Brighton homes cancelled my contract because of complaints of bad bricklaying-any recourse?

Asked by Kevin Lambright, Deer Park, TX Fri Apr 18, 2008

The bricks that were put on my new house were done so badly that the sales people and the supervisor agreed there were many problems and were going to work on these problems. Brighton homes called me yesterday and cancelled the contract. During construction, we found a worker had urinated into a food bag and nailed it to a wall stud that was about to be covered with a wall, bricks around the window were not put in right, flooring was not installed right upstairs. I already sold my house according to the demands of the contract and now have to scramble to find a place to live. I believe they breached my contract and wonder what recourse I would have

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Tommy_arenci…, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Mon Feb 1, 2016
I live in Autumn Lakes and had problems with the bricks and stone. I was told it was normal like everything else that was wrong with the house. I have plenty of stories. Long story short, don't sign the contract until you are happy with the work.

I had electrica issuesl, cracked and chipped tiles, light fixtures (1 cracked glass and another not working), dented appliances, walls not even and visble damage, baseboards damaged and poorly done, stair railing loose, crown molding uneven, dented door knob, front door warped, the list goes on. Just very, very poor workmanship.

I was told on most of these that it was normal, until they bought someone over to look at it (you had to bug them) which time I was told it wasn't normal by their own worker. The tiles were the big one - told it was normal for tiles to look that way. As for the bricks, I was told it was under a certain % (I forgot) so it was considered good by the manufacture. So yeah they counted each damage brick and stone in 15 minutes of just standing in my front yard. I can take plenty of pictures if you need help deciding on rather to purchase from K Hov or not (this being directed towards potential home buyers).

God Speed. Run.
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Girlnextdoor…, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Tue Apr 7, 2015
I paid down my earnest money and was told if i dont qualify from their lenders and wellsfargo they sent my file over to which took about 2 months and i was not qualified now brighton homes refuse to give my money back to me wht should i do these people knew i was a foreign expat and getting info from my home land to bankers here would be long and still they want to deny me my hard earn cash i need an attorney
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Rarshaiz, Both Buyer And Seller, Texas
Sat Apr 6, 2013
When dealing with anyone on something of this magnitude never trust anyone but yourself. No one else cares about your wallet more then you do.

They all have there own best interests in mind not yours. Yes, even your agent that is supposedly working for you really only cares about how much they are going to get for the process.

Hire your on inspectors hell hire two different company's to do the inspections. No two people see the same things. Sure these inspections will cost money but lets face it pay a little now or a lot more later when its to late?
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sebrooks00, , Louisville, KY
Wed Jan 30, 2013
I am currently building a home with them in Louisville, KY and I would agree.....they DO NOT tolerate any complaints. They are nice in the beginning, until you sign a contract, then they will not fix anything that they deem, you the buyer are responsible for. I asked for body sprays in my custom bathroom, which they quickly agreed to, but then didn't follow through with getting the right height or the correct size water tank so that I didn't end up with a cold shower after 5 minutes. I am currently trying to figure out if I should contact a lawyer and break my contract.
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Michelle, Home Buyer, Houston, TX
Sat Aug 4, 2012
I am shocked to hear this about Brighton Homes - I thought they were the good guys in this rat race of an industry. i am happy to hear this about them because I was considering buing one of their homes. Did you get this issue resolved??
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Runnnnnnnnnnn away
Flag Mon Oct 21, 2013
Mark Bailey, Home Buyer, Katy, TX
Thu Feb 26, 2009
Kevin: Consider yourself lucky. Brighton Homes doesn't tolerate complaints from anybody, including me. I was a top performing Sales Consultant for Brighton Homes and they fired me for making a valid complaint 2 weeks prior to my closing on 3 spec homes. They are refusing to pay me and I have retained an attorney. Brighton Homes is owned by K Hovnanian Homes and their stock istrading below $1.00. They may not be around much longer so consider yourself lucky.
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Tue Feb 10, 2009

This is an obvious lefal issue best referred to an attorney. Our recommendation is to contact one and have them review your contract and advise you.

Good luck
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George Fearon, , Saint Cloud, FL
Tue Feb 10, 2009
get some real brick masons!
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Agree. Very poor workmanship!!!!

Flag Mon Oct 21, 2013
Terri Hayley, Other Pro, Dallas, TX
Sun May 4, 2008
Hi Kevin,

Here's what I'd do:

1. Request your earnest money and any other monies from Brighton you've paid them IN WRITING asap. If the sales counselor refuses, go to their project manager. If they refuse, go to the Vice President. Keep going up the food chain at the corporate office. You'll get an audience. I've never heard of a builder cancelling a contract because of these types of issues. Telling you that the home may take longer than expected maybe, firing trades, etc. But cancelling? A builder cancelling a sale in this market??

2. Make a formal complaint to the TRCC immediately - if not before

3. Make a formal complaint to the Better Business Bureau immediately

4. Talk to a real estate attorney to discuss all your different options at this point. If you do not know one - let me know and I can make a referral.

However, I don't understand the decision to cancel the contract. Why not switch lots and build you another home? If they haven't even put up sheetrock, they aren't that far along. Or, do they have an inventory home they are building of your floorplan that they could make changes to that would be like the design options you chose? Is it a close-out community and there are no more lots left? Could they transfer you to a different community nearby?

I guess you need to decide what YOU want and then pursue that course of action.

Hope this has helped,
Terri Hayley
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Karen Savage, , Houston, TX
Thu May 1, 2008
Kevin...(posted 5/1/8, 11:03AM CST, THURS)
Your question was, "Brighton homes cancelled my contract because of complaints of bad bricklaying-any recourse?" I would start by doing a little research. First stop: The Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC in Austin, TX) at (Besides looking up the builder's registration with the state (TX), you can also read about builder construction issues and courses of action (for complaints). In all fairness, at the least the homebuilder realized there were 'work quality issues' and stopped the work in progress. That should tell you something about their ethics/standards...right there. Some folks would have kept building, hoping you didn't hire an inspector to check the home out or personally notice (during a walk thru). I don't know much about this particular builder, but I would assume they are smart enough to know their reputation is on the line and they would rather loose a sale, than a customer for life. Smart builders know this. In all honesty, it would be smart to read the website above regarding 1) filing a consumer complaint before the TRCC hearing board; try to resolve your differences without going to court (it's costly and emotionally draining); 2) seek pre-trial arbitration/mediation efforts (note: most new homes sale contracts contain a clause that says if for any reason you have a legal issue with the house, you will automatically be required to seek arbitration or mediation vs. going to court. Your 3rd choice) suck it up as 'a learning experience' (you may or may not get your EM deposit back depending on contract terms), and realize you are lucky to not get 'stuck' with a lemon for a house. In this case the builders are doing you a favor. Yes, you sold your other place and are now probably freaking out trying to figure out where to live. Point is: don't rush into a home sale. If need be, rent a year near good schools. It might be a pain, but then again, it might be a 'blessing in disguise". I've shown Brighton Homes a few times in Pearland, TX for clients to buy. These folks have always appeared to be forthright and honest in business dealings. (They even faxed me a copy of their contract to preview prior to meeting them.) That's just my personal experience. If you do decide to build later on, see the link below this message for Builder's Academy (smart folks)! I wish you the best. I'm here to help you anyway I can -- just call or email me: Karen Savage, REALTOR, Keller Williams Realty/North(west)--Hwy 290/FM1960 area near Willowbrook Mall; 8300 FM 1960 West, Suite 310, Houston, TX 77070, direct: 281-813-9769; office: 281-664-8300,x3004; (You got a friend in Texas! We aim to please! Your Greater Houston, Texas source for everything real estate.) Information provided is for consumer educational purposes only. Please consult a legal professional for advice that applies to your unique circumstances.
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Kevin- Brighton Homes is not honest and forthright as stated in the previous comment. We had the same thing done to us when we complained about poor craftsmanship with our brick and stone. They canceled our contract the day before we were set to close. Shame on you Brighton and K-Hovanian Homes.
Flag Sat Dec 12, 2015
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Fri Apr 18, 2008
WOW, where is your real estate agent how are they assisting you? If you don't have an agent in the future never purchase a home from a builder, for sale by owner, or thru another realtor unless you have real estate agent representing you

I don't think I would like to be in a home that has this much problem you can identify no telling what may have happenedIf they cancelled the contract request the return of your money, locate another property, move into an extend stay hotel be little inconvenience for a short term

My question with this many problems would they even honor a home warranty?
Web Reference:
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Kathy Fisher, Agent, Decatur, TX
Fri Apr 18, 2008
Bruce is SO RIGHT about an inspector! Most buyers of new construction (especially if you are not being represented by a buyer's agent) don't know that they are intitled to have an independent inspection before they close. Yes, there is an inspection that is done on a home prior to closing HOWEVER, that inspector is "working" for the home builder and may NOT have the buyer's best interest at heart.
Anyone out there reading this that may be thinking of buying a new construction PLEASE REMEMBER, #1-Have a Realtor representing you at the first visit to the model home or the builder will not recognize the fact that you are being represented by a Realtor. #2-Let them know up front that you will be having your own inspection prior to closing NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY TELL YOU THAT WON'T BE NECESSARY. DEMAND IT!...and if they still insist that it won't be necessar or won't be allowed as I had one buyer tell me, RUN, DON'T WALK in the other direction.
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Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Fri Apr 18, 2008
Did you really want this house after all that?
My guess would be that if you want it you need to contact an attorney and sue for specific performance. I'd guess that they can't cancel your contract for complaining too much. I'm not sure you can complain about construction methods to anyone that would likely listen since you don't own the home yet, you're really a disinterested 3rd party. If you end up buying it, they of course you'd want to ensure they address all the problems BEFORE you close. Make sure to have a really tough inspector come over and go through the house with detail and fax the inspection report to your sales person and the construction manager. Again have them address the issues BEFORE you close. Sometimes they'll tell you they'll fix it under warranty after you close, but I heard lots of complaints about this. Chances are you'll get the problems fixed and in a more timely manner if you do it BEFORE you close rather then under warranty. There is the TRCC and you might look at their website to see if they can give you any info about complaints. Good luck and I'm sorry to hear about your experiences.
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Lance Sonka, , Texas
Fri Apr 18, 2008
Did you get your earnest money back? If so, there probably is no further recourse, as you agreed to the terms of the builders contract - which are usually subject to mandatory arbitration, not to exceed the amount of money you have into the deal. Earnest money + upgrade deposit is all you stand to gain since technically the home is not yours until you close on it.

I haved worked for homebuilders in your area for the past 7 years. I have decided to stop representing them (the seller) and start representing people like you (the buyer) as a Texas licensed real estate agent.

If you are currently represented by a real estate professional - accept this reply to your question only as food for thought. If you do not have a licensed agent representing you, and want to learn more about how to deal with home builders effectively - give me a call.

Lance Sonka - 832-876-6663
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Kathy Fisher, Agent, Decatur, TX
Fri Apr 18, 2008
AMEN!! A REAL ESTATE attorney should be your first call and don't wait. This is where the phrase "time is of the essence" should be put in place. The longer you wait to launch a formal action, the more chance you will give the builder to think they are getting away with something.
ALSO, there are recourses in place on how to file a complaint against a licensed builders in the State of Texas as well. Check out the Texas Real Estate Commission website for how to get started that way as well. Their website is Good Luck.
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Aaron Jorgen…, , 75093
Fri Apr 18, 2008
Your best next step is to consult with an real estate attorney. Most builder contracts are designed to protect the builder more than the purchaser. Check with the Harris County Bar Association for a referral.
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