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Tuesday, 09 July 2013

Canyon Lake dream home fills with mold, not memories
She pays the mortgage and insurance, yet a local woman’s dream retirement home has been vacant for years. Karen Rutledge said dangerous mold lingers in the walls, in a house the builder refused to fix properly.

Canyon Lake dream home fills with mold, not memories

CANYON LAKE --She pays the mortgage and insurance, yet a local woman’s dream retirement home has been vacant for years. Karen Rutledge said dangerous mold lingers in the walls, in a house the builder refused to fix properly.

“This condo made you sick?” KENS-TV asked.

“Yes, this condo made me very sick. And I couldn’t get well. I had to move out,” answered Rutledge.

The 66-year old retiree said a lung infection from the mold forced her to find another place to live. Rutledge said repairs from the builder—Blue Water Real Estate—were only cosmetic.

Rutledge said the mold and mildew in nearly every room would return with a vengeance. She points to a closet, where walls are pockmarked with black mold.

“I lost a lot in that closet,” she said.

Rutledge bought the condo brand-new in 2002, and by 2003, was asking the builder to buy it back.

The builder was also the Homeowners Association President at the time. Rutledge said her requests to the HOA were ignored, too. She eventually sued in court, lost, and then won an appeal.

Meantime, engineering experts hired by Rutledge suggested nearly $200,000 in interior repairs.
But Rutledge is reluctant to start it all, because she said the builder continues to ignore the exterior leaks.
“What good does it do to fix it if they don’t fix the outside? And the HOA should be doing that, and the developer. This is supposed to be under warranty. That warranty is worthless.”
We contacted the developer of the condominium – Clint Isley of Blue Water Real Estate.
He wouldn’t comment on camera, but he did tell KENS-TV that Rutledge’s home “looks the way it does from ten years of homeowner neglect.”
Rutledge said, “I’m going to court in August, hoping to get a judgment. I’m getting to the point that I can’t make the payment.”
“I’m probably going to have to let it go,” she sobbed.
Rutledge says her tears are only matched by the water that she’s reported trickling down her window blinds.
It is a house she hopes through litigation will be made water-tight.

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