DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm in the process of moving into my brand-new home, and I'm already seeing that a million things were done incorrectly. We built our house to look exactly like the model home that we viewed in our subdivision. I took note of small details in the model home, and I immediately noticed that things were not adding up. Our house doesn't have crown molding in the kitchen like we asked for, and the guest bathroom is way smaller. The home is beautiful and I've waited for months to move in, but I cannot ignore what was done wrong. I don't want to pay any more money to get these things done because I feel like they should've been done in the first place. What do I do? -- First-Time Homeowner
DEAR FIRST-TIME HOMEOWNER: Get a lawyer. Review your building contract with your attorney. Be crystal clear about everything that has been done that does not match with your agreement. You should have legal grounds to fall on when it comes to the building of your new home. But your lawyer’s muscle is what you need here to determine if you can get any of the corrections made without further cost to you.
In one recent instance that sounds reminiscent of yours, I know a homeowner who got all of her money back. She had to walk away from the dream home she was building, though, because there were too many compromises. You will have to decide what you can and cannot live with, and find out what you are able to negotiate.