Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gemcraft Homes — Avoid!

Em and I have been trying to work with Gemcraft Homes for the last several months to get a townhouse in Perryville, MD built. This has been nothing but painful! We encountered multiple major issues while dealing with them.

The first issue is they were estimating $17,000 in closing costs (using their preferred mortgage company). Given that we had received estimates on similar loans of $4000 closing costs this threw up a red flag. The only thing I can figure is that they are getting a kick back from the mortgage company for requiring the use of that company in order to get the good price on upgrades. We required that they drop the price of the home several thousand dollars before we continued with the contract. They played around trying to avoid it but eventually gave in. On the way home from contract signing I saw a special on CNN Money about closing cost scandals. From this point I felt that Gemcraft is not trustworthy.

Next they changed the window well model from the one that they had shown us at the contract signing, a nice terraced thing that allows lots of light and some plants, for a standard ugly aluminum window well. When we brought this to their attention they tried to tell us that the new one was ‘better’, so they were within the guidelines of the contract.

The real killer is that they have a line in the contract that says that the closing date is up to the sole discretion of the builder. We live over 2000 miles away from the home site. Knowing this they scheduled the walk through for the day after Christmas! That means we would have to fly on Christmas day to meet their schedule! When asked about changing this to the first week in January they said it would cost us over $4,000 in penalties to do so!

Instead of trying to make things right, they just offered to send us back our earnest money and call off the contract. That isn’t what we want, but Gemcraft is not willing to hold good to their own contract and be reasonable about closing dates. This has allowed them to build the property using our credit reference for the last several months, now they are ditching us and going to turn around and sell the property for the increased price over what we had paid. In hindsight, I should have stuck to my initial feeling that something is wrong with this company and that we should not be doing business with them.


pinhigh said...

we are looking for anyone who may be interested in joining a class action law suit against gemcraft. If you have any names or contact information please responed to this posting so we can get them our contact information. We already have an attorney willing to help us if we get enough people

em said...

Sorry. I don't know any names or contact info. Somebody contacted my husband. Maybe he still has their info. We didn't suffer any monetary damages so we can't participate in the lawsuit. Good Luck. They sucked royally.