Friday, July 30, 2010

Pre-Construction Meeting and Ground Breaking

Woohoo! We received a call from one of our reps... my travel does put a glitch in planning the road map/pre-construction meeting... but, we have our meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 12... coincidentally, the same day that we are scheduled to break ground. That will save us a trip up there that evening - no way could we know they are breaking ground and not head up there.

What I really want to see is when they bring in pieces on the truck... I'd like to put a chair across the street and watch them take it off the truck. What fun that would be!

I don't think I have been this excited since we set out wedding date a few years back (well, maybe the wedding day :-)).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tentative Break Ground

We have driven through the neighborhood a few times. It's so exciting. Met a few of the neighbors and they are all so nice. Just like the neighborhood I grew up in. Two of the houses around us have started building and we thought our turn would be coming up. It is!

A tentative breakground date has been set for the week of August 9... with a closing date of end of October. We are so excited! Can't wait to schedule the pre-construction meeting. Of course, I will be travelling August 9-11 for work which puts a little glitch in there. Still trying to be patient, but it is so difficult... getting easier though.


This was honestly a meeting that we were dreading and it happened on June 21... we had heard how sales oriented the meeting would be. Well, it wasn't at all. We are already Guardian customers and are familiar with how it works. I would have used them again for the security system.

When we got in there, the rep was very helpful. We told him what we didn't want (central vac, speakers throughout the house) and what we would consider... he explained what we would consider and we opted for a few more cable outlets and the like. We also decided to get the surround sound system in the family room... which makes my husband very happy (and me too, but we'll keep that a secret :-)). I think we got a six pack of some sort.

Options, options, options...

Such decisions... how to decide what we will get an what we will skip... Good thing that my husband and father in law are handy... well, more than that. They gutted our current house and renovated the whole thing themselves. So, that helped make the decisions a little easier... we didn't make a lot of changes that we could do ourselves... most of what we decided to do was structural... these decisions were finalized around June 10.

Here is some of what we are adding:
  • 2 Foot bump out on the family room and dinette
  • Fireplace
  • Brick front
  • Gas stove
  • Stainless steel appliances (which were the incentive we received) and high efficiency washer
  • Soaking tub
  • Cathedral ceiling in the master bedroom
  • We opted for larger bedrooms and got 3 instead of 4... this also gave us an open foyer - we opted for the spindles instead of dry wall
  • We did upgrade the carpet throughout the house - I have a friend who recently built a house - their carpet lasted about 5 years before it started to wear - so we upgraded that to level 3. We also upgraded the family room because we liked the pattern and it was high traffic.
  • We upgraded the carpet padding throughout the entire house
  • We added the island in the kitchen
  • Rough ins for powder room in the basement and ceiling fans throughout the house
  • Extra windows
  • Drain in the garage (which came highly recommended)
  • Lighting in the kitchen and family room
  • Premium lot - it is 1/3 acre

We didn't finish the basement, put tile in the kitchen / foyer, or add the deck as we can do that all ourselves and plan on doing it in the next year... deck in the spring for sure!

My only complaint thus far is that we can't build the morning room on the Armstrong model (which it seems may be a Pittsburgh model?)... We would love that...

It's awfully hot here today - heat index near 100 degrees.... can't wait til next summer when we can take advantage of that great pool in our new neighborhood. :-)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Playing catch up...

There are three other great Ryan building blogs (I will provide the links as soon as I figure out how)... as I read them everyday, I think that I should do that... great way to keep family members updated and anyone else just looking for information.

As everyone else said, there are a lot of negative reviews out there. As someone who works in the research/advertising industry, I know that the only people who tend to talk about a product online are those who are very happy or very dissatisfied. That leaves a whole lot of people in the middle. I hope we are one of those who are very happy (so far we are!)... and can share the experience so others know what to expect.

We have gotten so many questions as to why we are building a Ryan... here's the answer. We like them. Both my husband and myself grew up in Ryan homes and the quality was fine. They are energy star approved and... simply, we like them. We considered two other builders - one who basically copies Ryan designs and one who is known for big houses with very cheap materials (well, we really didn't consider that one).

To get caught up... we initially went to our neighborhood on a whim. We had no intentions of buying in the near future (actually had planned on buying in the next year or two). We had a house to sell first (that my husband and father in law had lovingly gutted and re-modeled about 10 years ago)... on Friday, May 21, 2010, our journey began.

We met our Ryan rep that day. She was amazing... if it weren't for her, I honestly don't think we would be where we are right now. Actually, I know that. We visited another neighborhood to see a finished home and they were not nearly as knowledgeable - we would have never done it.

On Tuesday, May 25, we went back in to see what type of final cost and mortgage we were looking at and were pleasantly surprised to see it was well within our budget... Three days later, Friday, May 28, we were back in to sign the papers on the house and fill out all the mortgage paperwork. We were there for about 6 hours. I guess some people split the day up, but we were fine with completing it all in one day.

Mortgage was approved around June 11 or 14 and then it was time to wait and wait and wait... I'm not very good at waiting, so this is a big challenge for me.