First-time homeowners sue realtor who flipped their house

The Beckwiths thought they were getting a renovated mid-century modern. Less than a year later, they've sued Ebby Halliday for alleged lies. Jason Whitely has more.

DALLAS - Everything about the house looked appealing on the outside. It’s in north Dallas, its mid-century modern and recently renovated.

It was perfect for first-time homeowners Mari Caroline and Scott Beckwith, or so they thought when they purchased it in February 2017.

"Pregnant wife, trying to start a family and it's one thing after another with this house,” said Scott, 25.

Some problems are easy to see, such as cracks in drywall, the ceiling and doors that don't close.

"The bathroom is separating from the house and the ceiling and attic and really sinking into this corner,” he added, standing in the guest bath.

Floors have bowed, as well. When a roll of tape is placed near the front door, it rolls toward the wall.

It’s not the “like new construction” they say the house was advertised as last year.

So just before Christmas, the Beckwith's sued Ebby Halliday and Jan and Roger McElroy.

Mrs. McElroy is a realtor for Ebby and also co-owns the contracting company that flipped the house with her husband, Roger.

The Beckwiths claim the McElroys and Ebby lied in the Seller's Disclosure when, among other things, they promised new plastic pipes. But Scott said he discovered PVC is attached to metal behind the sheetrock in the master bathroom.

The disclosure also claims warranties on the foundation and plumbing. But the Beckwiths said they cannot get the name of those contractors from the McElroys.

Finally, the lawsuit also states that there is no evidence the city permitted any of the work.

"We feel lied to, we feel cheated,” said Scott.

Then, within 24 hours of filing that suit, someone threw a brick through the glass in his back door.

The realtor did not return a phone call from WFAA. In an email, a spokesman for Ebby Halliday wrote that it does not discuss pending lawsuits.

Property prices are high right now and so are those shows about flipping homes. But attorneys said there's no real way to know what kind of work was done behind someone's walls or beneath someone's slab.

"I don't know if there's anything I could have done differently but I guess my thing is really check,” Scott said. “Make sure you don't just make a decision quickly to buy a home.

He is a firefighter and spent three years in college as the mascot at Baylor University.

The Beckwiths are now expecting their first born in April in their first house which requires repairs that might exceed the home's value.

© 2018 WFAA-TV


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