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Old 04-06-2008, 02:22 PM
 
22 posts, read 42,933 times
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Default Pre and Post closing repair items neglected by builder

We bought our house 6 months ago from a custom- home builder in Durham, and so far items identified in the punch list during inspection and right after closing have not been taken care of. Now, the builder is running away from us. They have a model home in our subdivision, but they no longer keep a staff. So, all you can do is leave a message. We tried to send them certified mails, but they would not pick them up. They are still building in our subdivision, but they use seller's agents to market their homes on the market. Have any of you had similar issues? What to do?

Last edited by autumngal; 04-06-2008 at 06:13 PM.. Reason: fixed font tags
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Old 04-06-2008, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
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I had a similar situation when I lived in cary, we closed on a new home, did the inspections had a punch list from right after we moved in. We kept getting the run around. Basically, you need to send the letter, certified, to the builder's office address (if you know it), the sales team will say they are not responsible as the builder is the one responsible. So, we ended up also contacting the better business bureau, and the home builders association of wake county (that is where we were and where the builder was located) your builder may be located in durham county, I don't know. The complaint with the bbb did us the most good, as they contacted the builder and suddenly, everything was taken care of. I had an attorney write up a document stating what I needed to have completed by the builder, and how it needed to be completed, and the builder as well as his superintendent signed the docs.

Hope this helps
Leigh
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Old 04-06-2008, 03:17 PM
 
Location: blue moon
45 posts, read 92,677 times
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If the above suggestions don't work, check out the North Carolina Department of Justice website, ncdoj.com check out consumer protection.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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Thanks Leigh. My builder lives in Durham and builds in a subdivision that everyone knows. I did check the site of the bbb, but it says that this organization is not a BBB Accredited business, although it provides the same contact number I have been using unsuccessfully. I guess filing a complaint with the BBB may not be of a great help in this case. I will aso check out the ncdoj.com as tag11 suggests, and I hope there is somewhere I can file a complaint or something.
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:23 AM
 
Location: North Raleigh
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I'd be curious to know if small claims court would cover this type of thing? I'm assuming the punch list is a collection of fairly minor items that totaled wouldn't cost a ton of money to correct.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:16 AM
 
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If they are still building that means that a supervisor or someone has to come around at some point. Go to the sites they are building and find someone to talk to (if they are around). Do that EVERYDAY or go to their offices and sit in the lobby until they address your issues. You should also have a 1 year inspection as well. Make sure to schedule that WAY in advance and keep taking those notes.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:39 AM
 
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we delayed closing till the builder fixed what we asked. We were afraid of the very situation you described. Figured once they had the money they would be difficult to track down.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:50 AM
 
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I had this problem with 100 items on the punch list from a custom builder. I insisted on a personal guarantee before closing. After two years of trying to get the work done correctly as more and more things broke (cabinets falling off the wall!), finally hired a lawyer and went to court- he never showed, I won, but he won't write a check till the court froze his assets. I really didn't win as I couldn't sue for legal fees...half the check went to the lawyer. I would file a complaint with the BBB immediately- might even try contacting WRAL news. You have to get him while he is still in business.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:02 PM
 
22 posts, read 42,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tluv00 View Post
If they are still building that means that a supervisor or someone has to come around at some point. Go to the sites they are building and find someone to talk to (if they are around). Do that EVERYDAY or go to their offices and sit in the lobby until they address your issues. You should also have a 1 year inspection as well. Make sure to schedule that WAY in advance and keep taking those notes.
What you usually get at the sites is those non english speaking workers. This builder used contractors to do the work, but there is not a supervisor working directly in their office. Their model home is always closed, although they advertise working hours. If you call the office, the best you can do is to leave a message. If you call their cell phone, they simply do not pick it up. I sent certified mail, but they would ignore the notice left by the post office. One of my neighbors had similar issue, but the builder threatened to sue him and his wife for harassment if he kept calling.

Just to give you an idea of how these poeple show disregard for their customers. A few days after closing, we found the builder inside our home. His explanation: He did not know that we already moved in, so he came up to pick up some items he left in there...
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:34 PM
 
5,527 posts, read 5,738,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCHOME1 View Post
What you usually get at the sites is those non english speaking workers. This builder used contractors to do the work, but there is not a supervisor working directly in their office. Their model home is always closed, although they advertise working hours. If you call the office, the best you can do is to leave a message. If you call their cell phone, they simply do not pick it up. I sent certified mail, but they would ignore the notice left by the post office. One of my neighbors had similar issue, but the builder threatened to sue him and his wife for harassment if he kept calling.

Just to give you an idea of how these poeple show disregard for their customers. A few days after closing, we found the builder inside our home. His explanation: He did not know that we already moved in, so he came up to pick up some items he left in there...
I see our supervisor all of the time so I figured that yours may be around as well. Did you have a buyer's agent? It's been harped on time and time again and this is one of the reasons why they say for people to get a buyer's agent.

Who is the builder (PM me if you want). I say call and call and harrass the builder if you have to. If they sue you then you can counter with the fact that they are negligent in your repairs (and I don't think they can sue you for making phone calls, sending certified mail and trying to get your repairs done). What you should try to do is have a friend or neighbor schedule a meeting to see a house and then show up while that is going on and talk to the selling agent. If they are going to be "shady" with you then you should do the same. Just a suggestion.
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