Home Buying in Raleigh>Question Details

Curlyjoe32, Home Buyer in Raleigh, NC

I recently signed a contract to purchase a new construction house in North Carolina. The builder informed me that the permit for the lot was denied

Asked by Curlyjoe32, Raleigh, NC Thu Feb 11, 2010

because they won't allow a slab on that lot due to potential drainage problems. But they will allow the house to be built with a basement. Builder is stating I have 2 options: 1) add an expensive basement and stay on the preferred lot or 2) move to a less desirable lot. I'm looking for advice on the best way to handle the situation.I really want the original lot, but I really don't want to pay the extra cost for a basement.

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Before I was a broker, I’m a professional engineer. I have not run into any municipality that would ask the builder to choose the foundation for any site. I would agree with Sheri that you need to have an agent working for you and to ask the builder to show these documents. Client should familiarize himself with the topo of the lot to understand where these issues coming from or the builder has promise something and now trying to take advantage of customer without representation.
I will be glad to find out if you need help on this issue.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
In my opinion, Sheri is the only one who answered this accurately. Otherwise, we're all trying to "guess" at what your contract terms are. Your Realtor - your Buyer's Agent - should be able to review the contract and provide you with your options. If you used the onsite agent who most likely only represents the builder, then you need to review the pages of your contract all by yourself.

It is my experience that many standard Builder's contracts contains a clause whereby you agree to switch to a "comparable" lot for circumstances just like this.

But without your contract or your agent, that's as much of a guess as any of us can take towards solving your issue. I am sorry it's arisen.
Web Reference: http://www.BoBromhal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
Greetings Curlyjoe32

I have worked for 15 years in new construction sales. It would help me if I knew which builder and community. However, if the homesite is a sloped homesite this could cause the issue or, the builder could also be required to add some additional cost to the lot that they don't want to do, ie stem walls etc. Again if if knew which city, I could check on the permit for you.

Now if they are offering to do a basement, I would ask them if they will do the basement at their cost. You may want to consider this as it will add value to your home if you complete it one day in the future. Basement homes aren't as popular here as they are in up North.

If there is another homesite to choose, I would ask them for some additional choices, options, sideload garage, closing costs or something that you want to be added to the contract for your inconvenience. Most new construction does the homework in advance of permitting so things don't get denied.

Third option is to cancel the contract and get a full refund. If you would like my assistance I would be happy to assist you, it's important to have buyer representation on any transaction especially new construction as their sales agents rempresent the builder only.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Web Reference: http://www.kriscuddy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
Do you have a buyers agent working for you? If so they should be able to formulate a plan of action that is in your best interest. If you are not please feel free to contact me here via Trulia to discuss options for this particular situation. Unfortunately if you are currently working with an agent the folks here can't really advise you so you will be best to contact your agent or an attorney for your options.

Best of luck with it!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
Sometimes there are issues that come up with building and safety requirements. These City and County departments can change their mind about previous inspections and require additional items and or procedures to be done.

Most likely, when the builder submitted his initial plan this basement was not a requirement. Now that things have changed and the basement is required, probably due to increased concern about storm water, a common ground must be reached.

Perhaps the builder will meet you half way with the expenses to build the basement. Ask the builder to detail out the exact cost that it will take to complete the basement.

Once you know the amount it will cost try to negotiate with the builder. If it is just too much then you may have to cancel.
Web Reference: http://www.soreal.biz
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
You do have a third option, and that's back out of contract. You can tell the builder that the two options he gave you are not acceptable, and you can tell him you'll accept the house on that lot for the agreed upon price, or you'll back out of the contract.

You can contact an attorney to determine if the contract can force him to build the house on that lot, since he is attempting to alter the original agreed upon terms, or if he does break it, are there any penalties to him.

Did you use a agent to represent you in purchasing, or did you use the onsite agent of the builders?
Web Reference: http://www.tri4sale.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 11, 2010
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