Juan and Patricia Sivel have lived in their home for 32 years, where they have cared for that 1,200 square-foot, four bedroom, two-story home. Now their children have moved out and their mortgage is paid off.
Unfortunately, Patricia was recently diagnosed with dementia. Although she is asymptomatic, the Sivels are quite concerned about what the future holds. The Sivels’ children have suggested that the family home be placed up for sale, with the Sivels moving to a retirement community.
Ten years ago, the Sivels retired. This limited their income substantially, causing them to dip into their savings. They now have to scrape by month-to-month on their social security checks. Maintenance on their home has been deferred for several years. Their son, Bob Sivel, called a general contractor who made the following statement:
Roof Cover – $3,500
Carpet – $2,500
Exterior Paint – $2,750
Interior Paint – $1,500
Appliance – $3,000
Repair leaky pipe – $1,500
The contractor notes the infrastructure of the house appears sound. The family, concerned about the cost of repairs, asked for a home inspection to be performed by a licensed home inspector. After his inspection, he sent a report to the family, which did not mention issues with the roof cover, carpet or appliances. The inspector also performed a radon test and found levels of 5 picocuries per liter.
The elder Sivel has decided to sell the family home. He contacts Maureen, a local real estate agent, who shows the Sivels a CMA. When Maureen asks the Sivels whether there are any defects or maintenance that should be reported, Mr. Sivel says “No, we just had the house all fixed up. The roof is new.” Maureen notes that the roof does not look new and questions the Sivels further.