Venturing into midtown San Jose yesterday, I took my clients to view some units at Midtown Plaza. It’s a condo development by KB Homes on 1310, 1350, and 1390 Saddle Rack Street built in 2004. While I’ve heard the usual horror stories, which are prolific amongst nearly all big public builders, I’ve never experienced it first hand and I even own three homes by Kaufman and Broad Homes. This was a first.
As the MLS description indicates the complex was under HOA litigation, we expected the usual minor issues of cosmetic stucco cracks along exterior walls. The actual situation was far worse than any I’ve seen in the dozen or so complexes I’ve visited which were under HOA litigation.
The first impression was at the visitor parking lot. Even though the complex was only 7 years old, half the pavers in the parking lot were broken and chipped so that as we drove over it,
we thought it was gravel. Then, we saw a pile of handyman tools and cement boards right next to the entrance. From there, we walked about the property and noticed water dripping from ceilings of the walkways. As the last rain storm was over a week ago, that was concerning.
Then, we saw all the nasty patchwork jobs all over the walls of the complex. Evidently somebody had cut through the stucco in dozens of places to make repairs. Ceilings were opened up to reveal water damage from roof leaks. Common area door handles were hanging loose while even the door numbers of the units were falling off. We only found the prospective units by looking for handwritten numbers on the door plaques.
This was as clear a case for litigation against the builder as I’ve seen. The community itself looked great, with clean Mediterranean lines and lush looking gardens. Plus, many of the units overlooked the neighboring O’Connor City Park. But, the surrounding streets were less than tranquil so I had to advice my clients to stay away while these major issues were worked out.