Purchasing a new home is an exciting experience that can also be a bit scary. It is important to research every step of the purchase process to be sure you are making the right decision for your family, especially considering you will likely live with this decision for several years. One specific thing that every new homeowner in Texas and around the country should be wary of and prepared for is the possibility of latent construction defects.
What is a latent construction defect?
Most home purchases consist of several property inspections. One type of inspection could be a homeowner’s inspection in which all areas of the property are checked for possible structural, plumbing or electrical issues. The other type of property inspection is an appraisal that is used to determine the value of the home and land. Both of these inspections are done prior to purchase to help the new homeowner know they are buying a home that is safe and in good condition. Latent construction defects are problems with the structure or function of the home that are discovered after purchase and are not identified by a property inspection prior to purchase.
Issues with latent construction defects
One of the biggest problems with finding defects in the home after purchase is with insurance. Policies are written to cover structurally sound homes. If a problem is found after purchase that the insurance company was not notified about, insurance could be denied for the particular problem until it is corrected and endorsed by a licensed inspector.
Another issue with latent defects is that the new property owner is completely responsible for the damaged areas until they are fixed. This could mean expensive repairs or liability issues that may never be reimbursed.
How to properly deal with latent defects
The first step is to immediately contact the contractor who worked on the home and let them know about the problem. Hopefully, they will repair the issue at no charge and in a timely manner. However, if the contractor refuses to make the repairs, it could become a legal issue.