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.