Saturday, July 9, 2011


This needed a post on its own....very big deal.

During our pre-construction meeting our PM said the clearing stakes would be put in that day (Friday.) So, we planned on going out on Saturday to see them. Our PM called me late afternoon Friday advising they didn't get to the stakes yet and it would not be til Monday. He just called to let me know since he knew we planned on coming out and didn't want us to be disappointed. AWESOME: Phone call just to save minor disappointment.

Anyway, we went out today b/c we had to sign a change order anyway. We drove out to the lot and pleasent surprise, the clearing stakes were in. The PM explained these are the four furtherest corners of the house footprint. (For example: if you have a morning room, the back two stakes would go back as far as the morning room will sit, even though the morning room doesn't go all the way across the back. So one or more stakes may not be a true corner of the house, its just drawing the tightest possible rectangle that your house will sit in.) I digress.

Positive surprise right? Wrong. At first glance, our back yard is tiny.
My first thought was, this might be a deal breaker unless they can get us another lot (not really an option due to the developer not releasing them.) We don't know exactly what it will look like because the lot stakes have not been placed yet. There is a berm at the back of our lot due to a street and we don't yet know where our lot ends. I have no idea what we are going to do if we don't stick with this lot. I already didn't like it b/c the street it backs up to (very non-busy but still a street which will hurt when it comes time to sell, especially if area gets bigger and street gets busier.)

Here are pics.

Pic 1: Note the van in the background (up and left of sold sign), which is driving down said street.

 Pic 2: This is the view if Im standing at my back door. PM confirmed grading will definately be done so the standing water is not there.

Pic 3: This is a side view showing distance from the stake (back of house) to the berm. There is some room between the berm and the street. On "lot side" of berm, it does not look very high, but if on the street, the berm is higher as street is lower than the lot's ground level. At first, the Rep sold it as having space between berm and back yard as a buffer. Now that we complain about the size of the lot, they are saying the lot goes almost half way up the berm. *roll eyes* So, we won't really know until lot is staked.

This is the one bad thing about the whole deal...the lot. Which is important to us, but not as much as it is to some others. There are litterly only like 12-13 lots to chose from and all but 2-3 are virtually the same: 60x113 and back up to the street. The other 2-3 are on the entrance to our section of the neighborhood, still very close to the same street but worse b/c they are at the entrance to our section which means more traffic to hit my kids.

It's like picking the lesser of two evils. What to do?!?!?!!?

Any HONEST opinions? Don't tell me "Im sure you'll love it" if you don't really think so : )


  1. Hmmmm, i'm not too sure. I do not care for lots that not back to trees, I can deal with a lot that faces another yard, but I'm not too sure I would be able to tolerate my yard facing a street. However, I may prefer a street view, if I planted a nice big row of privacy trees. Now that might work. I'm not sure how big the backyard is, I have a very hard time calculating space.

  2. If you want a yard, walk from this deal. A yard is something you can't add later.

    It took us 3 years to find our lot and we are happy that we waited. Part of the problem in W PA is that we have a lot of big lots, but on a hillside; so much of the property is not useable. We passed on several lots and communities.

    We are very please with our lot, we just wish we wouldn't have let our PM talk us into pushing the house back an additional 15 feet because now we have a huge front yard and would have rather had the space in the back yard.

  3. WOW!! My lot is whopping .18 acre. And my back yard is bigger! =( I think if there wasn't a berm it wouldn't be so bad. But even if the whole berm is included, it still makes the flat portion of the yard kinda small.

    On the other hand, what kind of plans do you have your backyard? Really beautiful things can be done to that berm! A privacy fence, the right kinda landscaping and you could still have an awesome backyard.

    It's a personal choice hon....

  4. So two things...when we first saw our stakes we were shocked as well and I kept thinking no way was that right...the front stake was really close to the street and the back stake was a lot closer to our back property line then I was expecting. You need to go back and look at the stakes they have some sort of footage marked on them...all of ours had 10' with an arrow pointing towards the house. These are just excavation stakes and tell you that the actual house is 10' inside that stake. Not sure that is the case with your stakes, but just some information that we found out about.

    If the size works for you, I would definitely do as Chelly suggest...either plant some privacy trees that will totally block the road from view or depending on the slope down to the street, you may actually be able to plant some lower trees that block the road view but don't totally block the rest of your view.

    It would stink to throw in the towel now, but as HW can't add a yard later if the size is the problem. Your lot is definitely a very important piece of your home. We totally changed communities to get the lot we have and we only had 5-6 lots to select because only corner lots would allow us to have the solarium and that list quickly shrunk to 1 when we took into consideration the sun exposure throughout the day. Good Luck and keep us posted.

  5. Noey, our lots sound like similar sizes but the difference is probably the depth of the house. I believe the Rome is deeper than the Milan.

    On the plus, since we complained about the street and lack of lot options, RH is including 6 leyland cyprus trees across the back. I don't care too much about a view (unless Im buying a vacation home on an island somewhere.)

    BD, ours are clearing stakes but do not have any dimensions noted. There may be a little extra but I would imagine you had so much due to excavation for basement. We are on a slab though.

    I'd hate to walk at this point but HW is right. We are going to wait to see where the footings are marked and where the lot is marked. I don't really want a huge yard though b/c we're not buying a riding mower and I'd rather have a nice smaller yard than a huge yellow yard.

    I really wish I knew the dimensions of the house we just sold so we could compare but I don't know that my buyer would like that : )

    I will keep you guys posted though. Thanks all for the feedback.