Action Report: Tidewater Homes investigation - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Action Report: Tidewater Homes investigation

Wilson and Wages believe the builders moved to Colorado. (Photo source: WLOX) Wilson and Wages believe the builders moved to Colorado. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Since 2014, Tidewater Homes has built in properties in some of the most prestigious subdivisions in South Mississippi.

According to houzz.com, the husband and wife team specializes in "artfully crafted cottages, bungalows, raised Creoles, low country or elevated tidal homes and historical renovations." 

John Graves and his wife Phyllis hired owners Jeff and Michelle Stanfill to build their dream home. But 18 months later, the couple has questions: Where are Jeff and Michelle?

"We were going to build our forever home here in Florence Gardens. They kept demanding more and more money.  As it turns out here in the end, we're probably out an additional $50,000 to $60,000 over and above what we should have paid for this house," said John.

The last time John says he met with the Stanfills was in September to give them a check for $1,400 - which was cashed on Sept. 8.

"They just walked away and never came back, "stated Graves.

Tonya Wages says her husband did plumbing work for the Stanfills, and that they became what she thought were good friends. In May, Tonya's husband was killed in a motorcycle accident and she was severely injured.

According to Wages, the Stanfills never paid her husband in full for the work he completed.

"I had no income at all and I'm in the hospital. I'm injured, my husband is gone, and we have three children," Wages said. "She didn't care that we had bills to pay, or that my car was getting repossessed, or anything."

Plumber William Noble says the Stanfills owe him $9,000.

Fred Signs hired Tidewater to build this home off Highway 90 in Gulfport, but says the Stanfills left before the house was completed. He says he has to come up with at least $35,000 to finish the home, and pay subcontractors that Tidewater Homes didn't pay. 

David Wilson, a retired Marine, says he purchased the Stanfill's home in a subdivision called The Woods, and hired them to build a workshop.

"Well, you know, after 26 years being a Marine Corps officer, my core values is trust and do what you say and accountability and integrity," Wilson said. "We gave them a $10,000 check - which they cashed and 30 days later - they're gone."

Wilson has been in contact with the couple's attorney, Juliet Jowett, and has come up with a $5,800 settlement.

WLOX News Now investigative reporter A.J. Giardina called the builders numerous times, and has yet to get a response. The Tidewater Homes Facebook page is no longer available.

Jowett told WLOX, "Jeff and Michelle have been dealing with personal issues." 

Wilson and Wages believe the Jeff and Michelle packed up and moved to Colorado, where they were building a home.

For help with issues regarding a contractor, residents can file a complaint with the Mississippi State Board of Contractors and with the State Attorney General's consumer protection complaint division.

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