We began with a search of the surrounding area. There were some houses that piqued our interest, but most were out of our price range. The more we looked, the more disheartened we became. It was difficult to imagine purchasing a home for $300,000+ that was built in the 1960s and was a "fixer-upper" (translation = 20 - 50 grand in improvements to make it livable. I know this seems like a steal in some areas, including our own. We even looked at foreclosures and short sales. Again, the thought of $700,000+ for a home that had all of the plumbing, wiring, and fixtures taken out with the accent of holes in the walls was not very appealing.
Were we destined to remain renters or was it best to settle and hope that fixing an existing home would not be as taxing as it was the last time around? The prospect of flooded basements, faulty wiring, insect infestation, etc. was not making us jump into the market with any enthusiasm. Then, something changed.
We began to explore a little outside of our immediate area. The existing homes were not impressive, but they were better. We were finding homes that we believed would be more affordable and the improvements would take less time. It was worth taking a drive. Why not dream? And dream we did. We drove to many homes to see, sometimes, that the ads were very sneaky in hiding the fact that one house was on top of another. It was difficult to see how a grown adult would be able to walk between these homes in some cases!
We were beginning to move toward that dreaded arena of...settling when we drove passed a Ryan Home Model of the Milan on December 29. We figured, why not have some fun and look around. I mean, there is no way that we can afford a new home. Then again, the sales people will never know that and we get to dream a little bit.
|Milan Model at Brentsmill Location|
We returned home and immediately began tossing around the notion of building our home. Sure, it was something that we wanted to do, but that was going to have to be in the future. It couldn't be for now, or could it? Bryan began researching the builder. Avoiding all of the official statements from Ryan Homes, he moved to reviews of the builder. We did find a few bad reviews, but these reviews appeared to be inconsistent. In some cases, the bad reviews were misunderstandings (i.e. interest rate estimate and locking in the interest rate).
In the end, we felt confident enough to, at least, entertain the notion of building a home. So, we contacted the representatives at the model to learn that the nice woman who helped us before was transferred to a different location. We were now going to meet a different representative, Mark. And thus our journey really began.