• Report:  #3532

Complaint Review: USHOME Builders - Texas

Reported By:
- Tempe, Arizona,
Thu, October 05, 2000

USHOME Builders
Texas, U.S.A.
Builders & Contractors
Tell us has your experience with this business or person been good? What's this?
I live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and contracted to buy a home in Jan. of 1999 with USHOME. During the "sale" part of our home our sales rep sold us on a lot that backed up to a greenbelt. It was a huge,thick greenbelt that spanned the entire street. We inquired why these beautiful lots were not a premium lot. We were told that it was because the greenbelt was behind were our fence line would be so they could not sell the lot as a premium.

I asked several times what would be done with the undeveloped land behind the greenbelt. We were told every single time we questioned them that they were in fact going to build a new phase but it would be on the other side of the greenbelt. Great!! so we thought,we signed on the dotted line and 8 months later moved in. Everything was fine until one morning this past April when I heard a bulldozer. I looked out my upstairs window and saw no trees behind my house anymore!!! They were clear cutting the greenbelt. We made repeated attempts to get in contact with USHOME corporate office and no one responded.

We organized a meeting with all of our neighbors on our particular street to find out if others were sold and told the same things. In fact about 75% of our street had been sold on the idea of having the trees behind them. We retained an attorney and 13 of us filed a lawsuit for deceptive trade practice and fraud. That's when we found out one of those many clauses in the sales agreement states you can not take them to court, all disputes have to go to an arbitration assoc.

We ended up in court for 2 days anyway because we were able to get a temporary restraining order prohibiting them from removing any more trees. At trial we lost the perm. injunction simply because the judge said the majority of the work had been done. However, he went on to say USHOME was ,in his opinion, intentially selling our lots with the promise that the greenbelt would in fact stay. He went on to tell them the yard view is a big deciding factor in buying a house and as a homeowner himself he would be very upset as well. He also told USHOME that if he were the arbitrator he would rule in our favor and it would in their best interest to settle this matter quickly.

Obviously, since I am writing this, they did not want to settle. We are suing for the sum total of 140,000 that will be divided by 7 homesites. That is $20,000 per lot. If we were to win at that amount 20K would buy about 4-5 nice size trees. Which is what we all plan on using the money for, if we win.

Anyway, USHOME has stalled everytime they can. If they are not stalling they are bullying us. We recently stepped it up a notch buy placing "FOR SALE BY UNHAPPY OWNER" signs in our front yards. USHOME promptly served us with papers threating to fine us $1000.00 a day if we did not remove them. Our Homeowners Association also sent us the same threat.(It is currently being ran by USHOME since they are still building)

The Dallas Morning News came and did a story with us and took some great pictures. It was only when the reporter called to get a comment did USHOME say that they were willing to meet with us and hoped they could do it in the next few days. We did meet with them in what was supposed to be a settlement meeting. They offered to settle with us for $5000.00 total. That equals $715 a home. That doesn't even cover our attorneys fees. It was obvious that they were not interested in settling with us. Their attorney made many threats including the fact that after they won, USHOME would sue us to recover their very expense court costs and attorneys fees and that they would pursue every avenue they had to collect those funds.

It is not like we are "treehuggers". However, our home used to back up to a lovelly greenbelt that blocked out noise and lights from surrounding neighborhoods and streets. Now our house backs up to runoff area that has standing water in it always. (Even when it has been 80 straight days with no rainfall!) In our opinion, the value of our house has went down and our enjoyment of our home has went way down. If we would have been told from the beginning those trees would be cut down, I would have selected another lot.

The point is that they "SOLD" us these lots that we had to get them quick befor they were all sold. Blah Blah!! Did I mention our home is 3 houses away from were they built the new model homes. We don't believe that is just a coincidence. They needed the street filled up with houses so it would look better to new clients.

I want everyone who reads this to seriously reconsider their choice of USHOME. IF in fact you do decide to purchase a home from this company just remember to read line 22 of the sales agreement. It states that you may not hold the sales rep responsible for anything that they say. USHOME is not bound by anything that they may say to you to get you to buy their home. To me that speaks volumes about this company.

3 time builder of the year, PLEASE!! I would love to hear from anyone that may have had this same problem or from anyone living in the N. Texas area with a complaint. They may be useful in our suit.

[email protected]



1 Updates & Rebuttals


us home is now under new managment!!

#2UPDATE EX-employee responds

Sun, July 25, 2004

Hello, I have worked for US home in the past and did work for the Dallas division for a short time. I have worked for this OUTSTANDING company in Colorado and now in the Washington DC area. I decided to go back to work for US HOME because they are the best builder I could find, and I have worked for a lot of other homebuilders. I know that we build a strong product and that the company does absolutely stand behind the homes they sell, and the families who live in them. In the past, I also made the decision to leave the Dallas division of US HOME, becasue of a few internal problems that upper management was involved in. I don't want to go into detail but I will say this, I chose not to stay in the Dallas Division. What you, the consumer, needs to know and understand is that US HOME builds in many different states! And each division is completly run differently, therefore you cannot catagorize US HOME as a bad company because of what happened in one division.That is most important to know. The folks who where in charge of the Dallas division (Division President and VP of Sales and Marketing) and I think I even know which community you must live in, were FIRED. Many people under them were re-trained, demoted or let go also. US HOME did indeed clean house due to concerns like yours and others, during this time period you spoke of. The Dallas division probably fired your salesperson too, I don't know about that. What happened to you is not what US HOME is about. US Home STRIVES TO BE EXTRAORDINARY! Which is why I chose to come back to work for them. AS far as the contract goes, if you read any builders contract it will tell you that whatever the salesperson tells you is non-binding in a court of law. That isn't builder jargon, that is basic federal Real Estate Law. It must be included in all real estate contracts to buy or sell. And arbitration is the standard for most all businesses now, rather than going to court first. Often it is a quicker solution, but it is very common practice to have such language included in a contract- even when you buy a car now, it is something you sign at the dealership!! What happened to you in Texas was horrible and unfortunate and not at all common practice for US Home in any division in any state we build in. The salesperson is who lied to you, and I am sure is now unemployed. It wasnt US HOME who set out to decieve you. As a former employee of the Dallas division, I would like to extend a warm and sincere apology. What happened to you should never occur and we make sure it doesn't with many pre contstruction checks and balances. What happened to you was an EXTREME rarity!! I do hope you find the solution you seek, and find continued happiness in your home wherever you choose to live. I would be pleased to hear from you, as the date is now July of 2004 and you seem to have written this in 1999, what did US HOME offer to you to settle this matter? I am SURE it has been resolved to your satisfaction, now that the management changes have been made. It's funny, people often write when unhappy, but forget to update the records once appeased. Please, let me know. Warmest regards, Elizabeth G. Hemmerling

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