Del Webb-The Dead Beat Dad of Builders?

Real Estate Agent with The Flamingo Group sl3027965

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WFTV just broke the story on the latest Davenport community, La Cresta a 55+ active adult community, to be abandoned by its builder.  "A homeowner called Eyewitness News after he bought a house in what was promised to be a sprawling retirement community in Davenport, but it turned into nothing but a ghost town."

No sooner than residents could say "I worked my whole life to finally retire and now I'm stuck in a ghost town with no pool, half-built homes and vacant lots" did Del Webb show up and peel the signs off all the buildings, lock the doors to the sales office and board up the windows.

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According to their official statement that they issued on July 10, 2009 they said, "The decision was a direct result of the Company being unable to resolve the claims of a breach of contract, among others, against JL Land entities, with whom Pulte contracted to purchase developed lots, and the Estate of Joe Lewo." For as long as Del Webb knew about these on going issues they continued to sell homes to prospective homeowners without even so much as a "heads up" on the situation.  Quality.

This is starting to sound familiar. . . Bimini Bay, Bella Colina, Notting Hill.  So many communities are getting left high and dry by the builders due to financial problems.  The homeowners are getting stuck owning properties in what they thought was going to be a resort paradise and turns out to be nothing more than a pile of bricks with a fancy entrance and angry neighbors.  What's really sad is that homeowners can't even sell their home because who wants to purchase in a unfinished community?  Even if they are lucky enough to find  buyer for it they most certainly will not be able to get the price they paid to the builder, therefore losing more money.

Del Webb is a subsidiary company of Pulte Homes, a large home builder in the pulte_homes_logoUnited States.  This makes me wonder if other Del-Webb communities, like Bella Trae in Champions Gate, could potentially be in danger of a situation like this occurring.  My advice to any prospective home buyer who wants to buy new is to stick with the communities that are already finished and are trying to unload their final inventory (completed) homes.  You still get all the benefits of buying new like the home warranty and that "never been lived in, fresh paint smell" but you get the security of knowing that all the amenities have been completed so even if the builder went bankrupt tomorrow you're not stuck owning in a ghost town with unfinished homes and amenities.

In closing to this not so shocking news, at least Pulte has noted in their statement that " Pulte remains committed to honoring any customer service or warranty related needs under the Pulte Protection Plan." How nice of them.  Maybe we should send them a bottle of wine for their kindness.


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Great article, Erica. It looks like Pulte has perfected the art of scamming people out of their retirement.

Jul 14, 2009 02:16 PM #1

Perhaps it should not be Del Webb, but Dead Webb.

Jul 14, 2009 10:06 PM #2
jim scott

Pulte - Del Webb has robbed us of a lifestyle promised when we bought our home here in La Cresta.  We only want what they promised during the sale of our house (home).  The residences who live here are wonderful and the 55+ community is very active, but now we have absolutely no place to have meetings for activities.  Basically we own homes on lots with no activities or place to hold them.

Pulte - Del Webb shame on you!

Jul 15, 2009 12:39 AM #3
One of the 96 La Cresta Chumps

Erica ... thank you for picking up on this.  Please spread the word to as many realtors and prospective buyers as possible.  Two points:  1)  I believe this 14-month long dispute between Pulte/Del Webb and JL Land was clearly created by Pulte to regnegotiate a land contract they made at the height of the real estate market.  Del Webb is now using this "dispute" as an excuse to pull out of La Cresta.  This is a legal issue that will be resolved hopefully by April 2010.   2) Regardless of the merits of the dispute, the way Pulte handled this was inexcusable.  Scott Campbell, Pulte Regional Adminstrator, sent an e-mail message to La Cresta residents on the morning of July 10 and simultaneously trucks arrived to clear out and board up the sales office.  All remnants of Del Webb's name were taken from the community.  We were removed from the Del Webb website ... poof ... we don't exist.  Residents had NO idea this was coming. Talk about a bad break-up!   Del Webb still says they are concerned about the La Cresta residents.  Actions speak a lot louder than words.

Jul 15, 2009 04:58 AM #4
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