No Home Inspection

Christie and Mike D’Andrea arerebuilding their lives after they lost their home.
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“It’s like having a house fire,you lose everything, its tragic,” said homeowner Christie D’Andrea.
“You say your house is full ofmold and you’ve lost everything people kind of look at you and go, what?”
The couple closed on a newlyconstructed $481,000 home on Birch Street in Pembroke in Dec. 2014.
They moved in on New Year’s Dayand Mike proposed in the front yard.
But their new beginning took adisastrous turn weeks later when they discovered mold in the attic and water inthe basement.
“I just wish we had never boughtit, it turned into such a nightmare,” said D’Andrea.“I wish we had never foundthe listing.
I wish we never embarked on this.”
The D’Andrea’s moved out of thehouse earlier this year.
They were having health issuesthey blamed on toxic mold exposure.
Mike said he had lost sixtypounds and Christie complained of numbness in her hands and arms.
They say their doctor advisedthem to move out and take nothing with them.
“It’s like a mausoleum, our clothes are stillhanging in the closet,” said Christie.
“Our memorabilia is still under the beds,wedding pictures are still on the walls.”
The D’Andrea’s say theydiscovered that the Pembroke Conservation Committee had issued an Order ofConditions on the property when the town sold the land.
The house, which sits next to wetlands, was tobe built above the seasonal high water table. But they say it wasn’t.
“Water flows into the basementevery time we have melting snow or a couple of days after it rains,” saidChristie.
“Water seeps up from the water table becausethere is nowhere for it to go. The house sits in it.”
“It creates a chronic state of humidity,” saidMike.
Town Administrator Ed Thorneblames the builder, Tracy White of Hemlock Homes LLC.
“The whole thing boiled down tothe fact that the developer didn’t follow the plan that was part of the sale ofthe property,” said Thorne.
“I don’t believe that thebuilding department knew that the foundation was lower than what was originallydesigned by our septic engineer.”
When asked if the town missedanything, Thorne said, “no.”
The D’Andrea’s house wascondemned by the town in March due to chronic dampness.
They worried about Mike’smother, who lived next door, in a house that was built by at the same time bythe same developer.
“About a week after I had movedin there was a big rainstorm,” said Eileen Goguen.
“I just had a gut feeling and went downstairsto take a look and there was a lot of water coming in the basement from thefront of the house.
There was black mold all overupholstered furniture, on the cardboard boxes, on the stairwell leading down tothe basement.”
Goguen also moved out and saysshe has lingering health issues.
In 2015, the builder’s insurancecompany denied a claim for mold and the three filed a lawsuit, claiming aconstruction defect.
Tracy White’s attorney declinedto issue a comment for this story given the ongoing litigation, but in aresponse to the lawsuit,
denied allegations of any wrongdoing.
“It’s like I’m living anightmare and I’m drowning and I can’t get out,” said Goguen. “I can’t goanywhere, I’m stuck with this sick house."
The D’Andrea’s home is listedfor sale “as is” for investors and contractors, but they have contemplatedforeclosure.
“We can’t live there and wecan’t afford to maintain the home,” said Mike.
"Our legal bills, our medical bills, lifein general and maintaining the home that we can’t live in and isn’t of value.It’s just crazy.”
All of them are trying to stayfinancially afloat while the case moves through the court system.
“You wake up and you have hope,”says Christie. “You wake up and you push forward and you keep fighting.”
“I’m not going to let him getaway with this,” says Goguen. “At least I’ll have my day in court.
Win, lose or draw, I want that. I want him tobe held accountable for what he’s done to me and Christie and my son.”
The D’Andrea’s waived a homeinspection when they bought their house because it was a brand new property.
That’s something that expertswarn against. Buying a home is a big investment and you want to know as much asyou can about a house before you buy it.

This story reminds me that I should never assume that the AHJ has done their job properly. My experience with my local building inspection department reinforces this.

Yep I agree .
Much of this is the fault of the Towns only giving the building inspector about 15 minutes to do his inspection that includes travel time .

If they had gotten a home inspection would he have known about the depth of the foundation??

If they had gotten a home inspection would that poor schmuck be hammered in their lawsuit?