NO BUSINESS SHOULD EVER HARM THE CONSUMER PHYSICALLY, EMOTIONALY, OR FINANCIALLY
The Arizona Attorney General's website defines fraud as follows: "Consumer fraud, as defined by Arizona law, is any deception, false statement, false pretense, false promise or misrepresentation made by a seller or advertiser of merchandise. In addition, concealment, suppression or failure to disclose a material fact may be consumer fraud if it is done with the intent that others rely on such concealment, suppression or nondisclosure. Merchandise may include any objects, wares, goods, commodities, intangibles, real estate or services." As you read through this website please ask yourself if you think what happened to us meets this definition.
Arizona is a state of unsurpassed beauty that entices thousands to move here. We offer a few words of advice... Don't build a custom home! It is estimated that Arizona 's population will increase 40% in the next 20 years and the fraud will go up exponentially. Arizona has a storied history of real estate fraud and political corruption. Many events have ties in Arizona from the Rio Rico Land Fraud case in the 60's and 70's, the car bomb murder of Arizona Republic investigative reporter Don Bolles in 1976, and the Keating 5 debacle which included former Phoenix financier Charles Keating and Senators McCain and DeConcini. It's like playing Russian roulette with all of the chambers loaded against the consumer.
The one truth that we have discovered in all our research about homebuilding nightmares is that the State of Arizona offers a lot of protection for the builders and developers and hardly any for the home buyer. The legislature and governor are influenced by the filling of their coffers and apparently do not think there is a problem. We know better. We have been contacted by many people dissatisfied with their experiences in Arizona and we could not in good conscience recommend building a home. There are probably some reputable builders out there but the State makes verifying a builder's record of construction next to impossible. We explain the reasons why it's so perilous on this website – please read them carefully – and if you are considering building a home – run as fast as you can. There is something terribly wrong in the state of Arizona.
This website has been established to educate the home building public about the horrible lessons we learned building our home. When LJ McCreary of McCreary Homes (1701 N. Wentworth Rd. Tucson, AZ - approximately a half mile southeast of the 49'er Country Club) filed a lawsuit against us for the last draw we were holding because of major defects in the house, we were forced to file a countersuit to recover our losses and fix the more than 200 defects in our home. (We were withholding the final draw in order to get our house fixed. We hoped that McCreary would fix his mistakes, but if not we were hoping that the money we retained would be enough to fix the house.) The lawsuits, defects and the ensuing battles that resulted from them, contributed to our financial ruin. It cost us our home, our land, our dreams and came close to costing us our marriage.
McCreary, a University of Arizona graduate, claimed in June of 2000 that we were on budget for our construction costs. When he gave us a statement in August of 2000, (after we moved in and began discovering the defects) he claimed all that was owed was $54,884.68 then when he filed the lawsuit in January of 2001 the amount had ballooned to $95,160.71. We contested that we ever owed him even the $54,884.68. We paid one of the subcontractors from the final draw and by the time an accountant had gone over McCreary's widely scattered documentation it was estimated that we had been overcharged by approximately $78,000.00.
We hope that by relating our experiences with LJ McCreary and McCreary Homes of Tucson , some other family might be saved our devastating ordeal. We have been emotionally and financially raped. Our story is only about our experience of building a custom home with McCreary Homes. Homes built before ours may have been fine, and homes built after ours may have been fine. Our experience however, was a nightmare and we want the truth to come out.
We discovered that the system in Arizona makes it very difficult,
if not impossible, to find out the true reputation of a builder
or developer. We thought that McCreary's designation as a SAHBA
(Southern Arizona Home Builders Association) certified builder
gave him credibility. Supposedly the SAHBA seal of approval means
that the builder has passed a set of standards that the public
can count on in a reputable builder. SAHBA touts this designation
and uses it at their twice-a-year Tucson Home Show. We e-mailed
every member of SAHBA a letter of complaint about McCreary Homes.
While several SAHBA members responded positively towards our efforts – of
the 13 executive board members - NOT A SINGLE SAHBA EXECUTIVE ANSWERED.
McCreary still has the SAHBA seal of approval. Apparently they are content to
have a bad apple in their midst. We would urge you to take the SAHBA home builder
certification process with a grain of salt. What does this certification actually
mean? It means nothing. We feel that if the certification actually had standards
it would be enormously beneficial to the home building public. However, we haven't
seen that there are any standards applied. How can anyone trust any builder
with the SAHBA certification? Their standards are non-existent. Even with all
the evidence we presented they still back McCreary Homes. Buyer Beware! It lowers
the public guard and awareness while offering no protection. You may not watch
the builder as closely because the certification offers an aura of respectability. For more information on SAHBA's anti-consumer activities and practices, please visit our sister site:
Did you know that any complaint through the Arizona Registrar of Contractors that is more than two years old is not available to the public for viewing? You will not find our complaint or the more than 200 defects that the registrar ordered McCreary to fix. Nor will you find any record of the mediation that we know occurred on at least one other home. We have included documentation about another registrar's complaint in this website. Even editorial/advertorial in the newspaper can be misleading. While our build was going on and problems were starting, a very complimentary article about McCreary Homes appeared in the Arizona Daily Star. You can see this article in the documents section, under advertorials.
The system is set up to protect the builders and the developers. The home owner is left with a legal system that forces you to drain your resources and drags out the process to the point that the average person can't afford to fight. You must battle not only the builder but also the builder's insurance company - in our case State Farm. They were not interested in the truth or justice, just the bottom line. They dragged the court case out and racked up attorney's fees that were incredible. We tried to fight. It cost us everything.
This is our story.
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