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Sorry, homeowner. Don’t blame your inspector for problems arising a year after purchase.

My water pump and water tank went out. I have been in my house only a year. I have no home warranty insurance. Whose responsibility is it to replace it? I did have a home inspection done. Also how do I go about getting my money back from the home inspector?

We hate to say this, but you are responsible for replacing the water pump and water tank. As a homeowner you now have responsibility for maintaining and keeping the home in tiptop shape. Things break. Things go wrong. They have to be fixed. Maintenance and repair are a big part of homeownership.

You can’t blame your home inspector for these issues. The items you mentioned seemed to have worked for the first year you lived in the home. The inspector didn’t tell you that they would work forever. He probably gave you a report that indicated that these items were in working order at the time of the inspection. Pumps, appliances, furnaces, air-conditioning units, washing machines, dishwashers and other items can go at any time.

Even new items can have problems. However, when you purchase new items, like appliances, you may have a manufacturer’s warranty and can then ask the manufacturer to repair them. We’d say that it looks like you probably had a good inspector if you didn’t have any issues pop up until a year after your purchase.

The bigger issue with home inspectors is when problems surface shortly after the purchase. An example of a big problem: Right after you moved in, you found structural problems with the home that the inspector should have caught. In your case, something failed a year after your purchase. We think it’s time for you to acknowledge that ownership has its benefits and its costs, and step up.

These repairs will be one of many you may have while you live in the home. Our experience is that appliances don’t last as long as they used to. We’ve started to become accustomed to replacing washing machines, dryers, toaster ovens, air-conditioning units and even electrical switches way earlier than our parents. We’ve replaced our clothes dryer twice in the past six years. (And we chose one with excellent ratings, which don’t seem to matter at all these days.)

Manufacturers are in the business of selling products to consumers. While they may give consumers the impression that their goods stand the test of time, they may not. It may be our fading memories, but we seem to remember our parents’ appliances lasting for 20 years, but now we’re lucky when appliances last more than seven years. Recently, a delivery person for a large appliance dealer in our area indicated to us that some appliances made by a large appliance manufacturer were failing after only a couple of years, just like ours.

All homeowners should save up extra cash to replace appliances on a regular schedule. And if you’re looking for a home, be sure to add in a line item for maintenance and upkeep, because you’re sure to need it.

Source:  The Washington Post

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