Buying a new home, or re-sale of a relatively new home, offers potential advantages of new and better appliances, less immediate fix-up work, and more energy-efficient design. But there's a downside too. Often, the advantages of new houses are overshadowed by problems such as shoddy construction.
An important factor in buying a new house is not what you buy (that is, the particular model), but rather, who you buy it from and in which subdivision. A responsible builder has a reputation to protect, and should construct homes that live up to the promises, and stand behind the construction should issues arise. However, many builders take your money, throw together a house that starts falling apart on day one, and then stop returning phone calls. Before buying a new home, you should always check out a builder by contacting existing owners who live in the development, homeowners' association managers and members of the board of directors, and real estate agents who've worked in the area for some time. Checking the records of the Superior Court to see if there are lawsuits filed in which the developer has been named as a defendant involving construction defects is another good way to avoid construction defects.
For homes built since 2002, California law provides building standards for the original construction of residential dwellings related to water intrusion, structural and foundation issues, soils problems, fire protection, plumbing, electrical systems and other areas of construction. The developers are also required to provide at least a one year warranty for “fit and finish” of things like cabinets, mirrors, flooring, interior and exterior walls, countertops, paint finishes and trim, although the developer can also provide an enhanced protection agreement for a longer period of time. You should determine what, if any, enhanced agreement exists. If the defect is not a fit and finish item, but rather relates to the standards of construction for key components and systems, California Civil Code Section 910 requires that the homeowner claimant engage in pre-litigation procedures, including written notification to the developer of building standard defects. The homeowner may also seek redress under customer service procedures set forth in the contractual documents.
Limited time periods exist for seeking redress of construction defect problems, under the fit and finish warranty, the developer's procedures for seeking customer service, the statutes dealing with repairs and repair offers, and the statutes of limitation for filing suit against the developer.
If you discover construction defects with your property, and you cannot quickly obtain redress from the developer, Mehlman Law Group can provide advice and assistance in pursuing repairs or damages.
Call us to set up a free consultation at 925-935-3575.