Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day #26

Day #26 - Boom Badoom Boom Bass, Super Bass

Well we almost missed our Guardian meeting (Sorry Jeff!), we were busy moving into our temporary home (my in-laws) and totally forgot that we had a meeting with the Guardian rep. They do all of your low voltage wiring in the house. This meeting is a geeks dream. We are hopefully gong to have a fully wireless family room... well what I mean by that is you will not see any wires they will be inside the wall and run to the multimedia closet and all equipment will be run off a RF universal remote. No boxes, no wires, everything clean and hidden. We had a few other goodies added that will be a surprise. The title of this blog post is a hint.

Lessons Learned:
  • You can NEVER have enough network jacks!
  • YES you do need a multimedia closet
  • Have Guardian pre-wire for a network closet (cheap) but add your own switch, theirs is quite expensive. 
  • Marry a women that embraces & encourages your geekyness 
  • Also make sure for this appointment your wife brings a book/ebook reader... they will get lost in translation when the acronyms come out and need something to do.

Day #13

Day #13 - Finalization is finally finalized

We had our "2 week change" meeting. This is where you finalize all of your choices (interior & exterior). We were able to agree on appliances, we compromised on a freestanding range with double ovens and a high end microwave that doubles as an oven. We also added some pendulum light rough-ins above the breakfast bar. This should lighten that area up quite a bit. 

Nothing else really to mention mention. Oh, we are now getting the mortgage stuff in motion. Once that clears then it is time to break ground. 

Lessons Learned:

  • We are still getting the home of our dreams even if the appliances are not 100% what we wanted. 
  • Appliances are expensive
  • Building a house is expensive
  • Wives are expensive
  • Children are expensive
  • I need a second job

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day #12

Day #12 - I'm floored!

Well last night was our Rusmur appointment to pick all flooring for all 3 floors plus the tile for the luxury bath upgrade. This had to be the best experience we have had so far! We did not get our hopes up for this appointment for fear that we would have only 3 choices of each type of flooring. Boy were we WRONG! We walked into Diane's office (who by the way is AWESOME) and there had to be 50+ different tile on display and about 20 different hardwoods and laminates. So we started the meeting off with what type of floor we wanted in each area.  We wanted hardwood or laminate in in the entry way and all the rooms on the first floor except the kitchen, mudroom & powder room which we wanted ceramic tile. The steps and second floor all carpet as well as the finished basement. We have a very unique counter top that we chose for the kitchen and when none of the choices worked for us she went out in the showroom and brought in several more! We were also looking for a modern high end durable laminate, again she hit the showroom and brought in exactly what we were envisioning! This meeting has been the best so far! It was so easy... you don't see something you like... lets hit the showroom! She took all the time we needed Here is a sneak peek of the hardwood laminate we are getting. 

Lessons Learned:

  • Diane and Rusmur are AWESOME!
  • Come prepared with some thoughts of what you want...there is A LOT to choose from!
  • If you want shelves in your luxury shower ask the Rusmur rep they will include them for you! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day #8

Day #8 - OHHHH you thought you were getting double ovens didn't ya!!

Another huge let down. The only things that Kathleen really wanted out of this new house were double ovens. During our first meeting with Ryan, wayyyy back when, Kathleen asked if double ovens could be an option. She was told from our sales rep that it was not a conventional upgrade that it would have to be a "custom upgrade". From the start our rep seemed that this would be doable, and that it could be several thousand dollars. Being that the kitchen has to be designed around these double ovens we totally understood and pressed that we wanted these, in fact, Kathleen has mentioned these to our sales rep over a dozen times. Reason being, if we couldn't get them in the Milan we would have chose another model. The answer we kept getting from her was "I have to check on that since it would be custom but they should be able to get them in". 

We should have known that after pestering the rep over a dozen times to get us pricing & she came back with "I will get the prices after a contact is signed" that we were getting the runaround. 

Low and behold, Kathleen got an email stating that the rep is very sorry but there is no way to get double ovens in the Milan model. Ryan refuses to put them in. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving. Let's just say, Kathleen was NOT happy and that is putting it mildly. The sales rep strung her along waited till AFTER we signed the contract and handed over money to tell us that double ovens couldn't be done.

Now the rep is back tracking saying that she "didn't think it could be done in the first place" meanwhile, the whole time telling us that it is doable it would just be a custom up charge. We have a finalization meeting on Tuesday to lock in all of our choices, needless to say, I am going to refuse to sign any and all papers until there are double wall ovens put into the contract. I have a feeling she knew all along that this could not be done. This IS a deal breaker for us. 

Lessons Learned:

  • Get everything in writing. Even if it is just email messages. 
  • Do not sign until all of your questions are answered no matter what the rep says!
  • The sales reps are there to sell homes, they will tell you anything they want to hear to get you into a contract. Even if its bullshit!
  • I was excited, now back to pissed off. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day #7

Day #7 - Getting Excited!

Last night we decided to take a break from packing and take a look at the Milan model again. We needed to get ideas for TV cable placement in the bedrooms, living room & basement. We also wanted to see what recessed lighting looked like in the kitchen and if we needed to tweak them for pendulum lighting over the breakfast bar. As we walked around and went through every room it became clear that this house is HUGE. Over 2580 sq ft not including the finished basement or the garage! 

It is actually a little surreal that I am having a new house built (one of my biggest dreams). I never thought that I would be where I am at this age. Actually, there were a few people that didn't think I would be where I am because I don't have a college degree and/or because I am an only child and don't have "competitive spirit". 

We have our Rusmur Flooring meeting on Monday and our finalization meeting with Ryan on Tuesday! 

Lessons Learned:

  • Visit the model of home you want and look for light placement and also cable placement. This will be crucial for your Guardian appointment.
  • Check your model for fridge size! If you want a huge fridge make sure your model can accomadate it.
  • The Milan is HUGE
  • We have expensive taste 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day #5

Day #5 - Make it rain!!

Got a call from the mortgage company yesterday. They need a lot of information. They actually want you to show 2 months worth of bank statements and explain every deposit AND show documents! REALLY!? I think I am going to be real creative when it comes to some of them. As if I don't have enough hoops to jump through... now i have to deal with this bull shit. To boot they need at least 2 years worth of tax returns... I just packed them up. They are in the BACK of a storage unit. I was told previous year tax return is all I needed... guess what... that is all they are getting. The sales rep tells you one thing and the mortgage rep tells you something completely different. You would think since they are the same company they could get on the same page. 

I really need to stop writing these first thing in the morning. I am not a morning person.

Lessons Learned:

  • The sales rep is just that... a sales rep. 
  • Don't pack all your important documents until the last possible second. No matter what anyone tells you
  • Show me the money!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day #3

Day #3 - Olive Green...REALLY!?

Well Day 3 consisted of moving all day to the storage unit. We did, however, take a break and run out to the plan of homes to drive around and see some color combinations actually on the houses. I really wanted to see the green siding on a house to get the full effect. There is one house in our plan that has green siding and I must say, it is not bad looking. I actually like it better than the bland browns and tans that we have to choose from. It is a very muted green just subtle enough to be different. Our pick is below.

On another note, we have a meeting with Rusmur Floors to pick.... you guessed it... floors! We will also pick the tile for our upgraded luxury master bath. Unfortunately, the only day to do this is the 26th. That is going to be a very busy day. 

EDIT TO ADD: We have our 2 week "change meeting" on the 27th. This is where you can change anything you have chosen up to this point, here are some things we have our rep, Arleen, checking on:

  • Cost for double ovens
  • Tonage of air conditioner & upgrade options
  • Full glass door instead of half glass
  • Wider driveway
  • Pendulum lights in the kitchen or at least a rough-in

Lessons Learned:

  • Drive around and look at actual combinations before picking an exterior. It really helps
  • Moving sucks

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day #2

Day #2 - A little more color.

Yesterday Kathleen, Carter & our real estate agent Melissa decided to take a ride to a Ryan plan and look at some exteriors. Apparently there aren't very many Elevation K Milan's around (just one in the plans around us). Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Anyhow, they came back with another choice that originally I didn't think would look good. It is a muted green siding with an off white shaker. The colors on the left are door colors. 

Here is a house with the siding color choice, as you can see it is a very muted green which just may work. Although this is not our elevation we can at least see what it will look like on a massive scale. Let me know in the comments what you think.

Lessons Learned:

  • I need to rethink the green
  • Things are looking up... I might just get excited again
  • I REALLY need a vacation

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day #1

Day #1 - Signing the paper choosing exterior colors.

Last night we did it... we signed our life away to Ryan Homes! We are now "all in". The process up to this point has been a roller coaster. Everything hinges on timing and it never seemed to be on our side. However, we found a lot that we loved that had the view and large-ish (I say ish because it is not huge but much larger than what we have now!) back yard that we demanded. 

The process started off with signing and initialing 42,363 pages. These are agreements and legal contracts blah blah blah. You then fill out mortgage forms and blah blah blah. This takes a considerable amount of time. 

During the deciding process (see above as roller coaster) we decided on a plan and an elevation. Elevation is what the exterior of your house will look like... think curb appeal. These ranged from Elevation A through N for our particular house. We picked K for those scoring at home. 

After signing your life away we get to put a sticker on the plans lot board saying that our lot is SOLD (see below). Yeah! Everyone is still happy and having fun!

The next process is to pick out exterior materials. Our elevation is a craftsman elevation which consists of siding, brick and shakers. This part is considered the "fun" part. I put the fun in quotes because to a normal, rational & sane human being this part would be fun. I had a preconceived notion that I would be able to pick from a few brick choices and several siding and shaker colors. I was wrong... boy was I wrong. This is when the fun became severe disappointment for me. The choices of brick were great and also the siding... however the shaker colors were the same as the siding colors. I think of myself as a design oriented person with an issue with authority, you will see what I mean in the next paragraph.

I had several combinations in my head when entering this meeting. Dark cream siding w/ hunter green shakers, etc. Seeing all the choices in front of us we started picking siding and shakers, NONE of which they would do. Our rep pulled out a paper out of thin air that had combinations of what shakers you could use with each siding choice and also what door color you had to use. Now, for a normal person, this is a GREAT idea. However, for me, I hate that I just agreed to this house and now I can't even create a good color combo. I have to use Ryan's bland idea of what looks good. Needless to say this process went on for well over an hour with no clear choice... frankly, they all sucked. They were all tan with tan shakers, cream with tan shakers, bland puke bland! NO color. Now, at this point, I can only imagine what the look on my face was because our rep ended the process abruptly saying we have a full 2 weeks to decide what we want. So we picked a light colored siding with the darkest shaker "we were allowed" and ended the session. We really wanted a dark siding with a light shaker at this point but Ryan knows best! Our preliminary choices are below, the door color is the deep teal on the right. ::SIGH::

So that is it for Day #1 of the process. I should be so excited that I can't stand it but I am not. I am left with a feeling of regret and disappointment. Let's hope the flooring meeting is not the same and I get out of this mood. #FirstWorldProblems

Lessons learned:
  • "Being different" is impossible with Ryan... at least with exterior choices. 
  • If you like bland exteriors... Ryan is your builder!
  • I get my hopes up WAY too much. 
  • You can do weeks worth of research and something will still catch you off guard. 
  • I need to calm down
  • I need a vacation
  • My wife has a large tolerance for "my shit", she puts up with a lot of it!
  • Yaaa!!... I am building my dream home... I think.