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EDITORIAL: Express News Supports Home Buyer Relief
Monday, 08 April 2013

EDITORIAL: Home buyers need relief from the state
After a disastrous experience with the Texas Residential Constructio Commission, which ended in the agency being abolished, the Legislature has done little to address consumer and builder concerns that prompted the agency's creation...The agency was so flawed it did more harm than good to homebuyers and was dissolved in 2009... Legislation proposed by Democratic Reps. Joe Farias of San Antonio and Lon Burnam of Fort Worth would offer relief for homebuyers, but it does not protect all consumers...These problems are not unique to any region, and state lawmakers need to address them. Sidestepping the issues is unacceptable.

EDITORIAL: San Antonio Express News
Home buyers need relief from the state

After a disastrous experience with the Texas Residential Construction Commission, which ended in the agency being abolished, the Legislature has done little to address consumer and builder concerns that prompted the agency's creation.

Several bills have been introduced this session in an attempt to level the playing field between homebuyers and homebuilders, but the measures face an uphill battle in a Legislature where lobbyists and big contributors have extraordinary clout.

If the TRCC had worked properly, it would not have squandered its opportunity to protect the “public and other homebuilders from unscrupulous members of the building profession” as the agency's literature advertised, there would be no need to pursue legislation to protect homebuyers.

Regrettably, the commission never was permitted to be the national model for homebuilder dispute resolution some envisioned. Instead, it was highly politicized with a board stacked with homebuilders. The agency was so flawed it did more harm than good to homebuyers and was dissolved in 2009.

Legislation proposed by Democratic Reps. Joe Farias of San Antonio and Lon Burnam of Fort Worth would offer relief for homebuyers, but it does not protect all consumers.

As introduced, their bill would provide protection only for military veterans who buy defective homes. They would be entitled to have their homes replaced or offered a refund of the purchase price and closing costs if problems covered under a home warranty are not satisfactorily remedied after three attempts to fix the problems.

Burnam also has a bill to do away with the binding arbitration clause in house sale contracts. Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, filed bills that would require homebuilders to disclose defects when reselling a home and would provide buyers with construction documents.

Lack of state support on construction-related issues has prompted at least one local community to try to resolve the problem itself. In Cibolo, homebuyers want to amend their city charter to address cracked foundations and structural problems they have experienced with new homes. Among the proposals is one requiring builders to post surety bonds on every new home. Cities should not be forced to resort to such drastic measures.

These problems are not unique to any region, and state lawmakers need to address them. Sidestepping the issues is unacceptable.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/editorials/article/Home-buyers-need-relief-from-the-state-4413208.php#ixzz2PtThus1y


Updated 4:57 pm, Friday, April 5, 2013
ag81_saen Ag81

April 7, 2013

Are you kidding me? Now it's a governmental issue as to whether a product I buy is of sufficient quality?!? That's MY job. When I buy a home, and I've bought a bunch over the years, I not only have a home inspector look at it, I have a qualified structural engineer come look at it to tell me if it is a well built home, whether the HVAC is a sufficient capacity (almost ALWAYS under tonned), and what kind of structural issues there might be. That's not the government's job.

I don't feel overly sorry for people who buy poor quality homes. If you're going to spend THAT much money for something, you better know what you're buying. That's the BUYER'S job.

How about we start embracing personal responsibility, rather than government intervention!!

Anymouse 10:15 AM on April 8, 2013

This comment is hidden because you have chosen to ignore Anymouse. Show DetailsHide Details

This is a interesting editorial in so many facets...

First, how pathetic to believe "government" or the functionaries are here to protect us. Legislation? Pshaw! These guy/gals will be steamrolled by big money contributions.

If you believe any different, re-read the second paragraph of this article.

Secondly, pause for a moment and think about what is taking place in its present form; to purchase a new home, in closing documents one is presented with a mandatory binding arbitration clause in which the buyer agrees NEVER to seek redress in a court of law.

These homebuyers have signed their life away and are so desperate they are asking for city governments to come to their rescue because of their prior agreement with the homebuilder.

Read the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution, "In suits at Common Law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."

You are making one, if not the largest financial commitment of your life and you voluntarily AGREE to waive your constitutional right/s?

For those statists who delude themselves into believing they can get their legislator to clean up this mess, think about a much cleaner and quicker method available to you NOW, no fuss, no mess, no empty promises...

Go and look at new homes and indicate you WILL NOT relinquish your constitutional right/s to do business...you wouldn't do it at a car dealership, a doctor's office, etc. Why now?

By allowing those new homes to sit vacant till they accede your demands the homebuilders will cave to MARKET FORCES immediately or at least much more rapid if you wait for the Leg to do something that will be written by big money with all in their favor.

Where do you think this Texas Residential Construction Commission came from in the first place?

janetahmad_saen janetahmad11:24 AM on April 8, 2013
You got to be kidding me. These are new houses and you are saying it is ok for builders the cheat homeowners. You must be a builder or a government official.
Let me get this straight, so you think its not a crime to cheat someone out of their money; it's the victims fault?

janetahmad_saen janetahmad11:52 AM on April 8, 2013
Are you blaming the victims too? Remember the homebuilding industry is unregulated in Texas. The simple solution is HB 1887; a Home Lemon Law. Homebuyers should be entitled to the same protection they get when buying a new car. If HB 3736 passes an already existing standardize new home construction contract would replace abusive, take-or-leave-it builder contracts that must be used in all new home sales transactions.


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