Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Good News and Bad News

We'll start with the good news.

Good- Received word that loan was approved with NVR and we should receive commitment letter in mail soon.

Good- Buyer of our home has also has final approval, wanted to try to move up closing date, and even scheduled appointment to bring his painter over the other day for a quote....I don't think they are backing out : )

Bad- It is starting to sound like there is no way we are going to build and close before the baby comes (Oh btw, we have number 2 on the way...another boy, due mid/late Sep.) This means if our house isn't ready, we will be living 2 adults, 2yr old, and new born in one bedroom!! YIKES!!

Hopefully it is only for a week or so and I can just rent an extended stay room to spread out the family during sleepy time.

We will see!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Decisions Decisions: FLOORING PICS

So we had our Guardian and Rite Rug (flooring) meetings today. We already kinda maxed out on Ryan options so we have a tight budget for flooring but some things are a must. Here are the pics we took....

Confirmed decisions:

(above) Kids bath: Standard white tile, standard Andover Maple Spice cabinets, and standard vinyl (Initiator 66178)

(above) Master bath: FD02 Tile (9x12 on shower/tub wall, 12x12 on floor) and boarder is SA56 which is a slate and glass mosaic. The little sliver between two pieces of tile is our grout choice "Earth." We wanted a slightly darker grout.

Now, heres where we need help on. We cannot decide on the hardwood. It's either a standard hardwood which Im not crazy about or an upgrade.

(above) Upgrade is about $1600. This picture does NOT do it justice. Its a distressed 5" plank. It has light and dark colors which look great with the espresso cabinet. That is also our granite sample (santa cecilia.) On the left and right are level 2 carpets. The one on the left is a frizze, which the wife is wanting.

(above) This is the "free" choice hardwood (one of them). It is Turlington Cherry. I am worried about a couple things here. The small samples look great with espresso and cherry but Im worried when you get a whole room with a ton of both colors, the 2 rich colors may be too much.
The other thing I am worried about here is kids denting them up which will look bad on the high gloss type hardwood. The great thing about the distressed is if you beat it up, you cant tell! I have a feeling I would be more anal about the cheaper hardwood just because it wont look as good once all banged up by kids.

We are very likely going with the 8 lb carpet pad downstairs (on slab) and the standard 5 lb upstairs. I wish we could do the 8 lb on the stairs since they take so much abuse but Ryan includes the stairs as part of upstairs and you cannot seperate anything upstairs (without paying a fee to do so.)

Lastly, we want the level 2 carpet but it is way too expensive since we have basically maxed our budget. We have a lot to think about here. The good thing is, since our house (selling) has not closed yet, we have a little extra time to make these decisions.

Here are some additional pics of what we are looking at....

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Built-In Hall Tree

We don't break ground until after our house sells which is not until very late June or first week of July so I don't have much to post except for dirt (which I plan to if I can remember to take the camera next time.) Until then, I'll show you what I've been working on today. We went back to the model today so I could measure the mud room and the would-be closet space. Again, this is where I am putting in a built-in hall tree (You know those things with cubbies, bench, and coat hooks. They used to basically take the place of a coat closet before they built houses with closets.)

Here is the sketch I worked on after getting the measurements:

The backing will be beadboard, which will also show in the back of the top cubbies. I didn't show that b/c then it looks confusing. The door in the top middle may or may not have beadboard panel. That will be a judgement call depending if it looks like too much beadboard.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go to google images and search "hall tree." You will see a ton of examples. I tried posting one but cannot find one that will save correctly and the battery is about to die on my laptop...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Guardian and Selling Drama

So we got a call from Guardian today to schedule our meeting. Why do I feel like I am going to a timeshare sales event? We are scheduled for 6/17. (I am taking the day off b/c it's our anniversary. No major plans...hey, Im buying her a house, what could be better than that.)

In other news, we got some feedback from our buyer after the inspection. They are concerned about structural issues because of some cracked mortar on the front of the house. Heres the story:
During a move in snow and ice, I had to back our moving truck up our driveway (slight incline.) It kept spinning wheels trying to back in so I had to put some momentum into it. This worked but then when I braked, the rear bumper bumped into the brick right beside the garage. The crack is not even at ground level which is what common sense would say might be structural. The inspector even said in his report that he believed it to be cosmetic only.

I wrote this in a letter to my realtor to give the buyer to try to save them some money. Regardless, they wanted to have an engineer inspect the house, which was done today. We haven't heard back but Im not concerned as I seriously doubt there is structural damage. I guess the silver lining is they are now another $350 deep into our house so it would be harder to walk AND they weren't naive and decided to just run at sign of any potential issue.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Colors and Options

So here is a list of the options and colors we chose on our Rome including several special requests we had.

Disclaimer: these are subject to change : )

- elevation C, all siding (our neighborhood uses Hardie Plank, a fiber cement board, standard instead of vinyl. If you want more info on Hardie Plank, check out:
- hardwoods in foyer, hall (going past dining room), mudroom, powder room, kitchen
- 42" cabinets
- granite
- gourmet island (with no morning room, special request)
- cabinets: scottsdale maple square
- stainless appliances
- fireplace on back wall
- french doors on living room/office (special request for two sets, one from foyer to office, and second from office to dining room so we can close room off or open it up.)
- remove closet door in mudroom (special request, so I can build built-in hall tree/bench)
- deluxe master bath with bench in shower
- double sinks in both baths
- convert sitting room into closet and give bedroom 4 a walkin closet and larger room (special request, if curious, see "design floorplan" on Ryan website and chose "bath 2" on second floor. Now imagine the bath 2 as a closet for bedroom 4 and remove the existing small closet in bedroom 4.)
- attic storage (neighborhood standard)
- tankless water heater (NEW neighborhood standard)
- 8 fan rough-ins, basically one in every room except kitchen and dining

- exterior is arctic white with black shutters and door (imagine classic colonial style, or the pic on my blog minus the brick)
- espresso cabinets (closest to black they had, we initially wanted black cabinets with white/grey granite but that was not an option)
- santa cecilia granite (anyone in NC have pictures of this on full kitchen, sample is small)

- handrail and ballisters on stairs (wife kinda scared of it anyway b/c a ballister in her parents house broke lose and she is scared of kids falling through them)
- sod in rear and side yard (making full sod yard) FYI, its $2000-3000 depending on your lot, in NC area anyway
- recessed kitchen lights

Luckily, dad is in construction so he can help me with projects along the way.

If you're wondering, we cut the morning room b/c we plan to actually use our dining room for dinner. For breakfast/lunch, the Rome gourmet island is GIGANTIC and will fit 4 bar stools in kinda an L shape. This gave us $6900 toward our other options (morning room cheaper in the south when you don't have basement.)

espresso cabinet, looks great with santa cecilia granite (but don't be stealing my idea)
Sorry no other pics yet b/c we have not had our flooring meeting yet (ours is with a company called Rite Rug.)

User Error

So, I cannot reply to comments and mostly cannot comment on others' blogs either (except it let me on Noey's for some reason.)

I tried the help tab and it has "comments" section and has a nice screenshot of what I should do....the problem: my screen doesn't look like their screenshot. I don't have the "chose identity" the same way. Mine has a drop down with several option including Google Account, OpenID, etc...randomly it has name/url, or anonymous. When it gives me those options, I use name/url and type in WodyJ and the name of my blog.

So until I get this fixed I cannot comment : (
Any ideas?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Beginning of our story

Several months ago we decided against refinancing our current home because we don't like our floor plan. We like our neighborhood, lot, neighbors....just not our layout. We decided to sell and buy a home to last us the next 8-10 years. We looked for months and have changed our minds many times. We went from Eastwood Homes (Wilmington II plan) to True Homes (Riley plan), etc. We kept coming back to Ryan Homes though. It was always going to be either the Rome (our dream) or the Naples (far better than current home but maybe not for the 10 year plan.)

After doing some work to our home to help compete in this market, we finally listed it, had 8 showings in 2 weeks, and offer to contract within a few days and MANY counters. We are scheduled to close in early July.

We did not want to jump into a contingency before we had a contract on our home. We knew there was no real financial gamble but there is the emotional gamble. We did not want to get our hearts set and then not even be able to sell our house.

With our house sold, we got serious with the rep at our community of choice (actually third of choice: The first one Ryan left due to issues with developer. The second was too expensive. The third bowl of porridge was just right.)

Like most others with Ryan blogs, we assembled our dream home on paper and then started working on the price. We signed our purchase agreement a week ago, got loan docs to NVR the following day, and picked out exterior and kitchen colors this past weekend.

To avoid a book of a first post, I will post our options and color choices later.