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Dead end sign board

Last week, we questioned our Home Inspector about the water in our basement. Not satisfied with what he said it’s now time to contact the prior homeowner. You call your Realtor to get a phone number and not to disappoint the Realtor calls you back with the info.

Before we go further it’s important to know there are 2 types of homeowner; one is ‘absentee owner’ and the other is ‘owner occupied’. Owner occupied means the property owner actually lives in the house he is selling. Absentee owner means he does not live in the house (it may be a rental unit or completely empty). This week we’ll assume the prior owner is of the ‘absentee’ variety and the house had been empty for 3 years before he decided to sell it. Let’s call him now.

You dial, he answers and you politely tell him you are the new owner of the house. You ask him if he knew the basement had a water issue. Without hesitation he responds, “no”. You now ask, “have you ever cleaned up water in the basement after rain. Again he responds, “no”. You say, “so you’ve never had a drop of water in your basement?” He responds, “a plumbing leak 20 years ago but nothing more”. You thank him, hang up, but feel he is not telling you the truth.

Next post we’ll assume the prior owner occupied the house, so we’ll question him and then determine a course of action from there.