Originally Posted by Auntie Jo
We just got back from a trip to NC and put a deposit down on a property in Highland Creek (Centex). Before we did, we looked at about 20 houses and a few town houses in our price range and were just so disappointed at the floor plans of the homes we saw. I had done all kinds of online research about new communities in the Triangle area so I was really excited to see this development because of their location, the floor plans seemed to be more in line with what we wanted (and slightly different than the typical "box" you get with other homes) and the community plan looked really cool.
Once we saw the models, we were hooked. We were so excited about the place, put a $500 hold on the property we wanted, slept on it a night, came back and put down the full deposit the next day. We were psyched. Then we got to their design center for just an introduction to the place and were really disappointed with what I feel were very limited, expensive options. I'm trying to give them the benefit of the doubt because this wasn't our "sit down" with the designer day and I've honestly heard nothing but good things about Centex...and our experience up until that point was very positive.
Unlike KB homes, the sale rep sat with us before we even put the hold on it to go through some upgrade options, so we had an idea of what we'd be spending after we got through the design center...and she was nice enough to give us the full printout of options. Some things like flooring are priced by "levels." we upgraded to engineered hardwood, to a level 1 (which on paper sounds great, but to my dismay, when we got to the design center I saw the choices we had in level 1 and was really upset). So, I just looked at the floors by sight and picked out the one I liked best - which, of course, was a level 5 (the most expensive) which would probably tack on about $10k over the already "upgraded" price of what we had estimated for the areas where we wanted hardwoods.
The other thing that really bothers me is that they only paint in "flat" paint. We just got through remodeling the house we're in now and did most of the work ourselves...and painted EVERY room in this house. I would never paint with a flat finish. So, I'm miffed at the thought that I'd have to move into a brand new place, that has a pretty big scale compared to other houses (tall ceilings, lots of sq. ft.) and have to re-paint with an eggshell finish - and in the colors I want...Yes, i'm picky, and I admit it. But a flat finish? I understand it's easier for touch-up, but it's just so disappointing that I don't even had a choice. (maybe we do - I haven't have this conversation with the designer, but on the pricing sheets it's explicit about flat paint only. I suppose everything is an option to change, but it's a question of "at what cost?")
and the final issue for me is the kitchen cabinets. We have one line of cabinets from which to choose. Granted there are several different styles, but the color selection in the style I want doesn't exist in that line. There's something very close to what I want, but it's not what I'd pick if I had a full range of options. So I asked about the other cabinets they had on display, if we could get that in our place and I was told that wasn't an option.
I'm trying really hard to give them the benefit of the doubt because we haven't had our full session yet with the designer - who seemed very nice by the way. I just feel like we're paying a lot of money for things that we have to compromise on...and it bothers me. (oh, a word to the wise, if it's not in writing it doesn't exist. our sales rep told us we had 24 hours to use in the design center, but when we met with the designer, she said we had 8 hours, which is what's written in the contract...and it was an hourly charge after that.)
So, maybe in the end, since we know this isn't our "forever" house, we should just finish it with resale in mind and not for our own personal tastes.
Anyway, I'm just wondering if others have had a similar experience with Centex, because we're literally at the point of reconsidering and may potentially back out because of our design center experience: limited options, we're up to about $40,000 in upgrades with probably more to come once I decide on a floor(!), not trusting what our sales rep has told us and feeling like we've got to comb through the fine print. We're also curious about the quality of their customer service once they have your money.
I feel like it's a great investment given the location, floor plans, community plan, etc., and the home is beautiful, but I'm really struggling with our experience around "customizing" our new home. I know they've won several awards and seem to be well regarded, so I'm hoping we just had a weird experience that will get better once we start working with the designer.