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'I've lost everything': Chicago homeowner warns people getting their first house about possible expensive problems ahead

Chicago homeowner warns people getting their first house about possible expensive
Chicago homeowner warns people getting their first house about possible expensive 02:57

CHICAGO (CBS) -- If you've been the first in your family to do anything big, like move away from home, or go to college, it can be intimidating.

For the woman you're about to meet, it was buying a home. CBS 2's Marie Saavedra reports, her dream became a faulty, expensive reality and she doesn't want you to make the same mistakes.

As a first time homebuyer, you'd hope Tinuke Akinyelure would be proud to show off her place in the world.

"All everything is separating. So you see all the panels are separating from the the wall and that's everywhere in the house."

But she's not.

"I've lost everything you know, and it's sad. Because I have little kids. I don't know what to do."

Her story starts in 2020, when rents hiked, and she decided to buy. A home near Stony Island stood out from the pack.

"Of course who wouldn't want a finished basement remodel, everything looks brand new? New appliances, you know, everything to catch the eye, " Akinyelure said.

She closed in August 2020, Moved in September 1, and the issues were immediate.

"The pipes under the sink are leaking. The floors in the bathroom are separating. My doors were not put on properly, the front or the back door," Akinyelure said. 

She had an inspection prior to closing, but felt she made a mistake going with the home inspector recommended by her real estate agent. Regardless, her attorney ensured she had options.

"He was like 'yeah well they should be able to fix this because it's within the time frame,'" remembered Akinyelure.

As Akinyelure understood her warranty, she had a 45-day window for repairs to be made. She shared emails with CBS 2, in which she listed 13 things, both big and small, that needed fixing after her first month in the home.

She sent it to her attorney, who sent it to the attorney representing the seller, S&P Restoration in Hickory Hills. That attorney directed her to call the company directly. Which she did, many times, with no success.

"I think I got ahold of somebody one time and they told me somebody will call me back, somebody was out of office, and nobody called me," Akinyelure said. "Forty-five days passed."

A year and a half later, Akinyelure is desperate to take action as she said the house continues to fall apart. She does not have the money to make the repairs it needs.

"If you look, it's just brick wall. So we're finding there's no insulation, and we wonder why it doesn't stay warm or cool in here," lamented Akinyelure.

She's also found a new motivation, in warning other younger first time homebuyers who might be able to avoid her fate.

"Definitely go out and find your own inspectors. And just do a lot of research," Akinyelure said, adding that along with those experts, listen to your gut.

"And if you get any red flags, just back out."

CBS 2 reached out to S&P Restoration for its side of the story, but calls were not returned. Akinyelure said she's hoping to find an attorney that can help her take legal action to get the repairs she needs made.


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