Bella Vista homeowner gives warning to future buyers

The AM Show 07/06/2018

A man burned in the Bella Vista bungle is urging other would-be homeowners to do background checks on the people they hire to do the build.

Bella Vista went into liquidation last year, leaving dozens of homes unfinished and contractors unpaid. In March, 21 of the homes it built in Tauranga were deemed unsafe.

Degen Prodger and his family have been in and out of hotels in the three months since then.

"We just feel like we've been let down so much and for so long, we just want to get to a point where we can put this behind us and move on," he told The AM Show on Thursday.

"There were things during the building process that were not checked properly or they were signed off when they shouldn't have been."

The Tauranga City Council has now voted in principle to buy the homes it should never have signed off.

"The council did not perform monitoring and enforcement functions adequately in relation to geotechnical aspects of the intended construction works," a report into the council's handling of the affair said.

"The council did not perform its Building Act inspection functions adequately, in respect of both geotechnical and structural considerations."

Mr Prodger said he acted quickly to grab a Bella Vista home when the plans were first revealed, not wanting to miss out on the "really good price". Now he's living in limbo, unsure when he'll get paid out - or how much it will be. Property values in Tauranga have been skyrocketing in recent years.

"We have asked for full market value because we do need to get into another place," said Mr Prodger.

"We will be paid out and we just need to wait for that process to happen. It's a little bit of a waiting game, but at least we now know that we can move on and restart."

If you're considering buying a home off the plans, Mr Prodger has some advice.

"Do some background checks into who is going to be building for you... When we got into this we weren't aware of anything - but as things went along, we started to realise, hang on, things aren't going the way they should."

Watch the full video with Degen Prodger above.

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