Q: I bought a house about 4 years ago. We did not hire a professional home inspector, but instead used a contractor we trust to look over the home.

Recently, we noticed the corner of the garage was starting to sag. We called the insurance company, thinking it was due to a snow and ice problem, but the engineer they sent out said the problem had been there for a long time. He said the prior owners had known about it because they did a scab job in order to hide the problem that would come out later.

Our insurance company said they would not cover it because it was structural problem, not caused by a catastrophic event, like a huge snowstorm. The damage was caused over time.

He specifically wrote in his report that someone did a scab job to cover up a big problem. So, we spent over $7,000 fixing a problem that the sellers knew about, and did not disclose in their seller disclosure form.

Is there anything we can do about this now?

A: Unfortunately, the time to catch this problem would have been four years ago, when a professional home inspector might have found it.

Unless you can prove the sellers fraudulently deceived you, I think you just have to accept the fact that some people will do almost anything to get out of paying $7,000 to fix their roof.

Consult with a real estate attorney about any legal options you may have at this point.