Century Communities

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Century Communities Keeps Earnest of $30,000.00
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DENVER, COLORADO -- We relocated to Colorado after being gone for 22 years and after more than a year of looking for a home we found a townhome in April 2010. Century Communities home tract at Lincoln Park at Ridge Gate is where we purchased a townhome. The builder required us to place down $30,000.00 in earnest deposit. They told us the home would be done by the end of June. In the entire time of the contract they never enforced any parts of the contract until it was in their interest of stealing our money. In order to get financing we had to get financing with our dear friend who had agreed he was going to buy the home as an investment home and we were going to gift him the money. The lender submitted the loan as an investment property and then in late May called for the appraisal. The appraiser finished in late June and the appraisal came in less than the asking price of $494,844.00. The builder received the appraisal from us to let them know that the loan probably would not be done because the appraisal was lower than the purchase price. I forwarded the information in an email to the sales office and to the Vice President of Sales, Kathy Ellis. Ms. Ellis then took it upon herself to call and speak with the banks appraiser and tell him that he needed to adjust the appraisal. This type of conduct is not only unethical and highly irregular but it is also illegal in most states for the builder to call the appraiser and influence his appraisal and or to tell him to make changes bringing the appraisal up to the selling price. The appraisal was then forwarded to the lender and the lender then ran the credit bureau for Mr. Schneider. She then did an inquiry with the underwriter to see if the guidelines would accept the credit score from Mr. Schneider. She determined that Mr. Schneider was unable to qualify for an investment property loan with the bank due to several circumstances, the appraisal and the credit score would not meet the guideline to underwrite a loan. The lender then and found out that she cannot get an investment loan with the current guidelines of lending with a short appraisal and a credit score that would not support the guideline. The lender then issued a credit denial letter to Mr. Schneider and this was attached to the appraisal again to Century Communities and we then requested for our funds to be returned. They then sent a letter dated on July 8th through email that we did not close so they were retaining the entire $30,000.00. We then contacted an attorney who stated that this is a huge problem that builders have in their contracts that clearly violated many consumer protection laws whereas they have you waive all your rights in a contract and they do not use State of Colorado Approved Real Estate forms. Century Communities in our eyes appeared to be legitimate but after finding out that there is a drastic difference in what we believed to be a real estate transaction we find that their behavior is deceitful mischievous and it clearly appears that they get the money in all circumstances no matter what whereas in all other real estate contracts the buyer gets their earnest deposit returned if they fail to get a loan, purely ethical, morally right and great business. In the case of Century Communities, they are only after one thing, the money. To demonstrate this opinion in their design center they wanted to charge us to stone tile the master shower which is 90 square feet over $18,045.00. We had three bids from other tile companies and the highest bid with materials was just over $2,500.00 this is only part of what they do apart from building the home cheaply. They also failed to allow us our “inspection period” of the home, clearly another violation of consumer protection laws. If this is not taking advantage of the consumer we have no idea what it is. You only get to find this out after you contract with this deviant company and then it’s too late they keep your money. This company drastically needs to be investigated into their business practices, their violations of consumers and there highly irregular contracts. We wonder how many other people’s money they have kept unearned.
     
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User Replies:
Weedwhacked on 08/05/2010:
Get a lawyer, it sounds like you were swindled!
MRM on 08/05/2010:
I agree with Weed, you have been bamboozled!
Venice09 on 08/05/2010:
Part of the problem is that people think they can handle real estate transactions on their own and don't want to hire an attorney to do it for them. As you have now found out, this can be a huge mistake. An attorney would not have let you sign that contract without making modifications to protect your interests. I hope an attorney can now help you get your money back.
Helpful on 08/05/2010:
I agree with a lot of what Venice has already stated. You've handled the transaction without anyone protecting your interests and, unfortunately, you may not see that money back. If you do, I'd bet a chunk of it goes to another attorney to negotiate some sort of compromise.
rockfishing on 08/06/2010:
Spending almost a half mllion dollars without hiring an attorney for a few hundred dollars more to review your contract was a huge mistake. Your financing arrangement should have had red flags waving and bells ringing. I don't understand giving your close friend 30k as a gift for him to buy the house as an investment. Why would anyone get in an investment loan on a house they are going to live in instead of a conventional mortgage? Investment house loans are at a higher interest rate. The whole thing sounds fishy on both sides.
Venice09 on 08/06/2010:
It sounds like they didn't qualify for the loan and had to get financing through the friend. That's what I got out of it, but I could be wrong.
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