My husband and I bought our home four years ago, It was supposed to be our Dream Home. We knew it needed some work: windows, doors, siding, and updates on some things inside the house, but all in all we were very happy with it. Two winters ago a pipe burst in our bedroom wall. After dealing with insurance, we hired a contractor and began doing repairs in the spring. One day our contractor came to us and said, “Hey, did you see these cracks you have in your foundation?”
After doing some investigating, talking with neighbors, and paying several professional licensed engineers to come and investigate, we discovered our home was one of the many affected by the concrete problem. After being denied by our insurance company for this claim, getting involved with a lawyer, and reaching out to every avenue we could think of, we have exhausted all options other than bankruptcy.
My husband and I are regular, middle-class, hard-working people. We were both taught growing up that if you work hard, it would pay off. So this is our payoff for our hard work. We took every cent we had and put it into this home—where we planned to spend the rest of our lives together. Now I dread coming home every day. I hope and wish and pray to see something on the news, hear something from the state, hear something from Department of Consumer Protection, to hear something from anybody and to find some relief, but there’s none in sight.
What do we do now?
– Homeowners, Union
I am one of the hundreds of homeowners dealing with crumbling foundations. My husband and I built our home in Vernon in 1986. We recently tried to sell the house, but at the inspection we discovered the foundation was crumbling and our house is unsalable. My husband is quite sick and requires full-time care. I retired to be his primary care-giver.
All this to say, we are strapped for resources, in terms of both money and time. I have given much thought to this issue, and I believe there are ways that we can ease the burden for homeowners and stimulate local business. Of course, this would require state support and funding. Given that it takes 20 to 30 years for these defects to become apparent, I believe this issue is disproportionately affecting people nearing retirement and who, as a result, need to recover their investment.
I feel the state should allocate funds to be able to purchase these houses from the homeowners, to allow them to recoup some piece of their investment. The state could then use these houses to provide employment opportunities for contractors and construction workers in Connecticut. Once they were repaired, the state could offer the homes as affordable housing for those in need. I recognize this would require a lot of planning and support but I believe it is a way to mitigate a very bad situation.
I appreciate all of the efforts on behalf of homeowners like myself. I really hope the coalition is able to negotiate some relief for the impacted parties.
– Homeowner, Vernon
We were proactive in trying to find out a year ago, when the news first hit, if slab foundations were affected and we were basically told no. We had considered moving to North Carolina for a couple years, and when my employer indicated to me earlier this year it would be best to move to North Carolina to have a better chance at avoiding a layoff, we decided to pursue it seriously.
We found a home in North Carolina and had planned to move in early August. Our home was on the market in South Windsor less than two weeks with Coldwell Banker when we found a buyer that loved our home as much as we did. We were truly excited, for the buyers and for us.
Monday, July 11th, at 10 a.m., the buyers’ home inspector let us know our home (on a slab foundation) looked to be part of the crumbling foundation issue. Imagine our shock, disbelief, and anger. The buyers were able to contact an inspector who specializes in examining foundations for this issue, who came out at 3 p.m. the same day. He confirmed our worst fears. We immediately contacted a contractor to come out to inspect, and give us a quote if he saw the issue. Within less than a minute, he said, “Yes, you have the issue.”
We have dealt with an extreme sense of loss and financial devastation within 24 hours. We have updated our home, poured our heart and soul into this home, only to find out it all was for nothing. Our home is basically worthless. The cost to fix is more than the value of our home.
– Homeowner, South Windsor