Profile picture for user8425334

I believe I paid waaaaaaay to much for my house. Is there anything I can do 2 years later?

Basically, I found that the contractor purchased my current home back in 2007 for $30,000. They renovated it, added a bathroom, and according to about 5 different contractors/home builders that looked at it inside and out, a few things were done incorrectly and cheaply. I really love this house, but one of the main issues is that all the other houses on the block have an enclosed fence and many others have a 2 car detached garage, and we do not. Also we have been having issues with the roof, which is just the shingles (which I was told my everyone who looked at it that the 3 tab shingles were put on wrong) on wood with no extra protective layer in-between. I purchased the house for $110,000, and really think that I paid too much. I know that I made a mistake by doing a short sale. I knew something was fishy when the house was not selling for a while and the contractor would not budge on the price even by a penny. I was told many times that you will never make what you think you will all the time when selling a house that was fixed up. Is there anything I can do, or do I have to just suck it up? Any advice will be helpful. Thank you.
  • October 01 2012 - Ashley
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Answers (9)

Profile picture for Ofe Polack
Personally, if a home inspector tells me that he is not climbing up to check the roof.  I ask him to stop the inspectiona and find me another inspector.  During the closing, the closing agent usually shows you a document and asks you if you are making the purchase on your own free will, what did you say to that?  Because if you had a CMA done and then, on your own free will you made an offer, the offer was accepted, you had a home inspection, accepted the fact that inspector was not going to see the roof, my friend,  you have little recourse.  Unless you find somebody to blame for anything, all you can do is learn from your mistakes and move on!  My heart goes to you, but so is life! 
  • October 03 2012
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Not going to dance around your issue. Truth is that if you bought a lemon house two years ago with inspections, it is unlikely that you have any recourse now unless you can prove that the seller lied on the disclosure. By lied, I am talking smoking gun lied--a letter from the seller to his agent saying "yes I know that the roof is defective but soon that'll be the buyers problem," or an old inspection from a company the seller hired that told him the house had defects. Those are nearly impossible to get in most cases.

Many people in your situation who sue sellers without concrete proof get less back even if they win than it costs to fight with an attorney. You can get legal advice to see where you stand with your state law, but it is unlikely to be worth the fight. You might try small claims if your limit is high enough and if you are within the timeframe for your state. See if your contract allows that or if it requires arbitration.

If you cannot do the repairs, you have several choices-walk away, deed in lieu, short sale or sale if the house can find a traditional buyer. Your best first option is asking if your lender is willing to do anything to help you move on and to get legal advice about what each of the options will do to your credit. Also, find out if your state has deficiency judgements so you know if walking away will legally follow you after you do.

You are in a tough spot, but if your roof is bad and the other defects are significant it is unlikely to improve unless you can find money for repairs. Get all the info you can and then make the best call for your situation.
  • October 03 2012
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So it was really a "regular" sale, not a short sale ( a short sale is where the lender allows the seller to sell for less than the amount of money owed and forgives the difference). This was just a sale that happened quickly.

Most home inspectors do not go on the roof. That is why I always recommend that my buyers have a roof inspection. In my opinion, this is as important as a home inspection - sometimes more so.

Did your agent advise you as to what inspections you could have? If not, they should have.

It sounds to me like you need some legal advice. If the seller knew that the roof was incorrectly installed and did not disclose it, you may have a case, although it may be difficult to prove.
  • October 03 2012
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Profile picture for user8425334
As far as it being a short sale, the contractor DID get the money he wanted as I mentioned that he would not budge on the price at all. I am not sure if I used the right term now. It was a sale that was done in less than a month. When we asked about the roof, the home inspector told us that he is not obliged to go up there and take a good look at it. He said he did a quick assessment from the ground with binoculars. I know the roof is not that great because when we had that bad hurricane in September 2011, no one else's roof sustained that little damage that mine did. Even the sheds were fine. All the roofers/contractors that looked at the roof told me it was done incorrectly. We had water damage from a downspout that was also not secured correctly. We have gotten many estimates, and simply cannot afford to repair the roof at all and my insurance company said they will not reimburse me for anything since the roof was put on incorrectly. So if we just need to walk away from the house, what would happen? Yes I know we should love our home, but if there is damage, what the heck are we supposed to do about if we cannot afford to fix anything? I am unsure if my agent did a comparison in the area. I know full well about the law of conformity, and there is no way that my home should have been priced at the amount they told us. This whole notion of "buyer's market and seller's market" is a bunch of crap. 
  • October 03 2012
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
I have a few questions that may help you find a solution.  When you purchased the home, did your buyer agent conduct a comparative market analysis CMA of the propery?  How did the price feel then, when you put the offer?  Did the Home Inspector noticed all the issues you are mentioning in your message?  If they are not listed on his report, you may want to contact the home inspector and question his inspection.  How much the contractor paid for the home is irrelevant, since you do not know how much $$$ he put in it and what his earning margin was, obviously if you bought it as a short sale, the person who renovated it was not able to get his money.  
  • October 02 2012
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I agree with Vince. You say you love the home so don't beat yourself up about it. I know you would have liked a 2 car detached garage and a fenced yard, but you knew that you were not going to get that when you bought it.

Short Sales are always sold "As Is" although the sellers have to disclose what they know about them. Tricky when its a contractor who has never lived in the home though.

If you feel strongly about it, you should talk to an attorney but I think you may have had more chance of success against the seller or a home inspector if you had done so within 12 months of purchase.
  • October 02 2012
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You should love where you live, when you do its priceless. In So Cal you cant get a decent condo for $110,000. I wouldnt focus on the profit the previous owner made, I would focus on making the house your home....
  • October 01 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
If you feel very strongly about this, please review your situation with an attorney.  Sometimes they'll give you a 15 minute mini consult at no charge.   

Most likely the answer is no, the time to decide the right price is during the purchase process.   The buyer needs to do their due diligence by having inspections and other investigations during the purchase process, not two years later.
  • October 01 2012
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Did you have a home inspection? If so and the inspector did not point out code violations, you may have a claim against them. The seller should also have notified you of any defects that were not readily apparent. Not sure about how long you have for a claim so you should dicuss with an attorney.
  • October 01 2012
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