In this article, you will learn…
- If you still have a construction defect case even if you didn’t purchase your home from the builder,
- If you can still live in your home while your case is ongoing, and
- The risks of selling your home during litigation.
How Much Is A Construction Defect Case Going To Cost Me?
The vast majority of my work is on a contingency basis, which means that I don’t get paid unless money is recovered. My rate is usually around 37% of the gross recovery.
You must also take into account other costs, such as engineering costs. It’s difficult to predict the costs on the front end, but you won’t have any bill until you win the case and get a recovery.
I Did Not Purchase My Home Or Condo Directly From The Builder. Do I Still Have A Claim Against A Builder In A Construction Defect Case?
One of the areas that South Carolina has been very favorable to homeowners is to extend implied warranties beyond the initial purchaser into subsequent purchasers. There are limitations on that, but generally you will be able to have a claim against a builder in a construction defect case.
Can I Continue Living In My Home Or Condo While The Case Is Ongoing?
Yes, typically you will be able to continue living in your home or condo while the case is ongoing. The lawsuit alone will not force you to leave. However, if there are other circumstances or conditions that make living there unsafe, you may be forced to find an alternative living arrangement.
Will The Construction Defect Lawsuit Will Reduce The Value Of My Home?
While sometimes builders may tell you that a construction defect lawsuit will reduce the value of your home, the reality is that it is the defects themselves that could reduce the value of your home.
As the homeowner who has been put in this unfortunate scenario, you typically have two options:
- File a lawsuit to try to recover amounts that may help you fix as many of the problems, if not all of the problems, that exist to get the value of your home back to where you would expect it to be, or
- Sell your home at an extremely reduced price with all the problems while eating that loss.
If you choose to sell your home without solving the existing issues, it’s important that you keep in mind that there could then be a potential claim against you. If you sell a home with defects and don’t properly and completely disclose them, some of that liability then shifts onto you.
Can I Sell My Home During The Litigation?
You can sell your home during the litigation, but it’s a very hard process that usually creates more problems that it solves and makes for a very difficult arrangement. This is because…
- There are issues that come with selling a home that has known problems that haven’t been resolved,
- It makes pursuing litigation more difficult,
- A lot of work has typically been done to help you recover,
- The financing market is substantially narrowed down.
Many of the nationwide or regional lenders are backed by the federal government or programs. They won’t be able to finance or provide a mortgage for a home that’s in litigation. While some smaller banks are willing to work with potential purchasers on that, it’s considered a risk.
Do Construction Defect Cases Mostly Get Litigated Or Do They End Up Settling? Which Is Better?
It would be impossible to say if most construction defect cases get litigated or settled, because every case is so specific to unique circumstances. There can also be benefits to both litigation and settlement, based on the details of any individual case.
It’s very rare for a case to go to trial where all of the original defendants go to trial. Cases don’t necessarily settle in one fell swoop or go to trial in one fell swoop. There will typically be some defendants that will go to trial while others in the same case will settle out.
You only get one shot at construction defect lawsuits, so you go after everyone and sometimes not all of them are worthy of a trial. Generally speaking, jury trials on the overall case are favorable to plaintiffs along the coast in South Carolina.
For more information on Costs & Impact Of Construction Defect Claims, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (803) 361-4812 today.