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What to know if you discover a defect after buying a home

You have just bought your dream home, but a month after moving in, you find something wrong with the house that either significantly affects its value or puts your family’s health and safety at risk – or both. At the Lein Law Offices, we understand how upsetting this can be for you and other Wisconsin home buyers, and we are prepared to answer your questions on the issue of home seller disclosures.

According to FindLaw, sellers should notify potential home buyers in writing of any defects or problems with the property that they know about, which could cause a negative financial or health impact to the new owners. Some common defects that you might encounter, which the previous homeowners should tell you about if they are aware of the issues, include the following:

  • Water damage that caused a problem with mold or wood rot
  • A serious insect or vermin infestation, such as termites or gophers
  • A crack in the home’s foundation
  • Severe defects to major features, such as burst pipes or a faulty septic tank

What about smaller defects or normal wear and tear? Damage that is considered cosmetic, such as a scratched countertop, would not be one of the items the previous owners are required to disclose. The same is true for appliances that need to be replaced or repaired over time – for example, the water heater broke down a few months after you moved in, but the date of the heater indicated it was due to be replaced soon.

Our real estate page explains more about your rights and responsibilities if you are considering buying a home.

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