RealtorNobody starts housing hunting thinking, “You know, I think I want a house that smells like a giant litter box,” but that’s what one Florida couple says they got with their home purchase — all thanks to the Realtor that listed it.

Newlyweds Daniel McKay and Katherine Pulker closed on their home in Valrico, Florida, in April. According to the suit they filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court on July 20 (sidebar: Hillsborough Circuit Court, I love your case lookup, Dallas and everyone else, please review this because yeah, way better), everything seemed fine until they removed the plug-in air fresheners.

Realtor

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Some customers of Bella Vita Custom Homes said they saw little to no progress on their homes, despite promises by the builder.

Some customers of Bella Vita Custom Homes said they saw little to no progress on their homes, despite promises by the builder. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Roslund)

Note: This is the second story of four detailing the legal travails of Bella Vita Custom Homes, and the trail of dissatisfied customers, subcontractors and investors they left in the wake of their bankruptcy. The first story can be found here

The custom home Tod Gibbs is building was almost built by Bella Vita Custom Homes. These days, he’s considering himself fortunate that a gut check early in the process told him to move on.

“I spent two months completely wasting my time trying to work with them,” Gibbs said. “They tried to mislead me on the budget. There was a bait and switch going on where every time we met, there was a new number.”

Gibbs, who is no stranger to the custom homebuilding game, said his knowledge of how it was supposed to work made him cut ties. “They literally try to take advantage of people who just don’t know,” he added.

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