Buyer beware: Old Triangle homes marketed as new - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Buyer beware: Old Triangle homes marketed as new

Posted: Updated:
There's no legal obligation for anyone to maintain a home after it's built. There's no legal obligation for anyone to maintain a home after it's built.
HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. -

Forbes Magazine listed Raleigh as the "fastest growing area" in the United States from 2000 to 2012. 

Local realtor Zach Schabot agrees, as he sees more families flock to the Triangle.

"In certain areas, we have a shortage of homes," said Schabot, as he walked onto the property of one home being built in Holly Springs. 

But not so long ago, it was a different story when the "Great Recession" was in full force. Homes built then, just weren't selling.

Flash forward to 2013: WNCN found dozens of homes listed online as new, despite having construction dates from 2012 to as far back as 2009.  And according to Schabot, marketing 4-year-old homes as new is perfectly legal.

"Even if no one has lived in the house for a few years, it's still considered new," said Schabot.  "But obviously, houses are meant to be lived in, and when it sits there for a few years, we never know what's going on in there, when no one is in there."

Dan Morse, a builder in the Triangle, doesn't think the real estate industry is cheating customers by marketing homes as new, years after the fact.

"If nobody have lived in it, if nobody's driven that car before and it's still in the lot? It's still new in my opinion," said Morse. 

But he has advice to home buyers looking at old homes marketed as new.

"The number one question I would ask?" said Morse, "Has the home been properly heated and cooled during that period of time?  And was anybody taking care of it?"

However, WNCN checked, and there's no legal obligation for anyone to maintain a home after it's built.  And a lot can happen in the years between construction and moving in.

Morse showed one home that WNCN learned the owner started building in 2007.  Six years later and the owner hasn't moved in. WNCN found a number of issues including siding in bad shape, loose flashing around windows and, worst of all, open windows.

Pointing to the open windows, Morse said, "If that window has been open for a while, you definitely could have some rain getting in there, wind, whatever it might be."  This lack of climate control can play havoc with homes, from causing nail pops to ruining drywall.

And Morse cautions that the clock starts ticking on the warranties for a home as soon as construction finishes.

Schabot said the realtor should do his or her due diligence to find these specifics out.  And the buyer should also find out the house's history. Is the builder still in business? Was it bank owned? Also, pay for a thorough inspection.

"If it's a good enough price," said Schabot, "somebody will live with whatever defects they may have found."  But that doesn't mean a buyer should settle for new home prices on an older home.

The best way to find out how long an old home has been new is to pull the building permit.  Here's a few options on how to do this based on the home's location:

Wake County

Orange County

Durham City/County

Cumberland County

Johnston County

Franklin County

Chatham County

Person County

Sean Maroney

Sean anchors WNCN News at 6, 7 & 11 PM. Raised in North Carolina, he returns home after nearly a decade reporting around the world. Each night, he brings his love of this community and powerful journalism into our newsroom and your home.

More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:58:35 GMT
    (WMC) - It was a story that made its rounds on social media. On a recent flight DeAngelo Williams, Mid-Southerner and running back for the Carolina Panthers, gave his first-class plane seat to a 77-year-old
    Family members are upset and hurt that their relative, James Wesley Bolden, is being called a liar and "a fake."
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

    Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

    Friday, July 25 2014 2:56 AM EDT2014-07-25 06:56:56 GMT
    The official Algerian news agency says an Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from the radar.
    An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, the third major international aviation disaster in a week.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.