Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Problem buying a new house

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Problem buying a new house

    I am facing a bit of a problem in my accessible house search. After looking around, we have found a one-story floor plan we like. It is a new subdivision under construction. We asked the builder for some changes for accessibility. They agreed to widen some doors and add some ramps upon advance payment which we don’t have a problem with. However, after much consultation between the sales staff and their superiors, the sales staff has told us that they will not change the shower to a roll-in shower. They will only add a shower bench to their standard walk-in shower. Their shower floor is about four inches higher than bathroom floor. As such it is not usable for me in the present design. It is big enough to be replaced with ADA compliant roll-in shower. The lot we want our house built on is just dirt right now.

    I am frustrated that they are unwilling to accommodate a small but crucial change for me. They have provided me with a copy of Universal Design Checklist pursuant to California law. It says the Seller may not make all the “universal design features” generally available to all Buyers. It says further: “Please let your sales agent know if you are interested in a universal design feature that is listed as “not available” on the Checklist. Seller will consider such requests on a case by case basis.” In the Checklist accessible (roll-in) shower status is shown as “Limited”, not even “not available”.

    What are my options here? How can I solve this problem? Does anybody have any experience with this? TIA

    #2
    If they is this hard to deal with NOW, I would find something else. You want a builder you can work with. This group will just be more of a headache as you continue.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

    Comment


      #3
      Did you agree to pay for the added costs of the roll-in shower (lowering the floor is expensive) and they still said no? How about having them leaving that space unfinished and you getting an outside contractor to finish it once you take possession? I doubt if you are going to get anywhere expecting them to make the shower roll-in for no additional charges since they really only have to make the doorway wide enough for your access to the bathroom.

      (KLD)
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Quad62
        The lot we want our house built on is just dirt right now.
        Find another builder, providing the current one doesn't have rights to the subdivision.

        Comment


          #5
          Very good advice given here. I was not able to get my builder to give me any acceptable shower options. He did finally agree to delete several of the bathroom options and provide me with a small discount for the deletions. I managed to get a certificate of occupancy, and later construct the custom roll-in shower of my own design.

          This was typical of the relationship I had with that builder. For a variety of reasons, I continued to work with this builder even after I realized we did not see eye to eye. The project turned out okay, but there was aggravation at every turn. NOTHING was easy. Should have listened to my own warnings. Instead, I talked myself into working with a builder I knew would be trouble.
          Foolish

          "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

          "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

          "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you all.

            sjean423, Scott, unfortunately I can't change the builder. They own the land and are building houses to sell. I haven't checked, but I am sure a lot alone is not for sale. Even if I could, getting a lot and then hiring a private builder would be a huge management hassle for me.

            KLD, FO, of course, I have agreed to pay additional costs up front at contract signing even at the risk of forfeiture if my loan doesn't go through for any reason. I will explore with them the option of unfinished bathroom, but the sales agent had indicated to me earlier that they have to sell the house finished and ready to occupy. It was in a different context though, having to do with putting no carpets on so we could add wheelchair friendly laminate flooring on the bare concrete slab.

            I still can't believe that they can refuse a very easy reasonable and compensated for accommodation for a disability, and I have no help from ADA or anything except the goodness of their heart. SCI is certainly no fun.

            Comment


              #7
              If you can't change builders, change neighborhoods!! You mentioned in the original post that it'sa small deal. Actually this is a huge deal as demo on the new could get expensive. Plus, staying with this builder already shows signs of non-cooperation.. your changes shouldn't be this big of a pain. Tell them your loan didn't gothru and find someone else more cooperative.





              Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches. It's more like a jar of jalapenos--What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

              If you ain't laughing, you ain't living, baby. Carlos Mencia

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks 2jazzyjeff. Changing neighborhood is the FINAL option. I wish it were not though, because everything else about this house checks out. Unfortunately, here in my neck of the woods, even in this housing downturn, all the new developers I have run into have very similar attitude to accessibility changes.

                Comment


                  #9
                  You are only asking to have your home built with the accessibility you require. This is an ADA issue, since the builder is refusing an accesible shower, and insisting on carpets. The agent may not be versed on ADA. Mention that they are leaving themselves open to a federal lawsuit by denying your requests.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    SoFla, thanks. I am not well versed in ADA either. However, so far no one has said with any surety from their knowledge/experience that ADA requires the developer to accommodate the changes I need. I will try to find out and see where it leads. About the carpets, they have a tile/hardwood upgrade available. So, that is not a problem.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Actually, this is NOT an ADA issue, it's a Fair Housing Act issue. I am not as well-versed in FHA as ADA but here's a couple links to look through...

                      http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/disabilities/pwd.cfm
                      http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/title8.htm

                      Talk to your realtor or an attorney that handles realty-related issues. You may have some leverage you're unaware of. OTOH, you may not. IDK.
                      My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

                      Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

                      "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

                      Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        JenJen, thanks for the FHA link. It was really helpful. Section 804 says "it shall be unlawful to discriminate in the sale or rental, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any buyer or renter because of a handicap.." It says further, "discrimination includes a refusal to permit, at the expense of the handicapped person, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by such person if such modifications may be necessary to afford such person full enjoyment of the premises." The Act does not apply to a single family house sold/rented by an owner provided the owner does not own more than 3 such houses at any time. So, the subdivision developer would not be exempt from the Act. I would think that a curbless shower would be considered a reasonable modification rather than an unreasonable one. I will try to find more.

                        Please post if anybody has any thoughts/experience with this issue. Thanks.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Perhaps try asking if they would leave the bathroom unfinished for a reduction in the house cost so you could use that money to hire someone that would actually build what you want.
                          Andrew

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Contact your local CIL, they should have an advocate that can help you put together information that sets the builder straight. Your realtor should be able to help with this too but they may be too close to the builder to be much use.
                            My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

                            Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

                            "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

                            Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by JenJen View Post
                              Contact your local CIL, they should have an advocate that can help you put together information that sets the builder straight. Your realtor should be able to help with this too but they may be too close to the builder to be much use.
                              I'd go through both your CIL and get DBTAC involved as the builder is a business.

                              It is a law as far as HUD goes, I recently found out, that homes without finished floors cannot be used as section 8 housing. I'll make a bet that if you contact the building code folks in your home's county you'll find you may need an exception to code for several of the items they are argueing about. So find out and offer to walk through the paperwork yourself. If there is an attached garage make sure any step is apart of this step. Almost everywhere insists there be a step up to the house from the garage.

                              And if you want some really cool floors do some searching on HGTV's web site. I saw an episode of one of their shows where a ranch was converted to look more NYC loft like and had a dyed and sealed smooth cement floor poured with a matching slab done for the kitchen island/bar. The colors and random pattern was somewhat like marble but more artsy.
                              Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                              Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X