I managed to “uniquely” negotiate, to be able to have my own materials delivered and installed.
He had admitted to me the loss of his staff but assured me that all was well and that he and his company were solid.
But when I prepared the Amendment to the Agreement (don’t ever make agreements in real estate without getting it on paper) he added a hand written “condition” that in essence render the intent of the Amendment unachievable (someone would have to install the material)
Due to the Tarion Warranty all workmanship must be completed by the developers “Trades“, who apparently are hired by middle men who install the materials and finishes. I’ve written before about how so few developers today have anything to do with actually “building the building“!
In this case, the developer apparently hired a girl called “Laura” whom I’ve never gotten straight yet, but I’ve been left to conclude that she is the “middle man/woman” contracted by the developer to document the needs of the buyer“.
It has been told to us that “Laura is a design person” and we didn’t need design work as we know exactly what we want.
Earlier we had had an rather distasteful experience when a third party company contacted us allegedly to “position television and phone jacks” but when we questioned the need for us to drive again all the way to Woodbridge Ontario to do this we exposed them as really trying to sell us an alarm system.
This is the kind of distasteful experience that any intelligent developer should avoid at all costs!
Most developers simply don’t realize that the absolute best place to get Buyer’s is from Buyers! Just as powerful an influence is chasing buyers away results totally based on the conduct of the developer.
It was becoming more clear why these guys, despite their totally fabricated web site and impressive but totally misleading published material, simply didn’t know what they are doing!
Well, apparently our not qualifying as prime candidates for her “upsell agreement with the developer” (she sells “design” advise) did not sit well with Laura as we have not been able to get any response from her following a brief introductions during which we told her the specifics of the design of our home.
That now seems to have “bottlenecked” the entire process and despite numerous attempts for communication with her, she has remained silent ever since.
So all progress on our home, despite all the efforts we have been pouring into this mess, is now somewhat on standstill, to any outsider’s knowledge (we’ve been at this long enough to know how to outrun even the most egregious or offensive people).
My logical question is how can any of this, being somehow distorted to represent “customer service” to people who have trusted a developer’s representations, clearly set out in your brochures and advertising and advancing hundreds of thousands of dollars, be seen as reasonable or acceptable?
We again contacted the developer (who already has my radar pinging) and he gave us names of the contractor that he hired to install tiles “Quality Sterling Group” (who don’t work with consumers – only developers) who then referred us to Olympia Tile the supplier of the tiles for kitchens and bathrooms.
We had agreed with the developer that we would try to have all materials delivered through his existing suppliers for ease of stress and minimize any confusion.
We quickly learned that this side of the condo game has its own rules, predominated by “unions“.
Tarion regulates that all work must be done “by the developer’s contractors” or the “Warranties are invalidated“.
The ONLY way that you can upgrade anything, is to do it “through the developer” who does everything through his “middle person” who get their materials from the materials people at their discounted prices (reasonable as they are moving tons of tiles), but apparently none of these discounts are passed on to the consumer (and apparently they charge more than retail on the materials and charge for installation resulting in materials being “up to 300% the retail cost“.
And who gets to pay for all this? Oh yes, the consumer!
I haven’t been able to get any figures, even though we have asked and recorded published prices at Olympia’s retail store, but those prices are told to us as being if we wanted to take the tiles with us and install them ourselves which Tarion Warranties will not permit.
Those selected by the developer, (who is paying retail plus to Quality Sterling Group) do not reflect the “installation” which may well exceed the “materials costs” (which I’m told can be upwards of 200% above retail).
And again, to maintain the Tarion Warranty, the consumer has absolutely no choice but to do it this way.
Or you can accept the substandard finishes and pay to tear them out of your brand new home and replace them yourself after Registration of the condo component of the development!
Wastefully, stupid and offensive to a buyer!
Consumers are expected to tear out the disappointing laminate countertops supplied by this developer (but never disclosed and represented verbally as “stone“) but to this date never being officially answered when asked back in January specifically about countertops and sink styles.
You see, the law allows any developer to get away with verbally promising anything and not being held accountable at closing, or at any time as only documented promises and undertakings are applicable.
In the instance of our to-be new home, the additional costs to elevate it simply to an acceptable industry standard that is set out in his printed material, should be born by him.
Despite all of the offensive interaction to date, and despite feeling that in a fight I could prevail legally to have him accept these costs, we have offered to pay for all upgrades.
But after all the meetings with the developer and all the running around to various showrooms, we have not been able to make any progress other than to see what is available out there, but after considerable effort, get anyone willing to discuss money.
His standards supplied are “ceramic” and we want simply to upgrade to “porcelain“.
We want to upgrade his standard (low end) appliance package with a “top-of-the-line” package.
We have to upgrade the laminate countertops in all ensuite bathrooms (3) to Quartz and install below mount sinks in the master bathroom).
These are not the finishes of a luxury finished home!
The developer apparently has no Forms although they have completed five or six of the homes (really?) as we have requested them and have been offering to complete them for him. Nothing moves forward without these forms!
I honestly believe that the samples displayed in his corporate offices are the materials that can be used to complete our selections in our home thus giving us concrete quotes on all costs.
I haven’t been able to conceptually come up with a logical explanation as to why, after saying they were in his office on repeated occasions, he would lie to me I asked him.
Unable to get prices from the limited suppliers that we have managed to track down, I’m forced to come up with another approach.
I’ll share that with you in my next blog.