Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Maryland Modular Home Builder to the Rescue

What could put a damper on Christmas more than your house burning down from a Christmas tree fire?

That is exactly what happened to an Essex, MD family in January, 2014.

After months of dealing with an insurance company and a builder they began the rebuild process to stick build a new home.  Turns out the builder took $40,000 as a deposit, tore down the house incompletely, left the site horrible, and then told them his price was wrong.  Couldn’t do it for the agreed $181,000 and new price was now over $300K.  

So he walked away with their money and left them high and dry.  No contractor, insurance money gone (lawyers), and a rental that the insurance company would eventually stop paying for.

When they met Nick Nicholson, President of Advantage Homes in Baltimore, MD in October, 2014, he evaluated the entire situation and proposed a win-win solution for them and the insurance company.  

By then they were in full panic mode. It then took months of back and forth with a very unresponsive insurance company and all the lawyers to get started and he got them to up their totals, but they still wouldn't pay the total loss number in their policy.  

Finally he got the go ahead, revised a design he had already built from North American Housing / Champion before and got the ball rolling.  Building in MD, one of the hardest states to build modular homes, he then had to jump through a ton of codes and regulations.

The home was built by New Era Modular Homes in PA.

He got the “permit set” of drawings in late May of 2015.  Permit issued 6/22/15.  House delivered 7/28/15 and set 7/29/15.

Over a hundred neighbors were without power for a while in order to get the house onto the site and set.  

60 days after the house was set on the foundation the family moved back in.  It took more months to argue with the insurance company than it did to build the house.  Nick has already been called to testify as an expert witness in court to help these people recover some of their money from the site builder who took advantage of them in their darkest hour.

The buyers and even the insurance company found that not only was modular much faster, by months, but it was nearly $30,000 less than their base estimates from site builders.  They would deal with the insurance company and the cost difference in court.

In a final twist, the site builder was only a remodeler and did not hold a MHBR License in Maryland, so the most they can recover of their $40,000 is approximately $20,000 from the State.  The guy’s insurance company is willing to pay some damages under the completed items liability of his policy, but they probably won’t get to break even with all they spent.