Summary of problems: 1) warranty issues not fixed and builder waited until deadlines had passed for us to file complaints before telling us nothing would be done; 2) landscaping not done properly and builder refuses to acknowledge a problem, refuses to take action to fix the situation, and won’t return our landscaping funds unless we sign a blanket release; 3) items promised by the salesperson were not included and we later had to pay extra for them; 4) misleading promotional information seemed to indicate our properties would be part of the Holmes Approved Homes program; 5) promise of “highest quality materials” not fulfilled.
1) Several issues were noted on our 1-year warranty inspection. The builder assured us all issues would be resolved, so we did not file a warranty claim under the ANHWP. As soon as the warranty period expired, the builder informed us all issues were either resolved or the builder declared them to not be issues and said they would do nothing further. We were left with no recourse since the warranty had expired. Later, we discovered several of the issues had not been fixed. We filed a complaint through the BBB and some of those issues were then fixed. Recently, one of my tenants informed me at least one of the issues on the warranty report had still not been fixed. The builder’s representative was there when the tenant told me this and the rep said nothing about having the item fixed.
2) We had added a landscaping allowance to the purchase of the property. After possession, the builder informed us we had no choice but to use their “preferred” landscaping contractor rather than choosing our own. There are several issues with the landscaping, especially the “install” of the patio. The landscaper ignored our requests to have the issues fixed. When we contacted the builder, they claimed it wasn’t their problem because the contract was between us and the landscaper. They later visited the properties and declared there were no issues and the landscapers had fulfilled their contract. The photo below shows the patio: no gravel base was installed to stabilize and level the blocks (so they sink when you step on them and they sit unevenly, creating a tripping hazard), no landscaping fabric was used, no sand was put between the blocks, no edging was used, and the blocks were placed haphazardly and unevenly. The patio is obviously not properly installed. However, the builder refuses to acknowledge there are issues and continues to hold our landscaping funds so we have no leverage to convince the landscaper to fix the issues. We included this issue in our BBB complaint and after a VERY long debate, the builder finally agreed to return our funds to us. However, they returned them to our lawyer along with the demand we sign a blanket release before we could have the funds. Since that release could potentially be interpreted to limit our ability to address all issues with the property rather than only gagging and limiting us regarding the landscaping issue, we could not sign the release. The builder then demanded the return of our landscaping funds to them. As far as we know, they may have released the funds to their contractor without our consent. Regardless, without our funds in our possession, we have no leverage to convince the contractor to fix the issues.
3) Saleperson said items were included as standard in our package and later denied this. We had to spend thousands of dollars on “upgrades” for items we were led to believe were included in the package. We hadn’t noted the items on any of our pre-sale documents or notes because we were told they were standard. Company owner said “houses can’t be built on conversations.”
4) Likewise, promotional material both at the showhome and on the documentation for our specific properties mentioned the “Holmes Approved Homes” program and seemed to indicate our 3 properties were part of the program. We later discovered they were not. Part of the reason we chose this builder is because of the added assurance of quality and high standards associated with the Holmes Approved Homes program.
5) Literature on the properties also promises they use the “highest quality materials” but: a) our interior doors crack at the latch if someone so much as sneezes on them, b) the carpet underlay is of average quality (so our carpets looked ten years old after only a year), and c) the builder installed discontinued appliances (most of which had to be repaired within the first 18 months, and the repairs are incredibly expensive because the appliances are discontinued). (Incidentally, the appliance repair company said often appliances are discontinued only because they are lemons.)
We would not recommend this builder to anyone. In fact, hearing their ads on the radio makes me cringe at the thought other unsuspecting customers could endure the same experience.