Day 54-68 of our build with Simplicity Homes - behind the diy



Day 54-68 of our build with Simplicity Homes

- Friday, October 20, 2017. to read...
This is the post you want to read if you're wondering if working with a more large scale company like Simplicity and less custom is worth the money you save. Spoiler: ITS NOT (edit: Now having lived in the house 6 months... I love my house see more on this in the "*edit:" section at the end of this post). We have been having a very stressful time at this point in our build. To say Simplicity has let us down is an understatement. We have found out just how much they care about us as their clients and let me tell you... it's not a lot. ( Side note: I do think that we could have done a better part on our end at analyzing all the costs and not assuming they'd know what they were doing... that part and naivety falls on us, after all this was our first build and there is A LOT to learn)

Around day 57 we got some very troubling news. The additional excavating costs were going to total $5k. We already paid them around $10k for excavating, and we were told from the beginning that we would need around $2,500 of dirt brought in. So here we are in the beginning contract/budget phase (back in April) being told that they knew we would need additional dirt. No problem, add it to the budget. But they didn't. And not only did they not add it to the budget or contract, it was twice what we were expecting. Then we come to terms with it and say to ourselves "that is what contingencies are for"... WRONG again. Apparently Simplicity doesn't budget a contingency. So we call the bank, sure that they would have seen the budget, accounted for Simplicity's lack of contingency and add it to our loan on their end .WRONG AGAIN. We are building a house and have NO EXTRA MONEY anywhere. We were since told that usually the bank budgets a contingency... so maybe this part wasn't exactly Simplicities fault. Do you know how many things can fluctuate spending wise while building a house... A LOT. So now we have to swallow this $5k which should be $2,500 (if they would have done their job and budget for the extra dirt they knew we needed) and we will be paying this out of our pocket. We are told we can't change our loan because it has closed and we have found out that Simplicity really doesn't care where their money is coming from... nor do they apologize for their mistakes. As if this wasn't enough we get hit with another bomb. Our permit price that our PROJECT MANAGER (yeah the guy that is supposed to know everything) was wrong and we actually owed $27k not $24k... Welp, there goes another $3k we are going to have to pay out of pocket. We went back and forth with Simplicity and all they had to say was "you had received emails from two other people (back in April, it is now October) telling you the correct price" Let me tell you this: the first email, I asked if our deposit we had put down would be subtracted from the permit cost, I was told yes... but apparently the $27k number had already subtracted the deposit and the actual permits were $29 (we never were told this 29K number). So we thought we had an extra $2k to play with and THEN the second email they are referring to: we get an email that was a contract saying we owed $27k for permits and we signed off on it, thinking the deposit would show up some where else. Then we get an email from our Project manager in September saying we owe $24,295.77 and we are thinking woohoo even more money to play with, so we added some upgrades that now we are going to have to pay for out of pocket. We still to this day can not get an answer on where our Project Manager had gotten that very precise, very different number for how much we owed on our permits. They don't care that we were told mix information, its our problem not theirs. When it boils down to it, we were naïve. We chose to trust the company that is building our house and not question what we are told, and now it has backfired. We are wishing we would have went through the contract with a tooth and comb and ask exactly what every budgeted number consisted of and included. Then we would have found that the $2,500 we needed for dirt was not included, and include it in our loan. We also would have questioned our Project Manager (and now question every single thing we are told because of this) when he told us what we owed on our permits. Then we would be stuck here paying $2,500 instead of 7,500-9,000 out of pocket. And we would also have made sure (because apparently its not common sense) that we have a contingency either with our builder or included in our loan. We keep getting told how crazy it is that there is no contingency because apparently that is unheard of when building a home... we thought so too. After a VERY stressful week and a lot of being bullied by Simplicity we have decided to just suck this up, Cash out refinance when our house is done and continue on.

BUT THERE'S MORE, we are 2 months behind schedule we find out THE SAME DAY we find out that we owe at least $7k out of our pocket. By the way we are living half with my inlaws, half in our fifth wheel with our 4 and 2 year old. Not fun. When I asked how this happens when they supposedly have a "fool proof scheduling system" that helps them meet their deadlines. They blamed the size of our house, the weather, and construction workers being limited. I am really not sure how this is my fault? Nor am I sure how I was told in September our house would be done mid December and now in October i'm told that we should count on February as our finish day, the house hasn't grown since April when we were told 120 days. My Uncle is who referred us to simplicity, he built the almost identical Waterville home that is actually a little bigger than ours and his was done by the 120 day mark they promise. He also started his home literally almost to the day during the EXACT time of year. So these excuses are bogus. We also lost our Project manager as I stated in a previous post because he had "too much on his plate" and we were passed on yet again, I'm pretty sure this is where our "scheduling conflict" began and we will never hear the true story as to why we've had problem after problem. Honestly we are pretty understanding and just owning up to their issues would really help us, but we won't be hearing that any time soon. So here I am, asking if you do build with them know you cannot trust their deadlines or expect they've thought of everything with their experience. Check over the budget 1 million times, ask exactly where all your money is going and double check about a contingency with your bank. And add months on to your timeline.

Day 67: Now that the ranting about Simplicity is over, lets take a look at how our house is coming along! Its kind of crazy how you can be so displeased with the people you are working with on your home but still be so excited about seeing the build every day! (I will say I wanted nothing to do with the house for my 3 depressed days after hearing all the bad news, but I got over it) NOW WE HAVE AN UPSTAIRS PEOPLE.

((*Edit: Now that we have lived here for 6 months I LOVE our home. I do think there are pros to going with a more custom builder and think the communication and the probability of your house project getting "pushed aside" as ours did wont happen with a better builder. HOWEVER we love our house and now that the building process is over we are overly happy with our home and the quality. I think the price of the build will reflect how you're treated. If simplicity is the only thing that will fit the budget... go for it. Just don't have high expectations during the build))

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