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Buying a home on a land contract and everything was supposed to be new but there's major problems. Can I make seller pay to fix?

Romulus, MI |

I have been living in the home for a little over three years and have had a lot of problems. I had a contractor tell me the new roof was installed wrong, the new siding was installed wrong, the foundation is sinking and there are lots of other issues. I contacted the seller and he told me he is not a landlord and the house is my problem now. My realtor talked the house way up and the seller listed everything as new. The realtor was the buying and selling agent so i contacted him and he said its not his problem either. I live on disability from a motorcycle accident and really can't afford to fix all of this. Is there anything i can do or am I just going to have to fix it all myself? There is at least $30k in work and i paid $90k in a bad market for the house. Way to much but thought new?

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Attorney answers 4


You will likely recover anything that was agreed upon in writing. Without becoming too technical, read your land contract. I'm not looking it up but you may have statute of limitations problems already, laches too. Get a real estate attorney to look into this immediately.

The above response is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.


It sounds like the things you were told were new, actually were new. But, three years later you have a contractor telling you that everything was installed wrong.

Generally, when you buy a house, you are buying it "as is". You should check your land contract to see whether it includes this language. You have some work to do to find out whether you might have a claim.

I have found that contractors will frequently tell you that prior contractors did it all wrong, or used inferior materials, etc. I don't know whether they do this just because it was not done the way they would do it; or if they are just trying to make money off you. But, I would never trust the word of just one contractor in this regard. You should have at least three come to take a look at your issues. It is entirely possible that there are some "fixes" that would take care of the problems, and not cost you $30,000.00.

In any event, I would have an attorney look over your paperwork and your three contractor opinions and estimates, so that you can obtain some informed advice on the subject.

Best of luck to you,

John J. Keenan

This response applies to Michigan law only. This initial response to your question(s) is for general purposes, only, and is based upon the limited information you have provided. Therefore, this general answer should not be relied upon as a reason for your action or inaction. This response does not establish an attorney-client relationship; such a relationship may only be established by the signing of a written retainer agreement, and the payment of the agreed upon retainer. Please call me, or another attorney of your choice, with more details, and for an appointment to discuss same. Thank you for this opportunity to address your question(s).


I agree with the other attorney who said it sounds like everything was new but it was simply installed wrong. Did you have a home inspection at the time you purchased the house? was the house as is? you might have a cause of action for fraud but in Romulus its a Wayne county case and that could be very expensive to litigate so..

Please note that I answered this question with general knowlege of the law and with limited disclosure from you, my answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and I cannot be held responsible for how you, the asker, use the information provided. If you want to contact me directly and retain my services you may through my listing on this site or at 248-901-0750 or


There are lots of additional facts needed in order to accurately answer your question. There could be a fraud or misrepresentation claim, there could be grounds to cancel the contract and get all your money back. It depends. Call a good real estate attorney now before it is too late.

So there is no misunderstanding, this answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and you cannot presume that I am your lawyer or that my advice can be relied upon in any way other than for information only. You will not become my client unless and until you retain me.

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