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Condo construction defects hit property values hard

Observers might be puzzled by the rise of scaffolding around relatively new buildings. The metal webs have risen around a combination of apartment buildings and condos where tenants have complained about construction defects such as damaging water intrusion.

Though the problems are to our north, they are difficulties familiar to many homeowners here in Florida. A recent news article on the construction crews working to fix defects in the Charleston, South Carolina area states that the problems are not minor: "There have been construction defect lawsuits involving thousands of residences in more than 40 condo and apartment buildings."

A real estate broker said that "a vast majority of condos" have already gone through construction defect litigation or are currently included in construction defect lawsuits.

The construction problems in Charleston are remarkably similar to common issues here: water intrusion, which results in damage that can include mold and termite problems. Of course, for the unfortunate owners of condos and townhouses, construction defect litigation reduces the likelihood that they will be able to sell their homes, which in turn depresses potential selling prices.

Another issue looms over owners: Potential buyers can have difficulty obtaining loans to purchase a condo or townhome in litigation over serious flaws.

The broker pointed out that "for the most part, lending comes to a halt until the litigation is resolved. The values don't stay steady because the pool of people who can buy them shrinks."

A real estate agent said that after he bought a condo plagued with construction defects (water intrusion and grading issues), he and other condo owners "took a massive hit" in property values. His condominium's value dropped about 70 percent after its 2009 purchase, the news article stated. Though its value has finally rebounded after a decade, it is still below its $140,000 purchase price.

If your condo association or homeowners association is likewise struggling with value-crashing construction defects, contact a Florida construction litigation attorney who can protect your investment.

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