Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Finding Problems, Finding Faults

By Joannie Cleaver, Journal Sentinel, Milwakee March 2008

It took three years for Milwaukee schoolteacher Antoine Gee to tidy his credit scores to qualify for a mortgage; eight months for him to find the brick ranch he bought in November; and one day to discover that the supposedly solid garage had a rotting foundation.

On a recent freezing day, moisture seeped through the black-painted concrete blocks that support the vermin-chewed wood frame. Last fall, Gee says, puddles crept over the cracked concrete, even in dry weather.

And don't get him going about the huge rats' nests he found between the beams and the cost and hassle of driving out the infestation.

"There's a lot they didn't disclose," says Gee of the buyers. The property condition report - a state-mandated list of known problems that sellers are required to give buyers - didn't mention any of the problems, he adds.

Even the home inspector he hired says he's never seen anything like it.

The garage was full of debris and wood-shop equipment on the day that Dan Rouse inspected it. Operating as Complete Inspection Service, he has been a home inspector for 12 years.
The sellers had their fingers crossed that the clutter would cover up the problems, he thinks. "They probably knew something was wrong," he says.

buyers vs. sellers

As the housing market stumbles through the first quarter, tensions are growing between buyers and sellers.

Jim W Hildreth-Mediator