PARKER, COLORADO -- We picked out a home that we liked. The price was $307,900 base. The model of the home happened to be an inventory home and was listed as $469,000. We figured that based on this there was a lot of room for design center choices and upgrades.
We chose the fixtures, structural changes, paint, etc. that you could change at the home sales office and the price of the home was then at $357,000. OK! We could live with that, we had to have the gardenview ($15K) option as that is the only model that would fit on our lot, the lot had a premium of $3000, we chose upgraded fixtures etc. for about $8k, had rooms changed from study to bedroom, etc. We figured these were all reasonable charges for the changes we were getting. We went ahead and scheduled for the design center to make our final choices.
We spent 3 hours in the design center making very particular and precise choices, to design the home the way that we wanted it. The sales representative wanted us to stay around $25K in choices. I admit we went up to $36, but figured, that's OK, I am financed to cover these choices so let's get what we want.
We then went back to the sales office and the price of the home was at $391,000. The sales agent said that her manager would not approve of the house at that level of design upgrades because we have a VA loan and the downpayment is so low ($1500) that we did not have enough vested in the home and that we could walk and not stand to loose much. They wanted me to come up with $15,000 additional besides my earnest money before the would approve the build. I said I can't come up with that right now, please see what you can do. They came back two days later and said that we have to get the price of the house down to $370,000 before they would even talk to us about decreasing the amount of downpayment on the design center choices. So..... we went back to the design center.
We were able to grudgingly shave off the $10K they originally wanted us to stay below and had our design choices total out at $25K. We thought alright, we are good to go. NOPE
During our original cut back, to drop the price of the home at the sales center, we had opted to, under the suggestion of the sales agent, to get rid of the french doors that enclose the office and leave it open. We later decided that this was not a good idea and wanted those left in the deign structure of the home.
Final price of the home at this point is $380,000
We said we wanted to add back in the French doors
We were told only if you shave $2000 off of somewhere else
I said I am paying for the doors and the house, I understand the price of the house is now $382,000 and I am OK with that.
NO - you can not have the french doors unless you shave $2000 off somewhere else. They said the home would not appraise for that amount, yet the model home of the same builder in the same neighborhood with similar design center choices was appraised at $460,000, which is $80K higher than ours was being priced out.\
Bottom line, I am still not sure if I am going to complete the build with them and go without the french doors. If they are this difficult to deal with during the design process, I can only imagine how difficult they will be to deal with during the build process.
In my opinion, Meritage homes, at least in Colorado, is NOT responsive to the customer and should be sanctioned.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- In July of 2011 we entered into a contract with Meritage Holmes of Florida, to purchase a new Home in the Lexington Green Area in the Providence area of Davenport, Florida. We did all that they asked to secure financing for the purchase. In November of 2011 after being asked to supply some information on employment we were not able to do that because of a lack of gainful work. I sent a letter canceling the agreement according to the Mortgage contingency in the P&S (the time for securing the loan had run out because of no fault of ours, we did everything their mortgage company asked of us). Their mortgage councilor and our salesperson agreed that we could not get financing and we would have the return of our deposit after signing two release forms. We did this in good faith
We did not hear from them for several weeks and upon my initiation the sales representative informed me that the Vice President is refusing to return the deposit because of some vague language that we cannot find in the original P&S. The mortgage contingency is very clear that if we did our part of trying to secure financing and it was not successful our deposit of over $4,300 dollars would be returned to the buyers.
They want us to agree that if we bought a home from them within six months they would credit the deposit. After having him renege on the agreement, to return the deposit because of a failure to secure a mortgage, in a timely manner flies in the face of good business and fairness to their potential and present customers. We do not wish to do business with this company in the future (Lack of trust). The very idea that we had to institute a dialog with the VP to find out that he was overriding a decision by his subordinates, just leaves us in a fatal negative mode.
We wish full restitution of our Deposit as we signed the release forms back in November of 2011.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- My husband and I are in the process of buying a home. Fresh and green on the process, we decided to educate ourselves and set a time line for our purchase. We went to Waters Edge in the Humble/Houston area and met Katherine at one of the model homes in the area. When we walked in she was with a client- didn't greet us at all, though she was the only Meritage worker there.
We browsed the home, loved it and when walking out she rushed out to ask us to come back and visit with her. No big deal; we went back. She was rather pushy and kept trying to convince us to purchase right away though we explained that was not our plan. She switched up a bit when I visited a third time and gave the 'caring mother' approach and even had her daughter pull up what our current home is worth for resale purposes. I appreciated the information and she asked that I fill out a loan for to at least know my options. Again, not a bad idea because it would be good to know where we stood loan rate wise. She scheduled to meet with me so we could chat once my husband and I received the information back. We did and didn't like the information so I emailed her to graciously thank her for her help and all that she'd shared with us and to cancel our appointment (2 days in advance). She never emailed back! Didn't say one word via text, email, call or messenger pigeon! The day after said scheduled appointment my husband decided to view the model one last time to see if it would be worth the headache. She didn't expect to ever see me again and gave me this fake surprised hug! Once we viewed the model, while walking away she ran out behind us when we were driving away to say she didn't reply to me because she thought "boooo!" When she saw my email! HOW PROFESSIONAL!
CARROLLTON, TEXAS -- Meritage Homes treats their customers very poorly. Don't even count on getting a different experience with escalating issues to a supervisor or director. They will ignore your phone calls and emails. Below is my experience with purchasing a Meritage Homes. I advise you to stay away from Meritage Homes!
I am an out-of-town buyer and I have made Meritage Homes aware of this situation many times. I have requested to be notified at least 2 weeks ahead for walk through and closing to arrange travels and request time off work.
Meritage Homes scheduled a closing date for the property I am purchasing on December 31, 2014 without informing me of the closing date. It was mere coincidence I found out about the closing date by calling the sales agent to ask for a status update. I later found out they have been sending information (closing, initial disclosures, and my SSN) to a wrong email address. First walk thru was scheduled on the December 30th, only one day ahead of closing. Upon visiting the property for the walk through I discovered the property was not ready for closing: carpet was not fully installed, missing grout, unpainted door frames, paint/grout on splatter tiles and wood, etc. They could not deliver the home on the closing date they had set. This cost me one week of work and travel expenses. Meritage homes offered no compensation, not even an apology.
Almost one month later, Meritage Homes scheduled a closing date on January 28, 2015 and gave me a one week notice. Due to work, I was not able to arrange time off and make travel arrangements for the new closing date. It was again brought up to Meritage Homes that I am an out of town buyer, and requested for a closing date the week after. I was denied that request. I made an effort to have the issue escalated many times to plead my case. We received no response by email and no return calls from the regional manager or the director of finance. I managed to close on the home a few days later with a penalty fee of $1250. I'm being penalized for 4 business days, even asking for leniency so many times. They should penalize themselves for delivering my home a month later than promised.
I have made attempts to email and made phone calls to regional manager/director. I've only been able to leave voicemails. I called and asked the staff if he was in office. Their staff confirmed he's in office, but refused to transfer me to his line. They did not even give me the chance to plead my case. I called corporate and received the same treatment. All of my inquiries and escalation falls on deft ears. Dealing with Meritage Homes have left me frustrated at the results in multiple occasions.
Go with another builder.
TIMNATH, COLORADO -- Sales lost each set of my papers at least once. First contract papers, then upgrade options, then cabling options, then messed up the totals. I had to re-sign the papers starting from the contract papers to the upgrade options. She lost the upgrade selection papers once again for 2nd time. When I commented that this is not right, she got very angry.
On our first visit, the sales representative handed out a buyer agent's card. We went there on our own but she asked us to consult the agent. Another day, I arrived at the sales office and over heard her arguing with a person and then when she could not answer his questions, she shouted at him to get out. Later I talked to him and found out that he was a paying customer and she had messed up his loan papers.
There are a lot of new constructions coming up in this area to choose from. Stay away from Meritage. There are some very good custom builders too in the same community. The starting price is only 100 k more but if you compare per sqft, then they are at least 20 USD cheaper than Meritage. Their upgrade options are a sham. Do not be misled by the Model home, that is at least 100k more expensive than the base price. You will notice the poor quality construction and they will not fix the flaws. They will simply say it is the standard. If you object, you will be humiliated and insulted by sales. So, mathematically it doesn't make sense to go with Meritage. Go for custom homes instead. Meritage takes a long time to build(10 months), custom homes build in 3-5 months. I am at pre-drywall stage after waiting for 6 months.
SAINT CLOUD, FLORIDA -- We closed on our house back in June 2010, at first all looks good and had few complaints. Then in 2011 one of the rooms started to flood, long story short, I submitted the claim, they fixed the issue not without a lot of back and forth but to be honest they fixed the problem.
Then in 2013, I started to notice a crack in our driveway. It was small at first, so I sent a new claim, thinking this is a structural problem and because our house has 20 years warranty. I thought, well we should be covered. WRONG! By now, April 2014, the crack could be used as a scale of the Great Canyon. But, they said this is not structural so no fix from them. At the end, we installed pavers and the driveway looks really nice. Later I knew this company was facing a lot of problems, financial ones. So the moral is: "Do your homework and investigate the builder before you even consider signing a contract"
RICHMOND, TEXAS -- I purchased a new home a little over a year ago. I have problems all over the place. A week after I moved in, I tried to do laundry. Water leaked all over the floor from the washer they installed. Less than a month after I moved in, my house started leaking, it was flooded when it rained. Paint in my house is uneven. I looked out of my second story bedroom window and found some cracked shingles on first story roof. A big piece of concrete fell off the corner of my foundation. After six months, I found a large crack running across half of my driveway and they refused to repair. Water won't drain in my backyard. Every time it rains, water will go all the up to the side of my house. MY window is leaking water every time it rains. Every time it rains or neighbor water the grass, water will sit right outside my house on the side of the street won't drain, and the building said that was not their problem, its government's problem. I can go on and on and on.
There are lots of problems. I'm very, very dissatisfied. I don't know how long this house is going to last.
The past few weeks my husband and I have been house hunting with our Realtor here in the greater Houston area. A few days ago we can upon a gorgeous subdivision and went to inquire about their new/quick move-in homes. Upon telling the Meritage Homes sales agent our requirements and our budget, she told us there is one house that would fit our needs. We fell in love with the house even though it was over our price range!
We asked our Realtor to get more info and put a competitive offer in. She wasn't even able to get anyone on the phone, much less put in an offer! After leaving several messages, she finally got the local sales agent on the phone. She was unprofessional and not helpful at best! Our Realtor asked for her supervisor's info and was told she would not provide that. Their conversation ended with our Realtor getting a name and email address for the Supervisor. She too ended up being unprofessional! She did not call our Realtor at their scheduled time and ignored all emails afterwords.
Our persistent Realtor got in touch with someone at Meritage Homes' headquarters and told them the problem. The response she got was not what we would expect from someone in real estate. She was told that all Sales Agents are given the final price they can offer on any home. While they were not sure why the local agent we met could be like that (she is apparently one of the top agents in the Houston area), there was nothing they can do to rectify the situation.
We love the house and area and are still willing to pay more than what we budgeted yet Meritage Homes will not even consider an offer! At this point we have moved on to other builders who realize that it is a buyer's market and, more importantly, that good customer service goes a long way. I would not recommend Meritage Homes to anyone! They may make beautiful homes with energy efficient features but the lack of customer service will keep me away.
MESA, ARIZONA --
I believe that an employee of Meritage Homes has stolen $7,000 of valuables from my house, of which most is irreplaceable. I believe this is due to the negligence of Meritage Homes Management.
On Tuesday October 31st we closed with Meritage Homes on new home. I was issued house keys, garage openers, keys to the mail box, and keys to the single garage door, and other items. After closing I dropped off a few of my belongings into the garage. Since the garage openers were not working, I went in through the front door and opened both garage doors from the inside. The house comes with a three car garage. The garage door is split into a two car garage door, and a single garage door. The single garage door is not attached to a garage opener, and it needs to be opened manually, which I did from the inside. I unloaded my belongings which included the missing items, as well as other sports gear (baseball bats, golf clubs, basketball, football, etc…). Before leaving, we had an employee of Meritage Homes come in to touch up the kitchen cabinets. Afterwards I locked up, closing the garage door from the inside, and leaving through the front door, and made sure it was locked.
I did not return until that following Saturday. My brother and I, along with our families moved some of our belongings from his garage. We made two trips and in the evening decided to head back and stay at his house in Glendale AZ, an hour north. My wife and mother-in-law decided to stay back and start unpacking. Since we were unloading everything in the garage, we had opened both garage doors from the inside (garage openers were not working, they had not yet been programmed) Before leaving for the night, and being concerned that my wife and mother-in-law were staying back, I decided to check all the keys and doors, everything seemed fine. Afterwards I closed the two car garage door from inside and walking out through the single garage door and pulling it down, I check the handle and it was not locked. I grabbed the keys from the inside and tried to lock it, but the keys were not working. I checked the number on the key and the garage door handle, and they did not match. I did not think nothing of it, but did tell my wife to lock the inside door and to contact Christy Rocca, the sale person for Meritage Homes, and have the keys changed.
The garage door handle and keys were changed the second week of November. All this time the garage door remained unlocked, and it had remained unlocked – unknowingly to us – for the first few days after we closed. Even if it was locked, who had the real keys to the garage door?
After we had moved in, we were trying to locate the home phones and they could not be found anywhere. We thought they might have been thrown away mistakenly. On Sunday, November 19th, I was searching for my paintball guns and could not find them. I asked my wife and she said she hasn't seen them. Then it dawned on me. I started searching for my silver coins, my foreign currency and my baseball cards. I couldn't find any of it. Then I realized that all these items I had dropped off that Tuesday after we had closed. I hadn't known about the unlocked garage door, and wasn't aware of the wrong key. I put one and one together, and realized that someone must have stolen these items.
I informed Meritage Homes, and they said they can't do anything about it. I reminded them that they were the ones that gave me wrong keys to the garage and it was unlocked all this time. If I had known it wasn't locked I would not have dropped off my stuff there, and that even if I had known I wouldn't have been able to lock it because they had issued me wrong keys, and where were the real keys? I told them that I believe this was done intentionally, giving whoever robbed us, the opportunity to walk in without a problem.
They told me to take it up with my insurance company. I'm sorry I don't have receipts for each baseball card that I had collected back in the 80's and early 90's, and I don't have receipts for all the silver coin that I had collected over a 10 year period, or any of the missing items.
I guess this is my problem not theirs, they already have their money.