Monday, September 30, 2013

We have a date!

As my new little countdown gadget thing on the right-hand side shows you: we now have a (somewhat) official closing date! December 23, here we come!!

Hurry, hurry.... waiting....okay, now build!

So I have been super remiss in posting any updates but it's because I've been de-compressing from all the crazy intensity of the initial decisions we had to make. From signing the papers on August 30, to the selections on September 12, it was just a non-stop whirlwind of decisions and craziness.

And then, everything just kind of stopped.

So I've spent the last two weeks just in a holding pattern. Our decisions are made, our loan was moving forward, and we just were waiting to get time on the schedule. Luckily, time is of the essence! We have our preconstruction meeting today with SM and our PM, and they expect us to break ground early next week. I'm glad to finally get some movement!

Hubs and I are really, really hoping to close before the end of the year. It looks like that's still a possibility, though becoming less so every day.

I'll have more details after the meeting today and I promise not to take another two weeks off!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Selections: Complete!

So I'm just writing this up quickly while I'm stuck at the library not doing my project (good to see I haven't given up my procrastination skills when I decided to go back to grad school). We had our selections appointment today! Ah! This was really big for me and I was, quite frankly, dreading it. But now it's over, the hubs and I didn't kill each other, we didn't break the bank, and I think I'm finally settling into the fact that we are building our own brand new house where we're going to live.

What you probably all mentioned on your blogs, but I just didn't read closely enough, was that you don't actually get to pick your colors for the outside of the house. You get to pick a color scheme. That was a little of a bummer, but I think it's going to work out. We ended up with Sandy Tan and Brown shutters, with a bluish teal door (don't have the color in front of me). It's going to be great.

We struggled mightily on floors! See, the hubs and I have decided to hold off on doing hardwoods through Ryan. I think RH is a little expensive, and I think we could get the non pre-finished floors at some point in the near future for a less amount. So yes, we realize we'll be tearing up our new house in 12-18 months and that's annoying, but I didn't want to settle for floors that were just so-so (my opinion only! They look beautiful; I just don't love the cracks between.) Anyway, so we wanted to get the standard laminate floor in the kitchen/morning room because it's only got a short life. But holy macaroni there were too many choices! I'll post pictures soon but I'm pretty sure I hate them.

Cabinets were a big upgrade for us. The hubs is the cook so I let him pick his thing. We went with the taller Cherry Spice cabinets. I love the counter top we picked too! It's dark grey with lots of awesome sparks that pull in our cabinets. I know, I know, you need pictures! Will post soon.

Our meeting with the electrical/AV guy was super painless. I've read a lot of bloggers who have had trouble with their electric guys and I have to say ours was fantastic. Super low-pressure and definitely helped us see a couple ways to make things better as we moved through the house. I also splurged on pendant lights over my peninsula (they're so elegant, I think!) The hubs put in his TV-mount package, which makes him happy, and we came in below budget (woot woot!)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Neighborhood Creeping and Our Lot

So I had to travel this morning for work and decided on my way home to swing by the lot and see if anything new was happening. We're not expecting anything, but hey, you never know!

Alas, there was no movement on our lot, with the exception of some plastic put up around the bottom of the lot. There has been, however, a ton of progress on our neighbor's home! They broke ground on Aug 31 (I think) and have the whole thing framed! It was crazy.

So, just to ground you in these pictures, we have a flag lot. See the picture below (we're lot 6; the house in the pictures I'll post further down is lot 5):

So what you can see is that we are going to have a really long driveway, right up along the side of lot 7, and then our house is going to sit back a ways. There's some elevation there so we're also going to be set a little higher than lot 7. This was a big struggle for me to visualize but our sales rep (B) has a nice little transparency thing and he showed us how our house would sit and what we'd be looking at. Basically, we're not going to be looking right at lot 7's backyard (or so he says). I'm super happy with the lot size and the fact that our back yard is lined in trees (that they do not have to remove, and have been threatened not to touch), so I'm kind of just rolling with the rest of the whole thing. 

Anyway! Here's our lot with our neighbor's progress in the background:
Hello future home!
While in the neighborhood, I followed a bunch of your advice and stalked out some houses and colors. I really like something with a warm feel to it and that has some depth to the color, so I like this dark tan one best, though I'm not sold on the red door. (This is conveniently also almost our elevation. We got the side-entry garage and the overhang over the front door, but ours is just flat along the top.)
One of my future neighbor's houses. Hope they don't mind!
The hubs has other ideas, apparently, as he is not sold on having a "poop brown" house. Love the guy, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to win on this one :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Reason to look forward to the new house #1

So this morning my two sisters were over because we're hitting the road for a trip to my grandmother's. 

There we were. Three fully grown women aged 24-28, crowding around an 8x10 mirror, in our home's only bathroom, and the hubs walks over and says he has to use it, and it hits me...

#1: new house has three bathrooms!!

Can't wait!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Week 1: A Summary

Sorry if I seem scattered but this is going so fast!! A week ago, we had just signed our purchase agreement, outlining some of our concepts for things we thought we would want in the house. Yesterday, after about a week of intense document collection (thank God for paperless banking!), we met with NVR to discuss financing. We were told then that without a final "approval" more or less, we were approved to start construction, and now our Sales Manager (B) says we could break ground in two weeks! Oh, and we'd be living there before the end of December!!


Despite my need for a slow and steady pace I'm finding myself only a little overwhelmed. Truly, everyone has been super helpful along the way and I really do feel like all my questions are getting answered. The hard part is making decisions RIGHT NOW that Hubs and I have to live with for the rest of our lives.

Now, that's pressure.

Selections meeting is next week and I am terrified! I can recognize style when I see it but haven't ever needed to make the choices about it! How did you guys all get ready for this meeting? Just Google image every house you could? I know that I can say that all the awesome Ryan homebuilding blogs have been so, SO helpful in getting me in the right mindset. But I'm still scared!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Diving in!

As I sit here procrastinating an evening run, reading as many Ryan homebuilding blogs I can get my fingers on, and marveling at the amazing stack of paperwork I'm surrounded by, I thought maybe it's time I jumped on the Ryan Homes building process bandwagon. And so, welcome to our journey!

About two months ago, Hubs and I decided to get moving on purchasing our next (and hopefully forever) home. Rates were rising, we were tired of listening to the tenant upstairs, and our 900 square foot space was getting a little cramped. On day 1 of our process, we followed the signs for a Ryan open house. The model home, a Florence, was absolutely unbelievably beautiful. Hubs fell in love instantly and I kind of did too, but we agreed that building wasn't our first choice.

And so we embarked on two months of house searching. Without exception, we were faced with compromise after compromise. Okay, it's not open floor but it's in a good area; the area is okay but there's no privacy at all; dated interiors and boxy floor plans were found in beautiful neighborhoods; while the gorgeous new spacious houses were in bad ones. Needless to say, it was frustrating.

Lo and behold, we found ourselves back at that Ryan model home, walking through the Florence model, and I could see the house was precisely what we were looking for. The model's sales manager (B) showed us an almost complete neighborhood in the school district I was dying for, though just a few lots remained. We walked through all the options, getting an idea for really what our "dream house" (which I can't write without picturing Barbie's) would cost us. We left surprised, amazed, excited and really nervous because we knew that it was not only affordable, it made a ton of sense.

Two days later, we signed a purchase agreement with Ryan Homes to build a 3 bed, 2.5 bath Florence on a .92 acre lot. And so, we begin this wild, crazy, terrifying, exciting journey.
Hubs and I marking our territory!

So excited!