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New Valley homeowners finding flaws after purchasing their homes

Posted at 5:00 AM, Dec 07, 2021

PHOENIX — Homes across the Valley have been selling at lightning speed this past year, leaving some buyers to take what they can get.

However, some may have signed too quickly, missing some major flaws in their home along the way.

Debra wrote to the Let Joe Know team saying when she purchased her home "no black mold or rotted wood was found on the inspection."

However, she later discovered "the front and back of the home, even support beams [were] rotted" saying they "were purposely covered up with new wood and repainted."

It was a similar situation for Kristin, but instead of mold, it was a leaky roof.

Now, both buyers did what you should always do - have a home inspected. It's something a lot of people waived completely at the peak of the market.

So, how were these big issues missed?

"It's a visual inspection, they can only inspect what they can get to," said Sindy Ready, a licensed realtor, and Arizona Realtors Association Board member.

Ready has been a licensed realtor for more than two decades, saying there's often a misconception about inspections.

"Let's say, for example, in a garage, if a seller has all their stuff packed up, and you know, all the boxes lined up along the wall, and then there's something going on the wall, the inspectors [will] not necessarily [be] going to be moving boxes to look behind a wall," said Ready.

She says she recommends going beyond a traditional inspection.

For example, you can hire an A/C company to inspect the HVAC system or an electrician to check out older homes because wiring codes have been updated.

"The other thing that's really common in older homes, is that the root system of large trees can get into the sewer system," said Ready.

She says you can also ask the seller for their homeowners' insurance claims history report to check for prior damage issues. 

Now, Arizona law says as a seller you must disclose known problems with the house that impact the property value. If you don't, that could be equated to committing fraud and a buyer could take legal action.