Buying a house in the Lowcountry can be costly and stressful.
Thea Margraf learned the lesson the hard way. She selected a floor plan and lot in the Hamlin Oaks community in Mount Pleasant. Thea and her husband moved in almost a year ago. Margraf says she knew there would be a punch list to take up with the contractor but didn’t expect that list to linger more than 11 months.
“We never thought we would be dealing with the problems we are dealing with,” said Thea Margraf.
Margraf says her staircase has never been completed properly. She tells News 2 she has had issues with the staining, warping, and sealing of stairs. Six other homeowners in the Hamlin Oaks neighborhood report issues with their interior staircase.
“Lennar assured us this would be resolved and we are now 11 months, a year from being here and the staircase has still not been resolved,” said Margraf.
Several emails between Margraf and Lennar detail her efforts to get the problem addressed. The company has sent people to fix this issue but Margraf says the job is always down haphazardly often causing another issue.
“They had to remove all the treads all the handrails all the pickets everything it was a mess,” said Margraf. “It is just a constant cycle of fixing something doing it wrong and it has to be fixed over and over again,” she added.
Margraf is also dealing with drainage issues on the property. Four other neighbors reported similar drainage issues. Emails between Margraf and the Town of Mount Pleasant reveal the planning department previously asked Lennar to regrade the property but it was never done. When Margraf asked the builders to address the problem they said they wanted to place a drain in the yard to relieve the water against the Town’s recommendation to regrade the property.
The Town said no, that is not a permanent solution you need to regrade the property and Lennar said no we don’t want to regrade the property, Margraf said.
Margraf says she’s growing frustrated with haphazard repairs and a lack of accountability.
The Count on 2 Investigators called and emailed the Lennar employees who had been working with Margraf several times. After more than a week our investigator was able to reach a corporate Lennar representative.
“Lennar proudly stands behind the homes we build. We will honor all of our contractual obligations and will work with homeowners to resolve issues covered under warranty,’’ wrote a Lennar spokesperson.
The Town of Mount of Pleasant’s Planning and Development Department says they are aware of the issues in the Hamlin Oaks neighborhood and are working to with the builder to address the problems.
Town staff members confirm Lennar is responsible for their construction and drainage on the property. They say the Town’s inspector has requested a plan from Lennar to remedy the problem and plan to follow up with the project to ensure the plan is implemented.