By Jen Kastner
PERMIAN BASIN- The booming energy industry of West Texas is a little tougher to enjoy if you're struggling to find a place to live.
"Well, it's human nature for us to want what we want right now," Tyler Patton with the Midland Better Business Bureau (BBB), said.
He says the often desperate demand for housing is causing people to jump into some home-building situations too quickly.
"Oftentimes, the contractor will take the down payment and then take off. Sometimes they'll try to come back and do the job but not be able to finish the job and then customers lose the money and so it can just be a really frustrating situation," Patton said.
The Permian Basin Builders Association (PBBA), a nonprofit based in Midland, says they're hearing more cases of people getting ripped off by unreliable builders who are also new to the area.
PBBA Executive Director, Karen York, says, "When the economy is good you have new people coming in and wanting to make money off of the good economy, especially when we've had other parts of the country that have had bad economies in the last few years."
The PBBA says we need to change out the mindset about the often lengthy wait times for local homes and commercial construction, however difficult that may be.
"Be patient, even though I know how hard it is," York said.
In just a couple of weeks, they'll complete their revamped website, to include lists of trusted local builders with their years of membership. The site will also include samples of builders' work, links to their websites and contact information. The PBBA is hoping to make consumers a little more buyer-savvy.
"[We want to make] sure that they do their background checks on them. We want to make sure they know who there are before they build one of the most vital investments that they'll ever make," York said.
Both the BBB and the PBBA say you'll also want to ask for at least three references from the people you're about to do business with.
For more information, you can contact either the BBB or the PBBA at the numbers listed below.