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Are construction defect lawsuits just a cost of doing business?

For many Americans, buying a home is part of the American dream. Yet across the country, far too many new homeowners find that dream tarnished by construction defects, even in new construction projects.

Unfortunately, construction defect claims may be viewed as just another ordinary cost of doing business by at least one national developer. In home builder D. R. Horton’s recent SEC filings, it set aside $400 million per year to deal with lawsuits brought by new homeowners.

At a development in Virginia, a group of frustrated new homeowners voiced concerns over not only the number of defects in their new homes, but also the lack of response from the developer. Owners claimed that written or email correspondence to the developer went answered and telephone calls were not returned. One homeowner questioned whether this might be a delay tactic, trying to wait out the expiration of the home’s one-year warranty.

According to home inspectors, a prospective buyer’s due diligence should extend beyond the sales pitch. For example, it might be a good idea to question other homeowners in the association.

Our Virginia real estate law firm has helped clients with a number of different real estate legal disputes, including purchase and sale agreements, real estate settlements, and construction defect claims. In our next post, we take a closer look at some of the basics of a construction defect lawsuit, as well as strategies for protecting your rights.

Source: ABC News, “Investigation: New Home Heartbreak,” Brian Ross, Cindy Galli and Cho Park, Nov. 16, 2016

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