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Dear PoPville – Chances for Winning a Law Suit Against a Home Seller?

Photo by PoPville flickr user jennverr

Dear PoPville,

My husband and I recently bought a newly-renovated home in PoPville. The house was essentially gutted and totally re-built, including digging out and fully renovating the basement. Only a few weeks into living there though, we found out that the house (which is over 100 years old) has a drainage problem that has likely been there for a long time and is causing water to seep into the basement. We have gotten a few estimates of what it will cost to install an interior drainage system (basically digging a tench into the basement and installing a sump-pump) and between that, and having to fix the floors that are now totally damaged from water overflowing onto them we are going to be out a lot of money! So, I have two questions:

1) Has anyone ever had an interior drainage system installed? We would appreciate any recommendations on service providers, and to get an idea of what this *should* cost (one estimate was $13K and the other $6K and we can’t tell what the difference is between them other than the price…)

2) Do we have a case against the seller? They have claimed that they never saw any water coming into the basement while doing construction, but seeing as how they dug the basement out that is likely impossible, and even if they didn’t see actual water, the damage it has been doing to the walls and original floor was likely very obvious. We had an inspection done on the house before purchasing it, but since everything was newly covered in dry wall it was impossible to see any of this. Has anyone actually ever filed a law suit against their developer and won? Everyone keeps telling us it’s next to impossible and not worth the headache, but the alternative is being out thousands of dollars for a problem we believe they are liable for. Would appreciate any advice out there!

Thanks for your help!
Angry homeowner

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