[FONT=PalatinoLinotype][size=4][FONT=PalatinoLinotype][size=4]Robin M. Gronsky
[/size][/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype][size=2]Attorney at Law
[/size][/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype][size=3]315 North Pleasant Avenue
Ridgewood, New Jersey 07450
(201) 251-8001 RGronsky@GronskyLaw.com Fax (201) 701-0407
[/size][/FONT]Home Buyer Beware – Your Home Inspection Report Does
Not Come With a Lifetime Guarantee
[FONT=BookmanOldStyle][size=3]Home Buyer Beware – Your Home Inspection Report Does Not Come With a Lifetime
[/size][/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype][size=3]I have never represented a home buyer who did not get the property inspected before the closing
(even during the days of the real estate bubble when sellers were not agreeing to any repairs). But,
I find that the expectations of my buyers clients seem to be higher than they should be in terms of
what the home inspection report is designed to do.
A home inspector will go through the house and check out the conditions of the structure, the
systems (heating, air conditioning (if the temperature permits), hot water, plumbing, and
electrical) and the appliances. The better home inspectors will go into crawl spaces, up on the roof
(but most just use binoculars while on the ground) but they are limited by what is visible. If there
are bookcases or other furniture in a room or boxes in the basement or attic, the home inspector
will not move anything to see what is behind them. The home inspector will also look for termites
or damage from termite infestation.
A home inspection report is a snapshot of what condition the property is in on that particular day.
Unfortunately, I have had calls from clients who were upset that things broke down soon after
closing or systems that could not be tested due to temperature were not working optimally or a
basement that was disclosed as dry was now flooded. They wanted to know if they could get
compensation from the home inspector, the seller or the seller’s real estate agent.
[FONT=PalatinoLinotype][size=3][FONT=PalatinoLinotype][size=3]There are limitations to what you get from the home inspection. It is always possible that the seller
lied on the disclosure form but you would have to prove that the seller had knowledge of the
condition and lied about it. Or things do break down more quickly than predicted (most home
inspectors will mention if something is at the end of its useful life but the seller is not obligated to
replace it if it still working at the final walk-through. Or the law could change and what was an
acceptable practice when you closed is now unacceptable to buyers and you have to spend money
you were not expecting to spend. With flooding issues, we have had 100-year floods and 200-year
floods recently, so in most cases, if a basement didn’t flood from Hurricane Irene or the other
storms we’ve had, chances are you will be getting the dry basement you are expecting. But, there
is no guarantee that we won’t experience a 500-year flood soon.
Also remember that if you want to sue someone, you have to pay your legal fees. If the costs of
hiring a lawyer, missing work to appear at depositions and in court, and feeling the stress from
having an ongoing lawsuit in your life won’t outweigh the damages you have suffered (and don’t
expect to get millions for emotional distress or pain and suffering), it won’t be worth it to sue[/size][/size][/size][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/size][/FONT]
[FONT=PalatinoLinotype][size=3][FONT=PalatinoLinotype][size=3]There is a reason that the expression “Caveat Emptor” is still used when buying a house – the
buyer must beware. You must diligently check out all possible issues, ask your home-buying team
about the ramifications of what was found in the home inspection report, ask the seller to repair
the items that need repair, but understand that no one can insulate you from all of the risks of
buying a home.
[/size][/FONT][FONT=BookmanOldStyle][size=3]Robin M. Gronsky, Esq. is the owner of Gronsky Law Office in Ridgewood, New Jersey. If
you need a lawyer to represent you when you are buying or selling a house, contact
Robin by telephone at: 201-251-8001 and by e-mail at: [/size][/FONT][FONT=BookmanOldStyle][size=3][FONT=BookmanOldStyle][size=3]RGronsky@Gronskylaw.com[/size][/size][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=BookmanOldStyle][size=3]. For
more information about the different services that Gronsky Law Office provides, go to