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    Buying a home; Builder issues

    Builder issues: Who can I complain to if I am not happy? Because the actual builder does not seem to care.

    Signed a contract for a new construction home in april. ETA to it to settlement is Oct 15th.
    Got a great rate >5.5% that is only good until Oct 15. After that there are hefty fees to keep this rate.
    They still haven't broke ground yet and our lease is up Oct 31st and we have no where to go.
    We fear there is no way they will be done on time and they are in no hurry to accommodate us.
    On top of that, the major incentive for us to buy this home was to get in on the $8000 tax refund for new buyers. And we need to settle on the home before Nov 30th to get it.

    What can we do? We already signed the contract.
    Can we hire a lawyer and get them to sign something saying we will sue if not done on time?
    Can we threaten to pull out of the deal? We put down $5000+ as a good faith gesture. and Already have financing in place as stated above.


    I am running out of things to do here.

    #2
    Your contract should have start and completion dates for each phase. It sounds like they may have broken the contract by not starting per the contract. Fire them, get your deposit back (in small claims if you have to), and hire someone new. In this economy, there should be plenty of contractors eager for the job.

    Or contact your state's contractor license board to file a complaint and get advice.

    I'm a contractor's wife, not a lawyer. Good luck.

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      #3
      I can't get another builder. Its a builder tie-in with the neighborhood.

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        #4
        I agree, contact the state licensing board to complain. File a complaint against them. Are you sure you will be happy with their workmanship if they are treating you like this?
        I would get my money back and get out of this contract if it were me.

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          #5
          I would get my money back and consider buying an existing home.

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            #6
            What is the resason the builder is giving you for the delayed start? Have you gone directly to the developer? Are you represented by a Realtor? Is the $5,000 earnest non-refundable? Sorry for more questions than suggestions... trying to better understand the situation.

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              #7
              The reason they keep giving for the delayed start is the weather. I understand it has been more rainy than usual here in the northeast, but I find it hard to believe that they been unable to do anything at all for the past two months.

              The builder is the developer.

              We are not represented by a realtor.

              At this time we are unsure if our $5000 is non-refundable. We plan to have a real estate lawyer look over our contract this week.



              We also found out that the build is in deep, over a few hundred thousand dollars, to local suppliers for unpaid goods. This really makes me want out asap.

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                #8
                Run as far away from this builder as you can. My wife and I built in the Northeast in 2001 (private lot we purchased). At that time the builder (unknown to us) was on his way to going out of business. He struggled to keep it going and got in debt with suppliers, workers and allot of people just would not work with him.

                We were lucky enough to have cash on hand to pay for material when we went to pick up our flooring and the supplier would not release it because of the builders debt. We had to work directly with the bank to have them release money to us. we are lucky we got our house without a lawsuit.

                Try to get out of the contract with a breach on their part. fight later for the 5k but do not build with this builder, you will regret it. If the builder owns the development, there will be issue down the road.. snow removal, sewer, water, roads... don't do it.

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                  #9
                  From my experience, buying in good times, a deposit is easy to get back. The contract is probably flimsy though (on the flip side - meaning - they probably don't have any obligation to finish in time - builders RARELY do - but it should be relatively easy to walk away and get your deposit back).

                  That is my experience buying a new home in good times (& having a few friends who also walked away from new home purchases). Granted, things have changed. I Don't know if the initial contract is more binding simply because times are tough and there isn't a line of buyers behind you.

                  Basically, they will push you around, of course, if you don't stand up for yourself.

                  I think you need to read your contract carefully and see exactly what you agreed to. Maybe ask a realtor to help you? From my perspective, these new homes always run behind and I am not sure you have a lot of recourse.

                  If they won't give you the money back - fight for it later. I agree on getting out.

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                    #10
                    Yes, I agree, do not go with this builder. You will have nothing but reqrets. My husband is a builder also, licensed in Georgia and North Carolina. We give our prospectful customers at least 25 letters of reccommendation, complete with phone numbers and urge the prospect to contact as many of our customers as they want.

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                      #11
                      Basically, we are in contact with a lawyer now to see what our options are. I think he is going to try and draft something up and have the builder sign it even though he thinks they won't sign it.

                      I am half ready to completely forget about the $5000 down payment and just walk away because with the $8000 tax credit when we buy a resale in the next few months, we will still be up $3000. I guess it is up to the builder to decide whether he wants to keep the $5000 deposit or make the $250000 sale. You would think it would be the latter or the two...


                      Also, what does everyone think of the cost of fighting for the $5000 deposit vs the legal fees to fight it? Is it even worth it or should I just forget it?
                      Last edited by pikey412; 06-24-2009, 09:22 AM. Reason: addition

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by pikey412 View Post
                        Also, what does everyone think of the cost of fighting for the $5000 deposit vs the legal fees to fight it? Is it even worth it or should I just forget it?
                        Small claims court is cheap, depends on your state/county. You should be able to look it up on your state's Web site. Plus, if you win the builder may be forced to pay for all the court costs. The judge may also choose to waive your fee.

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                          #13
                          I would go with small claims court also. It costs very little.

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                            #14
                            While you will likely win judgement in small claims court, prepare yourself for difficulties getting the actual cash if the developer is on the skids. Isn't everyone else asking for their refund? You may get your $$$$ in the future as judgements stay on record.

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                              #15
                              What to do and not to do in ????
                              On this.

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