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New Home Buying Experience

New Home Buying Experience

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********Blog Edited (9/7/07) per management request to remove direct mention of a certain home builder**********

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that it is infrequent that I blog about topics that are very personal or totally not work related.  If you don't want to read about me gripe about my horrible experience with purchasing a new home, please ignore this and move on.

First, let me remind all those who are married about the following statement: "If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy".

So, last year, a friend of ours bought a "Unnamed Builder" home and told us about it.  Of course, my wife wants to go see the model since she has been “kinda” looking to move from our 2 story home into a single storey home for the last 10 years or so.  Well, we head on over to the development and look at the home our friends just purchased (this is a new build so it still needs to be built).  Our friends did purchase a very nice 2-story home so we are very happy for them.  As my wife looks at all the models available, her eyes happen to catch sight of the floor plan of a nice single story home that she just absolutely loves.  Just our luck – that floor plan happens to be modeled in the community.  Of course we have to go look at the model and my wife starts talking about it as if we already owned it.  We also happened to have the kids with us and they called dibs on the rooms they wanted.

Guess what?  We ended up purchasing this home despite the fact that I really don’t want to move.  [Remember the above statement???].  My wife really, really, really wanted the house and who was I to say “no”??  "Unnamed Builder" is supposed to be a “Luxury” home builder so we get the nice pitch about how great our experience will be and how our home will be built with the highest quality in mind and so on and so forth.  Without going into all the details around what has transpired in the last year, suffice it to say that all those things "Unnamed Builder" “promised” has not come to fruition.

The building process has had more downs than ups.  We have had to hound them about things to get items corrected.  There is nothing more annoying than hearing “That meets minimum industry standards” whenever we bring up an issue that involves poor workmanship – especially when this is supposed to be a “luxury” home.  For example, when we rolled a marble across our tile floor, it definitely did not travel in a straight line – it was more like watching plinko from Price Is Right.  The tiles were so uneven; it was like my 7 year old had laid the tile.  There were also so many hollow tiles, it was pathetic!  When I brought this up to our Project Manager, he would argue that it met minimum industry standards.  After much arguing, they finally agreed to redo our tiles.  Since our bathrooms were tiled, they had to remove the toilets (which I could clearly tell had been used) before ripping out the old tile.  Whoever it was that removed the toilet, decided to place the toilet on top of the carpet padding in our master bedroom.  This was totally gross as we could see the water puddle up on the padding.  We brought this to our Project Managers attention and asked that the carpet and padding be replaced.  His response was that they would not replace anything, but would have the carpet cleaners clean the carpet prior to us moving in.  Yeah, I DON’T THINK SO!  Also, they had the same crew that laid the tile initially (remember, it was about as good as what my 7 year old could do) redo the tile work.  How many tries do you need in order to guess how they did the second time around? 

Needless to say, there were more issues than resolutions which prompted me to call the VP in order to get a higher level of attention and responsiveness.  To top that off, yesterday morning, the supervisor for "Unnamed Design Contractor" (contractor in charge of flooring, counter tops, etc.) had the audacity to yell at my wife and accuse her for problems.  Mind you, this guy is well over 6 feet tall and weighs so much more than my 5’3” wife.  He brought my wife to tears!

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t consider this entire experience a top quality experience.  If someone were to ask me right now “Harold, would you buy another "Unnamed Builder" home or recommend them?”, my answer would be “ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!!!!  "Unnamed Builder" SUCKS!”  The way I see it, they are more comparable to a Yugo from the automotive industry.

Thanks for listening to me gripe!

Harold Wong
harold.wong@microsoft.com

 

Comments
  • What a horrible experience! Unfortunately things like this still happen in the 21 century and this is a good way to avoid them. Simply tell others about your experience, whether it's good or not. Nowadays the reputation is very important and this should push the companies to be more reliable and provide higher quality.

  • Bummer, sounds like my experience with DR Horton/Melody homes in Denver.  We had our front yard settle 2+ feet including under our driveway.  Their response?  "After we get the certificate of occupancy anything we do for you is us being nice."  There isn't a single wall that is square in our house.

    How is it that you can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars and get a big piece of crap?  Why is it that no one has any pride in the work they do?  And lastly, why is it that I only get the biggest jerks in the world when talking to customer service?  If I talked to a customer like they talk to me, I'd get fired.  Yet, it seems like these guys get promoted.  What gives?  

    Just like you, I say DR Horton Sucks!  Melody Homes Sucks too.  I hope you can get a resolution to your issues.  We were told by the builder to get a lawyer if want anything done.  No one wins when lawyers get involved.

  • You should write offical complaint letter, report it to BBB and other agencies.  You need to do whatever to make sure that everyone knows what he did to your wife.  Paying so much money to make your wife cry???  It does not make sense.  You could even report to TV stations that work for consumers.

  • Sorry to hear about your woes Harrold but thanks for informing us about Toll Brothers. Minimum industries standards are not what you expect when they're selling you luxury. Good luck in getting it sorted out - assuming that you don't give the house back to them.

  • I really feel sorry for you and your wife - I agree with you that TOLL BROTHERS SUCKS!!! If I EVER were to lose my mind (I would have to lose it very badly) and wish to consider the purchase of a home again (yuk!), I would consider Yugo before I ever call Toll Brothers. Watch your purse, though, it sounds like this is one outfit that will run you into some serious bucks if you are not careful. See you at the workshop in August.

  • In Sweden (where I live) we also have these kinds of houses. My wife and I have our new house comming next tuesday :-). We´re also members of a community dedicated to all aspects of 'House Building Projects' in regards to the brand in question. It seems to come down to 1 thing, and 1 thing only - the contractors building the house on site. In Sweden there is about 100  Teams and they really differ in quality, delivery and customer satisfaction.

    It´s really weird that 2 buyers can buy a house from the same manufacturer and yet get so different end result. We´ve heard of projects getting so delayed because of lack of knowledge in the contrators that the buyers had to live in hotels, while the delivery manager tried to sort things out. But fortunately we´ve also heard of great customer satisfaction.

    One interesting action that the community/news group in Sweden has done to inform the new buyers, to prevent these disastrous building teams to prey on the lesser informed buyers, is to create and maintain i list. This list contains all the different contracor teams and mapping customer experience in regards to these teams.

    So, we know that our new house is being build on site by team 82, and looking at the list they fortunately for us is regarded as one og the best teams in Sweden. But if we were to get one of the "bad guys" on the list we of course at least have the knowldege of what they have done to previous buyers and the end result of that. I´d raise hell if we were to get one of those teams. As a matter of fact this has already happende in Sweden, based on our list so we can safely say that the list is fulfilling it´s intended purpose.

    I really suffer with you and your family. And I also recommend you to raise as much hell as you can, being such a vocal person and used to talking in public forums to increase the knowledge and spread the word to your community. One on One we don´t stand a chanse but united we stand tall.

    Fight the bad guys Harold ... and give my very best to your wife (imagine having your head bitten off by some jerk because you are correctly fighting for your rights as a customer and citizen) Geez!

    Regards

    Jesper Bernle

  • I feel for you and your family. Almost the exact thing happend to me and my family on our 2nd home purchase with a supposedly custom luxury home builder in our area. Repairs were a mess and didn't get fully completed to our statisfaction without coming out 4-5 times. New homes are built on the illegal immigrants' back and the companies just rake in the money. I recall hearing a supervisor at teh job site saying "the owner rather pay us our salery and bonus instead of fix anything on his homes."  These guys and all the other guys are just in it for $$$ not for our satisfaction.

    Max

  • Thanks to all who responded.  Sounds like there are others out there who have had similar experiences.  Trust me, I feel for you!

    I wish I could have reported that maybe I was wrong and just didn't give them (Unnamed Builder) a chance, but after another conversation with them again today, I came to the realization that I was right and I don't think things will get better.

    Since this topic is probably not appropriate on this blog, I will probably not post another follow up here.  Just a thought though, some did tell me that www.tollbrotherssuck.com along with some other variations are available.  :-(

    Harold Wong

  • I feel bad that you will not post a follow-up, but I think that if you do not start a www.tollbrotherssuck.com website, I might do so myself. The more I thought about your experience, it occurred to me that your experience and that of others reminds me a lot of an experience I am currently having with a student loan financing company. The experiences sound so similar that, in fact, a strange thought flashed into my mind that these two groups might actually be the same people, or maybe know each other?????. Funny how our thoughts go. I actually do wonder, though, whether there is a connection between construction companies and student loans, meaning that some contractors do not specify when someone is a student apprenticing with someone, rather than an actual builder. I hope that your situation resolves in a better way, and that at some point you will at least find a way around the poor service and poor workmanship you are getting from the Tolls. I still wonder if I myself may not be afflicted with a "Toll Brothers Saga" of my very own.

  • They all finish thier customer service and management builds out the organization.  Workflows get implemented.  And then some business analyst gets together with a developer that doesnt know better and together they implement the "Sucks Hard" feature right before release...

  • ... then they implement a customer satisfaction survey so that we can all let them know how they are doing... (of course, only the favorable results are submitted to management)...

  • That hurts!  Hope Joe is ok.  that has to be the worst!

    Well, at least your moved in right?

  • I think nearly all of the forture 500 sized builders suck.  In the Denver area, we have a lot of those builders ruining the housing resale values.

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