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ABC Special Report
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KPRC Chan.2 Troubleshooters Report
Friday, 16 December 2005
Made-To-Order Home Missing Something Very Important
A Houston-area woman's dream of a new home for the holidays is dashed when a typo causes a change in her floor plan, the KPRC Local 2 Troubleshooters report.

Typo Causes Building Problem For New Homeowners
New Home Nightmate

Inspector Should Go Over Floor Plans

 December 15, 2005

A Houston-area woman looked forward to moving into her new home until a typo changed what the house would look like, the KPRC Local 2 Troubleshooters reported Wednesday.

Diana Puente wanted to spend the holidays in the house she picked out in Cy-Fair. But last month, when she and an inspector went to check on the construction, she found a problem.

"We noticed that there was only two baths. Where was the other bath?" Puente said.

The floor plan she selected from Lake Ridge Builders stated the two-story home came with 2 1/2 baths.

Puente questioned her salesman about the missing toilet.

"Basically (he) said, 'That's what it comes with.' And I said, 'No, that's not what my floor plan says,'" she said.

Puente went a step further and complained to the main office. She even brought along the corporate flyer that described the floor plan.

"He handed it back to me and said that was a typo. How can it be a typo if it comes from your main corporate office?" she said.

The Troubleshooters wanted to know that as well, so they visited the offices of Lake Ridge Builders after calling several times and never receiving a call back.

But no one was available to meet with them, which meant Puente was left with no home and was out the $1,000 she paid in earnest money.

"If he would have said, 'Hey we're going to make it right, blah, bah, blah.' I would have kept the house. I would have been happy with that," she said.

She just wanted out of the deal.

"I don't want the house anymore. I don't want to have (anything) to do with this builder," she said.

After the Troubleshooters started making calls, the company let Puente out of the deal and offered to repay her the $1,000 she spent in earnest money.

Experts suggest that homeowners have an inspector go over the actual blueprints of a home under construction. Do not rely on corporate fliers to determine what it will look like. Also, have an inspector check out construction before signing off on any final paperwork.

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