Am I obligated to purchase if the home if builder refuses to make repairs?

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Am I obligated to purchase if the home if builder refuses to make repairs?

I recently had a home inspection on new construction. If the builder refuses to address my concerns am I still obligated to purchase the home? The following needs repair: the windows are not sealed caulked on outside of home; there are gaps between the window and brick; the PVC pipe not painted black in accordance with manufacture’s instructions; the guest bathroom is super crooked, either the tile was laid wrong or the tub and wall are off.

Asked on October 11, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the exact terms of the contract: for example, does it include any provisions that you can pull out of the sale if repair requests are not made? 
If it does contain such a provision, those terms are enforceable and you can pull out of the sale. 
If it does not contain such terms or provisions, it is more problematic. If the problems are so "material" or significant that you cannot be said to be receiving what you contracted for, a home you can live in, that material breach would entitle you to terminate the contract and get out of the purchase if the builder does not correct them. But if the problems are not so severe that you cannot be said to not be getting what you contracted for, you'd have to go ahead with the purchase, but could later sue the builder for compensation for repairs you have to make after the fact. Only "material" problems--ones which effectively deny you what you contracted to get--allow termination of the contract; less severe ones only enable you to seek compensation. The problems you describe may not rise to the level of sufficient materiality as to let you out of the contract.


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