As of last February, those who buy a newly-constructed house using a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, there are some requirements that must be met.
The contractors must supply a 10-year warranty, guaranteeing the quality of the house, or the city has to supply a certification of occupancy, which certifies that the house is livable.
Problem is, that takes manpower to enforce, which small towns, like Walters, just don't have.
City Manager John Sheppard says to comply with this new law, the city needs a full time building code inspector, but the number of new homes built per year in Walters--about 5--doesn't warrant the full time position.
"One of the builders here in town had a new home to sell and he was kind of in a bind because he wants to get the house sold and the people want to buy the house and get the house to move into. Then, the mortgagor wouldn't approve that without the certificate."
Sheppard says bigger cities don't have this problem because they're fully staffed. Among the solutions they're looking at, Sheppard says he's spoken to someone who could open a consulting company. and the city could contract out that company's code inspector.
Another option is to hire Lawton's inspector on a contractual basis.
The Walters City Council will vote on the interim plan next week.
Sheppard says it may take several weeks to find a permanent solution.