Oakville Homes

February 3, 2011

Al Capone, Medellin Cartel and some builders – what do they have in common?


I recently visited a blog and a title of a thread perked my interest. 

Titled “I love Mattamy”, it was about someone who was presented a new snowblower on the eve of this last big storm by Mattamy employees who stated the company had entered him in a draw and he won it. 

Convenient to win a snow blower just hours away from a major snow storm.  I also noticed another comment by another person: “They threw in some freebies and upgraded a few (expensive) things for us at no extra charge and in the end our house is built well”

Now, I will be the first to admit that Mattamy is capable of building a good house – design and workmanship but, as I have proven, they are also guilty of building houses that are not up to snuff and guilty of environmental crimes and installing illegal wiring.  I won’t mention all the examples – they are well documented in this blog and in courts, but when someone mentions a bad experience, some become very defensive about their homes.  One person told the forum he had bought 4 homes in 8 years.  Now, some buy houses for speculation and hope to make their way into a larger home via profiteering on the housing market while others are content to develop a home and live there awhile. 

Speculators take a great risk but they are also part of the problem for rising costs in housing.  Some people think of houses as investments like the stock market and not long-term housing. I know during one period, Mattamy sales people were buying up some of the townhouses, thus creating a false shortage and creating rising prices.  Prices went up $5,000 per house in one week due to the sales, fueled by the sales people themselves. 

Only nice thing that happened was that the housing market crashed and a lot of those speculators just walked away from their homes and left their deposits (around $35,000.)  The downside was that those who bought the houses at the higher Mattamy price saw their homes devalued not only by the market crash but the fact Mattamy flogged these non-closings by the deposit amount reducing the house price and thus caused everyone elses to drop. Nothing like looking after your customers.  Although, not as bad as holding onto your deposit for 2 years like they did in Ottawa, Kanata, Fairwinds and then bailed out of the project.

When people tell me how good Mattamy is and they also tell me they won snowblowers from them (delivered on the snow day) or received free upgrades and other goodies, one begins to suspect just how good their homes are .  Why are the perfect homes getting freebies and the problem homes getting nothing but the shaft?

For the legal beagles out there haunting the internet hoping for a quick buck – the following should in no way be taken as an accusation that  Peter Gilan or Mattamy Homes are involved in organized crime.

One marketing strategy utilized by Al Capone and the Medellin Drug Cartels in Columbia was to allocate to the locals, gifts, money, etc to ensure their loyalty and respect.  Other business’ utilize this strategy to ensure good favour by select customers –  maybe those filling out satisfaction surveys.  Meanwhile, others don’t receive the good luck.  So, I must admit, I do look at claims of Mattamy’s good construction with some jaundice if upgrades and freebies are mentioned.

For those who do experience a good Mattamy build, I’ll listen to you and wish you good luck in the new house,  But, I’ll also give space to those with the bad experiences. 

I think the most who complain about having the bad experiences published are those speculating.  They don’t want the profit margin lowered by bad talk on a particular builder or model.  Those wanting a good home that will minimize what they spend on maintenance don’t mind hearing of other experiences – good or bad.  Makes for a better sale, a more solid home and a happy customer.

And for the person who got the free snowblower.  I understand he helped his neighbours by blowing the snow off their driveways – a very large kudos and good karma to you.

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