U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-16-2019, 09:38 PM
 
67 posts, read 81,332 times
Reputation: 76

Advertisements

This is long, and I ask for your patience in advance... because you won't believe this! My husband and I purchased a new townhouse in September, 2018. We knew of a few minor issues and one serious problem, that needed to be fixed, but did not get fixed prior to closing. We insisted on addendum to make sure the repairs would get done. We actually had to move during hurricane Florence. Our house in NC was closing on Sept 12th and we were set to close in Florence, SC on 13th. On the 11th, we recieved a call from lawyer's office saying the courthouse was closing at noon on the 12th and would not open again until after the hurricane had passed. Said the earliest we could close would be on the 19th. Nothing we could do, this was a domino effect. Buyer of our house would not agree to postponing closing, so I reached out to realtor to ask if the seller/developer would allow us to put our furniture in house, and we would stay with friends who lived nearby. Realtor didn't ask seller, but agreed to let us put furniture in house, as long as we didn't stay in it. It was at this time, we found out none of the repairs had been made. We were homless with 2 cats, for a week, due to hurricane and no vacancies at hotels.

Closed on house on 19th and we just wanted to get some much needed rest. Realtor, nor seller was at closing. Right away, we started having issues. Lights in kitchen and over bar went out and flickered when garbage disposal was turned on. Garbage disposal sounded like it was coming apart. Yes, there was an enormous amount of water in garage. Water also coming in under back door. Couldn't place furniture in certain spaces because floor so uneven, furniture wobbles. No carpet, just LVT. Parts of our foundation broke off, must explain. When we first looked at TH, it had a 12" ledge around it with white metal flashing. Asked realtor why it was there, and he said he was told, the foundation guys didn't read plans right and poured foundation to large. When trusses came in, too small for foundation. Says, county inspectors approved. Also told us, that that the builder who built ours and the others, would not be building the remaining units to be built. He informed us he was a contractor and would be building the rest of the community. While iinside, I made a comment about the bar and he said, yeah, if I had built these, they would have been a little different.

So, when stepping inside home from garage, the concrete under door sill broke and 3/4 of it fell out, in three pieces. Husband trying to figure out wth happened, saw something weird at door frame. Looked like stud was off foundation. Investigating further, he removed baseboard and yep, studs were 1 1/2" off the foundation! About an inch of concrete had been slathered over with a trowel by a very unexperienced concrete person. While putting items on shelf in closet, I found a "Builders Permit", issued to none other, but our Realtor! More amd more things were coming to light, as we noticed cracks innsheetrock and some places in ceilings had been patched. Sent an email to realtor about issues, but at this time, did not let him know I had found the permit. He sent out electrician to fix issue with garbage disposal and lights. Electrician told us, this unit had sat unfinished, after framing completed, for 9 months. Said someone had come in and cut a bunch of wiring, as a revenge thing against builder. He told us, he was the electrician, the HVAC guy, the siding guy and whatever else they needed him to do. Btw, he didn't fix anything and came back a 2nd time, 4 weeks later with smaller HP garbage disposal, which didnt fix the problem. By this time we had more electrical problems, which he didn't know how to fix. Never returned. We called an electrician to fix, because we were afraid of electrical fire. Still need to have more circuits added, as everything in front of house is on one circuit, including kitchen.

During this same time, I had no idea who to pay HOA fees to, as we had received covenants at closing, there was nothing about who was in charge of HOA. We had asked for copy of covenants numerous times months ahead of closing, but never received. The realtor finally told us who to call, and the lady told me I did not have the correct name of the community, as it was owned by a different person and name had been changed. Had no idea, was never told this by realtor or by closing attorney, who as I later found out, was also the same attorney who handled the sale of the community a year prior. I was beginningbto think everything about this home was done underhanded.

I had already had a long list of issues and since I had to notify seller and builder, I wanted to make sure I had everything documented. I called a Home Inspector to go over everything to see if I had missed anything. Well, the person I called was much aware of my home and though hesitant to come out at first, he did finally agree to check it out. When he did come out, within 5 minutes, he told us, he was also a GC and had met the seller here to give him a bid on finishing out the unit. He told us the outer walls were off the foundation and framing was so warped and out of plumb, he told developer, he would have to tear it down and start over. Of course, he did not receive the bid to finish the unit. Actually 2 units, as a duplex. Out of plumb is an understatement. Entrance doors hard to open and close, interior doors hung with 3/8" gaps on one edge and scrubs on other edge, Windows are hung crooked, etc. He did look through and looked at my list, with pictures and told us, he could not charge us for coming out, as he really felt bad for us and advised us to hire an attorney. Not exactly the truth, on the reason for not charging us, but he didn't know I had done some research, and I thanked him and 2 hours later he left. He did text me later with some information of how to proceed with the rules in SC, before I could seek legal action.

I requested all permits and inspections from county (city was not handling inspections at that time), and after seeing a drawing and spect sheet from a Structural Engineer, I also spoke with inspector who failed the framing because of outer walls off foundation. He told me, the engineer came up with the idea to add 12" of concrete around the house and install flashing. Said he didn't want to pass it, but had no choice because engineer designed the fix. Water comes above the extension and goes underneath flashing and has rotted out studs. Property was not graded at all. All water pools and runs directly to house. Structural Engineer says, the extension was not done to his specs. Should have been sloped for water to run off. Wrong flashing used, no rubberized mastic used between concrete and flashing. Also said ground would have to be graded and french drains installed, along with 6" gutters to be installed on front and back.

I finally sent repair list to seller/developer and to realtor/builder, along with 160 pictures. So, I have a property that realtor was the builder for the seller and never disclosed that bit of information, but blatantly lied about it. The same realtor who never told us the development had been sold and new owner was well known for building rental properties. The closing attorney, who realtor chose, because we didn't really know any here and I trusted him, was the same attorney who had handled all the legalities of this community, including being the owner of the land who had sold it to the original developer. During my research, I learned the original builder's license had expired 3 years before he started building this unit, the Framing contractor's license was also expired, as well as the HVAC guy does not have HVAC or Mechanical license.

Now, we are trying to get seller to buy the property back, or we will have to file a lawsuit. We have spoke with an attorney and their fee is 1/3 of settlement plus all added expenses. We paid cash for the home, from sale of prior home, and paid $130K for the townhouse. Lawyer takes close to 1/2, by the time it is done and we won't have enough to buy another house. I am 65 and my husband is 70. We can't afford a large mortgage. I have decided if seller doesn't buy back the property, then we will go ahead with lawsuit and I will represent ourselves. Yes, I know, probably not a great idea, but the best option we have. The builder is already involved in a lawsuit for basically the same issues we have, except ours is much worse. We can't sell the property, because we now have to disclose all the issues that were not disclosed to us.

Am I wrong to expect seller to buy back? How can people in this industry be this shady and most are allowed to get away with it? Doesn't reputation and a good name mean anything anymore? I was told by attorney, the SC LLR is useless and will not be of any help. Is this true?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-16-2019, 09:46 PM
 
248 posts, read 55,592 times
Reputation: 602
You ignored every possible red flag ever known to mankind.

You can go after the E&O for the builder and the realtor, but good luck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-16-2019, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Sarasota/ Bradenton - University Pkwy area
3,112 posts, read 4,425,646 times
Reputation: 2650
First, I do truly sympathize with you and what has happened. Sounds like a buyer's nightmare. As to advice, most of the people you will find posting here are real estate agents and since we cannot give any sort of advice that remotely sounds like legal advice, so not sure how much help you will find here.

You kind of answered some of your questions in your own post. If the builder is already involved in a lawsuit for basically the same issues you have, then (a) they obviously don't care about reputation and (b) it's doubtful the builder will be offering to buy back your defective property any time soon.


One other sentence stands out to me as well: My husband and I purchased a new townhouse in September, 2018. We knew of a few minor issues and one serious problem, that needed to be fixed, but did not get fixed prior to closing.

Did you have your own, independent home inspection before closing? Your situation is a good example of just why it is so important to have home inspections on new construction -- preferably 2 inspections, one pre-drywall and a 2nd after the home is completed.


In your post you said: When we first looked at TH, it had a 12" ledge around it with white metal flashing. Asked realtor why it was there, and he said he was told, the foundation guys didn't read plans right and poured foundation to large. When trusses came in, too small for foundation. Says, county inspectors approved. Also told us, that that the builder who built ours and the others, would not be building the remaining units to be built. He informed us he was a contractor and would be building the rest of the community.

Did you have this discussion before you made an offer on the property? Or after?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2019, 01:40 AM
 
475 posts, read 1,061,585 times
Reputation: 354
What a story! The second you saw problems, you should have dropped the sale! And this serves as a good reason to shop for your own representation and lawyer!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2019, 03:06 AM
 
Location: on the wind
5,565 posts, read 2,149,909 times
Reputation: 19184
Can't even imagine getting to the point of closing on this place! Hindsight is 20/20 so don't want to torture you but There must have been writing on a wall somewhere long before that!

Don't expect anything good from these people. If they offer you anything chances are it won't be.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2019, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Kansas City North
3,762 posts, read 6,998,404 times
Reputation: 5043
Usually Iím not one to suggest anything in the least bit shady, but I would think about getting a mortgage to get the majority of your money out of it, then letting the bank foreclose on it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2019, 10:44 AM
 
3,837 posts, read 3,041,936 times
Reputation: 12415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Okey Dokie View Post
Usually I’m not one to suggest anything in the least bit shady, but I would think about getting a mortgage to get the majority of your money out of it, then letting the bank foreclose on it.
Not a bad idea up front, but it probably wouldnt pass inspection.

I think the odds of him buying it back are next to nothing. He's probably already spent that money on a previous lawsuit. If you can figure out how much you think you would get out of a lawsuit, assuming you would win (winning is one thing, collecting is another), maybe offer it for sale for that net figure, as is. Maybe some contractor would buy it. Doesnt seem like theres any way to get out of this without you moving and getting a mortgage, or renting somewhere.

Last edited by carnivalday; 02-17-2019 at 10:53 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2019, 11:40 AM
 
68 posts, read 15,214 times
Reputation: 178
OP. What you wrote is a good start to a discussion with YOUR LAWYER. And do not wait too long.


Also, in cases of fraud, are you not allowed to collect legal fees and maybe treble damages? Talk to YOUR LAWYER.


https://statelaws.findlaw.com/south-...ices-laws.html


https://www.charlestonlaw.net/corpor...in-charleston/

Last edited by BarstowC; 02-17-2019 at 11:53 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2019, 12:11 PM
 
126 posts, read 90,426 times
Reputation: 461
Filing a lawsuit may be futile. Even if you were to receive a judgement, collecting on it would be another matter. High probability of the seller not having any assets, filing bankruptcy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-17-2019, 01:01 PM
 
Location: El paso,tx
1,670 posts, read 661,515 times
Reputation: 2719
File under DCTPA.
Hire an atty that will ask for atty fees/lagal fees.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top