Question: We purchased our new home in a Chandler subdivision six years ago. At the time of our purchase we received a brochure from the homebuilder stating that one of the benefits of our purchase was the community center which could be used for recreational and social activities. After all of the homes in the subdivision were sold by the developer, the developer deeded the community center to the owner of an adjoining golf course for a golf maintenance building. I always thought that, if the homebuilder’s brochure stated that a certain item such as a brand name microwave would be included with the home, the homebuilder was required to provide that type of brand name microwave. Wouldn’t that principle also apply to the statement in the homebuilder’s brochure that one of the benefits to a homeowner was the community center?
Answer: If the homebuilder’s brochure represented that the community center was a major benefit to a homeowner in the community, and you relied on this representation, you should have a claim against the homebuilder for damages. The damages would be for the diminution in value of your home (“DIV”) because the community center was sold. In order to avoid this type of dispute, the purchaser of a new home should at least try to include all representations by the homebuilder, including representations in the sales brochure and verbal representations by the homebuilder’s sales agents, within the “four corners” of the purchase contract.