Scappoose homebuyers say closing dates have been pushed back several times due to construction delays

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - New homes being built in the latest phase of Dutch Canyon Estates in Scappoose aren't being constructed fast enough to meet current sales demands. Scappoose homebuyers waiting to move in to new D.R. Horton homes say the company can't construct the homes fast enough to meet its current sales.

D.R. Horton, a nationwide home building corporation, says labor shortages have led to some homebuyers having to wait much longer than expected for their houses to be built.

After construction delays that pushed some families' move-in dates weeks past original estimates, some got an unpleasant surprise last weekend. 

Several homebuyers were told their moves would be delayed again because contractors have yet to hook up the homes to the city's sewer system. 

Sarah Amaro and her husband said they sold their old home and were expecting to move in to their brand new house in Dutch Canyon Estates by Aug. 15, before their kids started school. 

Instead, they faced construction delays that pushed the move-in date to late August, past when they had to be out of the home they sold. Last Saturday, they were notified by D.R. Horton that there could be further delays because their home lacked a sewer connection.

"We signed papers on June 15 and our original close date was August 15," Rob Amaro stated via email. "We live close to the home and my wife and I go for walks every night so we watched how quickly all the lots sold in Dutch Canyon and how nothing happened for weeks on any of the homes, yet construction of the other [South Fork] neighborhood went full steam ahead on lots unsold, then there was a Red Tag sale and quick move in sale."

D.R. Horton sent them modified paperwork and pushed the closing date back more than twice, before notifying them Saturday that their home may not be ready until Sept. 6.

Both the Dutch Canyon Estates and South Fork loop home development sites currently under construction are owned by D.R. Horton. When finished, the two subdivisions will add 123 new homes to Scappoose.

A contract with D.R. Horton refers to the original date given as an "estimated closing date," and notes "the actual closing date may be earlier or later." 

Still, the Amaros say the company assured them that they were good about meeting their construction time estimates of 64 days.

The Amaros aren't the only ones affected by construction delays.

Sandy Crescenti lives in a D.R. Horton home in Dutch Canyon and says her daughter is awaiting move-in to a home being built just down the street from hers.

"I live in phase two and my daughter purchased a house in phase three and they're having all kinds of problems," Crescenti said by phone Wednesday. "They've already put their money down. They were the second family to purchase a home back in April. They don't get to move in until Sept. 13. Our biggest question was, why such a delay?"

D.R. Horton acknowledged the construction delays, citing a regional labor shortage.

"Over the past six months, our Portland division has experienced construction delays related to trade contractor and labor shortages, resulting in postponed home closings," the company said in a statement given to the Spotlight. "We continue to recruit and train new contractors and labor sources in an effort to return to our on time delivery standards. We share in our homebuyers' frustrations and are working with them on an ongoing basis to mitigate any inconveniences."

Responding to questions about the sewer hook-up not being done on homes, Marissa Awtry, a spokesperson for D.R. Horton, said the sewer mainline at Dutch Canyon is "pending approval from the sewer district, and homes within the community are not yet connected to the sewer."

The company expects to finish the sewer connections by the week of Sept. 5.

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