Builder did not leave enough room for standard fridge

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Tim Smith wrote:

...
That they _can_ and do is one thing, that a buyer should have their own representation is another. It's a CYA kinda' thing -- most often, things are fine, but if there's a glitch, it's much harder (and sometimes impossible) to get redress after the fact...
Title companies have their place, but they're not attorneys and they're normally not _really_ in a position that your best interest is their primary concern.
IMO, ymmv, $0.02, etc., etc., ...
--
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On Sun, 17 Jun 2007 17:05:15 -0700, Tim Smith

Not every state has escrow.
I've only bought one house, but I don't see how one can count on the title company to represent the buyer's interest, except the one interest that affects the title company, which is establishing good title.
I don't see how or why they would concern themselves with cabinets and refrigerators, which have no effect on whether the house is sold or not.
The title company sends a lawyer or whatever to protect its own interests. He usually takes charge because there is no one there with more training and experience. Even if there is a seller or buyer's lawyer there, I would guess the title company's lawyer takes charge because he is comparitively neutral. The buyer doesn't want a neutral lawyer. He wants one on his side.
That doesn 't necessarily mean -- I don't know -- if he needs to have his lawyer there. If he can't get the kitchen the way it should be, he should as someone said, discuss this with a lawyer in advance. I would think a lawyer near the house. He can fax or email the relevant papers, adn do it on the phone. This can even be cheaper maybe conceivably because there is less likely to be time spent chitchatting, which my mother was wont to do.
The lawyer probably will want to come to the closing, I think, because it earns him income, and because he will be honestly afraid something bad will happen if he is not there, that will be harder to undo than to avoid.
OTOH< I hired a lawyer when I bought my house, and he was terrible, even though I got him through a recommendation of someone I still respect. He gave me a flat price, which I failed to ask enough questions about, and after it was over, and I noticed I had no title insurance, he told me his price didn't include title insurance and I didn't need it. Even though it was a property subdivided only 4 years earlier, and many of the lots were unusual shapes, and mine was one of the most unusual. In fact the subdivision as a whole had had a title dispute with the next subdivisioin, and it turned out we or they had built on the other's property. A deal was worked out where we kept the property our developer had wrongly built on, and we gave them some of our vacant land. We're so packed, I'm surprised we could find vacant land next to their land to give them. OTOH, maybe that's a reason we're so packed. I have no idea how much land was invovled.
The one thing that was dubious at my settlement was whehter we were properly apportioning the oil in the oil tank or the electric bill or something like that. And I noticed this before my lawyer did. I wonder if I hadn't said anything if he would have noticed it at all.
ON a new house I guess that's not an issue, although maybe the builder has to pay the electric bill until the house is acctuallly sold, and maybe that can be 100 dollars or so? I should have been suspicious when the lawyer had his office in a lower income part of town. But he had a recommendation and his first advice on the phone, on an easy but acute topic, sounded good, and was good if the mortgage agent hadn't been a dirtball.

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Shrug. For my last closing, I <asked> the lead contract attorney at work for a referral, and he said 'don't bother'. Local custom here in MI is pre-printed boilerplate forms, and that is all the realtors and title companies are willing to use. No addendums, no nuthin'- just check the right boxes for the type of sale, fill in all the money and insurance blanks, sign a couple of checks, and done in 20 minutes. It did go much easier than an attorney-handled closing down in Louisiana, which took well over an hour, and six or severn checks for the non-negotiable junk fees. (I think I paid the pizza delivery fee for the office that day.)
As low on the food chain as my real estate purchases are, I'm not losing sleep over it. If it was a multi-party deal with weird financing or anything, I would insist on attorney, but the deals I have personally been a direct party to, were about as complex as buying a car. 1 seller, 1 buyer, no open liens, etc.
But having said all that- while IANAL, I have worked with all sorts of contracts for many, many years, so the concepts and terms are not greek to me. For someone that has never signed on the dotted line, or at least taken college-level business law and contract law courses, a consult with an attorney or paralegal, or maybe one of those community college courses on 'how to buy a house', may be time and money well spent.
aem sends...
aem sends...
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On Sun, 17 Jun 2007 15:43:54 -0400, "John Grabowski"

If the agent breached the agreement/contract. FIRE her!
A lawyer can determine this, easily :-) -- Oren
..through the use of electrical or duct tape, achieve the configuration in the photo..
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kris3432 wrote:

Which is what I don't understand. Why is a realtor even involved?
Who hired the builder? Who is his contract with? You? Then you should be dealing with him. Her? Then he is building the house *for* her and you are buying it *from* her. Is he a mass builder and she is handling the purchase for you? Then neither of you have any input to the builder.
--

dadiOH
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wrote:

If the OP walked into builder models. Once I did ( 10 days to buy a house across country ) and had an agent register me. The builder sales office and Salesperson handled any concerns I had. Made any addition I asked for, etc.
Still, the salesperson was not a realtor, but my agent here dealt with the builder sales office d8 The OP agent/broker relationship in this mess; warns me....
-- Oren
..through the use of electrical or duct tape, achieve the configuration in the photo..
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You may "have" to go through the realtor, but in my experience, blanketing everyone responsible helps cover-ups. Send a written letter to your realtor, but copy it to everybody you can find, her boss, the builder, the head of the construction company, the cabinet supplier, hunt down names and broadcast your problem to everyone. It usually gets some results, especially in getting the person who should do their job to actually do it. More results than the Usenet.
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Okay, so you have a disclosed dual agency. That's legal here, as long as it is disclosed. But since the broker/boss is the one with the contract, the broker/boss the the dual agent.
As an agent, your sales agent cannot tell you that you cannot contact the seller. I mean, what's she going to do, cancel the sale? So look them up in the phone book and call. In all likelyhood, they will fix the problem.
If they don't, check your specs. If the cabinet isn't to specs, call you agent and tell him/her to fix it and to stop dicking around. If they don't, then tell them to refund your deposit and cancel the sale. That will make them gulp hard and fix it. They know that they can get screwed if you delay the closing for a while, so they want it to go quickly. This isn't anything that is too big, so it'll get fixed. The agent will, of course, tell you that you can't do that, yadda, yadda, yadda and is sort of correct. But at that point you acknowlege that, tell the agent that he/she is not propertly representing you and fire the agent. They will want a fee but you tell them that if they give you any sh*t that you'll take them to the licensing board and you can agrue it there as you claim imcompetance, etc. The worst that can happen is that they sue you, but that too is a sticky issue in the world of agency -- especially when you are stating that they are not adequately representing you.
I don't know about your state, but no agent/broker want to go to court or to a licencing body when dual agency is involved. NYS has mandatory disclosures -- all they have to do is miss one thing and they are in trouble.
You also need to breath deep and realize that this isn't emotional. It's just a real estate transaction. If it doesn't go the way you want, then you walk. It migh cost you something but it's better to get what you want. But again, I'd just call the builder.
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On Mon, 18 Jun 2007 02:26:15 -0000, Pat

That's true, and he's moving agalin anyhow in what was it, 5 or 10 years. So no matter how bad it is, it's not forever.
Still, it's good to practice doing this right to be better able to wage war, or peace as the case may be, the next time he buys a house.
With all the problems and confusion that there is here, among people who have experience in these matters, many of whom have college degrees and parents who owned their own homes etc. etc., just imagine what it is like for someone who never had any legal or financial experience, who has a job that pays well enough to buy a house, but who's the first in his family to own his own home, etc. He must really feel chewed up and spit out after one of these experiences.
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Many not-for-profits throughout the country have homebuyer courses and counseling to assist with just that. They are usually a simple google search or going to hud.gov and looking for certified counselors.
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Kris,
I hope you are able to work it out with the builder.
The only advice I have for you is to get a good real estate lawyer to review every document you've signed or piece of paper you've been given.
He/she will be able to tell you exactly where you stand and all the remedies that are available to you. No one here can do that.
From the photo you put up on the net, I would have concerns about the builder's competency: there are tools sitting on a finished surface, an unprotected kitchen countertop -- both the tools and the lack of protection are unprofessional and sloppy. Similarly I note the cabinets are going in after the floor tile has been set == again, work is being performed over a finished surface.
Ken
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wrote:

[snip]
The contractor has it right -- floor tile goes in first, then the cabinets. Floor tile should be under the cabinets and the appliances, for several very good reasons --
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JimR wrote:

And the tools on the countertop is a tempest in a teapot, so to speak. Undoubtedly he's one who would tell Sam Maloof to not set his plane down on the bench w/o laying it on its side... :)
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Careful, counter depth fridges are sometimes WIDER than standard ones (our SubZero was) needing not only a wider space to fit but also a wider DOOR SWING. Make sure you dont trade one problem for another. Measure the actual fridge you re considering...dont go by numbers on some diagram
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kris3432 wrote:

Well, I guess you could just take the cabinet out, but you just accomplish the same thing by not using the cabinet.
--
Dave
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It IS unacceptable.
Are the countertops finished yet? Do you have room to move the cabinet out by 12". Maybe you can get a 12" spacer panel from the cabinet manufacturer (they all make them) so you can move the cabinet 12" away from the fridge.
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Even if the countrer top is finished, he's got proof positve that the builder did something wrong if he can't put a standard frigde there and still use the drawer and the door.
If the builder is going to claim that he OKAYed this, let him show that he was told and he SIGNED off on it.
OP, your testimony is evidence. It's not the only possible evidence but why would you ever agree to this in advance, when it easily could ave been done differently, when now you will have to spend MORE money to get a SMALLER refridgerator. No one would have agreed to that.
Just make sure you don't sign something that says you accept the house as is,
If you can't resolve this before move in time, move in and don't sign the as is. If he refuses to let you move in, say you're going to sue him for all your hotel bills, your extra moving and storage expenses, as you store all your furniture in a warehouse, and have to load and unload it from the truck a secodn time, plus any damages to your possession on the second load and unload.
You've got an extensive paper record that the house was built for you and you are relying on that. He can't sell it to someone else now if the only thing under dispute is the placement of the cabninets or the price of a fridge.
I am not a lawyer.

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I also feel your pain. We just moved into a mobile home from a house and did not realize that the fridge would not fit. I ended up cutting a wall in half in order to make it fit. Sometimes all you need is a bigger hammer!
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On Jun 16, 10:14 pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I'd say it's unacceptable and you have a very legitimate beef with the builder. I would contact him immediately. It's not rocket science to lay out a kitchen without a major malfunction like this. If they are this stupid, I'd be very concerned about what else they may have screwed up that you don't know about. I'd make a trip over there and do a careful inspection to see what else may be wrong.
And I don't think having to use a refrigerator with less depth and less room is the answer. And who is this real estate agent working for? If you hired her as a buyer's agent and she told you this is OK, I'd ask her what kind of an idiot does she take you for?. If she's the agent for the builder, then it makes more sense, but it's still amazingly stupid. You would think she would just say, OK, I see your point and I'll take it up with the builder. In any case, I'd do anything I could to minimize having her involved in this or anything else.
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Just make them give you an 8" narrower cabinet (I'm sure they special order them) and an 8" filler piece. You'll lose 8" of cabinet/drawer space, but not the whole cabinet. Or they could custom make a cabinet equally wide, but with a narrower door. This wouldn't deal with the drawer width the the cabinet space would be the same.
--
Peace,
BobJ

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