5 On Your Side

Homeownership Far From American Dream For Wake Woman

Posted September 22, 2005 7:28 a.m. EDT

— Building a home almost always goes slower than you expect or want. When things take too long, getting out of the contract can be a problem, but that was the easy part for a Wake County woman.

Unpacking boxes and putting away plates are part of moving into a new home. With two daughters and her grandparents living with her, Stacey Ketcham needed a new home with a full basement.

"It was perfect for my grandparents -- good location. It's beautiful here, so everything seemed to fit," she said.

It was supposed to be Ketcham's "perfect" house, but so far, it's just a big hole. Last December, Ketcham hired SN Davis Construction to build her house. She paid owner Shelby Davis a $1,000 deposit and $2,100 for upgrades upfront. She said it was supposed to be done in July.

"They started digging for our basement in February and then everything stopped," she said.

Ketcham said months went by without anything more being done.

"They started again in May, for like two weeks, then everything stopped again," she said.

When the house Ketcham was living in sold and she had to move out and find somewhere else to move into, she decided to cancel her contract with Davis. Davis returned the $1,000 deposit immediately and agreed in writing to return the other $2,100 plus $500 as reimbursement for storage fees by "July 20." When that did not happen, Ketcham called Five On Your Side.

Davis told Five On Your Side the refund was a "courtesy" to help with Ketcham's moving expenses. He said he did not know she had moved and promised to send her the $2,600.

"I feel happy and I'm hoping that he's going to actually follow through with it," Ketcham said.

Davis said Ketcham will have a payment by Friday and finish paying the money within the next few weeks. He also told Five On Your Side the building process was slowed down by the permitting process and land issues with his partner.