Question from Home Buyer in Indiana
Regarding Her Home Builder
You may not want to respond since I am in Indiana, but your site gave hope to me. I purchased a spec home in the beginning stage. The realtor/ builder rep.told me that the furnace would be located at the opposite end of the house away from the master bed room. I had him document this on a small print of the home that was included with the contract paper work. Ten days after signing the contract I find that the furnace is under the master and had been planned for that area all along.He is saying that the form that I had him sign does not say furnace. He wrote in in such a way that the only letter you can make out is the f. As soon as the thermostat was in 2 months into the build, I checked the noise level and told the builder that I could not tolerate the noise. He said I was in the basement and knew because the furnace was already in before I signed.I was not aware and the realtor did not point this out to me.
Also, I was informed that the basement would have 800 finished and 800 unfinished. It has 725 and 663 sqft.
The builder says that he is keeping my deposit of $ 50,000 and selling the house.
Am I correct in thinking that this is fraud?
Home Buyer from Indiana
I am not licensed to practice law in Indiana and the only legal advice I can provide is that you seek an Indiana attorney to represent you in this matter. I will post your question and my response on my blog. Here is a copy of what I will post.
I can not give Connie legal advice since she is in Indiana and I am not licensed there. I will, however, comment on the issues that Connie presented.
It really sounds deceptive. A key for her is corroboration of what the builder told or represented to her. If he said it orally, she would want someone like her realtor, husband, friend, anyone who can confirm that he said it. If it is in writing, all the better.
In Texas, her builder would clearly be in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. In Indiana, their legislature has not adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act so claims in her state have to be brought under similar but not identical laws. She clearly received misrepresentations of fact including the furnace issue that was made to her to induce her into signing the contract. Her other matter involving the square footage may actually be much more significant since the price of the house she paid as well as the price she can ask in the future are affected. I would recommend she contact an attorney in her area or a nearby town.
At this stage of the contract, she may be locked in to purchasing the house and then seeking her recovery back against the builder for the deception regarding the square footage.