Friday, April 15, 2011

Finding the Perfect Nest

Hi everyone!  I am going to apologize in advance for the long post.  I have been lucky enough to find several Ryan Homes bloggers on here that have really been helpful, that I figured I would also like to blog to help others as well.  Our journey started about a year ago.  My fiancée John proposed on March 12th, 2010 and shortly afterwards, we decided to start looking for a home.  We wanted to buy rather than rent, but like most other people, we had a budget.  Neither of us had owned a home in the past, so while we don't know much about flipping houses, we were willing to look into it.  After we had seen almost 40 homes throughout the past year, we decided to take a break.  It was so tiresome trying to find something in our budget that had lots of potential, but wouldn't cost us tons of money out of our pocket at once.  We were officially exhausted in the house department.
In the beginning of last month (March) I was surfing around on a local realtors website.  I came across new construction Ryan Homes townhouses in the area where we needed to be.  Funny thing, the pricing was where we needed to be as well.  I couldn't believe it.  I started to do some research between the Ryan Homes website and the realtors website and came up with photos of our potential new house.  On March 20th, we decided to go visit the model home.  When we arrived, we saw that the model wasn't even completed yet.  There was a Ryan Homes trailer in the community so we went inside and met with Josh, our Sales Rep.  He was great from the start, very personable, approachable and reasonable with our inquiring minds. 
After speaking with Josh for about 20 minutes in the trailer, we head on over to the model home that is structurally completed, but things like the kitchen cabinets, countertops, flooring, etc. are not yet installed.  However, we could get a really good feel as to what this home would feel and look like when it was complete.  The name of the model is the Rosecliff, as I said in the past, it is a townhouse.  We leave the model and speak to Josh a little more in the trailer.  We learn that there are incentives to buy in March and by this time there are only about 10 days left of March, but the incentives were pretty awesome.  Partially finished basement included, and they would upgrade the kitchen to a luxury kitchen including Cherry Cabinets, Granite Countertops and Stainless Steel appliances.  The cost of the upgrades if we paid for them was not a small amount, it sounded really worth it in our minds.
We start talking about available lots.  They had already sold one unit (3 homes) and two homes from the second unit.  We were interested in an end unit the most, as we didn't really want shared walls on both sides, and we know the resale value is much better for an end unit townhouse.  Since the second unit that they have sold 2 of the 3 houses on has an end unit available, we talk more with Josh and become more and more interested.  He tells us about the HOA fees which were very reasonable, he tells us what would be considered "ours" as far as property goes, and he tells us the surcharge for an end unit.  At the end of our meeting with Josh he gave us a cost estimator including some upgrades, and we were happy with the number provided.  We leave his office with all of the information that he gave us and go home and talk about it.
We slept on it for a week.  We knew what we wanted to do, and that was to put an offer on the end home of the second unit.  We go back on the 26th, and we tour the model again.  We sit down and start talking about what we would want in the house as far as upgrades go and he puts all of the information into the system.  Finally we get to the grand total, and after some negotiating we get to the number that we wanted to see.  I couldn't believe it, only because all of the houses we saw almost a year ago up until now have not even come close in comparison to this house.  Everything is brand new, we don't have to mow our lawn, we don't have to shovel our sidewalk, the HOA will make sure everyone's landscaping is tidy, and the house is fabulous.  One thing that we told the rep which would make or break the deal, is that we need to close in September.  Our wedding is in November, and we wanted to push the closing off until about a month before our wedding.  They agreed to this and it is stated in the contract, so it was a done deal.  We gave Ryan Homes our official down payment on the house on that date.  Now, all we needed to do was get approved by NVR Mortgage. 
We met with NVR on March 30th and we filled out all of the applications, signed our names a billion times and gave all of the documents necessary to underwrite our file.  The rep told us we shouldn't have a problem.  We also picked out all of our colors as far as cabinets, hardwood and carpeting goes for our house while we were there. 
On April 4th we received the title information in the mail, and we sent it to our attorney who was working on the attorney review. 
John met with Guardian as I couldn't leave the office to meet with them on April 6th.  They spoke about what they could offer as far as speakers, cable outlets, internet outlets, and the security system.  We opted for two extra cable oulets, the security system which we negotiated 3 months free (I saw on someone's blog they got 6 months free, but the rep wouldn't go for it), and an extra keypad for the master bedroom.  John says the meeting was very long but it was mostly the rep trying to talk him into things like the Central Vac.  Guardian rolled everything into our mortgage. 
We didn't hear from anyone about the house, the mortgage or any other aspects of the house since the 6th.  I was worried about the mortgage even though we didn't have much to worry about, but it seemed like it was taking forever.  I look back now and realize it was not a long time at all!  But, I have John call the rep from NVR and ask about the status and he reassures us that we will be getting the mortgage, and not to worry about it.
Sure enough, we got the call yesterday, we were congratulated on getting approved for our mortgage!  I feel so relieved, we can start telling people now!  I think I wanted to tell some of my close friends/family so badly, but I didn't want to until I knew it was for sure.  Now, it is!! :) :)  We are so excited to have this opportunity and we can't wait to share the experience with everybody on here as well!
We meet with the Project Manager next Friday, the 22nd at 4PM for the Pre-Construction meeting.  What does this entail?  Does anybody have any tips on what to ask, or information to get at this meeting?  I look forward to connecting with several Ryan Homes bloggers on here! :) Congratulations to all of you!!!


  1. Congratulations and welcome to our little blogging community! We have townhouses as well as single family homes our community and they just started offering the Rosecliff. It looks like a great house! Where are you building?
    As far as the pre-constrction meeting you will basically go over all of the plans for your house. Pay close attention to outlets and lights placement. Don't be afraid to ask questions!

  2. Congrats on your house, sounds like the kitchen is going to be beautiful!! And welcome to the Ryan Homes blog world, everyone is so nice, and extremely helpful! We go to our preconstruction meeting on the 20th, so I can't help with that yet. :) Can't wait to see more posts!

  3. As km and Becky have already said, welcome to our not so little Ryan Homes blogging's not so small are the 48th blog on my list(including us).

    As for the preconstruction meeting, we haven't had ours yet, but definitely pay attention to the locations of outlets and lights and ask for things to be moved if you want. Some locations will be dictated by code, but others are flexible...for instance, we are moving our dining room light about 6-8 inches off the center of the big deal to do something like that.

  4. Hi everyone! Thanks so much for the input so far, we are so excited to have the chance to connect with other Ryan Homes buyers! KM - we are building in Washington Square, NJ. We appreciate everybody's advice on the location of the outlets and moving things around in the house. We will be sure to let you know how the meeting goes. We are hoping that the model home is fully completed with furnishings when we go on Friday & we will post some pictures so you all can see! Along with a picture of us and our SOLD sign, of course ;)!!! Good luck to everybody and thanks for following already!!

  5. Don't you just love how everything is at a standstill until you get that loan approval and then its like warp speed ahead.

    Congrats and welcome to the fam.

    My advice, no matter how big or small ask a question. Don't assume something will be fixed in the end. For pre-construction, I suggest that you bring your original contract and all change orders. Although I was 99.99% sure that I remembered all of our upgrades by heart, when our PM went over things, it was reassuring for me to check them off my list along with his.

    I also suggest that you bring up communication. I call my PM every Monday in the afternoon, matter of fact I need to call him after I write this, just to get updates on what is going on during the week. Other's PM call the customer, some don't communicate with their PMs. Of course everyone on here is going to say TALK TO YOU'RE PM on a regular basis.

    Take lots of pics and video (especially pics, we demand them, lol). I love that Daniel got video of them breaking ground on our camera. One of my favorite moments.

  6. 2011 - you are absolutely correct, I cannot believe how everything was at a stand still a week ago, and now they are starting construction next week! Ahh!! Thank you so much for the warm welcome and the advice. I am very communicative, and some people are not, so I wasn't sure on what was appropriate as far as the PM goes. I will take lots of pictures - promise! Good luck!!

  7. Welcome to the Ryan Homes blog community! It will be nice to see how your house progress comes along. We are supposed to close in September as well, the 15th to be exact so we should be moving around the same pace. I worried about them finishing the house sooned than later, but our sales rep said that they would just wait to start building our house until the end of May or beggining of June. We have not met with our PM yet, so I am sure we are not near construction time yet, although times flies. We signed our purchase agreement about a month ago.

    Anywho welcome and I look forward to wacthing your Journey and congrats on the engagement/and soon to be wedding! :)