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Monday, April 4, 2016

Pre-Construction Meeting

Pre-construction Meeting Q&A

  Today we finally scheduled our Pre-construction meeting. I cannot tell you how excited I am. We received an email from our SR, Jennifer, letting us know a last minute change order was approved and that they were ready to schedule us. The date is set for Friday, April 15th! I started a list of questions that I will be asking at our Pre-construction meeting, and thought it best to type them out here, and I can come back and add the answers once our PM, Mark, lets us know. 

  1. Are the ceilings textures or smooth?
  2. Will electrical box have labels for switches?
  3. See if we can keep microwave slightly higher than minimum requirements over stove.
  4. Is there a screen door with the morning room door? Door type, sliding or french?
  5. Can we have a different switch for pendant lighting over the counter from the switch for the recessed?
  6. Can you move the molding down on our tray ceiling for a place for our rope light?
  7. Can we have slightly more insulation in laundry room and bathroom walls?
  8. What color and brand is the house paint?
  9. Where is the access to the attic? If its in an unwanted location can we move it?
  10. Can you put straw down in the yard for our dog while the grass grows?
  11. Let him know we plan to expand the size of the driveway.
  12. Are there any outdoor outlets? Locations?
  13. What is our yard size in all directions? How close are we to the neighbors?
  14. Is the garage going to be on a pitch for water flow?
  15. When is a good time to measure for the fridge?
  16. Do we need a sump pump backup battery? A dehumidifier? 
  17. Can we have extra support behind the living room wall, Loft wall and Master Bedroom for Flat panel mounts?
  18. When will we know to have the cable/internet company come to hook up? 
  19. Is there a drain in laundry room to prevent flooding? What happens if washer leaks?
  20. Can we have left over flooring, siding, and the plastic covering the carpet. (to protect our carpet while movers move things.)
  21. Can we add a concrete slab outside of the basement door? 
  22. Can we move the vent on the master wall? Floor vent near window? ( Would like it moved because a nightstand will cover it)
  23. Do the cabinets have knobs?
  24. Is there a garbage disposal?

    These are all the questions I have come up with for now, but I am sure between now and next week I will have even more to ask. Our SR did let us know that our last change request was literally the last thing we could change, so I am not sure about asking for the concrete slab outside the door. Likely they wont, but I may ask during construction rather than at the meeting. I will come back to the blog with the answers they give us, so STAY TUNED!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

While I wait, why not shop?

So far we haven't heard anything outside of what we already know. We will be contacted prior to grounbreaking for our pre-construction meeting, averaging a week before. So far nothing. I did get back out to Riterug and choose a backsplash for our kitchen, which actually took alot longer then all the other choices. We could only upgrade one level, so we just have normal tile, similair to the 6x6 in bathrooms. I am okay with that for now, because it means less work for me in the next year or two until we can get around to changing it out. I also have been shopping, like a crazy person, almost everyday. I don't buy things everyday, in fact I haven't bought anything yet, just looking is making me more and more excited. Here are a few things I have been looking at.
Loving this dresser! I am not sure if we even need one, as big as the closet is, but I can dream and plan right?
I love this sofa! This will be a purchase after we move in, I am ready to get rid of our 5 year old one for a fresh new one. I would choose a grey color, this just happened to be the stock photo.
We plan to buy this from Wayfair shorty after moving in. I AM IN LOVE with this and the price. I would like to have a slightly larger table, but realistically we don't get many visitors for dinner, so this would be great for us four. 
Love this lamp from Wayfair. Basic and sleek at the same time. Would be a great addition to our master bedroom!

Can you see how excite I am? They say that preconstruction goes slow, but the building goes fast. I really hope so, I am dying to get out of our current house. I love alot of things here, but I am ready to really be settled.  I am ready to paint walls without asking for permission or plant a garden without having to dig it all up when we move.. I'm excited not to rent anymore, and pay into something we don't get anything back from.

I also spent a few minutes trying to explain our lot to my mother. She is aware we have a lot on a main road, which isn't a typical Ryan community. Our front street is not on a culdasac, but rather a double yellow lined road that is a "main" road (much less traffic then a true main road). Our community is the first phase, and they are starting the second behind us this month. That community will have the culdasac roads, but I am ok with it. Thier starting price for the same model is 40k more than ours. This is something that did bother me, the road, but I realized we don't play out front hardly at all, and our backyard will get a fence. So I am fine with it.

Here is our lot (yes we have a downgrade 20 feet or so behind, which we plan to fill) *See the grey box? Thats where our house is going, The green lines say where are yard goes to the road and behind the house)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


YAY! Our Mortgage was approved today! The funny thing is it was just sent to underwriting by NVR yesterday. I thought to myself "7-10 more days of waiting" just this morning and then BAM, there is the email at 3pm saying we are approved. Now its real. The process makes you anxious and excited but there is lingering doubt for a while until that actual approval comes. I am ecstatic! I waited to suprise my husband with the news until he got home, and when he did I ran up to him and said "We're approved!", he replied "I know"..... *seriously*, turns out our loan lady called him already -- figures! Anyhow, it was a rather exciting day for me. I decided to bring in the moving boxes I had hidden in my car until we heard the news.... guess I can start filling them! I am so anxious that my house my be packed well before we leave. Maybe that's just wishful thinking? Now we have to wait for our meeting with our PM, which they said would be around the week before we are scheduled to build. So, another 2 1/2 weeks or so to go for that meeting, as we are scheduled April 18th. 

Now lets all cross fingers that everything stays on time!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Things to remember

Ok so what I want to do with this blog is add some things that we may encounter during our adventure in home building. Some things to look out for, ask for or not worry about. When this all started, I found myself LIVING in peoples blogs. So much so that I probably know everyone's blogs just by their color choices. That, in actuality, is my first piece of advice.

  • READ BLOGS! - Tons of people who have went through this process or are currently going through it have blogs. Same as mine. This gives you an opportunity to see their process and what they went through, chose and ultimately were happy with. Also, don't just read blogs for your model, ALL of them can help you in some way, TRUST ME
  • JOIN A RYAN HOMES GROUP ON FACEBOOK! - This is essentially the same as the blogs, but live. Meaning, these people are on there everyday, and can help with almost any question you throw at them. Not only that, but you start to build a relationship, or community, with them, and will find yourself sharing your stories and photos from your own adventure. 
  • DONT THINK NEGATIVE! - So what I mean by this is not as cut and dry as it sounds. Many people go online to complain. Its the way the world is anymore. So when you google 'Ryan homes', or 'NVR', you will find horror stories. In fact, there is an entire page created to bash Ryan homes and NVR. Crazy right? Well.. what happens when something bad happens to anything you spent money on? A car, a house, an expensive item like a tv? Well, you get mad. And whether its their fault or yours (or perhaps even your cats fault), our initial emotion is to be angry at the place our item came from. Manufacturer or Store. That's the same with Ryan Homes. Sure, things can go wrong. But don;t feed into the horror stories, as there are plenty of us that are happy. (SO far!) ;)
  • BE INFORMED AND PREPARED! - This is simple. Building a home is exhausting, stressful, excited, just about every emotion rolled into one, and we aren't even the ones physically building it! It's best to be as prepared as possible. Get the options sheet prior to going over it with your SR - Ask for the rules of the HOA (if your in one) - and gather every piece of financial paperwork ahead of time. Stick those in a folder at home or on your desktop - you'll likely need them more than once. DO NOT touch any credit cards, open, close, dispute or in any manner change how your finances are. This can cause one of the biggest hiccups in loans. Also, Ask the questions... you don;t know much about interest rates and points... then ASK! and don;t be afraid to google. Be as informed as possible. Its your house, and your choices - - don't feel rushed. If you cannot decide between colors, stop, look away and start over. Be sure -- because these are all choices you have to make at once, and you want to be happy.

I will update this more as I continue through my process. 

We have a date!!!!!!

***Jumping for joy!!***

          Today we met with our SR, Jennifer, who I love by the way, and went over our final selections for the house. We surprisingly took a few things away, but then added some as well... so it all actually ended up evening out. When we originally chose our options we had decided to add the plumbing rough in, ten 110 outlets and 4 ceiling fan rough ins. Initially we just really guessed at the amount of outlets we would need, but because they give you one every 6 feet or so, we didn't need as many. Our basement is an unfinished one, so that's where a lot of them were going to go. The joys of running a home business.... NOT. So we decided to go down to 7 outlets, of which 3 are in the basement, 1 in the master, 1 by the fireplace for our tv, 1 inside a kitchen cabinet to add under cabinet lights later and finally 1 somewhere else that I can't remember off the top of my head. We also decided to downgrade a ceiling fan rough in to just a normal light, and we moved it into the living room. We also decided against the plumbing rough in. All in all, with everything we added and took away, along with a really awesome credit we got (will speak more on this later), our total stayed exactly the same from where we started. (No lie, we only went up by $100!!!). 

         Some of the big things we got were : an upgraded (all the way) master bath, tray ceiling in bedroom, upgraded the counter tops by one package, Elevation C, the stone hearth fireplace, 3 extra windows, gourmet counter top, and a backsplash. I am super excited for this to get started. I never actually saw myself building a house. I mean, we work from home, and have raised a business from infancy. I just never seen it as a possibility. Which, I think, makes this even more exciting!!! 

        Today we also had the chance to pick our house colors. We happened to luck out by not having any houses to the left of ours to compete with, but we did have one to the right.... his was tan, so that was no big deal. We flipped through the massive amount of colors (which I was surprised by since almost all the houses we drove by had similar color schemes), and were quick to pick what we wanted. I already knew I wanted a red door. Like the "BOOM" in your eyeballs kinda red door. My husband wanted a house on the grey side. We both liked the FLint color. So.. It just flew through there. We went with the exact color scheme in the book and the same one I had downloaded on my phone. (I downloaded a photo of another ryan home with the colors). You can see our selections below. 

        Oh, and by the way.....

WE HAVE A DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     Our SR said that we are on schedule for an April 18th groundbreaking. And that we would have our pre-construction meeting around a week before. I couldn't be happier! 

      We are still waiting for our Approval, which I hope comes in the next 2 weeks. I emailed NVR our last bits of paperwork they wanted on Friday, so they will have it all come Monday. I don't anticipate problems, but what loan really ever does run smoothly? I'll keep my fingers crossed and eyes peeled for an email or call. Until then, I have to run back to Rite rug to pick out our kitchen backsplash ASAP - along with start looking for some lights and ceiling fans for our rough ins. Oh the fun! 

Friday, March 11, 2016

The waiting game.

So, We have our final changes meeting on Sunday. I am stressing out with that along with awaiting the LOAN approval. I keep thinking, "what happens if we get denied??!"... not like it would happen.. but it could! Sunday is only stressful because I don't know if we are adding to much, or not enough. We decided not to get a finished basement, as the incentive for us in February was just the 6,000 NVR credit and half off the morning room OR the basement. We knew that we could finish the basement on our own, but adding an entire room to our house wouldn't ever happen. As for the other options, we work from home. So our office will actually be in the basement because of the abundance of office supplies we need. One thing that is necessary but doesnt come with an unfinished basement..... plugs. And we need a lot of them. That right there chewed up almost 1,000 in upgrades. Which was annoying. Then we have things like recessed lighting. How many do I add? Is 4 enough? is 6? I have no clue. I have never been in anything other than the model, and I know that they have every upgrade available in those things. So it's really hard to tell what is necessary and overkill. I feel like we may have overkill with outlets.
Besides all that, I am already stressing over packing and moving. This will be my 10th move in 12 years. Yep. FINALLY getting our OWN home, no more renting. I may have the packing and moving experience, but gosh am I tired of it. This time the benefit is being able to prepare early. In fact we already started. I hope that doesn't jinx our loan. Our luck tends to be that way.... *sad face
So.. hopefully I come back Sunday with more news. I do have something BIG to mention, but I am holding off until signatures are written. But it definitely is good news!!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Choices galore!

So Monday was a fun day! It was our Riterug appointment and I ended up going by myself! No husband in tow! (Which was good and bad I guess, haha). I thought the appointment would have lasted longer but I guess I already had it in my head what color scheme I am going with. I met with Kayla, she was super sweet and talked insanely fast, which I had to back her up a few times to make sure I was understanding everything. Seemed like she was as anxious as me! Anyhow, I ended up choosing all of the inside interiors, such as the countertops, flooring, master bath, etc. Again, I was in and out in under an hour... which I think was a record for them. lol

Close up of the Listello in the Master
Here is our Cabinet choice (Standard) in all bathrooms and kitchen. I do plan to paint them all over with chalk paint once we move in. So Imagine these cabinets as a paris grey color to go with the theme here. Also, a pice of vanity top, again standard whiteOur countertops are in the center. Its Laminate, but the first upgrade and not standard. I like the "look" of granite/stone, but I cant fit in the pricetag in our budget.And lastly the flooring --- this is the floor in our Morning room, Kitchen and Laundry Room. <3

Our floors, Carpet (Standard Rockport) And one level upgraded Vinyl for Kitchen, Morningroom and Laundry.

All in all I think the colors compliment eachother well. I definitely cant wait to get in there and start painting those cabinets! I'm already making my list of things to do when we move in... and we dont even have any stakes in the ground yet!