Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Like I could resist some change!

Ok, it was necessary change, not a matter of being irresistible! Hubby initially planned on doing our own gas line for the dryer, we already paid for the upgrade for the gas range and hot water heater. But it kind of dawned on him that he would have to do this the second we moved in, which isn't realistic! And, like the day after we weren't allowed to make changes, I read a blog that insisted on shelves in the owners shower. So we called Chris and begged for both yesterday. He warned us that he would do his best but RH is pretty strict with no changes once the 21 days hits.......drum roll....... We have more gas and shelves! Yay! I have no doubt that Chris went to bat for us!

Our pre-construction meeting is set for the 30th and can't wait to get some official dates and such.

Went out to the model to show the kids this weekend, they were very excited! We were hoping the house would have started by Christmas and were going to show them everything that day. But Hubs thought best they see the dirt WITH the model home, smart man! The little one was having the hardest time understanding that the furniture wasn't coming with the house, it was cute. The unfinished basement is now officially a skating rink and a disco ball has been requested! And there was no blood shed over room selection, shocked to say the least!

But I have to say, as we showed them the different selections, I am doubting myself with ALL of them! I'm sure it will be beautiful, but oy vey, the stress of waiting! Who knew?! A friend was over last night and made a comment on how dark the kitchen will be if we put hardwood in, which is the plan, so slight panic attack over that now!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Still waiting....

Nothing going on but, that's right, waiting! Have I mentioned I am NOT a patient person? Our pre-construction meeting is scheduled for the 30th and we break ground the week of January 6th. So I spend time reading lots of blogs, such great tips and input. That's all, can't imagine any blogging coming too soon. Just really excited and feeling quite grateful these days. Gratitude makes waiting bearable! Kinda haha!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Not much to say.....

Just a quick update.... We asked Chris not to try and push up our build date. We had to make the decision about our lease, so we extended until mid April. With the timeline we have, it should be perfect- I was told our estimated delivery date is April 1st. As much as I would like to go ASAP- we also have to be responsible and not have two dwellings at once if we can help it! And can I just say that by Thursday I was all kinds of a mess, stressing if we would get the OK this week to move up, it's just not worth the extra stress either!!

We requested to get the pre construction meeting on the books- with the holidays and work, December is looking a tad busy. Chris emailed back on his Turkey Day break and asked for some dates. What a great sales rep!!

Until the pre construction meeting.....

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We can't always get a yes.....

SR Chris delivered his first bit of bad news. They can't move up our start date! Long story short- they allow so many starts each week..... I have to say, I respect it. I would prefer to be counted as part of the norm instead of over and too many. Just because we got approved lightening fast, no one could have anticipated this and they put us "on the board" for the typical duration it takes. Chris said he would check every week for cancelations etc, and if anyone has our back, it's him. So we are scheduled to start the first week of January!!! I'm dying to know if it's right at the first of the month and if I can go ahead and schedule the pre construction meeting with our PM soon. It will give me something to look forward to!

Friday, November 22, 2013

It gets better?!

Spoke with SR Chris today and he said our loan was approved so crazy fast! He is going to request to have all our dates pushed up. Right now we are set to begin building at the end of December, but to move up would be amazing! He has to submit a request, so technically, back to waiting. For those of you in the mortgage stage- he said it was us being so prepared that made this so fast. Even though he's paid to "make his customers happy" I really do believe his kudos to our being ready.

I find it funny how I feel as we progress through the different phases. Each thing we signed, person we met or color we picked; I said to Hubby "ok! now this feels real!" But NOW it feels real- how much more real can this get?! I have a feeling, it's gonna get more real!

Now, off to window shop furniture! Squeal!!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

This has to be a joke!!

So, like good Ryan Homes clients, we have done as instructed, sit and wait. We got a call from NVR Debbie yesterday asking about an issue with a dispute that I placed on something about a year back, since then I have paid it off, bla bla bla. Followed by "your loan went to underwriting today." "Underwriting you say, what exactly does that mean?" I'm a nurse, the human body I got, but this stuff, not so much- I literally need people to baby step it for me.... She lets me know that we should have conditional approval in 2 days to a week. SAY WHAT? Super excited. Shoot SR Chris an email to say hey, loan is in underwriting.

Fast forward to today. SR Chris sends an email back saying "actually I think your loan is approved." Panic, joy, fear and more joy with a reply of SAY WHAT? While at the exact same time Hubby is getting a call from NVR Chris and Debbie of official approval. He is begging them not to call me, that I will be home from work soon and he wants to surprise with a cute celebratory dinner. Poor Hubby, he's trying to surprise me when I'm forwarding him SR Chris' email telling HIM what he wants to tell ME. We had an awesome dinner and have entered into the world of "how can you pour a concrete foundation in the winter" convo.

I'm just blown away by everything. It's been exactly 3 weeks since we met originally with NVR and only 2 weeks since NVR told us to sit and wait for 28 or so days. Only ONE correspondence in between for a few more documents! I'm just blown away with the progress and customer service.  Have I mentioned I'm blown away?

So I thought I had all of this time to figure out what the next steps are! WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?!!! Wouldn't the BEST Christmas present be to have concrete with the dirt? Is this realistic, insane or do I just really not have a clue? Well, I guess this is a test to see if SR Chris actually reads my blog, because if he does, he knows I'm calling him tomorrow! Haha!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wait, are you talking to me?!

Not much to update. Got an email from NVR this week for some documents- some we already sent and some new. "Met" our loan processor and her name is Debra. I was unsure on something she wanted and she responded back promptly and with detail- so far so good with her too! The names are cracking me up- we have Chris, Chris, Debbie and Debra. A lot of people call me Chris also, so when Hubby is talking sometimes I have to stop and think if it's about me, NVR or Ryan Homes!

We passed our date to be able to make any changes. It's disappointing and relieving all at the same time. I'm sure there will be things I will look back and wish I did. But at the same time, the amount of customization we have here versus buying an existing house isn't even comparable. So I won't complain!

Sales rep Chris replied to an email to Hubby while on vacay- that's dedication. And Guardian Debbie emailed us pics of her kitchen cabinets that are similar to ours. She was witness to the last minute "OH MY GOD I NEED TO CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT EVERYTHING" day. If my cabinets are half as pretty as hers, I'll be very happy!

Patience is not my strong suite- where hubby is like a monk with his patience, almost on a disturbing level, haha! So I continue to sit and wait, but not patiently!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Guardian update and a kudos....

Debbie from Guardian already called back to let us know that we will be receiving more paperwork tomorrow via email that will include the info we thought was missing, plus we will see the discount for the installation fee as promised. My first reaction was- I wish she would have told us, then my Hubby followed up with- I'm sure she did and we forgot. The latter of the two is seriously most probable, there is just so much info to digest and a whirlwind of paperwork, we are just going to forget stuff. Period. As of today, we feel like we can make a phone call to ANYONE we are dealing with and get a prompt and truthful response. That's a good feeling.

It's easy to post the bad and forget about the good, so I just want to send a shout out...

We LOVE  our sales rep Chris, he's awesome. No, scratch that, he's super awesome. No, scratch that, he's super duper awesome! I just adore him and trust me, I don't adore too many people. I'm bummed he was moved to another location- I was looking forward to popping in and saying hi when we drive out to visit our home as it's being built.

NVR Chris was great too- to this date I have not ONE complaint with NVR. Yes, it took alot of work to make sure we were ready on our end, but what else to expect when millions of people lost their homes recently! It was a mortgage crisis- a CRISIS people!!! I never expected to hand over a paystub and get approved like the good ol days.

And last but not least is Guardian Debbie. We really really like her too! Our personalities clicked and she managed to balance the experience. There was a lot of stuff we didn't want and we brushed over it, but there were things we didn't think we wanted and she had some mind link to provide enough info for us to say "dude, I can't believe we thought we didn't want this!" She's very personable without being pushy, I like that!

We are setting the expectation to be bumps in the road and to expect stress- this is realistic. So far, so good.

OK, now we really sit back and wait!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Selections, colors and upgrades OH MY!

Met today with our Guardian rep Debbie- we really liked her. She wasn't pushy but she gave us the facts we need to make sure we made the right selections. However, we did just review the documents we signed and NO WHERE on there states what we are actually getting, only the prices. And the $250 installation fee that was told to us will be waived was listed. I'm not happy with this, not happy with myself for not realizing it when we signed it and Hubby is sending an email as I type. Then we met sales rep Chris to go over our color selections, he helped us a bunch too. He has a keen eye for a guy!!

But wait... let's rewind to 6am. I woke up in an utter panic over linoleum flooring! I was reading (OK, maybe stalking is a better word) other Ryan Homes blogs and I saw a similar kitchen to ours with the linoleum I thought I wanted..... I initially chose a very light color and when I saw it all together, it didn't give me that "come hither" look that a warm and inviting kitchen should. I guess I knew it would look different from the model, which had hardwood, but I was shocked at the difference. To make a long story short, this resulted in a trip to Lowe's and 5,000 phone calls to SR Chris to try to get into the showroom NOW! Drama much? Hubby reminded me that the reason we were doing base level flooring was because hardwood was in our near future. Oh yea, duh, OK. Panic over followed by apologies.

So upgrades....

  • Security system with additional sensors, additional keypad in the Owner's suite and smoke alarm communicator. We chose the Empower system- we can turn stuff on and off, like lights and other things with our cell phones, how awesome is that?!
  • Whole house audio with speakers- 2 room option
  • Coax and Cat-5 ran to 8 different places in the house including Family room, Living room, Loft, Owner's suite, BR1 and BR 2.
  • Elevation B with siding
  • Our lot is graded for a walk out basement
  • Deck- 150 sq ft
  • Gas water heater
  • Extended basement under breakfast room
  • Sliding glass door (came with lot- we still get one off the breakfast room too)
1st floor
  • Morning room with both additional windows (the deck is right off the morning room)
  • 42" Maple Cognac cabinets
  • Kitchen cabinet crown moulding
  • Kitchen Gourmet island
  • Recessed lighting in kitchen
  • Over the stove microwave mount with venting
  • 2nd level fridge- side by side doors with an icemaker and water (included was the dishwasher and stove) 
  • Gas range upgrade
  • Pine spindles and balusters (this will be on the lower level plus the upper)
  • 3 ceiling rough ins 
2nd floor
  • Upgraded owners bath with soaking tub and glass surround shower
  • Maple Cognac vanity in Owner's bath
  • Double vanity sink in Owner's
  • Maple Cognac vanity in other bathroom
  • Additional window in Owner's suite
  • And we selected the loft instead of the 4th bedroom- technically not an upgraded but nice to share
 All in all, we actually did really good. The two big ticket items were the morning room and the deck and those were the "penny" items if taking this particular lot.

And now colors with a few pics!

Left is the Maple Cognac cabinets, bottom is linoleum in Initiator, right is carpet in Wool Skin and the little piece in the middle to the right is the Formica laminate counter-top in Labrador Granite.

We didn't go crazy putting different flooring colors in different places- everywhere there is linoleum is Initiator and every place that is carpet is Wool Skin.

Below is some outside stuff. To the left are the shutters in black (sorry, no fancy name!), middle is the front door in Tricorn Black and to the right is the vinyl siding in Graphite Gray.

Some other stuff we didn't take pics of like the white tiles in the bathroom, chrome bath and faucets, nickel light fixtures and door handles, black kitchen appliances, cherry stained balusters and white spindles, the deck is composite in the color of weathered wood with white trim, the outside has white trim, garage door, soffit, etc and the interior is all white trim with white doors.

So from what I understand, we sit and wait... and then we wait a little more. As my Hubby says "hurry up and wait" so that's what we are gonna do! That's what he thinks, hehehe, I am already starting a list of questions for our PM. Fingers crossed we hear back from Debbie at Guardian ASAP- we only have 72 hours to cancel and I only have 5 more days until I hit the 21 day "grace period to make changes." So I will technically hurry up and wait after I hear from her!!

Hope this helps anyone contemplating buying into a Ryan Homes development, but I really hope my Mommy likes it :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Our pile o' dirt

We chose the Florence model in our development- we thought about the Sienna for ooooh about two seconds! NVR called today, without prompting, just to check in, let us know everything is being processed and to sit back and relax for the next 28 days or so. He's funny- me relax. Hubby asked if he wanted to come and live with me during this "relaxing" period, haha! I'll try my best but make no promises. Also talked to sales rep Chris today- had a few questions about timeline and such, as always, he delivered. We have the delightful situation of our lease coming up just before delivery, so trying to see what I can squeak by. This is really like a part time job, but everyone has been ridiculously great so far....

Without further adieu, our dirt!!!!!

Poor Chris- I wasn't leaving without claiming it.......

And he even let me put the sticker on the board for all to see, what a good sales rep!!!

This is a shot of the model, just to give you an idea- however we will have a real driveway, although running over stuff every day when I get home could be fun!

Stay tuned, will post with all our upgrades, colors, Guardian selections, etc. after we meet with everyone on Saturday!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Here we go......

After reading so many blogs on our journey to deciding whether to go with a Ryan home, the Hubby convinced me that we should do a blog of our own. So, here we go! We are far enough in for this to feel like it's really happening! It started several months ago when we stopped by a townhome community- loved it but needed to think. About a month later on a free weekend day, swung by again to find a new sales rep. Long story short, we ended up about 2 miles down the road at a single home community. I have to say, Chris our sales rep, was really the thing that gave us the confidence we needed. He's awesome- he's no BS and handled me freaking out at times like a pro. My Hubby isn't much for new construction- so our initial stop months ago was because I begged, but when we walked into the model Florence with Chris, that was it baby!! So this is what fate feels like?!

Our eyes were set on a lot but this awesome incentive popped up on another lot- less yard and more woods with a morning room and deck for pennies more! Sooooo, I have less to mow and more gorgeous house, sign me up! On Oct 24th we signed away our life with the contract. We took a handful of trips out between finding the community and signing the contingency, and Chris was just great each time.

On October 31st we met with NVR. I had read enough and Chris told us the paperwork was brutal- so we went beyond prepared...... Copies pre emailed, hard copies and then a jump drive also- anyway he wanted it we had it! A week has gone by and so far- not a peep from NVR for anything else. Chris, ok this is now finance Chris- all the Chris's in our life now need a nickname including myself- was great too. We are applying for a FHA 5/1 arm and he answered every question and then some. Hubby has emailed him once and he replied back right away. So far so good there! One thing I read was to keep hard copies and electronic copies of everything for this process so that's what we are doing.

We meet this weekend with guardian and Chris to make a few changes, so a list of upgrades and what pics we can get to follow.....