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Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist
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antarcticlust From: antarcticlust Date: April 7th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Like you, I felt that this was too good to be true. There was a similar company in Vermont that built what are basically shabby homes - beautiful on the outside, but with lots of cut corners and exploitative financing options.

Here's what I was able to come up with:

Check out this blog post, which has some intelligent-sounding commentary about the company and their financing.

This blog post details how Veridian, along with other companies, abuses the inclusionary zoning ordinance by listing "affordable, low-income homes" that aren't actually built.

There's this, which I was surprised to see (not the energy bit but the green building bit - seems hard to do at those prices, though I don't know what Wisconsin considers "green built") :

The EPA has named Veridian Homes, Wisconsin's largest home builder, as an Energy Star Partner of the Year for its contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by building energy-efficient homes. All Veridian homes meet U.S. Energy Star and Wisconsin Energy Star standards and are Green Built Home certified.

I found a couple of references to higher "amenity costs," but don't know enough about this sort of thing to know what that means.

I dunno, ABM. They've only been around for five years, and it feels too good to be true. I'd love to hear what you come up with. If it's just a matter of having to live in a cookie-cutter subdivision, that might explain it, but I expect that there might be some kind of quality issue, or some method of financing that exploits the current downturn (especially if they do their OWN financing). I mean, if people are defaulting on their mortgages, they can sell and resell a "quality" house for a low price a few times to a lot of people who shouldn't be buying houses (because of their income). That wouldn't be the case with you, of course, but that may be part of their MO.
abmann From: abmann Date: April 7th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
The first blogspoty posts is about veterans. Did you link it correctly?

I don't know enough about IZ houses to really understand that other one. But it seems like they're saing veridian can;t be making much money on the houses so something must be fishy?. I dunno.

I know two couples that recently bought veridian and they're thrilled with the houses and location. The locations are Ok, a little further out than i would like in some cases but close to work, or close enough that i can get to a bus line. So it's a minor issue.

Yeah, I failed to find anything terrible about them. All I found were piles of awards and articles lauding their cost-cutting methods and efficiencies that make these houses so cheap. it seems fake that I can't find even one bad thing about them.

Yeah, only 5 years old and already account for 30% of Wisconsin's homes built. Insane.

I agree that I'm not thrilled with the neighborhoods they build, they tend to look similar and haven't enough trees for my liking. However, trees come with time and landscaping. Not much to do about the look of the houses but I can eventually get over that. The allure of having all the amenities that I want in a house out of the gate overwhelms my desire to live in an established, interesting neighborhood currently.

I mean.. granite couter tops, bamboo flooring, built-in shelving, fireplace, loft... I can potentially have all these in my first home for a price I can afford! INSANITY!

antarcticlust From: antarcticlust Date: April 7th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like the same guy, wrong post. The correct link (with a comment by Veridian!) is here. If that's not it, just use the search function at the top (keyword: Veridian) to find the post. I couldn't find the permalink for it.

I'm partial to Craftsman-era houses, myself. :)
abmann From: abmann Date: April 7th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aha, ok.

Sure, variable interest rate loans are dumb and I'm not surprised veridian would be uneasty at the moment.

I'm pretty sure I would take a loan like that unless I had enough cash to cover the house in full!
bizarre From: bizarre Date: April 7th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Longer than 5 years acutally

I forget the names, but Veridian is the merger of 2 other companies that did this type of home building.

So while Veridian may have only heen arounf 5 years, the overall numbers that you are looking at probably include both of the old companies counts in there as well
antarcticlust From: antarcticlust Date: April 7th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Longer than 5 years acutally

Right - but the business strategy changed when the two companies merged, so my guess is that it doesn't include both.
assfingers From: assfingers Date: April 7th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Longer than 5 years acutally

Don Simon and somebody.
abmann From: abmann Date: April 7th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Longer than 5 years acutally

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