Troubleshooters intervenes for Swiss woman building a house

Swiss woman looking for help from the Troubleshooters.
Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 18:47:13-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A woman from Switzerland has become a Winter Texan.

She’s having a house built here in area.

But she’s called the Troubleshooters for help because the city has ordered all work on her new house to stop, which is causing problems since she has to go back to Switzerland next weekend.

Elisabeth Schwertfeger of Switzerland says she started visiting the Coastal Bend in 2013. And now she’s having a home built here, where she plans to spend her winters.

She’s become a Winter Texan.

But the city’s Development Services Department, has ordered all work on her house, stopped.

They have questions about the framing, electrical work, and whether the plumbing was done by a licensed plumber.

Since becoming general contractor on the job, Martin Alaniz told the Troubleshooters by phone, he can’t move forward with the house until the plumbing’s up to par.

Since Schwertfeger doesn’t live here full time, she says she gave a friend named Stacey Placker, power of attorney over her bank account to start getting her new home built.

In March of this year, Placker wrote a check for $5,600 to Alaniz Construction Services to get the plumbing installed at the house, but Schwertfeger insists the work hasn’t been done.

She further claims she gave Alaniz $27,500 cash, in March, to finish building her house.

But since no work has been done since March, she wants Alaniz to refund her more than $32,000.

“I have to go home in July, and I want that he go forward with the house," she said. "We fight now with the plumber, and I need the money that I can pay him.”

By phone, Alaniz tells the Troubleshooters he’s waiting on refunds Schwertfeger just requested on Monday. And he’s optimistic he’ll get them in time.

Who knows what this place will look like the next time Schwertfeger sees it, possibly in January, when she can get a visa to come back into this country.