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Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Posted by indygal (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 2, 07 at 11:39

Paul Schumacher Homes is new to the Indianapolis area. They have no local model homes at this time. Their hook is that you get more house for your money because of their superior buying power. I think it's also because their basic houses have many basic materials like vinyl siding and 8 foot deep basements. We want a brick home with many upgrades. Of course the Schumacher folks say they can upgrade everything and still give us a bargain price. Does anyone have experience with or knowledge about Paul Schumacher Homes?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Read the link below. I found this very, very unhappy customer review.

Here is a link that might be useful: unhappy schumacher customer


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

I seriously considered Schumacher for two of their house plans at two different times. I liked the floorplans, but after sitting through their building estimate process, I decided they weren't for me. They will quote you the most basic, stripped down cost as their base price, then everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) costs you extra.

The other thing I really didn't like is that your choices of material are very limited. When I wanted to do something that wasn't included in their options, they made it very difficult and very pricey so I wouldn't push it.

The other thing I didn't like about them was that they refused to even look at the piece of land I owned to determine how to place the house or to do an accurate estimate of the walk-out basement until I signed the contract! Duh....NO WAY!

With Schumacher, you're dealing with a salesman and they do not assign your "personal builder" to you until after the contract is signed. You don't have any idea of how much experience this person has or if he's someone they just hired off the street. That made VERY uncomfortable.

I don't recommend them at all. In fact.......RUN!


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

I can't stand their commercials. lol!! That kid with a lisp saying "we don't build houses...we build homes". It drives me nuts!!


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Hey, that's what Lennar Homes said. They are the ones that built many of the homes in Homestead, FL. Remember what happened there - Andrew came thru and the homes were no more.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Thanks for the comments. My first instinct seems to be correct. They get you in the door with their super cheap prices and then sock it to you when you upgrade. It looks like just about everything would have to be upgraded to make us happy. We expect to pay for better quality materials, but don't want to be hassled about choices we want that they don't offer.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Ever noticed how happy customer's never speak out and dedicate sites to how happy they are? I challenge you to pick any random company and google to see how many hate postings are up.

My husband and I built with Schumacher in Charlotte Nc 1 yr ago. I am a construction coordinator for a track builder and my husband in a builder with another track builder. We have been in the business for many years and we would have gotten a "discount" if had decided to build with either of our companies. The people we delt with are great, service is wonderful, build time and site conditions was outstanding. I think the most important thing to do is to educate yourself. Don't have the audacity to think that anyone you do business with is here to teach you everything you need to know about that industry. Its not others responsibility to educate you unless you pay for it.

As far as materials used for building, you couldn't ask for any better for this price point. Have you actually compared their products to a Lennar? Or better yet, try to ask one of the track builders to put an upgrade in one of their homes that isn't part of their selections. You just can't.

I am completely happy with my decesion and I recomend them 100% to anyone. If you really want to get a feel for them without being thrown a sales pitch try calling and asking for the Customer Coordinator. They don't get paid comissions, they seem to know about everything that goes on from sales to build, and after the contract is signed she is the one that helps you through the whole process.

Good luck with your search!!!


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

"Thanks for the comments. My first instinct seems to be correct. They get you in the door with their super cheap prices and then sock it to you when you upgrade. It looks like just about everything would have to be upgraded to make us happy. We expect to pay for better quality materials, but don't want to be hassled about choices we want that they don't offer."

Your last sentence pretty much sums up my impression of them and the reason I walked away. When I asked that my whirlpool tub have an inline heater that keeps the water at a constant temperature, I was told by my "consultant" that he had never heard of such a thing and it wasn't available. Then when pulled a picture of said heater out of my ideas file, he said he'd look into it with their plumbing expert. He called me the next day and quoted me a price of $800 over the already exorbitant cost of the whirlpool tub, which was a brand I'd never heard of anyway. When I told him that Jacuzzi offers the heater already installed in their tubs for $175 additional, he didn't quite know what to say.

The same thing happened when I wanted a specific hardwood flooring that Schumaker didn't offer. They told me it couldn't be installed "properly" on their subflooring and when I insisted that not getting that particular flooring was a deal breaker for me, they told me they would "look into it". They called me the next day with a price quote that was roughly 3 TIMES the estimate that I'd already gotten independently using their own floor plan. Needless to say, at that point I was done with them, even though I really liked their floor plan.

If you price out their faucets or their lighting fixtures for yourself, you can figure out very quickly where they make their money. They are not a true custom builder, although their floor plans are very nice and well-designed. If you're happy with limited choices (and some people are because it limits the hassles of picking things), then they might be great, but if you want control over the quality and the materials that go into your house, then you'd be far better off with a custom builder.

I went back to them twice, thinking that maybe it was just the "consultant" I was assigned the first time, but the answers to my questions didn't change and neither did my opinion.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Here's a link to something that you might be interested in if you're still considering them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rip off report


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

As someone who is currently building with them, I think the negativity is a little unwarranted, because they are a large company that builds thousands of homes a year, so a few bad experiences on a website is no huge deal.

I'll admit they do use deceptive sales tactics to get your business, but if you know how to handle car salesmen, you'll be ok with them.

For example, they show the home we are building as starting at $165k, but the model home as is is about $275 in my county, without driveway or utilities. They make their money on utilities, soil costs, and the driveway. If you want them to do a water line, electric line, survey, etc. they usually charge 2-3x the amount you can get another contractor to do it. For example, to stake, set a benchmark and do a topo survey of your property, they charge approx $1850, and my surveyor/engineer did it for less than $600.

Some of their upgrades are quite reasonable but many fancier ceiling fans, plumbing fixtures, etc. are ridiculously marked up. I can tell they were irritated I wanted to do so much myself, because those are their most profitable projects.

After looking at dozens of builders, they were the right choice for us because the price of the home and the quality of the materials they use was too good to pass up. We are doing our own water line, electric line, driveway, and hiring someone to do the septic system, downspouts. We have been very firm with them so far and they haven't taken advantage.

Another crappy tactic they pull is backfilling your foundation/porch areas with gravel/sand mixture from offsite. If you don't want your warranty voided, you have to take their recommendations, which are accounting to an additional $6,000 roughly, just an annoying mark up to a low priced house. I personally feel they should just include this in the price from the start, but I am sure they have analyzed reasons not for doing this ($$$).

So if someone has little cash and wants to build a custom home, be prepared to be required to use their contractors and pay an exorbitent fee into your mortgage. You probably will not save much money using them then.

They are like dealing with a car dealership, people who are suckered into paying too much for cars will not like them, and people who are good at haggeling will find them great. We were able to get $20,000 off of the asking price for signing a contract to close within 90 days. They will bargain with you to get your business, since they are on a commission.

Not too many places you can get a 2700+ 4 bed/3 bath home in my city for $230,000. Most builders here are $110 sq.ft. to start. For someone who likes doing home improvement projects on their own, or plans on upgrading things themselves after construction and not financing them, I highly recommend them. My personal builder seems to really know his stuff and genuinely wants to build you a beautiful home.

They are not as cheap as Wayne Homes or K. Hovnanian, but the design and quality is much better.

I'll post an update once the build is finished and the final draw has been done, who knows maybe my opinion will change.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

"They are not as cheap of Wayne Homes ..." Well, as one who doesn't want a cheap 2,700 sq ft home, who cares?? Cheap homes don't appeal to a large part of the market, but they do appeal to a different large part of the market. Those who want the American dream--a big house at the cheapest price. You get what you pay for in housing.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Not sure what beachlily meant but I will try to respond. If you have the money to spend and want an expensive home then fine, I simply cannot afford an expensive home so I went with a more affordable builder. Why is that so bad? I know people that have spent $50,000 more than me using a more custom builder, and the house looks like a cookie cutter design and has had tons of problems. You do NOT get what you pay for, you get what you settle for. Just because a builder charges a lot and gives you custom options doesn't mean they are any decent. I have seen many homes that are in the $300's here that are hunks of junk, but the people that live there probably don't mind so why does it matter??

All I was trying to say is that Wayne Homes can build you a 2700 sq.ft. house for around $140,000 in our area. It still a well built house, just not as customizable as your local custom builder. But from someone who came from a farmer family's background, there is nothing wrong with getting more house for your money. Not everyone likes slate tiles or walk out basements. Some people like myself actually don't mind vinyl flooring or 9' ceilings.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

We moved into our Schumacher Home in February. The building process was quick, the house is beautiful, and the construction seems fairly solid. That being said I would not recommend Schumacher Homes to ANYONE.
Despite the fact that they advertise "communication" as one of their Top Ten Reasons to Build, we found that they were consistently TERRIBLE communicators. Despite the fact that they advertise "no surpises" in cost...we were surprised on several occassions.
The worst of our experiences, though, came after we moved into our new home. We basically dropped off the map. Our septic was not fully installed when we moved in. We were told it would be installed in April...it was installed in June. We have a woods behind our home (about 200 ft away). We were told that no trees would be touched for the installation of the septic...they cut down 15 trees.
When we met with Schumacher to discuss retribution for the trees our builder basically told us not to complain because it didn't look that bad. The GM made us an offer for retribution (which was FAR below the value of the trees). During the process of finalizing that deal he altered his offer and seemed to backtrack. He agreed to give us financial information concerning the deal in order to help us make a decision and after several weeks changed his mind and refused to give the information. When we questioned him he yelled at my husband and told him he was "offended" etc etc. Since that time he has not managed to treat us with basic human civility. He is less than professional, in my opinion.
This morning we were supposed to have landscapers here at 9AM to complete the work that was promised. The GM sat in our driveway for at least 30 minutes waiting for them. When the landscapers did not show up he simply left. He didn't have the professional courtesy to come to my door and explain to me what was going on. We have rented equiptment and many helpers lined up tomorrow to help us put in our yard and now it looks like we will not be able to do so.
We have issues in our house (such as the peak of our cathedral ceiling peeling off) that need to be resolved. Some of these issues have been known to Schumacher since March and yet remain unresolved. In August we were given a verbal commitment that the work on these issues would at least be scheduled in 7 business days. These issues remain unresolved and the only "update" we can manage to get is that the subcontractor is real busy.
Schumacher's Customer Service is TERRIBLE. I can not express my level of frustration or disappointment.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

jesshopes, we are currently building with them but have been on top of everything to make sure they don't do anything wrong. I somewhat regret using them so far, but I guess that's just from the treatment to me compared to the other builders I met with. I can tell the builder is going to build a good home but seems to think I am an idiot and can't do anything on my own. So far they have been professional, although I still don't trust them completely. They seem to use very good contractors.

Where did you build your house if I may ask? I am in Lorain Co. Ohio. Thanks.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

We are in Ft wayne Indiana. We spoke with our builder every day during the building process. We were onsite every day. We asked EVERY question you can imagine. Our Sales Associate (the only positive person in the whole outfit)even joked about how many questions I asked. I knew my contract better than they did. I kept every correspondence in a file. All that being said...you can't make someone live up to their word (short of legal tactics) just by being on top of them. I truly hope your experience turns out better than ours.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

I am sorry to hear that Jess. I have my fingers crossed just hoping everything will turn out ok.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

The manager of the Indianapolis branch recently emailed me after someone forwarded him my posts to this forum. He was upset that I was not comfortable with building a Paul Schumacher Home. We turned down his invitation to meet and discuss the company. After reading the latest posts, we're glad we decided to go elsewhere. We're now dealing with a private local builder who has years of experience and many satisfied customers. Hopefully we can reach an agreement with this builder and start a new home within the next few months.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

The same thing happened to us when I mentioned the many unhappy people who posted to RipOffReport.com about them. The district manager called us and wanted to set up a meeting with us to discuss it. When we met, it was nothing more than a high pressure attempt to save the sale for them. When we got up and started to walk away, he ran after us into the parking lot and offered to throw in a sunroom for free - exactly the same sales technique used by car dealerships to save a sale, throw in something for free.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

I'm a professional shopper so I can say I have much experience getting to know businesses. I have shopped Schumacher Homes and their competitors on several occasions. It really is too bad that the only people who post forums are full of negativity. If Schumacher Homes is a national company how did they get that way by ripping people off? There must be some people out there who were satisfied enough to refer friends and family. I must ask, is anyone shopping other builders? And when you are, are you comparing apples to apples? Or are you just comparing base price to base price? When you look at the price you need to consider what's actually included. For example, in Ohio, why don't you ask Wayne Homes what kind of wall studs the use or how far apart they space their studs? And while you're at it, ask them what they use on the exterior of their homes. If you're in the south, Paul Schumacher's only competition is the custom builder. All you have to do is ask Mr. Customerbuilder what his price is per square foot. That ought to do it. As far as mark up goes, no builder does pro bono work as far as I'm aware. If you want heated pipes under your floors you're going to have to pay for it. There's the builder price and the do it yourself price. If you want the cheaper price so bad, do it yourself. All I'm saying is do your homework. Not everyone is "out to get you". I like this company so much I referred two family members and one friend to them to build and they sent me to Vegas for my third referral. My friend did say that when they broke ground there ended up being about $6,000 extra costs associated with her lot but she bought the lot, not the Schumachers. Good luck in your searches!


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Indygal, I am glad to see that you have found a home builder here in town that you are comfortable with. I hope you will be happy in your new home. The reason I sent you an email was to talk to you about the misinformation that you placed in your posting. I thought providing the truth might convince you to shop us and compare us apple to apple. If you were not going to build with me; I had hoped to offer you advice in your search for the right homebuilder for you. I have worked in the homebuilding industry here in Indianapolis for the past 15 years side by side with some of the best in town. I feel that as a member of the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis I have that responsibility.

For the rest of the forum readers here is the email that I sent on 9/7/07.

I recently had your posts sent to me. I would like to opportunity to discuss your concerns regarding building with Schumacher Homes. We do have a different way of approaching the build process than most. Frankly we are trying to make it easier on the homebuyer.

"They get you in the door with their super cheap prices and then sock it to you when you upgrade. It looks like just about everything would have to be upgraded to make us happy. We expect to pay for better quality materials, but don't want to be hassled about choices we want that they don't offer."

It is certainly disappointing that you have this impression of us. This is frankly not correct. Would you be willing to meet me without obligation to talk about these things?


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

indybuilder,

"Any use by you of any other member.s or site visitor.s information, personal or otherwise, for any purpose, commercial or otherwise, or to obtain direct financial gain (e.g. mass marketing) is prohibited. Any such use shall be deemed to be a violation of these Terms of Service. The GardenWeb Network is to be used by you for your personal use only. Commercial uses of the GardenWeb Network are strictly prohibited unless prior written consent from iVillage has been granted."

Just letting you know.

Amy


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

anhh1...off topic... but if you and your husband have "been in the business" for many years, I'm surprised you don't know that the term is "tract" builder, not "track" builder. Sorry, but this common error is one of my big pet peeves. (That and people saying something is a "mute" point when the correct term is "moot" point. And I guess this is a "moot" point. Sorry, but I'm crabby today, lol).


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Shoppgirl- You have an excellent point and are obviously more educated in this process. Yes, the base price of my home started out at $232,700, after we made all of our selections and lot characteristic fees out house had an end price tag of $279,500. But no one forced us to add stamped concrete, hardwood floors, etc. In addition my price per square foot came out to be $95. This is for approx 3000 sq ft 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths. Besides the fact that I just LOVE it!

Indybuilder- I would like to applaud you for making a statement on this forum. I do not see anything in your message that can be refered to as pursuant for financial gain. You simply added your professional opinion to a public forum where the subject matter is "your profession" in addition to trying to rectify any issues that Indygal may have with your office.

"Advertising is strictly forbidden in forum messages. This does not mean that as a business owner you cannot use the forums. It means you cannot use forum messages as a means of advertising. Even our paying advertisers are not allowed to that.
If you have a business, mentioning the name, providing a link, giving the phone number, etc., are all forms of advertising. Linking to an informational page at your site where items are sold is an advertisement. If you post such a message under a pseudonym, it is still an ad. In sum, if at least part of the reason you are posting is to let people know about your business, it is an advertisement. This is exactly what our paying advertisers are trying to do: get people to their site or business."

This is from the guidelines for businesses on Gardenweb. I didn't see anything in your message that could be taken as violation of this guideline.


Cheaprock- I hate not having spell check on these things!! Thanks for the call out on that!


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Hello All!
I'm considering Schumacher Homes as my number 1 choice of builder so far simply because of the satisfaction I have seen. When you walk in the door you get a nice greeting. I have also e-mailed them on several occasions and got a reply back in just minutes.

The only downside is hearing all the negativity in online forums about them which is kind of leaning me away. I just have to keep remembering that they build hundreds of homes a year and not everyone is going to be 100% satisfied.

I run a website design business and we get at least 2-5 complaints back a year, but we build dozens upon dozens of sites so this is understandable.

The main concern I have at the moment is when signing the contract. They quoted me $177,000 for their homestead model. That included well/septic, driveway, all utility hookups, level the land, cut down trees, etc.

My question is that if I sign with them at 177,000 (It won't be that much by the way, we have selected one of their ranch homes instead of this two story home.) Anyways, will I be expecting to pay anymore? I can see if I go over my carpet limit, etc I would have to pay more or if I wanted to add something later. My main concern is unexpected stuff such as in the post above how the guy had to pay an additional $6,000 to have gravel pored around his house.

Thanks!


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

rickstang,

My homestead model is near completion and the house is actually under budget by $2000 from our quoted contract price at the time of the preconstruction meeting. They didn't try and nickel and dime me like I thought they would and the builder I received is incredibly good and was able to get things done the day he said he did.

After being nervous at first I am very happy I went with them and the house is beautiful. We ended up paying around $217,000 with many upgrades excluding lot work we did ourselves. They have not gone over budget or taken too long on anything. If you'd like to see pictures you can email me at borlinga @ yahoo.com


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Thanks for the reply! I would really enjoy seeing some photos of it, I'll e-mail you later tonight. =)

We've been through just about everyone of their models. We went to several locations so far. We were going to build the Homestead at first, but it was just a tad out of our budget, plus we didn't need a home that large since their are just the two of us right now.

The one we really liked the most was their Richmond II model. I didn't like the way it looked from the photos they had on their website so I hesitated going at first, but I figured I would go check it out just to give me something to do. After seeing this house in person and walking through a few other 1 story homes, this was the only 1 story that we really liked. Of course with many upgrades since the house is only 1,750 SQ Feet. By the time we get done adding the sunroom, and a few other upgrades, it'll be a little over 2,000 SQ feet which should be perfect for us.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

We attempted to deal with having a home built by Schumacher Homes in Greenville SC. Our initial meeting went quite well and we received an estimated cost for our home specs from the sales person. During the next meeting to pick out the colors and specifics the price went up by over 10 thousand dollars. It was explained that the salesman had made some mistakes in the initial pricing. We were very specific in what we wanted but the plans that Schumacher came up with did not meet our requirements. After 2 more meetings with the Schumacher team and our continuing to point out errors in the price quote and design, Schumacher called us to tell us they were not interested in building us a home. It took 2 more weeks to get our initial deposit back. While they say they will build to your plans, they are not very flexible. Bottom line, they wasted allot of our time....


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Hello everyone! Long time lurker, first time poster... My wife and I are looking to purchase some land on the east side of Cincinnati (any leads would be appreciated) and build a home. One of the builders we are looking into is Paul Schumacher. I would appreciate any posts that comment further on the quality, craftsmanship, etc. of their homes.

Of course when someone builds 100s or 1000s of homes during the year all over the country there will be dissatisfied purchasers and I would certainly appreciate hearing those comments as well as I would like to make a well-rounded decision. We have not gone into one of their models or design centers yet. That's probably a month away or so.

I am slightly turned off by the offer of a BMW on their website, I find that a tad tacky and would MUCH rather have the cost of the car deducted from my home price. I am sure that all of that is negotiable.

I do have to ask as well... The prices they list on their website for the homes they build, are the pretty accurate for starting prices? Obviously, upgrades bump the price up, but any comments on that too?

Lots of questions, but again - many of you have been a huge help so far! We're just looking for some additional comments from everyone. Thanks and Happy New Year everyone!


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Can anyone tell me when the best time is to negotiate the prices with Schumacher Homes? We are undergoing pricing options but have not signed anything yet. When do we negotiate (before the 1st contract of pricing options, or at the 2nd preconstruction contract when the $ is locked in)? Also, what is a good percentage to start cutting (20%, 10%, 7.5%, 5%)?
Thanks


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Buyer 1-

Did anyone respond to your question? We are at the same process and are wondering when we begin negotiating, and what they are willing to take off in addition to the $15,000 promotion.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Hi!

I'm fairly new here and I'd like to re-open this discussion because my husband and I are about to sit down and negotiate with Schmacher here in Ohio.

At first, we bought the plans we liked and tried working with a number of custom builders to get within a reasonable budget for what we wanted - a fairly simple two story house with about 2500 sq feet with a budget for the house alone of about $300,000 - $325,000, not including any site improvements, which we intend to pay cash for. We are looking at a range of somewhere between $120 - $135/sq ft, which is upper mid-range for the area we live in, not extreme high-end, but certainly above average. We already own the land and have already been approved for financing, so in these slow times, we thought that we'd have builders eager to get this kind of a project - not true in many cases. Many of the true custom builders only want projects of $500,000 - over 1 million, and that's way outside our means. you'd think that any project that puts cash in their bank accounts would beat sitting around waiting for the high-end projects to fall into their laps and risking not making any money, wouldn't you?

The other custom builders who did bid on our project either seemed to be one step ahead of bankruptcy court, or just didn't get what we wanted and tried to push their own agendas on us. We came really close to signing with two of them, but put on the brakes when our attorney checked out their financials and read over their stock contracts. In all, we've wasted almost two yrs trying to chase down a builder with a lot of frustration.

So here's the deal: We both like the Schumacher models very much. They're well-designed, economical plans that give you a lot of space for what seems to be a reasonable price, even with upgrades, as compared to the custom builders we've worked with. We're not made of money and have to stick within a budget that's comfortable for us to live within, but we have the means to upgrade the base plans we're interested in and still do that.

So tell me everything you know about Schumacher, good and bad. I've read through this thread and acknowledge we need to be careful and think this through carefully. But they seem to build a nice, quality, well designed, comfortable house at a decent price. I dont need the high end types of bells and whistles to be happy - I need a house I can afford and can enjoy for years to come. Will I get that with Schumacher?


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

An update on my experience with Schumacher Homes:

We loved their new Craftsman plans and we set up a price quote appointment with them at their Ashland Office. That's where the good part of this experience ends. Right off the bat, they quoted us a "starting price" that was $3500 different than what was quoted on their own website, even taking into account the difference to build our in our rural county. Luckily, I had printed out the website with the lower amount quoted. Our salesman at first didn't buy it, but I made him go into their website as we sat there and proved to him that I was right. He looked puzzled, then agreed that it was their error and confirmed with his sales manager that the lower price would be honored in our quote. He made that note in our quote - "price adjusted to reflect pricing error on website".

We went through the price quote and then talked about the current incentives - he told us he could get us $15,000 off in options. At that point, our upgrades came close to $100,000 over the base price, so that made us happy. There were some custom details that we had requested - tankless water heater, premium hardwood flooring, etc., that he said he'd have to get back to us on to complete the quote, but we were generally happy and ready to sign.

Exactly 48 hrs later, we got both a call and an "urgent email" from this guy and he said he had to talk to us about an "across the board" price increase that he just been notified about from the home office. We thought that it was pretty strange that he hadn't mentioned anything like that to us and also that a big company that had just raised its prices in January would turn around and raise them again in Feb, especially since business is not very good right now.

So we called him to see what was going on. The "price increase" not only negated the agreement we'd made with them on the $3,500 price error, it also gave them $2000 more profit on us. Then he started waffling BIGTIME on the $15,000 off on upgrades he'd promised us as part of their standard promotion. We told him we weren't happy at all with all this and that we expected the company to stand behind their WRITTEN price quote to us. He said he'd have to talk to his manager about it. Needless to say, the great feeling we had about building this house with them was evaporating quickly and we felt like we were being ripped off. If they were being this deceptive even before the contract was signed, what would they be like to work with once we were locked in?

The next day, his office manager called and asked why we were upset. Told him all the details, which he obviously knew from the salesman anyway. He started smoozing us with the "price increase" story, but my husband was getting angrier by the minute and basically told him that we're not stupid consumers and have owned several houses and know how this "Bait and Switch" approach works.

The next day, the district manager called. Same approach, but offered us $10,000 off our upgrades as a "good faith offering of customer service". My husband told him that no matter how much we loved their house, we could never do business with a company with so little regard for integrity and we were passing on the house. The district manager had the nerve to say "well, if we can ever do business with you in the future, give us a call".

In the last few days, I've heard several very expensive radio ads for Schumacher Homes on our local stations and have seen several print ads as well. All those ads trying to drum up business in a very slow housing market stress their "reputation for outstanding customer service and honesty". They had a guaranteed sale of a house that would end up costing around $350,000 (without land - we own our own) and they pissed it away trying to rip us off for around $5000. You make the call about whether or not you want to work with a company like that.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

mainecoonkitty,

From your previous posts I deduced you are building in Ohio-I am probably 50-60 miles from you. Lots of Schumacher around here. The commercials running on our radion stations right now are promising "no payments for a year". What did they say about that?

My family ( commercial contracters) would not let us even consider Schumacher, K Hovanian or Wayne..... all similar.

Keep doing your homework..... you will find someone.

PD


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Hi Ponydoc!

Your family gave you GOOD advice! Yes, we're in Ohio, building in Knox County, about 1/2 way between Mt Vernon and Utica. That's the other thing that drove us nuts about Schumacher. They have an office in Southern Delaware County, about a 15 minute drive from where we live now, but they wouldn't let us work out of that office. They forced us to drive to Ashland, which is a 90 minute drive from us just to get the price quote! So every time we needed to talk to them about something, instead of making it convenient for the customer (us), they make it convenient for themselves. We even talked to their district manager about this and figured out quickly that the whole thing is nothing more than a turf war for business between two offices. That should have been our first clue about how lacking they are in the customer service area. By the way, this is the THIRD time we've talked to them about building a house in the last 2 1/2 yrs. We've always loved their house plans and really wanted to build one of their Craftsman farmhouse plans, so we kept going back - like moths to a flame!

They are using that "we'll make your payments for a year" spiel right now, but what they don't tell you is that you have to use their in-house mortgage company, Triad Mortgage. It's next to impossible to find out their current mortgage rates and the mortgage terms, but after some digging around, I discovered that their rates are always at least 1% above local market rates and their closing costs are much higher as well. They also have a pre-payment penalty clause in their mortgages, so if you want to re-finanace after the year of "free payments", you're going to pay through the nose to do that. Triad specializes in loans for buyers who can't get financing anywhere else, so it's just an offshoot of the sub-prime mess that's bringing down the whole housing industry. We've already been approved for our financing with a lender that we've used and trusted for years, so their deal was not attractive to us anyway.

Schumacher is heavily promoting this "no payments for a year" thing, but they don't bring it up in the price quote process. You have to ask about it. Last month, they were advertising a "free BMW" with their homes. After looking into it, I found out that they had a deal with a local BMW dealer to make the lease payments for 2 yrs on the car. And you only had a choice of 2 different low-end BMW's which were stripped down models. I was going to ask them to deduct the cost of the two yr lease from the bottom line of the price quote, since I couldn't care less about getting a BMW, but they wouldn't do that. My guess is that they were getting a rock-bottom lease deal from the BMW dealer in exchange for the free advertising they were providing in their ads, so the actual cost to them was little to nothing in actuality. And if anyone actually fell for this "deal", the district manager probably called them up the day after the price quote to inform them of a sudden "price increase" email from Paul Schumacher himself!

The good news for us is we've found our builder at last! He's someone that has been highly recommended to us by several people who have had homes built by him, one of which has had 3 homes built by him and won't even consider anyone else. Our closest neighbor's house was built by him and we've seen his quality work up close. Our neighbors raved about him and made the call to him that moved us up his waiting list, since he values his former clients. He does not have to advertise at all and is one of the local builders whose business is BOOMING because he has all the work he needs by reference only. We originally wanted to talk to him a couple of years ago, but he had a waiting list of clients from references - always a good sign. We originally thought we couldn't afford him, but much to our delight, we've found that we can, even with substantial upgrades. He charges a fair price and he's totally upfront about the costs with no surprises. Every one of his former clients that we've talked to told us that he usually comes in under budget and ahead of schedule because he does such a great job of estimating his costs accurately and he passes on any cost saving he runs across to the customer. And we'll have a quality built house, using local Amish carpenters, with custom built cabnetry and trimwork, and local building products that support the local economy.

Needless to say, we're thrilled about the quality work that he and his company do and about the ability to feel trust in our builder's honesty and integrity. He's not offering any gimicky promotions because he doesn't need to - he's offering a well-built house at a fair price and that's the bottom line to us anyway.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

We've lived in our Schumacher home for 2 months now with no problems other than a stuck door. If I could have afforded another $50,000 for the same size house by a local builder, I would have gone with them, but it wasn't in my budget. They aren't for everyone.

To answer the post regarding when to negotiate. They were offering $13,000 in free options on their website, we got the salesment to admit he could go up to $17,000. SO my wife asked if we signed a contract that day, would he give us $20,000 and he said it was a done deal, just had to get his manager's approval for the extra $3,000... which he did the next day. It was smooth sailing for us. It's sad to hear some of these idiot salesmen ruin it for people and their own company.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

mainecoonkitty,

may I ask what builder you went with?


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Roy Schlabach in Millersburg. It's been a true joy working with someone that I feel such trust in. I can honestly say that he's restored my faith in general contractors being good people who sometimes get a bad rap from the bad apples in the business. I highly recommend him.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

It is too funny you said his name, my wife is originally from Millersburg and there a very good home builders there, too bad that the good ones are on such a long wait.

We went to Schumacher homes yesterday, base price for the house we wanted was $199,700 after building upgrades, the price jumped to $305,000 and that doesn't even include the minor fixture upgrades we want. Needless to say we are going to continue to look elsewhere.

The sales guy was very nice and accomodation though, and the floor plans are the best I have found on the internet.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Wow! Small world! We had very much the same experience with Schumacher - low base price that looks enticing, but the price quoted is never the real bottom line.

There are many good, reputable builders to be found in the area around Millersburg, but sometimes they are difficult to get in touch with because they don't need to advertise. One place that I found very helpful is Keim Lumber in Charm. We went there and the very helpful people who work at the Help Desk in the middle of the store (where the builders order their materials) gave us a printed list of the builders they have worked with and recommend. if you know Keim Lumber and the quality materials they sell, you know that they know what they're talking about when it comes to who builds a good house. Many of the good Amish and Mennonite builders only buy from Keim because their wood products are milled to order right on site and they do a lot of absolutely gorgeous custom trim and woodwork. they'll give you a list of builders in all price ranges from all over the Central Ohio area. We talked to a couple on their list and if we hadn't gone with Schlabach, we would have pursued a couple that they recommended.

Good luck and I hope you find the right one for your project.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Mainecoonkitty,
Where is Millersburg in relation to Columbus? NE? We live on the northwest side of Columbus and I would love to tap into the Amish tradesmen. We had a wonderful Mennonite gentleman trim out our last house. I have also never heard of Charm. Sounds like a quaint little town.
comfortdog


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Northeast. Millersburg is about 90 minutes NE of Columbus, in Coshocton County. Charm is in the same general area. It's smack in the middle of Ohio Amish country and a great drive to get there. Here's a website for Millersburg.

http://www.millersburgohio.com/

If you google Keim Lumber in Charm, Ohio, you can take a look at their website. It has directions.


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Keim Lumber

Here's a website that gives you a picture of the inside of their sales area. As you can see, it's not your typical lumber yard. My husband and I just love to wander around in there and look at the displays of their work. I've never seen anything quite like it.

http://www.windowanddoor.net/dealers07_5.htm


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

I will certainly check that out when I have time to leisurely look!!
comfortdog


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

I didn't realize Kiem Lumber would be such a help, I guess it makes sense though.

Just FYI, Millersburg is actually in Holmes County, just a technicality I guess ;)

From personal experience if you go to Millersburg and surrounding Amish country, make a day of it, the views from the back country roads are gorgeous. I absolutley love the fall season when all the trees are turning colors.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

A few months ago I found this thread after doing some searching on Paul Schumacher Homes. I want to thank Allan (allan44035) for being so kind as to answer some of my questions that I sent him via email a couple months ago.

My husband and I have fallen in love with a PSH floorplan (the Broadmoor C) and have been in contact with a rep in our area (Charlotte, NC).

We are not planning on building for a couple more years, but despite this the rep has been very nice and helpful in answering our questions and is even willing to work with us over the next couple of years (when she has availability) to finalize the changes we want and figure out the pricing. She knows we are not building for a couple years (I've stressed that in EVERY email I've sent her) and she completely understands and has NOT pressed us at all about coming in to meet her. She and I have emailed at various times in the past month and spoke on the phone once. Not once has she done a hard sell, since she knows that we are just NOT able to build right now even though we own the land we're building on.

So far I've had a good experience with the Charlotte office of PSH and this is the FIRST time in a long time that my DH and I have found a floorplan that we both like that needs minimal tweaking (and I do mean MINIMAL - we are merely bumping out two exterior walls and going with a single story great room instead of two) to suit our needs.

Will definitely keep folks updated.

(Link to our floorplan is a PDF file on their site)

Here is a link that might be useful: Broadmoor C floorplan


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Great! I wish you all the best in building your new home and hope your experience with PSH is a good one.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Quick background I am a retired new home sales person. I have sold hundreds of new homes. I have never worked for Schumacher Homes, but I see many of the same misconceptions. Unfortunately, most people are woefully uneducated on building.

First, builders will usually advertise basic home prices. This is not an elaborate scheme to defraud the public. How could they know what you want? Some folks are glad to have a vinyl exterior, others need brick or stone. Obviously you as the consumer need to decide based on your budget and priorities. You spend your money on the extras important to you. Like stainless steel appliance? Not everyone does, some people hate them. Get the idea? If they included everything, they would just have to back out the items you didnt want or could not afford. Make sense?

Beer budgets and champagne taste is the bane of production builders. Customers see million dollar homes on TV and want to duplicate the features at $70.00 a square foot. You will get more for your money from a production builder. Period. They buy windows by the train loads. They own lumber yards, and on and on. Less choices, yes but most people can barely handle the ones they need to make.

Custom builders anyone can call themselves a custom builder. That could be great or it can mean there is a chance your contractor will file bankruptcy and youll never see a finished home. Your warranty will probably be nothing compared to the big guys. My custom built home had a one year warranty and I never saw my builder after he was paid. The average person is ill equipped to build a home strictly from prints, without a model to see.

If all this scares you, then buy a used home. You lack the fortitude to build.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Visited Schumacher in Greensburg,PA on Mar 29,2009. Salesman did a plan but we wanted a few changes- 2 x 6 walls, 5/8 roof sheeting, brick. Salesman said we'd have the plan,drawing and cost in 2 days. It's been two months+ and no results, called Salesman Tom Saxton a couple times and e-mailed several times( ignored). He blamed the design dept, says he can't get the info from them. Don't know how they'd build a house in 4 months when they won't respond. Anyone know how to contact Paul Schumacher? I did purchasing for 25 years and this kind of treatment is unacceptable.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

we too were interested in schumacher but never went as far as others. we knew the upgrades etc would kill us. we decided to owner build custom and since many of you are from ohio, if you are in central ohio and would like any recommendations please let me know. our framer was wonderful and saved the day several times when material and truss design were not correct. not to say we have not had any bumps in the process but he really took a huge load off and he also general contracts if need be. if you are at all familiar with tartan fields, his company does.did a lot of the work out there. Jill


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Jill:

I would love to hear your recommendations for a central OH custom builder. We are considering building in the NW suburbs/exurbs and are considering Schumacher, among others. We are a little dubious on the cost after another builder gave us a "ballpark" cost/square foot that is way higher than Schumacher's ranges. We are not looking for extreme high-end finishes, but don't want a vinyl house (inside or out) either. Thanks.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

NW of Columbus, that is. Others in the area are welcome to opine as well. Thanks.


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

We are interested in building a home, and Schumacher is the first builder we've met with. Took a trip to see their model homes (Williamsburg, Ohio) and really liked one of their models.

My question is: can this company be trusted? I've read through the feedback on this site and am beginning to get really worried.

On the one hand, I understand that the company's ability to buy loads of materials in bulk can reduce the price of the final product, but I'm starting to think that I should be looking for a smaller, local builder.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Mike


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

i HAVE A BRAND NEW SCHUMACHER HOME..DONT DO IT MY BASMENT LEAKS... AND MY WINDOWS LEAK, and my doors rattle all this with a 300,000 home. It is horrible warranty as i TYPE this i have water dripping from my ceiling and YES they know it and still have not come to fix it!!!! RUN away the savings will cost you more in the long term!!!!!!


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

We are thinking of building with Schumacher. I like their floorplan but I need to be convinced they are doing a good job and using decent quality building material. I have contacted 2 others builders in the area and was told that for a good home, the price per sq.ft. should be about $200. Schumacher has quoted me more like $110 and that's with a lot of upgrades. I understand they should be cheaper but worry about such a huge discrepancy and can't imagine that doesn't mean they cut corners. Could anyone who has built with them tell me more about their own experience and thoughts? If we do go with them what do you suggest we subcontract on our own? Did Schumacher give you a lot of troubles when you decided to do some things on your own? Has anyone experience with building with Schumacher in NC or SC?
Anyway, I hope you can give me some insights and advices...Building a house is a big deal and choosing the right builder the most important decision one can make!:-)Thank you so much in advance!


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Curious if those of you that were happy building in the Charlotte area were out of the Mooresville office, or another location? Still happy with your home? Did you have your own land? Thanks!


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RE: Paul Schumacher Homes / Pros and Cons

Hi guys,

I have heard a lot of bad reviews about the Schumacher homes, however, every time i go to look at the homes I love them. I really like the layout of the Heritage B home.

Has anyone ever thought about taking the blueprint of a Schumacher home and contacting a trusted local builder to execute the job? This way avoiding some of the hidden costs and loop holes that I've heard so much about?

If anyone has done this, or is thinking about doing this, or has any input on this topic at all, please let me know. Any information is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Adam


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