Plumbing Pipes

Bought a House with Plumbing Issues – Now What?

Checking the plumbing in a house before buying it is very important. However, it might not be possible in certain situations, or we simply miss some issues while inspecting. If you buy a house with plumbing issues, there are ways to solve this problem. You can avert almost all potential crises if you work smart and make the right choices.

Understandably, this can become a very emotionally draining process. However, if you find yourself in a situation like this, you’ll have to face reality as soon as possible and start working out how to solve the issue right away. Even if the plumbing is only slightly problematic, time is of the essence. Let’s go through what you can do step by step.

Get in touch with a plumber to check what exactly the issues are

Once you realize there is a problem with the plumbing, the first thing on your to-do list is getting in touch with a plumber. He should help you diagnose precisely what the problem is. You could also ask him for a general estimate of how much work and money it will take to fix the problem.

A plumber inspecting the sink
Hiring a plumber to do a thorough inspection is the first thing you have to do after you find out that you bought a house with plumbing issues.

That is important for several reasons. Firstly, by doing this, you will know what to tell an attorney and the previous owner of the home. Second, by gauging the issue, you will see whether you have to postpone move-in day or whether you have to inform the movers you hired about potential dangers. All in all, it will help you prevent delays and disruptions during move-in day. Finally, this information will help you decide whether it’s okay to spend time in the house. If you find heavy leaks that can impact the home’s foundation, it might be wise to avoid staying there until you can get things sorted.

See if it’s worth your time

No home purchase goes entirely smoothly. Understandably, the fact that some things weren’t disclosed adequately before completing the sale can leave you pining for justice. Realizing that you bought a house with plumbing issues will not feel pleasant.  However, you should do your best to be objective and reconsider whether the legal route is worth your time.

If the issues are minor and the fixing bill won’t be that big, it might be better to just get it over with and move on with your life. However, if you realize that complete house repiping is necessary, it’s time to get a hold of a legal professional. Remember to consult your loved ones and your realtor to help you make the right choice.

Look for legal support

If you decide to take legal action, it’s time to find a lawyer. Remember that most lawyers charge a consultation fee. However, they are a necessary expense if the situation is dire. The lawyer will help you pursue the seller with damages for fraud. Make sure to avoid all contact with the seller if your lawyer isn’t present. Doing so might end up ruining your chances of winning the case.

A lawyer working at his desk
If nothing else, you should contact a lawyer for legal consultation.

That is one of the reasons that time is of the essence. If you wait too long to pursue these damages, it will be almost impossible to win the case. Experts from Michael Brooks Moving NH advise you to set aside some time to carefully consider your move-in strategy. These pursuits can take a long time, and you shouldn’t be homeless during them.

Only talk to the previous owner through your agent/attorney

While it might feel good to let some frustration out on the previous owner, it’s not wise. Your attorney should pose as an intermediary between you and the home’s prior owner. Make sure to review all of the documents you received for sale with your real estate agent so that you have all the necessary information with your attorney. If a discussion is inevitable, you can at least be fully aware of your rights and are armed with all the information and advice needed.

Determine who has to cover the expenses

Unfortunately, if you don’t take this to court as the buyer, you will most likely be responsible for covering all the costs for repairs. However, there are some circumstances where the seller would be contractually obligated to cover all costs without legal pursuit. The three most common examples of this would be: 

  1. There was no way for the buyer to discover the issues before the sale was closed;
  2. The problems are part of the repairs that are listed in the purchase agreement;
  3. There is substantial proof that the seller purposefully hid the problems from the buyer.
A wallet sticking out of a person's back pocket
If repair costs fall on you, make sure you start budgeting accordingly immediately.

Try to stop yourself from DIY projects and call a professional

In the best possible outcome, the seller will admit to making a mistake. Then they’ll agree to take care of the issues or at least cover the costs. However, sometimes things just aren’t as easy as that. If you find yourself in a situation where you bought a house with plumbing issues that you didn’t know about, you’re probably already used to things not going exactly according to plan.

If the repairs are your responsibility, the worst choice you could make is to try to perform DIY plumbing repairs. While there are some simple plumbing repairs everyone can do themselves, there are also many potential dangers and problems that come with trying to DIY plumbing projects. Here is a short list of examples of repairs and actions you should avoid trying to do yourself at all costs:

  1. Avoid trying to replace more than one foot of piping;
  2. Never try to replace gas lines by yourself;
  3. Don’t try breaking down or opening walls up to replace pipes;
  4. Don’t start digging in your lawn to inspect sewer lines yourself.

Key takeaway

Finding out that you bought a house with plumbing issues usually brings a lot of worries, anger, sadness, and many other unpleasant emotions. However, if you do your best to remain calm and collected, seek help from professionals on time, and turn to your loved ones for support, you’ll quickly realize how much easier solving such a problem is than it seems. Remember to make choices calmly and remain objective toward your situation. The right plumber, real estate agent, and lawyer will help you make this situation as painless as possible.