Monday, June 25, 2012

Contingency, Schmidgency!

I feel like my 5 year old daughter looks, when she is told she can't have some super sparkly spectacular toy. We have passed the two month mark, on the sale of our existing home, and we haven't had any offers.  Since we haven't sold our house yet, we have to flip our building contract to a contingent contract.  So sad.

The development only has around 3 lots left, and moving to a contingency means Ryan Homes could sell our lot.  Well, I suppose it isn't technically our lot, but it is the lot we chose and it is where we envisioned our fabulous home sitting...with our daughter and two dogs running around the backyard!  I know things could still work out, but patience is not one of my finer virtues.  With our daughter starting Kindergarten in the Fall, it would have been nice to be able to enroll her this summer, so she could start the same time as the other kids.  Now, she will probably have to attend our current district and then switch to a new school district during the year.

Our financing is SO close, that if we switched to a Sienna or Pisa, we could move forward.  The Florence just tipped the scales, and it is too much to combine with our current mortgage.  So we sit and wait for our home to sell (and then if any lots remain we can build our Florence) or we could opt for a smaller, less expensive model and move forward now!

We are a family of 3 (plus 2 dogs) and won't be having any more kids; therefore we don't require a lot of square footage for daily life.  I do enjoy entertaining and really want a space where I can host family holidays.  Our Florence is about 2000sq/ft, the Sienna is 1680sq/ft, and the Pisa is 1406sq/ft ranch style home.  Also keep in mind, we gain another 100sq/ft or more, by adding a morning room to the Sienna or Pisa.  They all have a finished basement, 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths, but only the Florence and Sienna have an additional 1/2 bath.  

I would love feedback, especially regarding contingencies, a five year old switching districts mid-school year, or any of the 3 models we are considering!  Please and Thank You!

Monday, June 18, 2012

To be GREEN, or not to be...

So I was reading Thomas' post (see blogger Ravenna Speed,) he was talking about insulating the pipes coming from the hot water tank, and I thought that this was a great energy saving idea!  Then I started thinking about the water tank and I asked myself, "why does Ryan Homes use hot water tanks?"

Ryan Homes has pushed to become a GREEN builder, focusing on energy efficient products and techniques.  However, they are still using hot water tanks.  Has anyone out there heard any talk of Ryan installing tankless or instant hot water heaters?  I asked my Sales Rep, and she said it is currently NOT an option...has anyone else heard anything different?  Perhaps they offer them in other areas outside of Ohio?

Just curious about other's thoughts and/or experiences, let me know!?

Off to underwriting we go...

All of our plans and selections are being signed off on today.  Now, we have to wait for the mortgage to go to underwriting to be approved.  This is definitely going to be the hardest part, there is nothing for us to do at this point in the process, it is all in the lender's hands!  Hopefully, we will find out quickly, until then I will just keep thinking happy thoughts...
 a little extra wishing and hoping never hurt!

The order of this process is a little backwards (and painful.)  First, you build this dream home on paper, creating this incredible vision in your mind, and then you find out if it is even possible.  I wish we knew for sure, before we started making all of these decisions.  Don't get me wrong, it will totally be worth it when we have the official thumbs up!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Our Build Site & Neighborhood Pics

Our home site (#59)...
Our favorite part is being so close to the forest, we will be able to look right out our back windows and see all the trees!  Hopefully Ryan Homes and the Developer won't add another street back there, because we would be SO sad to lose our view...  [  hint, hint ;)  ]
Guess we will have to wait and see, in the meantime we are keeping our fingers crossed!

Walking down our future street, and checking out the water...
There are beautiful sidewalks, a bicycle path, and two lakes in our development.  Craig has promised to teach our little one to fish, and I could probably use a refresher course as well.  I wish we could be in this Summer, but Fall will be beautiful with all the leaves.  I also included our favorite picture (bottom right), from when we were sitting by the lake at sunset.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Selections: Outside & Inside

Our first major decision was THE EXTERIOR:

We are building the Florence (Elevation K), so there are a lot of different surfaces to work with.  The horizontal siding, wrapping the sides and rear of the home, will be Stone Mountain Clay (see the lighter color sample.)  This same Stone Mountain Clay color will also be on the vertical board and batten.  For the decorative "shake" we selected Canyon (the darker color sample pictured over the Stone Mountain Clay.)  The brick accents on the front of the home will be Boral Brick's Falls Canyon.  That leaves Weathered Wood shingles on the roof, white trim, white garage and a Black Bean front door.  

Then there was THE INTERIOR:

Our easiest decision was the cabinets.  We selected the Timberlake Scottsdale Square Maple Espresso Cabinets.   We read the pros and cons for having such a dark cabinet, but in the end we felt the good outweighed the bad.

                The above center cabinet is the espresso
A close-up of
our cabinets

Next came the battle of granite vs Formica.  Hubby was flexible and said he would be happy with either one, so I must of talked it over with my sister 100 times. After a LOT of back and forth we chose the upgraded 180fx Formica, specifically the Dolce Vita. 
(which you can see in both of the pictures below)

After selecting the cabinets and counters, we moved on to flooring....not as much fun as I expected.  We had trouble getting an appointment, then after driving 2 hours to the showroom we were surprised by their new price increases, and finally we were pushed to make choices faster than we were comfortable with.  We ended up leaving very unhappy, extremely frustrated and simply tired!

However, our RH Sales Rep came through, resolving the pricing issue with the flooring company.  We finished the process by making a second trip (which was annoying) to the flooring showroom, where we took time looking through all of the samples by ourselves...and making the selections that WE wanted for OUR dream home!


The result was Armstrong's Laminate flooring in the kitchen, morning room, dinette, powder room, dining room and foyer.  Laminate had the best ratings for being child and pet friendly.  Ultimately we opted for Armstrong's Illusions in Sedona Cherry (8mm.)  The cherry brought out the warmer tones in our counters, while the cabinets brought out some of the darker tones/veining in the floors.  Overall a nice blend of the warmer and cooler tones...I hope!

The Teak handrail stain went really well with the cherry floors, so that was a quickie.  The carpet took a little longer.  Our basement, stairs, family room and upstairs will all be carpeted.  The majority of the padding is the 8 pound, but we chose the Stainmaster 9-10 pound padding for our basement.  The Stainmaster is water resistant and will help keep any moisture in the basement floor from seeping into the carpet.  Also, it will help to soften and insulate the concrete basement floor.  Our carpeting will be Shaw's Simple Touch in SandSwept, a lighter tone with flecks of color.

Last, but not least, is the flooring for our laundry room and the upstairs full baths.  A simple vinyl seemed to be the easiest and most cost effective; it needed to coordinate with our carpet, bathroom espresso cabinets, and white marble vanities.  Our vinyl is the baseline Armstrong Initiator #66177 (Chamois).


Our plumbing fixtures are all Moen...

and the lighting is from Progress Lighting...

To our far away family and friends, I hope this blog will help to keep you updated on our progress!

I especially wish my sister were here to help with ALL these decisions, but thanks to smart phones she is only a text/phone call away (I know she appreciates all of the "emergency" calls and messages)!

An example of  a late night drive-by!