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RE: stone wall

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"As far as your comments go, I agree with #1 and #2, but #3 could be
somewhat debateable.  It is possible that the fact the person in question
did not read it or understand the letter is irrelevent."

Disclosure laws run a fine line.  As a buyer, you want everything disclosed,
and you deserve compensation if something was hidden from you.  At the same
time, you can't expect the seller to be an expect, or even to have paid much
attention to the house over the years.  There is no educational requirement
to become a homeowner.  It can be dangerous to start speculating about what
a person could have or should have known.  My friend's lawyer advised him
that unless he could prove that the seller knew something, which is very
difficult, that the likelihood of getting compesations was very low.  They
checked to see if neighbors could remember talking to the seller about the
problem, but no one could, and there was no paperwork with the house that
would indicate anyone ever came out to look at the problem.  The only
manifestation of the problem was a damp spot in one small corner of one
room, which took the buyers a while to notice, so it couldn't be said that
it was obvious to an untrained eye that there was a problem.  My friend's
repairs cost about $20K, so another factor to consider was the legal fees
weighed against the odds of success.  Is it worth paying $5K to get the case
moving with a below 50/50 chance of winning?  Collection was the other issue
raise.  What if they did win?  Most people roll the proceeds of their home
sale into their next house, and don't have the cash just sitting around.  In
a very informal way, that also raises the burden of proof, because ruling
against them may force them out of their new home, which a judge is not
likely to take lightly.  

Paul Crocker

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