Consumers have a different set of expectations when purchasing a new car than they do when they buy a used vehicle. When you buy a used car, you understand that it will come with some signs of wear and tear and perhaps even a mechanical issue that will need to be addressed. When you walk into a Charlotte car dealership to buy a shiny new vehicle, you’re not likely to be as forgiving if the tires are a bit worn or if a headlight needs to be replaced.

There are similar differences in the expectations when buying a house, but the financial stakes are obviously much higher. There’s a considerably larger financial commitment in a home purchase and repairs are much more complicated and expensive. Because you’re going to live in the house, flaws in your abode can be much more serious.

Legal protections from construction defects

Unfortunately, some owners of brand-new homes find construction defects that require extensive repairs, reduce the house’s value, make the house difficult to sell or in some situations, make the house unlivable.

North Carolina law includes owner protections, however in two types of home warranties: an implied warranty of habitability and an express warranty.

Implied warranty of habitability

When you buy a new home, the implied warranty of habitability assures you that the house and fixtures do not have any major structural defects, that they are of acceptable quality and that your house was constructed in a workmanlike manner.

This is important: the implied warranty of habitability is part of the purchase whether you and the builder ever discuss it or agree that it exists. However, homeowners should read the purchase agreement carefully, because builders often insert a clause in the contract stating that the homeowner agrees to waive the implied warranty.

You must be very careful when entering a construction contract, because both implied and express warranties may be waived.  Also, when a builder offers a third-party warranty, carefully scrutinize the document because many times these types of warranties are very limited. We will have more on implied and express warranties in an upcoming post. Please check our Charlotte Civil Litigation Blog again.