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Old 02-20-2019, 01:50 PM
 
2 posts, read 785 times
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We are looking to build in the St John's County school district. I read the great post by @ShakenStirred on builder rankings. One builder we are looking at that I didn't see mentioned was Richmond American. I was wondering what folks thought of them. Also if anyone would have any recommendations on an inspector (we are from out of state and won't be around during the build). We also want to build a pool, so any recommendations on builders for that or things to look out for would be great. Thanks so much.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:58 PM
 
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I rented a Richmond American home so I can provide one data point for you. I would look elsewhere if your budget allows. The quality of the finishing and the materials used is probably par for a budget build but at nearly $290k for 1600 sq ft and average quality I wouldn’t have paid that.

Also suggest you avoid building while you live out of state. Regardless of who you go with these builders hire subcontractors who need constant attention to get things done right. We built while renting 15 mins away and it was a huge challenge to shuttle back and forth.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:56 PM
 
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I really like a lot of the floorplans Richmond American provides, but the advise I have received on them is you really need a realtor who will be on their case doing walk throughs and then stay on top of any problems found over the first year. This was pretty much the same advice we got with our DR Horton house in Texas. I would probably not want to build with them from out of the state as you would not be able to regularly get eyes on the house during construction. Otherwise they are probably like any other mass market builder, like DR Horton or Lennar. As always the supervisor is probably the most important part.
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:58 AM
 
Location: PVB
3,883 posts, read 2,096,447 times
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Originally Posted by Scottamemnon View Post
I really like a lot of the floorplans Richmond American provides, but the advise I have received on them is you really need a realtor who will be on their case doing walk throughs and then stay on top of any problems found over the first year. This was pretty much the same advice we got with our DR Horton house in Texas. I would probably not want to build with them from out of the state as you would not be able to regularly get eyes on the house during construction. Otherwise they are probably like any other mass market builder, like DR Horton or Lennar. As always the supervisor is probably the most important part.
I don't know if you can count on a Realtor to stay on top of the construction. I belieive there are companies that specialize in that. The vast majority of Realtors I have met are not qualified or have any interest in watching your newbuild.
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:02 PM
 
264 posts, read 144,881 times
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Originally Posted by Thundarr457 View Post
I don't know if you can count on a Realtor to stay on top of the construction. I belieive there are companies that specialize in that. The vast majority of Realtors I have met are not qualified or have any interest in watching your newbuild.
Yeah I personally agree with you on that. I would only trust my own eyes with any new build, I don't care their reputation. Just saying that at the very least you need a good realtor.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:41 PM
 
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Good info thanks. Maybe we will rent a house while the new one gets built. Any suggestions on pool builders? I'm guessing that is completely separate from the home builder.
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Old 02-22-2019, 01:34 PM
 
383 posts, read 293,552 times
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Richmond has a couple customer videos on YT that had me a little skeptical. We looked at them at Shearwater when it first broke ground. My Wife loved one of their larger homes. The quality can change quickly and obviously a lot of it depends on the construction mgr, labor market, buyer.

Pools are similar. The guy selling you a pool drives a truck with a vinyl wrap for that pool builder then the work is contracted out to the same folks that do pool work for the other pool companies. They can also be VERY slow once you sign the deal. If they have a high dollar pool deal going and you buy a cheaper pool, they will put you on the back burner sometimes.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:02 PM
 
2,091 posts, read 3,166,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrelman View Post
We are looking to build in the St John's County school district. I read the great post by @ShakenStirred on builder rankings. One builder we are looking at that I didn't see mentioned was Richmond American. I was wondering what folks thought of them. Also if anyone would have any recommendations on an inspector (we are from out of state and won't be around during the build). We also want to build a pool, so any recommendations on builders for that or things to look out for would be great. Thanks so much.
There are certain builders, both national and local, that I don't mention because I don't believe they even deserve consideration.


That being said, with the labor pool shortage having reached crisis levels in the past couple years, even a Top 10 builder I might have mentioned in the past needs to be scrutinized closely now. It's more specific neighborhoods and superintendents, coupled with the trades they use, that now dictate the quality of a new home being built, and that information seems to change almost daily these days. It's normal for one subcontractor to be doing work for 10 or even 20 builders, and it's normal for a builder to use 3, 4 or even 5 different subcontractors to perform the same types of work on their homes. It makes no sense to me these days. They spread their labor pool out, and then they get no loyalty from any one trade, which can make a big difference as to who that subcontractor sends out to do their jobs. I'm not saying it's right, but that's what happens. The builders are making it harder on themselves, for the sole purpose of finding the lowest bidder.


That makes it very, very difficult to recommend specific builders over others these days. I highly advise using a personal home inspector during construction, now more so than at any time in the past. Their is a lot of substandard work being done these days across the board by most builders, and there is nothing they can do about it, short of halting construction altogether and waiting for the labor pool to improve, which we all know isn't going to happen.


I've seen one very popular neighborhood that started last year, switch framing companies no less than 3 times, and each time the quality of the work went down further to where it is abhorrent currently.


I've seen the same occurrence over and over with window companies, roofers, weatherization contractors, electricians, plumbers, you name it.


It's really a mess out there I'm sorry to report. I wish I could tell you different.


SS
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