Originally Posted by RachelS
Thank you CathMac!! I really really appreciate the info you have posted.... I have made my dh read both of your posts!
We are now looking at other options based on what the actual facts are...
Originally Posted by RachelS
My dh and I have been talking about this since I originally posted.... I have to agree with him on many points... I have a VERY VERY sensitive eye for these things... he has only seen a few bugs.... when I see many...
in addition.... not one single specialist that has been here has ever said that we have a serious issue with the bugs... with most they can't even find them....okay.... maybe I am a bit crazy .... I don't know... could be I guess.... I definitely see them and experience them and hate them...... hmmmmmmm.... maybe now is a good time to mention I have some huge issues with OCD.....
I'm glad you found my input helpful. Now may be a good time to mention that I handled Real Estate Errors and Omissions (malpractice) claims as an adjuster for an insurance company for awhile. I may have even handled some claims in Ohio but it was a long time ago so any feedback from me is no substitute for consulting with a practicing attorney in your jurisdiction.
I'm glad the scope of the problem may not be quite as bad as your initial description suggested. (Although I suspect it's bad enough if you have to cover things up while you are cooking, as you described.) However, unless you are a hyper sensitive "Felix Unger" type then most of what I said earlier probably still applies. There are enough people that are creeped out by bugs that it very likely affects the value of your property. Even people that aren't bothered themselves are aware that others are and would be concerned about resale value for that reason. Not to mention that even a minor infestation may suggest a water problem with the potential to get worse.
Unfortunately unless you had an inspection in the first year and the infestation was bad enough to create the inference that it wasn't a new problem, then you may have a hard time establishing that the problem pre-existed your ownership and that the previous owners should have known about it.
On the other hand, depending upon the underlying reason it's entirely possible that it's worse some years and better during others. For instance if you were to learn that it's primarily because of a nearby spring you might find that it is worse during rainy years. So if the first year you were there it was relatively dry then it would make sense that you wouldn't find out until a year when it was rainy. Which would be good news since arguably the statute didn't start running until you discovered the problem and you might still be able to make a claim based on intentional misrepresentation, in addition to breach of contract.
In any event, even if the bugs themselves are more of a nuisance than anything I'd recommend getting to the bottom of it to make sure the underlying problem isn't serious ... while you may still have time to pursue a remedy against the seller, and possibly any sellers' agents.
I should note that any agents may have been on constructive notice if the neighborhood was known to have a problem. So I'd try to find out if others in your neighborhood have the same problem and while you are at it see if anyone remembers the previous owners having a problem. Also, you might try asking any inspectors or pest companies if they have any records for the previous owners.
And contact a few attorneys ASAP. Many attorneys will give a free initial consultation.
But please, do not stick your head in the sand and tell yourself it isn't that bad; and hope it gets better or at least doesn't get worse.
Good luck and keep us posted.