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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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