DEAR BOB: Thank you for your constant advice that home buyers should make their purchase offers contingent on a satisfactory professional inspection report. That's what we did and are so thankful. We bought a very charming older "Craftsman" house in a great neighborhood. The seller and realty agent provided us with a written seller disclosure statement, which didn't reveal any serious problems. But our professional home inspector found several undisclosed serious defects of which the seller must have been aware. The inspector discovered attic rafters showed water stains, indicating a leaky roof, and the inspector noticed fresh landscaping on a hillside. Neighbors later told us the soil was unstable and had slid about 10 months earlier. When confronted with our professional inspector's report, the sellers readily agreed to a $30,000 "repair credit." We got a beautiful new top-quality roof installed for only $14,000 and a soils engineer assured us that a few "French drains" will solve th...
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