New retirement homes becoming nightmares for owners

New retirement homes becoming nightmares for owners


by BILL MCGINTY / NBC Charlotte Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 18 at 10:21 AM

TEGA CAY, S.C. -- When you save for your home in the golden years, you want everything to be worry free and expense free. 

But a group of retirees in Tega Cay say their newer homes are have become money pits that have put them in court, instead of on the golf course or on the lake. 

From the outside, the 86 units in Stonecrest Villas in Tega Cay look like a great place to retire, until you talk to some of the people who live there.

“It started to leak within a month or two of me moving in” says Troy a resident at the Stonecrest Villas.
Several residents told NBC Charlotte when it rains their house is intruded with water.

"The ceiling in the bedroom is all wet now,” said Al a resident at the Stonecrest Villas. 

One unique problem has occured at one of the homes when it rains, mushrooms grow in the house.
Many of these retired homeowners paid upward near $280,000 for their duplex condominium homes, and since moving in, water has been a major issue. Water coming in around windows, water coming up through cracks in the slab, and a rug actually stained the concrete floor. 

The water intrusion is even warping and rotting some of the bedroom furniture. Other units have uneven floors and close of a dozen homes are draped in plastic to keep the water out.
It’s why this small group of homeowners is suing almost everyone involved.  

“They do have a legitimate complaint, all of these owners have a legitimate complaint, these buildings were not constructed well," said attorney Brett Dressler represents the COA, which also sued the builders, but settled for $2.6 million. 

But this group of owners says it’ll take a lot more, maybe $6 million, which is why they are also suing the condo association saying it settled for too little. 

Dressler said the COA decided to take a bird in the hand of $2.6 million, and that’s a lot of birds, and so they need to go out and try to start repairing these units.

But some of the owners say repairs aren’t enough.

Jim Barone, an owner says speaking for the group “we want to be made whole again”. Which means they want their money back, all of it, saying they could never sell these leaky homes for anywhere close to what they paid.

"Some of our homes are only worth $60,000, we can’t sell,” Barone said.

An attorney representing Epcon communities told NBC Charlotte that his client “denies any problem with the initial designs and can’t be held responsible if the plans weren’t executed and built right.”

 Other attorneys involved said they couldn’t comment on the case citing “pending litigation”.