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We are considering purchasing a Ryan Home in the Villages of Dorchester in Anne Arundel county. We have heard mixed comments about this builder, and they seem to vary based on which neighborhood you choose to purchase in. If you have thoughts (good or bad from any neighborhood) we would appreciate the input.
I live in 6 year old Ryan built condo in Frederick. I have no major complaints with it. It is your pretty standard pressboard and siding "home in a box" kind of place. Crappy condo-spec appliances, cabinets, doors. Everthing is painted "contractor white". The walls and floor are paper thin.
There were major problems with the fire alarm when the place was first built. The building alarm would go off frequently, which required the city fire dept. to come down to turn it off. That was annoying, but when we really did have a fire (due to a cigarette), the sprinklers and alarm worked well and saved the building. The alarm went off a couple of times this summer too, when the temperture outside broke 100 degrees. That being said, the place hasn't fallen apart yet, and nothing major has broken so I guess it is OK.
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
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I live in a circa 1987 Ryan townhome. Since it was built 20 years ago, I'm not sure how it applies to today's constructions, but I would not buy a Ryan home again. The construction was terrible. My neighbor had her bathroom redone, and the GC said he had never before seen such bad construction. Behind the drywall, lots of stuff was jerry-rigged. In our home, the plumber mislaid everything in the slab, so our drains were all 6 inches off and had to be built out. Our sink drain was also not to code (too high). The upstairs toilet was a back outlet toilet (if you don't know what that is, be glad, but its something not meant for anything but a concrete slab b/c any movement busts the seal). In the back of one of our closests, the subflooring was missing about an inch. Yup, you could pull up the carpet and there was no subfloor. I guess someone misscut and they were too lazy (or in too much of a hurry) to patch it. We learned all this because after 20 years, the entire house needed to be updated. In the process of updating, we discovered places where it needed professional help b/c of the construction flaws.
But again, this was build 20 years ago as affordable housing in a not-so-great section of Fairfax County (Lorton - next to the old prison that is now gone). They may have really upped their quality since then.
Last edited by rubytue; 02-23-2007 at 07:36 AM..
Personally wouldn’t take a Ryan Homes project for free. Type in Ryan Homes defects or just Ryan Homes. Our site is currently in the top ten on most search engines, that tells much of what went wrong with our current Ryan home. (NVR)
We’re not in non-disclosure contention like others who got out of a Ryan Homes disasters, so we one of the few who can talk about it and other's complaints openly. Obviously they build some habitable homes. Just if things go bad, they can go WAY bad. It’s not worth the risk IMO. Buying a defective home can ruin just about every aspect of your life.
I live in Ryan home. We visited the site frequently when it was being built. I have family members that work in construction, plumbing, and who do electrical work. We had the home inspected before settlement. There were no major problems. Everything was taken care of before we moved in. We did have one issue that cropped up a few months later but it was taken care of through the builders home warranty.
Always have an independent inspector look at any home you are thinking of buying. Never rely totally on the builders inspectors. A friend had his inspection done after he was in his home (not Ryan) for 7 or 8 months. A few problems were found and the builder adressed them.
IF YOU DO BUSINESS WITH RYAN HOMES BE CAREFUL...they have a sketchy history and I always hear complaints from people about getting mislead or promises made and not kept. They will tell you anything to make the sale. You must stay on top of them and get everything in writing........
it sounds like you are buying an existing home...and not a new construction??
most of the homes townhouses there were built a few years ago...if you are buying an existing ryan home...most likely the builder's warranty has expired. I strongly recommend a home inspector... even if it is a new construction...
1. I arrived in Maryland on a military assignment in January 07 and put down $19,500 on a new Town Home. In addition, I was charged $3,000 to lock in the interest rate at 6.5% for one loan and 7.5% for the second loan (called an 80/10 loan) for 255 days. I now realize I had been prey to pressure tactics and predatory lending practices from Ryan Homes and NVR Mortgage because now they are charging me 7.59% for one and 10.5% interest for the other loan. This is a dishonest business practice and reflects poorly on the state which receives on-going benefits from its military members. As a 20-year enlisted member of the U.S. Air Force with little money to sacrifice.
2. In addition, Ryan Homes explained I would have to pay double the price for upgrades (+$15,000) if I didn’t use their lender (NVR Mortgage). They described this mark up as a half-off upgrade incentive. As previously mentioned, NVR charged me $3,000 to lock in the interest rate for 255 days and Ryan charged me a $19,500 down payment.
3. After six months and with three 1-month construction-delay tactics, NVR mortgage has informed me that I must now pay 1% more for one loan and 3% more for the other loan. As you are aware, these 1% and 3% increases amount to a significantly higher house payment and a great deal of money over a 30 year period. Since informing me of the higher rates, the NVR representative told me I could either pay the new rates or lose my $19,500 down payment and $3,000 lock-in fees.
4. After researching competitive local mortgage rates, other lenders are still offering 6.75% and 7.59% interest on 80/10 loans for my 816 credit rt. None have gone up to the 10.5% NVR is now charging. So the NVR representative reminded me that using outside lenders would double the cost of my locked-in upgrades. In addition, NVR is charging $4,500 in loan “junk fees” while local competitive lenders are charging $50 in such fees.
5. Finally, the ryan homes rep had me sign for Homowners Association documents that stipulate the rules for living in the community. I previously explained that I would be doing woodworking and was assured noise was not an issue. I read through the binder they gave me, but my lawyer later told me these were only general homeowner's guidances giving friendly hints on energy savings, etc. I still have no idea what I can or cannot do in this home. I then learned that seing anything I didn't like in the documents within 5 days of receiving them would have been a way out of the contcract. But as I explained, I never actually got to see the documents.
6. Do yourself a favor--run! Nothing they promise means anything, and whatever money you give them will be enough for them to happily keep if you aren't willing to pay the rediculous interest rates they tell you they've climbed to by the end of construction. And they'll delay construction until whatever rate lock you buy expires. Beware.
Last edited by Ryan Warner; 09-06-2007 at 05:20 PM..
We relocated seven years ago and signed a contract with Ryan against our better judgement. They released us from the contract within the 3 day cooling off period with no problem, but here's some things we learned
Ryan has divisions that generally cover a county, so we found the Montgomery County division to be much easier to deal with than the Prince George's division for example. They waived several of the requirements for using the in-house financing when we advised that we were in a relocation and had to meet the employer's guidelines. The biggest problem we had was how they would not make any changes. Also 24in on center interior wall studs when everybody else uses 16. At that time they were using the "cardboard" underlayment behind the siding which I had a problem with, but now they mostly use OSB
When we contracted with another builder, the subs told us they hated Ryan because they have too many trades working at the same time on the same house and it affects the quality of thier work. If you do have them (or anybody else) build a house for you, plan to visit the site everyday, maybe twice a day!
Those are the negatives.......once they are done thier homes and subdivisions look great (as long as you don't look too closely) for what they are and they are #1 in the area, so they must not get too many complaints. If I could choose another spec-type builder, I would go with Winchester or a semi-custom builder. If you are looking at townhomes, its maybe a whole 'nother game. In the current buyers market, I would think you could get all kinds of concessions.........use your leverage
Also check out NV homes and for those of you who have never heard of them you can also google to see all the area where they build or let me just make it easier for you guys. Here you go NVHomes.
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