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West Kelowna, B.C. family feels trapped in deficient new home purchase

Click to play video: 'Family feels cornered with deficient new home purchase'
Family feels cornered with deficient new home purchase
WATCH: A West Kelowna family says they are facing a nightmare situation after purchasing a home pre-construction. The couple says they feel trapped in the purchase after finding a long list of deficiencies – Sep 29, 2022

A West Kelowna, B.C., family says they are facing a nightmare situation after purchasing a home pre-construction.

Scott Watkins and Sarah Livsey purchased a home in West Kelowna back in March from Surrey-based AHA Custom Homes, also known as Silverway Custom Homes.

The pair says the final product is nowhere near what they were expecting.

“We purchased a brand new house for a reason, like we could’ve moved into a home that we had to renovate but we purchased a new home to move into and settle down,” said Livsey.

“It’s so upsetting, It’s so disappointing that now we’re in this situation that if we want to bring this home to the quality that we expect it’s going to take many years and money that we weren’t planning to invest.”

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Early on in the building process, the couple expressed framing and drywall concerns.

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“We noticed that the wood being used was sitting outside, had nails in it, was warped,” said Watkins.

“We were actually made to feel that we were micromanaging the project and that things would be okay in the end, but that isn’t the case.”

However, during their final walk-through the couple says they found 22 pages of deficiencies which included what appeared to be second-hand material, cardboard in place of shower tiles and exposed pipes.

“We were missing glass panels on the rooftop sundeck, which was also really concerning because we weren’t told about that,” said Livsey.

“We were so grateful that we didn’t show up to the house with our two four-year-olds. Like, could you imagine having a child fall off the rooftop?”

According to the pair, the builder responded to the list saying there is unconditional occupancy.

“The document that we received from our builder implied that there was unconditional occupancy but the actual document, that exists and that we have a copy of, shows that there was actually conditional occupancy,” said Livsey.

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“So they didn’t have unconditional occupancy, there was a list of at least six things including glass railing across the rooftop deck.”

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After speaking with neighbours, Watkins says the issue isn’t unique to their home.

“We were obviously curious and we have talked to one of the neighbours as well and we’ve been hearing that they have been having very similar issues,” said Watkins.

The family has been in contact with a lawyer, the city and the builder regarding their concerns but doesn’t know what to do next.

“We haven’t been inside in a month, we haven’t heard a response from the builder in regards to his plan, we have no idea what’s going on in there so yes, there’s a lot of concern right now,” said Livsey.

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Meanwhile, the home was supposed to be completed in July but as of September the family hasn’t been able to move in.

“We have been out of our homes since Sept. 1. We are currently living in my parents’ basement with three children and we are commuting every day from Oliver to Kelowna to take our kids to school,” said Livsey.

“We are driving in the car for four and half hours-plus every day and at the end of the day we just need a plan.”

Livsey is also warning other new home buyers to do their research.

“We looked at photos of completed projects, but I would actually talk to people who are living in the homes that these builders are building. We are realizing that it is easy to have beautifully staged photos when there are underlining issues,” she said.

Global News reached out to the builder, AHA Custom Homes, but they did not respond to our request for an interview.

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