Phoenix, Arizona
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We are currently in the process of building our new home in Hamilton Heights in Chandler, Arizona. This is a time when we are dreaming of our new home and also very anxious about spending hard earned money on a new house. I am writing today, because at first, we were very excited about the prospect of our new home, until we had our experience at the Design Center. We originally thought we were the only ones disappointed and frustrated with our experience, but upon meeting several other soon-to-be neighbors at Hamilton Heights, we discovered that almost everyone had the same bad experience. This is when we decided we had to contact you.

When we first arrived at the design center we were excited to see what we could create for our new home. From cabinets and carpet to paint, speakers and faucets, the possibilities were endless. We began picking out cabinets and moved on to flooring. This is when we discovered that there were only three choices of “standard” tile and six choices of “standard” carpet. All of which was white, dirty white or even dirtier white. In order to find something that was even halfway decent for a $400,000 + home we had to move several grades up. I am not talking lush, designer stuff; I am talking for stuff that came in my first apartment. So we began looking at the choices presented to us in this range. We picked out stuff that would “do for now,” and then Suzie came back to us with a price. Over $20,000 for flooring? Upgrading when you are building a house shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. The company already has to put something in the house, so labor is already there and there isn’t any demolition that needs to happen. You should just have to pay for an upgrade in the material, which should be minimal. This was definitely not the case. Just this one tiny experience had us wanting to back out of the contract. We wrote down and took pictures of the products we had chosen and looked them up from RETAIL stores when we got home. To have someone come in after closing on our house and put the SAME EXACT flooring in would only cost us $9000! This is also paying for labor and demolition! So we called back and told her to “put whatever comes with the house” in because we weren’t going to pay them to do it and put it on our 30 year mortgage. Then it comes to other options for our house. We weren’t told options about paint (honestly with the scam with the flooring we would rather do it ourselves), our neighbors weren’t given options for fireplaces or paint. They also had an issue with the flooring. They started calculating the price per square foot and found a huge discrepancy between what they were being charged for the tile in the dining room versus what they were being charged per square foot in the living room. It was the SAME tile. When Suzie was faced with this she told them “well I am not perfect.” Yet she had boasted that she had been working for Pulte Design Center for “23 years.” I don’t believe she changed the discrepancy. After this exchange with our neighbors, they are thinking about paying the $250 change request and not having Pulte put their flooring in either but to do it themselves.

Now comes this issue with fans. We just wanted simple pre-wiring for ceiling fans. Shouldn’t cost much, since my dad works for an electric wholesaler and says that a builder can put them in for less than $40 a piece, retail, with labor. So why in the world is Pulte charging $175 per pre-wire?? Mind you, this isn’t even with a fan! So after discussing our options, because by this point we were ready to back out of the whole deal (and yes, lose the earnest money), we decided to upgrade the things we couldn’t do ourselves later on, or the ‘few’ things that were actually at market value. After meeting with the design center staff, we are very leery of the workmanship and “market value” of the actual Pulte construction. We have been in close contact with the Construction Manager, Paul and are keeping a watchful eye on everything. So far, the construction seems to be heads above what we encountered at the Design Center.

In conclusion, we did NOT have Pulte do the carpet, tile, faucets, bathroom upgrades, counter upgrades, ceiling fans, hardware, sinks, blinds, toilet, bathtub or shower upgrades that we had originally wanted to do. (Look at the money lost there and we are just ONE home!) Who knows what other upgrades were available to us but not relayed to us. We will take our hard earned money to make this home fantastic, while giving the design center as little as possible. This should have been a fun and exciting experience. Not one full of frustration and feeling like we were being ripped off. Then to find out, it wasn’t just us! If we had visited the design center before signing an agreement, you can bet we would have chosen to move elsewhere and gone with a different builder. Lets hope this is not indicative of what we can expect throughout our entire experience with Pulte. And you can believe, that we are relaying this story to EVERYONE we know! As you know, the housing market is growing, something needs to change at your design center or you will be losing out on the extra revenue of the upgrades and alienating your customers. Word of mouth spreads quickly and in this age of digital communications, you can bet that word will get around.

Product or Service Mentioned: Pulte Homes House Construction.

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Larry Taylor
#1759841
Home Improvement Expert
According to the Pulte Homes reviews on PissedConsumer.com, the company currently has 1.6 out of 5 stars.

The rating presented here is based on the feedback offered by customers in 157 different Pulte Homes reviews.

Customers are not satisfied with poor customer service, cheap material used and cheap construction. However, customers like floor plans, sales staff and community amenities.

You may find more information regarding Pulte Homes customer service experience in the article "Comparing Home Construction Companies: Lennar Homes vs Pulte Homes Pros and Cons".

To find a solution with Pulte Homes, you may send a letter to the company headquarters:

PulteGroup, Inc,
100 Bloomfield Hills Pkwy,
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
48304
United States.

You may also share your experience with Pulte Homes customers as well as the company's top management team by posting your comments via the company social media networks. All contact information is available on the Pulte Homes Contacts tab on the Pissed Consumer website.
mattyb
#1751933

Most builders are overpriced on their upgrades. This is no surprise.

Spend your money on the things that can't be easily upgraded after you move in, like structural upgrades, cabinets, and tile. Everything else you can get done after the fact for pennies on the dollar. Carpet, paint, lights, fans, fixtures, hardware... buy it yourself at your local home improvement store and DIY or hire someone else to do it and save a ton!

And the salesperson will gladly give you the design guide and options and upgrades price sheet and if they say they can't they're full of crap. I got mine on my first trip to the model.

My design appointment is this week and I already have all of my choices made and know exactly where I might plan to spend/save money depending on what things look like when I'm actually in the design center. The problem is people who go into a model home with a base price of $300K and don't realize it probably has $50K+ in upgrades and then they're disappointed when they realize a lot of those things aren't included.

SubstantialHumboldtPenguin733
#1747561

September 14th 2019 and we had our Design Center Meeting yesterday and nothing has changed with Pulte. Similar to your experience we are shocked at the upgrade cost and are now going to spend the day comparing Pulte costs with other sources.

Similar to you we will most likely try and do everything aftermarket. Thank you!

Anonymous
#1757010
@SubstantialHumboldtPenguin733

We are toying with the idea of going with Pulte because our focus is a large master bedroom and a large walk-in shower and we are willing to pay for it, they gave up that with basic tile the walk-in shower is around six grand but they won't give up the pricing for the rear house extension option, have you heard what that is?

NegligibleArcticFox
#1743381

currently building a Pulte home in peachtree city, georgia. what have you all upgraded you thought was totally necessary and what do you regret upgrading or wish you had upgraded that you didn’t ?

We have some money for upgrades but like everyone else wants to be smart! thanks

CurlyCod330
#1755129
@NegligibleArcticFox

We are doing the same thing in PTC! Heading to the design center in a couple weeks. Would love to talk with you.

SlushyGrasshopper249
#1733090

We closed on our Pulte, Del Webb Chateau Elan home the first week of July 2019. When our kitchen and bathroom cabinets were delivered for installation, we saw them and told Pulte that the cabinets did not match.

Selecting our choices at the design center, we were told that the cabinets were wood. Never a mention that the facings of the frames were "digital skins." Of course, that is the reason they don't match. We picked two similar colors: sasparilla for the kitchen island, and something else (i forgot) for the bathrooms, very similar but not as dark. We were told that the difference in the cabinets was minimal.

When the cabinets were installed, the installers erroneously mixed up the skins and some were in the kitchen and some in the bathrooms. That was rectified immediately. The bathrooms are fine. The kitchen is still an on-going problem, over a month later!

THe cabinet doors/drawers/frames do not match at all. The stains on each is so different that they look awful. The problem began before closing and we were promised to go ahead and close because the issue would be rectified that following Thursday, to our satisfaction. Pulte has come out five times, replaced doors, and still, they do not match.

The issue was first addressed with the superintendent of the house, Josh Motes. He was absolutely amazing throughout the construction. Unfortunately, Pulte pushed him aside from the problem and brought in another person, Travis Horne, who also promised to solve the problem within the next seven days. That passed and the problem was escalated to their supervisor, Jason.

Jason came to our home with a "you're crazy-lady-and-I'm-not-going-to-replace-your-cabinets" attitude. I may be 55+ but I'm as bright or brighter than the youngster. Having experience in staining, because I'm a crafter, I knew that the stain drips on the doors were not knots, as he tried to tell me. After Jason told me four times that "we can agree not to agree," or something along those lines, I finally had enough.

I called him and told him that I no longer wanted to deal with him and would like to speak to his supervisor, Patrick. Patrick called me a day later and we arranged to meet the following Wednesday (six days later) when he was first available. I work and needed to do mornings. He could only do 3:30pm.

Fine. He was due to dome out and "I can tell you in 30 seconds whether or not I'll approve a change in cabinets." On Tuesday night, I receive a phone call from Jason. "I've been thinking about this all day and came up with an option. What if he would install a fake door panels where the skins are to dissipate the coloring?

I was okay with that, pending the colors would match across the front. I agreed once again to his solution and he assured me that the problem would be resolved within the next five-to-seven days. Why? Because it would take about three days to make the two panels needed for the sides.

He was giving himself a couple of days extra, just in case. I agreed and was fine with the situation. He asked if Patrick still needed to come out on Wednesday since Jason and I had agreed on doing the door panels. "No need.

I'll trust you this time," I said. Well, it's now two weeks later...no word from Jason. No panels. No returned phone calls.

No returned texts. I finally get a text from Jason Horne, explaining to me that Pulte received an audit and everyone has been busy this week. It's Thursday. He stated that he would try and find an answer for me as soon as he could.

We went back and forth for a bit and when I asked him for Patrick's phone number again, the texts ended. I tried to call the corporate office, to no avail. This is just one of the seven issues we had with the house. We kept on top of the construction a couple of times per week and my husband found several things that were incorrect but Josh immediately took care of them.

He was so on-top of the situation. He is meticulous and detailed like I've never seen before. Daily, the construction site was spotless, unlike the others around. We were kept on the loop about every detail of the house.

Josh worked so many overtime hours that he never accounted for to make things right for us. Pulte has these construction supervisors on an hourly wage not salary, per my research online. Many of these guys are working overtime without clocking in because the work needs to be done on time, but not enough hours in the day to do that. Nothing to do with my situation but thought I'd throw that in as a side note.

We had several change orders that were not our fault. Sales forgot to put the right information into the system. Things were left out or added that we did not ask for. Josh rectified those things.

He's the one who should be in the corporate office behind a nice desk with an air-conditioned office. It's now a day later...still waiting for a returned phone call from Jason or Patrick. No resolution to the matter.

What I do know is that we were baited into signing the closing of our house - it was an oral promise that never came through! Go figure.

SnobbishBinturong387
#1705629

On track to purchase a townhome at Altus at the Quarters here in Atlanta GA. The base price is $442k with an additional $57k after structural options including 4th floor addition with front and rear terrace, rear extension and specific layout.

I am concerned with the cost of upgrades prior to scheduling our design center appointment. Do you know if Pulte is able to share the cost sheet for the design center prior to your scheduled appointment? The sales team made a reference that the typical cost at the design center is $20k which I find hard to believe based on you alls feedback and prior home building experience.

We are thinking to keep the half bath and guest bathrooms as standard and only do upgrades to the master bathroom. As far as backsplash and countertops we plan to have a friend who is a contractor visit the model with us and provide a quote on upgrades if we do not like any of the options available or the price is too much.

Anonymous
#1757011
@SnobbishBinturong387

We are in Arizona if you don't mind how much was the rear house extension option they won't tell us here until the design meeting....

Anonymous
#1697359

I agree wholeheartedly. Same experience in Georgia.

Anonymous
#1686780

Thanks for the detailed and honest review. I am having a home built in the Tampa Bay Area and will be very careful wheyit comes time for my appointment at the design center.

Thanks again! Kellee

Anonymous
#1672547

As we are looking at Pulte Homes, this is really a heads up, Thank you!!!

Anonymous
#1670116

I'm on way in to put down earnest money and looking online I've seen a lot of this. When I asked for upgrades they barely gave me any information and anything I specifically requested like upgrades in a bathroom that was not the master were not possible.

I like the square footage and location and plan to have construction teams come in the day after closing to do all the upgrades with someone else. Unbelievable for a company building "custom homes"

Anonymous
#1637965

Pulte design center had no tile choices- only ugly ones :( everything is 3 times the market cost. Even basic things are an ‘option’.

Backsplash in kitchen is an expensive option. They literally bleed you.

Other builders in same area are giving better appliances for lesser cost too. Felt cheated and that I had no choice but build an ugly Pulte home.

Anonymous
#1574393

This is the same throughout the industry, not just Pulte. Don't get mad, NEGOTIATE.

They're still going to sell you a house, their only question is what will you sit still for. And start early.

Before you sign the contract, make a stink about "hearing that the Design Center is a ripoff" and wanting to see what the choices are, and what the costs might be, BEFORE you sign. They'll tell you then never do that, but then they will.

Anonymous
#1567159

So basically this post is somebody being outraged at prices being charged by a builder. When you buy a car it's no different with the addons dealers put on.

I've been through Pulte's design center recently and found it to be quite simple. Yeah, some prices were high but we just left them off and decided to do it ourselves.

Anonymous
#1686784
@Anonymous

The options are outrageous and it is not the same as purchasing a vehicle. Very few vehicles cost the same as a house.

Anonymous
#1566988

I read you should have the important stuff done by the builder such as gourmet kitchen, or extended garage, etc. carpeting you should have done by another place after a couple of years of use because the builders are such a rip off. The Pulte homes we visited at Sky Crossing just screamed cheap, from the second I walked in the door.

Anonymous
#1558174

Thank you so very much for sharing your experience with us and everyone. My husband and I are looking into both a Westbay and Pulte home, but we’re waitimg on the design center to see how much overall costs would be.

Pulte was the only company who said we needed a contract before we go into the design center, whereas Westbay is willing to send us to their design center before initiating a contract. I’m quite surprised that these builders add on so much to a so called base price of a home. Most of these upgrades should’ve been included already or at least should be reasonably priced especially when we’re already spending an arm and a leg for the house alone.

Not sure if we even want to consider purchasing the home after all. Thank you again.

Anonymous
#1686786
@Rosie Parlee

Thank you for a helpful review. I, too am thinking of reconsidering.