Home>Discussions>YOUR HOME>Your New Home>House fire not disclosed??? what to do legally and expect in the house
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Re: House fire not disclosed??? what to do legally and expect in the house

your inspector can only reply to the facts that he finds. he runs a test on your electrical system and puts a tester in the outlets and they test out ok, so he checks breaker box and everything else there tests out ok. so he concludes everything there is ok but he has no way of knowing that they just recently changed something so therefore he has nothing to report in that area. that in itself isn't saying the work was done well or wasn't. but the assumption would be that it was because it all checked and tested out ok. the suggestion canuk would be the only other thing that you could realisticly do. and if they had pulled a permit then you know an inspector checked it out. and short of opening the wall and physically looking at it yourself or bringing in your own expert to do so, that is pretty much all the more you can really do. by having an inspector look things over before you bought, you did as you should have. of course the credentials of your inspector is also very important as well

Re: House fire not disclosed??? what to do legally and expect in the house

Some states have full disclosure laws, some have if ask you must disclose, some have neither. If the repairs were done properly you should have no problem, if you find structural damage that was just covered up to get ride of the house you may have recourse under fraud laws. Do as Canuk suggests, if you find building permits, inspection reports and occupancy permit, you may also want to check the fire report it usually has an estimate of damage.

A. Spruce
Re: House fire not disclosed??? what to do legally and expect in the house

I may have been a bit flip in my previous answer, and if it seemed that way I do apologize. It's pretty obvious if there's been a fire in a structure when the sub-area and attic are inspected. If there were signs of fire, the inspector should have said so, with the added info of whether he thought the repairs were done properly or whether what he saw was of concern. The fact he made no mention does sound a bit suspicious, however, not having inspected your home personally, I cannot offer an opinion on it's current condition.

I will also ad that I've been trained in home inspections, which consisted of a 1 day classroom course. Trust me when I say that what passes for "classes" is very poor to say the least. The class consisted more of CYA (cover your patootie ) than anything else. Basically, we were instructed to call obvious things, but questionables we were encouraged to turn a blind eye. Home inspections are more of a way to bilk the homeowner of money than to allay their conscience on the home they're purchasing. This is not to say that a home inspection isn't a good thing, what I'm saying is that you're better off to hire a contractor that you trust than to hire a home inspector on the recommendation of a real estate agent or cold call out of the yellow pages. The best advice, as with all things, is to get leads from trusted family and friends if you do not have a contractor whom you know and trust.

Above all things is integrity. There are many of us contractors that have it, live by it, and would not even think of operating outside of it. Unfortunately, as with all professions, there are bad seeds among us that have ulterior motives. It is up to the homeowner to be diligent in checking references and local licensing bodies to make sure that the contractor they are hiring is above board. And, ultimately, you either trust the advice from the folks you've hired or you don't. As BigWalt said, there are no victims.

Re: House fire not disclosed??? what to do legally and expect in the house

Hi Cannotdo,

I understand your concern and know how you feel. We just bought a probate sale house. It had been majorly neglected. We got all the reports etc before deciding to buy. After we moved in we also found evidence of a fire that was never disclosed. (All reports, including JCP etc were clean). We kinda felt like our inspectors stunk, but then again most home inspections dont cover hard-core in-depth inspections of everything.

For us, we knew we were getting a "dump" and are ok with that and the work and cost of fixing it up. Just remember being you bought a short sale your house could have lots of issues etc that you will uncover. But hopefully u got a good deal. So, My suggestion is get more an expert to check your framing electrical etc. Just to be sure what ever caused it won't happen again.

I don't think there is anything you can/should do legally. Atleast in CA, I think the short sales are AS IS - so no guarantees, etc. Good Luck to you. =)

Re: House fire not disclosed??? what to do legally and expect in the house

Thanks for all the replies since yesterday...they are answering my concerns and giving me ideas as to what I should be doing to make sure proper repairs were made and the house is safe!!!


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