Advertisement

A Kansas City construction nightmare: A house they can’t live in, can’t sell, and can’t finish

(KCTV5 News)
Updated: Nov. 3, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A Kansas City family says a builder blew the budget and left them with an unlivable home.

The Beacon Hill house remains frozen mid-construction. The family has filed 10 counts against builder Maximillian Howell packed full of accusations.

It claims Howell attempted to change the price of the home from $375,000 saying he’d need an additional $184,000 to finish the project.

“I broke down and cried,” said Rebecca Evans.

Maximillian Howell in turn filed a mechanics lien against the couple, which means they can not move forward with the project until a judge sorts out the mess in court.

Minimalism doesn’t mean this.

The couple’s home has walls and defined rooms. But it lacks flooring in many spaces. There are no plumbing fixtures or appliances in the kitchen. There’s not even a countertop on the kitchen island.

The Evans claim Maximillian Howell removed the toilets as the project fell apart even though the couple held the construction loan. They also claim Howell switched the locks on the house at one point barring them from entering. There are also allegations regarding electricity.

“He had a wire coming from my panel to the house next door,” Joe Evans said.

Everyone agrees the project is way out of budget and during the construction freeze the home is deteriorating.

The Evans lawsuit claims Howell made “false promises, misrepresentations and engaged in fraudulent conduct that prematurely depleted the construction loan.”

It goes on to accuse the builder of underbidding the project to strike a deal and then used “project completion as leverage to extort payments.”

It also states that Howell is essentially operating under different names to “commit wrongs, and to perpetuate a fraud.”

Who is Maximillian Howell?

(Via Facebook)

KCTV5 reached out to Maximillian Howell to get his side of the story.

He agreed to an interview at KCTV5 but declined to answer any questions on the record due to legal advice. Howell told KCTV5 things would substantially change in 30 days and that he would give KCTV5 its “best interview ever” at that time.

We later sent a detailed list of questions for Howell to review with his attorney. We never got a response.

Our investigation continued as we checked court records. We also connected with subcontractors and families all claiming Maximillian Howell owes them money.

We discovered Howell owns 10 businesses between Missouri and Kansas. Most have been sued. We found more than 60 lawsuits and liens filed in Missouri and Kansas Courts.

These include the following companies: MSS Construction and Roofing; Entrepreneurs Enterprises; EE DevCo; Madison Housing Partners; Madison Housing LLC; & Woodland Views KC Housing Partners LLC.

Some families and subcontractors told us they are weighing their legal options pointing out Howell faces so many liens and lawsuits spending more money on lawyers may not be the answer.

Several families report to KCTV5 they have contacted the FBI to report suspected crimes. At least one has filed a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

Families say it’s easy to write a check to Howell but nearly impossible to track him down when deals fall apart.

It’s unclear if Howell currently maintains a commercial office space. Our investigation revealed registered business addresses which trace to UPS stores and residential properties which no longer appear to be connected to Maximillian Howell.

If you have a complaint to share regarding Maximillian Howell or one of his businesses, email us at newsdesk@kctv5.com.