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We contracted on a house on W. Alexis Dr (1920 sq ft for $475,000) by this builder in Pueblo West due to the location and the layout of the house. Upon the first meeting with the builder (Jason Trujillo) my wife, her sister, and our realtor met him at the residence for the first (in person) viewing of the property. My wife connected with me via FaceTime, as I was still out of state and not able to see the house in person.
We initially thought this was going to be a great business relationship as Jason provided us with his personal cell phone number and stated that at any time we could contact him if we had any questions or concerns. He stated he takes pride in his work, lives only a few minutes away from the property and would be able to respond promptly to any problems/concerns. Jason and his wife (who is/was the realtor representing the property) Manda Trujillo allowed us to store our belongings in the garage of the property while waiting for the cert. of occupancy. We were initially amazed at this generosity, however, we would soon realize the passive aggressive behavior of both parties. We also asked Jason if he knew how much it would cost to have a gas line put in for a gas dryer. Jason told us it would be $700 and he would have the work completed if we wanted him to; we would just need to send him a check. We sent the check and would later realize that Manda would refuse to return our $700 for the gas line when we TERMINATED THE CONTRACT , but she would increase the sales price of the house $45,000, thus collecting $1400 for the gas line (if the house sells).
The first time I met with Jason at the house, I pointed out the slope on the west side of the house was NOT sloping AWAY from the house. Jason quickly rejected my observation and told us (with our realtor present) that his engineer said he did not have to have the grade sloping away from the house because he installed a FRENCH DRAIN around the perimeter of the foundation. I knew this was incorrect and in January 2022, Regional Building FAILED the final inspection TWICE due to the grade on the west side of the house. Maybe he should listen when someone tells him very specific information.
While walking the property with our realtor, we noticed a significant problem with the tile and wall of the master bath between the bathtub and shower. Our realtor relayed our concerns about this, our realtor was told by Manda that they would not be doing anything to fix the issue as it would be too expensive to fix. (Too expensive to fix their screw up on a $475K house)??? But pass the expense onto the buyer???? This was on December 1, 2021 and Manda also told our realtor that the excavator had set the septic tanks in but now would not be able to finish the project until December 13. At this point, I went to the house to try to get information as to why the septic would take so long if the tanks were set. Once I got to the property, I noticed that Jasons truck was in the driveway, I went to the front door and called out his name to which he answered and came to the front door. Jason and I began talking about the septic system as well as the tile in the master bath and the wall. Jason informed me that the excavator wanted to have the Leitchfield re-engineered so that it did not cause damage to the system. I explained to Jason that I appreciated him making the extra effort to ensure the system would not be compromised. I asked Jason how thick the sand was under the septic tank, as the ground beneath the tank had numerous sharp rocks. He said he thought there was, maybe, 6 or 8 inches but he was not sure. Shouldnt he know this information as the builder????? Then we discussed the master bath. Jason told me he had run out of nails prior to securing the wall between the tub and shower, then was ill. He said while he was out, the plumber came to the house, nailed up the wall so he should finish plumbing it, but did not check to make sure the wall was square. Jason said he was aware of this issue and they tried to build the wall out. Jason said it wouldve cost too much for him to redo the wall. My thoughts on this were that this was about a $500k house and it should be built properlynot try to cut corners. Jason agreed to have one piece of tile corrected that looked like it was caving inward, but would not square up the wall.
We then met with Jason and Manda on Wednesday, December 15 to conduct our walk-through of the property. Prior to going inside the house, I noticed there were numerous cracks in the stucco all around the perimeter of the house, the largest of which were on the east side of the house. There were 2 cracks than ran the entire length of the garage. Before beginning the walk-through I brought the cracking stucco to Jason and Mandas attention. Manda stated if the cracks were not as wide as the thickness of a credit card, then nothing done to fix them. I explained to her that I had another stucco house, lived in it for two years and there was not a single crack in the stucco. She made a comment something to the effect of we were lucky then and told us that we could terminate the contract. I explained to her that I was tired of hearing this, as this was the 6th time (that I knew of) of her saying this to our realtor and now directly to us. 1 time is a courtesy, but 7 times???? There is something else going on.other parties interested in the house??? More money??? Manda said she was also tired of the calls from us, telling her how unhappy we were with the delays and problems with the house. I told her that neither my wife, nor I had EVER called her. She then went off saying that our realtor calling or texting her made her mad. WAIT.isnt that what she signed up for as a realtor???? I told her she was the most unprofessional realtor I had ever dealt with and she began screaming at me. I told her I wanted to speak with her boss, and she told me youre speaking to the boss in a very rude tone. I told her I wanted to speak with her boss at the real estate company as I was going to make a complaint. I told her that the defects with the house needed to be corrected, as I walked into the master bathroom to point out, what appeared to be about 3 inches (thick) of drywall mud to patch *** where the sunken piece of tile was. Manda told me that the tile guy had not yet begun to fix the issue. I told her that was funny because her husband told me they were waiting for the mud to dry the previous day. I told her that either she was lying to me or her husband was. GO FIGURESHE DID NOT RESPOND. Manda was still screaming at me and following me and I had to tell her to back away from me and to stop screaming at me several times. I told her that she was bordering on harassment and intimidation. I told Jason that I would no longer communicate with Manda due to her aggressive and unprofessional behavior.
We pointed out numerous areas of concern inside, outside and in the garage. Jason said the stucco guy would be over the next day. I did not hear anything from Jason for several days. I text him 6 days after our walk-through to ask if he had been in contact with the stucco guy and to find out what the results were. He then said the stucco guy was not able to get out to the house and would be there that day or the next. This would be the last time Jason would respond to any of my text messages. I text him 7 additional times between 12/23/21 and 01/15/22. 5 of the texts were between 12/23/21 and 01/06/22 trying to get information on the progress of the house and to make Jason aware of another issue with the foundation.
This would be the beginning of issues leading to us TERMINATING THE CONTRACT. A few days later, I again met with our realtor to get measurements and photos of all the cracks in the stucco. There were numerous items of concern not corrected. I also went into the crawl space as I had a feeling Jasons crew did not seal the hole that was core drilled in the foundation for the septic pipe. My feelings were correct; there was an open hole around the pipe and dirt coming through the hole (which would eventually lead to water coming into the house, then mold, etc) I text Jason about this specific issue and explained it needed to be corrected and how it needed to be corrected, as I had contacted Regional Building about my concerns (by email with photos and by phone) and they explained how the hole needed to be corrected. I also asked in another 1 of the 5 texts when he anticipated our house to be completed; STILL NO RESPONSE!!
We decided to terminate the contract due to no communication, unprofessional and childish behavior, Mandas screaming, the struggles to get several major issues corrected and the concern that future issues would cause us even more stress and frustration and Jason might continue to ignore us and fight us on issues.
While I was at the house checking to see if the stucco or foundation had been repaired, the stucco contractor arrived. I asked if the cracks had been pointed out to him and he said he had not seen them. I walked the perimeter of the house with him to point out more than 30 cracks. As I was about to drive away, Jason pulled into the driveway, quickly exited his vehicle and briskly walk toward the stucco contractor. I tried to speak with Jason, he replied Hey Mike in an angry tone and walked away from me, not providing me with any answers. I later heard from our realtor, that Manda told our realtor to tell me to get off their property and not to tell their subs what to do. Unfortunately, Manda did not realize I recorded my inspections of the house and my entire conversation with the stucco contractor. It is very clear that all I did was point out all of the cracks and get information on why at different times the cracks appeared wider or narrower.
I told my wife and our realtor that I felt Jason and Manda were trying to get us to terminate the contract so they could try to get more money for the house. Once our contract was canceled, they increased the sales price from $475,000 to $515,000 and then to $520,000. Now they are finally going to put in a shower door in the master bath, but when we asked for the shower door, Jason made the excuse that it was too much of a liability. I guess most other builders are just stupid to take on that kind of liability..NOT! Jason was full of excuses , but not answers.
I sent Jason a text asking if he would be returning the $700 we paid HIM for a product/service that we DID NOT RECEIVE. I said if I DID NOT HEAR FROM HIM, I would assume HE WAS NOT GOING TO RETURN OUR $700. Guess what?? NO response from him and NO CHECK. Does it sound similar to theft? Our realtor said Manda said SHE was NOT going to return our $700 as they wouldnt have installed the gas line had we not requested it. Jason OFFERED to have it installed IF WE PAID FOR IT. Funny though, when Manda told us we could terminate during our walk-through, she said she would return our earnest money and the $700 for the gas line. I guess since I pissed her off she decided to punish us by keeping the $700. BUT WAIT!!!! We did not pay the sellers realtor, we paid the builder, so it was not up to her!
User's recommendation: Beware. Do your research. Get a home inspector!
Monetary Loss: $700.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
Tru Southern Colorado Building Cons: Quality, Dishonest, Scheduling, Communication.
Location: 137 West Alexis Drive, Pueblo, CO 81007
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