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Barry Stone

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items 1-10 out of 236


Who is liable for undisclosed septic problem?

Dec 17 2014 | 1:32 pm - Q. Two days after we moved into our home, the septic system backed up into the tub and toilet. This was a big surprise because the septic had been inspected and approved by a septic contractor before the close of escrow.

Understanding GFCI outlets

Dec 10 2014 | 3:36 pm - Q. We just bought an old house, built in the 1950s, so the electrical outlets are not grounded. We’d like to add GFCI outlets near the bathroom and kitchen sinks for shock protection, but our home inspector told us that GFCI outlets will only...

In Illinois, a buyer’s agent represents the buyer

Dec 03 2014 | 11:13 am - In a recent column, I answered a question from a Washington, D.C., real estate attorney. A number of real estate agents and attorneys have written to express displeasure over my response to her. Therefore, I offer this explanation and apology.

Undisclosed water intrusion in addition

Nov 25 2014 | 2:13 pm - Q. Our house has a three-room addition that was built without a permit, according to the sellers’ disclosure statement. We hired a home inspector before we bought the property, and he reported no serious defects with the addition. But every...

Furnace recall overlooked by home inspector

Nov 19 2014 | 1:38 pm - Q. When we bought our home, our inspector said nothing about the furnace, except that it “appears functional.” Recently, we had it serviced by a contractor who said it is a recalled unit made by Premier.

Pinhole leaks common in copper water pipes

Nov 12 2014 | 11:09 am - Q. In the past year I’ve had three pinhole leaks in my copper water pipes. My insurance company has refused to pay any more claims for damage caused by leaks, and the cost to repipe my house is more than I can afford. When I asked my plumber...

Home inspector didn’t disclose leaky roof

Nov 07 2014 | 10:03 am - Q. Before I bought my house, several friends said, “Don’t buy a place with a flat roof. You’ll have leaks.” But I didn’t listen. I figured that a home inspector would let me know if the roof was OK.

Inspector sent into darkened Victorian on Halloween eve

Oct 29 2014 | 2:00 pm - Q. You never do columns that recognize holidays. Even at Christmastime and the 4th of July, your articles are always about property defects, real estate disclosure and home inspections. Now that Halloween is here, how about a spooky house story?

Who is the buyers’ agent working for?

Oct 22 2014 | 2:47 pm - Q. Some of your articles suggest that a buyers’ agent has a responsibility to represent the interests of buyers. As a real estate attorney, I strongly disagree. The buyers’ agent is actually a subagent to the sellers’ agent...

Pros and cons of home inspection insurance

Oct 16 2014 | 10:20 am - Q. In some of your articles, you advise people to hire home inspectors who have errors and omissions insurance (E&O). I’ve been a home inspector for 15 years and have avoided E&O insurance for four important reasons:

items 1-10 out of 236