Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Relocating- First Hand Experience Part 14

Relocating- First Hand Experience Part 14

And the saga continues...  it's pretty obvious we're not closing in January, which was our original close date.  We're also not going to close early February which was our second date.  We're now looking at end of March, possibly April.

My husband was in Austin last week looking at the house.  He was so enraged about the "white" mortar that we paid to upgrade, that I went down last Friday to see for myself so we could figure out what to do.  This is what they call "white" in Austin.

Does that look like white to you? 

Below, is "white" in Dallas from the exact same builder.  What's interesting is one of the new higher ups in the company just relocated from Dallas to Austin and they asked him what Dallas used for "white" mortar, and the guy, silly him, said they use WHITE sand to make WHITE mortar.  Boy, did the Austin people look "silly" to find out you don't use brown sand to make WHITE mortar!

So, they can't take down the entire house, as that's not in the schedule.  We're going to wait it out and see what the final color is once it completely dries as the builder thinks it's so dark because we've had such cold weather. It was in the 70's yesterday and 80's today, so it should dry out some and show a more accurate color. From what we're hearing, people in Austin don't "upgrade" to white mortar very often as most people are ok with the standard, boring grey mortar.

Also, they are going to take down the entire front porch area and redo it.  It looks horrible, and I recommend a urine sample from those brick people.  I don't have a good picture of that to show you,  but trust me, it looks bad.

Even though our move has been postponed another few weeks, I've already started to put my marketing in place to drum up business.  I've gotten some hits on my site, and I'll probably have to refer people out if they decide they're ready to buy or sell before I get moved down there. YEAH!

Comment balloon 9 commentsDonna Harris • January 22 2009 01:26PM


so i've got a question, Donna.  We all know that most builders charge a penalty if the buyer doesn't close on time (usually around $100 a day from what i've seen).  Are they giving you a $100 per day credit off of the sales price for every day this doesn't close past the original close date?

Posted by John Jones (Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty) about 12 years ago

Donna - I like John's question...  :)  I guess "white" can be as different as "blue"...Who knew...?   :)

Posted by Debi Ernst, GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate (St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors) about 12 years ago

John, You know me... of course I asked for them to pay my mortgage and/or temporary housing for a month... I got no where.  I'll be pressing for something as we move along, but I can't burn bridges as there are still two more phases in the neighborhood and I might get some clients wanting to  buy there.

Debi, White should be white, not off white or eggshell white, but white!  The official mortar site online says white is made with white cement and white sand. 

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

OK, that doesn't look white to me....If you paid for it, they're not going to change it, and you can live with it, at least get the credit for the amount you paid to upgrade.

Isn't new construction fun?!!!


Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) about 12 years ago

Donna, it doesn't look white to me!  But would white look better?  I like white with red bricks, but with the brownish tone, the beigy color could work.  But if you take it that way, they shouldn't charge a premium for white. 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 12 years ago

Gee, I hate that you are having all these problems and these are major problems. Does your husband need to start work in Austin before March?? We all know that times are tough but I think your builder should refund some moneys or add some nice upgrades... It's really a shame because building a house should be somewhat fun and exciting but when there is constant problems you get to the point of being scared to see what else is wrong. 

Posted by Teresa Harris, Denver . Lake Norman . Charlotte (Lake Real Estate, LLC) about 12 years ago

I vote with the majority... definitely not white.  But if you've ever gone to Home Depot or Lowes and asked to see white paint samples, you know that white means many different things to many different folks.  And for some reason the word white never seems to be an easy one to communicate.  Hang in there!

Posted by Steve Shatsky about 12 years ago

Craig, My husband calls that color "orange".  I call it beige, but either way, it's not white.  He wants more than a credit for the upgrade. He wants a credit for settling for something we didn't want.

Patricia, Yes, there are browns, but there are lots of reds and burgundies within the brick color. It's a huge assortment and the above picture is only showing the browns and oranges.  I think white would make it look crisper.

Teresa, He's been working in Austin since we agreed to move in August.  He's been going back and forth and I go about every other trip he makes.  They wanted him full time there in January... not gonna happen!

Steve, But, Home Depot doesn't show you beige or brown if you ask for white.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

Donna, your buff mortar (white mortar w/ regular sand) will actually bleach out over time to lighter shade of buff. I would not have them redo it, but ask for some kind of concession for their mistake. The white sand that you paid for is an expensive upgrade that you should get reimbursed or trade for another item you want.

Posted by Lara O'Keefe (North Texas Home Finders) about 12 years ago