Jhannise08, Home Buyer in West Los Angeles, Los...

Researching a builder for a new construction?

Asked by Jhannise08, West Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA Tue Feb 9, 2010

I'm considering buying a condo in W. LA, but the builder seems a bit shady. I've found some structural issues that he seems to be trying to "explain away" when it doesn't match information that is presented or what is in the actual building codes. I do like the property, but I can't seem to find any of the builder history online- even though I know he has been building other properties. Any suggestions on researching the builder?

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BEST ANSWER
You're searching for a history of what? If there's a history of poor workmanship? Get his license # go online to the CSLB see what they have then check his bond history and see if there have been claims on his bonds is all I can think of.

You can go to the courthouse and search for any litigation's.

You can also pay for a detailed CSLB history and complaints, name changes, warnings, etc. I believe it's $75.00

TonyP
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 9, 2010
Sorry, I did not answer the statement concerning the expired license, a contractor working on an expired license is the same as being unlicensed. He must be working under another license, when on the CSLB site you can search by his nam and company name and it should tell you other licenses at the bottom of the page, he may be on a corporation license as an officer.

Check all his surety company records with a simple phone call they can tell you his history.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
P.S. do the search using all DBA's and real name.

TonyP
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
It takes about 30 minutes, there should be a designated computer just ask them at the complaint filing.
Glad to be of assistance
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 13, 2010
Hello Jhannise08,

Now that the condo is new construction you should probably make sure that the HOA IS solid if the building is a red flag. I have seen many condos that get built poorly and then you have tons of litigation down the road against the builder. With new construction there is a warranty period but if the contractor is shady who is to say that he/she will honor that warranty and not file for bankruptcy. If your gut is saying this isn't a good idea then move on.

Best,

Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
(323) 899-2900
mcarrabba@kw.com
(323) 899-2900
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 10, 2010
If you have concerns about the contractor you can do research at:

http://www.cslb.ca.gov/

I just closed on a new construction and the main concern if you are getting a purchase money loan is whether or not the building has it Certificate of Occupancy. As well, new construction needs to be 51%-70% sold for lenders to approve financing. Many new constructions will give credit toward the closing costs but will as the buyer to come out of pocket to bolster the HOA reserves. You should be concerned about the quality of construction however you should be equally concerned about the ability to gain financing. Any liens, lis pendens or construction issues will slow down the sale process.

If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to call. If I can't answer them, I can research on your behalf.

Best Regards,

Aaron Mirsky
310.270.7548
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 9, 2010
Thanks! I did a lot of digging and think I found a newer license, but I'm waiting for the realtor to confirm the number.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 9, 2010
check out his lic. on the link
Web Reference: http://www.ca.gov
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 9, 2010
Hi Jhannise08,

An expired license is a "red flag" in my book. Your instincts have already told you the builder "seems a bit shady", and he has "explained away" structural issues that do not match info and building codes?

While Anthony has provided a solid answer below, save your $75 and find someone else! If it looks and sounds like a duck, it's probably a duck....

Two more suggestions:

1) See if you can find an Building Education Center like this one up here in the Bay Area:
http://www.bldgeductr.org/

2) Have Anthony inspect the property!

Best, Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 9, 2010
Hi Anthony,

Your answer is pretty awesome! I'm contacted the realtor to get a specfic license number, but the only name search revealed https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicense/License…

I'm unsure if I should go with a builder with an expired license, even though he has recently built a number of condos. What would you suggest?

Thanks!

PS Unfortunately, our contigencies expire at the end of the week. How long does it usually take to search throught he courthouse records?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 9, 2010
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