Sunday, April 24, 2005 11:00 PM
You might assume that new construction and relatively newer homes are a safer bet. Think again. A March 2005 report by the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation documents
"...a catalog of shoddy and deficient construction practices, lax regulatory oversight and poor remediation options that routinely plunge unsuspecting new-home purchasers into a quagmire of waste, fraud, and abuse."
[source: Commission Chairman and former New Jersey Attorney General W. Cary Edwards, in a letter to The Trenton Times, 4/25/05)]The report's findings include the following:
[source: quoted directly from the report's Table of Contents]The report points to a number of ways for your new purchase to go wrong. For example, you would be wise to hire a private inspection of a newly-constructed home that you are under contract to buy. But what if your inspector uncovers a problem with the property? Do the issues cited in the inspector's report allow you to terminate the contract? They may or they may not. If they don't, and if you back out of the deal, you will be in breach of contract. You may end up forfeiting your security deposit. You may find yourself liable to the seller for other damages as well. These are the kinds of legal conundrums that can cost you money, leave you and your family without a place to stay, and result in months or years of legal and financial headaches.
The report by the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation is clearly written, in plain language. Read it now. If you had any doubts, you will now understand why you need an experienced attorney in your corner who understands the law, who can give you legal advice, and who will keep what you say confidential.
Attorney David G. Christoffersen handles real estate transactions and disputes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He has successfully handled hundreds of real estate closings since 1992. He is also a home owner, a real estate investor, and a landlord.
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