Home defects’ late discovery opens can of worms

DEAR BOB: My husband and I sold our home in July 2005. Atthat time, the buyer requested additional time for inspections, and multipleinspections were conducted. The buyer requested a credit back, which wegranted. Now more than a year later, the buyer’s lawyer has sent us a letteraccusing us of nondisclosure and is demanding $85,000. The items the buyeraccuses us of withholding were not discovered by any of the inspections, and myhusband and I knew nothing of their existence. We are now involved inmediation, which is costing us lawyer fees and time. Our lawyer says that usuallyall named parties (inspectors, Realtors, and us) contribute to the settlement.My husband and I are outraged by the process. We do not agree to anysettlement. What prevents any buyer with remorse from accusing the seller ofnondisclosure? –Connie S.

DEAR CONNIE: The situation you describe is called a”shakedown.” You are the victims. Mediation is usually a simpleone-day procedure and should not be expensive. If that doesn’t result in anacceptable solution to the dispute, then the buyers can sue you.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

After you win a lawsuit, then you can bring a”malicious prosecution lawsuit” against the buyers to recover yourcosts for suing you on a groundless claim. For more details, please consult alocal real estate attorney.

BOOK ABOUT PROBATE PROPERTIES

DEAR BOB: Please recommend the three best books you’ve readon how to profit from probate real estate –Joseph G.

DEAR JOSEPH: The only book I am aware of about probateproperties is the excellent “Creating Wealth Through Probate” byJames A. Banks. It is available in stock or by special order at localbookstores, public libraries, and www.Amazon.com.

ADDING SWIMMING POOL RARELY ADDS MORE VALUE THAN IT COSTS

DEAR BOB: Next summer our kids want us to have an ingroundswimming pool built at our house in the backyard. A few neighbors have them,but most nearby houses do not. It would cost at least $25,000, maybe more. Doyou think a swimming pool would be a good investment? –Janice P.

DEAR JANICE: No. You would be very fortunate if the swimmingpool adds as much market value to your home as it costs. Unless you live in ahot climate where most homes have swimming pools, my best advice is tell yourkids to make friends with someone who has a pool at their house.

In fact, swimming pools can be a detriment when you decideto sell your home. Many families with small children refuse to consider buyinga house with a swimming pool because of the drowning danger. Also, pools andtheir equipment can be very expensive to maintain.

The new Robert Bruss special report, “How to BuyFixer-Upper Houses with Little or No Cash for Fun and Fortune,” is nowavailable for $5 from Robert Bruss, 251 Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 or bycredit card at 1-800-736-1736 or instant internet delivery at www.Amazon.com. Questions for this column arewelcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center
).

Copyright 2006 Inman News

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