Between 2004 and 2007 some builders were using "Chinese Drywall" in the construction of new homes. This drywall has been found to emit sulfide gases that can corrode electrical wiring, components of air-conditioning systems and other household appliances. It is extremely expensive to correct and it is questionable if a home owner's policy will cover it. Currently I am not aware of what this gas can or has been doing to a person's health living in one of these homes. But if it's doing this to these systems I just can't imagine what it can do to someone's lungs.
If a homeowner knows that his property has Chinese Drywall he, and his real estate agent, must disclose it to any potential Buyer. The reason I write this today is because it has come to my knowledge that not all homeowners and agents are disclosing this and unsuspecting Buyers are buying these homes.
Let's say that a house is put on the market and goes under contract. The Buyer has an inspection done and the inspection reveals Chinese Drywall. This condition is not acceptable to the Buyer and the Buyer withdraws his offer. Now at this point, both the Seller and real estate agent know the house has Chinese Drywall. The house gets put back on the market with no disclosure of this condition; hoping that the next Buyer doesn't have an inspection made; after all the house looks so nice, just painted, new air conditioning system, etc, and at a terrific price!
Now when this unsuspecting Buyer buys this house and some time down the road the condition becomes evident, it will be hard for him to prove that the Seller and the real estate agent had knowledge of the Chinese Drywall.
So how do I know all this; a home inspector told me! He said to me that he'll inspect a house, find Chinese Drywall, the contract falls through and some time later he'll drive by the house and children are playing outside. He said that that makes him feel so bad because he is almost sure that those Buyers didn't get the house inspected and that the Seller didn't disclose his knowledge of the Chinese Drywall.
What should we all take away from this; if you are buying a home built between 2004 and 2007 please get it inspected. You might not smell or see anything suspicious but you still need an inspector to get up in the attic and inspect that drywall, look at the electrical system, get into the air conditioning system. Folks, the $400.000 or so that the inspection will cost you can save you a ton of misery.