April 13, 2008

The Money Pit Also known As.. MY HOUSE

For those who don't know, Lou and I have been embroiled in a law suit against the builder of my house(if you could call him that) for the last 5 years.. The charges are fraud, and construction flaws. When this house was being built we were still living in NJ.. We were getting daily updates on the progress of the house and the guy we dealt with was very nice...Well on June 26th 2002 he called and said the house was finished and we could come down anytime we wanted.. My husband and I said well, no better time than the present.. We finished packing up that day and off went . We hit I-95 and just kept going.. Took us 13 hours too get here and we pulled into the driveway of what we "thought" was our dream home at 3 am in the morning and boy was it dark!! I have never seen darkness like that until I moved here.. We were driving down this road too get too the house that night and it was so dark I was having flashbacks of the movie Deliverance in my head.. Ack!!..
Anyway, at 6 am the movers knocked on the door and began unloading our stuff.. at about 9 am the man we had been dealing with who's company was building the house stopped by too intriduce himself. Everything was going along OK and then the other shoe dropped.. He leaned and said to us " look, try not too let anyone see you coming and going because we haven't had the closing yet and by law you're not supposed to be living in here yet".. Well why the hell didn't he tell us that BEFORE we left NJ!?!? I should have known right there this was NOT going to end up good..
Well we moved in the house in June and the closing wasn't until Aug.... Now, the day of the closing.. I did not go but my husband did because everything is in his name.. All the papers were signed, You know how it is when you buy a home you feel like you're signing your life away.. TONS of papers too sign.. When it was all said and done or so we "thought", the builder throws another stack of papers infront of my husband and says "Oh, by the way, you weren't approved for the last 12 thousand dollars on your mortgage so I've decided to give you a mortgage for the extra 12 grand and you'll have to sign these papers or you have to leave the house..
My husbands head almost exploded.. WHAT?? Leave?? Extra 12 grand!??! This was the FIRST time any of this was mentioned..My husband, panicked.. We couldn't LEAVE, we had NO WHERE to go and NO money left.. Literally... His wife was home sick as a dog from the move and where the hell were we going to go so what choice did he have? He HAD to sign them..
That was the second HUGE red flag..Back when we bought this house, mortgage rates were low so we had an adjustable rate and figured in a yr we would refinance into a fixed rate.. No worries... WRONG... A year later we went to refinance to get that fixed rate and when we had our house appraised it appraised for TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS LESS than what the builder had it appraised for.. Something was DEFINATELY WRONG HERE.. Not only that, we were trying for an FHA loan and when the FHA inspectors came in they informed us that the house was not built correctly it was NOT built to spec. That my house was guarenteed to withstand 120 mile an hour winds but with the way it was built there was no way it would...
That was it... We flipped out and called a lawyer....
After we spoke too a lawyer who took our case Pro bono mind you (no lawyer does that unless he knows he's going too win).. we called the local newspaper.. After the article came out which by the way ended up in on the Sunday edition smack on the front page, my lawyers phone began to ring off the hook with people who had been taken the same way we were by the same builder. Over the course of time it was found that the appraiser the builder used was suspended in the state for OVER INFLATING home prices..
In the next few years the men who owned the company who built this house were hauled into court by other people and the DA gave them 2 choices.. Give up your license to practice real estate in the state of SC or go to jail.. It was that simple.. Needless to say, they are no longer licensed in this state... But through it all we are STILL waiting for our day in court. Just this pass week my lawyer had to take depositions from 2 insurance guys for the other side who came here a few months ago to look at the damages alleged in the complaint.. They wouldn't have had to have been deposed except for the fact that the one guy who was working for the OTHER sides ins company says to my husband the day they were here "Well gee man, if you have that much water under your house you got some serious construction flaws" BINGO! Case won and we havent even gotten into court yet..
We also were able to obtain a recording of a phone conversation between the guy we are suing and another man we have met down here who is also from NJ who was also taken by this same builder.. He set up the builder one day and taped the conversation and in the conversation the builder admits too what hes done...
So we are PRAYING we get into court soon so we can get this all over with.. I'll post more updates as I get them....
Good night and God Love you~~~

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~Robyn~ XO