Family Fights to Get Construction Flaws Fixed in New Home - NBC 6 South Florida
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Family Fights to Get Construction Flaws Fixed in New Home

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    Family Fights to Get Construction Flaws Fixed in New Home

    A South Florida family reached out to NBC 6 Responds after nearly a year of battling with the builder of their new home. Consumer Investigative Reporter Sasha Jones spoke with a real estate attorney on extra steps to take to protect your investment before closing. Sasha Jones reports.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018)

    Louanne Acevedo and her immediate family pooled resources to be together under one roof in a new home.

    "We were excited to move in here, to be one family in our dream house," Acevedo said.

    But nearly a year after moving into the newly built home, she told us it felt like the house was still under construction.

    She pointed out chipped tile in the master bathroom, a leaking picture window and a loose balcony rail.

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    "When you push on it you can see the screw is starting to come up from the cement," she told us.

    She says the issues made it hard to believe her family was living in a home with a million dollar price tag.

    "You work your whole life to have a dream house and move your family in and this is what you are dealing with a year later when you are supposed to be enjoying other milestones," said Acevedo.

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    Before moving in, Louanne listed more than 30 items in need of repair on the construction punch list.

    After closing on the home, she says she found even more.

    Attorney Thomas Ringle said it's pretty common to have cosmetic and even structural issues in newly built homes.

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    It's why he advises hiring a home inspector to address all issues with the builder before signing on the dotted line.

    "After closing it is a little bit more difficult because they already have your money," Ringle advises.

    He says homeowners do have some protections, typically outlined in their warranty.

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    Louanne signed a one year warranty to address "cosmetic items, minor adjustments and other issues arising out of the original construction of the home."

    When there were just weeks before it expired, many jobs were started but not finished. So, she called NBC 6 Responds.

    "I am just tired of the phone calls, of the emails, of going to voicemail, of someone saying yes we will show up on Monday and nobody shows up," said Acevedo.

    When we called the builder, Lennar Corporation, a representative told us "they have been in frequent contact with the customer and are working diligently to address and resolve her concerns."

    In a matter of weeks, her picture window and balcony rail were fixed. The tile in her bathroom is now in the process of being replaced.

    "A sigh of relief and I feel good that my daughter is secure and my daughter is safe up here," Acevedo told us. "Basically getting the job done that needed to be done a year ago."

    It's the happy ending she hopes will help her family finally enjoy the house of their dreams.

    New home buyers should also consider walking around and speaking with others in a new development before making the decision to build there. Find out if the items on their punch list were taken care of in a timely manner.

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