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.