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lammius

Court Ruling: Buyer Beware or Affront to Social Status?

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Article: Home buyers can sue agent over location

Historically, the rule of thumb for real estate transactions has been "buyer beware." Despite claims made by realtors, developers, and others involved in these transactions, the buyer has assumed the responsibility of "due diligence" to make sure they are making a sound investment. That means that the buyer needs to do the research to find out where utilities easements cross their property, what school district they're in, whether or not they're in a floodplain, etc.

Last week a story appeared in the Star-Ledger telling the story of Theodore and Francis Vagias, a couple who bought a home in exclusive Montville Township and immediately regretted their decision. According to the Vagiases they were told their home was "a great Montville address." They feel they were lied to.

While the home is in Montville Township, it is not in the village of Montville proper. It is in the Towaco section of the township. Towaco has its own elementary school but students across Montville Twp go to the same high school. They receive Montville Twp utilities and recreational facilities.

Mrs. Vagias said, "Montville and Towaco---big difference." IMO there is no difference at all.

When the Vagiases sued the realtor the case was dismissed. On appeal the court ruled unanimously in their favor, saying, "For most people," it said, "the purchase of a house will be the most important investment of a lifetime."

Reisner wrote the Vagiases "suffered more than 'an affront to their social status' and were unable to send their son to the school they wanted."

Is that the fault of the realtor & developer? Or should the Vagiases done the necessary research on their own?

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In a state with 567 municipalities, every single one has its own ordianances and ways of serving the public. I believe it is the negilgence of the homeowner, not the realtor. Knowing where you are first is common sense. Once you know where you are, go to the town hall and ask all of the questions to whomever could help you in the best way possible. In Middlesex County, the borough of Helmetta with a population around 2000 people, they share services with nearby towns because it is so tiny. The only services im aware of is police (know that for a fact) and fire.

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The thing in this case is the buyer wasn't lied to at all! The agent said the house was in Montville. It is indeed in Montville Twp. It's just that they wanted to be in a particular section of that township ("Montville" section, not Towaco section).

The justification the judges gave for their decision began by saying buying a home is "the most important investment of a lifetime." The very weight of that importance means the buyer should take the time to do whatever research they deem necessary. If they required Montville Elem School they should've found out where that school's bounds are.

It's not like Towaco is "the other side of the tracks" anyway. They got a big McMansion in an area full of similar houses and a very good Towaco school.

These people are dumba$$es if they think they should be compensated for work they should have done themselves. I can't believe three judges sided with these people. It makes me wonder who these people are and who they know...

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