Raleigh woman homeless after paying contractor $90K

Her dream was to sit on her front porch and enjoy retirement. Instead, Eloise Chisolm Ubani spent thousands of dollars for a renovation that has left her homeless. She says that plan was foiled after she hired Customized Builders, LLC for the job.

In December 2015, Eloise signed a contract with Customized Builders to do work on her home which included an addition with a new master bedroom and bath, a complete remodel of the kitchen, existing bathroom, front living room and foyer, and even a new front porch.

It’s been more than a year and a half since the contract was signed, and she paid Customized Builders more than $90,000. The renovation is still not done.

"I can’t live in here, and I’m gonna cry," said Eloise as she walked us through the house.

As I walked around the house, Eloise pointed out her master bedroom, the walk-in closet, and the bathroom. It’s all just framed. There is no promised sheetrock, floors, or fixtures. The contractor, Edward Brantley, even took her plumbing.

"He took out all of my plumbing," said Eloise. "I don’t know why he had to do that."

Eloise says the contractor also took out all of her electrical.

Despite the original contract quoted for $60,000, Eloise paid Customized Builders more than $90,000 as several change orders were added that she says Brantley said needed to be done to the home. One of those change orders was a new roof which she paid Customized Builders $5,200 for.

"He told me I needed a new roof and I said no I don’t, it’s only 10 years old and he said yes you do, you have bunches of holes up here, so I said OK. Now this part leaks when it rains," she said.

As time went on, despite paying Customized Builders more than $90,000, Eloise says Brantley refused to do any more work.

"After I gave him the last check he wanted more money," Eloise explained, "I said no, I can’t give you any more. You need to put my house back together, the house is not together and you want me to give you more money. I’m not giving it to you, and that was when he left."

Eloise hasn’t seen Brantley since then.

I reached out to Edward Brantley of Customized Builders and his attorney through email sent me a letter. The attorney stated that work was provided which extended beyond the contract along with change orders and it was not paid for. He even added that Eloise ran out of money to complete the job due to change orders. He also claimed her electrical and plumbing were bad which is why they had to come out.

He listed several jobs that were complete, like removing the chimney and the front porch. However, if you look at how the front porch looks today, it’s not done.

The letter also says the contractor removed dirt away from the home and added a retaining wall and a concrete pad. While those jobs have started, they are not finished. Eloise also has checks that show she paid for those change orders.

"It’s still a nightmare. I can’t live in my house, and it’s not worth enough for me to sell it," said Eloise.

More than a year and a half after signing the contract, Eloise is homeless since she can’t live in her home. Her dream of retiring at the age of 66 is gone as she now works two jobs to try and get the money she needs to hire someone else to finish her renovation.

The attorney for Customized Builders said, "The Company is winding down its business but is willing to complete the work once all the change orders are addressed."

Eloise is taking Customized Builders to court.

The best advice when you’re looking for a contractor is do your research and talk to homeowners who have used the company before. Also, when the job is more than $30,000, the contractor has to be licensed. In this case, Customized Builders was licensed when they signed the contract, but are now not licensed according to the NC Licensing Board of General Contractors. Also, never keep paying money to the contractor for change orders unless the contractor will put the change order in writing.

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Tips For Finding The Perfect Job In Raleigh, NC

Imagine how wonderful it would be to wake up in the morning feeling excited to go to work instead of dreading another day on the job. When you find a job that you love, spending your time at work doesn’t feel painful, boring, or miserable. Instead, it feels fun and rewarding. If you are ready to find the perfect job in Raleigh, NC, these tips should help.

One of the first things that you should do is figure out what it is that you enjoy doing. Where do your talents lie? What types of activities do you enjoy? What is your dream job? Make a list of your interests to help you narrow in on a career that will leave you feeling fulfilled.

Next, ask yourself whether or not you have the necessary skills to work in the field that interests you the most. If not, you should consider going to school or taking classes to get the skills that you need. It is worth investing a little bit of time and money in your skill set if it allows you to find a job that you love.

Once you have the necessary qualifications, you can begin searching for work. There are a lot of job boards and employment agencies in the Raleigh area. Put together a resume and start searching for jobs that seem like a good fit. Apply for every job that you find that interests you. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get called in for an interview right away. Competition can be fierce for jobs. The key is to keep trying.

Once you do get a chance to interview, prepare ahead of time by thinking through how you will answer the most common questions. On the day of the interview, relax and enjoy yourself. As long as you present yourself in a way that is professional, personable, and knowledgeable, you should be able to get the job without any trouble at all.

NC Freedom Park to represent ‘freedom for all’ in downtown Raleigh

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) —

A downtown Raleigh park honoring African American heritage and contributions to North Carolina is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The board of directors for North Carolina Freedom Park have entered the fundraising phase of the project that will cost $5 million.

Durham-based architect Phil Freelon with Perkins + Will designed a new concept for the park that will be located at the corner of Wilmington and Lane Streets, across from the legislative building.

"It was a nice design," said Reginald Hodges, board member, of the earlier plans for Freedom Park. "But it was one that focused on slavery and the Jim Crow era and civil rights era. We wanted to do something that was positive and future looking."

The park will feature a video display projected onto the side of the North Carolina State Archives building, and five walkways converging at a large tower deemed the Beacon of Freedom.

The board expects to raise the necessary funds by next year and have the project completed in 2020.

"It will be accessible to anyone who values freedom, who understands that there’s a cost for freedom," said Reginald Hildebrand, NC Freedom Park board member. "They can be here and reflect on that, be inspired by that and think about that in terms of their own experience."

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Opendoor Targets Atlanta and Raleigh, North Carolina

Opendoor, a leading “iBuyer” that uses technology to allow homeowners to sell their properties in days, has set its sights on Atlanta and Raleigh, North Carolina. It’s the latest sign that the startup, valued at more than $1 billion, has launched a new expansion push, coming shortly after the company signaled intent to expand to Tampa and Orlando, Florida. Opendoor, which has raised more than $300 million in funding, allows homeowners to request quick offers online, and if they choose to accept the bids, close fast and on their schedule. Unlike traditional investors, it purports to pay market value for homes and charges an average service fee of 7.5 percent. Opendoor’s business model and war chest have shaken up the industry, representing a high-tech alternative to traditional listing brokerage that has quickly gained traction. It played a role in inspiring the launch of Zillow Instant Offers, which allows homeowners to get bids from multiple investors, including Opendoor com…

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When It Comes to Helping Others, Raleigh Youth Mission Keeps Focus Close to Home

Summer is the season for faith-based mission work.

Adults and teens representing many congregations collaborate on projects that take them across America and around the world to help others. For the participants of Raleigh Youth Mission, the year-round focus is on coming together to immerse themselves in volunteer work in the capital city.

“I would say that many folks who grow up as Christians know they should love their neighbors as themselves,” said Bill Buchanan, co-founder and executive director of Raleigh Youth Mission, or RYM. “What we are doing at RYM is giving them opportunities to get to know some of their neighbors here in Raleigh who are going unnoticed and neglected.”

The group was founded in 2013 by Buchanan and his late wife, Aimee, both Christian educators and ordained ministers with the Presbyterian Church USA. RYM grew from Asheville Youth Mission, and a chapter has also been added in Memphis, Tennessee.

Groups come for week-long stays in the summer and during spring break, or weekend sessions year-round, to immerse themselves in service with a number of community partners.

“We are not just an organization that drops in for a few sessions each summer and then goes away,” Buchanan said. “Our RYM Immersion Director is here 365 days a year building relationships with these agencies and staying in the conversations locally about the issues of homelessness, poverty, food insecurity and more.”

This summer, groups joining RYM have served at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, Loaves and Fishes, North Raleigh Ministries, The Shepherd’s Table and the Ruth Sheets Adult Day Care Center, among others.

Groups are housed and eat their meals at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Raleigh. Buchanan says while RYM has the Presbyterian denomination tied to its founding, groups from other denominations participate. During the week, young people study Bible passages and create art that helps them reflect on their experiences as they work through the theme of “Creating Space: Whoever Welcomes You, Welcomes Me.”

“It’s all about a Christian call for hospitality to others, especially the folks on the margins,” Buchanan said. “Or as put in the book of Deuteronomy, the widows, orphans and aliens among you.”

An important theological component to Raleigh Youth Mission is that organizers intend for the work to be done with a post-colonial mission perspective.

“A colonial perspective is one where there is an assumption that we are the givers, the ones with all the resources, all the answers and all the things to offer,” Buchanan said. “It also assumes that they who are the receivers, are the ones who have all the needs, but have no resources and nothing to teach or offer.”

Instead, the volunteers are taught not to assume anything about the people they are helping.

“We find that folks in the community living through poverty and homelessness have a lot to teach us about flaws in the societal systems, about resiliency, about strength and faith and many other things. So our youth come in with a Christian call to help others but they also have the calling to come in with humility as learners, listeners and recipients of some of the wisdom that our neighbors have to impart with us.”

For more information, go to raleigh.youthmissionco.org.

Volunteers needed

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is looking for volunteers to help with the monthly Coffeehouse event from 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 28.

Coffeehouse is an outreach that provides music and hospitality for adults of all abilities. This month, music will be presented by Sojourner.

The call goes out for extra assistance during the summer when many of the regular volunteers are away on vacation. To volunteer, email coffeehouse@gslchurch. org or call the church office at 919-848-1573.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is located at 7000 Creedmoor Road in Raleigh.

Gospel concert

Glen Royal Baptist Church in Wake Forest will present a concert featuring The Social Security Boys, a gospel trio, at 6 p.m. July 30.

The concert is free, but a love offering will be taken. Glen Royal Baptist Church is located at 731 Elizabeth Ave.

Send faith news to carla.turchetti.writer@gmail.com.

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Man Hospitalized After Stabbing in North Raleigh

The scene in the 5500 block of Vista View Court on Saturday night. Photo by Colton West/CBS North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Authorities are investigating a stabbing that happened in a residential area north of Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh Saturday night.

The incident was initially reported as a shooting just before 9 p.m. at Vista View Court, which is in an area northwest of Glenwood Avenue and Duraleigh Road.

When police arrived, they discovered a man was stabbed and there was no shooting.

The victim was transported to WakeMed for treatment of his injuries, but his condition was not released by police.

A description of a suspect was also not provided by police Saturday night.

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Bought the Perfect Home in Raleigh Nc

I was relocated for a new job position that I took and I had to move to Raleigh, NC. I found an apartment shortly before moving there and decided I wanted to live in the area a little longer before doing anything permanent like buying a home. I also wanted to make sure that I liked this job and wanted to stay in the position.

After living there for a few years and renting the same apartment the whole time, I wanted to start looking at homes for sale in Raleigh, NC. I went online and searched for homes for sale and found several of them that were within my price range and just what I had wanted out of a home. I also talked to a few friends that told me where some of these homes were located filled me in on whether or not they were good places to live.

I was able to get in contact with a real estate agent that showed me several of these homes. I finally found the perfect home in Raleigh, NC for sale and decided it was also the perfect price. I told the real estate agent that I wanted to buy it and they were able to guide me through the whole process. They made buying my home so easy and worry free. I was able to close on my new home and move in shortly after. I love living in this area and I’m glad I had friends to ask about the area these homes were located in.

So far, the job has been going great and I really love the position I accepted. I have met so many people in this area and have found the perfect home that I have always wanted.