Homeowners fed up with developer's broken promises

Article Courtesy of NBC-2.com

By Angela Sachitano
Published November 9, 2006

VIDEO: Homeowners fed up with developer's broken promises


COLLIER COUNTY: Homeowners in one Collier County community say they are fed up with the broken promises of both the developer and the homeowner's association because they have not lived up to the amenities the neighborhood's original advertisements claimed it would have.

Mike and Susan Lohr recently moved into the upscale community of Valencia Golf and Country Club in North Naples. But they say it may have been one of the worst mistakes in their lives.

The Lohrs cherish the quiet time with their children. But since moving into their home in February, they say their lives have mostly been filled with stress and heartache.

"It causes stress in the house, stress in the family, and stress in the neighborhood because everyone is dealing with the same problems," said Susan Lohr.

Valencia Golf Club homeowner Andy Perl says their developer, D.R. Horton, has yet to hold up their end of the bargain.

"They have advertised from day one, that we are going to have a community center, a swimming pool, and a 24 hour manned gate. None of these things have been done to date," said Perl.

NBC2 checked, and the homeowner's packet did promise the things Perl mentioned, yet when we drove by the guard gate, there wasn't anyone there and the gates were wide open. One sign says a clubhouse is coming, although some homeowners have been there for two years and have been waiting since then.

NBC2 checked on some other complaints as well. We saw torn and tattered American flags on the neighborhood's property and there were also dangerous utility holes in some of the yards.

"These are lists we've put together. The homeowners have put together a list of problems in the community," said Lohr.

But Lohr says the problems are not limited to the exterior of the homes. She noted problems such as sloppy caulking to doors not shutting properly. She says those issues have not been addressed either.

"There's no one to call. I call Castle Management, they ask, 'What community are you in?' and send me to the voicemail of so and so," said Lohr.

"We've had a downturn in the economy and I happen to think D.R. Horton is thinking of nothing but dollars and cents," said Perl.

Property managers with Valencia Golf and Country Club say that only 150 of the 466 homes in the neighborhood are occupied meaning 316 homes are still vacant.

But officials with D.R. Horton told NBC2, "We have not been cutting back because of a lack of sales." They went on to say, "We will come out and repair things as quickly as we can."

But as for the fitness center and the 24 hour gate, officials with D.R. Horton say those things will happen in the future, but they could not specify when.

In the meantime, homeowners say they will give it more time. But if things don't change, they may take legal action.

"We bought because this is a community we were supposed to be proud of and it just hasn't happened that way," said Perl.

Tuesday night, homeowners are going face to face with officials from D.R. Horton during a special called meeting to discuss, among other things, raising their association fees.