PlanetFeedback - The Voice of One, The Power of Many Ryan Homeowners Sound Off
"There is one thing that Ryan Homes/NVR Mortgage/ NVR Inc. is good at, and thats sucking the fun and happiness out of building a new home. At a time when my family should be ecstatic about moving into a brand new house, we are nothing but stressed and depressed about what owning this new house means."
PlanetFeedback - Ryan Homeowners Sound Off
by Kelly H. written to NVR, Inc.
Posted Tue April 11, 2006
This letter concerns my husband and my experience with one of your subsidiary companies, Ryan Homes. We embarked on this home-buying journey with Ryan in October 2005, putting in a contract with them to build a new home for us in the Stephens Landing Subdivision in Stephens City, Virginia. However, before signing a contract, we did our research on your company and found that it had an excellent reputation for customer service and that they built a solid and well-constructed home. We couldnt find a single negative thing about your company anywhere, and assumed that this must mean that your pledge of superior customer service must be true.
My husband and I signed a contract with Ryan Homes in October 2005, but not before getting answers regarding the sale of our existing home. We had concerns that the market was going to slow down and that we would have trouble selling our home before closing on our new one. It was explained to us by your sales representative that Ryan Homes does not accept home sale contingencies in their contracts and were assured that everyone enters the contract while owning another house and there hadnt been problems with selling current homes before closing on the new. We were also told that Ryan Homes had a home buying program that we could enter into if our house didnt sell before closing. After finding that out, our fears were allayed and we entered into the contract and the fun process of choosing the design options for our new home.
Fast forward 6 months to April 2006. We are two weeks away from closing on our new house and our existing home is still on the market. Weve inquired about pushing our closing off for a couple of weeks, and that is not an option. Weve inquired about entering the home buying program and were told that we should have made that decision when we signed our contract with Ryan Homes. No one ever told us that was the only time to enter the program or that we wouldnt be able to enter it at a later date. As your companys customer service friendly solution, NVR Mortgage has concocted a program for our new mortgage that will enable us to carry two mortgage payments at once! How lucky we are! However, since the two mortgage payments will put us over the 50% debt to income ratio that we keep hearing about, NVR Mortgage will only qualify us under a loan program that looks at credit scores and not income. Thankfully our credit is good to very good, but the payment on the new house still will be almost $4000 per month with a 9% interest rate (the payment on a loan under the full-income verification program was $1200 less per month and carried only a 6.25% interest rate). That is absolutely ludicrous! Your mortgage brokers keep telling us that they dont want to strain us financially, but Im confused how making $1200 a month more in mortgage payments (not counting the $1600 mortgage we have on our existing house) doesnt burden us.
Unfortunately, this hasnt been our only negative experience during this process. We find it regrettable that you train your sales representatives to tell people whatever it is they want to hear in order to get a signed contract. Everything was portrayed in a positive manner, whether or not it was in reality. The home sale contingency line given to us (as reference above) is a perfect example. And of course, there was never anything mentioned about a 10% deposit until the day we were signing the contract. Its hard to hear, Well need your check for $45,000 within 30 days to approve the contract when you just dont have that kind of money. And so then they recommended that we take a HELOC out on our existing home to get the down payment (effectively reducing the amount of equity in our home). Another discouraging thing about this company is the way you constantly switch the sales representatives and construction managers between sites. We had become good friends with our sales rep and she was willing to go above and beyond her normal duties to make sure we were satisfied. At the pre-construction meeting for our house, we were told that she had been transferred to a site an hour away and a new person would be available to answer any questions we had. Needless to say, that didnt make us feel comfortable at all. Weve also had three construction managers responsible for our project since the beginning. We were introduced to one man when we signed the contract, to another when we had our pre-construction meeting and a third has ultimately been responsible for the construction of our house. To make matters worse, promises made by the first two construction managers appear to be unrealistic to the current manager and we are disappointed that promises made werent kept (weekly construction progress updates and the ability to visit the house whenever we want to).
My husband and I would like to see you come through on your superior customer service promise and start working with us on the sale of this home, rather than playing by your rules all the time. We still want to buy our new house, but are asking for some flexibility in the timing. Youve already got $45,000 of ours, which you keep whether we buy this house or not. If we decide to forgo it and pull out of the contract, not only do you keep our deposit, but you can also sell the house for the market value, which we expect is above the amount in our contract. We understand that pushing the closing back helps us, but it certainly doesnt hurt you like it will us if you push us to close early. There is one thing that Ryan Homes/NVR Mortgage/ NVR Inc. is good at, and thats sucking the fun and happiness out of building a new home. At a time when my family should be ecstatic about moving into a brand new house, we are nothing but stressed and depressed about what owning this new house means. Youve done a great job of pressuring us to the point where we cant even get excited anymore. Thanks.
Did anyone bother to tell you that the entire Stephen's Landing
development was built on a floodplane? I wonder if the people that
live there now know either? Several realtors in the Winchester area
said that they were amazed that Ryan homes was able to get a building
permit for that area due to flooding. The only revealed that to me
when I went to the table for the final loan paperwork which had the
payment at double what I clearly told them I could afford.
I went to contract back in August of 05 for my townhome at Stephens
Landing only to have NVR be completely incapable of finding the proper
financing. It was apparent that I was not going to get the financing
back when NVR gave me a settlement date in Feb. with no loan in place
but I stuck it out and as of today they finally informed me that the
contract will have to be terminated and my deposit money will not be
refunded when I acted "in good faith" (as it says in the contract) to
secure financing and do everything they asked.
I also find it interesting that back in August my hosue went for $330k
and they are now selling them for $279k. The Ryan salesperson also
told me back in August that "everytime we sell one, we raise the price
5K." (BTW- Have you noticed that nobody works for Ryan Homes over the
age of 25?)I wondered how my house would appraise at the value
indicated in the contract. In a way I'm glad that I'm not getting the
house and my first home buying experience has been a crash course in
what not to do. I've learned a lot and I know I will never deal with
Ryan Homes again.
I'm sure the local newspapers in the Winchester, Martinsburg, and
Stephens City areas would love to do a story on how bad one of these
big home contractors is conducting business after all the "city folk"
that are moving out here.
Good Luck. I happen to be in a ryan home too. I used the guarantee
buy program which is Ryan's name for the addendum that requires them
to buy your home if it is not sold b/4 you go to closing. If i was
you i'd consider closing on the new home and then selling it as
quickly as possible. the commission might be something that the
agent on your existing house would work w/ you on. You may well make
a little something turning the new house and then u could start
shopping all over, and on the downside you should get out w/o losing
45k. Also as i said i'm in new Ryan home and i wouldn't wish the
nightmares i've gone through on anyone. The quality is so pathetic
and absolutely incompetent follow-up repair service. Get out now b/4
you have to deal w/ their repair people, unless you know spanish and
are pro illegal imigrants.
I truely sympathize with your posting. Your only mistake, if you made
one, it seems to me is that you believed wht the Ryan representatives
told you. It is truely a shame if you must hire an attorney just to
have someone tell you the whole truth.
I just bought a house in the same area and it was a very stressfull
experience for me too. I have moved 4 times and bought and sold 3
family homes. So I consider myself "experienced" in this area for a
family man not emplyed in the industry. I did have to forfeight a
deposit also but it was not much money. I pitty the people who made
postings saying "you got what you deserve" or you were "playing with
fire". That is not very helpful at all. Most of us normal people
infrequently buy and sell homes. In the area where I was raised south
of Pittsburgh Pa in my 12 school years only one of my friends ever
moved to a new house. Most all of the families I knew bought only 1
home in a lifetime. They were too busy living their lives to consider
I wish I could say I have found many people you can trust in the home
buying field but I have not. I guess othes think it is naive to
believe what people tell you. If you don't know their lying to you
or just trying to get you to "sign on the line" then you are
considered naive. I guess I am naive too. I expect people to tell
I am so very sorry to hear that you are going through this. We are
going through a very similar situation with Ryan Homes. My husband is
a disabled veteran, who lost his disability payments right after we
signed the contract. We told the sales man that we would not be able
to afford the new home with one income, but they are trying to strong
arm us into a mortgage that we cannot afford and we have not been able
to sell our current home either.
You might want to send a letter to the ceo and president of NVR. Ryan
Homes seems to be using unethical selling tacktics.
Thank you to all those whose replied - even to those who insinuate
that my husband and I are idiots. I know that it wasn't the smartest
thing to do, but at the time it made sense and we can't take it back
now. Yes, we are using a licensed Realtor to sell our current home,
just in case you were wondering. And, no, we won't be in default - we
have the money to make both mortgage payments, it just makes things a
little tight. The fact is, we've made our bed and now we have to lay
in it. I just was hoping that this company would live up to its
mantra to work with customers to make a pleasant home-buyer
experience, which it has not.
I find this post very interesting, probably because I am a Virginia
attorney and my office presently has 4-6 clients who want to get out
of builder contracts (not Ryan or NVR) because they are unable to sell
The rule of law is that you cannot rely on any oral representations
made that contradict any terms of the contract.
As at least one of the other posters has stated, I hope you had a real
estate attorney review your contract prior to signing it. If not, you
might want to do that now, before you are in default. Several laws
regarding disclosures, etc. have been changed since 2003 and it might
be worth it to have your contract reviewed to make sure it conforms
with applicable Virginia law. If you don't have a real estate lawyer,
contact your local bar association and see if they can recommend one.
Stop complaining. You played with fire and you got burned.
You took a huge risk entering into a contract with no contingency for
the sale of your existing home. Taking comfort in a sales pitch is
very foolish. That's what contracts are for. And did you really think
no deposit was required upon signing? Is your deposit being held in
escrow and refundable if you do not secure a mortgage? How is putting
off the closing going to help? Certainly after being on the market all
these months, you are not going to suddenly find a buyer for your home
and close in two weeks. Is there anything in the contract about Ryan
Homes buying your house, and stating the terms and conditions of the
transaction? The questions are endless. Did you think of any of these
Unfortunately, you and your husband got all caught up in the thrill of
having a new home built and lost sight of reality. And, to make
matters worse, you obviouusly decided to skip the expense of an
attorney, which could end up costing you $45,000.
I am curious to see what your real estate lawyer has to say about
this. I certainly hope you have one??
If all of this is legal and binding and in the contract you signed,
and you didn't express your concerns to a lawyer before signing it,
you are more than likely SOL.
Your complaint has nothing to do with "superior customer service".
You entered into a contract and Ryan Homes rules are all that apply.
Did you read the contract before signing it or just believe everything
the sales person told you? Of course they are going to tell you not
to worry about selling your existing home - - that is their job.
Unfortunately the housing market has cooled and interest rates have
gone up, so the days of selling a home in a month or less are gone.
And how could you be surprised about the 10% deposit if you read the
contract (and hopefully had a lawyer review it as well). And as far
as their home buying program is concerned - - the details are most
likely outlined in the contract you signed which includes the fact
that you had to make the decision when you originally signed. As far
as their switching sales personnel on you - - this is very common with
home builders - - and the sames goes for construction managers. Home
building companies move these employees where they are needed as they
are running a business and the fact that they may have made personal
promises is of no importance to them.
It sounds like you've got yourself in a real mess of which Ryan Homes
is not willing to help you out of because they have a signed, binding
contract that gives them the right to force you to either close on
time or forfeit your deposit.
What does Donald Trump say? It's not personal - - it's business (or
something like that).