurance policy, not your responsibility.  But you would have to assist with any documentation they request.

  • September 06 2014
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Profile picture for aw hbeach
Looking for a volunteer to help me to destroy gutted kitchen of just purchased house. Hope gutted kitchens qualify for consideration. 
  • September 06 2014
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Profile picture for c322116
Where this show originates?
  • September 06 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
  • September 04 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
I once hired a house mover to put a replacement header beam in a garage....  They didn't use sledge hammers; they kicked 2x4's under the roof rafters for temporary support, then took out their chain saws and started hacking away.

For existing wood, chain saws are much more effective than sledgehammers.

For a kitchen remodel, I wouldn't be nearly fast enough for the demo for that show.  Besides, I would want a minimum of 2 crow bars for pulling the cabinets off the wall, and for any electrical, I need power screw drivers, and for the plumbing I need an assortment of wrenches, saw zall, and power pipe cutter.  And for the floor, I need a long handled floor scraper and an oscillating saw.

Just knock out a wall without even paying attention to if it is a bearing wall or not?

It sounds more like a comedy show than anything else.
  • September 04 2014
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It's new. The Jason (?) guy from "Man Caves" is the host-tractor. Great concept.They give the homeowners two sledgehammers, and 30 minutes, to demo rooms they want upgraded the most. If they finish demo, the show fixes the rooms. If the clock runs out, with a room only partially demolished, the show doesn't fix it.

The use of a studor valve came up.
  • September 04 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
I see that one of the other 11 threads by the poster on this subject has now been "closed" to further comments.  And it didn't even get to 200 response posts, nor 3200 views.

Interesting about the chandelier that was only installed for "staging" for show though... both the side and the back of that truck indicate they install chandeliers.

Maybe one that was purchased for another project?  Maybe they just took advantage of HomeDepot's return policy, and never even rented it; just returned it for full credit back on their credit card?
  • September 04 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
"sledgehammered" is how I personally removed the foundation from under my house to replace it.  Yes, of course I personally took the weight off the foundation first by lifting it.

Amazing what one can do with some low cost tools, some wood, some concrete, a little planning, and some time.  (Yes, of course I got a building permit first; one would be crazy to replace a foundation without a building permit).

I have 3 different sledge hammer sizes.  It makes most sense to use the right weight and right handle length for the specific task at hand.

But I didn't find the TV show "sledgehammered" anywhere.  You sure it wasn't the police show "Sledge Hammer"?
  • September 04 2014
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Interesting commentary, about venting, regarding island sinks, on the TV show "Sledgehammered" last night.
  • September 04 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
Yes, $15k only includes "cabinets"  (and likely only cabinet fronts).  It does not include new drywall, painting, plumbing, electrical, and new counter tops.  Nor does it include any "remediation" of mold.  If they had been done right away, the mold would have been kept in check; but that wouldn't have addressed the missing vent for the drain that is a critical piece of this puzzle, that the prior owner lived with for 21 years without any clue of the real issue.

Prior to moving to that property in 1984, the owner lived a short distance away on Via Granados.  (One of 8 possible houses).  The house size was between 1.25k and 1.5k sqft, and the lot size was between 3.48k and 3.8k square feet.  We can see why they moved to 14k sqft lot and larger house with a view.  The homes in the area they previously lived are now valued between $430k and $560k.  But that 1993 building addition?  Little did they know what a missing vent pipe could do on a kitchen sink drain, especially with no back-splash on the kitchen sink counter.
  • September 04 2014
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You should consult with an attorney.  If the seller did not pull permits or make repairs per the contract, they may be in breach of contract.  If there was water damage they knew about but did not disclose, they may have committed fraud.  If the inspector failed to note patent (obvious) defects, you may have a claim against them for negligence, which you can claim on their insurance.  In a dual representation mode, the broker usually has you sign a waiver of duty form.  I believe the standard of care in that instance is no self-dealing, but I'm not sure.  In any case, I don't see any fault by the broker here.
  • September 04 2014
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Profile picture for aw hbeach
Pasedenan

That was my email from "concerned, but basically happy" period, before I've learned that kitchen would have to be gutted to remove mold, and before I've seen photos of the skeleton kitchen structure damaged by mold and water in the house I was supposed to be living in.

 I just want to say that I really appreciate your insight and ability to "think things through", your wisdom, competence and Sherlock Holmes like investigative skills. And yes - it was my fault that I was not more assertive during home acquisition process, as a result i ended up with the nightmare.

And BTW - current price tag is significantly higher than initial estimate of $15,000.  That was just an opening card...
  • September 03 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
Yes, replacement of kitchen cabinets run around $15k.  And some of the damage was existing prior to close of escrow from prior floods due to the kitchen sink drainage issue.... but the bigger issue is the flood on 7/4/14, one month after close of escrow on 6/5/14, and the damage caused by water sitting under the cabinets for several days before the plumber came to fix it on 7/8/14.  And even then, the water continued to sit, as no one pulled the dishwasher and kick plates under the cabinets to mop it nor to vacuum it with a shop vac. 

Though there had been a prior flood from similar issues in the past, it was not "finding a leak"; the leak occurred on 7/4/14 in the drain line.  Yes, it is possible that when the dishwasher was reconnected that the P-trap was bumped and no one noticed until over 1 month later when the water in the sink was actually used.  But those are not the kinds of issues one wants to wait to address.

In any case, this is an issue for your insurance company, not the Real Estate agent.
  • September 01 2014
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
When one purchases a home, the final signatures at closing are saying you accept the home as it is that day unless there a,re items that are very specifically called out as pending in the documentation.  Before signing the paper work, it is your job (as buyer) to make sure that everything is done.  

As many have  mentioned previously, at this stage you need to talk to your attorney. 
  • July 15 2014
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