McDaniels Homes - Lanham, MA — Buyer beware!
On March 18, 2006, I signed a contract to have my new home built by McDaniels Homes of Lanham, Maryland. At that time, I very clearly identified my primary reason for having the home built, which was to have my children enter their new schools in the Charles County Public School System in the fall of 2006. At that time, I was assured that it was possible to have the home finished prior to or right after the start of school in Charles County (September 2006). I was very clear on my need, and signed the contract under assurances that McDaniels Homes could meet that need.
After many delays, I finally went to land settlement on my home on June 2, 2006. This initiated a construction loan with ---Bank. Prior to going to land settlement, I had lengthy discussions with McDaniels' staff in order for me to make a determination about whether I would pull out of my contract with McDaniels Homes and consider purchasing a pre-existing home due to the numerous delays experienced up to that point. Based upon McDaniels Homes staff's (sales and production) reassurances of being able to begin building my home at the beginning of June 2006, immediately following land settlement, I agreed to remain with McDaniels. This was following a conversation where I expressed my concern that they were 'just telling me what I wanted to hear' so that I would not terminate my contract. Again, I received assurances that they would place immediate focus on building my home.
I received many assurances that the building permit had been requested, and should not delay building. I also received information stating that the delays experienced were to prevent my having to make interest payments due to delays in beginning my home. I have received numerous excuses that tie to not having received the building permit when I was told that permits only take two weeks in Charles County, and that the permit was requested the week that I went to closing.
I spoke on numerous occasions with production and sales staff, and the response was always 'we know what we told you, and your home will be a priority'. The importance placed on my home as a 'priority' was never realized. I was assured that I would receive weekly calls to discuss the progress of my home, but seldom received the promised calls.
I have made numerous verbal and written requests to meet with Derek McDaniels (owner) to discuss my concerns with customer service and the completion of my home since July 2006. Each attempt to meet with Mr. McDaniels was met with resistance and avoidance.
Beginning August 28, 2006 through March 6, 2007, I shuttled tow of my daughters back and forth to Charles County from Prince Georges County in order to get them to school. This 'temporary' arrangement was a great cost to me and my children emotionally, physically, and financially. I never imagined that it would extend beyond November 2006.
In November 2006, I became greatly concerned as the completion of my home slowed to a stand still, and it became obvious that my home would not be complete by the date indicated in McDaniels Homes' letter which I submitted to Charles County Public Schools to determine my intention to move into the county. My concern centered around my children's continued enrollment in Charles County Public Schools. The school board allows out-of-county enrollment if the move will be accomplished within 90 days of the first day of school. The November timeframe fell right at the end of the 90-day timeframe, and extension beyond that point put me in the position of either paying out-of-county tuition, or removing my children from their new schools, which was the main reason for my purchasing a new home.
In January 2007, I resumed my efforts to meet with Mr. McDaniels in reference to the completion of my home. Each request went unanswered, and I continued back and forth e-mail and telephone conversations with a company representative in reference to my dissatisfaction with my home purchase, customer service, and failure to address my needs from Mr. McDaniels. During this timeframe, Charles County Schools requested proof that I had moved into my new home. My children were scheduled to be removed from their schools the next Monday. I was then faced with paying $11,600 for both of my children to remain in their schools, or place them in school in Prince George's County.
McDaniels Homes again wrote a letter to the school system indicating a revised completion date of March/April 2007. This letter was accepted by the school system, but there were no guarantees that I would not be responsible for payment of out of county tuition.
On March 6, 2007, I moved into a hotel in Charles County after selling my home, under assurances from McDaniels Homes that my home would be complete in a March/April timeframe. None of the hotels in Waldorf and vicinity had kitchen facilities, making it necessary to eat out twice a day. At the time, my home appeared to have no more than 2 weeks worth of construction remaining before it would be complete. I gave consideration to moving into a furnished apartment, but thought the cost would be wasted on a (then available) 3 month lease that 'surely' I would not need after a week or two. As April came and went with no further assurances of a completion date from McDaniels, I again gave consideration to moving out of the hotel into a short-term lease apartment. At that point, only 6 month leases for unfurnished apartments were available. Again, I looked at my almost complete home and considered the cost of paying out a 6 month lease (in light of my dwindling finances) and decided to 'tough it out'.
My children returned to school (August 27, 2007), and I was once again required to provide Charles County Public Schools with my proof of residency documentation before they could go to school. In addition, I am faced with the very real possibility of owing tuition for the entire [protected] school year ($11,600) and potentially owing tuition for this upcoming [protected] school year ($11,600).
I completely ran out of the money. I have exhausted the proceeds from selling my previous home, and have also spent a good portion of my children's education fund. I have incurred extraordinary. In fact, many of the costs to me and my family cannot be determined by numbers, but by emotional voids and feelings of desolation.
Following is a synopsis of additional complaints in reference to my McDaniels experience:
o Dissatisfaction with structure and decor selections
o At McDaniel's request, I selected new brick for the outside of my home. Due to the change in contractors, my original brick selection became unavailable when McDaniels finally began construction of my home. The choices provided for my re-selection did not contain a brick dark enough to match my original selection and as a result, I am less than satisfied with the appearance of the exterior of my home.
o At McDaniel's request, I selected new cabinets. At the time of my re-selection, I chose a cabinet that had arches displayed. I was later advised that not all cabinets throughout my home would contain arches.
o Poorly executed customer service
o Execution of a Mechanic's Lien on my home by three (3) subcontractors for unpaid work.
o I am now taking on additional expenses in the form of obtaining legal counsel. If McDaniels had followed through on even one of the written promises for delivery dates, I would not be incurring this additional cost.
McDaniels Homes has presented themselves as a 'concerned and caring builder', but has demonstrated the exact opposite in their treatment of me and my family. I have been provided with the following delivery dates, verbally and/or in writing, which McDaniels Homes has failed to meet:
o September 2006
o October 2006
o November 2006
o March 2007
o April 2007
o May 18, 2007
o August 27, 2007
I am now in my home under a use and occupancy certificate, but cannot go to closing due to leins for funds unpaid to subcontractors by McDaniels Homes. I have exhausted all of my savings, and may have to pay an unplanned for $17,500 to release the lien. I have a home that is only 90% complete with missing items like built-in shelving, tray ceilings,some shutters, etc. My home doesn't have complete tile work, lighting in the bathroom, holes in roof, and a big hole in my front yard. McDaniels Homes has made repeated promises to come out and fix the remaining issues, but has left me waiting on at least 5 occasions, with NO issues resolved.