JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An Army veteran hoping to buy his wife a dream home said the experience turned into a nightmare.
Jerrold Brittain says after serving 21 years in the U.S. Army, the home was supposed to be the perfect gift to his wife, Lisa.
"This was my way of saying thank you to my wife for all the support and following me around in the Army," Brittain said.
When browsing and buying a home, they thought a custom built home through Dream Finders Homes would give them more control. The process began in May and ended with the signing of final papers on December 21, 2017.
However, two weeks after moving in, they said they were overwhelmed with problems. A malfunctioning heating system, uneven flooring, and sloppy painting were among their list of complaints.
"When you walk in your new home, you're supposed to be overwhelmed...floored," Lisa Brittain said. "I was overwhelmed the other way."
They said they noticed some problems while visiting the site while the home was being built, however, they were told they weren't allowed on the property.
They said they managed to take photos, including a photo of what appears to be grout in their downstairs toilet.
They said they forwarded that photo to the builders before closing, hoping it would be fixed prior to move-in. However, they moved in, used the faucets and said they heard bubbling.
"All of a sudden, water was everywhere," Jerrold and Lisa explained. "It ran out of the master shower, it ran into the second bedroom over here, the carpet's still soaked in the master closet."
They said their biggest regret is going through with the closing before feeling the home was ready.
"They were pretty much begging us [to close by the end of the year], saying no, no, no, we'll have it done" Lisa said. "Then after the closing, we felt like we were being brushed off."
First Coast News reached out to Dream Finders Homes with the Brittains' list of unfinished items. Dream Finders CEO Patrick Zalupski said in a statement:
“We continue to work closely with Mr. Brittain through the final phase of post construction to find mutually agreeable times to complete the short list of new construction punch-list items for his semi-custom new home. We are working hard to accommodate Mr. Brittain’s preference for work to be done after normal working hours or on weekends, despite having no obligation to work after hours and on weekends under our Warranty. We are confident that the punch list items that we have agreed to finish within 30 days from closing will be completed on schedule, unless short extensions are necessitated by Mr. Brittan’s limited availability.”
The Brittains, who both work full time, said they offered the company available times but were given low priority.
As of Tuesday evening, the couple told First Coast News much of the work has now been scheduled for completion.
"This was supposed to be my way of saying thank you to my wife, and what they have done is effectively ruined that for me," Jerrold said.