Since I just closed escrow yesterday on my new Ryland Home, this series of blog posts will be an ongoing dialog of whether Ryland Homes can withstand the "Test of Time", when it comes to "Appropriate Workmanship Standards and Specifications" concerns (See "IMPORTANT FINAL RYLAND HOMES BLOG POST"). But first, let me say that I will do my best to be objective vs. subjective, and to keep in mind that my intent is to help Ryland Homes, since the more homes they sell in my new neighborhood the better it is for me. Also, I want to make it clear that if I have to use tough love and constructive criticism, as well as praise and kudos, it will be done with research first and comprehensive attention to detail.
Today's post is intended to say that dealing with any new builder is a challenge that requires an INFORMED CONSUMER who has done his homework, and has set his own expectations properly. I say this because I personally know people who have bought a Toll Brothers luxury home for over one million dollars, and another who bought a Beazer Home for a little less than my Ryland Home. Both had similar mutual communication, buyer expectation, and "appropriate workmanship standards and specifications" concerns. They also had some praise for their builders.
On the second page of this first post will be a short background leading up to my purchase of a new home from Ryland Group Inc. (RYL - stock symbol), which owns Ryland Homes. Notice how R. Chad Dreier (CEO) says: "Our constant aim is to deliver quality, value and an enjoyable customer experience with every home we build." The upcoming "test of time" will uncover if what Mr. Dreier says is just disingenuous "corporate speak" or the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
All new home builders are going to have to learn and adjust to the "Age of Information", and what is said in the "Cluetrain Manifesto". The beginning of it goes: "A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies."
Here are the events leading up to my Ryland Homes new home purchase in a "buyer's market" with cost cutting going on with most builders during this Real Estate downturn time.
Earlier this year, my wife and I narrowly escaped being caught up in the Levitt and Sons bankruptcy nightmare. The story starts with my 4/15/07 blog post entitled "Levitt and Sons Marketing Problems ". While my ordeal ended getting back $500 more than my deposit, many would-be Levitt and Sons home buyers are left out in the cold with the possibility of losing some or all of their deposits. See New York Times: "With Builder in Bankruptcy, Buyers Are Left Out Options".
I felt strongly that there wasn't proper upfront written disclosure and disclaimers by Levitt and Sons regarding the saleable status of my chosen lot for my house, to the point where I felt I should not have even been offered Lot #201. This bad experience made me overly sensitive to upfront disclosure of material contingencies of any kind relating to any builders' products or services.
I will go into more detail of my initial experience with Ryland Homes in my next post. Like life itself, it was a combination of "the good, the bad, and the ugly."
Before you finish reading this post, please keep in mind that my wife and I did not enjoy our first year of Ryland Home ownership. See "My Last Ryland Homes Blog Post & My Attempt To Help Ryland Homes!" to get a better overview of our Ryland Home complaint to the BBB, and links to the over 100 Ryland Home problems that were all eventually fixed after 13 months of having much of our time wasted.