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Avoiding Lawsuits over Construction Defects

If you’re renovating a home for resale, it’s important that construction projects are completed correctly, but also that they’re completed quickly. After all, until the home is resold, you and any potential investors won’t see any returns on your substantial investment. However, if speed or reduced costs are prioritized over the quality of materials and construction, you may face serious issues down the road if a new buyer discovers previously-undisclosed defects in the construction. Learn more below about ways to prevent grave consequences when construction is defective, and contact a San Diego real estate litigation attorney if you have a legal question about construction defects.

Three tips on preventing litigation over construction defects

Don’t gloss over the results of your inspection

When you sell the home you’re renovating, you’ll be required to disclose any material construction defects you learn about during the renovation process. When you conduct your own inspection prior to purchasing the home, you may be in a rush to close the sale if you believe you’ve found a particularly good deal. Don’t let your hurry to take advantage of the opportunity lead you to gloss over major issues discovered by the inspector. If these defects are included in some way in their report, but went unaddressed by you in your subsequent renovations or disclosures during the sale, you could be held liable for failure to disclose if the issue is considered material and impacts the home’s value.

Get expert help

As you’re making repairs and renovations to the home you plan to sell, you may encounter unexpected issues with the home, such as poorly-constructed additions or cracks in the walls. It isn’t always clear whether an issue is merely cosmetic or should be considered a defect that reduces the home’s value, requiring you to disclose it. Rather than making your best guess and running the risk that you guessed wrong, get an expert’s opinion. For example, if you discover a crack in the ceiling while you’re painting, you may want to get a structural engineer’s opinion on whether the defect is material or cosmetic, so that you can make an honest decision on whether to disclose the issue when selling.

Describe your renovations clearly

In the disclosures you make upon selling the home, make it clear what renovations you did in detail. If you didn’t conduct highly thorough renovations, there’s no way for you to have discovered less-obvious defects in the home’s construction, making you unable to disclose them upon selling the home. For example, if the buyer discovers a crack in the cement in the kitchen floor, they may be less inclined to believe you failed to disclose this defect if it is clear in your disclosures that you didn’t renovate the kitchen floors prior to selling.

If you’re facing litigation over a construction defect in Southern California, get seasoned and knowledgeable legal assistance by contacting the San Diego offices of Jon Alan Enochs for a consultation on your case, at 619-421-3956.

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