Follow the Evidence! :D

Yes, a Grissom-ism from CSI… Hell, THE Grissom-ism

What am I talking about? The battle with our “new”, should be condemned house.

The last few days have been rough, so I haven’t posted anything much beyond replies. First, we went to a lawyer that had a killer rep for litigation. All we got was excuses for why it was perfectly OK for everyone involved with the transaction to screw us over. Georgia is a “caveat emptor” (buyer beware) state, and the lawyer tried to tell us that excuses blatant fraud and breach of contract. He even looked me straight in the eye and told me that realtors have no fiduciary responsibility to their clients. BIG mistake there. I was a realtor. I know the state and national standards for realtors.

As best I can figure reading their body language, the two lawyers didn’t want a case that wasn’t an easy, no work win, and they actually enjoyed the idea that some out of state people got screwed by a local.

We’ve found lots of other stuff wrong with the house at this point. One of the most severe turned out to be a potential good though however. Half the house has MAJOR foundation issues:

that’s the beam from an auto adjusting laser level. You can judge how much the house is drooping via the width of that picture. 2 1/2 Cinder blocks. Roughly 2 1/2 feet or 3/4 of a meter. If you go the entire width of the house, there’s a 5 to 6 inch drop from back to front. 15 cm for those elsewhere. We had called a foundation repair company to look at the place when we saw cracks in the outer wall:

The company representative, who seemed very knowledgeable, was freaked out by what he saw and rescheduled for next week when he can bring the company’s head structural engineer with him to figure out the best fix.

So WHY on Earth is this GOOD news you ask?

Because, the seller bragged on putting a new door in that wall, as well as new windows all over the house. Here’s where following the evidence comes in. A door and window won’t mount, much less open and close in an opening that’s shifted sideways diagonally. The seller had to extend those openings to allow for the door and windows to fit. Ergo there’s no way he could NOT have known the house had foundation issues and bad walls. Of course, he said exactly the opposite on his Seller’s Disclosure paperwork.

First piece of proof:

Look at how wide and tall that trim work is around the door. I guarandamnedtee you that when I pull that off, there’s going to be a massive gap around the door with uneven measurements around it. THAT so he could make the door fit despite the sinking corner of the foundation.

The window has the same kind of trim:

It ALL explains why he demanded to redo the threshold for the door himself as part of our closing contract. Can you say fraud, misrepresentation and breach of contract, boys and girls? 😈

He also had to have gotten a look at the substandard foundation for the outer wall while putting that door in:

Now you see, that’s about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of concrete with mud underneath that’s been compacted to clay. Thing is, the building standard AND legal code for a concrete slab foundation is a minimum of 4 inches thick IF you’re going to put nothing heavier than a single story wood building on top of it. Thicker is better when you’re dealing with the weight of stone walls.

So all of this LOOKS LIKE gross negligence on the home inspector’s and appraiser’s parts as well.

Follow the evidence to the logical conclusion.

Well, we’ve got an appointment with another lawyer this afternoon. If he says we still have no case, I’ll have to say Georgia is more corrupt than a third world banana republic.

Today’s the first day I’ve felt good in two months.

Too bad (for him) that Bubba was too stupid to think us dumb city folk could understand what it takes to properly frame a door or window.

9 thoughts on “Follow the Evidence! :D

  1. Pingback: Follow Up: Following Evidence | Silk Chatters

  2. David Bennett

    You would think that making a case against professionals upon whose reports you relied would be a lot easier than making a case against the seller. I wonder though whether the lawyer who acted for you in the purchase asked any pre-contract enquiries such as ‘Are you aware of any…’ etc.

    Take photos and more photos and more photos of everything and from every conceivable angle!

    Best of luck. I’ll watch out for updates.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Silk Cords Post author

      Sorry for the SLOW reply here David, and welcome aboard. 🙂 I’m guessing from your blog that you’re in England or some other part of the U.K. The inspectors have clauses in their contracts that limit the damages one can claim against them. There’s a legal loophole called Gross Negligence that should let us get around that. We shall see though. I don’t have much faith in the U.S. legal system or business right now. The inquiries you mentioned are called a “Seller’s Disclosure Statement” here, and the seller lied repeatedly. Some of it will be more difficult to prove than other parts however. In the U.S. home sales transactions are *typically* handled by Realtors. They’re not attorneys, but they are trained in all aspects of home sales contracts. They’re also supposed to have a passing knowledge of things like building codes and other aspects of home sales. They’re also SUPPOSED to have a fiduciary duty to the people who hire them. I really appreciate the reply as it gave me a little insight on how things are different elsewhere, and that I need to explain these things for readers outside the US and Canada. 🙂

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        1. Silk Cords Post author

          That’s been my argument as well, AND an adequate explanation of “Gross Negligence” as generally defined by the U.S. legal system. The inspector deliberately chose to turn a blind eye to defects in order to keep getting business referrals from the realtors involved in my opinion.

          I have a meeting with our attorney in 6 hours where we will hopefully FINALLY hear if we have a case or not. I’m hoping I’ll have good news to post later today.

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  3. Pingback: The House War Goes On… | Silk Chatters

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