Apr 27, 2015 4:30 PM
SALEM - It could happen to any home buyer, and it did happen to one Salem couple.
For many of us, it's the biggest purchase we'll ever make.
That’s buying a house.
But what happens when you start settling in and things start going wrong?
That’s exactly what happened to Lisa and Paul LeBlanc when they bought their third house in Salem.
The first time they talked through the door, Lisa though, “It's, It's perfect.”
Just one week after they moved in late last year, the basement started flooding and that’s when disbelief started sinking in.
“How is this happening to us?” Lisa continues to ask, even today.
After a little digging, they found the water was making its way right through the foundation and then came the biggest surprise of all.
It was something no one apparently noticed.
There was a sump pump inside the basement.
“Why wasn't this disclosed to me?” Lisa asked.
We spoke with the realtor, the inspector, the former owner and all three say they had no idea how this happened.
Lisa finds that extremely hard to believe.
“We were duped,” she said. “This house was misrepresented. It was not disclosed.”
And ever since they bought their so-called dream home, the flooding, she said, has been “interfering with our income, our work. We have to fix this problem.”
So we took Lisa’s case to Jackie Hudkins, a real estate attorney out of Windham.
“A buyer's best offense is a good defense,” Hudkins said.
But now that the deal’s done, there's really nothing Lisa can do, she said except maybe take it to court.
“A buyer would have the burden of proving that the seller not only knew about that defect but intentionally concealed it,” Hudkins said.
While Lisa continues her battle, she said she doesn't want anyone else to experience something like this.
“That is my fear,” Lisa said. “That it will happen to somebody else and I do not wish that upon anyone.”
Lisa said she's gotten several estimates to fix the problem, one of them as much as $23,000.
Meantime the attorney telling us that is something is missed during the inspection, then the odds are the buyer will have to pay for it.
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