Investigation: When New Homes Turn to Nightmares

New homeowners across the country say builders left serious problems.
3:37 | 11/16/16

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Transcript for Investigation: When New Homes Turn to Nightmares
Now to our investigation into new home problems following reports of buyers spending hundreds of thousands of dollars only to find what they say is poor workmanship. Our chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross is here with more. Good morning, Brian. Well, good morning, robin. America has seen a new home billing boom but our investigation conducted it with ABC stations across the country found that with that boom, has come heartbreak for so many new homeowners as they say their dream houses have turned into nightmares. In suburban Washington, D.C., the owner of this new home has a hole in her foundation and a snake that moved in underneath. All up and down you hear the same kind of things. The people in this new subdivision say their great-looking houses on the outside are to chock-full of problems and defects Onnen the inside. It's very upsetting. It's the most expensive purchase we'll make. In one subdivision after another. The water would start here and travel along the ceiling. Reporter: Our investigation found homeowners claiming shoddy construction. Paint issue, nail pops. Reporter: With big builders slow or refusing to fix the problems big and small. You continue living in something that no one can give you answers for, no one will fix it. It was our house. It was where we lived. And we had to just walk away from it. Reporter: What they all had was a bad case of new home heartbreak. Look at that. Just kind of typical of the homes that are built to sell, not built to last. Reporter: Something these two men short of the Sherlock Holmes and Watson of new home construction say they see far too often. Significant crack. Reporter: The industry trade group says unhappy homeowners are in the minority and that Americans have expectations that are just too high. The American consumer expects a perfect home. There's no such thing as a perfect home. Reporter: Yet documents show the home builders including the biggest D.R. Horton set aside millions to deal with construction defect claims. Horton calling it the ordinary course of business. I think the quality of housing being built is as good as it's ever been, better. Better than ever? Yes, sir. Are they shoddy? I say no. Reporter: Again and again it was only after the builders knew ABC news or one of our stations was on the case that repair crews finally showed up. The bulldozer to redo the draining system at Simone angle's home in Alabama didn't show up until after ABC news started to ask questions. It's only because ABC news is here or they would not have fixed it. Reporter: In Indiana it was only after WRTV got involved that the builder sent an execute tough it check out roofing and drainage issues. This is how we knew it was leaking. Reporter: Outside Houston, the builder D.R. Horton offered to buy this house back after our station KTRK began to investigate a homeowner's complaints of defects and problems. They weren't even moving until you got involved. Reporter: These are not inexpensive homes, $400,000, $500,000 and the best advice first to spend the money to hire an independent home inspector to look for flaws and defects and finally beware many homeowners end up signing away their right to sue as many include a mandatory arbitration clause which means it cannot be appealed and is kept secret. Very important. Brian, thanks very much. You can see more of Brian's report tonight on "Nightline."

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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