Property Q&A in Washington>Question Details

Jim, Home Owner in Washington, DC

I bought a seriously defective, new condo in 20020. Anyone else in the same boat? What are you doing about your situation?

Asked by Jim, Washington, DC Sun Feb 27, 2011

The complex is a row of townhouses, each containing two apartments. Defects in the structure and common-area elements include a failing, 30' retaining wall; a broken water main; inadequate parking; settling structures; improperly installed electrical, fire-suppression, heating, and plumbing systems; and a gate on the community which is not "to code." The place was advertised as a private, gated community; but gated communities are not in keeping with DC's current city plan; and the parking places designated by the builder/developer are not approved by the city. Finally, the association was left with no money, even though the builder-developer supposedly paid years of fees as incentives to purchase here. The association board is currently trying to manage the complex, but is not doing a very good job, and some unit owners are contemplating suing the board, which is already involved in a couple of legal disputes with the builder-developer, who still holds several of the units.

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While I am certainly not an attorney, my bewilderment is how did the city sign off on the inspections with the amount of defects your building apparently has? The builder answers to the city who is suppose to inspect before providing an occupancy permit. I would get the city to answer in addition to the builder; unfortunately no matter what the issues are, your mortgage will still be there unfortunately unless a settlement is reached somehow in court.

In the future a very detailed inspectionperformed by a Licensed ASHI Inspector with specializations can help you avoid these issues. Oftentimes because a builder is behind a project most consumers don't obtain an inspection or ask for an inspection contingency. However, purchasing a home is a huge investment and due diligence is paramount! I really wish you the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 12, 2011
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