Thursday, January 31, 2013

One of the BEST meetings of all....

Drum roll please.........our PRE-CONSTRUCTION MEETING!!!!

December 14th, 2012

Yup, we were totally excited to have this meeting because that's when we knew things were about to get real!  It's kinda cool being able to look back over this stuff because it gives you an overview of all the emotions that you felt before, during and after these important times. But anywho...

First and foremost, our PM (project manager for those, a.k.a our family, not privy to the Ryan Homes Blogging community lol) was THE best. When I say that he was thorough, I mean the guy was THOROUGH.  He knew our floor plan like the back of his hand (even though it was a fairly new plan) and went through every single page - that was relevant to us, of course, of the blue print. He explained what was included with our home (we had a few surprises) as well as what our selections were (the ones we had already chosen). He showed us the schedule that he goes by when building homes (more specifically, ours) and gave us an estimate of when we would have our walk-through meeting and closing date.  At that time, our estimated closing date was March has since changed but we will get to that later!

So what surprises did our PM have in store for upgraded garage door (don't know what the standard one was but hey, We'll take it!); ALL optional windows included in the model; trim around the windows exterior, entry door and some of the siding areas (this will be in addition to the siding that we chose and will actually be a slightly darker siding so we will be able to show what wasn't standard). 

**Pics after our PM showed us the staked out ground on our lot**

**It was a muddy afternoon!**

**Left Side Angle View**

**Left Side View**

**Another View**

**The Stakes**

**We're Standing in the Driveway taking the pic**

**View of the Right Side**

**Another View**

**Another View - the rocks is where our driveway will be**

**Yup, I'm short!!!**


SN:  My husband is such a get-over...he won't post anything until it's time for the construction posts!!!!!!! *Just wait until he get's home*

On another note, I have four chapters that I need to read but I much rather be posting! Can you say borderline addict???...

Options Confirmed

December 9th - Our structural and non-structural options were locked in.  These options were things like our shutters and door, color of our stone, faucet features and stair railings.

Our stair railing will be gunstock with white balusters.  I cannot stand the white balusters so they will eventually be sanded and stained or changed altogether!

Model Home Balusters...I guess they are ok, I may change my mind...time will tell

Loan Anxiety

So after submitting our loan application on September 25th, it finally went to underwriting on October 16th. To say that we thought this step took forever was an understatement.

*It’s hard to show our anxiety since we already know the outcome of this process (hence, trying to catch up the blog) however, this process was very heart wrenching to say the least. *

Communicating back and forth through email with the loan processor that was assigned to our loan as well as with the mortgage rep that we filled the application out with was very nerve wracking. Paperwork seemed to be coming out the wazoo (I don’t really say words like that but it just seemed fitting for that statement) and the more time we spent thinking about this loan, the more it felt like it was unobtainable. 

We kept our Sales Rep in the loop about everything and she was just as anxious as we were…that is until that fateful day, FINALLY, on December 6th, our loan was denied. Yes, December 6th!!!! That’s around 57 business days from the start of our loan process! So of course, by this time we had some idea because there is no way that it should have taken that long to get a response about a loan; however, we had a game plan already in motion. 

The same day we got denied by NVR was the very same day we applied to (a Non-NVR bank) - this was a Thursday.  We got a confirmation that our loan was approved that very next Monday, December 10th! Was that divine intervention or what?!?! Can we say “WHOOP WHOOP” for our loan officer!!! Yup, we all did our HAPPY DANCE because the stress was over and the fun was just beginning…

An eventful September

It was back in September when we actually signed our purchase agreement, submitted our NVR loan application and had our appointments with Guardian and CTI.

September 16th  - we signed our purchase agreement and put “Sold” on our lot sign.

A view of our lot

Sold Sign

September 21st – We met with Guardian (the low voltage wiring company our builder uses) at the model home in our community.  We talked about the security system and the different security features we wanted such as motion detectors, keypads, door & window contacts, etc.  We also chose some additional features that we wanted, like a 5.1 home theater pre-wire in the living room (hubby has to have the surround sound!), HDMI flat panel pre-wire in the living room and basement (for the flat screens), additional cable and data hook-ups, and built-in ceiling speakers in the kitchen & basement - I can’t wait for those Christmas tunes to float through those speakers during the holidays!!

SN: One thing that we didn’t get that I really wanted was the Intercom System…not that serious but I wanted to avoid yelling throughout the entire house just for someone to hear me -_-

September 21st – Our loan application appointment with NVR went fairly smooth.  It was actually right after we were done with our Guardian appointment.  We wasn’t aware that the mortgage rep had actually came to us, in which our intentions were to make that trek of about an 1 hr. – 1 ½ hrs. to see her.  Imagine us riding all the way there, just to find out that she was to the place we just left…yup, probably would have rescheduled THAT appointment! But good thing the hubs is inquisitive and didn’t let us walk out of the model home without questioning who the lady was sitting in the lone dining room. 

The mortgage rep was very nice though. She answered any questions or concerns that we had.  I keep saying “the” mortgage rep instead of “our” mortgage rep because NVR did not service our loan…we’ll get to that.

September 25th – We met with CTI (flooring company) at their Capitol Heights office and chose all of our options for all of the flooring in our home.  Our choices are below. 

1st Pic (from left to right) - Cobblehill carpet (home office, dining room, basement & all bedrooms, Canyon Creek vinyl (kitchen, foyer, morning room, powder room), Tavern carpet (living room)

2nd Pic – Station Square vinyl (bath #1, owner’s bath & laundry room)

*SN: When we signed our contract, we also picked out some of our selections at that time. Here is a pic of our Fairfield Square Maple Spice Timberlake cabinets, Jamocha Granite Formica countertops (kitchen) and Wheat Granite countertops (bathrooms)

Cabinets & Kitchen Countertop

Cabinets & Bathroom Countertop

***The countertops are the same throughout the house - just different camera angles***

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Sunday of All Sundays

Just when we were ready to admit to defeat, we were saved by the hubs blog/website stalker-ish ways...SN:  Babes, you really do need to slow down with the stalker-ish behavior, it really makes me wonder what the teenage version of you were like. 

So, it was a really nasty Sunday that day - you know a lot of rain and muddy wetness that makes you cringe just knowing that you don't have any rain boots to wear if you have to go outside, when all of a sudden, hubs said "babe, they have this awesome incentive at "so and so" community and I think we should check it out". Of course, I'm still tasting the bitterness from our "mini" house hunt gone wrong but I didn't want to rain on his parade (no pun intended) so I said "what are the incentives, dear husband?" (well I didn't say it EXACTLY like that) and he said a whopping "finished basement and a morning".

Well, the rest is history as "they" husband and I always wonder who "they" really are -_-

When we arrived at our destination, we were surprised that we had been there only a couple of weeks before and the Sales Rep had said "I knew you guys would be back"! Hmm, I took that as a good we sat down with the Sales Rep and went over the lot that offered the great incentives and did a cost estimate. After we left the Sales Rep with promises to keep in touch about what decision we were going to make regarding this lot, we went to see the lot in question. We were really excited to see that the lot was actually a nice size and would have a decent enough backyard for us to enjoy!

After communicating with our SR about various questions that we had through email, we finally set up a date to iron out details and to sign our Purchase Agreement/Contract!!!!!!

Single Family vs. Townhome...Old vs. New

Looking for a home can be an exhausting job, one you don't get paid for, might I add. However, it can be exciting and rewarding as well, at least it was for us. Whether to buy a new home or older one...single family or a town home were just a couple of the major decisions we had to make for such a large investment.

Buying a new home was a decision that was almost a no-brainer for us simply because the older homes in our area were just as much as the NEWER ones!  Why would we want to put more $$$ into an older house when we could get one for the same price with everything brand-spanking-new?!?!! With that out of the way, we went on a search throughout the various new home communities in Waldorf and the neighboring areas...

Ok, so imagine our frustration when all we could find were communities that were too far out, too expensive for the amount of house you would get, horrible financing options, or too little yard (Our son definitely needs a yard...he's been going coo-coo for the last 2.5 years) say the least, we were about to chalk it up as a loss and wait a couple of years...that is until one fateful, dreary Sunday when our whole life changed forever!!! Yea, that was a bit dramatic but hey, what can I say, I'm a PISCES and we're known for our dramatization!

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Late Beginning...

Hello bloggers, future bloggers and passerbyers <----I'm pretty sure that's not a word. I am a recovering Ryan Home blog stalker and I would like to welcome you to our blog.  Please bear with us, as my husband and I are new to the blogging world, even though I'll be the MAIN blogger! SN: hubby, please don't STALK our blog!! 

Because this is a pretty late start, we will be doing plenty of catching up!

Well, let's get started shall we...

Our home journey started back in July 2012 but officially with Ryan Home in September. After being newly weds for about 2 1/2 months, we started playing with the idea of getting a house. Nothing concrete, just an idea that became more and more intriguing, the more we talked about it.

Currently living in Southern MD, we thought Waldorf, MD would be a great place to start considering how great the schools are (we have a 7 yr old!!), how close it is to DC and No. Va as well as having all of the amenities that we were looking for in a place to settle down.  Since we were able to narrow the location down as to where we wanted to start out [to the dismay of some family :)  ] we began the search to homeownership...