I will start off by saying "Do not ruin your dream of owning a home, do not buy a home from Lombardo Homes".
If this got you attention for at least a second, keep reading, you will thank me later. We almost spend quarter of a million dollars and we would have regretted it our whole life. Next 15 minutes will save you months that we went through to learn all this.
Our story with Lombardo starts on Saturday, March 23, 2013. when we were looking to buy new home in their Sienna Garden community in Shelby Township, MI. Since they didn't have the pricing for that community yet, Jenifer Culp(sales associate) priced out same house in the Wolverine community in Macomb, MI. We priced home with base price of $235,900, and about $20,000 in extras with $6,200 in incentives due to all the extras that we selected. Final price was around $250,000.
We were almost ready to put a deposit for the lot, until we drove to the Sienna Garden community and saw 100ft tall power lines in the backyard that Jenifer bluntly failed to disclose. At this point I said, that's fine, maybe she didn't know, honest mistakes happen. We liked the floor plan that we selected and we decided to give Lombardo another chance and go for the Wolverine community that we initially quoted anyways.
We called on Wednesday, March 27 to come in and put the deposit for the lot, but they were already closed for the Easter Holiday. They were reopening 5 days later on April 1st.
When on April 1st we called and asked to come in and place the deposit, base price of our home went up by $6,000 to $241,900, and Lombardo would not honor the quote that we got on March 23, even though they were closed for 5 days in between. So we decided to suck it up and accept the price of $241,900.
We dropped off deposit check for the lot on April 2nd, and other sales associate at their office said that it was good that we are locking in the price on that day due to sales incentives going away on April 8th. Our sales associate Jennifer was not there at the time. Later we drove to the Wolverine community and the lot that we put deposit on. In the front yard there was small power transformer box that she also failed to disclose, but since we knew this was mostly cosmetics issue, it that was not a deal breaker.
We scheduled next appointment to select and finalize the options on April 6th to makes sure that we can get the current pricing. On April 6th there were total of about 5 questions that Lombardo sales person could not answer, so we agreed to sign the deal on April 8th or 9th, when those questions are answered. We asked and confirmed that we locked in the price that we had on the quote, since the incentives were going away. It took Jennifer until April 11th to answer 5 simple questions, but now she also said they can't honor the price and removed all the promissed incentives. Jennifer said that she didn't know about incentives going away even though her colleague did know week earlier, and previous agreement on locking in the pricing was gone, since it wasn't on paper. This was one of their many lies. Now our price is $12,200 more then when we started pricing out a home 2 weeks ago, that is for the exact same home, no more, no less.
On April 12th we decided to drive to their sales office and talk to them to figure things out. After an hour conversation they said they would try to come up with solution for appointment on Sunday, April 14th that we have previously scheduled.
We got all excited and thought everything would be fine on Sunday, but we were wrong again. The sequel of this horror story continues. Before we got there our real estate agent called us and said that Lombardo is forcing us into another elevation that is $7,995 to upgrade. At this point I thought it was a joke, but no, they were serious. They were saying that HOA is forcing them to build more expensive elevation, but they had no letter or proof from HOA. They also removed two cheaper floor plans from the offer for the same lame reason. But I will tell you different: they removed $225k floor plan because they can make more profit on the more expensive plans, and they removed $241k floor plan because it was 100sq feet bigger and more expensive to build then $242k floor plan that we planned to buy.
Although they now agreed to give us $5,300 in incentives , they raised price by total of $20,195 from the they we walked in and got the initial quote. After many discussions with Lombardo management they decided to give us $6,200 back in incentives for total of close to $255,000 with the options we selected. Hats off to our amazing real estate agent here. We would have walked away long time ago.
We finally agreed that price was still within our budget and decided to go for it. After this crazy horror experience we decided to ask to voice record our final in person conversation while signing the agreement. Jenifer agreed to the recording. I was very polite and told them due to everything that happened in the past recording would make us feel better and more secure.
We signed all the paperwork on April 19th and got SOLD sticker to put on "our" lot. YAY WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE IN OUR LIFE, AND IT'S BRAND NEW HOUSE. We were excited.
BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE.
During this final signing I asked for a few pieces of paper to confirm all the things they were telling us.-We asked for HOA letter or sentence in the contact that said that $7995 upgrade is the only elevation they approve to build-We asked them to confirm all the brick areas around the house, since we were paying for 4 sides brick and upgraded elevation-We asked to clarify which door comes with the house since the elevation and contract are not consistent-We asked to clarify sentence in the contact that says the following "Lombardo Homes reserves the right of price, plan, or specification changes without prior notice or obligation."
We don't think any of these questions were out of line. This is our first home and we wanted to have all the basis covered.
On Monday Apirl 6PM our real estate agent calls us literally still in shock. The horror continues. Anthony Lombardo, the owner of Lombardo Homes himself, called our agent and said that he doesn't feel comfortable signing the deal with us because of all the questions we asked and conversation that we recorded. Let me remind you, this was after they raised our price by $20,195, and he had dignity to call and say that he doesn't feel comfortable. He said he thinks we don't trust the Lombardo Homes and that he would have problems with us in the future.
If there were no lies and no shady business I absolutely don't see single reason for a problem, but if you cheat me out of my own hard earned money, yes you will definitely have a problem..
After 1 month of lies and back and forth with Lombardo we are back at the square one. Hundred or more bucks spent on gas, 3-4 days of vacation we took to get out of work and finalize a deal, all went down the drain. Couple lost opportunities for another home, but what can you do? Some things happen for a reason.
You never know why this is all good. I will definitely know next time when it's time to walk away and no one will take me on ride like this. If you are spending couple hundred thousand dollars and getting into the loan for next 10,15,30 years I hope you read this whole text as these 15 minutes might save you 30 years of headache.
I tried to make this text not too long, but still convey my point. If you want to hear more details, feel free to contact me and ask. I'll be glad to answer more questions and even talk to you on the phone.
If this websites deters one person from buying a Lombardo Homes built home, I have succeeded in my intentions. I saved someone's time, money and nerves.