Home Buying in Dublin>Question Details

Dublindeals, Home Buyer in Dublin, CA

Life at the Terraces at Dublin Ranch Villages

Asked by Dublindeals, Dublin, CA Mon Mar 9, 2009

We're interested in buying at the Terraces at Dublin Ranch Villages. The models look great, and we were very impressed by the Arona floorplan. Can any current home owner tell us what it's like living at the Terraces?

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The Terraces is a great community for young families and retirees. I have a handful of friends who live in the community, and they are all generally happy living at the Terraces. It remains one of the best looking high-density condominium projects in the area. We seriously considered the Arona floorplan at its peak price of $612K back in April 2006, but we ultimately bought in Sorrento.

Before you pull the trigger, you may want to consider a few things:

1. Many units are occupied by renters, not home owners. As current economic trend continues, more home owners may opt to turn their homes into rentals;

2. Current HOA assessment is at around $300. It is high because of the number of elevators in this project, which is actually a great selling feature;

3. Certain units at the Terraces are built right on top of the expansion joint. An expansion joint is an assembly designed to absorb the heat-induced expansion and contraction of various construction materials, to absorb vibration, or to allow movement due to ground settlement or earthquakes. When cars drive over these expansion joints, they send vibration upward. I've experienced this building defect for myself, when I visited my friends at the Terraces, and I can confirm that the novelty wears out pretty quickly. I don't know where all the expansion joints are. To make sure the unit you are buying is not adversely affected by this well-documented issue, we recommend that you visit your unit between 5:00PM and 6:00PM on a week night, when many cars will be driving over the joint as people come home;

4. If you are considering buying in building 7 and 8, please be aware that the units facing West for building 7 will eventually have the back side of Club Sports outside their windows, and the units facing West for building 8 will eventually have a parking garage outside their windows;

5. I heard in one of the buildings, a home owner had a violent outburst and caused a lot of water damage to his unit and the units below. To their credit, Toll and the management company Massingham responded quickly to this crisis. If the unit you are checking out had the damage, Toll should disclose that;

These are just a few things we've heard and experienced for ourselves when we visited. Make sure you speak to multiple home owners in the neighborhood. Again, my friends are happy home owners at the Terraces, but they would say the same thing to prospective home owners, so people can make well-informed decisions for themselves. Good luck.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 10, 2009
Thanks for diligently sharing what you know with the Trulia community, Firenze. Toll Brothers definitely did not say anything about how they're trying to stop the Promenade. In fact, as the sales woman was taking us to one of the models, she told us how construction has already started, and by the time we are ready to move in, we will be able to walk to the shops. As impressed as we were, we didn't feel comfortable putting down the deposit and wanted to wait. Thank goodness we didn't.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 9, 2009
According to the Around Dublin Blog, Toll Brothers has alleged that the City of Dublin did not provide them with notification of at least one public hearings related to the Promenade and that the parking structure planned to be built behind the Mercantile Building and to the west of Building 8 at the Terraces would provide too much of a shadow and impair their ability to sell condos. Since it makes no sense for Toll Brothers to be slowing down the development of something that can enhance the homes they are trying to sell, Toll Brothers must be using the threat of litigation to gain leverage for some other purpose. I wonder what is Toll Brothers' true motivation?

The decision to rescind all approvals of this project came up as a consent calendar item during the May 5, 2009, City Council meeting. Since everything on the consent calendar is considered non-controversial, City Council did not discuss any detail of this case substantively. The cost to start the process from the beginning will most likely be covered by the taxpayers.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 9, 2009
I'm with Joe on this one. I wouldn't buy after hearing all the negative about Toll. Plus you would only be bredding into corporate GREED. I hear the Senior warranty manager for Northern California has stepped up to the plate { David Dell} and is a board member. I also hear Toll has 4 out of the 6 seats on the board and they do things the corporate way with pink slips and look after their speacil interests.
Does it sound like Toll is an honest business when the City of Dublin is looking at litigation against them?
Don't say I didnt warn you.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 27, 2009
Well George to answer your question of Bait and Switch. This is normall Toll practice. The TBI loan is actually themselves in another name. They infact sell the loan and are able to get it appraised with their IN HOUSE appraiser. Notice you will never see Tolls homes publicly posted in the real estate sales listings. They keep them secret.
As a matter of fact Toll sold a Corrida unit less than a year ago at 3360 Maguire way #313 and now its a short sell, hmmm why maybe they inflated the price and scammed the owner , now the owner has awaken from Tolls sleezy practices and wants out.
Please prospective buyers beware and rethink resell...
4 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 21, 2009
After reading this posting I was wondering if anyone can tell me if Toll Brothers was trying to play a bait and switch game on me recently.
As it goes I was looking at a Montefrio Vista unit and they told me they only had a couple left. Liz the Sales agent was throwing numbers out there that I could use as a buydown or for upgrades. It was something like 30k . Even with 30k I was kinda skeptical since their prices dont reflect the market. When I confronted the sales manager Johanna, she told me there was room to negotiate. She started to sweeten the deal , then the next week she changed her story. So I pulled out and never left a deposit.
One would think in this economy the agents would be happy to make a fair deal and not pull any legs of mine. But ohh well , Im in love with the community so might just try to buy from a reseller.
Does anyone have any insight to the bait and switch game and why would they try and make me use thier mortagage company TBI?
4 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 21, 2009
When we were looking at the Villas we did not realize how bad the parking was till recently. I found this clip online that tells it first hand from a council member. We also didnt realize it is built like a treehouse. Dont be fooled it is a townhouse by any means.. Most units have 60 stairs and make you do back to back turns to reach the top. If you do choose to purchase here please take all these factors into consideration. Also with 35 foreclosures dont be suprised if the dues are raised to help offset the deadbeat non hoa payers. Kinda like the taxpayers bailing out the poorly run buisness's..

Below is a video in what the council member tells it like it is..
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 30, 2009
Friends of ours also own an Arona model in one of the older buildings and have experienced the same issues with the expansion joint vibrations in their unit. Toll was informed of this issue almost a year and a half ago and when their easy/cheap solution of installing speed bumps in the garage actually made things worse, they have done nothing but stall.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 12, 2009
Thanks for sharing, Brett.

One of my advices to prospective buyers of production homes on Trulia has been to make sure they talk to current home owners about the communities they are considering. What you have shared is consistent with what I have been hearing from friends who live at the Terraces. The defects that are in contention are pretty serious, so it is in the best interest of the home owners to make sure they are properly addressed. Otherwise, the home owners will be assuming the liabilities.

It is surprising that there'd be home owners who are working against their own long-term interests. I wonder if some of these home owners have been bought off by Toll Brothers. Perhaps they just don't realize how much in special assessment they'd be liable for if they don't have the defects properly addressed by the builder.

The Terraces is one of the most beautiful condo projects I've seen in the East Bay. It is too bad the home owners have not been able to get Toll Brothers to resolve the underlying structural issues that are putting many of the units at risk. It is truly a shame...
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 18, 2010
Toll Brothers currently hold 3 of the 5 seats on the board of Directors even though they have 25% of the unsold units left. That means that the community is 75% sold out and only 2 homeowner board of directors represent the owners. It is this way since Toll wrote the CC&R's . Since the Defect claim has been filed all Toll has done is stall. What Toll Brothers newest attack is to get away from repairing the community and making the homeowners responsible for special assessments, is a recall ballot for the 2 homeowners board members. Toll has gone around with a petition to remove the 2 homeowner board members that initiated the defect claim. They have found the right for the picking Jaci a lawyer herself.
I would really consider avoiding this place like the plague unless you have some special assessment money to blow like our current resident Jaci Murray!.
Sad that they had to get all the new residents from bldg 7 to sign the petition since they are still naive and brainwashed by the current Toll rep.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 18, 2010
First I would ask that you seriously reconsider your purchase for the following reasons:

1. Would u want to do business with a company that is trying to sue the city of Dublin and argue against the Promenade in which it would actually help them sell units. They are probably lying to all prospective buyers that construction will start soon. Truth is that is delayed until Toll will stop with their stupid lawsuits.

2. Montefrios . There are 3 versions of this model.
One is the Elite and includes a garage, Good selling point.
Vista is 4th flr entry and the plan reversed and u go down the stairs to ur bedroom.
Regular Montefrio. Not bad but Dublin Blvd is one of the worst locations in the community. U can't even park on Dublin Blvd. Wait for more Elites to be release in bldg8 in 3 yrs.

3. When u get ur 25K off it's usually in the form of Toll Play money. Which means a buydown with their inhouse lender TBI and some Cheezy yr of HOA free. What u dont know is most of the money comes right back to their pocketbook.

4. Their Escorow company is owned buy them to so when u buy ur /title policy ur giving this corupt company ur money.

5. When you buy new construction u have to pay Supplemental Taxes in which they wont tell u about instead u sign something refering to consult the county Tax assesor.

If I were u I'd hold out for a Montefrio Elite with the garage or buy resell. There are way too many units on Tolls market to rush into things.
they will lie to u and tell u only a couple of units are available when in fact they are slowly selling Bldg 6 out 2 yrs long and are praying hard for bldg 7 which is the biggest bldg that contains 112 units. Truth is as of this writting only 6 or so units have moved into bldg 7.
U decide if this company is one that you'd do business with.
Dont sell yourself to the Devil Johanna or Liz.. Do your research!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 10, 2009
To all concerned. Take Riley K with a grain of salt. Riley most likely is TOLL BROTHERS who can't stand to hear the truth. BTW Riley I do not live at Sorrento as I would never buy one of their properties, instead I choose to rent here at the Terraces!
BTW Riley you wont be defending Toll in a couple of months when you get laid off.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 26, 2009
Hi George,

My personal experience with TBI when Mike Short was still working with Toll Brothers had been a good one; however, I have heard too many horror stories similar to the ones you just shared about Toll Brothers employees. The difference is that you were smart NOT to put down any money when you sensed something was not quite right. Often people fall prey to a variety of unethical sales practices sanctioned by Toll Brothers. Based on the data you provided, Toll Brothers is not offering anything spectacular. As a prospective home buyer in this down economy, you are wise to consider resell units, which longer have the new home premium. Also, $30K of option money is NOTHING, especially when you consider the 100% markups Toll Brothers will charge for many optional upgrades.

Builders like Toll Brothers would want you to use their lender for two reasons:

1. They stand to make a lot of money when they repackage your loan and sell it to another lender;
2. They can push through loans even when the closing prices are way ABOVE what the market is willing to pay;

I have many neighbors who were turned away by TBI first. When closing time came and the third-party banks refused to finance the loans, because Toll Brothers were pricing the units too high, TBI all of a sudden was able to finance them after all...if they agree to the higher prices. My recommendation to you and other prospective buyers who are looking at production homes is to hire a real estate attorney who specializes in production home buying process before signing anything. The money you will save by doing so will more than pay for the attorney's fees.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 21, 2009
I was also looking into the Terraces but was extremely put off by how overpriced they are compared to the neighboring Villas. A quick glance at the MLS showed that several Corrida models are on the market ( 2 bed, 2 bath, 1066 sqft) and are asking around $300k+ with what looked like like minimal options.

Once you throw in the fact that HOA at the Terraces is about $120 more than the Villas per month, it kind of offset the higher initial cost of the Villas. Also, I was not aware of the possible mold issues at the Villas but certainly will do a thorough inspection should I decide to purchase a condo there.

As for Toll Bros, my parents bought a brand new Toll home in 2001 in San Ramon and we had no issues in our 6 years there and I myself preferred their home designs to other builders.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 30, 2009
Hi Dublindeals,
I came across something on Flickr I hope you will find helpful. When you get the chance to visit the Terraces for yourself, make sure you go down to the garage to check out the ghettolicious contraption photographed in "DSC04237". Nothing says class better than hunks of rusting steel plates framed by crudely shaped asphalt.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 28, 2009
update:



Plus to let my real Trulia friends know I ran into a longtime friend yesterday and she was telling me that she has had nothing but problems over in Amalfi phase 1. They forgot to put in insulation in the walls and ceilings. They did fix it after alot of complaining. Wow and then they said Tolls employees were very hard to deal with. If anything they should have been kissing thier feet.

Also have heard they did this in the Villas
If they forgot the insulation what else did they forget?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 12, 2009
F@S Thanks for your posting.
Sounds like Toll is a halfass builder. We have friends that are living in The Villas right next door to the Terraces and they were sold a unit that had mold. Toll tried to cover it up and sell them anyways. They were building them so fast that they let the sheetrock get wet and installed it the next day, hoping nothing would turn up. Well as they may know it bit them big time. Whats even more shady is after the building was fixed Toll sold another unit to buyers that were not disclosed of the mold issue, but now must disclose it from here on.
One last thing is when Toll was selling the Villas they were only offering NEg am loans with teaser rates of 1.5% for 6 months whether you had good credit or not, just so they could get some commison. Look what they have created. 35 forclosure in the Villas thanks to Tolls greedy business practices!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 11, 2009
I just realized that I forgot to answer one of your questions. Regarding whether or not Toll is doing anything to help, I haven't heard or seen anything official. All I can say is that I was just in the affected Arona floorplan very recently, and the vibration was very much a constant while I was in the unit.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 10, 2009
To give everyone an update, here are the real details since my last posting.

Toll Brothers was able to pass the recall election and sway the few homeowners that did vote in their favor. Toll had more votes than the homeowners. You ask how is this so?
We'll apparently Toll Brothers can place a vote for every UNSOLD unit they own. In this economy this is a lot.
So given americas voting record, most don't vote.
So with them passing the recall election they were able to put a stop to the Title 7 lawsuit.
What this means for us. We can all list our underwater properties and disclose to our potential buyers that they may someday have to pay 10k out of pocket since Toll just swayed their way out of paying 10 millon for construction defects that they caused.
After the recall was passed a new election took place for new, board of directors. This all consisted of Toll favored homeowners , that may have gotten kickbacks from them one way or another ,one does not know.
All we do know is a group of homeowners got together and started their own teaparty and placed a personal lawsuit on the 2 homeowner directors that were on the board that initiated the Title 7 litigation. This group of homeowners consisted of the well healed lawyers and investors in this community.
What is even more pathetic is the fact that most homeowners didnt vote in the election for the new board members. This would have been a perfect time to get all Toll Brothers directors off the board. But intead 2 were elected to serve in the best intrests of the developer . And they happened to be the warranty manager for Northern CA and and the Project manager for the community.
All I can say this is a nice community to live in but it has it's problems.
You wouldn't be reading this on Trulia today if it wasn't for the housing bubble to pop since the developer would have been long gone and possibly moved onto another community. Truth is this community probably won't be sold out till 2015 at the earliest. There are so many BMR's that the developer has in inventory that are priced more than market value, that will never sell. The developer knows this, that's why the sales manager Johanna is renting one!
Lastly if u do buy from Toll, hope to pay 70k over market value,pay a supplemental tax assessment and be proud knowing you have just raised all your neighbors assessments 20%. Oh well that will help lift the state out of the recession quicker.
Just be careful the double dip recession doesn't happen soon.
Lastly:
Be-careful if you wish to proceed with Toll.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 1, 2010
Boy, the Terraces are really going all out in trying to solicite buyers. I've now been getting email from them, postcards and personal calls. GEEZ! Finally, I had to tell them to stop soliciting me because now IS NOT THE TIME TO BE HOLDING DEBT IN CALIF. And after reading these posts, I will NOT buy in this development.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 5, 2010
The latest from the homeowner directors, please click on the link for the REAL DEAL.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 2, 2010
Sreelu
The salesmanager is right about the lawsuit against the city of Dublin . In fact she was probably hoping to confuse you between the lawsuits. There is another one which is called the Title 7 claim. That's the one they dont want anyone to know about since it has been hurting their sales. Just so u know there is a mass meeting at the clubhouse Tues at 7pm to address the lawsuit.
As far as schools please consult http://www.onedublin.org for more info.
And for crime please contact The Dublin Police Dept.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 14, 2009
Word to the wise the last 2 comments were written by Toll Brothers. They hate that this blog comes up 5th when you Google" Dublin Ranch Terraces. "
If they were smart they would just leave it alone and not feed into it.

The Toll Trolls are watching.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 16, 2009
I'm just writing to confirm what everyone else has said about TB. They have recently hit a new all time low here at the Terraces. They sent a letter to every resident arguing against this lawsuit, trying to scare us that our home prices will drop like the stockmarket. The truth is everyones place is already in the toilet. The law firm for the residents wrote a letter after theirs confirming everyones suspicions that Toll was up to no good. All I can say is good luck Richard Nelson ,your finally getting some of your own medicine Is it too much to ask that all the residents are asking is for a quality product . If you build a high quality product all we ask is you live up to the quality of one,like a BMW.

Please don't buy from this Builder!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 5, 2009
Update. Toll is offically getting some of their own medicine. First they sue against the Promenade and finally have pulled back since the word got out how crooked they are.
Now they have a new can of worms.
I got notice yesterday and so did eveyother Terrace resident that Toll is being sued for construction defects throughout the community that they refuse to fix.
Beware now when you resell, you must disclose this to any buyer whether is from Toll or resale that the proceedings have started.
So think twice about entering into contract with a lousy builder like Toll Brothers.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 20, 2009
Thanks Brett.

We have moved on from the Terraces and Sorrento thanks to the intel you and the Dublin Blog have provided. We don't know who the people you mentioned are, but we really liked the sales rep (Liz?) who took us through the project. Back when we were looking, none of this mess with the retail was publicly known, so we feel very lucky that we decided to wait. We saw the Montefrio floorplan (the one with the garage), but we didn't like it, because we didn't like the stairs. We liked the San Sebastian as well, but the Arona is still the best floorplan in our minds, since we would like to have as much space as possible

We are now looking in San Ramon, but we have friends who are looking in Dublin still. What we tell them is to check here and the Dublin Blog for the latest scoop on things. We only wish there is a San Ramon version of the Dublin Blog. We are very fortunate to have access to all these information. Thank you for sharing all that you know with the community.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 10, 2009
Once again I'm with Joe on this one with Mobley. Last night they were no where to be found when a full blown dj was blastin music outside the clubhouse. To prove Mobley doesnt even walk the property, take a look how many burnt pole lights are in the courtyards. If they cared about security they would address these issues.
On another note:
There is a parking policy and it seems that the ladies of Massingham can't seem to follow the rules since they know no-one is there but them to inforce them. It irritates me when I read the new rules and see all the bad grammatical errors, which is probably due to one of them is more worried about using the HOA's money to fundraise for their kids school. One would think if your a manager you would set a good example and not park your Black Lexus or Dodge Stratus in the front. Be considerate not selfish. After-all the rules say we are subject to a fine of more than an hr but they don't apply to you.
Gotta Love Massingham. Greg T. You need to take over this community.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 26, 2009
Lesson learned here at the Terraces:
Mobley Executive Protective Services
They go through employees like you and I go through toilet paper except the owner James Mobley never replaces them. He pretends to replace them. But he bills for 2 guards. His nightly reports are a joke, they are copy and pasting the same b-s. Can't believe the board of directors hasn't figured it out yet, that this company is stealing allot of money right out of their budget.
Please don't even consider hiring this company.
Some protection. Call the police instead of these jokers.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 26, 2009
Buying a home from a builder means they represent you AND the builder. The Terraces is still controlled by Toll so the best thing to do is to hire an outsider, a realtor who knows how to work for you so you dont get the bait and switch deal you are talking about. I live in the Villages and went through the same thing. Let me know if you need some insight. Over the past 3 years I have sold more homes than any other Realtor in the Villages and know how the system Toll uses works.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 27, 2009
How many units at the Terraces are owner-occupied? My wife and I have been checking out some open homes at the Courtyards, Cottages, and Villas. I remember one agent at the Courtyards pointing out that one advantage with buying in the Courtyards is that most of the homes are owner occupied compared to other communities in the Villages. Why would that matter, especially if the properties are overseen by an HOA and run by a professional management company? Also how would someone go about finding out just how many renters live in a particular community? Should I price that percentage into my offer? If so, how?
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 27, 2009
To answer the question of the plates. I got an answer from our forum here at the Terraces that they were put by the builder as a bandaid fix to lessen some sesmic vibrations felt by some residents. My guess is they are using them ,as they have been struck hard by the economy and are trying to save a buck here and there.
Another note for the recent violence, this in fact proves that the current managment { Massingham} and security company { Mobley} are not taking their jobs seriously. One would think in this economy they would.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 12, 2009
Hi Cypress,
I agree with your assessment. The Terraces is one of the better looking condominium projects out there. We liked it so much that we seriously considered buying there at one point. I really don't know what those rusting steel plates are for, but I have some educated guesses. Current residents who are following this thread would be in a better position to comment. I can, however, answer some of your questions about other potential tenants at Grafton Station, where Buffalo Wild Wings is. So far, no other business is scheduled to follow Buffalo Wild Wings. My recommendation is for you to ask the folks at Around Dublin directly for the latest scoop on the various retail projects in Dublin.

The opening of Buffalo Wild Wings couldn't come at a better time though. In the latest email I got from CrimeReports.com (a great resource for potential home buyers), I see that there have been some auto-related crimes at the Terraces. I guess the property managers and the security team they're affiliated with are not doing what they're paid to do -- protect the life and property of the residents they serve. With signs of retail coming into the area, there should be more demand for all the fine homes at the Villages. The incipient crime wave that is partially facilitated by poor management should come to a stop once more home owners come into the area to pick up the slack. Good luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 12, 2009
Checked out the Terraces while I was in the area. Kudos to Toll Brothers for their outstanding construction. We don't have condo projects this nice in Southern California. I did take the suggestion earlier and go down to the garage. I see what residents are talking about. The trench plates don't look very attractive, but the asphalt looks different from what's in the picture. Can someone comment on what these plates are for? Also, will there be more businesses going into where Buffalo Wild Wings is? Thanks.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 11, 2009
RH.. I forgot to add one more video which really takes the cake.
Located below!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 30, 2009
Thanks F@S. I don't remember seeing these plates the last time I visited. I parked in the garage underneath the sales office. Do you have any idea what these plates are for?

Cypresss, we checked out the Montefrio floorplan. Of course, it was beautifully decorated and perfect for someone looking for a starter home. I remember the sales person said that the elites come with a two-car garage and the standards do not. I didn't ask about the vistas. We didn't even realize there are vistas until you pointed them out.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2009
While I'm not an owner of the Terraces, I do own in the Villas and the area is about to be amazing. I also have a unit coming on the market in the Terraces this week. Check out the video I made for Dublin Ranch too and my site for more info.
http://moxleyteam.com/neighborhoods/dublin-ranch/
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 10, 2009
Hi Dublindeals,
Before I continue, I must point out that Toll builds quality homes. As you continue your own research, you will probably hear about a class-action lawsuit regarding mold issues at the Villas at Dublin Ranch Villages. You may also hear that Toll tried to rush the delivery of the Villas homes such that they actually forgot to put in insulation for an entire side of a building. In spite of these issues, I want to be fair to Toll Brothers and say that they are competent builders. The issue involving the expansion joint is tricky, because it will be more expensive to resolve than the issues at the Villas. Given today's economic climate, even Toll Brothers is cutting corners here and there, as they continue to slash jobs. As I pointed out on another thread, a lot of what you pay for is Toll Brothers's ability to manage subcontractors, because coordinating the subs is a lot like herding cats. The Terraces has gone through at least three project managers since I started following them. In the latest round of firing, Toll let the Assistant Project Manager Raul (don't know his last name) go as well. Raul has survived many rounds of layoffs, so his departure was a surprise to me. Why am I telling you all these information? In the case of the Terraces, Raul has been a constant for that project, so even as Toll went through project managers, Raul was there to make sure the project proceeds as smoothly as possible. Now that Raul is gone, I have doubts about how Building 7 and Building 8 will be finished to the same level of standard seen in the previous 6 buildings.

Unfortunately, I experienced the expansion joint problem in an Arona, so my advice to you is to make sure you visit the unit you want to purchase between 5:00PM and 6:00PM week nights. For some people, it may be something that they can live with, but you will have to realize that it may be something your future buyer won't tolerate, so make sure you price in this construction defect in your offer letter. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 10, 2009
F@S,
Thank you for your insight. I am concerned about the expansion joint problem you brought up. To your knowledge, are the Arona floorplans impacted by that issue? Is Toll doing anything to help the home owners, or is that something home owners just have to live with? Thanks again.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 10, 2009
I live in Dublin Terraces and would NOT recommend it for anyone. The parking is a pain. design is awful and the workmanship is Shorty! never will ever by from Toll.. got the short end on this deal!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
From the last HOA meeting, it seemed like we reached an amicable resolution with builder and title 7 claim will be stopped.

No title 7 claim means that prospective buyers can buy and existing home owners can refi when you want to.

Issues that have been resolved or in works, from my notes, are: garage vibration (resolved, at least in my unit), water expansion tank replacement with central pressure expansion tank (it didn't affect my home, but...) and exterior corridor rain screens, which I understood as being installed shortly after last meeting.

I've owned at other developments and served in HOA board before. And even from all my friends who also owned homes with HOA, it is pretty common for HOA to get into some kind of litigation or at least to talk about doing so within its first 10 years of existance because there is a 10 years builder's warranty.

If you are lucky, your builder is financially strong and willing to make the repair(s) and you can avoid the dreaded litigation. If you are stuck with a small builder with weak financials, good luck. End result, most likely, will be no recourse as the company would go belly up and your HOA gets stuck with lawyer fees.

I heard of some builders who have filed for chapter 11 during this last economic downturn.

From what I have researched, this builder has stronger financial position than most.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 6, 2010
Firenze@Sorrento,

I hope you are right in that after the process is done, we'd be better off. And you're right in that board of director positions are volunteer work. I served in BOD of my previous community and I can appreciate these guys, John and Eric, trying to do the right thing.

Nonetheless, putting the entire HOA in litigation may not be the best solution for us. And not being asked before entering into a decision that can impact several years of my residence plan... that's concerning. Don't you think that if you were a member of HOA, you should have had a say in such critical decision?

As for you, Joe B...

Just because it is the cyberworld and not a face to face interaction, it doesn't mean that you can be rude to anyone.

Who are you calling Toll Trolls? Evidently anyone who does not agree with you.

I started reading on all the blogs since I got the letter in our home and found that your comments were generally hostile. And your immature response tells me that your opinion is definitely to be discarded for its lack of objectivity. Whatever reason you have to be bent out of shape with the builder, it really does not concern me.

And quite frankly, I am not even sure if you are a homeowner of The Terraces. Your postings range from Terraces, Villas and Sorrento with one consistent theme: anti-builder. In which community do you own? Or are you just an anti-(plug in any name)? So I can only conclude that your motivation is not our best interest at heart but just venting your hostility, for whatever reason.

What does concern me is that no lender will touch our community once we are in litigation. You think it's tough to sell/refi now? With the litigation hanging over, the only people who can buy into this community will be people with CASH!! Think about it, have you ever seen ANY lender who would give you money on a property in lawsuit? Probably not.

And even if I were to put my home for sale today, my friends in real estate tell me that I'd have to disclose of any pending litigation... shucks! And these litigations tend to go for years... not just some months.

Also from serving in BOD of my previous community, I understand that less residents and higher expenses quickly translates into higher HOA assessments.

I do not wish to see:

1) higher HOA assessments
2) unable to sell and move up when I want to

all because we are entering into, what seems to be, an unnecessary war.

Any thoughts?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 16, 2009
All HOA boards are volunteer boards, so the people who serve do not and cannot get paid. I don't know of a single HOA board where the board members get paid. The situation at the Terraces is tricky, since the builder still occupies the majority of that board. Because the controversy is related to building defect, as state by others on this thread, the majority of the board has a conflict of interest. The fact that the minority board members, who are actually residents, were able to pull off this Title 7 tells me the defects are major and the builder has not been as easy to work with as the home owners who are trying to sell their homes or refinance have portrayed. It truly is an unfortunate situation for everyone involved, but I think after everything is worked out, both the builder and the home owners will benefit from going through the process.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 16, 2009
I'm not sure people posting negatively here are really the Terrace owners. What do they get by posting a negative remarks on their residence? We moved here and are very satisfied with everything. I don't think I can get this quality construction and environment anywhere ele with the money that I have paid. Nature is always only very few unhappy people make noise around the world, while the majority of "happy" people stay calm.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 5, 2009
Hi, all

I'm considering to purchase a Montefrio unit in Building 7. Sales price was ~390$ with $25k discount over the last weekend. All flooring and upgrades need to be determined yet. There are some concerns that I have before signing the sales contract.

1. Is this sales price too high considering the market value at the dublin ranch recenlty. Price seems to be on average $250~270/sf, which means $325~$350K sales price for this unit. Even with new construction premium, 390$ seems to high. Especially, I found on resale listing for another 2bed unit @$299K although it seems sort-sale.

2. What's the small crime rate around the neiborhood? (vandalism, small break-in) This unif will face towards dublin blvd on the first floor.

If anybody can advise me on choosing this unit, I will appreciate. thanks. - tw.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 10, 2009
Hi Cypress,
I don't know if you still care, but I just learned that Toll is suing the City as a way to get its deposit money back from Charter Properties. Unfortunately for the home owners in the surrounding area and the City of Dublin, we are all just innocent bystanders in this increasingly nasty dispute between two developers. Who knew there would be such an interesting back story to this court case. I never doubted my decision to purchase my home in Sorrento until now. Toll Brothers should have disclosed the earlier litigation with Charter to me.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 5, 2009
Brett, thanks for the heads-up and I will definitely thread carefully before purchasing a home in the Villas. Parking seems to be an issue there as I've been there a few times and the spots in front of the homes are nearly all filled up, however I'll be living by myself and only have a car that I'll park in the garage so parking will not be a huge deciding factor for me in choosing a property.

As for them being townhomes, I think it's more of a condo since there might be folks underneath or above you depending on the model you choose. The steps can be a workout as I remembered touring the Villas' models back in 2005 but maybe a little Rocky-Drago motivation everyday will get you to the top?

Ultimately, I'm interested in the Villas simply because they are quite new - only about 5 years old, easy access to the 580 as well as the shops nearby and is priced very well due to the foreclosures. I wish I can purchase bigger and better homes but it fits into my budget of $300-$350k and personally, I did not think they were worth the $500k plus prices back in 2006 but at $200k less it's about in line with what I'm willing to pay for such condos.

I'm also not trying to knock on the Terraces, because they have a very nice clubhouse and if priced in the mid to late $200's are a great deal for starter condos.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
I will be coming up from Cypress in Southern California to visit family in the Dublin / Pleasanton area. I would like to use the opportunity to check out some homes. I came across this Terraces project online. There seems to be a lot of Montefreos. Can someone fill me in on how all those Montefreos are different? The layouts on the Toll Brothers website are not very helpful. Thanks.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 28, 2009
When my husband and I purchased a unit back in 2007, we loved it. It was quiet and our neighbors were polite and quiet. Now, it turned into a rental apartment. We recently got a new renter who is noisy and rude. We have more small children running around screaming....Whole new class of people have moved in. They can move out anytime they want, but we can't. We are seriously thinking about short selling this place. We are unhappy being here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
My wife and I have lived in building one for 6 years. We have been there from the start of construction. We enjoy our neighbors, convenience and the cleaniness of the area. We live above 1st floor. The only downside I came to realized is the flooring. With the exception of 1st floor, you may only obtain hard wood flooring at the time of purchase of your unit. Otherwise, you are stuck with carpet and linoleum if you decide to replace the original flooring. I realized this when I read the C.C.R. after the fact. I petitioned to have hardwood flooring professionally installed and was denied by the Board of Directors. Boo Hoo.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
It's pretty good living at the Terraces. We bought the Corrida home a couple of months back. It's pretty good.
Cons:
1. They have little storage space. you will have to get additional racks installed. We got it done recently through one person and he did a good job.
2. Be very careful when you are going for the inspection. When we went through our inspection everything was perfect. But when we took over the home keys, we found many issues which were not there in the inspection.
3. They have some Title 7 issues going on. We are still figuring out how serious those issues are. Just do a quick check before you sign the contract.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 3, 2010
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