If you’re building a new home in the DFW metropolitan area, here’s something important to consider: Our housing market is on fire! The latest census data shows that the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area issued more than 34,000 housing permits in 2017 — second in the nation only to Houston. This is also important to understand if you built a new home nearly a year ago because your one-year builder’s warranty is about to expire.
Here’s an important reason you should take note: High housing demand in the Dallas area puts builders under pressure to deliver fast. It also means that city inspectors, contractors, subcontractors, and construction pros are under pressure to meet their deadlines. Haste makes waste, which is why you should engage a reliable, experienced home inspector twice— once before you take the keys and again two to three months before your one-year builder warranty expires.
Defects happen for many, very common reasons — poor building practices, defective materials, human error, faulty equipment, and mother nature, to name a few. Some issues are relatively minor — misaligned window seals, cracks and nail pops in the drywall, and mislocated light fixtures. Others can be time-consuming and costly to fix.
An ABC News investigation into “New Home Heartbreak” found that national builder, D. R. Horton, sets aside roughly $400 million a year to address hundreds of defect claims in its new homes, calling it an “ordinary course of business.” They expect issues to arise! And so should you.
Here are some quotes from the website of HomeOwners for Better Building (HOBB), an organization designed to help buyers take action when they have issues with their newly-built home and a homebuilder who won’t give them what he promised:
- “They put a broken, rusty hot water heater, a bottom frame broken stove, and a cracked bathtub in my new house.”
- “My house size should be 1,870 square feet, but my appraisal was only 1,833 square feet.”
- “My home has a shoddy roof which has leaked into my front bedroom 4 times, and the problem began with the first big rainstorm when the house was 6 months old.”
- “After moving into my new home I found water coming in the basement between the top of the foundation and the wall. After removing the siding and disassembling the deck I saw the moisture wrap (aka Flash Wrap) was nailed to the wall and the adhesive backing was never removed!”
- “In spring 2008, I came home and found some broken tiles in the Master Bathroom. As sheetrock cracks, driveway cracks, tile cracks started appearing all over, I contacted an engineering company. The engineer found significant movement and suggested the house be fully piered and drainage be installed.”
If you’re building a new home, make sure to have it inspected before you take the keys. And if you’ve been in your new home for about nine or ten months, don’t forget that your builder’s one-year warranty will end soon. You may think everything is dreamy, but a one-year warranty home inspection can uncover pricy problems that your builder should take care of, saving you money and giving you peace of mind.
Call me to schedule a reliable, thorough home inspection today. You won’t regret it!
What to Do If Your Builder Doesn’t Step Up
On the HOBB website, you can learn about defective materials, binding arbitration, and mortgage fraud. If your builder isn’t addressing defects to your satisfaction, here’s how they recommend you take action:
- File a complaint about the builder online with the Federal Trade Commission or call them at 1-877-FTC-HELP. The FTC also offers tips for getting your money back.
- File a complaint with your Attorney General. Today, our AG is Ken Paxton. You can file a consumer complaint online at the Attorney General of Texas website.
- Write a short letter about your defective home to your elected officials. USA.gov provides links to sites you can use to find elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels. Be sure to ask them to support legislation that would curb the abuses of Binding Arbitration by homebuilders and return the rights of new home buyers to hold builders accountable for their mistakes under the law.
- File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau online. Part of their mission is to call out and address substandard marketplace behavior.
- Reach out to America’s Watchdog at 866-714-6466. Through their Construction Defect Center, they offer a free service to all U.S. homeowners and homeowner associations dealing with construction defects to help them navigate and resolve problems with the best potential outcome for all involved.
Image Credit: Scott Lewis via Flickr
About Our Licensed Dallas Home Inspections
At Stonebriar Property Inspections, Dallas home inspector Keith Boggs proudly provides quality home inspections throughout North Texas seven days a week, including evenings and weekends. Contact him at (214) 923-7304 or [email protected].
- Licensed and insured – Texas Real Estate Commission license #9867; TDA licensed termite technician # 0572333, Certified Termite & Pest Control – TPCL# 3825A
- Rated an A+ with the Dallas Better Business Bureau
- 5 out of 5 stars on 99% of customer reviews
- The most comprehensive home inspections available
- Friendly, down-to-earth service from someone you can trust