Wilshire Homes in Belterra Keeps its Word

One of our buyers just purchased a new home from Wilshire Homes in Belterra. Since the buyer had returned to his out of state home, I took care of the final walk-through with the builder. First, since it was an already completed home, we had our third party inspector perform an inspection, which revealed some items. There were the normal knick-knack inspection things, and some not-so-minor items, including a defective window and some missing exterior trim, all of which Wilshire agreed to cure without complaint. When I did the final-final walkthrough with the construction superintendent to verify the completion of the inspection items, everything was completed and the house looked great.

But, there were a bunch of burnt out light bulbs. Now, we’re not going to let an otherwise happy ending turn sour over some light bulbs, but I told the superintendent I thought the home should be delivered to the Buyer with all components in full working order, including all light bulbs. I was surprised to encounter an initial bit of resistance about this, but eventually I agreed to sign off on the final completion of the home and the superintendent personally promised me that he’d send someone back to replace all non-functioning light bulbs. I did not get that promise in writing but simply trusted him at his word.

We closed yesterday and I visited the home today. I have to admit I was expecting to find burnt out light bulbs but instead found all bulbs replaced as promised.

Why is it we now live in a world where a promise kept is cause for rejoicing? I was genuinely happy and impressed that the Wilshire Homes superintended did what he said he’d do. I’m also sad that something like that impresses me. That I’m writing about it feels somewhat like giving a standing ovation to a Center Fielder for catching a routine fly ball. Being able to rely on the word of others should be the norm, not a pleasant surprise. Nevertheless, way to go Wilshire Homes for good old fashioned promise keeping.

Posted by Steve
9 years ago
Steve

Steve is a Real Estate Blogger, Husband and Dad, UT Austin Grad, Runner, Real Estate Broker and owner of Crossland Team and Crossland Real Estate in Austin TX.

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Observer - 9 years ago

Steve,

Maybe it is off-topic but anyways I’ve decided to share my personal experience.
I moved to Austin from Canada not long ago and rented a house. Decided it would make more sense to rent rather than buy one right away. The house which I’ve been renting has a standing water on the backyard issue which is obvious by now. Initially the property manager was giving me various excuses such as my neighbour dumped the water from his pool to my backyard or it is normal to have that much water for so long (5-6 inches for 3-4 weeks) here in Texas and so on. That saga was lasting till I sent him the pictures of what’s going on.
Now after he agreed that it is an issue (I haven’t used backyard for the past 2 month) I aproached him with the question if the house owner would willing to give me a monthly rent credit for this “inconvenience”. What do you think he answered me?
The answer was “it would costs thousands of dollars to the owner to fix it so he cannot give you the discount”.
What makes me feel miserable is that the owner knew about that issue, didn’t disclose it at the time of signing rental agreement and not even willing to cooperate after it was discovered.

I don’t want to fight too much as I’m not planning to stay in that house for the long term (I have 8 mth lease term) but I would like to have some sort of fairness. Do you know what are my options or what would you advise in my situation?

Regards

Reply
Steve - 9 years ago

Hi Observer,

Depending on where you live, I believe standing/stagnant water is a recognized health issue. I take it you don’t live in Belterra in a Wilshire home, but wherever you live I’d call the local health department and ask about it. They have the authority to force the property owner to remedy the situation. You can also call the Austin Tenant’s Council and get free advice. http://www.housing-rights.org/

Whatever you do, I would communicate only in writing and keep a folder of your communication and the responses.
Steve

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lenny - 9 years ago

good builder event…

3000 sqft 1 story new construction (Meritage)
buyer wanted garage extension (3 feet) to go back instead of the usual sideways…

1 month AFTER moving into the home the buyer noticed the windows along one wall of the home were about 3 feet off from where they should have been…. such as the dining room window (should have been centered with chandalier/table)

ALSO…. there were roof peeks aligned over all the windows…

i expected a big fight… lawsuit….

builder quickly agreed to correct….. they had to take the roof OFF…. and the entire wall (brick) OFF… to rebuild correctly!

the finished job is perfect…. AND they did it very quickly!

Reply
Michael - 9 years ago

Observer,

You should pursue this issue. If they did this to you, they will do it to another person.

Send the property manager and owner a certified letter saying you consider this a health and safety issue and if it is not resolved in ten days that you intend to take further action, which will get their attention. However, do call the Tenant’s Council and get them to coach you on this so you follow the process properly. There are also laws that protect you against retaliatory behavior by the owner or owner’s agent.

Whatever you do, don’t withhold rent. If you do, they can evict you for non-payment and the judge will not be sympathetic to your yard issue.

Good luck.

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Mary Satterfield - 9 years ago

Well, for the past almost 1.5 years we have raved about the great new-construction experience we had with Wilshire Homes. That is, until this week when we learned that our A/C unit, not yet 18 months old, is so cheaply made that leaks sprung causing the unit to malfunction, and the reuslting cost to us will be close to $2,000 for repairs. Not to mention the joy of living in a hot house during a Texas September! Thanks Wilshire for quickly pointing out that our 1-year warranty is expired! How come you hear from them on a monthly basis wanting you to fill out surveys etc. UNTIL the 1 year warranty runs out?? Then you get abandoned with substandard equipment throughout your house. We have ceased recoommending Wilshire to anyone we talk to and have a bitter taste over the whole experience.

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John case - 8 years ago

I had a simular experience with Wilshire. They use a very cheap air conditioning system. The service man is seen in the neighbor hood once a week during the summer. The unit failed in the first year because of wiring problems. The custoner service is ok unitl you hit 1 year. Then they won’t do a thing.

If you want a red neck builder. Then Wilshire is a builder for you. But don’t expect honesty or professional service.

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