Many homeowners have had their dream of homeownership turn into a nightmare after finding defects or unknown dangers in the home upon moving in. This can be especially true when it comes to mould and water or flood damage. Many sellers either don't know that the damage is there or have done the minimum required to cover up the symptoms, hoping to pass the problem on to the next owner.
Take, for instance, the plight one woman from High River, who bought a home and even requested that her home inspector specifically look out for signs of mould. The inspector claimed he did not find any evidence of mould, although the woman declined to test the air quality of the home. Unfortunately, no sooner had she purchased the home and begun to do some remodeling, than a contractor found evidence of mould in floorboards and drywall. To compound matters even more, the woman has a child with existing respiratory problems that she fears may be exacerbated by the conditions in the home.
Unfortunately, this is all too common an experience. While there may be plenty of blame to go around, from the seller, to the inspector, to the homebuyer, the real issue is that too many people do not have an experienced advocate on their team in the home-buying process. It is not advisable to depend on the honesty and good intentions of others with ulterior motives when you are buying a home. Even for those who have a good deal of experience in real-estate dealings, having a lawyer on your side to advise you as you walk through the process can help make navigating the buying process more manageable, and help ensure that you have more options on the other side, if things begin to go sideways in a way you do not expect.
Many homebuyers may think that hiring a lawyer as a part of their home buying team is an unnecessary cost in an already expensive process, but they are clearly not considering the potential costs that can be avoided. The guidance of a lawyer with experience in residential real estate can ensure that you have someone who's only job is to protect your rights and ensure that you are getting exactly what you are paying for.
Source: High River Times, "Resident finds mould, flood silt in newly-purchased home," Kelci Nicodemus, Sep. 21, 2016