Monday, May 5, 2008

Court sides with homebuilder who donated to justices


"The nine justices on the all-Republican panel, whose decision overturned two lower-court rulings, have each received thousands of dollars in contributions from Perry's family. "
Click headline above for complete story
This is a pretty interesting article. It is about a couple that purchased a home from Perry Homes in the Fort Worth area back in 1996. The home was later found to have structural and framing defects. The couple was awarded $800,000 through arbitration. A district and an appeals court both had judgements against the home builder. At the state level, they judged in favor of the builder, which is not surprising considering the fact that Perry and his family members made major campaign contributions to the nine justices of the court.

Do you think their contributions had anything to do with the judgement being overturned? I do.

When I represent clients that are interested in buying a new home through a builder, I approach the situation in a similar way that I approach a purchase on a resale. These home builders are usually part of a big corporation with lawyers working on their side to give them an advantage in a lot of the paperwork of transactions. If a buyer is concerned with the structural integrity or the build quality of the home, I suggest the buyer hires an independent inspector that specializes in the area of concern. Home builders have a lot more money, lawyers, and in this case campaign contributions that work in their favor if a homeowner has a dispute that goes beyond arbitration. My advice is to document interactions with a builder going into a deal with a builder or on any repairs that need to be done. Get it in writing, get it in writing, and get it in writing.

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