New Home Purchases and Their Associated Risks – Understand What You Are Signing

People purchasing new homes are likely purchasing the most expensive item at that point in their life. How many new home buyers read the entire contract and understand what they have read? Remember, I’m speaking of a new home purchase and not a resale home that is currently occupied and offered for sale. The contract is prepared by the builder and contains many important statements that have far reaching implications–for both the builder and the buyer. Included, but certainly not limited, is the purchase price of the home, the builder’s responsibility and the home buyer’s obligations. The builder has had this contract developed and scrutinized by an attorney and we know that attorneys are pledged to protect their clients from various legal issues that may arise in the future. But how is the buyer protected? It’s difficult to read a real estate contract much less understand what it means. In Arizona, the 1st paragraph of the residential resale real estate purchase contract approved by the Arizona association of realtors reads as follows:
“The printed portion of this contract has been approved by the Arizona association of realtors. This is intended to be a binding contract. No representation is made as to the legal validity or adequacy of any provision or the tax consequences thereof. If you desire legal, tax or other professional advice, consult your attorney, tax advisor or professional consultant.” If that advice is good enough for a ‘resale home’ transaction, it has to be at least Home Builders Near Me as good for a new home purchase. We go back to the question of “how is the buyer protected” when purchasing a new home? I want to state clearly that I am not an attorney and this article is for informational purposes only, and not meant to provide legal assistance in any way, shape, manner or form to any person. This article is one of general information and all readers are encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other qualified person.
“How is the buyer protected” could be answered by having the buyer ask their own questions: (1)what is the warranty offered by the builder and (2) how do I resolve issues or conflicts that may appear in the future. Home inspections are an important part of the home buying process, but I want to go beyond the home inspection. I want to introduce the concept of potential construction defects which may include some very important and expensive components such as roof, foundation, drainage and soil. Most of the people in Arizona are under the belief they have a “bumper to bumper” builder warranty for a period that varies from one to two years. That is not necessarily the case. Construction defects for new homes cover a period of eight years. And when the defect is corrected, a new eight year period on the repair begins. Quite a difference, wouldn’t you agree?
Let’s say you have a drainage problem and a negative slope on your rear patio causes rain water to accumulate at the base of the patio door. Let’s say the builder claims that he isn’t responsible for the repairs because, since the time you purchased your home, you had a landscaper plant some trees and shrubs around the home. Did you change the drainage pattern? Are you responsible for the damage to the patio, foundation or patio door? What do you do if the builder denies responsibility? Do you hire an attorney? Are you willing to commit the time and money to see your case wind through the legal system? How long do you think it will take to have the case resolved? You need to be aware of an “arbitration” clause in the contract. You may have signed away your rights to file a lawsuit and are committed to arbitration, where a third party selected by the builder and mentioned in the contract will decide the issue. Have you ever wondered why we rarely hear of settlement amounts involving construction defects? That contingency is covered by a clause referred to as a “confidentiality” clause.
The whole point to this article is to make people aware that there are items in a new home contract that you may not even know exist, much less understand. It is recommended that all relative documents be completely Reality Homes understood, even if that means a visit to your attorney’s office. In a future article, I will tell you some of the ways to regain your homeowner’s rights spending very little money and seeing quicker results.