HomeLatest NewsFeatured HomebuildersHome Buyer ResourcesBinding ArbitrationResource LinksSubmit ComplaintsView ComplaintsTake Action 101!Report Mortgage FraudMortgage Fraud NewsForeclosure NewsConstruction DefectsHome DefectsPhoto GalleryFoundation ProblemsHomeowner Website LinksHOA Reform
Main Menu
Home
Latest News
Featured Homebuilders
Home Buyer Resources
Binding Arbitration
Resource Links
Submit Complaints
View Complaints
Take Action 101!
Report Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage Fraud News
Foreclosure News
Construction Defects
Home Defects
Photo Gallery
Foundation Problems
Homeowner Website Links
HOA Reform
Featured Topics
Builder Death Spiral
Report Mortgage Fraud
Foreclosure Special Report
Mold & New Home Guide
Special News Reports
Centex & Habitability
How Fast Can They Build Them?
TRCC Editorial
Texas TRCC Scandal
Texas Watch - Tell Lawmakers
TRCC Recommendations
Sandra Bullock
People's Lawyer
Prevent Nightmare Homes
Choice Homes
Smart Money
Weekly Update Message
HOBB Archives
About HOBB
Contact Us
Fair Use Notice
Legislative Work
Your House

 HOBB News Alerts
and Updates

Click Here to Subscribe

Support HOBB - Become a Sustaining Member
Who's Online
ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration

Organizing your community to bring public attention to builder’s bad deeds and seeking assistance from local, state and federal elected officials has proven to be more effective and much quicker for thousands of families. You do have choices and alternatives.  Janet Ahmad

The Squeaky Wheel Works, Ryland Agrees to Buy Back Houses
Friday, 13 July 2007

Blitz on builders
Buyers of new homes in the San Antonio area who have unaddressed problems in their homes have hit upon a new tactic to grab their builder's attention: going public... They're speaking at City Council meetings, picketing outside model homes, writing letters to state officials, speaking at the state Legislature and starting Web sites to air their complaints. "This negative publicity is not helping you; it's not helping the citizens; and it's not helping the city," Live Oak Mayor Henry O. Edwards....See photos and videos

Blitz on builders  
07/12/2007
Jennifer Hiller
Express-News Business Writer
 

Buyers of new homes in the San Antonio area who have unaddressed problems in their homes have hit upon a new tactic to grab their builder's attention: going public.

In the past several months, residents of some San Antonio Ryland Homes, Centex Homes and San Antonio Housing Authority neighborhoods have taken a new approach to try to compel builders to address warranty issues that include foundation problems, drainage issues and cracked walls.

They're speaking at City Council meetings, picketing outside model homes, writing letters to state officials, speaking at the state Legislature and starting Web sites to air their complaints.

And it seems to be working. It's at least getting the residents more attention.

Thursday, members of the Live Oak City Council took the unusual step of holding a special meeting in the Bridlewood Park neighborhood, where for two months several residents have staged weekend protests outside model homes, demanding that builder Ryland Homes repurchase their properties.

The resident-designed Web site www.RylandTrouble.com has received more than 14,000 hits and www.RylandTroubleToo.com has had more than 10,800 hits.

"This is definitely affecting our sales in the community," said Richard Schroeder, division president for Ryland Homes in San Antonio.

The company has dropped prices in the neighborhood and has started offering new buyers additional upgrades, he said.

"This negative publicity is not helping you; it's not helping the citizens; and it's not helping the city," Live Oak Mayor Henry O. Edwards told Schroeder.

Schroeder told the council he is trying to address the problems and would be willing to buy some of the homes back if he could negotiate a reasonable price — something the company previously said it would not consider.

Resident Nancy Ferguson said a buyback would have to include the home's value, improvements and moving expenses. "I think that's only fair," she said.

This week in nearby Cibolo, two stay-at-home moms went to the Cibolo City Council to ask for help in getting drainage, retaining wall and other issues in their Willow Pointe neighborhood addressed.

They've also begun knocking on doors in their neighborhood and passing out fliers to other homeowners to try to find out it other residents have encountered similar problems.

Susie Meador said she and her husband had more than $47,000 knocked off the tax value on their house recently when they took photos and reports from foundation companies to the Guadalupe County Appraisal District.

Neighbor Stephanie Anderson has submitted a list of 45 warranty issues with her house but says the builder, Centex Homes, says nothing is wrong with the home.

The day after she and Meador started knocking on doors and passing out fliers, though, Anderson got a phone call from one of the builder's representatives saying the company wanted to talk about addressing her warranty problems.

"Mysteriously, we're getting phone calls all of a sudden," she said. "I wonder why."

"Yeah," Meador said. "I thought it was really odd."

An official with Centex said Thursday he wasn't familiar with their situations, but that the company always tries to address warranty issues. He also noted that Centex was the highest-ranked local builder in last year's J.D. Power and Associates customer survey.

So what's spurring this new homeowner protest trend?

Becoming the proverbial squeaky wheel is the one area where homeowners feel they have control when dealing with a large company, homeowner advocate Janet Ahmad said.

The conventional path to getting home warranty issues addressed normally includes letters and calls to the builder, or eventual complaints to the Texas Residential Construction Commission, which has a dispute resolution process.

But many homeowners who have tried that route — including some in Bridlewood Park — say the TRCC's process is slow and unsatisfying.

The TRCC is an agency set up to regulate the home building industry. But while the agency can send investigators out to create an inspection report, the TRCC lacks the authority to compel a builder to address a repair issue or to penalize those who don't.

Plus, most builders require that homeowners sign a binding arbitration agreement that limits their options once legal action starts.

"(Protesting) is the only thing they can do," Ahmad said. "They all have binding arbitration agreements."

On San Antonio's West Side, residents of the San Antonio Housing Authority's Mirasol Homes project, particularly those at the Villas de Fortuna subdivision on Precious Drive, have complained at City Hall for months about construction problems and respiratory illnesses they fear are related to the homes.

In March, Mirasol residents went to Austin to testify before the Legislature.

The result: SAHA this spring hired a public relations firm to help with the fallout, and the SAHA board and the mayor's office appointed an 11-member task force to address the problems.

In Live Oak and Cibolo, homeowners have started attending each other's City Council meetings so they can swap tips afterward.

One man from a different Cibolo neighborhood snagged Anderson after Tuesday's council meeting to ask her for advice.

"Are you taking pictures?" she asked the man.

"Oh, we've got tons of pictures," he said, detailing his wall cracks and drainage problems.

She told him to save all of his e-mails, which have time stamps, and to try to get the builder to put in writing what the warranty complaints have been.

"You've got to bulldog that," she said.
 http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/stories/MYSA071307.01C.HomeownerWoes.2bc9244.html

 
< Prev   Next >
Search HOBB.org

Reckless Endangerment
BY: GRETCHEN MORGENSON
and JOSHUA ROSNER

Outsized Ambition, Greed and
Corruption Led to
Economic Armageddon


Amazon
Barnes & Noble

NPR Special Report
Part I Listen Now
Perry Home - No Warranty 
Part II Listen Now
Texas Favors Builders

Washington Post
The housing bubble, in four chapters
BusinessWeek Special Reports
Bonfire of the Builders
Homebuilders helped fuel the housing crisis
Housing: That Sinking Feeling

Consumer Affairs Builder Complaints

IS YOUR STATE NEXT?
As Goes Texas So Goes the Nation
Knowledge and Financial Responsibility are still Optional for Texas Home Builders

OUTSTANDING FOX4 REPORT
TRCC from Bad to Worse
Case of the Crooked House

TRCC AN ARRESTING EXPERIENCE
The Pat and Bob Egert Building & TRCC Experience 

Build it right the first time
An interview with Janet Ahmad

Bad Binding Arbitration Experience?
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
or call 1-210-402-6800

Homeowner Websites

top of page

© 2022 HomeOwners for Better Building
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.