Am I being cheated? (Premier Home Builders)

All,
I recently moved to Dallas, TX and decided to build a home in the Sunset Pointe community of Little Elm. We chose Premier Home Builders and signed a contract on 6/30/06. It is now November and they have only done the plumbing rough. They haven't even put down a foundation. They say they are waiting for the inspections and it's the city's fault for taking so long. I finally called the city and talked to someone in the inspections department and they said that the plan review has been ready since August and Premier Home Builders needs to pay the fees.
Why would Premier Home Builders not pay the fees to start construction? Are they pulling a scam on me and others? It seems to me that they would want to build it quickly and get paid. I am getting a little nervous that I am getting ripped off of my deposit. Should I cancel? I would appreciate all opinions on the matter.
Thanks in advance,
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm not sure what it's like in your country but in the UK...
Builders frequently take on more work than they can handle. It's most likely that they are busy building another house(s) somewhere. What does your contract say? Over here it's normal to have a penalty clause for late completion. The one in my contract is about $1000 a month for over run. I won't be holding my builder to that as I know he's had people on site every day. Visit the site every day and keep a record of days when the site was empty. Take photos.
If you are worried about them... Go visit the materials supplier they use. Tell them you are thinking of using the company to build a house and would be interested to know if they have heard anything good/bad about them. Find out if they pay their bills etc. City Inspectors won't allways comment on what they think of building companies but you might be able to get an off the record comment if you have a quiet chat with them in person.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I meant to say visit the site every day and call the boss to find out why they aren't on site that day. My builder calls me to let me know if his team aren't going to be onsite for any reason - he even calls if they are onsite but will be leaving early that afternoon!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A lot of builders are having cash flow problems now, and I have read of builders going bankrupt with great regularity since the housing market began to cool. IMO a lot of builders were not thinking straight during the housing boom, and it caught them ill-prepared to weather the inevitable slow-down. Any of them that weren't doing business intelligently or got too greedy or arrogant/risky are now in a bind. Because builders folding a company and/or going bankrupt has been a problem for decades anyway, you should make sure they ARE paying suppliers and subcontractors as the other person said. If they are not it's a sign of impending trouble and possible liens, even if you do manage to close on this house. A word of advice: don't assume that there is any law or anything that will protect you or get your money back if this is the case. Texas has some of the worst consumer protection when it comes to a house that i have ever seen, and it's not good in any state. Usually, people don't find this out until it's too late. www.hadd.com and www.hobb.org might interest you.
Robert Woolley wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert Woolley wrote:

...
What do they say after you tell them the city says the ball's in their court? Does the contract say they will pay the fees or were you responsible for them, perchance?
As for cancellation, what's the contract performance/schedule clause say and what rights/reasons are listed for valid cancellation and what are the consequences?
You do have representation in this, right???
As someone else says, sounds like you should have been a lot more aggressive in following up on this before. Don't have a clue as to this particular developer's status, but another pointed out there are a lot who were over-extended and are suffering the effects of the scaleback--yours may be one. You definitely need all the help you can get to protect what rights you do have and to be aggressive in asserting your rights. Not obnoxious, just proactive, not passive.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I just got a call back from the Chief Building Inspector and he said that they are not alone in delaying payment to the inspector. Other Builders do the same thing. Secondly, He said that Premier Home Builders have a reputation for slow pay and, therefore, many contractors won't work for them. Naturally, I was *stoopid* and went without representation so I am screwed. I guess I'll hope for the best and see what happens. Oh...and the contract I had to sign favors them almost 100%. They can even drop me if I complain too much
Someone told me that wisdom and knowledge is never free. I think I just learned an expensive lesson.
Robert Woolley wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Let me say right off the bat that I don't like lawyers. But. Here, it sounds like you could use one.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Glenn wrote:

Now that's way out of line! You have either a psychological aversion or you're not preparing them right. A slow-roast, maybe ten hours, over a low fire makes the meat fall right off the bones. :)
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
And where do you practice? :)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I agree, but remember: it must be tenderized before cooking. I recommend a 36", 34oz Louisville Slugger for that task.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The cooking part is easy. I dont' like the prep work. Ever try to clean one of them things?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

And don't forget, that just like preparing vultures for the rotisserie, you must remove the wingtips first.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert Woolley wrote:

...
Well, sorry to hear that... :(
I'll only reinforce the "contract I had to sign" part is absolutely a mindset to be broken. Many take advantage of the reluctance of folks to make waves, but any contract that is terribly one-sided isn't a good contract and if the builder isn't willing to amendments that make it more nearly equitable/balanced, then you probably are better off without them. Unfortunately, many know the thought of going through the process again with someone else is more than most individual home-builders are willing stomach so they get a one-sided deal...there was a long thread on this subject just recently, the upshot of which is, of course, that while one-sided, they undoubtedly are not so egregious as to make them unenforceable. Getting some legal advice on what recourse you might have is recommended.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.