Jacksonville Couple Learn Homebuilder Raised Costs Before Construction – Action News Jax


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the cost of housing skyrockets in Northeast Florida, the people building their homes are also feeling the impact.

Jose Gonzalez wanted to share his story with Action News Jax as a cautionary tale for other homebuilders: Builders are raising the cost before they even start building.

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Building a new home has been Gonzalez and his wife’s dream for some time.

“We are really in love with the concept of building this house,” he said.

In January, the couple put pen to paper and paid a base fee of $32,000. They thought everything was ready, but now Gonzalez is being told he has to pay more.

“I got a call yesterday saying the price of the house had gone up forty thousand dollars by then, so they wanted to come back and change the price of the house,” he explained. “Builders are now raising costs before they even start building.”

That’s because of an escalation clause at the bottom of Gonzalez’s contract with Seda Construction that states the builder can increase the cost due to labor and material issues.

While Gonzalez was aware of the clause, he is surprised by the timing.

“It’s totally unexpected that they would raise their price within three months,” he said.

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The builder told Gonzalez there was a labor and supply shortage. In fact, the National Home Builders Association reports that volatile lumber prices over the past year have driven the average cost of a new home up by more than $18,600.

Gonzalez hopes his home hike prize will be unique.

“We may have to suck it up and do it,” he said. “We don’t want another increase to happen before the shutdown.”

Gonzalez and his wife remain optimistic. He tells Action News Jax that his contract allows him to opt out if he chooses, but the dream of a brand new home keeps the couple hopeful.


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