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ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration

Property Rights Denied!
Protecting HOA Members' Rights is NOT The #1 Priority
of Managed Communities
The High Price of Managed Living, Books and Records Hidden
gives appearances of impropriety
Editorial Feature: Part One - Are Homeowners' Rights a Myth? 

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Schertz Foundation Slip Sliding and Cracking Away
Wednesday, 01 February 2012

Schertz homeowners worried houses not safe
Some frustrated homeowners in Schertz say they're fed up with foundation problems, which are causing homes to slide and crack.  Fairhaven homeowner Diana Taylor worries a French drain built by Pulte won't be enough to protect her home. "We've had an engineer come with a report and tell us our home is sliding backwards.  I'm kind of tilting to the left like. They gave us the report and said they'd be back in six months," Diana told us...

Schertz homeowners worried houses not safe

                                      Reported by: Lauren Lea

SCHERTZ, Texas - Some frustrated homeowners in Schertz say they're fed up with foundation problems, which are causing homes to slide and crack. 

Fairhaven homeowner Diana Taylor worries a French drain built by Pulte won't be enough to protect her home.

"We've had an engineer come with a report and tell us our home is sliding backwards.  I'm kind of tilting to the left like. They gave us the report and said they'd be back in six months," Diana told us.

Taylor has lived in her home for three years and is on the Fairhaven Homeowners Association board.  She said several of her neighbors have had similar problems.

"We were sitting there in a meeting, and the house was popping. So I thought the cat was throwing something in the air," Diana said about a neighbor's home.  "It wasn't the cat. The house popped, and the foundation cracked while we were there yesterday."

A City of Schertz spokesperson said the city is aware of problems in 13 homes and is trying to mediate with Pulte to get the problems fixed.  The spokesperson said Pulte will be issuing a report about the problems at the next city council meeting.

Through an emailed statement, Pulte said:

"Each homeowner who has contacted Pulte has unique issues with their homes and is handled individually.  As such, our team has personally met with several homeowners and effectively resolved their warranty-related requests in their homes.  There are a handful of homeowners who we continue to work with to resolve their warranty-related issues."

Pulte hired a third-party engineer to obtain soil samples from the neighborhood and study the area. The company also "will continue to service and monitor requests at Fairhaven and will continue to fully investigate issues."



I'll bet the folks who own those homes have a mandatory binding arbitration (MBA) clause hidden in their purchase contract. The MBA means that the homeowner cannot hire a lawyer and sue the builder. Instead, the homeowner will be at the mercy of an arbitration board. And guess who sits on the arbitration board? That's right --- builders, real estate agents, and construction industry lobbyists. Not only will the homeowner lose his or her case, but will also have to pay all of the costs for the arbitration process. In Texas, the deck is always stacked against the homeowner.

justmike - 12/8/2011 4:48 PM
SraSpur, I do not really follow your mindless drivel and furthermore am confident in assuming, based on your opinion, grammar and spelling that you do not now, nor never have, owned a home, let alone know what to do when considering purchasing one. Jim, you could not be more wrong about the homes not being built correctly and the builder not being able to fix them. The homes were likely built fine, this is a slab and soil plasticity issue, not construction, and they will all be fixed. Those owners who are not satisfied can then request that the builder buy their homes back, which Pulte would then likely accommodate. If you don't know what you speak of, stay silent, as you only cause more problems in the end.

Koranekracing - 12/8/2011 4:26 PM
Maybe they should stop letting all of these housing developments start in the first place. The school district complains about being overcrowded and they build another school and then the housing companies but up all the land around the school and build more houses. So guess what the schools are overcrowded again. These houses are put up on any large parcel of property that the developers can find. They don't do enough research about the land and possible flooding or shifting or businesses in the area that could affect these houses. The Schertz and Cibolo areas used to be nice quiet areas but no more the cities have incorporated so much land to gain tax dollars and let these developments ruin the rural areas in these communities.

toubat - 12/8/2011 4:16 PM
I love the wording of the carefully-crafted corporate email that Pulte sent, which states that each homeowner has "unique issues" with their homes and each complaint is handled "individually." This is the old divide-and-conquer strategy that builders have been using for years here in Texas.

jim229 - 12/8/2011 4:00 PM
There is another subdivision that went through similar problems. Valley Forge. I lived there as a child and the first 5 years was great. Then the foundations starting shifting and cracking and as a result the houses did to. Not all of them mind you. I feel for these home owners because the cause of the problem is in fact they weren't built correctly to begin with. No the owners are upside down in their mortgages and will have a major fight on their hands to get these repaired to a safe level. There is no way to correct the problems short of tearing it down and starting from scratch. Be glad this company didn't use Pear and Beam foundations because if they had it would have been much worse.

bm187 - 12/8/2011 3:35 PM
No problem. Adam Smith's invisible hand will patch that crack up and level the house in a matter of days.

Sra Spur20 - 12/8/2011 10:53 AM
First of all I would never purchase a home that has a "Homewoners Association". I don't want some one telling me how to maintain my proptery. Second I would carefully do a throughly investagation of the area where the home is built.If it's down hill it will flood. If I see foundation problems most defiantly will not purchase the home in that area. So good luck people.

fedUpToo - 12/8/2011 9:18 AM
Sounds like Northampton part II, just with a different builder. I always get a good laugh for these carefully worded corporate students from the legal department. Notice the words "warranty-related" issues. And who decides what's a warranty related issue...the builder. The homeowners are S.O.L (suckers out of luck).

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