It’s too late for arbitration

The litigator I have been working with determines that taking action against the Seller for real estate fraud is not a problem, even with the Disclosure Waiver. However, during the purchase process, the Seller also asked me to agree to arbitration, which my realtor also coached me into. My particular agreement only allowed me to approach the Seller with disputes within 24 months from purchase.

In other words, if I had taken action sooner, I would have been able to make 1 claim against the Seller. However, I would never have been able to dispute every item, as some of them were not discovered until more than 24 months after purchase.

I am infuriated that I had been given bad advice by my realtor and bad legal advice by previous attorneys.

February 14, 2017

Years of ongoing repairs have accumulated lots of stress and debt. We desperately need a break, so we decide not to take on any large projects this year. Instead, we will use 2017 to pay down debt from house repairs.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the basement will remain dry until we can afford to install drain tile and a sump pump in 2018. Once that major mechanical issue is solved, we can think about re-finishing the basement.

Backwards stairs, extra rooms, and hidden mold

Credit: CBS

John Kozlik bought a house in South Minneapolis and discovered predatory remodeling done without permits or inspections.

  • A staircase had been removed and another one had been built in the same space going the opposite direction.
  • Electrical and plumbing work had been done without a permit.
  • A bathroom had been built without a permit.
  • The basement walls had water intrusion problems and severe mold that were concealed behind drywall.

After discovery, the home’s appraised value dropped 66%.

The house was sold by a flipper called Ace of Spaces, LLC. The company was dissolved shortly after the sale.

John describes the stressful ordeal as the worst period in his life. “The world became a much darker place for me.” he says. “And almost every business that does repairs or restoration were just there to fully capitalize on our loss.”

More of John’s story was aired on WCCO news.

Point of Sale Inspections are on the agenda!

I have an appointment with city staff to review my proposal for Point of Sale Inspections! This is another milestone, because anyone can complain to the city council, but getting on their meeting agenda with a staff-recommend solution is much more difficult. I have been waiting for this moment for 2 years.

I’m also starting to work at the state level and gaining some traction there.

Basement flooding returns, and we make a tough decision.

Continuous rains cause basement flooding yet again. As we have seen in the past, the hydrostatic pressure in the hard clay soil beneath the foundation causes water to push up through the cracks in the concrete floor. This happens in every area of the basement, but most of the heavy flooding is localized to the southeast corner.

I spend the night removing 315 gallons with a shop vac.

We were considering the need for a drain tile and a sump pump, but wasn’t sure if it’s necessary. It is now abundantly clear that we must have drain tile. This changes all our of plans. It will mean more planning, more debt, and redoing some of the work we’ve already done.

To start with, we’ll have to empty the basement. Where will our storage go?

Building a work bench in the garage

I decide to build a proper work bench in the garage to store and use our tools. I’m able to get the basic framing together in one evening.

The upcoming drain tile project means we’ll have to completely empty the basement. We’ve been using a basement closet as a makeshift tool cabinet that will need to be emptied as well. This new storage will come in handy.

Work bench complete!

I add some shelving above the pegboard, completing the work bench, and maximizing storage on the south wall of the garage.

With this, I’m able to empty much of the basement in preparation for the drain tile project.

A little backyard landscaping

We decide to take a break from basement prep, and do a little backyard landscaping project. Amáda uses the river boulders and mulch for her garden borders. Meanwhile, I use the retaining wall blocks as a dressing around the longest leg of the deck.