It's not just the half-finished condo towers that will create urban eyesores for years to come, you'll also see these deserted graveyards of framed houses dotting the fringes of Phoenix, Tampa, DC, Boston, Albuquerque, Tucson, Sacramento, Vegas, Boise and more...
Unfinished houses put people in limbo
State and local officials are investigating a months-long work stoppage that has left about 200 unfinished houses in Casa Grande and Maricopa withering in Arizona's summer as home buyers wonder whether they'll ever be able to move in.
Buyers like Laquita Jackson and Cedric Moore, who signed a Turner-Dunn Construction Inc. sales contract more than a year ago, have been stranded in rentals instead of living in their dream home. They fear thousands of dollars in earnest money has evaporated.
They haven't been able to contact anyone from Turner-Dunn in weeks.Other buyers, like John Wayne, applied a full-court press on the small construction company, only to move into houses with conditions so dangerous that some buyers are afraid to let their children play in their backyards.
As the Valley's housing market ebbs, smaller builders like Turner-Dunn, which may have arrived late to capitalize on Pinal County's gangbusters housing market, are more prone to failures, said Jay Butler, director of the Arizona Real Estate Center at Arizona State University.
Unlike big builders, they can't absorb rising labor and materials costs, struggle with credit and sometimes lack experienced management that can deal with a cooling market, Butler said.
"If you look at the numbers nationally, the market is slowing tremendously," Butler said. "With small builders, the problems just cascade."
July 31, 2006
The bubble's new housing graveyards - Another Arizona builder walks away from hundreds of unfinished houses
Posted by blogger at 7/31/2006