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Quality Over Quantity? New Homeowners Dissatisfied with Home Results (Video)

Introduction

New housing developments are on the rise across the valley, but many buyers are concerned that builders are prioritizing quantity over quality. This concern has prompted an investigation by the 12 News I-Team, uncovering significant issues with new homes in a Maricopa community built by Meritage Homes.

Investigation Reveals Growing Issues

Reporter Bianca Bono spent weeks investigating the company and found that problems with these new homes have been escalating.

Disappointment in New 55+ Community

Julie Schwarberg, a new resident of a 55+ community in Maricopa, was initially attracted to the breathtaking walking trails and lakes. However, issues started immediately after closing on their new home in December. The house was unfinished, and months later, it was still covered in blue tape, marking numerous problems that remained unresolved despite being reported to Meritage for months.

Homeowners Share Their Frustrations

Craig and Julie Williams, who moved in January 2021, have seen their home deteriorate within a year. They experienced significant issues, such as a crack in their driveway that expanded from six inches to five feet. Despite purchasing a new home to avoid renovations, they are now dealing with significant repairs.

Labor and Material Shortages Cited

Meritage Homes declined an interview but cited labor and material shortages due to COVID-19 as the cause of delays and frustrations. Homeowners, however, are tired of these excuses, questioning how the company continues to build new homes while existing problems remain unfixed.

Scheduling Fixes a Challenge

Mike Kasman, who moved in April 2022, has been dealing with no-shows from Meritage staff for scheduled fixes. His home still has unresolved issues marked with blue tape.

Community Realizes Common Problems

A community meetup hosted by Jeff Leach, who shares new build horror stories on social media, helped residents realize they were not alone. Home inspector Sigh Porter confirmed that builders often discourage inspections, and many new homes take about two years to be brought up to par.

Complaints Against Meritage

Records from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors show 265 complaints filed against Meritage, with 81% citing poor workmanship. While some complaints were resolved or withdrawn, 45 resulted in corrective action, and 15 complaints remain open.

Conclusion

Homeowners in Maricopa’s new communities are frustrated with the ongoing issues in their new homes. They hope that by speaking out, they can get the necessary repairs and improvements from Meritage Homes. Meanwhile, the investigation into these concerns continues.

What Homeowners Can Do

  • Familiarize themselves with the Registrar of Contractors Workmanship standards.
  • Get their own inspections within 10 days of moving in and another at the one-year mark.

Increased Complaints Over Time

Complaints against Meritage have increased significantly since 2011, with 2022 seeing the highest number of complaints. The trend continues in 2023, with 25 complaints already filed, suggesting a persistent issue with the quality of new homes.

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