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Michigan Disclosure Question

We hired a builder to build our house and one of the basement walls collapsed due to the amount of rain we have had and the saturated ground. The basement floor had not been poured yet and the walls were poured in late Feb. 

The framing is done on the house and basically they are repouring that wall and tieing it in all together and re-waterproofing it. 

We have 20K down on it.

When we sell this house in the future is this something that has to be disclosed? We are not even technically the owners of the house yet which is what the builder is saying. He says since we dont own it yet, we dont have to disclose it. Also the wall will supposedly be better than new but it will look slightly different than the rest of the walls because we have a deeper basement and they will have to block the top of the wall and the rest dont have that.
  • May 05 2011 - Northville Township
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Answers (4)

Profile picture for slawson381
2 things I would suggest:
1. Call an attorney regarding future disclosure.
2. Hire an structural engineer to give you an opinion on the walls and surrounding soil conditions.

Michigan soils can be very tricky.  I have had listings that had subterranean 'peat bogs'.  10-15 years after the homes were built major shifting began.  Sometimes a  poured basement needs special care given to the back fill materials placed around the perimeter.  If you have heavy clay that retains water you might have issues for years.   The right backfill would allow the water to drain down to the drain tile and then to the sump pump rather than build up Hydrostatic Pressure against the wall.

Good luck with your new home - I hope it brings many years of happiness!
  • November 14 2013
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Consult an attorney on this question.
  • November 14 2013
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Homeowner under construction in Northville,

I commend you for asking the question.  I have provided a link to the "Seller's Disclosure Act"  below. 

I agree with therealtorguy advising you to direct legal questions to an attorney.  According to the statute, a homeowner is not responsible for latent unknown defects.  Your situation does raise some question that might be legal interpretations.  The act calls for disclosure at time of transfer.  If that wall were to be defective in the future and the current problem was proven to be the cause, and if also proven that you were aware, could you be liable and to what extent? 

Ask an attorney who has knowledge in real estate cases related to the "Seller's Disclosure Act"

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/mcl/pdf/mcl-act-92-of-1993.pdf


  • May 06 2011
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Disclosures inform potential buyes of latent (hidden) defects. If the new wall is defective of leaks, you would have to disclose that. If it would help, I can e-mail you a copy of the current disclosure form ... just sent me your e-mail address.

You may also wish to consult an attorney for a legal opinion.

  • May 05 2011
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