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Warren County Ohio Real Estate News and Observations

What's Wrong With This Picture?


This looks like a normal ranch home under construction.  It's going to have curb appeal, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a 2 car garage, a walkout basement with finished rec room, and a deck with a GREAT view of the valley below.

Structurally the home is sound, built to code and no concerns.  The home is shaping up nicely, except for one significant thing.

It's NOT the home my buyers ordered.  Oh, the floor plan is correct and all the features they asked for are in progress or will be added, except for one very, very key thing.

The builder built the home too short!  A mistake was made during planning, and instead of the community standard nine foot ceilings, this home is being built to the plan's standard of 8 foot ceilings.

That error sets off a whole domino effect of things wrong.  The shorter ceiling means the home won't feel as big and open.  It also means the walls have shorter windows (so less light and less view to enjoy).  And the kitchen?  Those 42" cabinets with crown molding aren't going to fit either. 

This type of situatioin is exactly why I advocate so strongly for buyers to hire an agent for new construction.  I know many buyers figure they'll get a better deal without agent commissions factored in (they don't get a better deal).  And they figure, what could go wrong?  The builder builds hundreds of these homes a year!

Well obviously things CAN go wrong.  While the particular error I'm showing you is quite rare, if my buyers hadn't hired me they'd be totally on their own assessing options.

So what options might we have?

Primary is the expectation that the builder correct the home to what was ordered.  Yes, it'll be expensive for them to remove the roof and the walls and rebuild correctly, but frankly that's what they're paid to do.

But we do have other options to assess, and that's what I'm here to help do.

Would it make sense to accept the home with 8 ft ceilings IF there's a sufficient price reduction to compensate?  (My take, probably not.  Who wants a daily reminder that one of the most expensive purchases they'll ever make is NOT the home they wanted?  While I can always use more business, the business I don't ever want is unhappy clients calling me in a year or two saying "we HATE this home and want you to sell it!!"

Is there another lot in the community that would be acceptable to build the same home? (This has some cons obviously with a significant delay in having the new home ready and of course...THAT other lot is going to be quite as good, and may not have an option for a walkout basement).

Is another community by the same builder a good option?  While the builder is promising a TBD discount amount, other area communities tend to charge more for the same home.  So something to consider, what would be the final price to them?  More or less? 

And last resort, just opt out of the contract.  The builder returns deposits and we're back to looking for another perfect place to call home.

So what's the right choice?  Well that's a personal decision for my clients.  I'll provide them the best advice I can, then they'll decide and I'll help carry out the decision.  That's what I'm here for!

Need help with your Greater Cincinnati home purchase?  Give us a call at 513-520-5305 or email  We look forward to hearing from you!


Serving Greater Cincinnati home buyers and sellers,

Bill of Liz and Bill aka BLiz 


Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Comment balloon 10 commentsLiz and Bill Spear • May 25 2018 03:09AM
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