The fall-out of failed builder Watersun Homes is still resonating across the region, with prospective owners who hoped other companies would pick up the work being left in the dark.
Potential new home owners have been left out of pocket or facing delays as home builder Mega Homes faces a push to wind up the company.
Creditors in the building industry are claiming to be owed sums as high as $480,000 each by the builder, Victorian Supreme Court filings show.
It follows the liquidation two years ago of the Victorian arm of Watersun Homes, WSH Group.
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Watersun Homes was a building company based in Geelong. It was contracted by project managers HPG Australia to construct 300 homes in Melbourne and regional Victoria, including Ballarat. It collapsed in February 2017, leaving home-owners with uncompleted or non-existent homes.
Domain reported at the time that the administrators had reached an agreement with Mega Homes and another group VM Builders, to contact former customers.
Williamstown-based Mega Homes's website has been taken down and replaced with a message saying the group was not taking on any new enquiries and suggesting existing customers call head office. The number provided was met with a recorded message saying the mailbox was full.
Clients have also told Domain of delays in obtaining information from the group, adding they were eventually offered the chance to switch to VM Builders.
VM Builders has its principal office in Williamstown but also has a registered address in Sturt Street, Ballarat.
One homeowner who feels she has had her dream thwarted is Karen Zonneveld who hoped to build in Rokewood.
Ms Zonneveld paid a deposit before Christmas of $1500 to pick colours for a new home she and her husband hoped to build on an empty block in the Golden Plains shire town.
Colour selection was the first step before progressing to the next stage of the building process and signing contracts.
But, despite repeated phone calls, the couple found it difficult to obtain any more information from the company.
Eventually, Ms Zonneveld says, they were told VM Builders had taken over, who would honour their original quote but could not refund the deposit.
"We can kiss that money goodbye, I think," she said.
"We are going to go with another builder ... I wouldn't feel very confident."
Another buyer who spoke to Domain was willing to go ahead with the new builder.
Mathew Palmer hopes to build a home on a block in Werribee and also picked colours through Mega Homes.
But he told Domain he was concerned when his developer said the block would title in late April and Mega Homes said it would title in late March. He says he made several phone calls but struggled to find out more details.
He had put down a deposit of $9500 for the build and $20,500 for the land.
"This is life savings sort of stuff," Mr Palmer said.
"It's really frustrating because there is no transparency."
He later met with VM Builders and agreed to transfer his contract to the new builder.
"I walked out of there feeling pretty relieved," he said.
"Just feels like it has been delayed six to eight weeks."
A third client who spoke to Domain on condition of anonymity had put down a deposit of about $1000 to get plans drawn, but had received little communication and was unclear about the status of the funds.
Mega Homes was contacted for comment.
VM Builders was also contacted for comment.
The attempt to wind up Mega Homes is being led by real estate agency Castran Gilbert, which claims it is owed $34,050 in outstanding commissions for house and land package sales.
Other creditors have joined the case, with kitchen and bathroom company Claytons saying it is owed $480,847.21 and flooring group Sky Flooring saying it is owed $126,100.21.
An advisory group was contacted about the possibility of becoming a voluntary administrator of the builder, although this is not possible while the court process is underway, according to one person with knowledge of the matter but not authorised to speak publicly.
The next hearing of the matter is set for Wednesday 17.
This story first appeared on Domain.com.au