Oakwood, Texas (KBTX) – A Leon County family lost more than $270,000 after a contractor left their home unfinished and disrupted their property.
Mark and Jeannie Haas always dreamed of having a secluded home in rural Texas where they could enjoy the fruits of their labor while entertaining family and friends.
Mark, a Marine veteran with disabilities, and Genie, an accountant who is currently battling stage 5 kidney disease, have been ill since hiring Luis Carrillo, owner of LC Custom Homes in Buffalo, in September 2021. , says their dream home turned into a non-stop nightmare.
The Haas family briefed KBTX on 11 projects they would like Carrillo to complete, including building a new home, installing a new generator and HVAC system, new fencing around the property, underground fuel storage, and concrete work. The family says they have invested more than $300,000 in the property, including building materials, appliances and labor costs.
Carrillo says he is a local and was highly recommended, so the Haas family chose to pay him upfront. Not only were they happy with Carrillo, they also wanted to ensure low costs of supply and labor amid stable inflation.
“We have invested $341,000 in this property. is about $270,000,” Mark said.
Mark says last year was a challenging year, not just for him, but for the whole family.
“I hate to sound clichéd, but it was hell on earth. My wife and I feel like we live in a landfill. “I had been working for 41 years and my wife had to go back to work even though she had kidney disease. I had to see a specialist at 20:00. She is on medication with very harmful side effects.”
“It’s taken a toll on our marriage. It’s taken a toll on our physical health, our mental health,” Mark said. It was like nothing I had hoped for.”
The Haas family say the problem isn’t just limited to their new building, it’s affecting their current home and the way they interact with their children and grandchildren.
“We live in this shed. He’s disconnected the gas line, so there’s no heat, but that’s imperfect,” Mark said. “We’re working on a space heater. When you flush the toilet you don’t have proper sewage Raw sewage seeps in from the line here We have electricity the electricity next to you is hot it’s just lying there 220 volts It’s electricity.”
“At times like this, it’s very dangerous. [our grandchildren are] Here. We can’t let them out of the porch and play like them anymore because we’re afraid they’ll get hurt,” Genie said.
“We’re just prisoners in our own house because of this man’s decision,” Mark added.
Mark says one of the most frustrating parts of the situation is what he calls the “constant lies” from Carrillo.
“The last time we met was in August when we had a meeting on this porch. “It’s time for you to clean up,” said Mark. I could only come up with excuses and lies.
“His excuse was, ‘I made a mistake and I’m not good with money.’ ‘ Just lie after lie,” Mark said. “We tried to get in touch, but he’s blocked us on the phone and is just a ghost. He won’t come here or talk to us.”
Bank records provided by the Haas family show thousands of dollars spent in wire transfers and cash payments to Carrillo. They say they are not only using up the money they gave him, but are also repaying the construction loan they took out to do the job.
“The project is not yet complete, but we still have loans,” Mark said. “And I have him paying $2,500 a month on a mortgage that didn’t exist before he got here.”
The Haas family filed a complaint with the Texas Licensing Authority after learning Carrillo was not licensed as an electrician or air conditioner.
“I asked him several times if he was actually certified/licensed to complete the Generac installation and all the electrical work that went along with it, and he repeatedly answered me yes. ‘ said Mark. “He said he got his license when he worked at the Limestone power plant, but that was proven not to be the case. It was just a few days later, so I hadn’t asked him about the air conditioning.”
KBTX made several attempts to meet with Carrillo to get his side of the story, including two trips to Buffalo. We spoke with him on the phone and he again declined to be interviewed but said he was innocent.
Mark and Genie say they just want Carrillo to take responsibility for his actions.
“We are not asking for special treatment. We are not asking for favors. “I fairly understand being a victim of crime,” Mark said. No, it’s just right, it’s just right.
“No one gave us this. Every day of life, and we’ve earned it, the same people who have been working for retirement for 40 years have their retirement checks taken.”
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