What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New Mexico
I purchased a home through a realtor a few days ago. I went through all the formal motions have all my necessary inspections after reviewing the property disclosure with my home inspector.
Upon moving into the home, it was discovered that the hot water heater was 16 years old and no longer functioning due to age and years of build up from hard water sediment.
My home inspector overlooked this detail and agreed to reimburse me the full fee for his inspection to help offset the cost of replacing the water heater, which was $800.
I understand within my real estate contract, that I must go through the motion of litigation before filing any small claims in court.
I had contacted the seller by phone directly to ask "were you aware that the hot water heater was not functioning?" she would not answer the question and hung up the phone on me. I followed up email between my realtor, her realtor (stating that I hold both the home inspector and her responsible, as the inspectors lack of diligence was partly to cause, however the seller's lack of honesty on the property disclosure - question about problems with plumbing and domestic hot water problems, was answered "No". Got a response from her that I should address this issue with my home inspector, which I already had done and had stated in my email.
At this point I am contemplating my response and would truly like to avoid meditation - just to keep this very simple. Maintaining Email contact, while reminding the seller of the law, my rights and legal costs, etc will be my bargaining tools.
Yesterday, I cut open the hot water heater and video taped and photographed several inches of concrete-like mineral build up at the bottom of the water heater. It was obvious that it had never been drained in it's life and no wonder there was no hot water being produced, despite a healthy pilot light and other mechanisms. Obviously, it was not producing hot water for a very long time.
My first question is:
1. Since it is obvious that there is extensive mineral build up in the hot water heater, through the evidence, showing that the flame could not heat the water - can I hold the seller liable for their statement on the property disclosure regarding problems with domestic hot water? -- Is this fraud in any way, on the sellers behalf?
2. What is the law in New Mexico about dishonesty on a property statement?
3. What are my rights as the buyer now that the closing has completed, contracts have been signed, the home inspector returned their fees, etc?
Any help and guidance is deeply appreciated.
Nicky & Chickie