Report: #179823

Complaint Review: McCreary Homes - LJ McCreary

  • Submitted: Tue, March 07, 2006
  • Updated: Thu, December 20, 2007
  • Reported By: Tucson Arizona
  • McCreary Homes - LJ McCreary
    7049 E TANQUE VERDE RD # 25
    Tucson, Arizona
    U.S.A.

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

After receiving a referral from our real estate agent Fran Epsen of Long Realty, we contracted with McCreary Homes of Tucson Arizona for a custom home.(Epsen received a secret $3446 kickback from McCreary for her referral; an interesting fact that she never disclosed.) The house we received from him was riddled with defects (including water running through the walls whenever it rained) and we consequently withheld the last draw of our construction agreement until these defects were addressed.

Instead of fixing our home, LJ McCreary of McCreary Homes filed a lawsuit against us for the last draw. Even though we had already hired a lawyer to help us get the house fixed, McCreary's action forced us to file a countersuit to recover our losses.

We hoped that McCreary would fix his mistakes, but if not, we were hoping that the money we retained would be enough to fix the house. The lawsuits, defects and the ensuing battles that resulted from them, contributed to our financial ruin. It cost us our home, our land, our dreams and came close to costing us our marriage.

After the lawyers and experts went through everything- they determined that not only did McCreary build us a defective house with substandard materials - he also overcharged us to the tune of $78,000.

McCreary never fixed our house. The costs of the lawsuit sent us over the edge and in the end we wound up with nothing and McCreary walked away. In January of 2005 we had to file for Bankruptcy because of the defective house and the accompanying lawsuit. We want to make sure that he doesn't hurt another family. You can read the entire story of what happened to us and look at the pictures of the defects on our website www.MyMcCrearyHomeSucks.com

The system in Arizona is set up to protect the builder. State Farm, McCreary's insurance company paid more to defend him than it would have cost to fix our house. McCreary built a defective home, didn't fix it and ruined a family.

We would advise anyone moving to Arizona to stay away from building a custom home. The laws here benefit the developer and builder - the homeowner doesn't stand a chance. We think that the odds of finding an honest builder or lawyer are incredibly small.

It seems like everyone involved in real estate and building or developing homes in Arizona are not just out to make a comfortable living, but rather to make a luxurious killing! We cannot emphasize enough, the concept of Buyer Beware in the State of Arizona. In this state you are on your own. There is no one to protect you. Our politicians will not help - They have already been bought and paid for.

Stacey
Tucson, Arizona
U.S.A.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/07/2006 02:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/mccreary-homes-lj-mccreary/tucson-arizona-85715/mccreary-homes-lj-mccreary-built-us-a-custom-home-with-over-200-defects-overcharged-us-179823. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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#1 Author of original report

Rebuttal to the Response by McCreary Homes - Tucson Arizona

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

We are pleased that after 6 years of asking for an explanation about their behavior and poor workmanship - McCreary Homes finally responded. Of course they blame the more than 200 defects in our home on the septic system being moved - after all - moving a septic system would surely cause water infiltration in the walls of the home whenever it rained wouldnt it? And the use of inferior materials (1X6 tongue and groove in the great room ceiling rather than 2X6) can also be blamed on a septic system? I suppose thats also why they hired a diesel mine mechanic from the Morenci Mines to supervise our build? A mechanic who had only 4-6 months of construction experience?

Sometimes what a company leaves out of their rebuttal is more enlightening than what they put in. As is usual blame the victim and paint yourself with rose colored glasses. Unreal! Our battle with McCreary Homes and our effort to keep others from being hurt by them will never end. The McCrearys have neither taken responsibility for the damage they caused us nor have they done anything for restitution. This couple just lies repeatedly. Below is a point by point refutation of their rebuttal - statements by the McCrearys are numbered- my response is below each statement :

1. It's going on seven years, now, that this client has sustained an effort to put us out of business, and we don't anticipate an end to it any time soon. These efforts have had no effect on our success, but the assault continues just the same.

When we were introduced to LJ McCreary. McCreary Homes had an office with 5 to 6 employees and a conference room with Marble tables and pictures of the houses he built. The office had an aura of success and brought with it an air of respectability. McCrearys office address now is a Postnet mail box service on Tanque Verde Road in Tucson. Now thats a step up! McCreary works out of his home but he doesnt use that address for correspondence or website info. He uses a rent-a-box. He met us once at a Dennys restaurant wonder if thats where he meets his clients now?


2. We should be clear that we are responding only on our own behalf; we will leave it to the State of Arizona, the Republican Party, and the many others demonized in this ongoing campaign to fend for themselves. This will do little either to defend those not involved in this specific issue, but still incurring the wrath of this client on his website and throughout the web--from Lute Olsen to Jim Click, the Jewish people, and even Jesus Christ.

I dont claim to agree with everything my husband says on the website I do however agree whole heartedly that the State of Arizona and the justice system in Arizona protects the building industry. It was clear then that the economic engine of Arizona must be protected at all costs. I also want to remind the McCrearys that they are solely responsible for the bitterness and heartache that has permeated our family since we built a home with them.

They could have done the right thing and fixed the mistakes they made. No instead they sued us. They could have made a difference. My husband has lost his trust for people he has lost his faith in human kind. The McCrearys should be out of business. I dont expect anyone to be perfect however they should stand up and fix what they do wrong. They have never apologized never admitted anything.

And regardless of anyones agreement or disagreement with what is posted on our site - the pictures and documents speak very loudly by themselves. So do yourself a favor and look at the pictures and read through the document section and ask yourself if the McCrearys gave us nothing less than the best house a client ever had, the home of their dreams.

3. Our best response is actually already on our website in a section titled, simply, FAQ. The section describes the kind of commitment and collaboration a builder and client can expect to share during the course of constructing a custom home.

Its very interesting that the McCrearys now layout what you can expect from them. They told us we would have a show at the beginning of our build that would explain to us what would happen. We never had a show. We also find it interesting that they allow a customer to visit their own homesite when it is under construction. Of course according to the McCrearys website : For insurance and safety purposes you'll need to schedule site visits with the job superintendent. Visits usually work best after construction hours in the afternoon or weekends.

You'll also be better served with scheduled visits by having the superintendent's undivided attention. Our experience tells us that you should go out unexpectedly and often. We found beer cans everywhere framing done in wrong places drywall hanging perilously and by the way - dont count on LJ to be present. He came out to our house no more than 4 times the entire build.

Never mind what he tells you when hes trying to get your business. And he wont fix what he does wrong. He doesnt tell you that. If you want to visit a previous home hes built you need to go through them too. I will tell you for certain that they never asked if they could bring someone out to our house. You can be sure that the homes they let you see are not the bad builds. And there are many more unsatisfied people than us. Look at the documents section in our website and click on the Registrar of Contractors link for the Van dan Elzens. . I surmise that LJ and Denise McCreary sued us because they were being pursued by Compass Bank for illegal draws on the Van dan Elzens account. Perhaps they thought we would just pay up and it could get them out of a jam. They owed Compass Bank more than $20,000. It is not just us that the McCrearys screwed there are many other people out there. Were just the only ones that keep talking about them.

4. Although this client has not mentioned it here, she has written extensively elsewhere of the series of personal and financial setbacks that befell her family as her home was being constructed, and following her move in. It was an awful convergence of events that no one family should have to endure, let alone over such a short span of years.

The McCrearys are wrong again. Our son and my mother-in-law both became very ill during the build but neither of these things caused any financial problems. If our house had been built correctly we could have weathered everything. When you add a lawsuit to your expenses it increases your financial debt by at least $2000 a month. We could afford a correctly built house - we couldnt afford the lawsuit. We couldnt sell our house and reduce our debt because the real estate agents wouldnt touch it with the water, termite and mold problems permeating the house and the litigation that was proceeding.

If McCreary Homes had done their job correctly we could have survived and thrived. They did not. We did not. At the time we obtained our mortgage our credit rating was pristine and we had owned 2 other homes. We could have handled the house payment or the law suit - we couldnt handle both. Unlike the McCrearys State Farm wasnt paying our legal expenses. LJ and Denise McCreary destroyed more than our dreams they destroyed our future as well. They should be ostracized and shunned by the community and the community should recognize that the McCrearys are responding now because of the fall in the housing market. Nothing else makes sense. Why wait 2 years to respond? Apparently our story has an effect on their bottom line. Perhaps people are choosing other builders?

5. Unfortunately, these circumstances periodically made it difficult for the family to comply with their obligations to make timely decisions, to be available to admit contractors, and perhaps, in the end, to make timely payments. All of these issues added to the time and expense of constructing their home.

This may be the biggest lie of all. I was always available to make decisions. If McCreary needed a decision on something it was made within 24 hours. Once we moved into the house, The McCrearys refused to fix the mirad of defects. They did have the ceiling that was collapsing in the great room fixed (while the 5 of us lived in our upstairs bedroom for 16 days with mice running over our children while they slept on the floor) and we were going to advance a payment when that was completed.

Unfortunately LJ McCreary when asked by our attorney if he was going to fix the rest of the defects told our attorney that he didnt know if he wasnt going to come back out to the house saying those people are a lot of trouble. We didnt pay him and the water started pouring through the walls the next week when the rain started. The paint was bubbling and peeling and water was collecting at the stem walls - LJs response? Oh you need a little drywall and paint. Even his own lawyer with Snell and Wilmer when out at our house for a meeting looked at some of the defects and then turned to LJ in our kitchen and said Why dont you fix these peoples house? ; Funny how we never saw that attorney again. He was a very nice man with a British accent - who just spoke the truth. Apparently the McCrearys didnt like what they heard. As far as letting contractors work we only asked that McCreary set up the appointment 24 hours in advance and advise us what work was being done. We didnt think it unreasonable to ask for that - McCreary had great difficulty doing what we asked.

6. Significantly, the client made a substantive change in the location of a septic tank which resulted in an extensive delay and costly changes in plumbing requirements. Change orders are very common in custom home building; with planning, most can be accommodated without dramatic effects on schedule and budget. Unfortunately, the changes associated with re-arranging the septic system did not fall in that category.

This is such bull. Did the location of the septic system change? Yes because it wouldnt perk where it was located and moving the location saved us considerable money. It is laughable that the McCrearys only have this one thing to say in their defense. It is equally laughable that LJ uses it as an excuse for his schedule problems. No where does he tell you that the framers he hired didnt come to work for a month or the supervisor he hired took vacation without him knowing and that no work was done on the house for over a month. Nor does he tell you how his contractors refused to come to work because he wasnt paying them.

We talked to the drywallers and the painters and the plumbers and we even talked to SAHBA and Marc Simon during the build about what our options were for getting the house finished. As far as the septic system goes LJ called me complaining that he had been trying to get the permit out of ADEQ for weeks to build the system - I called and had a faxed copy that afternoon.

So apparently I am a better manager than he was. The septic system had nothing to do with the delays or with the defects although it did later fail. Just one more symptom of how bad the oversight and management of our build was. If it could be done shoddily it was. LJ underbid this job and he cut corners everywhere trying to make it up. It was not our poor management that caused the defects and delays it was the McCrearys and they should stop trying to blame the victim.

7. When the client ultimately withheld a substantial payment, our contractors left the project. We did end up paying all our subcontractors and suppliers regardless of our receipts. They have families and financial concerns, too. Still, we found ways to continue working with this client, with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and with mediators to try to accommodate what became a chaos of shifting requirements. Our company's financial losses from this engagement are well over six figures; at least we know that the family who subsequently purchased the home loves everything about it. They have even written letters that are posted on our web site to help mitigate this client's ongoing assault.


Subcontractors were not being paid long before we withheld the last draw because of the defects. Its why the house was not painted its why they stole from Compass Bank. This operation ran on such a shoestring that they robbed Peter to pay Paul. During the lawsuit papers for other clients showed up in the discovery process that showed a commingling of funds and accounts. Very creative accounting was used as well. McCrearys bookkeeper testified in her deposition that they charged an administration fee on change orders that was whatever they felt like.

Please be aware that they will screw you - nothing was too small or too large to be overcharged. The forensic accountant we had estimated overcharging of approximately $78,000. Do not trust the McCrearys. They will not tell you the whole story. They will instead lie at every turn; just like they did here. Will we keep telling our story? You bet! We will continue to try and protect other homeowners from what you did to us. We will continue until you die or go out of business. We will not go away and be quiet. You can pretend all you want that you are the victims here we know the truth and so do you. When judgment day rolls around How will you explain this then?


Stacey
Respond to this report!

#2 Author of original report

Rebuttal to the Response by McCreary Homes - Tucson Arizona

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

We are pleased that after 6 years of asking for an explanation about their behavior and poor workmanship - McCreary Homes finally responded. Of course they blame the more than 200 defects in our home on the septic system being moved - after all - moving a septic system would surely cause water infiltration in the walls of the home whenever it rained wouldnt it? And the use of inferior materials (1X6 tongue and groove in the great room ceiling rather than 2X6) can also be blamed on a septic system? I suppose thats also why they hired a diesel mine mechanic from the Morenci Mines to supervise our build? A mechanic who had only 4-6 months of construction experience?

Sometimes what a company leaves out of their rebuttal is more enlightening than what they put in. As is usual blame the victim and paint yourself with rose colored glasses. Unreal! Our battle with McCreary Homes and our effort to keep others from being hurt by them will never end. The McCrearys have neither taken responsibility for the damage they caused us nor have they done anything for restitution. This couple just lies repeatedly. Below is a point by point refutation of their rebuttal - statements by the McCrearys are numbered- my response is below each statement :

1. It's going on seven years, now, that this client has sustained an effort to put us out of business, and we don't anticipate an end to it any time soon. These efforts have had no effect on our success, but the assault continues just the same.

When we were introduced to LJ McCreary. McCreary Homes had an office with 5 to 6 employees and a conference room with Marble tables and pictures of the houses he built. The office had an aura of success and brought with it an air of respectability. McCrearys office address now is a Postnet mail box service on Tanque Verde Road in Tucson. Now thats a step up! McCreary works out of his home but he doesnt use that address for correspondence or website info. He uses a rent-a-box. He met us once at a Dennys restaurant wonder if thats where he meets his clients now?


2. We should be clear that we are responding only on our own behalf; we will leave it to the State of Arizona, the Republican Party, and the many others demonized in this ongoing campaign to fend for themselves. This will do little either to defend those not involved in this specific issue, but still incurring the wrath of this client on his website and throughout the web--from Lute Olsen to Jim Click, the Jewish people, and even Jesus Christ.

I dont claim to agree with everything my husband says on the website I do however agree whole heartedly that the State of Arizona and the justice system in Arizona protects the building industry. It was clear then that the economic engine of Arizona must be protected at all costs. I also want to remind the McCrearys that they are solely responsible for the bitterness and heartache that has permeated our family since we built a home with them.

They could have done the right thing and fixed the mistakes they made. No instead they sued us. They could have made a difference. My husband has lost his trust for people he has lost his faith in human kind. The McCrearys should be out of business. I dont expect anyone to be perfect however they should stand up and fix what they do wrong. They have never apologized never admitted anything.

And regardless of anyones agreement or disagreement with what is posted on our site - the pictures and documents speak very loudly by themselves. So do yourself a favor and look at the pictures and read through the document section and ask yourself if the McCrearys gave us nothing less than the best house a client ever had, the home of their dreams.

3. Our best response is actually already on our website in a section titled, simply, FAQ. The section describes the kind of commitment and collaboration a builder and client can expect to share during the course of constructing a custom home.

Its very interesting that the McCrearys now layout what you can expect from them. They told us we would have a show at the beginning of our build that would explain to us what would happen. We never had a show. We also find it interesting that they allow a customer to visit their own homesite when it is under construction. Of course according to the McCrearys website : For insurance and safety purposes you'll need to schedule site visits with the job superintendent. Visits usually work best after construction hours in the afternoon or weekends.

You'll also be better served with scheduled visits by having the superintendent's undivided attention. Our experience tells us that you should go out unexpectedly and often. We found beer cans everywhere framing done in wrong places drywall hanging perilously and by the way - dont count on LJ to be present. He came out to our house no more than 4 times the entire build.

Never mind what he tells you when hes trying to get your business. And he wont fix what he does wrong. He doesnt tell you that. If you want to visit a previous home hes built you need to go through them too. I will tell you for certain that they never asked if they could bring someone out to our house. You can be sure that the homes they let you see are not the bad builds. And there are many more unsatisfied people than us. Look at the documents section in our website and click on the Registrar of Contractors link for the Van dan Elzens. . I surmise that LJ and Denise McCreary sued us because they were being pursued by Compass Bank for illegal draws on the Van dan Elzens account. Perhaps they thought we would just pay up and it could get them out of a jam. They owed Compass Bank more than $20,000. It is not just us that the McCrearys screwed there are many other people out there. Were just the only ones that keep talking about them.

4. Although this client has not mentioned it here, she has written extensively elsewhere of the series of personal and financial setbacks that befell her family as her home was being constructed, and following her move in. It was an awful convergence of events that no one family should have to endure, let alone over such a short span of years.

The McCrearys are wrong again. Our son and my mother-in-law both became very ill during the build but neither of these things caused any financial problems. If our house had been built correctly we could have weathered everything. When you add a lawsuit to your expenses it increases your financial debt by at least $2000 a month. We could afford a correctly built house - we couldnt afford the lawsuit. We couldnt sell our house and reduce our debt because the real estate agents wouldnt touch it with the water, termite and mold problems permeating the house and the litigation that was proceeding.

If McCreary Homes had done their job correctly we could have survived and thrived. They did not. We did not. At the time we obtained our mortgage our credit rating was pristine and we had owned 2 other homes. We could have handled the house payment or the law suit - we couldnt handle both. Unlike the McCrearys State Farm wasnt paying our legal expenses. LJ and Denise McCreary destroyed more than our dreams they destroyed our future as well. They should be ostracized and shunned by the community and the community should recognize that the McCrearys are responding now because of the fall in the housing market. Nothing else makes sense. Why wait 2 years to respond? Apparently our story has an effect on their bottom line. Perhaps people are choosing other builders?

5. Unfortunately, these circumstances periodically made it difficult for the family to comply with their obligations to make timely decisions, to be available to admit contractors, and perhaps, in the end, to make timely payments. All of these issues added to the time and expense of constructing their home.

This may be the biggest lie of all. I was always available to make decisions. If McCreary needed a decision on something it was made within 24 hours. Once we moved into the house, The McCrearys refused to fix the mirad of defects. They did have the ceiling that was collapsing in the great room fixed (while the 5 of us lived in our upstairs bedroom for 16 days with mice running over our children while they slept on the floor) and we were going to advance a payment when that was completed.

Unfortunately LJ McCreary when asked by our attorney if he was going to fix the rest of the defects told our attorney that he didnt know if he wasnt going to come back out to the house saying those people are a lot of trouble. We didnt pay him and the water started pouring through the walls the next week when the rain started. The paint was bubbling and peeling and water was collecting at the stem walls - LJs response? Oh you need a little drywall and paint. Even his own lawyer with Snell and Wilmer when out at our house for a meeting looked at some of the defects and then turned to LJ in our kitchen and said Why dont you fix these peoples house? ; Funny how we never saw that attorney again. He was a very nice man with a British accent - who just spoke the truth. Apparently the McCrearys didnt like what they heard. As far as letting contractors work we only asked that McCreary set up the appointment 24 hours in advance and advise us what work was being done. We didnt think it unreasonable to ask for that - McCreary had great difficulty doing what we asked.

6. Significantly, the client made a substantive change in the location of a septic tank which resulted in an extensive delay and costly changes in plumbing requirements. Change orders are very common in custom home building; with planning, most can be accommodated without dramatic effects on schedule and budget. Unfortunately, the changes associated with re-arranging the septic system did not fall in that category.

This is such bull. Did the location of the septic system change? Yes because it wouldnt perk where it was located and moving the location saved us considerable money. It is laughable that the McCrearys only have this one thing to say in their defense. It is equally laughable that LJ uses it as an excuse for his schedule problems. No where does he tell you that the framers he hired didnt come to work for a month or the supervisor he hired took vacation without him knowing and that no work was done on the house for over a month. Nor does he tell you how his contractors refused to come to work because he wasnt paying them.

We talked to the drywallers and the painters and the plumbers and we even talked to SAHBA and Marc Simon during the build about what our options were for getting the house finished. As far as the septic system goes LJ called me complaining that he had been trying to get the permit out of ADEQ for weeks to build the system - I called and had a faxed copy that afternoon.

So apparently I am a better manager than he was. The septic system had nothing to do with the delays or with the defects although it did later fail. Just one more symptom of how bad the oversight and management of our build was. If it could be done shoddily it was. LJ underbid this job and he cut corners everywhere trying to make it up. It was not our poor management that caused the defects and delays it was the McCrearys and they should stop trying to blame the victim.

7. When the client ultimately withheld a substantial payment, our contractors left the project. We did end up paying all our subcontractors and suppliers regardless of our receipts. They have families and financial concerns, too. Still, we found ways to continue working with this client, with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and with mediators to try to accommodate what became a chaos of shifting requirements. Our company's financial losses from this engagement are well over six figures; at least we know that the family who subsequently purchased the home loves everything about it. They have even written letters that are posted on our web site to help mitigate this client's ongoing assault.


Subcontractors were not being paid long before we withheld the last draw because of the defects. Its why the house was not painted its why they stole from Compass Bank. This operation ran on such a shoestring that they robbed Peter to pay Paul. During the lawsuit papers for other clients showed up in the discovery process that showed a commingling of funds and accounts. Very creative accounting was used as well. McCrearys bookkeeper testified in her deposition that they charged an administration fee on change orders that was whatever they felt like.

Please be aware that they will screw you - nothing was too small or too large to be overcharged. The forensic accountant we had estimated overcharging of approximately $78,000. Do not trust the McCrearys. They will not tell you the whole story. They will instead lie at every turn; just like they did here. Will we keep telling our story? You bet! We will continue to try and protect other homeowners from what you did to us. We will continue until you die or go out of business. We will not go away and be quiet. You can pretend all you want that you are the victims here we know the truth and so do you. When judgment day rolls around How will you explain this then?


Stacey
Respond to this report!

#3 Author of original report

Rebuttal to the Response by McCreary Homes - Tucson Arizona

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

We are pleased that after 6 years of asking for an explanation about their behavior and poor workmanship - McCreary Homes finally responded. Of course they blame the more than 200 defects in our home on the septic system being moved - after all - moving a septic system would surely cause water infiltration in the walls of the home whenever it rained wouldnt it? And the use of inferior materials (1X6 tongue and groove in the great room ceiling rather than 2X6) can also be blamed on a septic system? I suppose thats also why they hired a diesel mine mechanic from the Morenci Mines to supervise our build? A mechanic who had only 4-6 months of construction experience?

Sometimes what a company leaves out of their rebuttal is more enlightening than what they put in. As is usual blame the victim and paint yourself with rose colored glasses. Unreal! Our battle with McCreary Homes and our effort to keep others from being hurt by them will never end. The McCrearys have neither taken responsibility for the damage they caused us nor have they done anything for restitution. This couple just lies repeatedly. Below is a point by point refutation of their rebuttal - statements by the McCrearys are numbered- my response is below each statement :

1. It's going on seven years, now, that this client has sustained an effort to put us out of business, and we don't anticipate an end to it any time soon. These efforts have had no effect on our success, but the assault continues just the same.

When we were introduced to LJ McCreary. McCreary Homes had an office with 5 to 6 employees and a conference room with Marble tables and pictures of the houses he built. The office had an aura of success and brought with it an air of respectability. McCrearys office address now is a Postnet mail box service on Tanque Verde Road in Tucson. Now thats a step up! McCreary works out of his home but he doesnt use that address for correspondence or website info. He uses a rent-a-box. He met us once at a Dennys restaurant wonder if thats where he meets his clients now?


2. We should be clear that we are responding only on our own behalf; we will leave it to the State of Arizona, the Republican Party, and the many others demonized in this ongoing campaign to fend for themselves. This will do little either to defend those not involved in this specific issue, but still incurring the wrath of this client on his website and throughout the web--from Lute Olsen to Jim Click, the Jewish people, and even Jesus Christ.

I dont claim to agree with everything my husband says on the website I do however agree whole heartedly that the State of Arizona and the justice system in Arizona protects the building industry. It was clear then that the economic engine of Arizona must be protected at all costs. I also want to remind the McCrearys that they are solely responsible for the bitterness and heartache that has permeated our family since we built a home with them.

They could have done the right thing and fixed the mistakes they made. No instead they sued us. They could have made a difference. My husband has lost his trust for people he has lost his faith in human kind. The McCrearys should be out of business. I dont expect anyone to be perfect however they should stand up and fix what they do wrong. They have never apologized never admitted anything.

And regardless of anyones agreement or disagreement with what is posted on our site - the pictures and documents speak very loudly by themselves. So do yourself a favor and look at the pictures and read through the document section and ask yourself if the McCrearys gave us nothing less than the best house a client ever had, the home of their dreams.

3. Our best response is actually already on our website in a section titled, simply, FAQ. The section describes the kind of commitment and collaboration a builder and client can expect to share during the course of constructing a custom home.

Its very interesting that the McCrearys now layout what you can expect from them. They told us we would have a show at the beginning of our build that would explain to us what would happen. We never had a show. We also find it interesting that they allow a customer to visit their own homesite when it is under construction. Of course according to the McCrearys website : For insurance and safety purposes you'll need to schedule site visits with the job superintendent. Visits usually work best after construction hours in the afternoon or weekends.

You'll also be better served with scheduled visits by having the superintendent's undivided attention. Our experience tells us that you should go out unexpectedly and often. We found beer cans everywhere framing done in wrong places drywall hanging perilously and by the way - dont count on LJ to be present. He came out to our house no more than 4 times the entire build.

Never mind what he tells you when hes trying to get your business. And he wont fix what he does wrong. He doesnt tell you that. If you want to visit a previous home hes built you need to go through them too. I will tell you for certain that they never asked if they could bring someone out to our house. You can be sure that the homes they let you see are not the bad builds. And there are many more unsatisfied people than us. Look at the documents section in our website and click on the Registrar of Contractors link for the Van dan Elzens. . I surmise that LJ and Denise McCreary sued us because they were being pursued by Compass Bank for illegal draws on the Van dan Elzens account. Perhaps they thought we would just pay up and it could get them out of a jam. They owed Compass Bank more than $20,000. It is not just us that the McCrearys screwed there are many other people out there. Were just the only ones that keep talking about them.

4. Although this client has not mentioned it here, she has written extensively elsewhere of the series of personal and financial setbacks that befell her family as her home was being constructed, and following her move in. It was an awful convergence of events that no one family should have to endure, let alone over such a short span of years.

The McCrearys are wrong again. Our son and my mother-in-law both became very ill during the build but neither of these things caused any financial problems. If our house had been built correctly we could have weathered everything. When you add a lawsuit to your expenses it increases your financial debt by at least $2000 a month. We could afford a correctly built house - we couldnt afford the lawsuit. We couldnt sell our house and reduce our debt because the real estate agents wouldnt touch it with the water, termite and mold problems permeating the house and the litigation that was proceeding.

If McCreary Homes had done their job correctly we could have survived and thrived. They did not. We did not. At the time we obtained our mortgage our credit rating was pristine and we had owned 2 other homes. We could have handled the house payment or the law suit - we couldnt handle both. Unlike the McCrearys State Farm wasnt paying our legal expenses. LJ and Denise McCreary destroyed more than our dreams they destroyed our future as well. They should be ostracized and shunned by the community and the community should recognize that the McCrearys are responding now because of the fall in the housing market. Nothing else makes sense. Why wait 2 years to respond? Apparently our story has an effect on their bottom line. Perhaps people are choosing other builders?

5. Unfortunately, these circumstances periodically made it difficult for the family to comply with their obligations to make timely decisions, to be available to admit contractors, and perhaps, in the end, to make timely payments. All of these issues added to the time and expense of constructing their home.

This may be the biggest lie of all. I was always available to make decisions. If McCreary needed a decision on something it was made within 24 hours. Once we moved into the house, The McCrearys refused to fix the mirad of defects. They did have the ceiling that was collapsing in the great room fixed (while the 5 of us lived in our upstairs bedroom for 16 days with mice running over our children while they slept on the floor) and we were going to advance a payment when that was completed.

Unfortunately LJ McCreary when asked by our attorney if he was going to fix the rest of the defects told our attorney that he didnt know if he wasnt going to come back out to the house saying those people are a lot of trouble. We didnt pay him and the water started pouring through the walls the next week when the rain started. The paint was bubbling and peeling and water was collecting at the stem walls - LJs response? Oh you need a little drywall and paint. Even his own lawyer with Snell and Wilmer when out at our house for a meeting looked at some of the defects and then turned to LJ in our kitchen and said Why dont you fix these peoples house? ; Funny how we never saw that attorney again. He was a very nice man with a British accent - who just spoke the truth. Apparently the McCrearys didnt like what they heard. As far as letting contractors work we only asked that McCreary set up the appointment 24 hours in advance and advise us what work was being done. We didnt think it unreasonable to ask for that - McCreary had great difficulty doing what we asked.

6. Significantly, the client made a substantive change in the location of a septic tank which resulted in an extensive delay and costly changes in plumbing requirements. Change orders are very common in custom home building; with planning, most can be accommodated without dramatic effects on schedule and budget. Unfortunately, the changes associated with re-arranging the septic system did not fall in that category.

This is such bull. Did the location of the septic system change? Yes because it wouldnt perk where it was located and moving the location saved us considerable money. It is laughable that the McCrearys only have this one thing to say in their defense. It is equally laughable that LJ uses it as an excuse for his schedule problems. No where does he tell you that the framers he hired didnt come to work for a month or the supervisor he hired took vacation without him knowing and that no work was done on the house for over a month. Nor does he tell you how his contractors refused to come to work because he wasnt paying them.

We talked to the drywallers and the painters and the plumbers and we even talked to SAHBA and Marc Simon during the build about what our options were for getting the house finished. As far as the septic system goes LJ called me complaining that he had been trying to get the permit out of ADEQ for weeks to build the system - I called and had a faxed copy that afternoon.

So apparently I am a better manager than he was. The septic system had nothing to do with the delays or with the defects although it did later fail. Just one more symptom of how bad the oversight and management of our build was. If it could be done shoddily it was. LJ underbid this job and he cut corners everywhere trying to make it up. It was not our poor management that caused the defects and delays it was the McCrearys and they should stop trying to blame the victim.

7. When the client ultimately withheld a substantial payment, our contractors left the project. We did end up paying all our subcontractors and suppliers regardless of our receipts. They have families and financial concerns, too. Still, we found ways to continue working with this client, with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and with mediators to try to accommodate what became a chaos of shifting requirements. Our company's financial losses from this engagement are well over six figures; at least we know that the family who subsequently purchased the home loves everything about it. They have even written letters that are posted on our web site to help mitigate this client's ongoing assault.


Subcontractors were not being paid long before we withheld the last draw because of the defects. Its why the house was not painted its why they stole from Compass Bank. This operation ran on such a shoestring that they robbed Peter to pay Paul. During the lawsuit papers for other clients showed up in the discovery process that showed a commingling of funds and accounts. Very creative accounting was used as well. McCrearys bookkeeper testified in her deposition that they charged an administration fee on change orders that was whatever they felt like.

Please be aware that they will screw you - nothing was too small or too large to be overcharged. The forensic accountant we had estimated overcharging of approximately $78,000. Do not trust the McCrearys. They will not tell you the whole story. They will instead lie at every turn; just like they did here. Will we keep telling our story? You bet! We will continue to try and protect other homeowners from what you did to us. We will continue until you die or go out of business. We will not go away and be quiet. You can pretend all you want that you are the victims here we know the truth and so do you. When judgment day rolls around How will you explain this then?


Stacey
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#4 Author of original report

Rebuttal to the Response by McCreary Homes - Tucson Arizona

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

We are pleased that after 6 years of asking for an explanation about their behavior and poor workmanship - McCreary Homes finally responded. Of course they blame the more than 200 defects in our home on the septic system being moved - after all - moving a septic system would surely cause water infiltration in the walls of the home whenever it rained wouldnt it? And the use of inferior materials (1X6 tongue and groove in the great room ceiling rather than 2X6) can also be blamed on a septic system? I suppose thats also why they hired a diesel mine mechanic from the Morenci Mines to supervise our build? A mechanic who had only 4-6 months of construction experience?

Sometimes what a company leaves out of their rebuttal is more enlightening than what they put in. As is usual blame the victim and paint yourself with rose colored glasses. Unreal! Our battle with McCreary Homes and our effort to keep others from being hurt by them will never end. The McCrearys have neither taken responsibility for the damage they caused us nor have they done anything for restitution. This couple just lies repeatedly. Below is a point by point refutation of their rebuttal - statements by the McCrearys are numbered- my response is below each statement :

1. It's going on seven years, now, that this client has sustained an effort to put us out of business, and we don't anticipate an end to it any time soon. These efforts have had no effect on our success, but the assault continues just the same.

When we were introduced to LJ McCreary. McCreary Homes had an office with 5 to 6 employees and a conference room with Marble tables and pictures of the houses he built. The office had an aura of success and brought with it an air of respectability. McCrearys office address now is a Postnet mail box service on Tanque Verde Road in Tucson. Now thats a step up! McCreary works out of his home but he doesnt use that address for correspondence or website info. He uses a rent-a-box. He met us once at a Dennys restaurant wonder if thats where he meets his clients now?


2. We should be clear that we are responding only on our own behalf; we will leave it to the State of Arizona, the Republican Party, and the many others demonized in this ongoing campaign to fend for themselves. This will do little either to defend those not involved in this specific issue, but still incurring the wrath of this client on his website and throughout the web--from Lute Olsen to Jim Click, the Jewish people, and even Jesus Christ.

I dont claim to agree with everything my husband says on the website I do however agree whole heartedly that the State of Arizona and the justice system in Arizona protects the building industry. It was clear then that the economic engine of Arizona must be protected at all costs. I also want to remind the McCrearys that they are solely responsible for the bitterness and heartache that has permeated our family since we built a home with them.

They could have done the right thing and fixed the mistakes they made. No instead they sued us. They could have made a difference. My husband has lost his trust for people he has lost his faith in human kind. The McCrearys should be out of business. I dont expect anyone to be perfect however they should stand up and fix what they do wrong. They have never apologized never admitted anything.

And regardless of anyones agreement or disagreement with what is posted on our site - the pictures and documents speak very loudly by themselves. So do yourself a favor and look at the pictures and read through the document section and ask yourself if the McCrearys gave us nothing less than the best house a client ever had, the home of their dreams.

3. Our best response is actually already on our website in a section titled, simply, FAQ. The section describes the kind of commitment and collaboration a builder and client can expect to share during the course of constructing a custom home.

Its very interesting that the McCrearys now layout what you can expect from them. They told us we would have a show at the beginning of our build that would explain to us what would happen. We never had a show. We also find it interesting that they allow a customer to visit their own homesite when it is under construction. Of course according to the McCrearys website : For insurance and safety purposes you'll need to schedule site visits with the job superintendent. Visits usually work best after construction hours in the afternoon or weekends.

You'll also be better served with scheduled visits by having the superintendent's undivided attention. Our experience tells us that you should go out unexpectedly and often. We found beer cans everywhere framing done in wrong places drywall hanging perilously and by the way - dont count on LJ to be present. He came out to our house no more than 4 times the entire build.

Never mind what he tells you when hes trying to get your business. And he wont fix what he does wrong. He doesnt tell you that. If you want to visit a previous home hes built you need to go through them too. I will tell you for certain that they never asked if they could bring someone out to our house. You can be sure that the homes they let you see are not the bad builds. And there are many more unsatisfied people than us. Look at the documents section in our website and click on the Registrar of Contractors link for the Van dan Elzens. . I surmise that LJ and Denise McCreary sued us because they were being pursued by Compass Bank for illegal draws on the Van dan Elzens account. Perhaps they thought we would just pay up and it could get them out of a jam. They owed Compass Bank more than $20,000. It is not just us that the McCrearys screwed there are many other people out there. Were just the only ones that keep talking about them.

4. Although this client has not mentioned it here, she has written extensively elsewhere of the series of personal and financial setbacks that befell her family as her home was being constructed, and following her move in. It was an awful convergence of events that no one family should have to endure, let alone over such a short span of years.

The McCrearys are wrong again. Our son and my mother-in-law both became very ill during the build but neither of these things caused any financial problems. If our house had been built correctly we could have weathered everything. When you add a lawsuit to your expenses it increases your financial debt by at least $2000 a month. We could afford a correctly built house - we couldnt afford the lawsuit. We couldnt sell our house and reduce our debt because the real estate agents wouldnt touch it with the water, termite and mold problems permeating the house and the litigation that was proceeding.

If McCreary Homes had done their job correctly we could have survived and thrived. They did not. We did not. At the time we obtained our mortgage our credit rating was pristine and we had owned 2 other homes. We could have handled the house payment or the law suit - we couldnt handle both. Unlike the McCrearys State Farm wasnt paying our legal expenses. LJ and Denise McCreary destroyed more than our dreams they destroyed our future as well. They should be ostracized and shunned by the community and the community should recognize that the McCrearys are responding now because of the fall in the housing market. Nothing else makes sense. Why wait 2 years to respond? Apparently our story has an effect on their bottom line. Perhaps people are choosing other builders?

5. Unfortunately, these circumstances periodically made it difficult for the family to comply with their obligations to make timely decisions, to be available to admit contractors, and perhaps, in the end, to make timely payments. All of these issues added to the time and expense of constructing their home.

This may be the biggest lie of all. I was always available to make decisions. If McCreary needed a decision on something it was made within 24 hours. Once we moved into the house, The McCrearys refused to fix the mirad of defects. They did have the ceiling that was collapsing in the great room fixed (while the 5 of us lived in our upstairs bedroom for 16 days with mice running over our children while they slept on the floor) and we were going to advance a payment when that was completed.

Unfortunately LJ McCreary when asked by our attorney if he was going to fix the rest of the defects told our attorney that he didnt know if he wasnt going to come back out to the house saying those people are a lot of trouble. We didnt pay him and the water started pouring through the walls the next week when the rain started. The paint was bubbling and peeling and water was collecting at the stem walls - LJs response? Oh you need a little drywall and paint. Even his own lawyer with Snell and Wilmer when out at our house for a meeting looked at some of the defects and then turned to LJ in our kitchen and said Why dont you fix these peoples house? ; Funny how we never saw that attorney again. He was a very nice man with a British accent - who just spoke the truth. Apparently the McCrearys didnt like what they heard. As far as letting contractors work we only asked that McCreary set up the appointment 24 hours in advance and advise us what work was being done. We didnt think it unreasonable to ask for that - McCreary had great difficulty doing what we asked.

6. Significantly, the client made a substantive change in the location of a septic tank which resulted in an extensive delay and costly changes in plumbing requirements. Change orders are very common in custom home building; with planning, most can be accommodated without dramatic effects on schedule and budget. Unfortunately, the changes associated with re-arranging the septic system did not fall in that category.

This is such bull. Did the location of the septic system change? Yes because it wouldnt perk where it was located and moving the location saved us considerable money. It is laughable that the McCrearys only have this one thing to say in their defense. It is equally laughable that LJ uses it as an excuse for his schedule problems. No where does he tell you that the framers he hired didnt come to work for a month or the supervisor he hired took vacation without him knowing and that no work was done on the house for over a month. Nor does he tell you how his contractors refused to come to work because he wasnt paying them.

We talked to the drywallers and the painters and the plumbers and we even talked to SAHBA and Marc Simon during the build about what our options were for getting the house finished. As far as the septic system goes LJ called me complaining that he had been trying to get the permit out of ADEQ for weeks to build the system - I called and had a faxed copy that afternoon.

So apparently I am a better manager than he was. The septic system had nothing to do with the delays or with the defects although it did later fail. Just one more symptom of how bad the oversight and management of our build was. If it could be done shoddily it was. LJ underbid this job and he cut corners everywhere trying to make it up. It was not our poor management that caused the defects and delays it was the McCrearys and they should stop trying to blame the victim.

7. When the client ultimately withheld a substantial payment, our contractors left the project. We did end up paying all our subcontractors and suppliers regardless of our receipts. They have families and financial concerns, too. Still, we found ways to continue working with this client, with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and with mediators to try to accommodate what became a chaos of shifting requirements. Our company's financial losses from this engagement are well over six figures; at least we know that the family who subsequently purchased the home loves everything about it. They have even written letters that are posted on our web site to help mitigate this client's ongoing assault.


Subcontractors were not being paid long before we withheld the last draw because of the defects. Its why the house was not painted its why they stole from Compass Bank. This operation ran on such a shoestring that they robbed Peter to pay Paul. During the lawsuit papers for other clients showed up in the discovery process that showed a commingling of funds and accounts. Very creative accounting was used as well. McCrearys bookkeeper testified in her deposition that they charged an administration fee on change orders that was whatever they felt like.

Please be aware that they will screw you - nothing was too small or too large to be overcharged. The forensic accountant we had estimated overcharging of approximately $78,000. Do not trust the McCrearys. They will not tell you the whole story. They will instead lie at every turn; just like they did here. Will we keep telling our story? You bet! We will continue to try and protect other homeowners from what you did to us. We will continue until you die or go out of business. We will not go away and be quiet. You can pretend all you want that you are the victims here we know the truth and so do you. When judgment day rolls around How will you explain this then?


Stacey
Respond to this report!

#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

McCreary Homes- LJ McCreary and the Other Side of An Endless Battle

AUTHOR: Lj And Denise Mccreary - (U.S.A.)

We at McCreary Homes appreciate the opportunity to respond to this complaint, but we are under no illusions that ours will be the last word. It's going on seven years, now, that this client has sustained an effort to put us out of business, and we don't anticipate an end to it any time soon. These efforts have had no effect on our success, but the assault continues just the same.

We should be clear that we are responding only on our own behalf; we will leave it to the State of Arizona, the Republican Party, and the many others demonized in this ongoing campaign to fend for themselves. This will do little either to defend those not involved in this specific issue, but still incurring the wrath of this client on his website and throughout the web--from Lute Olsen to Jim Click, the Jewish people, and even Jesus Christ.

Our best response is actually already on our website in a section titled, simply, FAQs. The section describes the kind of commitment and collaboration a builder and client can expect to share during the course of constructing a custom home. Not everyone enjoys the process all of the time; patience and good humor are great assets, as they are in any enterprise involving many moving parts. It helps if a client has good management skills, too, but the builder and client must work as one team to achieve one of the most important goals in a family's life: a home of their own, a lovely custom home, built for a lifetime of enjoyment. . . and within their means. Our reputation for providing exactly that is what has made referrals the foundation of our company's growth.

Although this client has not mentioned it here, she has written extensively elsewhere of the series of personal and financial setbacks that befell her family as her home was being constructed, and following her move in. It was an awful convergence of events that no one family should have to endure, let alone over such a short span of years.

Unfortunately, these circumstances periodically made it difficult for the family to comply with their obligationsto make timely decisions, to be available to admit contractors, and perhaps, in the end, to make timely payments. All of these issues added to the time and expense of constructing their home.

Significantly, the client made a substantive change in the location of a septic tank which resulted in an extensive delay and costly changes in plumbing requirements. Change orders are very common in custom home building; with planning, most can be accommodated without dramatic effects on schedule and budget. Unfortunately, the changes associated with re-arranging the septic system did not fall in that category.

When the client ultimately withheld a substantial payment, our contractors left the project. We did end up paying all our subcontractors and suppliers regardless of our receipts. They have families and financial concerns, too. Still, we found ways to continue working with this client, with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and with mediators to try to accommodate what became a chaos of shifting requirements. Our company's financial losses from this engagement are well over six figures; at least we know that the family who subsequently purchased the home loves everything about it. They have even written letters that are posted on our web site to help mitigate this client's ongoing assault.

It probably goes without saying that we regret our involvement with this client, but we have tried to learn from it and move on. All of us at McCreary Homes continue to expect that we are building nothing less than the best house a client ever had, the home of their dreams. And we are pleased to say that expectation has been met, time and again.

LJ McCreary
Denise McCreary
McCreary Homes
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Other ways to recoup

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

Contact your County District Attorney or State Attorney ASAP. Be sure to have copies of all money paid,Reciepts, contracts etc. The more information you can provide, the better the chances that the District or State Attorney can prosucute this company. Not recieving goods for money paid is a felony criminal charge in most states. As for anyone else who has been taken by this company should gather the same information and contact thier County District Attorney or State Attorney's office. The BBB will get you no where. Hope this helps and good luck.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Other ways to recoup

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

Contact your County District Attorney or State Attorney ASAP. Be sure to have copies of all money paid,Reciepts, contracts etc. The more information you can provide, the better the chances that the District or State Attorney can prosucute this company. Not recieving goods for money paid is a felony criminal charge in most states. As for anyone else who has been taken by this company should gather the same information and contact thier County District Attorney or State Attorney's office. The BBB will get you no where. Hope this helps and good luck.
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