By John Hielscher, Herald Tribune
The owner of Paradise Homes, while acknowledging that his company is on the verge of collapse, is hoping to bring in another builder to complete customers’ houses.
But owner Jim Butler’s plan has a catch: Paradise customers who have already purchased homes and in many cases arranged financing will have to pay up to 15 percent more than their contracts call for to finish the jobs.
On a $600,000 house, a prospective homeowner would have to come up with another $90,000 — half of it up-front — before construction would begin again.
Paradise has 25 houses, mostly in Lakewood Ranch, under various stages of construction. Work has yet to begin on some, and was halted on others, as subcontractors have gone unpaid, liens have been filed and homeowners have been left wondering what happens next.