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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.

Review about: Pulte Homes House Construction.

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Anonymous
#1374971

I believe if we visit their designer center first, most people will choose the basic and find alternative suppliers for floor and paint.

Anonymous
Dallas, Texas, United States #1333649

I really appreciate your article.Thanks for sharing...

I'm looking for to buy a house with Pulte and now I will be consider other option, with other companies just to see if we can get what we want without need to pay someone else to do the job. I'm sure should be another builder willing to do the job.

Once again thank you, I use to read reviews previous to take decisions...And your is a good advise.

Anonymous
Redmond, Washington, United States #1325482

i just bought a Pulte home in North Bend WA and I must say that if you people do your research before you commit to buying and forking over earnest money you would know that there are basic included things in the house where you can get at asking price ..What you people do is go see the model and assume that everything in the model is going to be included in your home for the asking price without upgrades.

I asked the right questions to the sales agent all in advance and figured I would buy the house at asking price without any upgrades at all and then when I went to the design center I already knew what the upgrades cost (because i got a sheet from the agent) and I knew going into it what I would have to pay extra to customize my home to my liking.

All in All the asking price for my home was 695K and I ended up getting 40K in upgrades ..Of course I paid 50K down for earnest money so that did not enter in the mortgage.

Anonymous
to Jay Tea Avondale, Arizona, United States #1341504

Well our agent wouldn't give us a sheet until we visited the design center and we couldn't visit the design center until we forked over the earnest money. You would think that ceiling fan electric would be basic but it wasn't. The "basic" house only had half hots to plug in lamps.

Anonymous
to Jay Tea #1377168

Jay,

We are looking at the North Bend property too. Did you end up using their mortgage? The selling price + upgrades seems to be a lot of money to put down for a property in North Bend.

TIA!

Anonymous
Riverview, Florida, United States #1323071

Thanks you for your post.I just left the design center just as upset as you obviously were.

I'm ready to back out as well. I'd rather lose a little earnest money than be house poor by getting in over my head. My main issue is that I agreed to a kitchen upgrade in my purchase agreement. It was $3640.

Because I wanted this upgrade I wasn't even allowed to choose standard cabinetry. They insisted that I had to pay an additional $3800-$4200 for higher end cabinets and that didn't even include hardware. The granite was limited to only two choices. If you wanted something other than that the next option was over $700.

I do feel that it is shady business presenting design options after the purchase agreement has been signed. I would never had agreed to anything if I'd known the options were so limited with the alternatives costing an arm and a leg.

Thanks again for your input.Nice to know I'm not the only one

Anonymous
to TyM Avondale, Arizona, United States #1323081

Sorry you had to go through this as we did.Needless to say, we backed out for the same reasons.

When you are building a house, common sense tells us that this is the time to put in what we want and it shouldn't cost so much more. They already have the labor there and that is usually the expensive part.

Of course this seems to be a builder *** bent on ripping people off during the home building process.I wish you luck!

Anonymous

I am certainly sorry for those who have had negative experiences.I am about to move into a new Pulte community in Lake Saint Louis and I haven't had any problems so far.

Our sales and design person has been really great- in fact, they have advised us on upgrades that we could do for less compared to the builder doing them. The field manager has also been super informative and welcomes me to visit the house while under construction at any time. Perhaps it is a regional problem with those who have had problems. The Pulte Homes that are being built in the St.

Louis area are super nice and range from luxury family homes to villas.Just happen to see this site, so I thought I would comment.

Anonymous
Chandler, Arizona, United States #1310097

I am the originsl poster from 3+ years ago.Thank God we got out of it and got our earnest money back.

Their finance dept was very shady.

The homes have actually lost value in the last 3 years!Again, so thankful we got out.

Anonymous
Peoria, Arizona, United States #1275377

WE are also buying a Pulte Home.I have encountered same issue at the design center.

Having said that, my sales person was great..She was able to give some helpful info before going to design center. Also, the designer was also helpful. I am sure they have to deal with this issue everyday. Both of them tried to help with some of the items, getting better prices etc.

Remember they don't make the rules. We decided (as many of you have) to do structural, electrical, etc. The rest will be done after close. We do have a designer, contractor that we have used in the past and will use again.

She said she has recently done and is doing several of these type of properties.

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