My wife and I began searching in Lakeland, Florida for a new home when a job change forced us to move. On the surface it seemed as though Lennar Homes, the Hampton Hills subdivision, had everything we were seeking. In reality our deal with Lennar was a nightmare and I could not be happier that we did not end up buying a home from them. Consider...
1. Lennar builds generic homes. Want to change a color? Sorry, but you cannot. Want tile instead of carpet? Not an option. The simple fact is that when you buy a Lennar home, even if you sign on the dotted line well before construction begins, you are buying a stock home. They try to make it seem as though this is the way to go but it is extremely self-limiting when you spend about $200k and cannot even do minor modifications to the home's design.
2. Lennar uses deceptive advertising. My wife and I were led to believe that the Nehemiah funding was a Lennar deal. It was a federal deal. We were led to believe that our home would start about one month after we signed on to buy it. At the 4 month mark, when construction still had not begun, it was starting to lose its allure.
3. The "Everything Is Included" is another deceptive advertising practice. The packages are very generic and they do not use the top-of-the-line products. Everything is "contractor grade" unless you buy one of the largest and most expensive of their homes. But even if you spend over $300k for the home you still cannot even pick your colors, options, or layout.
4. Lennar caters to the first home buying crowd. Savvy buyers will pick up on this and will not buy from them. This, for whatever reason, seems to lead to a lot of rentals in the area. Perhaps because the new home buyers end up in over their heads and have to rent to stay afloat?
Last but not least, most of the Lennar homes have really small kitchen cabinets. The model we were looking at had 14 and all of them were small. It had a medium-sized pantry which would have been filled with pots and pans that would not fit into the kitchen.
The bottom line is really simple. Your home is your biggest investment. If you are going to buy a new home then why settle, especially as much as you are going to end up spending? The answer to your home dreams is NOT Lennar. There are simply too many other builders out there that are superior in quality, customization, and overall buying experience.
Lennar's business plan is also flawed by the way. We signed the contract on May 4. By September the home was still not built. Because they build in their neighborhoods in stages you may have to wait awhile. What kind of business plan allows paying customers essentially walk away from their purchase? The answer is a really bad one....
Monetary Loss: $200.