Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Countdown 30 days: Many Pics

I don't know if we'll be able to keep up with a daily 30 day countdown but probably every 5 days until the 10-15 day mark and then we will do daily.

A lot has been done since our last post, and even since these pictures. Our siding is now done and our first coat of paint is on (or primer; it was hard to tell in the dark with your phone as a flashlight.)

Now moving inside. This shows the foyer to the left and both door ways lead into the study. There will be 5' french doors on each doorway. (We love french doors.)

This is the dining room. We may be eating off those buckets until I can get our new dining room table built. HA...

This is from the dining room looking up the stairs and into the mudroom. The short wall that you see in the mudroom is where the built-in hall tree will go. I can't wait to build that!!

This is the living room view from the kitchen:

This is the kitchen view from the living room:

Moving upstairs. This is the loft which will serve as a play room. This view is from the top of the stairs:

This is the kids bathroom tub. We couldn't believe how deep it is and it has a cool ledge along the back wall. I've never seen that before:

This is the master bedroom as seen from the master bath. If you are familiar with the Rome, you'll notice we do not have the sitting room to the left. Instead, it is a larger master closet (where the dark doorway is.)

This is the upgraded tub and shower with the bench in the shower along the backwall:

Happy building!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Roofing and Pics

There was a 1 day delay from when our framing was supposed to start and when it actually started. We found out why and it was actually for the good. When the framers showed up to work, our PM didn't like who was sent so he sent the guys home and lined up a different framing crew for the next day.

Another thanks to our PM for that!

We showed up about 11am this morning and the roofers were already almost done with the whole roof. Heres a few more pics....

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dirt to Cement to Wood

Framing started on our house today. Here are some pics of the process so far:

NOW, this lets you know how fast your framing goes. Framing started today so no lumber was touched until this morning. This first pic was taken about 11:30am. The second picture was taken about 8:00pm AND we had a thunderstorm this evening so they couldn't have worked too late:

WOW, that's fast. It makes you wonder about the quality but it's really because of the pre-built walls.

We have a couple questions for our PM. Most of them have to do with 3 of our "rigs." This is what the call a special request. ie- removing a wall, moving a doorway, etc. We have a couple of these and as of now they all look standard, which is wrong. It may simply be things that they correct after the structure is completely up. A reminder to our PM won't hurt though.

One thing we're slightly annoyed with is that when we picked our exterior colors (white with black) there was no other house in our section with those colors and since we broke ground, now the two houses being built that are ahead of us BOTH are doing white with black...errr, oh well, not too big a deal.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Interest Rates 101

After talking with our PM, we realized we are inside of 60 days to closing. I knew from previous conversations with our loan officer that NVR typically locks on 60 day rate locks. They typically recommend locking right around the time of your pre-drywall meeting (and our slab was just poured today) so I wasn't sure if we should lock yet.

I decided to ask our PM for the OK to lock the rate (and in writing) ...in case there are issues with construction delays, we have leverage to try and get Ryan Homes to pay for extension fees to keep our rate locked. So, I left our PM a message at about 1:00pm and by 2:30-3:00pm we had an email from him confirming our preclose meeting for Sep 28 and stating we are good to lock. Thumbs up for the quick response!!

I immediately called our loan officer (as I knew from being a loan officer in the past that the "lock desk" usually closes in the afternoon, not at end of business. If using NVR, I found out it is 3:30pm although sometimes they have a little extra time but its not guaranteed.) We locked our rate today 1/8th percent lower than we were hoping for AND it is paying .25 credit. We are ecstatic!!

If you have questions about locking your interest rate, here are some facts:

1. Most lenders lock at 30, 60, or 90 day locks (60 day lock on 8/9/11 will keep you locked until 10/8/11)
2. If you go past your rate lock, you will either have to pay daily extension fees to keep the rate locked or be charged "worse case pricing" which IS as bad as it sounds so avoid this.
3. Rates go by 1/8th of a percent. ie- 5.00%, 5.125, 5.25, 5.375, 5.5, 5.625, 5.75, 5.875, 6.00
4. When locking your rate, you may receive a credit (money TO you toward closing costs,) pay points (money FROM you to get the rate you want,) or get "par" (no money to or from you.)
5. When you lock a rate, you are locking in pricing for THAT DAY. So, if you lock at 5.5 and later decide you wish you bought the rate down to 5.0, you can still make the change and there should not be a fee for changing (but you will pay the cost to buy it down.) Here is a fake example of a "rate sheet":

4.5................1.25 (you pay 1.25)
5.0.................0.0 (par)
5.125............-0.25 (you receive 0.25)

6. Notice, rate sheets do not always make sense (4.625 and 4.75 cost the same..gee which should I pick.)

7. Well thats great WodyJ, but what does this translate to in $$$?
In this example, 4.5 will cost you 1.25 points (1.25% of your loan amount.) If your loan amount is $200,000 you would calculate:
200,000 x 0.0125 = $2500
Just remember, you move the decimal 2 places left (make the number smaller.)
If you want lower closing costs and willing to have a higher monthly payment, you could get the 5.25 and receive $1500 toward closing cost (200,000 x .0075).

8. A lot of times, par is not available, meaning you have to decide if you'd rather pay points to get a lower rate or take the next rate up that actually pays you a credit.

Other tips:
- Do not ask your loan officer what he/she thinks the rate will be next week. This is like asking your pastor when Jesus is coming. They don't know. If anything, ask them what rates have done in the past two weeks. While this doesn't let you know what the future holds, it gives you an idea of how volatile the rates are (how fast they are moving around.)
- Don't get greedy. While I was a loan officer, I saw a lot of people gamble when trying to decide to lock or float. The losers were always more regretful than the winners were satisfied.

Happy building!