builder backs out of agreement

ellie123-2009October 12, 2010

I recently placed a $5000.00 down payment on a house to be built in a gated community in Fl. Problem is, now the builder refuses to build it for the price he quoted. Met and spoke with him many times over the last couple of months and he knew my budget for the house. I made some changes to the model, but HE was the one who worked up the price, which worked for me. I was leaving Fl. the next day, so he told me he would email a completed contract to review. Now, 2 months later, I can't even get him to return my calls. Anything I can do without a contract? Hope someone can help me

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sylviatexas1

You may need an attorney to get your money back.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 5:37PM
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ellie123-2009

the sales rep, who I spoke with over a month ago, told me that they would return the down payment, but haven't received anything yet. In fact, my mother, who lives in the area, stopped by a couple of weeks ago, and she told her that it would take over 30 days to return it. It sure didn't take that long to cash it! I hope to get it back, but in all honesty, I still would prefer to have the house built at price quoted. I have the fiugre he gave me on paper, but not a real contract

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 6:31PM
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krycek1984

Why would you want to build with someone who basically stole 5000 dollars from you? Run, not walk away from this contractor. And get an attorney.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 8:09PM
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Billl

Count your blessings. Building in Florida at this point is a pretty sketchy financial decision. There is a reason all these builders are going bankrupt. The market is flooded with homes and they can't compete with the prices.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 8:12PM
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ellie123-2009

the only reason I still want to build here is because it is the only family gated community near the area my parents live in fl.,and after visiting them for the past 5 years, my husband and I have completely fallen in love with it. We actually waited a couple of years to wanting to build here, because we were waiting until the developement grew, which it has

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 9:59PM
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orv1

Good luck, apparently it seems you are going to need it.

What part of "these people are crooks and shady business people" is not clear?

Personally I would never, never, never want a dishonest, irresponsible person building a house. You are just asking for trouble.

If you are really stuck on building there get another builder. Unless he has an exclusive. If that's the case then there's definitely something wrong with the communication between you and he if you're ready to build and he's not jumping all over it getting started. Especially in this current environment.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 12:22AM
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jane__ny

There are so many houses in gated communities going under I would think you could buy one really cheap. My husband and I looked at tons of them this past May, in Sarasota. So many foreclosures and short sales I couldn't look at anymore. Its horrifying! I would never build a house under those circumstances.

We found out the HOA's haven't been paid and many of these communities can't afford the upkeep of the grounds and lakes.

Get your money back and look at a house that's already built. You'll probably save a lot of money.

Jane

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 1:15AM
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earthworm

And all these woes and heartaches caused by "unregulated greed".Our economy was "on the edge" years ago ( due to years of trade imbalance, but this was astutely covered up. We need regulation reform as well as other things....comunication reform....no more small print for one....But, nothing has been done and the honest people suffer...As to the new construction, evidently, a man needs a lawyer just to go into the pre-contract stage...Not a good sign....More reform needed....if a man agrees to build a place for an agreed to price, then it should be done, even if the man looses his shirt...And changes made after the agreement will be very expensive.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 9:43AM
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cmarlin20

In reality you have no agreement or contract, just a bid. Get your deposit back.

earthworm, is it possible for you to post without an unrelated political tirade?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 5:44PM
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ellie123-2009

Believe me, I would LOVE to find another builder, or a house already built. But, only one builder in the community. I don't think that I would have to worry about it going under, because the builder and his family live there, along with a couple of the real estate agents . This happens to be the only community around that alows kids. Also, great charter school right up the street. I guess that's why this guy feels he can call the shots, but my mother told me she isn't seeing any new building going on. Thanks for all the advice, really appreciate it. By any chance, anyone out there every hear of The Villages, in FL?.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 8:50PM
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krycek1984

::sigh::

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 10:22PM
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terriks

I don't think that I would have to worry about it going under, because the builder and his family live there, along with a couple of the real estate agents

I can't tell you how many builders and RE agents who I know personally who have lost their homes and more in the last few years. In fact I'd say that there are disproportionally more builders and RE agents who have gone into foreclosure and/or bankruptcy than the general public.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 12:00AM
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deee_gw

Honestly Elli, do you not read the newspaper or watch the news?

I have been looking at houses for the past three months in a resort area not unlike FL. Prices keep falling and there is no end in sight. Do yourself a favor and rent a house for a year.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 7:10AM
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qdwag

There MUST be an existing home for sale in this community you so much desire to live in..You have no legal foothold with the builder, and i'll guarantee you,he KNOWS how badly you want to live there..He hopes you'll "pay up" to live there, and that would be a MAJOR mistake on your part...Florida is one of the worst places to be purchasing a home right now,unless you get it for a steep discount..

I'd also be very leery of HOA or those type communities,when people stop paying their fees,problems and costs quickly escalate

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 9:18AM
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nelles_gw

ellie123-2009:

I've heard of The Villages. In fact, I live near enough to regularly shop & dine out up there. What do you want to know?

Ellen

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 9:44AM
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ellie123-2009

no homes for sale like the one I want to build qdwag. we actually took one of their models and made a few changes that would work for us. I will have my mother keep an eye on the area though. I also want her to make sure no houses are built there like the one my husband designed. The know he took the plans home with him one day.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 6:44PM
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ncrealestateguy

Ellie,
Call the developer of the development, and let him know that his designated builder has your $5000, and will not honor his word.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 8:06AM
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azmom

Is this for real?

1. Without a contract you paid $5000.00.
2. You know the builder is un-trustworthy, but insist to ask him to build a house for you.
3. Your husband took one of their plans home to modify, is this an Intellectual property violation?
4. How would your mother to make sure "no houses are built there like the one my husband designed"? Can your husband claim he designed the house while he modified one of the builder's plans.
5. In this worst housing down turn you believe that "the place won't go under, because the builder and his family live there, along with a couple of the real estate agents."
6....
7.....

Wow!!!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 2:29PM
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earthworm

Cmarlin, the political tirades(as you call them, are indeed related.
There is a reason and a cause for these unpleasant things to happen...People are trusting, often that trust is betrayed.
Now Ellie may be out $5 grand....
To protect "trusting" people, we must know the cause and the solution.
More government rules and regulations may be necessary.
And I do hope that this comes to a good end.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 2:54PM
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ellie123-2009

nelles, I know a lot about the villages, because this community is right by that area. and azmom, I think I may have not explained the "adjusting the plans" correctly. First of all, these plans are givien to anyone by the developer, who is actually the one I have all the problems with. He therefore, has a builder for his community. The developer, is the one who took my husband's plans home with him. True, probably couldn't prove it stole the plans, if in fact he would even build a house like the one we designed. nelles, any family gated communities near you since you live near the villages? Know from my mother that word spreads fast around there, so if they want to play hard ball, she's the one who will be able to get the word out about this place.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 4:53PM
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nelles_gw

ellie:

This family community is VERY near The Villages. I don't know if it's gated. Truth be told, The Villages is not a gated community. The developer turned over the majority of streets to the county, so those streets are now public.

HTH,
Ellen

Here is a link that might be useful: Villages of Parkwood

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 9:02AM
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nelles_gw

ellie:

I found this forum with a request for info similar to yours. It's from 2007, but you may find it informative.

There's a post on page 2 that lists other communities.

Ellen

Here is a link that might be useful: Similar interests

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 9:35AM
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ellie123-2009

nelles, thanks for the fedback. Unfortunately, the one you suggested that is VERY near the Villages, is the one I am having the problem with! I will check out the forum you suggested on the other communities though. Never heard of them, but will see if I can find out something. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 6:03PM
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nelles_gw

ellie,

I don't if you'd be interested since it's about 30-35 miles south of The Villages, but you may want to check out the city of Clermont. It's a real family city, with lots of planned developments.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 2:18PM
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ellie123-2009

know a former neighbor who lives in Clermont, but, would probably only move to the area we are looking at because of the access to everything that we are interested in, and also because of the charter school. But thanks for the suggestion.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 6:38PM
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ncrealestateguy

Elle,
Chances are the developer stole your $5000 because he is broke. Do not get yourself into a mess!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 6:59AM
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ellie123-2009

know the developer is still there and building. This guy has several locations. Did find some info on another site about him though. Most of the people seem to be very pleased with the houses and the community. I did hear a couple of them talk about a "Builders Fee" that they had to pay at the closing. Apparently, they knew nothing about this until the closing. I have never heard of this. Anyone familiar with this fee, and is it legal to withhold this until the closing?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 5:54PM
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logic

ellie, you need to hire an attorney...as an internet website is a poor substitute...especially as you don't seem inclined to heed the advice of those who have taken the time to answer your questions.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 6:03PM
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brickeyee

"know the developer is still there and building. This guy has several locations."

And they are most likely separate legal entities, none of which have any real assets.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 9:09PM
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jane__ny

I don't know where in Florida you are, but please type in Trulia.com or any other real estate website and run a search. Put in the zipcode you are planning to move to. Put in the amount you are planning to spend and let it search.

There are so many foreclosures of partially built houses, it isn't funny. I'm looking in the Sarasota, Venice, Osprey areas. These are brand-new partially built homes where the builder walked away. Some are over 3,000 sq ft with pools. All are listed from $60 - 85,000.

You really shouldn't be building anything now in Florida. I would look for houses already built. The builders are in deep financial trouble. Your builder could have houses all over the state and no money to finish them.

Buyer Beware,

Jane

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:32PM
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orv1

Why are you folks wasting your fingerstrokes?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 12:24PM
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ellie123-2009

Thanks for the trulia.com website jane ny. Really appreciate all of the advice, and right now will focus on getting my money back and looking at houses that already built in another development. Someone told me today about a place called Harbor Hills, so going to check it out. I do agree with all of you that the best thing to do is to stay away from this developer once I get, IF I get, my down payment back. Since my mother lives in the area, I am sure the developer does not want anyone talking badly about his community. Better to his advantage to return the money. Thanks again to everyone. I'll post again if I hear from him.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 7:21PM
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krycek1984

ellie, I'm glad you came to that decision. It makes about 20 times more sense to purchase a house in FL than it does to build right now. I'm sure if you were to build a home you would have to have a HUGE down payment to get a bank to sign on. Houses are dirt cheap down there. It's sad in a way, but helps if you are purchasing instead of selling.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 11:09PM
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