almost had a heart-attack…

This neighborhood has small yards.  Very small yards.  Most of the lots have been sold and built on (there’s around 10 left out of over 100)- so we supposedly ended up with the largest lot out of the 10 or so left (and paid a “premium” for it)- but it’s still not huge.  Lots of the lots that were left were very sloped, and we wanted something that had space we could use.  So- we got the flattest / largest lot left.  We ended up loving the location- it’s the very back cul-de-sac, is up on a hill, and looks out over common area that we were told wouldn’t be built on.  It’s not very deep, but it is quite wide.  We’re glad it’s flat.

Because of the location of the storm drain, we’re apparently going to have a funky-shaped driveway.  We were warned of this before signing for it, but we were willing to deal with that for the larger yard.  It is also going to have an even smaller front yard-  but we don’t expect to be spending much time in our front yard.

Today, we went back to the office because I was second-guessing my color choices after looking online at finished products (it’s super hard to make decisions based on the tiny samples!).  I also wanted to ask about outdoor lighting locations, and outdoor water sources (something I didn’t even think about initially)- it seems like they had all of that stuff covered anyway.

Decisions, decisions...

We’re going with the included cabinets- but debating what to get for counter tops. Right now, leaning with the Brazilian Brown Granite Laminate… maybe.

While we were out, we went to take a look at one of the homes under construction, just to see a different counter top and laminate floor that was finished.  This was just across the street from our lot, and we were very surprised to see that there were stakes on our lot, mapping out where the corners of our house will be.  (Well, assuming financing goes through!)

Stakes from Road

heart-attack inducing- we thought the far stakes were the edge of the house, giving us no yard!

We saw it from the road, and I almost had a heart-attack.  There was virtually no back yard.  and very little in the front.  We go over to the lot, and it turns out that there were the stakes for the corners of the house, and stakes 10′ away from those- so we had more space than we thought.  The yard will also probably gain a few feet when the lot is graded. Crisis averted.  (Only negative thing- the front left corner of our house is maybe 10-15′ from the house next door… again, we’ll take it for a better back yard- good thing no windows on close corner!)

yard sizing

This is a bit better!

After spending lots of time looking at samples and debating, I realized I won’t be able to make any kind of decision until we meet with Rite Rug on Wednesday, and I get to see the samples combined with flooring options!  Then we’ll have until Saturday to change our minds- otherwise we’re stuck!

Signing our life away: An afternoon with NVR

After scheduling our meeting with NVR, we received an e-mail from our LO that gave us directions to the office and a list of documents that were needed.  We had numerous electronic documents that were needed for our application, so I sent them in several e-mails to our LO, and asked several questions in those e-mails pertaining to our meeting scheduled for 3/26.  I didn’t get any response.  My husband attempted to call the LO to ask the questions and to make sure she got the documents.  He couldn’t reach her, and never got a response after leaving a message.

So, that was a bit annoying.

We went to the meeting, hoping she had received the documents.  In person, our LO was great.  She answered all of my crazy questions (we’ve never been through this before), and walked us through the process.  We signed form after form, and even got to see that scary number that tells you how much money you will pay if you do so for the entire life of the loan (yes, that’s standard- and about what we were expecting… still tough to see!).  I asked her about the “pre-approval”, and she said that if we are approved, it is actually a “hard approval”- so that was good to know.

Our LO said that she felt confident we would be approved, and there should be a decision sometime in the next 3 weeks.  I don’t think I’m quite allowing myself to believe that all of this is really happening until we get the approval.  Despite her confidence, I’m still afraid of being denied!  (No reason in particular- it’s just part of the process.  I don’t want to be too disappointed- or think of the stress of having to go through this process again with another lending institution.)

There were documents that we forgot to bring, so we e-mailed our LO the following morning.  Again, we asked for acknowledgement that the files were received, and after nothing that day attempted to call the next to see if there was anything that was still needed to get things moving…  but no response.  So, yeah.  We’re hoping everything is in order…

One very nice thing about that afternoon:  we got a call from our SA almost as soon as we walked into the front door of our apartment.  He said that they’re going to try to have the home done by the end of June!  This means that everything is getting moved up and we have less time to come up with lots of money, but that could save us a ton in rent!  (So we’ll be living off of PB&J and not getting out much until we close!)

Yes, we signed!

After a 3-day debate, on 3/22 we jumped in and signed a contract on a Florence!  Of course, this was after making numerous changes to play with pricing…  we even decided to get the morning room and a fireplace- which we thought would put us way out of our price range!

Sure, seeing the final price for additions/upgrades was a bit painful, but we wanted to be comfortable, and to have what we want in a house.

We didn’t worry so much about the cosmetic upgrades (counter tops, flooring, etc.)- we figured those are changes we can make as time goes on (for cheaper).

We picked out our colors, and the two-week-countdown for final changes began.

We also scheduled our appointment with NVR (which would be that Wednesday), and were told that Rite Rug and Guardian would contact us (which they did on Tuesday).

Then, we went out and put the SOLD sign on our lot marker…

sold on lot

First Impressions.

Don’t most people dream of home ownership?

My husband and I certainly did.  Especially once we started forking out 4-digit rent checks for a two-bedroom apartment (which is expensive around here).  We’d spend lots of time on zillow, looking at what we liked and didn’t like, dreaming of what we might be able to afford one day…

I’d been inside of relatively new Ryan Homes before, so I had seen them after they’d been lived in for at least a year.  I drove through the neighborhood once, and thought “hey- I could live in one of these!”.

My husband, on the other hand, hadn’t heard about them (besides me looking at their website telling him we should look into different floor plans, which would always turn into “maybe in a few years”).

Finally, while on the RH website, I decided why not.  It was a Saturday, and I told him it couldn’t hurt to look.  We called the neighborhood, and scheduled a same-day visit to look at the Sienna.  That was in our (self-figured) price range, and we figured it would be more than enough for us by the time we put in some upgrades.  We thought the Florence would be nice, but there was no way we’d be able to afford it.  However, once we heard the upgrade prices for the Sienna, we decided to look at the basic Florence, too.

After looking at the Sienna, we weren’t thrilled.  We figured we’d see what our chances were as far as financing goes, but decided it was the Florence or nothing.

The following Tuesday, we got a call from the SA.  He said that he’d spoken to the NVR LO (we’d filled out the initial info sheet on Saturday and had that sent in), who said we looked great.  We scheduled a visit with him the following day (we’d met with his assistant for our first visit).  He was great-  let us price different upgrades in both Sienna and Florence, answered all of my questions, let us walk around the muddy lots, and finally- we found the one we liked.  So- we put $500 (refundable) down on the lot, scheduled a meeting for that Saturday, and were given three days to decide if we were going to sign a contract with RH.