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View Full Version : Anyone have any experience with Pulte Homes??



Unclebuck
11-16-2011, 08:36 AM
I am just about to enter into an agreement to purchase a brand new Pulte home and I have heard some good and some bad on Pulte. Anyone here have any recent experience? Anything specifically to watch out for.

Thanks

beast23
11-16-2011, 09:04 AM
I am just about to enter into an agreement to purchase a brand new Pulte home and I have heard some good and some bad on Pulte. Anyone here have any recent experience? Anything specifically to watch out for.

Thanks
Same here... I've heard it both ways... but really cannot recall details.

Have you ever had a home constructed? If not, one of the most important issues is the punch list and how it will be handled. Additionally, things that you might overlook like paint quality and when/how the concrete is poured.

Nearly all contractors sub out things like painting, drywall, roofing, etc. Make certain that your contractor does NOT use contractor grade paint. For example, if they use Porter products, your contractor will default to a line called Hi-Hide flat. You will never be able to wipe it down, it will come off on the cloth you use. I love Porter products, but like any other line of paint you have to know what you are getting. You be the one to make that call; don't just default to whatever your contractor suggests. An extra 500 for the paint will go a long way in meeting the wear and tear of kids and normal cleanings.

Same thing is true for concrete. Contractors will tell you that they can pour it just fine even in freezing weather, but the more anti-freeze they use in their mix, the less integrity and the more likely popping/spalling is to occur.

To me, building a home is about the little things that are often overlooked and just taken for granted.

All I would suggest is that you drive the contract and that you specify anything that is important to you. Sweat the small stuff; take nothing for granted.

But sorry, I can't really help regarding Pulte's rep.

Trader Joe
11-16-2011, 09:12 AM
Generally speaking from my conversations with brokers in the residential business, Pulte is one of the more respected mass home builders around Indianapolis along with Drees homes.

Sparhawk
11-16-2011, 09:28 AM
I am just about to enter into an agreement to purchase a brand new Pulte home and I have heard some good and some bad on Pulte. Anyone here have any recent experience? Anything specifically to watch out for.

Thanks

We have Pulte here in GA too. While I'm not a fan of their designs and being cookie cutter, they do have a good reputation from what I've read for a mass producer of homes.

My wife and I are trying to get a home that is more eco friendly, and I don't think Pulte goes out of their way for that. I'll have to check at home cause I have a nice Firefox Favorite folder for home builders, so I'll see if I have them in there.

Unclebuck
11-16-2011, 09:49 AM
I am worried because they assure me that they can start the house in the middle of January and work straight through the winter - makes me fear that the foundation might not be as solid as if it were built in the middle of summer.

One idea I've heard that sounds like a good idea to me - instead of having our home inspector inspect the home once it is complete, have them inspect along the way, 3 times along the process and again at the end. I am going to do that for sure

Trader Joe
11-16-2011, 10:34 AM
Inspecting is good, generally though at this point in a home builders evolution, these guys know how to build in any weather. They have to in order to put up the number of homes they do.

indygeezer
11-16-2011, 02:57 PM
TJ's right about building thru the weather, although I cringe when I see roofing going on in the freezing winter. I like to see the tabs seal down. Now, from my perspective it often has been the Pulte homes that people seemed to really like when looking at an existing property. I guess what I'm saying is they seem to have great resale value. My buyers seem to appreciate the amenities and quality of the home, generally without knowing who the builder was. Are they problem free? No home is problem free but they seem to be among the better of the mass produced homes and many of the custom builds too.

EDIT...what do they say about inspection during the construction phase? Will they make changes if your inspector doesn't like something or do they say that your inspection comes prior to closing during final punch-out?

Unclebuck
11-16-2011, 04:18 PM
I haven;'t told them about the inspector meeting with the builder. They have it built in that I meet with the builder I think twice during the building process to show me how "good it is, so I figure I can have the inspector with me then.

good to hear about Pulte.

Sparhawk
11-16-2011, 05:52 PM
Looked at my list at home. I don't have Pulte in my favs.

Some eco builders I was looking at are Brock Built and Summit Homes. I don't know if they are outside Georgia. Sorry that wasn't much help.

I wouldn't be worried about a builder building homes in the winter. They know what they are doing. I'd be worried if it was some no name company though.

Doug
11-16-2011, 06:24 PM
I've heard Pulte has a fairly high post-construction incident rate for poltergeists and/or trans-dimensional portals. I suggest you verify your building inspector has a paranormal inspection certification, preferably with the haunting specialization. Don't forget to request the standard Indian burial screening for your property with the county planning office.

SycamoreKen
11-19-2011, 07:01 PM
I don't have any personal experience with them, but i did look this up after remembering a retaining wall fell in one of their build sites, but the wall was not built by them. Every company has people that have issues with them.

http://www.kens5.com/home/Problems-with-Pulte-What-SA-residents-can-learn-from-companys-history-83208397.html

tsm612
11-29-2011, 11:48 PM
Sorry I'm late to the thread. I've been busy lately because I just recently closed on a Pulte home. Centex was my builder, and I couldn't be happier with them. Craftsmanship is very good and the house was finished ahead of schedule. Everyone was friendly and helpful, and communication was very good. But I'm sure that depends mostly on your local building crews.

I can, however, tell you all about Pulte, if that's who you are going with for your mortgage.

Dealing with Pulte was the complete opposite of Centex. My realtor recommended we go with his guy at Metlife to handle our loan. Ultimately, we opted to go with Pulte because they will pay up to $2000 of closing costs. If I could do it over again, I would gladly pay the extra $2000 myself and go with Metlife.

Pulte's office is in Colorado, so all communication was done by phone (apparently only if they need to call you), mail, and email. It was so impersonal that they never gave any explanation of documents, even when we asked for additional clarification. It was always "I just need this document on file". At one point, we sent an email asking a question and received an automated response saying something like "we are experiencing high volume, we will review your email and get back to you within a week." ...three months later, I end up calling several times trying to get ahold of someone because no one was answering my questions. Everytime I called for the representative, an operator answered saying "i see you're trying to reach ..., this is 'whatever her name was', is there something I can help you with?" I'd finish my question, and the operator would say "oh, that's definitely a question for ..., I'll have her give you a call back." And I quickly learned that the only way they actually call back is if I'd call at least 2 or 3 times that day, and only would get straight answers if I'm lucky.

As if I wasn't irritated with them enough already, the night before closing, at around 5:00, I called them. I CALLED THEM, to make sure everything was in order, and was informed that they might have to push back our closing date. First of all, when were they going to let me know? I was scheduled to close at 11:00 the next morning. We ended up closing really late the next night, but almost didn't make it because they waited until the very last minute to submit paperwork. The really irritating part of that is we gave four extra months for Centex to build the house, and we pushed back closing about three weeks once the house was finished, so we could close around the time our lease was up at our apartment. We pretty much gave them an extra five months to work with, and we still almost didn't make it on time. The worst part was I told my realtor about all of this in front of one of the representatives for Centex, and the representative was not even remotely surprised, like none of this is new to him.

So that's been my experience with them. Couldn't be any happier with my house or the builder, but the mortgage company was a complete nightmare. If you are going with Pulte, you need to really stay on them to make sure they're doing their job and meeting deadlines.

joeyd
11-30-2011, 12:00 AM
When I looked at the various builders several years ago, Pulte stood out in terms of craftsmanship, attention to detail, and flexibility. But they were slightly out of our price range in locations we wanted to build in.

We settled on Centex, and had more problems with them than I care to mention. Most of the folks in our development have had some major issues, conveniently a lot of them occurring right after the warranty period ended. We had problems upon moving in. Keep in mind that a lot depends on the construction foreman you end up with. We initially had a good one. He left, and then we inherited a walking disaster who didn't even know the building codes. The company fixed a number of problems (albeit poorly) but basically ignored many other issues. So make sure you get a foreman you trust (ask around in your desired subdivision) and if there are any changes in supervision, make sure you take daily or almost daily visits to the homesite and document any issues you might have. If I had to do it all over again, I would have found a way to go with Pulte, even if it meant waiting. IMO, you should avoid Centex at all costs.

tsm612
11-30-2011, 12:04 AM
When I looked at the various builders several years ago, Pulte stood out in terms of craftsmanship, attention to detail, and flexibility. But they were slightly out of our price range in locations we wanted to build in.

We settled on Centex, and had more problems with them than I care to mention. Most of the folks in our development have had some major issues, conveniently a lot of them occurring right after the warranty period ended. We had problems upon moving in. Keep in mind that a lot depends on the construction foreman you end up with. We initially had a good one. He left, and then we inherited a walking disaster who didn't even know the building codes. The company fixed a number of problems (albeit poorly) but basically ignored many other issues. So make sure you get a foreman you trust (ask around in your desired subdivision) and if there are any changes in supervision, make sure you take daily or almost daily visits to the homesite and document any issues you might have. If I had to do it all over again, I would have found a way to go with Pulte, even if it meant waiting. IMO, you should avoid Centex at all costs.

Just curious, what area was this where you had this experience, if you don't mind sharing? Because where I just built my house, Pulte and Centex are affiliated. Centex is the builder and Pulte is the mortgage company they have an agreement with.

SycamoreKen
11-30-2011, 01:56 PM
According to he story I linked to above, Pulte bought Centex in 2008. They must be running the two divisions under seperate names.

Trader Joe
11-30-2011, 03:12 PM
Well, I certainly wouldn't base your decision to buy a Pulte home on the mortgage company side of the business. All builders have that and I would say that generally they aren't that great. Get your loan from a bank, hopefully the one you have a standing relationship with. Let Pulte do the building.

joeyd
11-30-2011, 05:00 PM
Just curious, what area was this where you had this experience, if you don't mind sharing? Because where I just built my house, Pulte and Centex are affiliated. Centex is the builder and Pulte is the mortgage company they have an agreement with.

We built in what I refer to as the Poor Man's Geist Area. This was just over 10 years ago when the companies were separate in every way, unlike these days, apparently.

joeyd
11-30-2011, 05:02 PM
I'd also recommend keeping builder and mortgage companies separate, unless the builder offers a sweet incentive deal. But keep in mind that most builders that also have a mortgage company will tend to bundle their mortgages and then sell them to another major player like Chase.

indygeezer
12-01-2011, 10:21 AM
Sorry I'm late to the thread. I've been busy lately because I just recently closed on a Pulte home. Centex was my builder, and I couldn't be happier with them. Craftsmanship is very good and the house was finished ahead of schedule. Everyone was friendly and helpful, and communication was very good. But I'm sure that depends mostly on your local building crews.

I can, however, tell you all about Pulte, if that's who you are going with for your mortgage.

Dealing with Pulte was the complete opposite of Centex. My realtor recommended we go with his guy at Metlife to handle our loan. Ultimately, we opted to go with Pulte because they will pay up to $2000 of closing costs. If I could do it over again, I would gladly pay the extra $2000 myself and go with Metlife.

Pulte's office is in Colorado, so all communication was done by phone (apparently only if they need to call you), mail, and email. It was so impersonal that they never gave any explanation of documents, even when we asked for additional clarification. It was always "I just need this document on file". At one point, we sent an email asking a question and received an automated response saying something like "we are experiencing high volume, we will review your email and get back to you within a week." ...three months later, I end up calling several times trying to get ahold of someone because no one was answering my questions. Everytime I called for the representative, an operator answered saying "i see you're trying to reach ..., this is 'whatever her name was', is there something I can help you with?" I'd finish my question, and the operator would say "oh, that's definitely a question for ..., I'll have her give you a call back." And I quickly learned that the only way they actually call back is if I'd call at least 2 or 3 times that day, and only would get straight answers if I'm lucky.

As if I wasn't irritated with them enough already, the night before closing, at around 5:00, I called them. I CALLED THEM, to make sure everything was in order, and was informed that they might have to push back our closing date. First of all, when were they going to let me know? I was scheduled to close at 11:00 the next morning. We ended up closing really late the next night, but almost didn't make it because they waited until the very last minute to submit paperwork. The really irritating part of that is we gave four extra months for Centex to build the house, and we pushed back closing about three weeks once the house was finished, so we could close around the time our lease was up at our apartment. We pretty much gave them an extra five months to work with, and we still almost didn't make it on time. The worst part was I told my realtor about all of this in front of one of the representatives for Centex, and the representative was not even remotely surprised, like none of this is new to him.

So that's been my experience with them. Couldn't be any happier with my house or the builder, but the mortgage company was a complete nightmare. If you are going with Pulte, you need to really stay on them to make sure they're doing their job and meeting deadlines.


As an agent I can tell you these mortgage stories are the routine now, not the exception. That is probably why your agent wasnt suprised by what you had to say. Or he had zero knowledge of the finance side of the business and you were speaking Greek to him. Not to disparage YOUR agent (seroiously) but many agents have no knowledge of finance, they can sell a house and negotiate for you but they don't understand the mortgage side.
If they offer you a $2000 discount you can be certain they've included it into the price of the home or there are other closing fees that you will only see when you get a copy of your settlement charges....and then most people won't know what they are looking at anyway.Wait a second, that isn't entrely true. They may offer a discount just to get the mortgage because they make their money back by servicing your loan. That is, after the loan is sold to a big bank, they continue to collect the payments, send out tax forms, control your escrows etc. and they get paid to do so. So yes, you may get the closing costs at a discount but they are going to get their money one way or another.

I will say too that from past experieince, I would be very reluctant to advise a client financing thru the builder's financial arm. (No biggie but they're going to sell your mortgage anyway)