Tuesday, April 24, 2012

As requested, a few pictures

The Basement
The Great Room

The Entryway, Formal Living Area and Dining Room

The Kitchen

The Morning Room

Master Bath vanity
Master Bath shower

Master Bathtub
2nf Floor Laundry Room w/tub option

The enormous Master Bedroom

Guest Bedroom full bath

Saturday, April 21, 2012

All moved in...

This house is enormous.  Even with every piece of furniture from our old house moved in, we still have a few empty rooms.  Haha  Just room to grow, right?  Closing went smoothly and only took about 15 minutes.  The next day we did the big move and had all the furniture in the new house in less than 4.5 hours.  The movers (Busy Bee) were very polite and professional.  They even managed to get our queen-sized sleeper sofa down the landing-stairs into the basement with only a tiny amount of scuffing.

There have been a few small issues, all of which the PM handled immediately.  One such issue was the hole for the refrigerator water line was too small, so installation had to wait.  The PM came over at 8:30am the next day to enlarge the hole.  He even connected the hose to the water hook-up for us.

Overall, we are in love with this house.  We love the way it turned out- inside and out.  The wood floors and the trim look amazing.  And the decision to build the Rome on the cul de sac instead of the Courtland on a main drag was definitely the correct one.  And we have already met more neighbors here in one week than we did in the 5 years we lived at our old place.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Only 2 weeks left

I don't even cook and I love this kitchen!

This kitchen looks really nice. The wife definitely selected the correct granite to compliment the cabinets.  And now we have a microwave!  A microwave that doubles as a convection oven.  lolz  And the range has been delivered as well.

When we stopped over this afternoon, the builders started my favorite feature of the house- the wood floor.  Combined with the stained bannisters and wrought iron spindles, the first floor looks fantastic.
The wood definitely adds more character to the dining room.

On a less exciting note, the Guardian guys have finished their wiring.  All the sensors and keypads have been installed.  I'm generally not into TV/movie stuff, but having speakers in the ceiling is pretty freakin' cool.
Added security is always a good idea

And I am very happy that the carriage light's bottom tip does not obscure the house number.  Unfortunately this is the case on a few homes in our neighborhood.  I did notice that lights are not perfectly centered, but this is not uncommon on other houses.  I will still pester the PM about it though.   :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

More pics

Just a couple of new pics for today.  The front of the house is about done minus the garage door hardware and front door paint.  I'm diggin' the coach lamps and the entryway pillar.  On the inside the "squares" have been added to the dining room.  Combined with the same trim in the formal living room, this might be my favorite part of the house so far.    The wife is also glad she went with the brushed nickel hardware.  She really wanted the bronze, but the brushed nickel just looks great- especially next to the espresso cabinets.  The nickel has almost a dark, black mixed in it that really compliments the cabinetry.

On a different note, we should have a signed lease and first month's rent tomorrow!  Yay!  And we picked out our refrigerator and washer/dryer today at Best Buy.  Nothing like spending even more money!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

More developments

After a good night's sleep (or as good as it gets with a toddler whacked out on corticosteroids in the next room), I am feeling much better about the house.  It was definitely a good thing to finally meet the loan officer in person and sit down to discuss everything.  

But enough of that. After work I headed over to the house to check out the progress.  The major update is that the fireplace was completed.  I wasn't sure how I would feel about the stone fireplace but now that it is done....it looks awesome.

Stone fireplace complete with my legs
And so does the granite in the kitchen.  The wife and I had an initial disagreement on the type of granite to use, and as much as it pains me to say it:  but I suppose her choice was the better one.  :)

Other developments include the stained railings and some of the light fixtures.  We were originally torn on whether to go with the brushed nickel or the rubbed bronze.  I am glad we went with the nickel; I think it looks really sharp, especially in contrast to the espresso cabinets.

One thing about the Rome that many models lack is the open foyer.  And while an open foyer is a waste of living space and costs more to heat/cool, it does look really nice.  But the Rome makes up for it a little bit by having a very long entryway.  And with the nickel fixtures and 2 piece-crown, the entry hall looks great.  I cannot wait to see the flooring.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Interest rate locked in

But I am still not all that thrilled about it.  Ultimately the "incentive" that NVR gives you just gets added to your closing costs.  So yes, your loan principal goes down which is cheaper in the long run.  But being asked to bring $15k in closing costs was quite a shock.  Union Savings Bank charges about half of what NVR does- particularly $395 origination fee vs NVR's $3000.  NVR played fast and loose with the numbers and waited until the last second in order to do one thing- bend me over a barrel and show me all fifty states.

But once NVR saw that another lender had pulled my credit this morning, all of a sudden they were willing to haggle a little bit. When I left the NVR office I think I came out about as good as possible-  the closing costs are at a manageable amount, the interest rate is where I want it to be and the house payments are ok.  But in case you didn't already know, caveat emptor.   There is no such thing as "free".

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Closing costs?

Guess how much NVR wants in closing costs when you put down 10% on a new house.  $15000 for 4% and $13000 for 4.25% interest rates. And if you want to finance your PMI as a single premium into the loan, not only will NVR increase your loan amount by the premium amount, they also charge you the premium up front at closing. Yep, you pay it twice.  And according to Dennis Vo, assistant manager, that's why financing isn't a good idea.  Nothing like adding $7k onto the loan AND paying $7k up front.

So you know that $11000 incentive Ryan gives you for using NVR?  Seems they just rape you in closing costs to make up for it.  Just thought you guys should know.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Good Times, Bad Times

Well the house is really coming along.

The drywall is up.  The moldings and railings have been installed. The granite in the master has been installed.

The chair-rail, crown molding and wainscoting has been installed in the formal living room.

But...the wainscoting was NOT in the dining room.  The "squares" in the dining room was part of the trim package.  The formal living area was a non-standard option.  Emails and phone calls have been sent to the PM. 

And as for NVR, well let's just say it's not going as well as I would have hoped.  For starters, I am really tired of dealing with multiple loan officers who tell me different things things than what Yvonne told me in the beginning.  And then I finally got a call today about locking my interest rate; I close on April 12.  And as fate would have it, interest rates went up twice today.  To make matters worse, the rate quoted to me is higher that what other lenders are offering.  Why wasn't I called 30 days before closing?  I sent an email to the NVR office manager expressing my concern.  Her response?  She'll be out of the office and will refer my concerns to someone else.  Great, now I am dealing with FOUR DIFFERENT PEOPLE AT THE SAME FREAKING OFFICE.  ARRRRRGG!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More updates

The cabinets were being installed in the kitchen and bathrooms.  And the tile accents in the shower and around the bath in the master look pretty sharp.

And the stone facade looks fantastic.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Everybody get stoned

The stone masons arrived yesterday and have been working quickly.  And I must say, it looks pretty good!  The tile floors on the upper level have also been laid in the bathrooms and laundry room.

Master bath floor tile

On another note, I am becoming quite irritated with NVR.  The loan officer who was handling our mortgage has suddenly parted ways with the company and has been replaced with someone I am not so sure about.  Seems pretty odd that we are less than 30 days from closing and we don't have an interest rate locked or an updated good faith estimate. Now I'm being told that the $1000 I paid in November "won't count" because it posted during the same account statement as the 3.5% needed to start building.  WTF?  But I'm not going to get my money back now.  Instead that $1000 will be refunded to me at closing, but I will have to add an additional $1000 to the final closing cost.  And NVR says they won't reimburse me for the cost of the extra check.

Anger rising.....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Less than a month to go.

Yeah, I know.  It's been a long time since I last updated this thing,  but life happens.  With all the things going on around here, updating the blog just wasn't a priority.  But it looks like closing has been scheduled for April 9!  The builders have been working furiously.  What started on a Friday in February as a partially framed garage wall turned into a house by Wednesday.  Fast forward to this week...the masons showed up this past Wednesday and had the brick wrap done by Friday.  The stone mason will probably begin working on Tuesday.

And let this be a warning to those of you wanting a full brick wrap:  Ryan Homes does not consider the gas fireplace bump-out in the price of the wrap.  Evidently it requires extra foundation work to do, so now we will have siding on the first floor of the house- something I wanted to avoid.  Needless to say, we are pretty irritated and disappointed that a full brick wrap doesn't mean a full brick wrap.  It's like dealing with a politician- It depends on what the definition of "is" is.....

The pre-drywall meeting went well.  The PM went through and explained the process and the features of the house such as the insulation, etc.  When we stopped in 2 days ago, pretty much all of the drywall was up.  It is really starting to look like a house.  A very big house.
The Great Room

The Breakfast Room with extra windows

The Formal Living Room and Entryway

Master Bathroom tub (and shower)

The Master in her Bedroom

View from the Master- due to a pipeline, no houses can be built

3 full-sized garages!