Dream Home Nightmare
The slick Jim Walter salesman impressed me with his total confidence in the building crew, saying they were second to none in the valley and as good as any builder in Hunting Hills (an upscale area.) I was also impressed by the supposed size of Jim Walter and their ability to finish the home in just six months. My salesman positively beamed when speaking about the quality of the home, labor and speed of construction. Jim Walter talks big, but delivers little. Its now almost a year later and my unfinished home sits abandoned, as it has for the most of the last six months.
When the partially completed home was first abandoned, it rained for weeks on unfinished and uncovered lumber. Portions of the home swelled and moved out of square. The floor developed ridges and swells. I was told not to worry and that they would make everything right. Its now almost a year later and while the construction has occasionally dragged on, the swells are still unfazed.
The home has warped trusses, and siding. Windows do not open, counter tops are unfinished and of the wrong color, paint does not cover the outside walls, heating and air-conditioning is unfinished, along with the electrical work and plumbing. The work that has been done so far is generally sloppy and inferior to other local builders in my area. At its very best, the work is only minimally, or marginally acceptable and the performance of Jim Walter Homes has been dismal.
Only now do I discover that Jim Walter is well known in the building trade for shoddy work, and hiring people that do bottom end labor and trade work, but even worse, when things start to go wrong, as they often do, the hapless homeowner winds up threading a carefully orchestrated maze designed to frustrate, delay and avoid fixing shoddy workmanship.
What to do;
If youre considering a Jim Walter home, STOP! RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!
Stop even thinking about a Jim Walter home and go out and hire a competent and reliable builder with a good reputation. Jim Walter is more of a scam than a decent homebuilder. Check out your local Better Business Bureau, and talk to people in your area. Ask Realtors. Do whatever, but dont get suckered by Jim Walter Homes!
If youre already involved with Jim Walter, see an attorney now. Dont wait, and by the way, heres a few things you will be subject too;
Words , not deeds.
Jim Walter is an expert at saying what the customer wants to hear, all the way up the ladder, but do not expect them to fix problems.
After they get your check, the slick and friendly salesman is out of the picture, but he wont inform you of this simple truth. From this point on you will be dealing with a construction manger who only vary rarely will show up on the job.
The Jim Walter Two Step;
When you notice the inevitable problems with workmanship the construction manager will promise to fix things, but usually wont. If you call someone in Jim Walter for help, like your salesman, you get a sympathetic ear and lots more promises but still no solution. If you tire of calling the manager and your salesman, and go higher in the Jim Walter organization, you will get yet another sympatric ear and even more promises and still no solution. My own personal experience with the Jim Walter Two Step is one person, manager, or corporate employee after another all the way to the Vice President, and Im still getting the two step from him as well. Jim Walters is tons of talk and ounces of excitation.
As best as I am able to discern many if not most Jim Walter customers are unhappy with their home and the company.
Let the buyer beware, and beware of Jim Walter Homes.
Read about many other angry Jim Walter customers at Rip Off Dot Com. It's a very long list.
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