Closing Time

It’s official…actually it’s been official for a week this past Monday. We finally closed escrow on a new home built by DeNova Homes out of Concord, CA. What started out as wonderful buying experience has turned into a new home nightmare, as much of the finishing work lacked detail, care and craftsmanship. Some I have spoke with have referred to it as “punch list material.” As mentioned in the prior update, we had two pre-purchase inspections with the warranty manager, which honestly didn’t yield the results we were anticipating, but decided to close escrow, as we were running up against getting out of our rental.

mone_pit_holeWhile DeNova Homes hasn’t sunk to the level of KB Homes (yet), I am prepared to speak of them in the same breath, especially after the purchase of our first “money pit” in 2004, which had me feeling helpless, much like Walter Fielding stuck in the floor, from the 1986 movie, The Money Pit. Unfortunately I am not singing the Name Game to pass the time. After I sent scathing e-mail in response to their “welcome e-mail” we have a laundry list of items that need attention. Currently my wife and I are very disappointed when we should be elated to be in a new home.

All the blue tape set by my wife during our initial walk through, the ongoing discussions with the sales representatives, the construction superintendent didn’t yield the results we had anticipated. After our move in, my wife was finding pieces of blue tape, balled up in drawers, on the floor that once represented a flaw in the finishing. I need to step back for a moment and remind myself, this is NOT a custom house and I am not paying a premier price. If I were quality and craftsmanship would be much higher and the builder I hired would have take care and time. These developments are constructed quickly with the bottom line to sell and start making money on them.

The more we settled in, the more flaw came to the forefront of our new purchase. This before we had ANY furniture in the house. Movers did not ding the marks we identified and sent to DeNova Homes for “discussion” over by their management team. What really gets me is, the fact we can’t be the first of four families to run into this problem. Maybe we were so enamored with the purchase of a house we loved that we went a bit too fast in the buying process and should have taken a step back and forced DeNova’s hand in correctly outstanding problems.

Thankfully we have a document signed by the warranty manager that identifies two major and many minor problems through out the house. As of Wednesday, we met Carlos, dispatched by DeNova Homes to repair our problems. Unfortunately, when he arrived at our house on Wednesday, there was very little work he could accomplish for a few reasons. First, we had just completed our move and had not open and stored all our belongings, so many of the areas in question were not accessible. Second, the amount of flaws my wife showed Carlos had him call his boss for further discussion. The decision was made and Carlos was going to return before the 30 day warranty period with a crew to repair our home.

We have kept in touch with our realtor, John Canning of Canning Dreams Homes, who has gone above and beyond our expectations and continues to stand by our side as we force the issues with a houseful of problems. My wife called a sales director earlier this, as well as taking to social media in order to get something done. Needless to say the Twitter responses were of a canned variety, “Per Our Conversation, someone will be at your home tomorrow &Thursday to resolve your concerns. See you tomorrow!” Not surprising, really. After the tweets by my wife, I sent our first service request to DeNova that included 48 images of flaws, along with text about each, none of which we find acceptable in a new home, some are very glaring problems. Will they be repaired? Don’t know, time will tell.