Wheeling, West Virginia
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Advertised vs Delivered
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While in Venice, Florida in January of 2016 I visited a Lennar property at Gran Paradiso.

While there I toured this beautiful model villa and fell totally in love with it. I immediately went to the sales office and in less than fifteen minutes after talking with a salesman I made the decision to purchase that Villa.

I was next sent to a loan officer at that same location to make application for a mortgage loan.. When I reviewed it appeared the closing costs for the loan seemed high, $11,000. However I was informed by the loan officer that if I were to finance with Universal American Mortgage Company of CA they would lower the costs by $4,500, so I agreed. I have since found out their closing costs are still more than most other mortgage companies. This apparently is because U A M C tacks on building fees and HOA working capital fees.

The loan officer ask me for information that I did not have at the time since I was just visiting Florida for a few months this past Winter. But as soon as I returned to my home in Ohio the first week of March I did send her some 95 requested documents.

I was next ask by a salesman to review and initial by clicking on a mouse some 65 disclosure documents that were shown to me on a computer screen. Which I did. I did not read them however as it would have taken hours and also since I am not a lawyer I would not have understood what I was reading any way.

After that I was ask to make two deposits. The first for $5,000 in January and the second for $10,000 in February.

I had originally intended to return to Ohio from Florida at the end of March, however since I was purchasing this Villa I decided to return at the end of February. I had rented a house for three months so I lost $1,500 by returning early. But I thought this would give me plenty enough of time to sell my house and to put down the money I needed for the purchase. Up to that point I was told the closing date was approximate as the villa was being built.

It was not until after I returned home to Ohio that I informed that the closing date was now set for April 30, 2016 I suddenly realized that barely gave me enough time to sell my house for the down payment. I had ask several times if I would lose my deposit if I did not meet the closing date, but never got an answer.

As soon I did return home the first of March I immediately hired a local real estate agent and paid for a professional appraisal of my house. By middle of March the real estate agent brought 21 people to see my house. Of those I received three offers buy. But none of those offers were acceptable to me. They were all $25,000 under the appraisal price.

It about then I was made aware by my real estate agent that even if someone were to make a decent offer on my house and I accepted, it would take anywhere from 30 to 45 days for them to get a loan. I simply didn't know that. I had not made application for a home mortgage in over 30 years. Back then it took two weeks.

Finally in mid April I was informed by Lennar that if I did not meet the closing date that had been set I would lose my $15,000 deposit. I then began to panic and I ask them for an extension for the closing date. At first they refused. Then after several requests Lennar offered to extend their closing date to May 20th, but it would cost me $1,500.00. I thought about it, but if I did that I would have still have the same problem. Due to the amount of the time it takes someone to get a loan approved it would be well past that that May 20th closing date and it would have cost me $1,500.00 ....So I refused the offer!

Now I was becoming desperate to find some way to meet that impending closing date. I contacted the loan officer at U A M C and ask her to make an application for a no down payment VA loan since I am a Veteran. But when I reviewed that VA loan application I saw that the closing costs had increased by over $10,000.00 to $21,000.00 and the monthly payments were going to be over $2,000 a month. So that didn't work!

Next I ask the loan officer at U A M C to draw up a minimum down payment application. When I reviewed that proposal I would have had to come up with $52,000. Didn't have that much money on hand, so that didn't work. Even if I applied for what is called a bridge loan it could take 30 days.

As you might have guessed by now I was not able to close on that Villa on April 30th. I have since been informed that they will not return my $15,000.00 deposit. I then ask them if there was some way they could hold that $15,000 deposit in escrow until such time I sold and closed on my house my house. I would then buy the villa. I was told that was not possible. I next requested they come up with some reasonable fee to allow me the time to sell my house. But I never received an answer.

The final offer I received from Lennar was that I pay them an additional $6,000.00 and then to wait until January 2017 until another Villa were built. Eight months? In good conscious I just could not accept that offer either!

The months of March and April were a traumatic period for me. Trying to deal with all this.

I am under a doctor's care for manic depression. I became so stressed and anxious during that time

I thought I was going to have a breakdown.

So now what started out as a wonderful new experience and what I envisioned as a bright new beginning for me has turned dark and ugly. At first I was so excited. I was going to move to Florida, buy this beautiful new villa and live out the remaining years of my life at Gran Paradiso in Venice. That was the dream, but that dream has since become a nightmare.

And it has cost me $15,000.00

I am a 77 year old widowed man who can hardly afford to lose that kind of money from my lifetime of savings. I can't help but wonder how many people this has happened to before….

It is now my intention to give this information to anyone and everyone who will listen and to post what I have written here on every email address I can find. I want everyone to know what happened to me.

I believe that this will most certainly cost Lennar more than just $15,000.

Robert L. Dorris

St. Clairsville Ohio


Product or Service Mentioned: Lennar Orchid House Construction.

Reason of review: Pricing issue.

Monetary Loss: $15000.

Preferred solution: Full refund.

Lennar Cons: Way i was treated.

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The lesson here would be to come prepared and make sure you understand what you are signing. Most builders have you sign a contract that states it is up to you to be closed on your current home and have the funds available to close on the new home; this is the buyers responsibility there is nothing the builder can do. It does not make sense for a home builder to sit on a property and pay interest on a loan (losing money all the while) because a buyer was unprepared.


Curious to know if this was ever resolved. We are pretty much in the same position and they have $37,500.00 of our cash.

They kept telling us the house would close in August. Now we are being told June 21 and we just listed our home here to sell (100% equity) because we were remodeling...


After I wrote this article I contacted the Attorney General's office of Florida and filed a complaint. Waste of time.

They did nothing.

I know a guy here in Ohio said he had a college friend who was a real estate attorney in Tampa. Told me to call him.

I called and told him the story. He said Lennar probably has some of the best attorney's in the country and that it would be difficult to beat them, but he said he would be willing to try.

I said good.

He then said to send him a $3,000 retainer.

He must have thought I was ***.

I had left things in storage in Venice thinking I was moving there (including my motorcycle) so, I had to drive back down from Ohio in May to get it. A trip that cost me $600.

While I was there I called and made an appointment with the salesman who sold me that Villa. I told him that I would spend the rest of my life if necessary telling everyone who would listen what happened to me. I told him I might lose my $15,000 deposit, but I will surely cost them many thousands of dollars in future sales. I told him that I was the type of guy that would stand in front of Gran Paradiso with a sign and picket for months on end.

I'm retired and I really could do that. I wanted them to understand they were messing with the wrong guy. He called me that next day and said they were willing to return $10.000 of my $15,000 deposit and ask if I would agree to that. Better to lose $5,000 than $15,000.

So I agreed. I have tried to put the whole thing behind me, but it's been hard.

Believe me in the future I will never sign ANYTHING unless I have an attorney look it over first. I HAVE CERTAINLY LEARNED A LESSON.