#113 Jan 4, 2008
I tried GRRR
Sorry for the confusion here. Just look at it and you will be able to see what I mean.
Good luck in your decision
#114 Jan 4, 2008
I am curious did any of you hire a home inspector or engineer to inspect the home while it was being built? I have recently been to the design center and yes, I was disappointed at the things they consider standard. They do look cheap. However, you have the option of purchasing upgrades. My husband said to me you "everything needs to be upgraded.", but we acknowledge this. If fact we are planning for them not to install any light fixtures, because the standard ones remind me of the ones my grandmother used to have in her house. If the house is falling apart why not just take them to court??? We have been looking for a home for 2 years and when we look at what we are getting with Toll it does not compare to the homes we have been looking at. Especially now with the incentives they are offering. Has anyone had a good experience with Toll?
#115 Jan 4, 2008
The reason the standard options look cheap is because they are cheap. Upgrades is where Toll makes their profit. They charge you anywhere from 33 - 50% more than they are paying. They expect for every buyer to upgrade an additional $120,000 on to the base house price. I would recommend you buy base and change out fixtures as you can after closing.
You cannot "Just take them to court". Read your contract you have to go into arbitration. The abitrator is bought & paid for by Toll. You have the right to hire an inspector or engineer but it won't matter what they say in the report. You contracted to buy a Toll Luxury Home and you WILL close on it. If you have not signed the contract - don't! If you did, follow the advise from Toll Sucks, it is good. The PM's don't want to build crap and if they can they will bend over backwards for you. I have seen them on the phone night and day with homeowners and buyers. Just somestimes in the end they get screwed by upper mgmt and it runs down into the community.
#116 Jan 5, 2008
What you should consider about the included features vs the options is that TBI wants to build the homes for as little money as possible. They will use the cheapest, and I mean CHEAPEST products they can find for the base house. They know when you go to the decorator center the very well trained councilors will up-sell you on EVERYTHING. They know this. Remember folks these people are professionals at what they do.(more on that later)
Some of TBI's commnities do not even come with any light fixtures at all. Take SW Florida for example. The homes come with NO LIGHT FIXTURES AT ALL. Sure the can lights are there but no surface mounted fixtures are included. This is an upgrade. Notice there is no decrease in the sales price for this stupidity. When you move in you literally have to have a flashlight for the bedrooms. Believe it or not!
Take the tile for example. I know first hand for a fact that some tile suppliers will bid the communities at a loss to win the bid. What that means is they have the entire community to put the tile in. They bid this at a loss and some even bid it with "seconds" just to keep the price down. Seconds are just that, they are not first quality materials. They could be sized differently or color shaded different or any host of other defects that make them seconds. The project managers know this and have no choice to make the changes because the the SVP and the SPM for the community selects the specs.
The tile is a very cheap and mostly ugly selection. When you go to the decorator center you are allowed to upgrade. That is where they take your heads off at the neck and hand it back to you. That is why the upgrades with TBI cost so much. First they have to cover the cost of the loss on the bid then the cost of the upgrade plus the profit for the suppliers and then TBI adds it profits. They KNOW YOU WILL UPGRADE! I have seen some upgrades with profit margins at well over 200%.
Let's get back to the tile. A good quality ceramic tile can be installed at @$5.00 to $6.00 per square foot. You will know the square footage of the room you are upgrading because they will tell you that information. Remember this is ceramic tile, not porcelain and not Terrazzo or marble. Just the basic tile you can buy all day long at Home Depot. Retail, the tile is @$3.00 a foot and the labor will make up the difference.
Do the math for crying out loud on what they are charging you. The truth of the matter is you could let them install the base house tile and have someone rip it up and install new tile for less than you could have them install the upgrades. Believe it or not.
This is just one example. Here is another that gets me every time I see it. How about the cabinet knobs. You can get inexpensive ones at any local hardware store for @$3.00 each, they go up from there. Some of the ones in TBI decorating centers are $25.00 EACH! Good grief folks are you that uninspired you cann't drill a hole in the cabinets and save a few THOUSAND DOLLARS. This is all profit and goes into the deep pockets of TBI.
They are professionals at what they do. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. They are called upgrades for a reason, they upgrade the profit for TBI.
#117 Jan 5, 2008
Toll Insider is correct here. When the community is set up they have a "prof" (profit and loss spreadsheet) and the prof has a line item for "option sales". If these sales goals are not met the sales personnel and the decorator center people get their heads handed to them. I have seen some communities that have mandatory option sales PER HOME over $200,000.00.
Some simple math here. If the sales opts are 200K and they cost TBI 60% they pick up $80,000.00 in profit just from your trip to the design center.
Now to make matters worse take the same sales amount of 200K and use a lower cost and higher profit margin. You will be amazed at profits they pull in from upgrades.
This is why they spend so much money and spend so much time with you in the design centers. They make more money there, a lot more money.
#118 Jan 5, 2008
We purchased from toll brothers and have never moved into the property do to toxic mold, Black Mold was found in the property plus Aspergulis/Pencillium. Toll refused to fix the property. They need to jack up the home to remove the mold infested Joist that were installed in the property during construction. The joist in the basement and the subfloor were weathered, the attic A frame is weathered, the crawl space some of the framing looks like drift wood was used.
The woodfloors are cupping and spliting and raising. The upgraded kitchen cabinets have a bad finish to them. These are just some of the issues with the property, there is a gab in the roof, and they said leave it, idiots, there is not enough room here to list the defects in the property that Toll has built and sold to us and our family
Toll refuses to fix the property in the manor that it should be fixed in. They also refuse to buy back the property.
The mold found in this property has been known to kill people with low immune systems. There was an article in the New York Post in August of 2007 that shows how five children in a hospital in New York died from Aspergulis mold.
Toll has had mold conditions in their properties in NC or SC there were about 19-20 cases of interior mold. They have had issues with mold on the exterior of their homes.
Toll does not care if their property can kill you and your family or make you sick they only want your money and then they tell you go f______ yourself.
The cost to repair this property is more then it would cost to rebuild. And Toll Brothers thinks that if you arbitrate it you will have to keep the decision quite. So speak now. The decision is but the issues with the property is not, I will continue to tell the truth about what Toll Brothers has done to our family.
Thank God that we did not sell our other home to buy theirs and thank god we could afford the bills the lawyers and expert fees and the cost of everyday living, other wise we would be bankrupt and Toll hopes that you will go belly up so then there is no recourse to them for their actions.
If you love your family listen to what people are saying. The Boston Globe did a 3 or 4 day article on Toll Brothers search for article and read, the article is called luxury by design quality by chance.
Oh we closed over a year ago and still have not been able to live in the property.
Save your money and by land and find a contractor that does not build 100's of homes at a time. One that will be on site everyday to make sure that things are going right.
#119 Jan 5, 2008
thanks Toll Sucks for your information and insight to TB. from all the things i am reading, they seem to be an unethical company which is a shame. i have to say, though, that there are not many giant corporate companies out there that are not unethical - the big wigs just want to keep their pockets full...bottom line. this seems to be the way our society is choosing to live these days. very sad.
my biggest concern is not "losing" money by purchasing this home. with the current economy and real estate market i know we will be taking a loss from the start. practically any brand new home buyer today is going to take a loss. my husband and i have been shopping around for a home for nearly 4 years - we are fairly picky. when we saw the TB model we were thrilled....especially about the location. it was a bit out of our price range, but we did manage to get them down about $60,000.
my biggest concern now is the quality of what we are buying. the mold issue and water leakage are my two main concerns. how do i go about ensuring this does not happen in my house? another blogger asked if anyone had an inspection done during the development. i just contacted an inspector yesterday as a matter of fact and i think i will have him go out next week to look things over. however, i don't want to piss anyone at TB off by doing this. do you or anyone have advice for me on this idea?
i am truly happy that i connected with this blog. it opened my eyes that no matter who you deal with, you should ALWAYS be cautious and look out for yourself.
one last question for you Toll Sucks....since you worked with TB directly, surely there has to be SOME happy home owners. otherwise how is it that TB can still carry such a bold, highly regarded identity in the real estate industry?
looking forward to more.....
#120 Jan 5, 2008
Tired of Toll....thank you for your comments on your mold issues. may i ask how you discovered the mold? did you have an inspection? how can i determine if my house has this or is a target for it later on?
thanks in advance for your comments.
#121 Jan 5, 2008
Yes it would be incorrect to say that everyone was unhappy with their home. TBI Spends millions on perception, marketing perception as reality. The number of people that are not happy with the TBI product is growing very fast these days.
There is a reason for that. As I stated before the PM's and Construction people do not know if they will have a job tomorrow or not. That is because of the thousands of people that TBI has sent packing. Whats worse they do this at Christmas time every year so this year end numbers will look better than they really are.
Most, NOT ALL of the really talented construction people at TBI have been sent away because of the expense of payroll. That does not mean there are not still many good guys that know what they are doing. Remember, as I said the people building your home really do want to do it right. At least MOST OF THEM DO. It is the clowns in corporate that are out to clean your clock.
TBI spends a lot of money on marketing. They pay for newspaper articles and word them to look like they are an article telling about how good they are. So and so said this, or so and so said that. This is not the newspaper journalist writing these types of articles. It is TBi's marketing gang. They know how to twist stories to make them sound favorable to the consumer. As I said they know what they are doing.
As for the inspector. I do recommend you have an inspector. It will cost you about $300.00 depending on what you have him do and how many trips he makes. He will give you a list of things that he feels needs to be addressed. You should be aware though that this is his OPINION and not always fact. The sad truth is some inspectors don't have a clue. Yea they have to have the right credentials but if they work for a large company they could be working under someone else's license. You never know. You should ask the inspector before he comes out if "HE HIMSELF" is licensed. That will give you a little more comfort on his ability. It is still his opinion. It should be an educated opinion and that is all you can hope for.
If there is mold in the house call your attorney immediately, if he does not answer the phone drive to his office. If he isn't there wait for him. Yes it is that important and people have indeed died from this. Many times the cost will far outweigh the value of the home. Be very careful settling a home with mold in it as it is law you have to disclose that to your buyers. TBI gets around that with the mediation clause. Yes they have this clause and it is worded so you would think you have an unbiased party but the truth is they control the mediator and you have to either pay for it 100% or split it with them 50 / 50. Don't waste your money I can tell you they will say TBI is not at fault. It really doesn't matter what they have done it will be your fault. Sorry, but that is the way the system is set up at TBI. Again should be criminal.
I will help you all the way through the house if I can so don't feel like you are bothering me or taking advantage. I have been in this industry for well over twenty three years and have built many thousands of homes. I have no problem with a homeowner that is truly concerned and is trying to find answers. I really wish more people would ask the quesions you are asking.
You are on the right track, don't give up.
#122 Jan 5, 2008
I suppose I should sign up here and come up with a more "nice" sounding name.
The truth of the matter though, Toll really does SUCK! ;)
#123 Jan 5, 2008
There are not many people I know that owns a toll home that would ever buy another. Not all people have the money to fight Toll so they let things go. I posted another comment to your post. I would not even let my in laws buy from them and that is before the mold was found in the property.
#124 Jan 7, 2008
ok,toll sucks. thanks for sticking with me! so, can i request that i have the home inspected for potential mold before they sheetrock? i would pay for it myself, but it would cause a delay in construction i am sure. the weather here has been less than kind to us. first we got snow - no biggy. but now it has warmed up a bit and everything is melting, the humidity level is higher than normal AND we are supposed to get rain on an off all week. can i ask for anything worse than that! of course, the rest of our wood is lying on the ground getting wet the entire time. oh, and do you know off hand if the wood they use is green treated? i have not been able to get information on that yet.
how come you left TB?
also, besides mold, what else would you say i should be checking into? this is the first time i have built a home. thanks much!
#125 Jan 7, 2008
True, The average client for TBI does not have the money to fight them in court. Yes they have money and can fight them and do so all the time.
The problem comes in when TBI has a legal team on the payroll and can drag the process out for decades. The plan is to either wear out the plaintiff or force them into bankruptcy with legal fees.
If you read the contract it will tell you that all legal issues will be handled in (I think) Bucks County. That is in PA. So every time you have to go to court for a hearing or anything it means airfare and hotels. I can tell you an out of town attorney RARELY wins a case in someone elses home town courtroom. If you decide to pursue these crooks be sure the bank account is full.
Sorry, but their system is designed to accommodate them and not you. Another way they have beaten up the end user.
TBI actively markets that XXX amount of people have bought their second or third or fourth home from them. They forget to tell you those people are internal executes and get HUGE discounts for doing so. I am sure some people have bought more than one home from them, but hell, even a blind squirrel finds a NUT every now and then.
#126 Jan 7, 2008
If the wood is green is has been treated for weather use. Mostly it is used on the base plate. That is where the wood (walls) actually sit on the concrete. They do not buy treated lumber for any other purpose.
If the lumber is setting on the ground and has been rained on it is warped. In the case of roof decking it will swell up and cause an unsightly lift under the shingles on the roof. For example you will be able to see 4 x 8 squares on the roof under the shingles. If it is the flooring it will delaminate or swell, depending on what type of wood it is. Either way it is not good.
Lumber does get rained on, quiet often with no problems. It just depends on how long it was exposed to the wet conditions and if it was installed properly afterwards.
Do not burn this scrap wood in your fireplace, it is toxic when it burns. It will not harm you in the home in its normal installation purpose.
The inspector should not cause a delay in construction, plan accordingly with the construction guys. Do this buy talking to your inspector and having ready at a moments notice. You will have a pre drywall walk through that will take place before the drywall is placed. Have him go with you to that meeting. Do not announce he is coming or who he is until he is there. "Oh by the way, this is John Doe, he is our inspector" If you tell them you will have a professional with you they will plan for it and drag on forever.
#127 Jan 7, 2008
"how come you left TB?"
Because I think I know who Toll Sucks is I will answer for him - he left for another builder and greener pastures.
Me? Well I am part of their annual downsizing and I am very glad I am!
#128 Jan 7, 2008
I left for personal reasons. I did not like the way the cheat thier employees, steal from thier clients and lie to thier stock holders.
It is my personal opinion that they not ethical. I simply do my business with BOTH HANDS ON THE TABLE. I believe in disclosure on every level.
Are you still with them or have you left as well? I am not sure you know who I am. Not that I am hiding or anything. But it would be interesting if you do know me. LOL. I know it is a small world.
I did not leave to work for another builder. Somewhat greener pastures in that I no longer have to sit at those boring Monday night meetings.
Hmm... time for some clues I suppose. Not wanting to be sued by TBI for telling the world the truth either, how would we go about contacting each other?
My name line says Tomball due to re routing the message through twenty or so IP's.
I did not work for David Assid.
#129 Jan 7, 2008
Nor in that division or state.
#130 Jan 7, 2008
Well I suppose I should have not said FOR David since he was (or is) a PM.
I have no problem with him, I actually never met him. I only talked to him on the phone a few times. That is if he still works in the Grapevine office.
Do you live in Little Elm? I only know a few of the guys in the DFW Texas division. I know of one in particular that is one hell of a good builder and I consider one of the "Good Guys". He is (or was)(I do not know if he still is with TBI) a PM in the Grapevine office.
#131 Jan 7, 2008
Love the last statement,and we would properly end up in Federal Court
#132 Jan 7, 2008
When I purchased the property from toll brothers I did not have a framing inspection done with them before the sheetrock went on. So just schudule and appointment with them once the framing goes up, and then when the sheeting goes on. Make sure that they have the framing covered quickly, and then make sure the brick or siding goes on quickly. Our property sat for months, I pulled the town records. The framing and the siding was on when we purchased the property. Also pick all of your electrical and security system upgrades now so there is no delay, and any plumbing upgrades that you may want. With any new home you should always do what ever lighting that you want do on the first floor, this even includes the foyer light lift so you can change the bulbs in the light and dust it. And make sure that you get two extra conduts from the basement to the attic, this is so if you ever want to do extra lighting you have away to access the electrical panel, and the other for low voltage, such as phone, tv, etc.
Also change the locks on the doors the day you close, someone used a key to access our property, they knew we did not move in. We had the phone lines turned on before closing, so toll's security company could not wait two weeks to come and turn on service, Then someone tried accesses the basement I guess they did not realize that the house was completely secured. Oh also make sure that your basement windows are installed, ours and one of the neighbors windows were just laid in place. So make sure that the frame of the basement windows are installed.
Also you can check out the CDC web site, they say that if the wood is not dried in properly it will grow mold. Read the site. Also check out web sites on mold so you will also know what you are looking at when you look at your framing. When I spoke to the CDC they said there should be no mold in a newly constructed property.
I was reading an article that stated Builders no longer have mold coverage in their insurance policy. The insure's removed the coverage from their policys. Probably due to the expense of mold remediation. And the health implications. So homeowner policy's also have a limit on how much they cover, and if it is do to constuction they pay nothing.
Good luck and I wish you and your family the best. And I hope your home is built with loving care from someone that cares about the type of job that they do, there are still people out there that care about what they do and how they do it, even in toll, as toll sucks said he left because he did not like what was going on, morals he has.
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