New Home Woes; Real Estate Scams

New Home Woes

Hundreds of Alberta homeowners are frustrated, after their builder, Unity Builders Group, filed for credit protection in May of this year. It has left families across the province in limbo, waiting for work to be completed.

There are a total of about 600 pre-sold homes and condos in Alberta, with about 220 under the name Greenboro Homes in Edmonton, and about 70 or so in Calgary. The affected units are in various stages of completion.

Watch Global TV Edmonton’s full report here

UBG and Greenboro currently have an A+ and A rating respectively with the BBB.

My personal experience with pre-sales have went well for the most part, including a property built with Elite Homes which is under the Unity Builders Group umbrella.

The only notable exception was about 10 years ago when I purchased a pre-sale condo for an investment and the complex ended up burning to the ground just a few weeks before possession.   I found that stressful enough, so I can’t imagine how these Greenboro buyers feel that are actually waiting for their home to be finished (or even started) and having their money all tied up.  I wish them all the best and hope it’s  settled for them soon.

Real Estate Scams

Easy. Foolproof. Guaranteed. When it comes to profiting from real estate, it’s anything but. It takes a lot of research, hard work and capital. Unfortunately, many individuals have to learn this from personal experience and lighter pockets.

You may have seen the following infomercial played continuously during the late hours a few years ago:

Once again, the “if it sounds too good” adage holds true.

Reuters, August 23, 2012 –  A U.S. judge has issued a $478 million judgment against the marketers of a series of get-rich-quick real estate infomercials that the Federal Trade Commission said duped almost a million consumers with their claims.

The decision, announced by the FTC on Thursday, marked the largest litigated judgment ever obtained by the agency. It was part of one of several cases the agency has filed as part of its mission to deter scams targeting financial distressed consumers.

“This huge judgment serves notice to anyone thinking of using phony get-rich-quick schemes to defraud consumers,” Jeffrey Klurfeld, director of the western region of the FTC, said in a statement.

The FTC filed the lawsuit in June 2009 against the marketers of the three “systems” for making money quick, including “John Beck’s Free & Clear Real Estate System.” The John Beck system promised to teach consumers how to buy homes for “pennies on the dollar” during government sales, according to the complaint. (Source)

A related post I wrote back in 2008: Real Estate Investments – Protect Yourself

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