Last August 2015 our search for a new home ended when we saw this gorgeous blue house in Crown Asia’s Woodberry Heights. It’s one of the four model houses left for sale. I knew it was for us because it’s beautifully situated just across one of Assumption Antipolo’s gate. It’s just perfect for my girls.
We were promised that the entire house renovation and repairs will be done by end of May 2016. In time for my eldest’s school opening. They said that the broken split type aircon will be replaced too as this was part of the amount we paid for. And so the grueling process of owning a house happened.
March 2016, we had our loan released and the house is due for renovation.
Today, it’s June 24th and our house still looks like a mess. No kitchen sink, no working shower, ground floor looked like it has gone through house flipping. It’s just really so painful to see and tiring.
By this time all our household stuff and members are cramped in a two bedroom condominium, boxes everywhere, kids’ toys already packed and just plain chaos and disarray. To top it all, we have incurred unnecessary expenses because of Camella’s delay. They have moved the turnover date 5 times (and their 6th as I write this).
With a heavy heart, I have to leave my girls at my inlaws’ so my husband and I can look after what’s small renovation done at our house and run after the Engineer assigned to us. We bring our work with us and stress level is just super high.
My husband felt ill early today because of stress, lack of sleep and because he’s really tired driving to and fro Antipolo and Ortigas.
I am at the end of my wits and I cannot get hold of the Engineer anymore. Last we spoke he said they are having problems with our contractor. CRS Construction, the contractor, failed to deliver the materials needed for the renovation, failed to pay the workers properly hence they left. It’s frustrating because last month, we noticed no work has been done at our house at all and we reported it at Camella’s main office. The Engineer though assured us (at the time) that we were still right at the timeline. Clearly, we were not.
Next week, is the start of my daughter’s first day at a new school and Camella has given us no hope that Peaches is going to enjoy her first stay at her new home.
Now, if you ask me if it’s worth buying from Camella? My answer is NO.
So much incompetence from the administration, from the person who handles your account down to the Engineer. Imagine them accepting the bid of a company that CANNOT finance a house renovation? The broker who assisted us cannot help at all because Camella does not care.
It’s not as if the house is cheap. And they treat us like this.
It has been 3 months of house renovation. We have reached out to their management, upper management, area team leader but we have not gotten any good result…make that.. no result at all. They have known about the contractor’s financial issue, they should have acted early because they gave us the timeline to which we have agreed.
Beyond acceptable. I am beyond disappointed. I am angry. I am tired of being patient and kind. If only we can take our money back. If you’re a friend, don’t ever buy.
Update: June 30, 2016
Many are asking what happened to this story of our life.
As of this writing the house is 95% done just minor things like replacing the glass window they broke. The remaining 5% is the t&b on our 2nd floor where they had to remove all the tiles because there was a leak causing the water to run down through the room below it. AND their turnover deadline was again MOVED to next week, Wednesday.
So really, you tell me if our concerns were really addressed.
Personally, what they did after putting up my blog post was to calm us down and attempt to remove this post AND NOTHING ELSE. The coordination, the added workers, and other works they did ARE ALL THEIR OBLIGATION and nothing to appease us with the stress and anger that we felt towards them.
We thought it is fair to ask for JUST COMPENSATION after all the expenses we incurred, the hassle they all put us through, the delays and most of all the STRESS.
Yesterday we got word that our demand for the JUST COMPENSATION was disapproved by the admin and management. Outright disapproval.
Who will pay for the electric bill when they used a lot of machine when they worked on the house? Who will pay for the water bill when the workers and the Engineers left it leaking for days while they worked. Definitely not us.
We have not signed the acceptance document yet and we won’t until they clear things up. We’re pushing through with our complaint and will send it to HLURB.
Oh and by the way, the split type aircon? They NEVER bothered fixing it or replacing it with a new one.
UPDATE: June 29, 2018
I felt obliged to keep adding on this blog post because more and more complaints are posted on the comments section. I am appalled that a big company like Camella could stomach something like this. Are we too small to be neglected? Aren’t we homeowners who were promised this and that only to receive mediocre service?
So what has happened to us?
October 2016, we finally signed the acceptance and turn over contract. But they failed to replace the broken aircon as promised. When we were chasing it, they said the accounting department did not approve it but days before they said the budget was already there and they were just waiting for it to be released. Dang it, we believed them once more without any signed papers.
So again, lesson learned- if you are being promised something… ask for an affidavit saying so. Have it signed!
Did we pursue the HLURB complaint? NO. It was useless. I was told HLURB will just mediate and I’ll just end up being frustrated even more. Welcome to the Philippines!
Since then, we’ve had to call a poso negro service to have our tank fixed because it was clogged. Remember this house we got was a model house. We had to remove the toilet bowl from one of the bathrooms upstairs because of a leak. We had to call the pest control because I’ve seen termite houses in the garden.
I’d like to tell you that even though this house was a “prime” property, some materials used were substandard. We had to change it/repair it.
Let me share my neighbors’ Camella homes horror story as well…
Okay, so remember our house is at a culdesac and we have 2 houses in our right and 2 houses in our left. So 4 model houses in total.
Camella Model house 2 (because 1 is us!) – The owner was working abroad and she has signed the acceptance paper when she realized that there was no provision for a kitchen inside the house. I SWEAR, I am not making this up. There was a tiny kitchen, yes. BUT no water line for the faucet. It would be easier for them to build a kitchen outside, which they did, at their own cost. The second floor bathroom was clogged and they had to wait for a week for the contractor to fix it. They were also promised with a new aircon, but until today, 2 years after… we’re still waiting.
Camella Model house 3 – The owner left this house after accepting it so she’s yet to find out the horrors.
Camella Model house 4– Bathroom leaking, toilet bowl broke, rainwater going inside from the kitchen door, promised with a new aircon but, guess what? 2 years after, no aircon still.
We’re just here trying our best to make our house a dream one as we go along because honestly, we don’t have much choice for now. We’ve spent A LOT on this house and this is all we’ve got so far.
Good thing my neighbors are great and my girls are so welcomed and at home.