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Richmond American Homes

Posted by roselvr (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 13, 07 at 19:34

Has anyone here bought from them? We fell in love with their Amherst model (in NJ) and decided to buy. Hubby is reading over the contract and has some questions. I will drop it at my attorney's office tomorrow so that one of the attorneys in the firm can read it for us, but until we're able to have that done, if someone is familiar with their contract, we can at least get some general questions answered.

I also posted in the building forum after doing a search. Doesn't look like anyone over there has bought from them.

Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Richmond American Homes

MDC Holdings owns Ricmond American Home here is an interesting links

http://neighborhoodsforqualityhomes.org/


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why the long wait???

Today, 06:40 PM
Roselvr
Senior Member Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: NJ - Burlington County
204 posts, read 21,266 times
Reputation: 20

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How did you make out? Did you ever buy from them?

We just signed on for lot 40, and Amherst model. I've spoken to neighbors; so far every one is happy.


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RE: Richmond American Homes

why the long wait???

What do you mean why the long wait? From this forum, I went to city data, did a search there to see if anyone bought a home. I found that one post that I posted to, she's was posting about the same community we're buying in.

I've researched Richmond, so far I haven't found anything for NJ. We were able to speak to people that do own and are very happy.

We've walked a lot of communities in the last month or so, Richmond as well as 2 other builders had the best work from what we saw. I even tried to walk previously purchased homes that were up for sale.


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RE: Richmond American Homes

I know of someone who bought a home from Richmond American Homes in northern California. The concrete foundation of their house was not done up to code and it had major cracks. Moisture got up to the linoleum and made major stains. Mildew was found under the carpeted areas. Richmond blamed it on their kids and pets and they had none. Finally, a few years later and after their lawyer sent a letter to Richmond, they had to move out temporarily (8 months) for the builder to repour part of the foundation. Only part of the foundation was replaced since it is impossible to replace all of it. They asked for another new house but Richmond refused. After the repairs, moisture from underneath continued to stain some of the linoleum areas where the concrete foundation has been redone. It was not just their house, all the houses down the same street had that problem.


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RE: Richmond American Homes

FWIW, after I had sold a number of them, I'd never buy one in my location.

Here is a link that might be useful: Richmond American Homes


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RE: Richmond American Homes

kal2002, for California location, sounds like poor grading, drainage and compaction of soil for the new homes - or could be a seep spring on that street, not much can be done after the fact. Unless they dug up the street and put in massive underground drainage. Might cut into their profits a bit. Foundations cracks could also be due to soil movement and earthquake movement - another story. But with the moisture problems I suspect it is grading and drainage issues, that might be able to be fixed or improved by the homeowner.

The soil around the perimeter of the house should be a minimum of six inches below the bottom of the siding (wood, stucco or whatever it is). That means the foundation should be a minimum of six inches high which is visible all the way around the house, even if it is a slab foundation. There should be slope away from the house five feet out. If your friends contact a grading and drainage expert they can install underground french drains around the perimeter of the property along the property lines to help redirect, toward the street, some of the moisture coming into the property. Keeping it away from their house to reduce moisture under their foundation. Also if your friends have gutters have them connect their gutters to underground drains and bring the drains all out to the street (the drains can be brought into one drain and out to the street). If they don't have gutters, have them get some and connect them to underground drains. If water pools longer than 24 to 48 hours after a rainfall or after irrigation of landscaping in any area near the foundation this is a problem area that should further be addressed. These measures should help eliminate or mitigate some of the moisture problems.

Sometimes the drainage problems are not due to the builder of the home but are created by other building going on nearby that directs drainage and water towards another area. My sister lives in area like that and gets a real river at the back of her property in the winter. Fortunately she has enough land so that it doesn't affect her house.


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RE: Richmond American Homes

Berniek, rip off report was the 1st place I went. I then went to a few other sites & saw the problems on the West Coast. So far nothing in NJ.

They sell a lot of houses, there are bound to be people not happy over something. I was able to speak to actual owners here, otherwise, I don't know.

We have one last step to do the mortgage, it wasn't in under writing when my hubby called the other day. Looks like we bought a house unless something happens there. If it does, this isn't meant to be. After losing my dad's house, I can come to terms with things not going the way I'd like.


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RE: Richmond American Homes

I have read quite a few complaints about essentially all the "big" builders, from all over the country. IMO most big builders don't consistently build a quality product as it can vary wildly depending on the supervisor, the area, or what's going on that year in their company. You're WISE to get a lawyer to review the contracts before you sign. That step could save home buyers a whole lot of headaches. Also be sure your contact allows you to have your own experts inspect during construction and that the builder has to fix things. If they're not required to care about your expert's inspections, they won't. And, last but not least, don't agree to a mandatory arbitration clause. I don't know of any builders who would remove the clause so don't be surprised if your choice is to waive your legal rights in an arbitration clause, or buy elsewhere. I'd pick "buy elsewhere."

Check for complaints at www.hadd.com and www.hobborg and www.rateyourbuilder.com too. Another thing about arbitration is that it's private, so complaints that are handled that way are NOT public record in hardly any instances. Between taking away your legal recourse, and the privacy, arbitration is a sweet deal for builders, a bad one for homeowners, who are often told it's cheaper, etc. Don't fall for it.


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RE: Richmond American Homes

I have read quite a few complaints about essentially all the "big" builders, from all over the country. IMO most big builders don't consistently build a quality product as it can vary wildly depending on the supervisor, the area, or what's going on that year in their company.

I did find out that each subdivision of Richmond homes is different. The NJ area does not fall into the MD area. The fact that there haven't been any complaints in the NJ, PA, Delaware area makes me feel better.

And, last but not least, don't agree to a mandatory arbitration clause. I don't know of any builders who would remove the clause so don't be surprised if your choice is to waive your legal rights in an arbitration clause, or buy elsewhere. I'd pick "buy elsewhere."

Thanks, I'll look into what you said. The attorney said it's the standard contract builders use. He said compared to some, it's pretty good.

. Also be sure your contact allows you to have your own experts inspect during construction and that the builder has to fix things. If they're not required to care about your expert's inspections, they won't.

I will make note of inspection, because it's something I was planning anyway. Since I don't know the builder, I feel an inspection can't hurt.

Still waiting to hear from the mortgage company. We signed final contracts Saturday for the interior stuff. The company has been easy to work with, so far everything has been very positive. We have a great sales lady that has done whatever she can to make us happy.

I'm starting to get excited, but don't want to get too excited in case for some reason the mortgage company doesn't qualify us.


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RE: Richmond American Homes

Forgot to mention to avoid using the builder's lender. Complaints about range from just not gettig the best deal, to deceptive tactics, to outright mortgage fraud. IMO it's a conflict of interest at best. It sounds like you've been researching to find complaints. Keep in mind that because so few can sue a builder now due to arbitration clauses, far fewer complaints reach any public record. Researching court records is a good idea but very few complaints get that far. Ask current homeowners in the developments how their warranty service is, etc. If you can get them while they're still mad they may talk. Otherwise they tend to clam up, worrying more about their property values than about warning future customers.

If you go to the home building forum here you can learn more about construction, too. A lot of builders take shortcuts that can be easily spotted if you know what to look for. Because most of us aren't in the construction business we can look right at a problem and never recognize it. Once the problem is covered with siding, etc, it can create big problems for the buyer later. Seeing the builder's houses while under construction would tell shoppers who know what to look for whether it was a builder worth taking a longer look at.

Good luck.


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RE: Richmond American Homes

They suck just as bad in NJ as everywhere else. I am a homeowner in South Jersey and they are terrible. If you don't belive me just email Chris Long (president of the Delaware Valler division) and tell him I own lot so and so in the (pick a subdivision) and I moved in six moths ago, and I have a problem that I would like fixed. See if he even responds.


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RE: Richmond American Homes

Make sure EVERYTHING is perfect before you move in ... their after the sale service is nonexistent! Once they have your money, you mean nothing ... and you can forget about them lifting a finger to help. We've been here for two years and there are things from our one month walk through that have yet to be completed! My handles to my bathroom faucets came off in my hands for 8 months before they would some back with "the special screws that had to be ordered" and installed them. I could go on FOREVER but don't have the time. Caveat emptor!


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RE: Richmond American Homes

Do you own a Richmond American Home? You may have overpaid!

I work with a law firm thats launched an investigation into Richmond American Homes. Reports from homeowners claim Richmond American Homes worked with Countrywides appraisers to artificially inflate the appraisal values given to new homes.

Under this alleged agreement Richmond American Homes receives higher profits from inflated home sales and homeowners suffer large losses and unknowingly pay inflated prices.

If you purchased a home through Richmond American Homes from 2006 to present, visit www.hbsslaw.com/richmondamericanhomes to learn more, share your experience or join the investigation.

Here is a link that might be useful: Richmond American Homes Investigation


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RE: Richmond American Homes

Meredith, how did Countrywide's appraisers get in on this?
Richmond has their own mortgage company.


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RE: Richmond American Homes

However, a buyer does not have to use the builders mortgage company. They are free to obtain a mortgage anywhere...and apparently those who obtained their mortgages through Countrywide believe they have a claim...

...FWIW, their site does not mention their own mortgage company, only an affiliate, HomeAmerican Mortgage Corporation. Google results for that company and Countrywide resulted in the following link.

It seems they are connected somehow. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire.

Here is a link that might be useful: Google Search Results


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RE: Richmond American Homes

Countrywide is the affiliated or preferred lender of quite a few builders. It's not much different, if at all, than using a builder's own mortgage company. Beazer and KB Home were both operating their own mortgage co's until fairly recently, and both shut them down upon federal investigation and sent buyers to Countrywide. Quite a few builders get fined by HUD for violation of lending laws, but they keep doing the same things because the fine is just a cost of doing business to them. Methinks predatory lending, even mortgage fraud, must be pretty profitable. People are often shocked to find out that large well known companies are committing fraud but they do. If you know where to look for it you can find many instances of it on various HUD pages. That doesn't even begin to cover the many individual disputes over it, and if the home buyers were forced to arbitrate disputes, record of that is hidden. (Arbitration = no suing, thus no public record, and usually a biased arbitrator who's doing repeat biz w/the company, too.)


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RE: Richmond American Homes

Thanks Logic. Home American is who we did use, loan got bought out by Countrywide which was why I asked.


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