Tuesday, February 26, 2013

More Paperwork and Possible Good News

February 26 - We were contacted today by one of our sales representatives, Lauren.  She has informed us that there are a few more items we have to sign.  Well, technically, we have already signed these forms, but Ryan Homes wants all of the information condensed into one document.  They want a single document rather than having multiple copies with change orders, choice selection, wiring, etc.  We get it, but it is another step of "Submit" and then "Re-submit."  I am sure there will be another "And theeeeeeeeeen" coming soon.

So, we needed to print, sign, and resend the information.  This is not a big deal, but it is something that they said would more than likely happen in the beginning.  So, if you are starting the building process and they tell you this, believe it.

We were also told that we would be contacted in the next week or so to set up the pre-construction meeting.  "Well, we are ready when you are" is what we were thinking.  Ah, well.  The process will start soon enough.  Then, the fun will really begin.

You said it, Beaker. 

Paperwork and Information on Preconstruction

February 25 - We passed through another hurdle, hopefully.  We were able to submit most items for the "conditions" of the approval.  There are some items that we will have to complete along the way.  These will be easy enough.  They include:

  1. Pay check stubs for every pay period until closing.
  2. Bank statements for every month until closing.
Not too bad.  The only other item is the "Homebuyer's Education Course".  This was a new one on us because it was not required for the purchase of our previous home years ago.  The course was something that I found somewhat difficult to find.  We imagined it would be something that Ryan Homes may provide or, worse yet, it would be something that we would have to sit through in some hotel ballroom.  Like a Tony Robbins seminar for homeowners.  Ouch!

Right this way to your new home.
Luckily, we spoke to our loan processor, Emi, and she kindly pointed us in the right direction.  Just in case this is something that may end up on anyone else's list of conditions, here is the link:  Homebuyer's Education Course.  We can take it online or we have the option of attending a local class.  Hey, Tony Robbins, we know you are not hosting, but...

So, we will be able to quickly finish all of the conditions that they have for us, we hope.  We are sure there may be more for us to do at a later point.

We also reached out to Mark, our sales representative, to find out any information he may have about the pre-construction meeting.  Right now, it is rainy and cold, so that would probably delay everything.  Those are our thoughts, Mark did not express those.  So, he said that our pre-construction meeting would be taking place in 3-4 weeks.  Our excitement makes us want it to be sooner, but I know from other blogs how quickly it all comes together.  Therefore, it may be better for us if there is a 3-4 week delay for the pre-construction.  Perhaps then we will not have mortgage and rent payments in the summer as our lease comes to an end.  In the meantime, we await the word for the pre-construction meeting.  More updates as they arrive.

Don't hurt'em, Richard Marx.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunshine, On My Shoulders - Visiting the Site and the Beach

February 24 - We decided to take another drive down to the lot to, hopefully, get our daughter pumped about moving.  This is a tough sell because she has made friends at her current school and in the neighborhood of our rental home.  Our son is just angry because we cannot move in now although we keep showing him that there is no house to move into at the moment!

Bryan in front of the entrance to our neighborhood
Angela actually drove to the neighborhood from the rental house for the first time.  This is a huge feat if you knew her.  We arrived at the site and found that the land was even more graded since our visit two days ago.  It was nice to see that progress was happening in our neighborhood as we will be among the first houses built there!

Nice and flat, the way I like it.

We finally talked our children into posing for a picture next to our sign.
After visiting the site, we rushed to lunch and then a stop by the grocery store for snacks.  It was good to start getting a feel for everything and Angela drove for most of the in-town travel.  Following the store, we decided to take the kids somewhere where they could stretch their legs and, as the demon creature Chuck E. Cheese says "Where a kid can be a kid."  So, we took them to a local beach on the Potomac.  It was nice to throw rocks into the water and look for "treasure".

He looks in the distance to see that the ducks are just out of range of his throw.

She is confident that she can throw a rock across the river.

She looks for treasure.  He looks for a dead oyster.  Angela takes a picture of the water.
It was good time at historic Aquia Landing.

Well, that brings us up to speed.  There will be more posts as things unfold and the building process begins.  See you soon, same Bat time, same Bat channel.

Approved!!!!!!!!!!! --- With Conditions

February 21 - We received a call from Gary stating "Congratulations, you're approved!"  Woohoo!  We were so excited that we were bursting at the seams.  You see, we limited the number of people we told about the house because we did not want to build it up in their minds only to tear it down later.  Why should they enjoy our suffering and despair if it all went south?  Well, Angela was so excited that she called Bryan to give him the good news and good news it was!  Bryan had to finish the rest of the work day into the evening before he could come home to celebrate.

We made a family pact that when we found out the results of the loan process that we would go to Cheesecake Factory to celebrate with dinner and a piece of cheesecake.  Or, we would go to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and an entire cheesecake apiece to drown our sorrows.  Either way, it was a win-win.

It was a night for celebration!  Angela called her parents earlier in the day to share the good news.  Angela and her mother went through every picture of the virtual walk through on Ryan Homes' website.  They waxed philosophical about decorating choices and the size of the house.  Her father was also very excited with the progress that his little girl was making after Angela told him the good news.

We were so excited that we wanted to celebrate!
We called Bryan's parents to let them in on the good word.  Bryan did a conference call because his mother was in Florida and his stepfather was in Missouri.  They were both very happy.  Nana said she was so happy and could not wait to see it.

Later, Bryan was able to tell his friend, Armond, who had by far the most excited response of anyone.  He was practically jumping through the phone.  It was great to have such support from friends and family.  Angela was able to share the news with her friend, Mary, and her siblings.  The phone calls were going out like crazy.  It was a great night.

February 22 - If you have seen Independence Day then you could imagine this date to be on a similar title card with that foreboding sound.  This is when we learned that, sure, we were approved, but it was "with conditions".  Emi had a little different tone with her congratulations message.  It was a congratulations with some qualifiers.  We had been approved, but there were still a few items that needed to be resolved before full approval could occur and closing could happen.  Way to swipe that rug out from underneath us -- now, you understand why I talked about the Underwriter in manner that infers that he may, in fact, be he who walks behind the rows.

Well, here are the things that we still need to resolve:
  1. Bank statements that show where the closing costs are originating.
  2. Homebuyer education course.
  3. Tax transcripts
  4. Student loan information [Grrrr!]
  5. Recent bank statements
  6. Paystubs for 30 days prior to closing.
This is not too bad and should not be problematic outside of the student loan issue.  Despite the fact that Bryan will not be graduating until December, they still want something official from the student loan people.  Yes, that should be easy enough (that is sarcasm).  Well, it can and will be done.  We will be home buyers, I am sure of it.

In the meantime, we took another trip to the old homestead to find...they leveled the ground.  Our big mound of dirt was gone!  We are another step closer!

Underwriter - Or He Who Must Not Be Named

February 8 - We received notification that our paperwork had been sent to the underwriter.  Well, this was certainly good news.  It had made it past the initial process of pre-approval with the sales representatives, close scrutiny by the mortgage man, scouring through by the processor, picked apart by the Creddo company, and was now off to the underwriter.  This cat's job was to make the ultimate decision about loan risk.  This was where it felt so close, yet so far out of reach.

So, we waited to hear anything.  We assumed that no news was either good news or we should prepare for the worst.  Set your expectations low and you will never be disappointed, I think Einstein said that.  We were not quite prepared to fully invest emotionally into a house that we could possibly not get.  We started to speak about it in terms of "If we move...."  We even started to price shop some potential furniture and other necessities for our potential new home.  Although, we remained cautious about getting too excited about anything.  After all, this faceless entity called "the Underwriter" could deny us at any time.  Gulp!

February 13 - We received a message from Emi saying that she needed to contact Bryan's HR department to verify income.  Basically, they wanted to make sure the income was going to stay consistent throughout the lifetime of the loan barring any deaths or layoffs.  This took some time as HR is not always the quickest to return phone calls, but it was accomplished!  It seemed like everything was back on track.  We just needed to wait to hear the results of the approval....or the denial.

Tune in at 11......

Waiting for Approval

February 7 - Since we picked our flooring and wiring options, as well as, made only a few adjustments during the 14 day period we did not raise the final price significantly.  We also learned that our closing costs would be significantly less than Mark had estimated.  We'll still see on that one and we will let you know after it is all said and done.

So, we waited to hear anything...and waited.  We had been told that it would take 3-4 weeks to know anything, but Gary, Mark, and Lauren all said to be sure to save everything and be prepared to submit and resubmit paperwork as needed.  We were prepared for anything, or so we assumed.

Then, the first call came in.  A representative from NVR, Emi, contacted us and said that everything was being processed.  She said that she would let us know if there were any issues and would ask for information if necessary.  This sounded like progress to us!

Screeeeechhh!  While Emi was processing everything for NVR, it was sent to a company called Creddo.  Yes, you read that right.  Creddo.  I know it sounds like a bad SNL skit version of a title loan company, but apparently they are like private investigators of credit reports.  We had some items that we needed to figure out.  First, student loans.  This was a biggie.  For those with student loans, it is good to look at your credit report to see if it is showing up in duplicate.  This was the issue for us and was quickly resolved with a series of telephone calls.

The second issue was verifying our rent.  While we were able to show them the lease agreement and bank account information with checks for rent they still needed to speak to our landlord.  This took a little while because he is quite busy and only a part-time landlord.   In fact, as far as we know we are his only renters.  So, once the connection was made between Emi and our landlord then we were off and running again.

They checked and rechecked everything.  We needed to justify every large deposit that did not originate from payroll.  We also needed to provide tax information again and a few other items that had been submitted before.  It was a process, but we were on our way.  We believed that we looked like solid candidates.  However, we knew that Emi and Creddo were only step two.  The paperwork still needed to go to underwriting.

Visiting the Model and 14 Day Last Minute Changes

February 2 - We took some time to visit the model that was over an hour away.  This also gave us the opportunity to go to the National Archives in Culpeper and watch Disney's The Little Mermaid with our kids.  First, we went to the model.  We took only a few pictures because while the sales representatives there were friendly enough there was a weird vibe.  So, we looked around and then left as soon as we could.

Only a few pictures, but it gave us some decorating ideas and a chance to see what the home looked like with all of the furniture in place.  Then, it was off to watch Ariel pine for her Prince Charming on the big screen.  It was great, but our son was a little scared of the witch/octopus so Bryan had to wait with him in the lobby while our daughter watched the film with Angela.  The National Archives in Culpeper is such a wonderful place.  To watch a film there is wonderful and as the great Ferris Bueller once said, "It is so choice.  If you have the means, I highly recommend [it]".  He was right, after all, he was the Walrus.

Well, after choosing our flooring it was time to make sure that we had everything that we wanted before our time for changes was over.  If you remember, we had 14 days to make changes after we met with Lauren to discuss options.  Our 14 days was up and we needed to make some last minute changes as the deadline approached at the end of the day.

First, we wanted to add a fireplace.  The fireplace has always been something that we really liked, but went back and forth about this option.  Was it necessary?  Could we use that money somewhere else in the house?  How often are we really going to use it?  After all, we have a fireplace in our rental and we have maybe used in once in three years.  What is the point?  Well, the point is that we wanted it and believe it really ties the room together, much like the Dude's rug.

Next, we decided to remove the extra window from the bedroom.  We decided that there were enough windows in there and this deletion could save us nearly $500.  So, why not?  Maybe this will be something that we add later, but it is not necessary.

Third, we added lighting pre-wires for sconce lighting in the basement.  This would add three light fixtures for the media room in the basement.  Certainly, this could have been completed after construction, but it seemed like a good idea to get those in before the drywall was hung on the walls.  Now, when all of that is complete then the room will really be tied together.  The Dude abides.

Our changes were sent in and updated.  This, of course, required more signatures and paperwork, but we got everything we wanted right under the deadline.  Good things.

Now, if we could just get through the approval process for the loan.  I know what you are thinking, "they did all of this and they have yet to be approved?!"  Well, you're asking the right question.  A logical person would perhaps question why this was happening, but in reality it is because the wiring, flooring, and 14 day changes could have dramatically increased the total for the home.  This would have changed what we were asking for in the loan.  Point in fact, when we sat with Dannie to discuss flooring she said "Now, they want you to keep it under $15,000".  15 grand!  Who in their right mind would add that much?  Not us, I assure you.

Next up, waiting for approval from NVR and more paperwork.

Picking Flooring

February 1 - We found our way to the flooring place.  It was in a fairly industrial area and off the beaten path.  So, our GPS told us "You are lost.  I think you have entered the abyss.  Abort! Abort!"  However, we found our flooring office, Exceptional Choices, amidst all of the factory warehouse looking buildings.

So, we were greeted by the Exceptional Choices sales representative, Dannie, with a smile.  She led us to a back room where we could view all of our choices for flooring.  We expected something similar to those wall hanging displays that you find at Home Depot, but we entered a room that was filled with what looked like giant dressers.  The office area was decked out with some pretty impressive swag.  This read to us, expensive flooring choices would follow.  We needed to stick as close to our target as possible and not be swayed by the allure of Dannie's sales pitch about the higher grade carpet that celebrities use to massage their feet as they walk.  To our relief, Dannie did not mention that jewel, although this may have been a good sales pitch.  Write that down.

Drawers and drawers of carpet samples
Dannie covered all of our options.  There were a few items that we knew that we wanted.  First, we decided that laminate flooring in the kitchen would be a pain to remove later.  I know that I have read many blogs about how they chose the laminate flooring and would install hardwood later.  To these people, I say good on you.  For us, the prospect of removing laminate in the kitchen sounded similar to sitting through an entire Taylor Swift album: painful and unpleasant for everyone.  So, we added cherry wood flooring to the kitchen to match our foyer.

Our floors in the kitchen and foyer will look similar to this.
The next item that we knew we wanted to boost was the carpet padding.  Mark suggested investing in the carpet padding because it would extend the life of the carpet and would be cheaper than upgrading all of the carpet.  In all, replacing the carpet in the future would not be as expensive as it may have been with this go around.  So, we upgraded from the standard (paper thin) padding to a thicker and water/stain resistant version.  We had this carpet pad installed in the basement and first floor.  We left the standard in the bedrooms and the hall upstairs.

We talked about upgrading the carpet, but it was too expensive.  So, we stuck with the baseline Rockport carpeting.  We also toyed with the option of upgrading the bathroom tile, but avoided it in the end.  We chose the standard white 6 X 6 ceramic surround for the bathtub and shower in the master bath.  Then, we selected the standard almond 6 X 6 ceramic tiles for the upstairs bathroom.  

Finally, we selected the type of laminate flooring for the bathrooms and laundry room.  We chose the one that most resembled stone.  Laminate is not the most desirable, but it will work for the time being before we figure out how to we really want these rooms to look.

Looks similar to this one.  Not bad.
Bryan is installing a media room in the basement, so he wanted to be sure what the carpet choice would look like with a maroon color of wall.  Dannie said "Redskins fan?"  Nope, he just really, really likes movies and wants it to look like a movie theater.  That's all. 

Here is what we ended with after our travel to Exceptional Choices and meeting Dannie.  [Disregard the maroon carpet as it was there for color comparison for walls and the Persian rug underneath]:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wiring and Picking of the Colors

Now that all of the initial paperwork had been signed, we just needed to wait for a phone call to set up appointments for the flooring, wiring, and to pick our colors.  We figured that there would really be no rush with these calls because we had yet to speak to our mortgage person.  Why pick out all the frills if we may not get approved, right?  Well, again you are wrong.  Why do you keep assuming?  This is not working well for you.

I just called to say...we need to set up an appointment with you to pick your flooring and discuss wiring - Stevie Wonder, 1984.
The phone calls came very quickly.  Within a few days of our signing of the papers we were already setting up appointments for the wiring and the flooring.  It appeared that Ryan Homes wants everything in place so that they can get started the second the approval arrives.  So, we looked forward to both meetings with the intention of following the Price is Right rules [lowest price without going over].  

We established our game plan.  No sales person was going to pull one over on us.  We looked at the list of options for the flooring and the packet that the Guardian representative sent forward and we knew that what little items we were going to add was not going to add much to the grand total.  We went in with our heads held high and we were not going to break.  

January 30 - First, up: Guardian.  We arrive back at the Milan model to meet with the Guardian representative, Mike.  We were prepared for a high pressure sales pitch and ready to say no to everything that was offered.  We knew we were going to pick out the "free" mundane items like the placement of the cable jacks and some particular electrical outlets.  We also knew that we were not interested in the all house vacuum system or the central speakers throughout.  Much to our surprise, much of the talk was not high pressure.  He pointed out all of the options, but definitely took no for an answer.  We did pick out some extra options:
  1. Electrical outlet and pre-wiring for flat panel above the fireplace
  2. Surround sound speaker pre-wire for media room in basement
  3. Security system
Fair warning to all potential buyers for when this meeting happens: when the Guardian sales person speaks about the speaker system or any of the fun gadgets it is directed at the husband.  The security system pitch is only at the wife.  Mike never made eye contact with Bryan while he talked about all of the wonderful things the security system brings to the house.  It was a piece of mind to hear the little ding as a door opens.  The system could be turned on and off via cellphone.  There were motion detectors, video camera options, and all the stuff that would make you feel like you were on an episode of Big Brother.  
State of the art security on all windows and doors.
After going over everything with Mike, it was time to pick out our colors.  We bid adieu to the wiring guru and Lauren joined us to go over all of our color options.  We had some grand ideas too.  As we were sticking with the veneer siding, we wanted to avoid some of the colors that we found out about online that looked pink.  There is an Almond one that looks tan in the house lighting and pink in natural light (you know, where it would be seen at all times anyway).  We also wanted to avoid gray.  Our previous home was gray with maroon shutters.  It was cute enough, but it was time to move onto something new.  

So, we went with the plan of choosing white siding and trim with chocolate shutters and front door.  We thought we were pretty, pretty smart cookies.  Then, Lauren informs us that it does not quite work that way. Somewhere, Ryan Homes has a group of people that get together and say "what looks good on a house?  I know, what about a white house with green shutters and a maroon door."  Wait, what?  So, we could not go with our original idea.  Lauren said that there were chocolate shutters and doors, but they could not go on a white house.  What were we, crazy?  So, we needed to rethink our strategy.  In the end, we chose white siding with black shutters and a black door.  We thought it looked classy.  It may be a ton of work and many hours with a power washer, but don't judge us.  

Not our Venice, but this is white with black shutters.  Now, imagine it on our house.  That is what we did.
Next, we picked out the floor and rail stain.  We saw a darker stain in one of the homes that Mark took us to, but it was not standard.  Not standard meant, we'll pass.  So, we stayed with a cherry stain.  It was classy and let us really feel good about what our potential floors would look like.

Finally, we looked at counter top colors.  Although granite would have been nice, we figured that we could have that installed at any time and not roll that into our mortgage.  So, we stuck with the Formica counter top.  The color we chose, which seems to be quite popular, was Butter Rum.  It has some elements that will make the cabinets and the floors pop.  

Exciting, wasn't it?  Well, if this seemed like a dry walk through of the picking of colors and wiring, imagine how it felt to our children.  Those two were real troopers on this one.  They watched some movies on a portable DVD player before venturing into the backyard of the model and playing in the grass.  All was well until our 4 year old thought that mulch may be a tasty addition to his water.  Time to go!

Well, before we traveled home we decided to drop by the old homestead to see our claim.  This time, we decided to take our pictures in front of our plot.  Feel free to cast your judgement now!

Bryan looks very happy next to a sign and a huge pile of dirt.  Work clothes were a good choice for mud.

Look at that smile on that new home owner!  Angela looks so happy despite the fact that it was chilly and muddy!

NVR - Mind on My Money and Money on My Mind

January 21 - We were on our way to meet with the mortgage guy, Gary.  We had gotten a little more excited  about the house, but we were still reserved.  Who knows, this could all fall through the second that we met with Gary.  Sure, Mark and Lauren had "pre-approved" us, which was little more than running our credit and asking us some questions, but the real deciders were the money people.  Or, in the case at hand, the money man.

Gary met with us at a local model that he thought would be empty because of a regular sales meeting at another site.  He said that this would be the best place to meet so that we would not get interrupted.  Prior to the meeting, Gary sent us a list of items that we needed to bring along.  This included pay stubs, taxes, student loan information, and anything else financial.  Angela is perhaps the most organized person on the planet, so she had no problem getting everything Gary needed in duplicate. Talk about prepared!

So, Gary scoured over everything.  If we thought that Lauren had questions for us during the initial paperwork, that was nothing compared to this.  He was certainly very nice about everything, but he looked at all of the information with a magnifying glass.  This was good.  He was able to tell us where there may be some issues and assured us that if things started to go south with the loan that he would be able to give us advice on how to overcome it.  At the end, he said that it looked good for a start.  However, there would be more scouring before we would know anything.

We left the meeting feeling pretty confident.  Our children had mixed reviews about the meeting.  Our 10 year old did not like the prospect of moving.  Our 4 year old enjoyed the fish in the office.  So, it was a 50/50 for that meeting.

Going With the Standard and Then Some

Now that we signed the paperwork we had 14 days to make any changes.  Here is what we initially chose, most were the standard:
  1. Black kitchen appliances 
  2. 25.3 Cu. Ft. Side by Side Black Refrigerator (Not standard)
  3. Finished basement (Not standard)
  4. Egress window in basement
  5. 90% Efficiency gas furnace system
  6. Standard faucet fixtures in bathroom
  7. Chateau Chrome faucet fixture in Kitchen
  8. Elongated toilet house
  9. Standard carpet throughout
  10. Owner's Bathroom Type E with soaking tub and shower (Not standard)
  11. Double bowl vanity in owner's bath (Not standard)
  12. Laminate flooring in bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room
  13. Standard ceramic surround in bathrooms
  14. 42" Maple Spice cabinets in bathrooms and kitchen (Not standard)
  15. Sliding glass door dinette
  16. Elevation B (Not standard)
  17. Siding veneer front
  18. Wood flooring in foyer
  19. Recessed lighting throughout (Not standard)
  20. Gas range hook-up
  21. Nickel light fixture in stairwell
  22. Formica counter tops
  23. White cultured marble counter tops in bathrooms
  24. 3 piece rough-in bathroom in basement (Not standard)
  25. Added side window in family room (Not standard)
  26. pine stair with oak handrail (Not standard)
  27. 6 ceiling fan rough-ins (Not standard)
  28. Island in kitchen (Not standard)
Out of all of these items, Mark gave us some of the non-standards for free.  Well, actually, I am sure the cost is still there somewhere, but it looks free on paper.  They gave us the finished basement, microwave and range, recessed lighting in the basement, hardwood foyer.  They also reduced the cost of the kitchen cabinets and the ice maker kit for the refrigerator.  Not a bad haul!

We decided against the morning room to save costs and to keep the size of the backyard.  The children will love running around and it would be awkward to constantly run face first into a wall that juts out of the back of the house.  So, we saved ourselves some money now and a hospital visit later. 

Of course, we still needed to meet with the wiring and floor people.  We knew if we kept adding that the total would still keep going up.  We had not even met with our mortgage person yet!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Paper Work or the Longest Day

January 18 - Next, we received a message from Mark that said we would need to come into the office to begin the initial paperwork.  He informed us that he would be out of town, but we would meet with his co-worker, Lauren, to discuss everything.  The meeting was scheduled for early in the morning as Bryan had a meeting at his work in the afternoon.  The meeting with Lauren was at 10 and Bryan's meeting was at 1.  There should be plenty of time for the meeting and lunch before returning for the afternoon meeting, right?  Wrong again.  Why do you keep assuming anyway?  You know the old saying, when you assume you make an....  Hey, this is a family blog.

We all go a little mad sometimes.
Well, Lauren walked through all of the paperwork.  Sign this, initial that.  Print your name.  Now sign your name. Do we have a blood sample on file?  Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?  We were a little overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork, but Lauren was very detailed.  Rather than the old method of "just sign and disregard the fine print", Lauren went over every word of the contract.  Nothing was left to mystery.  Whew, were we tired.  Our poor four year old son was quite the trooper while he patiently sat watching a movie and eating animal crackers while his parents were getting told the elongated version of War and Peace, the Home Edition.

Then, we noticed that time was running thin.  We had gotten through all of our paperwork, but we had yet to "pick out our colors".  Bryan said that should take no time at all.  Picking out the siding, trim, and counter top colors should be a breeze, but time was up.  We had to get back on the road for the meeting.  The colors would have to wait for another day.  That day would not come soon enough.  We were getting excited.

We returned home to find out that Lauren had been correct.  Regardless of how detailed we were she said there would more than likely be one area of signing that we would overlook in our rush.  Sure enough, Bryan forgot to initial on one page.  So, Lauren had to make the drive to our rental townhome for a quick signature.

Peeking at Soon to Be Homes

In brightest day, in darkest night, 
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power, Green Lantern's light!!!!!!

Or, to put it in layman's terms, we met Mark during the evening at the homes that were getting ready to be delivered to their buyers.  Okay, I know, if you are going to do a bad movie quote at least avoid getting it from a bad movie.  Anyway, we met Mark and he gave us the tour of the homes.  

The first house was interesting.  This was a good time to see a house that did not have all of the frills of the model.  It was bare and we had a chance to inspect every inch.  We looked at building materials that were still exposed.  We looked at insulation.  We looked to see if Ryan Homes had given these poor saps the ol' switcheroo with the appliances and dry wall that some of the complaints on the web had made.  Nope.  The materials were all exactly as described.  This first home was almost finished, but we had a good laugh at a lonely toilet that sat in the middle of the living room!  Although, imagine the potential for entertainment.  

And the commode stands alone.
Will Ryan Homes let us upgrade to the Love Toilet?
The second home was not far off from the first, but it gave us a chance to look at a different elevation, or overall frame design.  We were very pleased with the design of this home.  This is the one that made us decide for certain that the plan that we wanted would include Elevation B.   
The Venice: Elevation B
Sure, the homes had some upgrades (carpet, counter tops), but the basics were still there and we loved it.  This was a good opportunity to see what the actual product would be.  Those of us who are constant skeptics would never look at a model and assume that what we are seeing is what we would get.  Beyond all of the obvious upgrades, we knew that they would only install their highest grade materials.  Why showcase the cheap stuff?  Well, judging from what they put into these two homes that were going to buyers in a number of weeks there were no corners cut with materials.  What a relief.

So, we left Mark and we headed for another dinner out to celebrate yet again.  We felt like patting ourselves on the back for a job well done.  It should all have been a breeze from there, right?  Well, don't get so hasty.  We still had a ton to do before we could rest or as the almighty Beastie Boys once proclaimed...

Okay, so we are not moving to Brooklyn, but don't dare say an unkind word about the Beasties.  Respect.