Wednesday, June 1, 2011

All Moved In!

I sit here writing this blog from my newly unpacked office that has internet access!  Only 3 days after the big move!  The move itself was easy...i had everything packed, color-coded and ready to go!  My husband's baseball team did all of the work and the entire move took less than 2.5 hours!  I fed the boys some lunch and got ready to start unpacking!  As of yesterday, i had unpacked everything we needed minus some smaller boxes that have books and such in them, but we need some book cases and more storage things, etc. 

Yesterday i went to the grocery store and stocked up on everything we needed and cooked dinner for the first time!  I was quite stressed over messing up my perfect kitchen! Our PM called while i was cooking and reassured me that things will get messy!  During the move we, of course, scratched some walls which is stressing us both out.  I'm going to get our touch-up kit today! 

The worst part of this process was cleaning the old place!  Man should we have hired people to do that for us.  What i thought would take a few hours took an entire day and was miserable!  But as of 5 pm yesterday, we are done with that place!  I never realized how cramped we were in a townhome until we are here with our yard and garage and so much space!  We love our new home!

Our dogs are the most excited about the yard...even if there is no grass except sod in some places!  Our PM called yesterday to check in and say that he's having the landscapers come back by to "touch things up" because he know it rained alot last weekend!  I was shocked and impresse by this.  He has been nothing but wonderful and i can't wait to do his survey! Last week after we closed he was so concerned about a dishwasher front that needed to be replaced after the cleaning people used the wrong cleaner on it and it messed up the front.  He ordered 3 of the same part from different places just to see which would get here first and then continued to call me about it being installed.  I finally told him that it was FINE and for him to go enjoy his weekend! 

Closing was a breeze.  The whole mortgage process was enough to make me go crazy, but we met at the house to look over a few things that we noticed during our walk-through, went to breakfast with our Realtor (because we were about an hour early), signed papers for 40 minutes and we were done.  Our wonderful realtor gave us a welcome mat and a Home Depot gift card which was super nice.  Him and his wife want to take us out to dinner next week also.  For anyone in the Charlotte, NC area...Chad Blakely @ Allen Tate is  a WONDERFUL realtor, i can't say enough good things about him!  We have looked for houses several times before and he was always there to show us anything, research for us, etc, even if we later decided that we weren't ready to buy yet!  I'm sure he was happy when we finally closed even if secretly i think he's going to miss my paranoid texts and crying phone calls, haha!

I've had almost two weeks off from work but i return to the ER tomorrow and i will miss my house terribly while i'm working!  Travis and I tried out the walking trails in the neighborhood with the dogs last night and we met some of the neighbors.  Everyone is so nice and complimentary of the neighborhood.  We also had people say "I didn't even see your house go in!"  Construction moved so quickly! 

I plan to update this blog in a few weeks when some new furniture comes in and maybe after we paint some!  We will be slow decorators i'm sure! 

Good luck to everyone who is still building!  Can't wait to see all of the progress!  I'm going to still keep up with other  blogs.  This blogging community helped me so much when trying to make decisions or know what to expect of the process, etc.   I know there is alot of bad press about Ryan Homes, but we had nothing but a wonderful experience.  Our sales reps, project manager, NVR people, vendors, etc all went above and beyond to ensure that we were happy & satisfied!

Monday, May 16, 2011

I haven't updated in Forever!

Well...I've officially become one of THOSE bloggers that gets so busy before closing that they forget to blog anymore!  Things are moving so quickly, it's hard to believe.  We have our Pre-Demonstration meeting next Tuesday (A week from tomorrow) during which our PM will show us how everything works, etc.  And we close Next Thursday 05/26 at 10!  I am so excited!

I'm also VERY stressed!  It seems that as soon as we turn in one document to the mortgage people, they ask for something else.  I am so ready to be done with this process.  I don't think we will EVER move again!

So far, everything with construction  has gone perfectly.  Other than our ceiling fan being installed in the living room instead of the master bedroom, which was quickly fixed.  Right now we have everything in...hardwood, counters, counter tops, carpet, paint, etc.  We are only waiting on our fridge and the landscaping to be done! 

I was the most excited to see the hardwoods, vinyl & carpets go in.  I had a momentary freak out when i thought that the hardwoods were too dark.  I guess i just had it in my mind that they were a little bit lighter.  I'm glad i chose the shade that i did because i really like them now!  You can't really see in the pics below because there is cardboard on top of them! 

Counters & Microwave!

I Love my Pantry!

This is random, but i walked into an open house one evening to find our dishwasher in a box for anyone to steal!  After this we got locked out!

Hot water!

Going upstairs!  Our railings were finally stained!

Upgraded master bath!

Yes i love my new tub!

View of the whole kitchen, minus the fridge 

Morning room! 

So that's it for now!  I'll update next week!  Pray for us at closing!  I've officially decided that i HATE moving, i HATE packing and i REALLy hate this week before when all of your stuff is packed up and you cant find ANYTHING!  I had a slight meltdown tongiht when we were asked for YET ANOTHER document and of course...i've already packed it up!  Good thing i was home alone for that moment of insanity!  That's why i decided to blog, so i can remember how excited i am about this whole thing!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Moving so fast!

I have been MIA for two weeks...I can't believe it! They started offering RN bonus pay at my hospital, which is a long way from not even letting you have overtime I've been working almost every day! I'm exhausted, but at least we will have all new furniture for our new home!

We finally met the conditions for our loan and got our final approval. We also got our official close date from Ryan..... May 27 is the big day! which is exactly the day I wanted to close...but a week earlier than we thought and I had taken off the next week from work, but luckily my managers were super agreeable to changing my schedule! Our lease is up May 31st and we entertained the idea of extending until June 15 so we would have more time, but in the interest of saving $500, we are gonna hurry things up and get out of here!

Drywall is almost complete! It's crazy to see walls and everything! Counters and the rough grade of our lot should happen this week! I'm having a little problem though..... I don't know that I love the colors we picked for the outside of our home. We didn't have much choice because we weren't upgrading to brick or anything, and the houses around us are shades of beige so I thought we'd be different and use the cream color with chocolate brown shutters. I feel like the siding has too much yellow in it, so look at the pics below and let me know what you think!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Framing is complete!

We had our second meeting with Guardian yesterday at the house.  I was excited for this meeting, but i was more excited to get to walk inside the house!  It's amazing that it was framed so quickly.  It's so nice to be able to see where it sits on our lot, our actual yard size, etc.  The meeting went well, but was harder than i expected.  For one, our home is a mirror image of the model home we saw, so it is different in my head than i've been thinking!  We had to decide where we wanted the TV/Data connections in each room.  We had no problems in any room other than the living room and we very much disagreed on this.  I'm still on the fence about if we made the right decision. 

After my husband took off to his baseball game, his dad stopped by to take a look around.  He had alot of insight about different things and noticed some things that we never even thought of!  For instance, he likes how much attic space we have...i never noticed.  Since my dad is blind from his Leukemia & diabetes, his dad is my closest contact for "dad things" Total i got to spend about an hour at the house yesterday, so i'm excited!

Last night we got a TERRIBLE storm that left us stranded in the baseball locker room to avoid a tornado!  Unfortunately this has torn some of the stuff off the outside of the house.  I'm stressed over the fact that it was raining inside my house, although i'm sure it happens all the time!

Friday i got a call from our PM for our weekly update...He said the windows would be installed Friday or Saturday (which they were) plumbing & roofing would be next week.  We will also have our pre-drywall meeting next week also.  I'm excited about this because we need a close date to give our landlords!  Our lease is up May 31st, and they've estimated that to also be our close date, but we have to let them know for sure!

Below are some pictures from yesterday!

Laundry room....

Kitchen to the right/morning room to the left....

Living room...

Down the stairs

upstairs hallway

View out of our bedroom window...

Master closet



Morning room

Some of the back yard

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

it's starting to look like a house!!!

There really hasn't been too much to blog about lately.... We've just been waiting for the weather to cooperate! Our PM called last week to say that they were ready to pour the foundation but if it rains on it, it will take twice as long to dry. So we were there Sunday and this is what we saw...

We got some terrible storms Monday night so I decided to drive by yesterday (Tuesday) night to see If the foundation was poured, expecting that it probably had not been. I was SO surprised to see this...

I immediately called the hubby because I couldn't believe the progress. The guardian rep called me Monday to set up a meeting for next Monday and I thought he was crazy thinking it would be finished framing by then... But maybe not! I guess I'll call him back today.

I was concerned by something I saw ok another blog that the guardian Cat 5 connections would not work with the DirecTV HD/DVR. I contacted our guardian rep who stated that he's never heard anything about this. We are in the Chatlotte/SC area so if anyone has any more info on this, please let let me know!

I'm happy to see everyones progress! I can't believe how fast things are moving! 2 months seemed like forever but I'm starting to get nervous about moving!

We had a yard sale on Saturday that was actually pretty successful! I've also also been pretty happy that I've been selling random things on Craigslist that we don't need to move... Like 25 random vases that we used for the candy bar at our wedding and now just collect dust! It's nice to clean things out... And extra $$ when you're building a house is never a bad thing!

We are getting so excited we can't stand it!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Moving right along!

One thing I LOVE about our PM is that he calls me every few days to update me. He's always worried that he's bothering me... But I LoVE it! Even when I drive by, I can't really tell what's happening!

Anyways he called to say that the plumbing is in and that they were going to start pouring the foundation, but if it rains on it, it will take a lot longer to dry so they will be doing that on Monday. By then, our lumber will be in!

I went by yesterday and I was happy with the progress! I assumed the yard would be grated before they started the other stuff, but it wasn't.

We got a letter from Ryan homes with our final selections, lot information and estimated delivery date of May 2011. It will definitely be the end of May. Seems awfully soon to me!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Thank you all SO much for the prayers!  We are cleared to close!  Should be end of May, beginning of June!  I'm SO glad that whole process is over...i don't ever want to do it again.  We plan to stay in this home...FOREVER!

Today was our Pre-Construction meeting, which went great.  It didn't take as long as i thought.  The building manager was so nice and thorough.  He went through everything in great detail, everything was right on the blueprints.  We didn't have too many questions, but he answered everything. Tomorrow is our 14 day deadline to change anything...but i think we're done with all of the "change order forms"  haha.  He did mention that he's going to update us weekly....i guess this has bothered some people before, but i was thrilled!  I love the updates!  We stopped by there yesterday and were surprised that they had already starting grating the land!  He said they should be getting started officially tomorrow! 

On another note, tomorrow Travis and I have been together for 10 years...we have been dating since we were 15.  Unfortunately i work 7a-7p and he has a baseball game tomorrow night so we won't see each other :(

Thanks again for all the encouragement and prayers!  We couldn't be happier! 

Friday, March 18, 2011


Well....we have a pending approval with one condition, so we are trying to satisfy that now. Good's only 1. Bad news, they won't start construction until it's taken care of so we have to move quickly.

Fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


So today we are supposed to hear back from the underwriter at NVR. They keep saying that we won't have any problem, but still it makes me SO nervous not knowing for sure! Picking out a floor plan was one thing, but picking out all the colors and options has made it feel like our* home!

Prayers welcome today! I didn't sleep at all!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Picking Colors

I never realized how hard it could be to pick colors.  I think the most confusing thing to pick was the outside siding & shutters.  Apparently you can choose from 5-6 shades of white-beige.  And then with each color, there are only a few colors you can choose ranging from a green, burgundy, black, brown, etc.  You can't choose colors similar to the houses around yours.  The house to the left is from the other builder and is yellow.  The house to the right is a Ryan home, just finished and is beige.  After much deliberation, we decided to choose a whitish color called "Cameo" and Federal Brown/Turkish Coffee for the shutters & front door.  No other house in the neighbhorhood has Cameo, so i'm happy about that but i'm also kind of's so hard to imagine it all put together. 

Next came the counter tops....This is something we did not upgrade because we liked their vinyl options.  We chose Butterum Granite...apparently a popular choice i realized after reading other blogs last night.  We did not upgrade the cabinets so they are Fairfield Maple Spice. 

The next appointment was with Rite Rug to choose all the flooring.  This was the hardest appointment because we had to choose color of the hardwood, vinyl, carpet, tile, grout, etc.  Not only do you have to choose all of those things, you have to put them together to make sure that the carpets match the hardwoods and the vinyl matches the cabinets, etc...etc....We took the advice of other bloggers and upgraded to the 10 lb carpet pad as well as the "Level 2" carpet.  Next came the bathrooms.  The guest bathroom was relatively easy since we did not need to upgrade anything. However, the master bath was challenging because we paid to do the major upgrade in that room...but the choices for basic tile were not very appealing.  If you upgrade, you get MANY more options, plus a decorative peice, plus the tile in the bathtub & shower is the same tile on the floors, etc.  We debated about this alot...but we decided to go ahead and do it since we did upgrade that room in the first place. 

While that meeting was challenging, the Rite Rug representative was more than helpful and i truly enjoyed the appointment.  She is a designer, not someone who is going to make commission on whatever i choose.  Since i was having a hard time picturing everything together, she was very good at helping me pick between the ones i liked and tell me if she thought something wouldn't look good.  She also came prepared with pictures of models she has decorated which was VERY helpful!

Yesterday was our Guardian appointment...which we enjoyed also. Once again, the representative was SO nice and friendly.  He didn't try to sell their stuff or make us feel pressured into the upgrades.  He went over everything that would be included , what upgrades other people are adding, etc.  The most important things were the Cable & Phone Pre-Wires as well as the security system.  We did end up pre-wiring all of the rooms for one or the other, depending on their use.  The security system is free to install, but you can add upgrades like a bigger keypad that talks to you, or multiple keypads, etc.  Initially, we decided to add an additional keypad upstairs so we could use the motion detectors.  If you don't add this you cant set the motion detectors and then run upstairs... They also have an allowance for dogs less than 100 wont set off the motion detectors.  Later in the discussion about the security systems, he mentioned that they have a service called "total connect" where you can manage your system from your cell phone.  This is an additioanl $5/month.  I immediately asked if we would still need the second keypad upstairs if we could set it from our phones....and we saved $195!  Later, he went through their other options, home theater systems, surround sound, central vacuum (which i really wanted) but we opted out of these options.  This was probably our cheapest appointment yet!  

So now everything is picked out and we are meeting with our PM this week! 

Under Contract!

After deciding on the floor's time to decide on the upgrades.  We deliberated back and forth between many of the upgrades.  For instance...the morning room.  We love the morning room, it adds so much to the house, but it is the most expensive upgrade we were considering.  When we sat down to do the pricing, we did one estimate including most everything we'd want in our "dream house" and we did another estimate including the "essentials"  The cost difference ended up being about $40/month.  With all things considered and how much it would add to the house, plus the fact that we aren't planning to do this again for a LONG time...we went ahead with the more expensive option.  Here are a few of the options that we've included:
  • Morning Room with Gourmet Island
  • Hardwood floors in, kitchen, dining room & morning room.
  • Upgraded owners bathroom including 2 sinks and the soaking tub/shower upgrade.
  • Recessed lights in the kitchen
  • Service door in the garage
  • Ceiling fan rough-ins in all rooms
  • Upgraded size of the patio
  • Upgraded kitchen sink & faucet
  • French door in the front room to make it a "study"
Some of the things that are "upgrades" but don't seem like upgrades to me are:
  • Attic stair pulldown.... (Apparently if you don't add this for $725, you have a square in your ceiling and you have to use your own ladder to get into your attic and it isn't finished with space for storage...)
  • Patio door in the morning room, instead of sliding glass door.
Some things are upgrades, but were included by the builder:
  • Garage door opener with two remotes
  • 42" cabinets
  • $1,500 to use towards an appliance, we needed a refridgerator
  • Hardwood Foyer
  • 2 ceiling fan rough-ins
  • Brushed nickel fixtures
  • 2 cable & 2 data/phone hard wires
  • Stainless appliances
After doing some negotiating, we signed our purchase agreement on 3/1.  We have 7 days to make any structural changes and 14 days to make any other non-structural changes.  Since then, we did not make any structural changes, but we did change a few smaller things like the patio door, added more hard wires, updated carpet, etc.  Those things all came up during our meetings with Rite Rug & Guardian that happened in the next week. 

The Journey Begins

After much deliberation, My husband and I have decided to build our first home.  We currently rent and with the amount we pay for rent, our mortgage won't be much more.  We found a few neighborhoods that we like, but we finally decided on Walden Park in Fort Mill.  This neighborhood has two builders, but the current one is Ryan Homes.  We liked this neighborhood for a few reasons.  First, the houses are more spread out than in other surrounding neighborhoods.  We liked the space between houses and the large lots.  Secondly, we were treated so nice by the representatitves. 

From the first day i stopped by to pick up information, they were more than willing to show me around the model, answer any questions and even put me directly in touch with their NVR lender so i could begin speaking with her.  After meeting with her and working on all of the documents for a few weeks, we began looking at models and floorplans to select which one fit us the best!  We decided to go with the Florence, elevation B...all siding.