As soon as we had confirmation that the Hurst deal was over, we decided that we were done trying to buy a used home as our experiences weren’t positive. We went back to the new LGI Homes Oak Ridge development on January 6, 2021.
What is a tract home?
A tract home is part of a planned, mass-produced community on a large tract of land. In the Oak Ridge community, LGI Homes offers five different floor plans to choose from for a brand new home. By offering limited floor plans, the developer can usually price lower per sqft because they’re planning for the volume of the community.
The entire community was pre-planned, all of the electric is underground, and all of the lots are almost exactly the same size. The entire subdivision should be completely built by October 2021.
The house is not a spec home, which means that we don’t have any options about anything in the home. We are getting what we pay for – the same as everyone else who also purchased the Ontario floor plan. There are a couple characteristic features that are separated by model (model A, model B, model C), but that was already pre-determined by LGI. We picked the lot, but the model of the Ontario was already established before we chose.
Some LGI features:
- 10-year structural warranty
- Covered closing costs
Part of the LGI Homes contract is to apply for a mortgage with their preferred home lender, Loan Depot. Brandon, our New Home Consultant, assured us that it isn’t required to use them as our lender, but to just check them out. We had never heard of this company before this experience.
We were already pre-approved with Wells Fargo with a 2.7% interest rate and (citi?) with a (2.8%?) interest rate. We were planning on going with Wells Fargo because of the interest rate, but since our close date wouldn’t be until mid-April, we would have to re-apply with Wells Fargo. This would mean that our credit needs to be run again, but the interest rate could be more.
Loan Depot quoted us an interest rate of 4% right away. We questioned Jeff, our lending officer, if Loan Depot can match the interest rate of Wells Fargo. Loan Depot then offered us a lowered interest rate of 3.125%.
The biggest benefit of using Loan Depot is that LGI will cover the closing costs of the house, which was around ~$8,000.
The Build Experience
Since we don’t have any choices throughout the process, we took it upon ourselves to visit the home every week to document the process. This is our first home – we are excited!
January 15, 2021: Lot is groomed
January 30, 2021: Lot is prepped for foundation
February 6, 2021: Foundation is Poured
February 27, 2021: Walls are up!
March 6, 2021: Windows are installed
March 11, 2021: Brickwork has started
March 15, 2021: Exterior Bricks are done (they forgot to add our house number 🙄)
March 23, 2021: Appraisal
This is where we got stuck on the Hurst home – the home didn’t appraise for the contract price. We were nervous that this new build wouldn’t appraise, but we received our appraisal today. The home is valued at $290,000 – which is great because we don’t owe anything more out of pocket.
March 27, 2021: Flooring is installed, Driveway Poured
March 28, 2021: Broken Garage Door
We had drove back out again this day because we didn’t want to get in the way of the construction workers installing the floor. When We got to the house, we could see immediately that the garage door was bent. We brought this up to Brandon immediately that we want this replaced.
April 1, 2021: Subway Tile Backsplash Installed
April 15, 2021
We paid for an inspector to come out today, based on our LGI New Home Representative’s recommended timeline, but the inspector couldn’t finish the inspection because the thermostat wasn’t installed yet. Since the A/C and furnace is one of the biggest foundations of a home inspection, we asked our Brandon if LGI will pay for the $150 for the re-inspection fee. Brandon said they will not cover a re-inspection because it is under warranty. He also said that it is embarrassing on their end for not having that installed at this time.
The inspector was also concerned about having the concrete cracked in the driveway – due to drying time – before our close day in 4 days. He also mentioned the damaged garage door, which we mentioned to Brandon already… Other than that, there’s some paint that needs to be touched up, a soffit is broken, the roof needs flashing, some caulking missing from the tiles in the bathroom, and an outlet that wasn’t working.
We went back to the house later that evening with some blue tape to mark where the paint needs to be fixed before the walkthrough.
April 16, 2021
Today is the final walkthrough with Cameron – the head of construction. There were a lot of things that weren’t done yet. Even though we brought up the garage issue previously, it still wasn’t fixed. After the walkthrough, we made a list with Cameron of things that need to be done that would be added to our contract when we sign. We were then informed that these would be completed with fourteen days.
- Replacing the garage door
- Caulking the kitchen tiles and both bathroom tiles
- Holes that need fixing in the roof soffits
- Kitchen cabinet door that is full of scratches
- Driveway concrete is cracked and needs to be replaced
April 19, 2021
Today we walked into the LGI office, ready to go ahead with signing the contract on our first home. Immediately, within the first couple of pages, our loan officer with Loan Depot didn’t have our correct Home Insurance company listed. We had previously sent her the new information with USAA a week or two prior – and she failed to add that into the contract. So we called, and she said it would delay closing if we wanted it changed. Our alternative was to sign today, process the contract, then switch out the insurance at a later date.
We went forward with the signing. We received our keys, took pictures, then headed to the house to change the locks. The garage panel was replaced, but not painted to match the existing panels. The caulking of the tiles was completed that morning. Nothing else from out list had been completed.
We have read through hundreds of online reviews about LGI Homes since the beginning of our process with them. If you’re just starting your search, you’ll read a lot of reviews regarding putting down a $1,000 deposit towards the plot. This money is used to secure the specific plot of land for the specific model of house you want to purchase.