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Kathy Darrow
We bought a money pit too!

:eek:I have hypersensitivity pneumonitis,severe allergy to mold, mildew and rot, which is eating my lungs away, I only have 1/2 of both lungs left. Being first time homeowners we didn't know what to look for. We bought a house that the previous homeowner put wall paper on ceilings and walls in every room up stairs and down. They covered up water damage, cracks, and covered up everything that was wrong. The drainage for the upstairs tiolet has waste on the outside of the cast iron drainage system, I believe the drainage system needs to be cleaned out because sometimes when the toilet upstairs gets flushed you can feel the back up when using the downstairs toilet, not fun. All outside doors are dry rot, because of my condition I removed all carpeting and found the floors cut up and patched horribly, the main beams in the basement are mostly cracked there are some of those metal braces holding up the beams, every floor creaks so bad that you can hear when our cat walks across the floors. The water setup for the washingmachines are hooked up to the facet so you can't even use the sink and they drain into the sink, all that lint going down the drain. The pillers on the porches are also dry rotted the garage has nasty cracks here and there, windows need fixing there too. There are two chimmenys and one you can see is falling apart, on the inside of the house. We have managed to replace the roof which the roofer informed me that at sometime this house had a fire, this was not disclosed to us at the time of sale, which brings to mind the house needs electrical work as well. Up stairs the ceiling fan caught on fire, we have tried to replace the wiring and ceiling fan but I can't get in the crawl space to figure out what to do and my husband is not a handy man. I need lots of advice and help on the most afordable ways in which to fix this old house. The up stairs is an apartment which with all the repairs that need to be done upstairs as well as down has been empty for four years. We sure could use the income to help make more repairs. I thank anyone who can help us.

Re: We bought a money pit too!

Kathy .... yikes ... I feel for your situation.

Please understand this is not meant to downplay or be insensitive to your situation .... rather .... meant as a general comment for others who may be purchasing a home.


Being first time homeowners we didn't know what to look for.

Unfortunately many home buyers fall victim to situations such as yours ..... buying a home without having a pre-purchase inspection done .
Many times homes are bought after a cursory look at the home by the potential buyers and lacking proper inspections by the purchaser.
For this reason it's not surprising that many buyers are finding problems with the home after purchase.

As mentioned ... " didn't know what to look for " is the reason for hiring someone to do a pre-purchase inspection..... like a certified/licensed home inspector or a general contractor. An experienced and qualified person doing the inspection would discover many issues before making the purchase .... allowing the buyer to make an informed decision whether to buy or run.

In some cases purchasers will turn to legal means to sue the seller for nondisclosure.

Depending on the laws in your area ..... There may be provisions for the seller and others involved with the selling of the home to disclose any known defects in the property .... but .... this can be difficult to prove when major problems are found after possession.
This means the costs of a lawyer which may or may not end in your favor.... but will still cost money for the legal proceedings.

While not being a lawyer and generally speaking ... the onus is on the purchaser to complete their due diligence as to the condition of the property prior to closing.

The only real protection for the purchaser is to include a condition in the purchase offer for a satisfactory inspection by someone qualified. If this option is not taken by the buyer they can be solely responsible for the inspection of the home ..... usually done in a quick walk through before making the offer.

Having said that .... what to do ....

Judging by the things you've listed it sounds like you are overwhelmed and may not know where to start and how.

So as a suggestion ....

It might be helpful to hire a certified/licensed home inspector or contractor to evaluate the issues at your house. They would consult with you as to what the issues are and what needs to be addressed and the priorities.

They can provide you with direction for a reasonable game plan so you can properly budget for and attack the repairs .

They would also be able to advise you what repairs would need professionals and those you may be able to perform yourselves .... and may even provide information on how to do things , what materials to use and costs , etc..

Once you have sorted out the list of things there are plenty of folks here that will assist with particular questions you need help with.


Kathy Darrow
Re: We bought a money pit too!

Thanks for the response. Sorry I didn't mention in my last posting that we got a VA loan to buy this old house. The VA supposedly inspected the house and the only problems they had were the roof, sofits and faceca. They wanted a roofer to inspect and state that the roof was good, which my roofer said that it needed repairs, the realestate people had their own roofer state that the roof was good for another 3 to 5 years. With the sofit and faceca we got the money into an account to have them painted as soon as weather permited. You see we bought and moved in 3 days before christmas. I had an Uncle that owned a True Value store and was able to purchase all the roofing material cheap through him which I got with our income tax return, then it took me the next 3 years to get some money together to hire someone to do the actual work, which I won't even go into the horror story there, the roof after almost 4 years later still isn't done properly. Not much money and not enough research to find the right roofers. I've thought about digging in to finding out what I can do about the poor inspection I got from the VA people or the fact that the realestate people weren't up front with I feel alot of problems with this house but like you said it's going to cost me lawer fees which we are not financially able to do. I should of had another inspector come in besides the VA, (I have never been very impressed with the way the military takes care of their own, even when my husband was in the army). After moving in and I started finding all the problems with this house I couldn't believe the VA past inspection on this house. I had heard that they were very strict with their inspections. As far as getting an inspector in here now to let me know all that is wrong and what needs fixing I hesitate to do so, my biggest fear now is if I do this what if they condem this house. Then what am I to do? We have no means to get another house, no savings for first last and deposit for a rental, (I do not care to rent ever again because my health issues came about from living in a rental in the first place that the landlord wouldn't take care of). I did look at the option of selling this old house but I was informed that I would be lucky if I could get $20,000 for it when we still owe the bank over $55,000. I am overwhelmed with my plight, but some how I will get it done or not, (the repairs). Again I thank you for the response. :(

A. Spruce
Re: We bought a money pit too!
canuk wrote:

Kathy .... yikes ... I feel for your situation.

Ditto what canuk said!

canuk wrote:

Unfortunately many home buyers fall victim to situations such as yours ..... buying a home without having a pre-purchase inspection done .

Even then, this sort of thing happens when buyers don't heed the advice of the inspector because they fell in love with the property and couldn't see the problems that lay ahead.

Kathy, it sounds like you were trusting that the inspectors knew what they were doing and you should have been safe with that. Unfortunately, my experience with VA inspections is that they are less critical than the average pest inspection, and deal more with livability issues (e.g., window screens intact, doors operable, AC/heat works, etc. ) than structural integrity of a building. You may have some legal recourse against the VA inspector, real estate agent(s), and seller for non-disclosure, provided you're still within the time limitations of such an action. It just depends on how much fight you have in you as to how far you'll get and what recompense you'll receive.

Re: We bought a money pit too!

Whatever legal course you take you still have the house to deal with. I agree with Canuk. You really should get the house inspected and prioritize the needed repairs. Then you can tackle them one by one. No knowing what is wrong doesn’t make it go away. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know much about home repair now. You and your husband can learn. We all started somewhere. There are all kinds of how-to articles and videos on the web. And each time you tackle a project and finish it your confidence will grow and you will be able to tackle bigger projects.

There was a story in our local paper a few weeks ago about work groups. A group of about 10 people would get together once a month and go to one of the group member’s homes and help on projects. Allowing for a couple months off in the year everyone had the work groups at their house once a year. Having that many people work results in a lot of progress in one day. And group members learned from each other. I bet they also shared tools. It also is a social event for them and a support base. That sort of work group might help you. And maybe you can trade other help with them: you baby-sit or mow their yard or whatever and they help you with your projects.

Re: We bought a money pit too!

we bought a house with a VA loan as well, and still had 2 inspections done. One by VA, but his only job was to make sure appliances worked and were in the home and to give VA appraisal value to deem if they would approve our loan on the house. We had a home inspector come in and do a top to bottom.

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