Meritage Update

I did a second walk through of my Meritage unit today (#504). The unit still has a broken window and the range hasn’t been installed. They did take care of all the paint details from my last walk through. I’m still disappointed with the cabinet door’s alignments, but maybe I’m just super picky that way (I will save my full review of the unit until I move in and can take photos.) The fifth floor hallway is still being painted and worked on. In my naive opinion the building does not look ready to move into.

They still hadn’t received the temporary TCO when I left at 9:30 a.m. but it sounds like it’s getting closer.

I’m continuing to talk to lawyers (thanks for the references!) about taking my agent at William Marketing (not the on-site agent) to task for being a slacker in addition to an undisclosed conflict of interest. The more I learn about this business the more I find out just how fucked up it is.

Unfortunately my mortgage broker has been sick this week so I think it’s unlikely I’ll close and move in this weekend.

I’m sure I am supposed to be excited about taking possession but I couldn’t care less right now.

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts with industrial features and new construction condos that is only eclipsed by his passion for outdoor sports and urban living. Phrases such as “polished concrete” and “exposed brick” are music to his ears. You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • Brian

    Simply put – THAT SUCKS

  • Brian

    Simply put – THAT SUCKS

  • Brian

    Simply put – THAT SUCKS

  • Foster

    What was the conflict of interest? Like I said at the urbnlivn meetup, this whole business is full of shady tactics and hidden kickbacks. I could vomit just hearing about it.

  • Foster

    What was the conflict of interest? Like I said at the urbnlivn meetup, this whole business is full of shady tactics and hidden kickbacks. I could vomit just hearing about it.

  • Foster

    What was the conflict of interest? Like I said at the urbnlivn meetup, this whole business is full of shady tactics and hidden kickbacks. I could vomit just hearing about it.

  • Javila

    Buying a home is a unique experience. When you get your keys it should definitely feel exciting!!

  • Javila

    Buying a home is a unique experience. When you get your keys it should definitely feel exciting!!

  • Javila

    Buying a home is a unique experience. When you get your keys it should definitely feel exciting!!

  • Jason

    Keep in mind that the hallways will not be finished until everyone is moved in. They don’t want to have to redo the hallways after the inevitable damage from people moving in.

    The only thing left to do on our unit the last time we were there last week was to fix a scratch on the bathroom floor and install the refrigerator.

    I’m incredibly anxious to take possession but that’s mostly due to the fact that I’m living at a friend’s since I had to move out of my old place.

  • Jason

    Keep in mind that the hallways will not be finished until everyone is moved in. They don’t want to have to redo the hallways after the inevitable damage from people moving in.

    The only thing left to do on our unit the last time we were there last week was to fix a scratch on the bathroom floor and install the refrigerator.

    I’m incredibly anxious to take possession but that’s mostly due to the fact that I’m living at a friend’s since I had to move out of my old place.

  • Steve

    Where is the conflict of interest?

  • Steve

    Where is the conflict of interest?

  • Jason

    We have TCO!

  • Jason

    We have TCO!

  • Anon

    Steve, it’s the undisclosed relationship between Leslie Williams and Allen Bauman.

  • Anon

    Steve, it’s the undisclosed relationship between Leslie Williams and Allen Bauman.

  • EconE

    I hope you guys at Redfin take over the Real Estate Industry as it is known today….Redfin is who I’ll be using in the future…why else would I still be here?

    Go Dow! Down Down Down!!!

  • EconE

    I hope you guys at Redfin take over the Real Estate Industry as it is known today….Redfin is who I’ll be using in the future…why else would I still be here?

    Go Dow! Down Down Down!!!

  • Mr. J. Edwards

    Sorry to hear that things are not going well for you. I too have had to bear the inconvieience of this TCO and lack of perfection, but overall feel that the experience has been very good.

    Javila (onsite) has delivered info in a timely manner and I’ve been able to reach all the people involved at any given moment.

    I guess growing up around construction sites has given me more patients for delays, which are almost guaranteed the longer a projects time line.

    Hang in there…

  • Mr. J. Edwards

    Sorry to hear that things are not going well for you. I too have had to bear the inconvieience of this TCO and lack of perfection, but overall feel that the experience has been very good.

    Javila (onsite) has delivered info in a timely manner and I’ve been able to reach all the people involved at any given moment.

    I guess growing up around construction sites has given me more patients for delays, which are almost guaranteed the longer a projects time line.

    Hang in there…

  • Steve

    Lesile Williams is the Listing agent, therefor represents the Seller. There is no need for a disclosure of the relationship because it is already a given that she will act in the best interest her client, the seller, who also happens to be her husband. The onsite agents at Meritage and all Williams Marketing agents are independent contractors that legally are obligated to act in the best interest of their client.

  • Steve

    Lesile Williams is the Listing agent, therefor represents the Seller. There is no need for a disclosure of the relationship because it is already a given that she will act in the best interest her client, the seller, who also happens to be her husband. The onsite agents at Meritage and all Williams Marketing agents are independent contractors that legally are obligated to act in the best interest of their client.

  • Jason

    I second Mr. Edwards opinion that overall the experience has been good.

    Javila has been very helpful. I certainly don’t envy the position she’s in being the point of contact for the Meritage and having to deal with all of us stressing out over the delays. She’s had to deal with the stress of being the on-site agent and a buyer whose closing has been delayed.

    Thanks for all your help, Javila!

  • Jason

    I second Mr. Edwards opinion that overall the experience has been good.

    Javila has been very helpful. I certainly don’t envy the position she’s in being the point of contact for the Meritage and having to deal with all of us stressing out over the delays. She’s had to deal with the stress of being the on-site agent and a buyer whose closing has been delayed.

    Thanks for all your help, Javila!

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    Ugh, my deal is now held up in escrow and doesn’t look like it will be completed until Monday; they don’t work past five and don’t work on weekends. Since I’m out of town next weekend I’m facing a mid-week evening move and bumping up against the limit of my rental extension.

  • http://urbnlivn.com Matt Goyer

    Ugh, my deal is now held up in escrow and doesn’t look like it will be completed until Monday; they don’t work past five and don’t work on weekends. Since I’m out of town next weekend I’m facing a mid-week evening move and bumping up against the limit of my rental extension.

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    I definitely agree, Javila has been great.

    Steve, all the lawyers I’ve spoken to agree that the relationship between Leslie and Allen should have been disclosed in writing.

  • http://urbnlivn.com Matt Goyer

    I definitely agree, Javila has been great.

    Steve, all the lawyers I’ve spoken to agree that the relationship between Leslie and Allen should have been disclosed in writing.

  • jo

    I echo everyone’s thoughts about Javila as well. She’s been very helpful and has done her job to the best of her ability. I can’t even begin to imagine what she goes through in dealing with all of us impatient people on a daily basis.

    The way I look at it is delays are a way of life. Can’t say I have ever heard of a single project being completed on time. Look at 2200, delays there have been months. Cosmopolitan? At least two. Eastlake Lofts? Heck, the signage says expected completition December 06 (or at least it used to). If a year ago someone would have told me a yr ago Meritage would been delayed by only a month, you would have seen me doing summersaults.

    I too worry about the relationship of WM and the developer. However, I worry about the relationship between any marketing company and the developer. Of course the marketing agency has the best interests in the developer in mind no matter what the personal life between the two are! The marketing agency has countless more incentive to please the developer rather than the buyers. Tick off your developer and they don’t use you on your next project. Tick off your homebuyer, big deal, there are thousands others out there.

  • Jason

    Sorry to hear that you’re held up in escrow, Matt.

    I just talked to Melanie at escrow and we’re good to go and will be closing today. This has been one very stressful week but I’m excited nonetheless to be getting our keys today.

    Hang in there. You’re almost there.

  • jo

    I echo everyone’s thoughts about Javila as well. She’s been very helpful and has done her job to the best of her ability. I can’t even begin to imagine what she goes through in dealing with all of us impatient people on a daily basis.

    The way I look at it is delays are a way of life. Can’t say I have ever heard of a single project being completed on time. Look at 2200, delays there have been months. Cosmopolitan? At least two. Eastlake Lofts? Heck, the signage says expected completition December 06 (or at least it used to). If a year ago someone would have told me a yr ago Meritage would been delayed by only a month, you would have seen me doing summersaults.

    I too worry about the relationship of WM and the developer. However, I worry about the relationship between any marketing company and the developer. Of course the marketing agency has the best interests in the developer in mind no matter what the personal life between the two are! The marketing agency has countless more incentive to please the developer rather than the buyers. Tick off your developer and they don’t use you on your next project. Tick off your homebuyer, big deal, there are thousands others out there.

  • Jason

    Sorry to hear that you’re held up in escrow, Matt.

    I just talked to Melanie at escrow and we’re good to go and will be closing today. This has been one very stressful week but I’m excited nonetheless to be getting our keys today.

    Hang in there. You’re almost there.

  • jay

    – comment removed by Matt –

  • jay

    – comment removed by Matt –

  • Brian

    Alright Jay – it’s one thing state there should have been a disclosure (I agree completely) but you better be more specific if you want to play character assassination. Or is it just a vibe you get?

  • Brian

    Alright Jay – it’s one thing state there should have been a disclosure (I agree completely) but you better be more specific if you want to play character assassination. Or is it just a vibe you get?

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    I’m really annoyed because Sunday would have been a perfect day for moving given that skiing will be really bad with a 6000 foot freezing level: http://carismata.com/snowreports/

  • http://blog.mattgoyer.com Matt

    I’m really annoyed because Sunday would have been a perfect day for moving given that skiing will be really bad with a 6000 foot freezing level: http://carismata.com/snowreports/

  • jo

    So it wasn’t disclosed, what are the damages by not doing so?

  • jo

    So it wasn’t disclosed, what are the damages by not doing so?

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    Argh. No word from escrow..

  • http://blog.mattgoyer.com Matt

    Argh. No word from escrow..

  • Andre

    Extending on what Jay said about Leslie Williams Id like to share my experience with Williams Marketing. Ill try to stick to the raw facts and not get personal to not have this post deleted.

    My mind was set on buying at unit at Cristalla. I started to follow the development of this project about a year before they took reservations. Most of the time I communicated with Steve Paoli, who was the sellers agent for a unit that I bought in the Austin Bell building. I told Steve off that bat that Im working with the same buyers agent I used for buying the unit in Austin Bell.

    For the longest time Steve was very responsive and supplied me with new information about Cristalla when it became available. The weekend before their big sales center opening (and day 1 of taking reservations) he sent me an email that they finally had floor plans. I asked him if he could email me a copy and he suggested to instead drop off a complete set of Cristalla marketing material (including floor plans) at my place. When we met he asked if I still work with the same agent. I said yes and it went downhill from there. He started to mumble something along the line of that he should not have come out to give me the floor plans as I was working with another agent. I replied that I told from the beginning who my agent is and that I would have been fine to get a copy of the floor plans via email.

    On reservation day I was second in a long line in front of the sales center. The problem was that my agent couldnt come out that day due to a personal engagement she couldnt get away from. Our plan was to fax over the sales and purchase agreement to her current location to have her sign it. After I registered I was able to grab Leslie Williams and get my first unit choice. As we filled in the sales and purchase agreement I told her that my agent was offsite, but accessible via fax. She was noticeably not happy about the idea of having to fax out the sales and purchase agreement to my agent. After leaving me alone for about 20 minutes she came back and said that their fax machine was broken. I suggested to have me sign the sales and purchase agreement, fax it over to my agent at a close by copy store and then come back. She said that she was not willing to do that. I suggested to write a $5,000 check for a deposit to just hold the unit one day. That didnt work either. I then told her to please hold on to my unit for 10 minutes so that I can talk to my agent outside.

    My agent told me to just sign the sales and purchase agreement without her so that I can get the unit I like. I wasnt happy about that situation as she helped me before closing deals (as you see from Matts story above it really helps to have a good buyers agent when closing a unit), but decided that Cristalla is worth it. When I stepped back into the sales center my purchase and sales agreement was gone and Leslie and Steve just flat out ignored me. Whenever I walked up to them and they just walked away whenever I came close (several times walking straight by me while having short eye contact). It was one of the most bizarre things I ever experienced. I left the sales center and never went back. After the first burst of sales at Cristalla passed by after about 2-3 weeks Steve Paoli sent me an email saying that he thought there must have been some kind of misunderstanding and if I was still interested in buying a unit at Cristalla. Unbelievable. I deleted the email and decided to never ever buy a unit offered through Williams Marketing.

  • Andre

    Extending on what Jay said about Leslie Williams I’d like to share my experience with Williams Marketing. I’ll try to stick to the raw facts and not get personal to not have this post deleted.

    My mind was set on buying at unit at Cristalla. I started to follow the development of this project about a year before they took reservations. Most of the time I communicated with Steve Paoli, who was the sellers agent for a unit that I bought in the Austin Bell building. I told Steve off that bat that I’m working with the same buyers agent I used for buying the unit in Austin Bell.

    For the longest time Steve was very responsive and supplied me with new information about Cristalla when it became available. The weekend before their big sales center opening (and day 1 of taking reservations) he sent me an email that they finally had floor plans. I asked him if he could email me a copy and he suggested to instead drop off a complete set of Cristalla marketing material (including floor plans) at my place. When we met he asked if I still work with the same agent. I said yes and it went downhill from there. He started to mumble something along the line of that he should not have come out to give me the floor plans as I was working with another agent. I replied that I told from the beginning who my agent is and that I would have been fine to get a copy of the floor plans via email.

    On reservation day I was second in a long line in front of the sales center. The problem was that my agent couldn’t come out that day due to a personal engagement she couldn’t get away from. Our plan was to fax over the sales and purchase agreement to her current location to have her sign it. After I registered I was able to grab Leslie Williams and get my first unit choice. As we filled in the sales and purchase agreement I told her that my agent was offsite, but accessible via fax. She was noticeably not happy about the idea of having to fax out the sales and purchase agreement to my agent. After leaving me alone for about 20 minutes she came back and said that their fax machine was broken. I suggested to have me sign the sales and purchase agreement, fax it over to my agent at a close by copy store and then come back. She said that she was not willing to do that. I suggested to write a $5,000 check for a deposit to just hold the unit one day. That didn’t work either. I then told her to please hold on to my unit for 10 minutes so that I can talk to my agent outside.

    My agent told me to just sign the sales and purchase agreement without her so that I can get the unit I like. I wasn’t happy about that situation as she helped me before closing deals (as you see from Matt’s story above it really helps to have a good buyers agent when closing a unit), but decided that Cristalla is worth it. When I stepped back into the sales center my purchase and sales agreement was gone and Leslie and Steve just flat out ignored me. Whenever I walked up to them and they just walked away whenever I came close (several times walking straight by me while having short eye contact). It was one of the most bizarre things I ever experienced. I left the sales center and never went back. After the first burst of sales at Cristalla passed by after about 2-3 weeks Steve Paoli sent me an email saying that he thought there must have been some kind of misunderstanding and if I was still interested in buying a unit at Cristalla. Unbelievable. I deleted the email and decided to never ever buy a unit offered through Williams Marketing.

  • jo

    Hate to jump on the bandwagon, but the reason you got dissed at Cristalla was because they thought you were going in there without representation and Williams would have to represent you and thus would get the added commission.

    Same thing happened with Olive8. I really wanted to get in there, so I went in the preview week, spoke to an on-site agent, filled out the sheet and said I would not be using my own agent, but with one of theirs. Several friends of mine went in and filled out as having their own respresentation. I ended up getting a prime reservation slot whereas not one of my buddies did. Heck, they were called the week after the initial sales and asked if they were still interested. They all just laughed.

    I’ve spoke to several others that reserved at Olive8 that first weekend and every single one of them did not have their own representation and had to sign with Williams. Granted it’s only a few, but still…

    In the end, I ended up getting a unit I wanted. I knew the game that had to be played and was willing to play that game in order to get in there. Sucks, but hey, it worked. If I was in Williams situation I’d most likely do the same thing.

    I really wish there were some laws around this (and franky I’m suprised there aren’t). Make every buyer have their own representation (and if you don’t want to, use Redfin :) ). Someone has to be act as a medium between the marketing company and the buyer.

    There’s such a clear imbalance of the marketing agencies loyalities between the buyer and developer that something needs to be done about it. Let the marketing companies do just that, market.

  • jo

    Hate to jump on the bandwagon, but the reason you got dissed at Cristalla was because they thought you were going in there without representation and Williams would have to represent you and thus would get the added commission.

    Same thing happened with Olive8. I really wanted to get in there, so I went in the preview week, spoke to an on-site agent, filled out the sheet and said I would not be using my own agent, but with one of theirs. Several friends of mine went in and filled out as having their own respresentation. I ended up getting a prime reservation slot whereas not one of my buddies did. Heck, they were called the week after the initial sales and asked if they were still interested. They all just laughed.

    I’ve spoke to several others that reserved at Olive8 that first weekend and every single one of them did not have their own representation and had to sign with Williams. Granted it’s only a few, but still…

    In the end, I ended up getting a unit I wanted. I knew the game that had to be played and was willing to play that game in order to get in there. Sucks, but hey, it worked. If I was in Williams situation I’d most likely do the same thing.

    I really wish there were some laws around this (and franky I’m suprised there aren’t). Make every buyer have their own representation (and if you don’t want to, use Redfin :) ). Someone has to be act as a medium between the marketing company and the buyer.

    There’s such a clear imbalance of the marketing agencies loyalities between the buyer and developer that something needs to be done about it. Let the marketing companies do just that, market.

  • uptown

    I would suggest using a lawyer instead of a buyer’s agent when buying new construction, even for a SFH. I’ve done it without either, but would use a lawyer in the future.

  • uptown

    I would suggest using a lawyer instead of a buyer’s agent when buying new construction, even for a SFH. I’ve done it without either, but would use a lawyer in the future.