Home ownership is part of the American dream, but it can easily become a nightmare if you purchase a home or apartment only to discover a serious problem after the sale has been completed. New York is a buyer beware state which means that unless the seller actively concealed a defect or prevented the buyer from inspecting the property, there is no way the seller is liable. It is the burden of the purchaser of the property to inspect and use due diligence.
Defects You Might Discover
- Wood-boring insects
- Cesspool malfunctions
- Structural issues
Before you close on your house
- Have the home inspected by two different companies to ensure that it is free of termites, wood-boring insects and structural issues.
- If the property was recently renovated, research the contractor who performed the work to see if there are any outstanding complaints or if the contractor has a history of shoddy work.
- Obtain a sales history of the property to see previous owners and purchase prices to ensure that you are not purchasing a flip.
- If you plan on signficiantly renovating the home after purchase, have it inspected by the contractor who will do the job to make sure the property allows for the construction that you want to perform.
Legal claims after closing
- The seller is only liable if they actively prevented you from inspecting the property or actively concealed the defect. If you feel you have a cause of action against the seller, you can file a lawsuit alleging fraud against the seller, claiming damages for the cost of repair and any costs that you incurred due to the fraud.
Pay additional for detailed inspections of the property to ensure it is free and clear of defects that will cost you thousands to cure after purchase.