Report: #289562

Complaint Review: Homes By Vanderbuilt

  • Submitted: Thu, December 06, 2007
  • Updated: Sat, June 14, 2014
  • Reported By: Sanford North Carolina
  • Homes By Vanderbuilt
    3300 Jefferson Davis Highway
    Sanford, North Carolina

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

In April of 2007 my husband and I visited Homes by Vanderbuilt to look at modular homes. We selected a home and placed an order. The house was to be delivered August 28th. We were delighted with our selection and the service seemed to be outstanding. HBV received 10% down on 234,00.00 when we placed our order, with the additional 80% to be paid on delivery and the final 10% upon completion. The house arrived early, August 8th, and again we were surprised. Every morning around 5:30 am a crew arrived to work on our home. Time rolled around to the third week in September and we were informed that the house would be ready to close in 2 to 3 weeks.

We had concerns regarding siding that was falling off and carpet that looked like it had been put in by monkeys and many other issues throughout the home but were assured that this would all be addressed. We secured permanent financing with a 30 day rate lock and sat back and waited. Weeks went by and no one worked on our home. We called and called and called and kept getting told that someone would be handling our concerns. Then the response changed to "that's not my department, you have to call ____." We kept calling and kept getting the runaround.

Then it occurred to me, they got the large sum of their money, now we can screw off. And that's exactly what happened. "This has been ordered, we are just waiting for it to come in." Work orders were issued, yet no one came. This can't be fixed. We'll be there on Friday. No one showed up. We didn't get all the materials yet.

We called our attorney and he contacted them and then we were told that the house would be completed in a week. Again another stall on the carpet issue, oh sorry, we have crews on other houses right now, we can't get to yours. Maybe you should have finished ours before you started another? All the while we were paying 1500.00 interest payments with nothing going to principal. Well at least HBV got paid, huh? Then after November 8th we lost our rate lock and it cost us another 600.00 in fees to keep our financing. Would HBV help with the cost? Nope, not their problem. It's not their fault that we are not in our house yet! HBV originally didn't want to fix the carpet and suggested a payoff and we could get Lowes to do it.

I got estimates from 3 different places, but the price didn't suit HBV and they said that now they would replace it. Still costing us interest payments everyday and never mind that we weren't in our house, we wouldn't want HBV to have to come out of their pocket to fix their mistakes, now would we? House will be finished by Friday. Thursday rolls around and the crew working on the carpet tells us that they can't finish till Monday because the carpet guy wants to move into his house Friday. Nice.

We finally moved in to our house Thanksgiving weekend. It cost us an additional 2500.00 in interest and 600.00 in mortgage fees. Not to mention the headaches and stress and inconvenience. Furniture deliveries had to be rescheduled several times, I missed work to take care of this mess and the whole time we were treated like we were the assholes. Nevermind that we spent 234,000.00 on a home. They did us a favor by giving us the crap that they did. Oh and the one year warranty? We were told that we bettter learn to get along our we could forget about the warranty.

I cannot even begin to express the frustration and aggravation that we were subjected to. HBV told us " We've been in business a long time and will continue to do so despite you." I hope this report will save at least one consumer from this nightmare. If you are looking for a modular home run, don't walk away from Homes By Vanderbuilt.

From the time they got their large payment no one worked on our home, we were treated with disrespect and careless disregard when we compained and made to feel that we were an inconvenience and no one cared in the least that they cost us thousands of dollars.
If you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to blow and like to be treated like a piece of sh** for your trouble, Homes by Vanderbuilt is the place to go!

Sanford, North Carolina
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/06/2007 08:45 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Thoroughly Impressed with HBV

AUTHOR: davidbowerman - ()

In any business, there are going to be mistakes every now and again. In 2007, my wife and I purchased a home from HBV. We purchased a two story 4,500 sq foot home - for $240k; where else can you find that kind of deal. I work in an environment  or am very close friends with several engineers who for their careers have been NASA Engineers, and DOD Nuclear Submarine Engineers, and I can assure you, they looked over my floor plans and were here when my house was delivered and they were blown away at the quality of the home.

It's a shame that "thehousefellonmysister" aka Wicked Witch of the West (lol) has had such issues --- because I can tell you all that though I live 5 hrs from HBV's site, WHENEVER I called for assistance in any repairs --- even after my 1 year cosmetic repairs were up, they still sent someone out to make repairs. Further, the one year is for cosmetics, there IS a 10 year warranty on the structure of the home. My wife and I were so impressed with their homes and the customer service, WE called HBV (not them to us) and volunteered to be in any promos on their behalf (and I can promise you, we did it for FREE, we are not paid actors).

I have recommended HBV to several friends and family members --- in fact, HBV is building a home for one of our close friends, now (and I am confident that if I called them to ask for any repairs to be made to my home, they would send someone over), and my in-laws are working with HBV to get the home they want.

As far as the cracks in the walls, I know that we were made aware that this is common with modulars because you have no home on a foundation one day, then tons of weight the next --- it's not a slow process like an on-site home. So we knew going in to it. But again, I guarantee that if I call them, 7 yrs later, I'll get a positive response.

I recommend HBV everyday of the week and twice on Sunday, and when our children are grown and we down-size, you can bet that my wife and I use HBV! Tom and Chris Van de Riet are both moral and ethical people…



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#2 Consumer Comment

Decent homes, Decent prices

AUTHOR: Ryan HBV customer - (United States of America)

I am responding to this claim about HBV, I recently purchased a off frame modular from HBV for 95,002 dollars USD.  My home is a simple design not much different from a double wide trailer.  I purchased this particular model because it has a lot of area for additions later on in my life.  

The purchasing process was wonderful,  David, one of their reps helped me and my family out considerably, we payed in cash full before anything was done so as to have no mortgage.  After paying about 2/3s of the house HBV went ahead and ordered our house.  The house was built by Commodore Homes in Virginia.

A usual stick built house takes about 6 to 8 months to construct depending on the complexity of the house, it could last over a year.  My house was finished in 4 months.  I did have issues with HVAC getting to my house on time.  They were over a month late, however, other then this everything went pretty much according to plan.  

Having said all this I also understand something.  This is not a stick built house.  I understand that my carpets, moldings, plumbing, cabinets, etc are not going to be the top of the line products that I might have gotten from a stick built.  I also understand that these top of the line products would have jacked my costs up over 30 grand, something I could not afford.

I did not use HBV,s appliances, I bought my own because I wanted something better then they offered.  HBV refunded me the cost of their appliances so I ended up saving a bit there.

All the crews that worked on my home were amazing, and once the HVAC people got out they did a great job.  Over all I am very pleased with my home,  I still get calls from HBV and I expect a long relationship with them.  They have been curtious and apologetic when I have felt something was wrong.  They have done their best to please me and have given me something that every American strives for, their own home.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Making a difference in North Carolina

AUTHOR: sick and tired in north carolina - (United States of America)

Upon reading the story of The house that fell on my sister, I believe what you have been through with your home.  I only wish that I could make contact with you to share what I have been through with my home with the same problems.  Making consumers aware of how important it is to know what to do when purchasing a new home and make these companies step up to the plate to make things right, even after they have their money.  They have only hurt themselves with greed. Please send a comment so I can make contact with you. Helping others is the key to this website and I believe we will make a difference. 

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#4 Consumer Comment

Update to Nightmare Experience

AUTHOR: Anon - (U.S.A.)

It's been some time now since I filed my first report and I felt it was time to update and respond to some of the posts under this modular home complaint.

As mentioned before in a previous update, the repairs that were made have since deteriorated.  The cracks in the drywall are back, along with new ones, including the guest bath where in the corners it has completely separated, and we have consulted another drywall professional who told us that to be fully rid of all of these issues the actual sheets have to be replaced, not just patched over.

The crown molding has begun to separate at the seams.

Cracks in the "maple cabinet upgrade" are progressing.  In the areas where pressboard was used the paper has begun to peel. 

The caulking around tile, sink, hose in kitchen sink, etc. has all pulled away or is no longer there.  The guest bathroom also has begun to leak around the floor when it rains hard and I am not sure if that is because the caulking pulled away or if it is other issues. 
The list continues and I could go on and on.  See pictures.

In response to the the "personal issues" that my complaint was attributed to, I want to state that due to runaround we received we lost our rate lock.  When you hear that your rate went from 5.75% to 6.50%, it may not sound like a whole lot.  But when you put it in monetary terms that rate increase equals about an extra $113.00 in our payment a month, and over the life of a 30 year mortgage, around $40,000.00.  So yes, I do take that personally. 

The owner of Homes By Vanderbuilt states in his response that he was not aware of our modular home issues until it was too late and was not aware of our dissatisfaction with the repairs until he read the report.  I must reiterate that I had called regarding our modular home many, many times and was consistently pushed aside.  I also sent letters, emails and our attorney attempted to contact them and they would not even speak to him. 

He also states that he has reviews from many satisfied customers that he can share with you.  I am sure that he does, what business owner do you know that would share the comments of a dissatisfied customer?  Maybe this is not the policy of Homes by Vanderbuilt to treat all customers that way-I can only speak from my experience.  But do you have an extra $40,000.00 to take that chance?
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#5 Consumer Comment

Could be true

AUTHOR: randy - (United States of America)

I have stopped to look at the homes, at the Homes by Vanderbuilt. And my wife and I were struck by one thing ,if the homes on display were as poorly finished and maintained as they were, how could the homes they sold you be any better. I beleive they have a good product but the fit and finish is leaving alot to be desired .
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#6 Author of original report

Repairs fall Short

AUTHOR: Thehousefellonmysister - (U.S.A.)

We were contacted by Tom, the owner of Homes by Vanderbuilt and asked if we would remove this report. In exchange we were given $600 and the warranty repairs.
Since then all the repairs have deteriorated. The caulking has again separated from the walls. The tracking in the pantry has collapsed, AGAIN. The kitchen windows are still not closing properly and the sink which was to have been put in by a professional plumber just gave out and collapsed. All this from a brand new home delivered in Sept. 2007.
I agree with Dale in that maybe at one time this was a business you could trust, and when you first arrive you feel that way,but after paying a quarter of a MILLLION dollars for a home that is already falling apart, and being told SO many times that we were just the litttle people, I implore you to take your business elsewhere.
I must add that we were first given the oppportunity for repairs and then asked if we would remove this report. After the repairs we were contacted to see why the report wasn't removed. I explained that I could only update it and coulod not remove it. Good thing since all repairs have fallen to the wayside. Is this a nice home? Yes? Was it worth 234,000 and the aggravation and the repairs? Hell no. If you do contact me, please keep in mind that it may take a while for me to respond as I will be busy trying to repair all the damages in this home....
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Certainly not typical


I have purchased two modular homes from Homes by Vanderbuilt.  The first in 1993 and the second in 2007. 

I was shocked to come across this report on the Internet since it is so contrary to the experience I had with both purchases I have made with this company so I decided I needed to post a reply.

My current home was purchased from Homes by Vanderbuilt in the fall of 2007.  Each and every step of the purchasing and construction process was handled very professionally. Any problems I had were always addressed quickly and to my satisfaction.

The harsh wording used in this report makes it sound like this customer has some sort of personal issue with the company or that the whole situation is a fluke.  It certainly doesn't sound at all like the company I did business with.  The ironic part is that it sounds like my house was being built at the exact time as the one in the complaint since we also moved in over Thanksgiving weekend of 2007.   

While everything wasn't perfect with our home, the few minor problems such as a few missing items like crown molding and screens and a cracked window pane were handled by the trim crew without question.    All the crews who worked on our house were courteous, showed up when they promised (except for one but that didn't cause any delays or even any inconvenience) and did quality work.   Any items that I pointed out that needed extra attention were addressed quickly and without any argument.

Our home took a little longer than we expected but the crews were working in record heat (100+ degrees) for much of the construction process and working longer days outside in that heat could have led to serious health issues for the brick masons, roofers, siding installers etc.  

After we had been in the house for awhile we compiled a list of some cosmetic issues and one electrical issue that needed to be fixed and Homes by Vanderbuilt sent out a trim crew and an electrician and took care of everything.

I plan to live in my current home ( an absolutely wonderful home by the way)  for many years to come but if I were to buy another I wouldn't even think of going anywhere other than Vanderbuilt.     I have had two co-workers purchase homes from Vanderbuilt as well based on my recommendation and they also love their beautiful homes.   This company has built thousands of homes and if they were as bad as this report indicates this website would be full of this type of complaint and the company surely would have been out of business years ago.  

If you are thinking of building a new modular home I urge you to call this company and get a list of references and to read actual comment cards filled out by their customers rather than relying on the report of one dissatisfied customer.
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Owner of HBV replys

AUTHOR: tom-owner HBV - (USA)

Owner responds:

I am very disappointed that Homes by Vanderbuilt failed this customer.  We have sold over 5000 homes and are the largest display center for modular homes in the U.S.A. and service to our customers is very important to us. We have satisfied over 95% of our customers.  Unfortunately, occasionally a customer is not satisfied.  Usually it is because of one of the following reasons.  One is that we have truly failed to provide proper service to our customer and the other reason is that there are customers whose expectations are unrealistic and the demands are unreasonable.  This customer is one that we failed. Our service department did not treat this customer with the respect they deserved.

I was unaware of the problems with the carpet until several weeks had passed. The carpet was flawed and the home manufacturer AND the carpet manufacturer were both trying to avoid responsibility.  When I finally was notified, the customer was already disgusted with Homes by Vanderbuilt.  In an effort to quickly solve this problem I had the customer look at Lowe's to see if we could just pay for new carpet.  Unfortunately, the cost was prohibitive. I finally got the home manufacture to supply new carpet and  Homes by Vanderbuilt would supply the installation.  The carpet was ordered and I lined up installation for Friday. Without my knowledge the installer did not show up on Friday, but showed up on Monday instead-(This was the final straw). The new carpet was installed and the next time I became aware of a problem with this home was when this complaint appeared on the internet. I contacted the customer and reviewed their time line and felt they were justified in their request to be reimbursed for the $600.00 mortgage re-commitment fee.  Their end of year service was performed and I thought things had improved. I called and they agreed to remove their complaint.  Again, I thought the relationship had improved.  I was unaware of their disappointment with the end of year service.  The first I was made aware of this was when I looked at this internet site.  I wish they would have called me and I still invite them to contact me and I will gladly send a different service crew to meet with the customer.  This is a very unusual situation and it disappoints me that Homes by Vanderbuilt failed this customer. I have over 200 testimonial letters on file that I will happily share to show this situation is far from typical.

Answer: X employee Dale-
   Dale was a very had working and an excellent employee for all of his 15 years with Homes by Vanderbuilt. Dale was with me when we only had a couple of dozen employees.  We had daily contact and a close relationship.  As Homes by Vanderbuilt grew to over 100 employees, we no longer had daily contact.  Although Dales work was great, I received several complaints from his subordinates about being afraid of Dales volatile personality. I reluctantly felt it was best to part ways.  Dale is mad at me as can happen with former employees.

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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Sounds about right

AUTHOR: Dale - (U.S.A.)

I worked for vanderbuilt homes for 15 years starting when they were the old factory showcase homes. In the beginning the owner was a consumer and employee friendly person .I bought in to the kool aid for 15 years everytime I saw some things about them tha tbothered me I was told it was the other sides fault I saw a lot of the good employees mike talks about slowly be done away with to get a better bottom line. all the while saying it was the employees fault people who had been there for years. i saw a man who would go the extra mile to help a customer turn into lawyered up cooperate bigshot who only the bottom line mattered to. Everything was about money and vanderbuilt evolved from a small tight knit company to a money driven organization. Arrogance and braggortory practices set in great glee was surrounded with every business that closed down whom the owner refered to as blood suckers intruding into his turf. He once told me concerning a new business opening up the street that if they began to succeed he would buy land next to them and put them out of business. I remember once when a customer complained about a home and ordered us to take it back how he rushed to the scene check book in hand and offered up a pay off to the customers and winked at me on the way out the door saying thats how you do business. I beleive these customers vanderbuilt is a large good company as long as you play by their rules andthere is money in it for them. Once you no longer present profit to them employee or customer you see the real side. Dale
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#10 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I don't think so!

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

I am an ex-employee of HBV. I have known the owner for over 18 years. I think he has been in business at the same location in Sanford for at least 25 years. He continues to thrive in a very small town as all others fall by the wayside. I have seen this man bend over backwards to please customers. I am sure we are hearing only one side of the story. This description does not sound like HBV. This person has a hidden agenda of some sort. It is extremely disturbing to see this article when I google his name to get the phone number. This is not a fair representation of the company. I would HIGHLY recommend HBV as they are an excellent company with a lot of good employees who are very concientious. They sell a lot of homes and perhaps one fell through the cracks, however I am sure this is most likely exagerrated. HBV literally sells over 100 houses a year, and has been for a long time. When I worked for them in the heyday, they sold 360 that year. there is a reason for that. Customer satisfaction. The difference in HBV and other modular dealers is HBV buys the house from the manufacturer without "factory service". The owner will not allow the factory service people to work on the house because they are frequently unreliable and do poor work. The owner makes sure his crews handle everything necessary to get that home completed. Just ask anyone in the industry with no dog in this fight who is the best retailer in NC and they will tell you HBV.
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#11 Author of original report

Homes by Vanderbuilt

AUTHOR: Thehousefellonmysister - (U.S.A.)

We were recently contacted by the owner of Homes By Vanderbuilt who was very apologetic and offered to pay the $600.00 in fees we were assessed. They came through on the warranty and refunded our fees and we are satisfied with the result.
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