Unhappy buyers from a local builder
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (WAFF) – Several hopeful homeowners are unhappy with a valley home builder. Dozens of families have signed contracts hoping to have a house built by Woodland Homes within the next year.
To their surprise, in early June they all received a notice that they would have to sign a brand new contract with a higher price tag and an escalation clause.
Archie Ramos is one of those people who signed with Woodland Homes in February. He says he and his wife didn’t want to sign when they did, but his agent told him prices would go up in two weeks and they should act now.
“In two weeks, the price of this house will increase by $ 25,000. If you don’t sign a contract now, you’re going to pay an additional $ 25,000 for this house, ”says Ramos.
Ramos and his family had no idea that in three months Woodland would ask for an increasing $ 25,000 to sign a 7% escalation clause or, they could get out of their contract and receive a deposit refund.
“We didn’t like any of those options,” Ramos says.
Woodland told them it was all due to the increase in lumber prices. It is important to know that the original contract did not contain an escalation clause.
This is just one of the many families who have received this message.
Frankie Claborn, says she and her husband were told it would take a year to build, and they’ve already sold their house with plans to move in soon.
“This was going to be our dream home. Plus, we just had a baby in January too, ”says Claborn.
Claborn, says Woodland contacted them on June 9, saying they had 48 hours to sign a new contract or collect their deposit.
“My husband and I felt uncomfortable going forward because we felt like we had set a price in March and that price should have included the escalating cost of materials, labor costs and things of that nature, ”says Claborn.
WAFF contacted Woodland Homes on June 9. Again on June 13, and again on June 23.
WAFF has never obtained an interview with the president of the company or a statement about these complaints.
On June 15, after contacting the company and several families, Woodland Homes sent a nondisclosure agreement to those who had signed the contracts.
Now, many are seeking legal help. A local lawyer, Tom McGrath, works with 14 families all in the same position. They say they just want all of their money back.
“Both people took a risk and I don’t think we should have to pay the penalty for taking a risk and not striving on behalf of the companies,” Ramos said.
This is an ongoing story and WAFF will be interviewing the homebuyers’ lawyer.
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