New Brunswick couple’s $1 house sale offers important lessons for homeowners

July 11th, 2014 by admin

One New Brunswick couple is having to deal with the very unfortunate experience of having to sell their home for $1. The house had severe structural issues, in particular, slope failure. The incident serves as a reminder to other homeowners of the uncertainty involved in any home purchase, but also of the critical importance of researching all facets of a prospective home before purchase. In addition, it is just as critical that throughout your ownership, you remain knowledgeable and proactive both about the condition of your home and of developments on neighboring properties. 

In July 2009, Lorraine Finnigan and her husband bought the 2,300-square foot Saint John home for roughly $300,000. 

However, the slope failure which the house was suffering from was severe enough to force the couple out in December 2012. Slope failure typically happens in the event of "weakened earth, sometimes due to earthquake or gravity, climate or rainfall," according to CTV News. In this particular case, the couple believe that construction work on a neighboring lot may have been the cause. 

Important for other homeowners to know is that most basic policies do not cover landslides resulting from poor weather. Landslides, mud slides, and mudflows are not covered by standard home insurance plans. Nonetheless, these events happen more often than you think. They can happen during any time of the year and are caused by overloads to the slope, erosion or construction. 

So, what should homeowners do?

One takeaway for homeowners is to not purchase a home very near a hillside or cliff, as these are where many landslides occur. Also, it is a good idea to look into home insurance plans that include landslide insurance.