BALTIMORE — Home ownership doesn't come cheap. It's a major investment of time and money.
Maryland offers some protections for homeowners working with custom home builders and contractors, but WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii discovered the safety net may not cover as much as you would hope. For a week, she put the spotlight on local builders and contractors who shut down their businesses and left families in bad financial situations. She also spoke with a representative from Live Baltimore about the financial incentives for buying in the city, including thousands towards closing costs. Find links to her coverage below.
New home nightmares
Prominent Baltimore Co. builder shuts down, leaves homes unfinished
- In January, a Baltimore County builder went out of business leaving retirees, families, and a former Ravens player's homes unfinished. Many families have been unable to get their deposits back and are battling liens filed by unpaid subcontractors.
- A similar situation happened last fall in Harford County. The families filed complaints with the Maryland Home Builder Guaranty Fund, however, reimbursements are capped at $50,000 per consumer and the process could take a year or longer.
- In the cases highlighted above, families hired licensed builders with great reputations and they still lost money. This explainer video teaches you how to protect your investment by policing every step of the custom home building process.
- After their homes were badly damaged in fires, two women hired a local contractor to do the repairs. At the time, the contractor was licensed, came recommended by their insurance companies, and had a good reputation. Before finishing the projects, the contractor accepted deposits then went out of business.
- Did you know there are more than 200 neighborhoods in Baltimore and you can get upwards of $5,000 towards closing costs? In this Facebook Live, a Live Baltimore team member answers questions about finding your new home, learning about the home buying process, and how to get money towards your purchase.
- A realtor explains all the bright colored letters you're receiving at your new home -- the letters you should look for and the mail you can trash.