Thursday, December 29, 2011

Water Heater Information

Gas or tankless?  Wonder what the differences are?

I do not have a tankless water heater.  I have gas.  And I can tell you from my experience, I LOVE IT!!   The water gets hot quickly and stays there for quite some time.  We can run the dishwasher, the washing machine, and have a shower going all at once.  It's nice. 

I know someone with a tankless water heater.  When they've visited my place, they comment about how hot my water is and how quickly it gets there.  I also found out they were told that before they run their dishwasher, they have to run the kitchen faucet on hot first, in order to get hot water running for the dishwasher.  Having gas, I do not need to do this.

So do your homework.  Ask questions.  Do research.  Find out all you can about all your options before committing to one.  That's the best advice I can give you.  For some, tankless is the best option.  For others, Gas is.  Only you can answer what the best option for you is, once do you all your research.  So don't be afraid to use google and talk to you PMs.

Happy Building!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I can't remember if I have seen pictures of other bloggers homes decorated for Christmas on blogs, or on FB. lol I think maybe a bit a both. But they were all beautiful. Someone did ask me to post pics here though. So I thought I'd post a few of the decorations we have. Nothing major. It's a new home and it's going to take time to get it the way we want. We still don't have curtains. But we aren't the only ones. =)

This didn't quite turn out how I had
imagined.  But I'm not re-doing it.
It stays.  lol  Next year I'll figure something
else out



Morning Room Light

We have more plans for all this next year.  Starting with curtains.
lol 



These are just a few of the decorations we've done.  We do want to do more, and have plans.  But all that takes time.  We've also wrapped the banister in garland & lights, and have red blubs and silver bulbs hanging between the posts by red ribbon.  No good pics of that though.  We have some garland and poinsettias above the kitchen cabinets.  And of course, wreaths and floral arrangements, snowmen, and such around the house.  The girls got pick a wreath for each their bedroom doors.  =)    They loved that.

For all those who settled this past year, or will be settling before the year is out:  I hope you all enjoy your first Christmas in your new homes.

To all those who are considering building, still building, or just dropping in, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas as well.  I hope each of you enjoy your holidays.

My sister will be my neighbor soon, and family from Germany will also be here soon.  We got some bad news regarding my Grandfather's health, and this will be our last Christmas with him.  With all our family here, we plan on making it a great one.   Treasure every moment you have with those you love.  In the end, it's all that matters.

So HAPPY HOLIDAYS and MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Clearing the Air

Apparently it is widely believed that anyone blogging about their building experience with Ryan is getting paid or compensated by Ryan. Someone even told me about a lawsuit in another state about this very thing.

When we decided to build with Ryan, I went online for research and ran across Thrifty Amy's blog. She vowed to blog honestly, good or bad. I thought that was an excellent idea, so that is what I did too. I blogged about the good and the bad. I blogged about my feelings as well.

This blog is all mine. Always has been. I decide what goes into it and what doesn't. NO ONE, not Ryan, not ANYONE, has paid more or compensated me in any way. EVER! I have never even so much as gotten an offer for that.

This blog was about MY experience. It was meant to be PERSONAL. If along the way I shared anything that helped, great! =) But again, it was about my experience with building. Period. It was not meant to promote Ryan, or anyone else. It was meant to document my experience from beginning to end. That's all.

I just wanted to set the record straight.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

YAY RYAN! And dishwasher update

So excited! My sister had her pre-drywall earlier this week and it looks like they'll be able to move prior to family arriving from Germany! YAY!!! So excited about this!! We all are! There are no words for the excitement and relief we feel. Thank you Mr. PM!! YOU ROCK!

Remember my post about the dishwasher after we first moved in? I wasn't really thrilled with it, but found that Jet Dry did help some.

The other day, I stopped to tie my shoe. I was in the kitchen, in front of the dishwasher. I noticed a little bit of water running down the front of it from the vent at the top of it (it was drying the dishes at the time, so condensation build up maybe?). Could this be why the seam in my floor started to pull apart in front of the dishwasher? (we use it every day) I am not sure. But it would make sense, right? I don't know if we'll ever find an answer to that question.

We have the stainless steel GE model number GLD5660RSS. It has a small vent in the upper left corner of the dishwasher.

I have done some research and GE is no longer making this model (wonder if this why?). So hopefully anyone just now starting the building process won't get this model.

We loved how quiet it was. And we love that it has an alarm to tell you when the process is done and you can start unloading it. We wished for it to dry a bit better or at least have the option to dry/warm longer on the dishwasher. All just personal preferences really.

Now that we have noticed the water while drying issue, I'm paranoid. DH isn't fond of that either. So now we're saving up for a new dishwasher. lol Mother's Day maybe? lol

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's fixed

Going through the online customer care center was easy. They were prompt to reach us (with in 24 hours). We set up our appointment.

They came yesterday, and were actually about 30 minutes early. What a surprise! They were very polite and got the job done. My 2 yr old hugged one of them. lol Easy.

Our PM has checked in a few times to make sure we were getting service and it was getting taken care of.

We're very pleased with the quality of service and people we have dealt with. =)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Banister Pics for New Build Noob

NBN: Here are the pics of our banister. Yours may not suppose to be the same, but it sure shouldn't look like it does. I'm sure you're PM will catch it, but I'd bring it to his attention anyway.





Feel free to show these to your PM. Hope this helps.

Want a GORGEOUS house with all the perks for practically nothing? $25,000 free!

Then consider living by me!! lol

Ryan has an Awesome incentive right now! Included in the price of every house you get the following for free:

YES, IT’S INCLUDED!

Up to $25,000 of Incentives INCLUDED Now through October 31!*

*Incentives include retail value of:
• Architecturally appealing elevations with stone or brick
• Designer kitchen with granite counter tops, 42” Timberlake maple cabinets with crown molding
• Kitchen Island
• Hardwood foyer
• Luxury Owner’s bath with separate tub and shower and double sink vanities
• Tankless water heater
• GE appliances with smooth top range and microwave
• Patio or deck
• Energy Star Qualification
• And More! Visit our neighborhood for a complete list of features.
• PLUS Ryan Homes Pays up to $2,000 in Closing Costs* ‡


See what I mean? If you are thinking about buying a new home, now is the time! NO JOKE!! Man...Where were these when I signed? lol I was told, but it is NOT confirmed, that you may also get a Morning Room and recessed lights. Not sure on that one though. It's not on the website. I got that info word-of-mouth. But as you can see the website does say "And more!". So maybe?!

Anyway, I just wanted to get the information out there for anyone following in my area who might be considering purchasing. This is October's incentive. No one knows if it will be around in November. In order to get it, you must sign a contract before Nov. 1.

Happy Building!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wildlife!

Ah the joys of a new neighborhood!

We have frogs. LOTS of frogs. lol The kids are little creeped out. But it's getting better. They aren't as many sticking to the house anymore. lol

We also have deer. LOTS of deer. My husband sees them coming home several nights a week on his drive down the long road into the neighborhood. One neighbor has hit one. =( They are okay though and the deer got up and ran off. Shew!

We also have snakes. Black snakes, green snakes, gray snakes. Snakes Snakes Snakes! Hazard of building on country land I suppose.

And if you think the snakes are creepy, we also have coyotes!! I knew they were in the woods behind the field, behind our house. We know people who live on the other side of those woods who have seen them and shot at them. I never thought to much about it until last night. When one neighbor told us they had seen one dashing across the traffic circle here in the neighborhood! WHAT!!! I think I'm gonna watch my little dog a little more closely in the evenings.

I hoping as the construction continues, these creatures will be scared back further into the forest and not feel free to roam the neighborhood as much. lol Again, I do think this is just one of those things that happen when you build well off the main road, in the country. =)

The neighborhood is beautiful though. And I am confident that the confused wildlife will soon get a clue.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Updates

Well, I emailed Ryan's Customer site on Monday. They called and left messages with my husband Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday he called them back (finally). We have an appt. Tuesday for them come fix the floor in the kitchen. =) YAY! They gave us a 2 hour window they could show up in. Fine by me! Better than the 4 hours you get with all the utility people. =) I'll let you all know how it turns out. So far it's been easy, and very professional. It's funny, during our building process I had a dream. In it, our kitchen floor was messed up and something of a personal nature happened with one of the Ryan Reps. Ends up both came true.

My sister's house is coming right along. They have started framing. =) Very exciting stuff. We measured her backyard to be 10 ft short. We measured twice using one of those ticker things you just push along the ground. But our PM says it's right. He probably had a better way of measuring it.

I'm going to ask my husband to ask his uncle (who inspected our home) to see if he will inspect theirs at pre-drywall for them. =) We'll see.

Everything is on schedule to be delivered on the 16th. Which still makes all of our stomachs turn a bit. But at least it's not later. =) I think we are all trying to adopt the "It will be what it will be" attitude and trying to roll with the punches now. We can't help when the house will be done. No one is happy with the situation at all. But dwelling on it is not going to help it or fix it. We all will do our best to get them settled and moved in as quickly as possible. Honestly, we are trying to come up with a few different scenarios. Still crossing our fingers the PM will work magic and have it done sooner than the projected date. Every day sooner he might could get it, would be a blessing. But in the mean time, time to come up with other plans. =)

We know that in the end, they will have a beautiful house. That is what we all keep trying to stay focused on. Well that, and on New Year's Eve, at one Rockin' party, I will be able walk home!! =) lol

In yet OTHER news... I have some other family who might be looking to build in here too. Crazy huh? Right now all options are open to them. We'll see what happens there.

I drive around our developing neighborhood at least once a week. I am in complete awe at how many houses are going up. It's amazing! They work fast, and from the street they all look so pretty. There are not many available lots left anymore I don't think. Don't get me wrong, there are lots. Nice ones! But from where we started at when we were looking back in Feb., a lot has been done! So from that perspective, not much left.

I'll let ya'll know how the fixing thing goes! Happy Building Ya'll!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Disappointment

Disappointed on two fronts really.

I just had to make a service request through Ryan Homes Customer Service sight (http://www.myryanhome.com/). We just closed on our house July 22nd of this year, and already our upgraded kitchen floor is starting to pull apart at a seam. Not real thrilled with this at all. We'll see what happens.

We contacted our PM just after they finished all the 30 day work to tell him about this and he said we now had to go through the Customer Service Care line. Either by phone or internet. I chose online. With 3 kids, it's easier for me not to try to hold a phone conversation. lol We'll see how long it takes to hear from them.

Our PM did drop by last week to see if I had made the call to center yet, and I had not. I had too much going on with my sister's wedding to worry about it last week. But I was impressed he came to check up on it.

The other disappointment is due to my sister's lot. She has a foundation now and Wood was delivered last Thursday. We're all anxious for them to start framing. But nothing yet. GRRR But the worst part is, the projected delivery date now is once again the day before our family from out of the country arrives. I'm still not thrilled they said they could have all this done by the first week in December and now we are the 16th. Neither are they. They really wanted to be settled in the house (blinds, lights, fans, ect. in) before company came to stay with them. This house is bigger and would accommodate all of them much better.

However, since Ryan can't seem to make up their minds or keep to any decent schedule, my sister is talking about pushing off closing until the end of January now, after the first semester finally ends. It would make it easier to transfer her daughter's school then. She just has to check on a few things first.

We are all very disappointed in this news. Our PM worked hard to get us into our house by the time we said we needed to be. But it just doesn't seem to be going the same way with them at all. And now with bad weather coming in, I'm not sure they'll frame at all this week. Wonder how far behind that will put closing now. >=/

On top of all this, by sister paid extra money for 50 ft of back yard to be cleared. She only got 40 feet. So Ryan owes her some money!! I'm hoping she can get a few of the extra's she wanted that she was told it was too late for. Either that or they fix the price of the house or put the money toward closing. They can't clear any more land as it dead ends on the property line right now. I'm not sure if the they just surveyed it wrong or didn't place the house right, or what the issue is/was. We'll see what happens there.


On a good note... They are FINALLY starting to work on paving next to my house. We'll see how long this takes. It was only suppose to be started back in July. =/

Now a question for you bloggers who have settled into your homes already: Is your HVAC loud? Like noises in the ducts in the walls? Ours is. NOT happy about that either. It works great. Just a lot louder than any other home I have ever lived in. And I have lived in 6 in my adult life thus far. So I was just curious about how the rest of you are doing with the HVACS.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An option NOT on your option list (& really guys?)

First things first. The option. Did you know you could recessed lighting on your front porch? YUP!! You sure can. And it's NOT on your options list. Two houses in my neighborhood have it and it's AWESOME!! So if you are building a house with a front porch elevation, you might want to check on this one. It's custom, but they do it!!

Second... I'm sitting here, minding my own business with my sick little girl when this light comes blaring in from the front of the house. "What in the world!?"

I go to see what's up. Well, about 5 minutes ago, the guys working on the house were finally packing it in. NO LIE. They were dropping cords with lit spotlights out of the front windows onto the ground. Thus bright lights shining into my house.

I cannot believe workers were working until after 9:30 at night. It's chilly here now. And DARK! Way to go workers! Way to commit!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Continuing to be impressed by Ryan Homes

The houses around here are really starting to fly up! It's amazing how quickly this neighborhood is coming together! One one lot left on my street from my understanding.

And it's no wonder they are flying up! It rained yesterday, is currently raining now, and is suppose to rain tomorrow too. Well, despite the rain, the framers are still framing two doors down. They worked and got the first floor done yesterday, and they are out in the rain again framing. Poor guys! Make you want to make them soup.

Before the rain came down hard and heavy yesterday (light steady rain), they were also continuing to dig my sister's lot. Couldn't believe it!! They were originally scheduled to be done yesterday and put in the footers. Unfortunately they still have 30 feet of digging to do. =( Maybe if on the nice days they didn't quite before 4 pm they would already be done. But, they seem to be making up for it by working in the rain.... We'll see. Sister is upset this will push back closing. We'll see. Our PM is pretty awesome... I told her not to give up hope on him yet.

Speaking of our awesome PM.....

My sister has some outlets that will be in the floor in the den. Our PM has told them this won't happen until their 30 day post settlement meeting. WHY??? Because he wants to give them time to get settled, and make sure the furniture is EXACTLY where they need it to be before installing the floor outlets. Once those outlets are in, they don't want to rip up flooring to re-position them. Smart if you ask me!

Yup.... RH still continues to impress me.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Using what you got!

So my hubby and I have wanted a fire pit for a while now.  However, finances are a bit tight right now.  Our first month here and we had to pay the final bills on the rental, the new bills here, buy school supplies for two children and throw a bridal shower.  So a fire pit right now is not in the budget.  Not right now anyway....

We have had cooler set in though, and we have realized how badly we want one and think we'd really enjoy it.  So, I decided to use what's around to build our own.  My girls and I gather rocks from behind our house and a few from my sister's lot they are digging out for her house.  We got my DH to dig the hole and we got the rocks and stacked them.  It's not pretty by any means.  But, we now got a temporary fire pit for free!! 



The kids also found this wood behind the house.  We
won't burn the plastic.







It's not perfect or grand, but we'll be able to enjoy it. We can roast marsh mellows with the kids, and then enjoy some adult beverages while starring up at the stars. The night sky over the back field and forest is amazing!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Would love to ask Ryan this question! What's your feed back?

I would love to ask Ryan why there is no bolt lock on the garage door into the house.  =/    I have NEVER seen a house where the wasn't one.  And yet, we don't have one.  I wonder why?   It does kinda bother me. 

I would appreciate feed back from you other Ryan Homes peeps.  Do you have a bolt lock on your garage door into the house?

Thanks!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

30 day review fixes

So yesterday morning, at 9 a.m., our PM shows up with his head guy in charge, and a ton of people to fix what needed to be addressed.  We really didn't have any major issues, so that was good.  He arrived with electricians, flooring people, paint people, landscaping people.  We had quite a crew.  By 10:30 a.m. everyone was gone but the head guy who stayed to finished some of the drywall and paint we needed done.

We were VERY impressed with everyone.  They were very polite, and worked efficiently.  I have to clean now again today though.  lol  When drywall is involved, you have sanding and mudding, and painting.  Guess where the sanded wall pieces go?  DOWN!  lol  So be prepared for that if you have drywall issues that need addressed at your 30 day (our issues weren't nail pops, that's at the 10 month.  I think we did have maybe 3 nail pops that they did go ahead and fix already....  how nice of them!!  But our issues weren't really nail pops.  More like bad seems, a crack, indentions and such).  Nothing major.

One guys still has to come back and finish up some of the painting.  You have to wait for the mud to dry before you can paint.  lol  But that's okay with us.  Like I said, Ryan is on top of everything and the people are just wonderful.

I suggest laying a covering over any area you have work to be done at.  We had our light fixtures in our bath room that needed a little something and we should have covered our sinks.  We weren't thinking that it would cause a mess.  We ended up having to run our tooth brushes through the dishwasher.  lol

Our PM said they would all show up first thing and knock everything on the punch list out at once.  He was right.  No making appointments for several days for different tradesmen.  I am impressed.  I wish I would have thought to get donuts for everyone.....  that would have been nice.  =/

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

As if I needed another reason....

As if I needed yet another reason to rejoice about our new home and location......

A friend from the old neighborhood and I chatted some via FB this morning.  The bus stop my kids went too there (just outside my house) is apparently one of the only bus stops now in the neighborhood.  It went from a handful of children to over 20.  And, on top of that, there are fist fights between the kids there.  *sigh*   SOOO GLAD WE MOVED!!!!  Just in time!   Thank you Ryan Homes!!!  Thank you Rep for helping us and getting us in when we needed to be!

And, I also hear the the new bus driver they have screams at the kids constantly and apparently cannot make the turns in the neighborhood without driving up on curbs.  Really?

again....SO GLAD WE MOVED!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Police!

Someone at the shower yesterday asked me if I was worried about living in here.  It's a wonderful neighborhood, but we are pretty far pushed back off the beaten path, so to speak.  you can't see the neighborhood from the main road at all.  And with it just starting to get established, I guess maybe they were perhaps worried about crime being easy back here maybe?  And since I know a few people who are building and others who are considering building in here read this, I thought I would tell you my answer.

I told her NO.  We have police come and patrol regularly.  I have seen them a few times.  I hadn't seen them in a little bit though, but then again, I'm not out front looking for them either.

Well tonight, while putting my kids to bed, there was a flashing outside the window.  I opened the blind and wouldn't you know it...the police had someone pulled over.  I don't know if it was for speeding, or just to check up on them, or what.  But they are in here patrolling.  Keep us all who live off the beaten path safe.  =)

That being said, I have felt safer here than in any other place I have lived in my adult life.  There is real sense of community here.  Everyone is very friendly, but not nosey.  It's wonderful!

eating crow =(

Time for me to eat some crow.  YUCK!  lol

In a previous post I had stated that our Rep never showed us the upgrades sheet for our home.  After talking to someone, I did remember something, and I wanted to fix what I said.

We were never given the upgrades sheet to see until we signed contract.  Then she did give it to us to sign.  We opted NOT to look it over at that point because at that point everything was picked out and we had settled on a price and did not want to add anything else.  So technically we were given the upgrades sheet, but not before negotiating price.  It was during the final signing of stuff.  But she DID give it to us.  We could have looked at it then, but chose not too.  OUR CHOICE.

It's been bothering me that I said she didn't do it at all, on the web. I wanted to correct my error.  I am not fond of eating crow, but when I'm wrong I do try and make it right.

She was a good rep.  She is very friendly and out going.   And she did work hard to help us out with some things.  To anyone building in here, she is wonderful.  Our only real complaint was that it took her longer than expected to get back to us on some things.  She currently has 18 houses under construction and is probably working on more contracts.  She stays busy.  But she is a good Rep.

So to my Rep.:  I am sorry.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Morning Room Information

Hello again!  I hope everyone is doing well.  We have the big bridal shower here tomorrow, and while cleaning the morning room (again), I realized there were probably some things I should let you guys in on.

1.  The very first light switching going into the morning room will work a half-hot.  Half-hots are plugs you plug something (ex. a light) into.  Ryan installs them upside down so you know which plugs are half-hots.  Every room has them.  Anyway, no matter if you have an overhead light or fan, or not, the first switch will always work the half-hot.  We mentioned to this to our PM at our 30 day, and he said that the plans have it that way.  So be prepared if you get a light or fan.

2.  Morning Rooms do NOT come with ANY kind of overhead lighting at all.  You have to pay extra.  We paid $150 for a light.

3.  Given the choice now, I would have opted of a fan.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE our light!  But with the door and all the windows in there, that little room heats up fast!!  There is a noticeable difference in temperature when the window blinds are open, and we walk into the M.R.  Just something for ya'll building to think about.


In other news, our street is booming!  Only one lot left.  The house across the street was a slab one morning.  And by the next evening it was a 2 story framed house, wrapped and roofed.  Crazy huh?  They work here from about 7:30 in the morning to about 8/8:15 at night.  Two more lots have cleared, another one is about to be, leaving just one lot left.  I hope all our new neighbors are as wonderful as our current ones.    I really do love it here and everyone I have met.

So anyway, back on track, I hope this gives ya'll something to think about!  GL!  Happy Building!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

=D Good news!

I'm so happy!!  And I have learned a few things.  =)

I'm having my first big get-together this weekend, my baby sister's bridal shower.  Twenty-seven people will be here.  I'm excited.  Finally a house big enough to do this kind of thing.  A house I'm proud of!  I'm just about done decorating!

Also, I have news about my other sister's house.

Her pre-con is next week.  Our Rep explained that it WILL NOT push her projected close date back.  In fact, did you know you technically could have a pre-construction meeting AFTER you  break ground?  I'm not sure how good an idea that would be...  lol   But the point was that it won't hurt the projected close date.

You see, apparently your projected close date is based on when the materials are ordered for you house.  NOT on when the meeting is.  =)  Just a little FYI for you.  So if your materials are ordered BEFORE your meeting, the date shouldn't be pushed back.  =)  I am assuming they went ahead and ordered the materials so that they could move up the closing date as much as they could to help out.  AWESOME!!   The Rep and PM are on top of it!!!  (things already turning around!)

They've staked her lot.  I can't wait for them to begin digging it out! 

Emotions are high and good right now.

Thank you Ryan for my beautiful home!  And thank you for doing all you can to help out my sister!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Battling It Out....

So...  By now ya'll know my sister has contracted to build in here too.  (YAY!!!)

I swear though....  She is NOT having the same good experience I have had.

Before signing contract she got the Rep to verbally agree to have the house done no later than the 1st week of December.  End of November being ideal.  She was told "No Problem".  So they signed.

Then they were given a date in Mid January to close.  Um.... No.  Then they moved the date up to Dec. 16th.  Again, Um...NO!  Company coming from Germany for several weeks arrives on the 17th.  Not happening.

So they finally move it up to Dec. 8th as a tentative close date.  Okay, better.   Still cutting it super close, but better.  Why promise an end of Novemeber/First of December date if you couldn't deliver?  They would have NEVER signed otherwise.

Okay, well since the date is closer, things seemed smoothed over.  They were told last week they were going to have their pre-construction meeting this week coming up.  Now they are being told they have to wait one more week.  Um..wouldn't that push the house closing back to the week of the 16th?  So again, HELL NO!

I swear, sometimes it seems like they are getting the run around.  Like our Rep has NO interest in even trying to deliver on the promise she made to them as to when the house would be ready.  My sister is torn on moving anyway.  She has lived in the house she is in since we moved here when we just young girls.  She's raised her family there.  Something new would be nice, but it's an extremely emotional journey.  I can tell ya'll right now, Ryan is NOT helping her in thinking they have made the right decision, or making this any easier for her.

There have been times where I have truly thought they should just walk away.  She is also having the same problem I did with having the Reps get back to us in a timely fashion.  I wonder if everyone else in here had the problem?  I know for a fact one of my neighbors also did.   If Ryan strives for 10's, I can tell you our Rep did not get a 10 from us, and I'm pretty sure from our neighbor either.  On top of that, it would take some major changes for my sister to give the Rep a 10 now too.  I wonder how many non 10's it takes before you lose your job?  Not that I wish on the Rep at all.  Personally, the Rep is wonderful!  Great personality!  Love the Rep to death, personally.  But professionally, not the best.

I feel like the Rep helped us out a lot.  And when she was slack on communication, she did try and make up for it.  But I hate how my sister is being done.   This whole process has been nothing but telling them one thing, and then them getting another.  I have actually told her to pull out of contract several times already.  I hate seeing them so torn up over this.  I hate seeing the emotional struggle this for them.  It would be easier if things with Ryan were going smoothly, but they aren't.

What do you do?

I love my sister.  I just want them to be happy.  I think they could be very happy in the new house.  But I know they'd continue being happy where they are.  Why put yourself through the stress and headache and emotional struggles?  To me, it just doesn't seem worth it.  I feel like they have been sold a bunch of bologna.  I REALLY hope Ryan can turn this around for them.  It's so hard to see this when we had a good experience.

*sigh*

Friday, September 2, 2011

Our 30 Day review

We had our 30 day review today.    And I got to tell you, I really do like our PM.  He was VERY helpful, patient and informative.  He never ceases to amaze me.  lol

All our issues (small ones really) are to be fixed soon!  Our PM is going line up everyone to pretty much come on the same day and "knock it out".  So all that advice other bloggers have given me about being prepared, they come to work, apparently that is going to be the case.  All the fixes seem simple enough.

The meeting went extremely well.  We're very pleased.  My DH can be a bit.... long winded.... sometimes.  I'm glad our PM is patient.  =)  I get nervous when it comes to telling people something may be wrong.  Nope.  Today went great!  Soooo glad we went with Ryan!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

tomorrow

Tomorrow is our 30 day...wish us luck.

We don't have a lot wrong but we do some things fixed.

Things like our warped front door (it wasn't locking right at first.  Now it locks, but the top is bowed)., bowing of the floor in the hall, one whole kitchen wall without electricity, switch plates in the den that are "caved in" looking.  They need replaced and more than likely, the box needs pulled forward.  There are some of drywall issues we will bring up, but I'm not sure what is done now and what is done at 10 months.  And now our dishwasher makes a funny noise too.  *sigh*  All and all, not major fixes.

I'll let ya'll know how it goes.  I know no home is perfect.  And I'm so thankful Ryan comes back after 30 days to fix this stuff (well, set up the tradesman to fix this stuff).  I'll keep ya'll posted!


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Water Bill Woes (and Sod advice)

We got our first water bill today.  And all I can say is YIKES!!!  We are less than .2 acre.  We have had 3 sprinklers running every day over our Sod.  (We weren't going to worry about the seeded backyard and hay yet.  Thank GOD we did that).

When we first moved in, the sprinklers were set to water every few hours.  After about a week or 2, we mentioned something to our PM in passing that it was still starting to die on us.  He said that you don't want to over water your Sod.  It can grow fungus under it, and as you can guess, kill it.  So we moved our timers to go off once every 12 hours and that's where it's stayed.  (Remember, I'm in the South...it's HAWT!!!  lol  So we need to keep it from frying). 

When the bill came today I about fell out of my chair.

We still live in the same city.  So we still use the company and there is no price change.  Our reg. water bill is around the average of $55-$60.    I knew we'd have a higher bill.  I was thinking in the $100-$125 range.  Nope.  I was way off.  Our bill was for $200 and some change!!  WHAT!!!  Approx. $87 of it was in Sewer charges.

Do we have a leak?

So we called.  Nope.  No leak.  Sewer price is gauged on water use.  She told us that when we use the water, it has to go back to the plant and get "fixed".  Um...no.  This water went into the ground.  We just built a new house and are trying to get the lawn going.  It wasn't going back to the plant to get filtered or what have you. Was there anything they could do?

Unfortunately, that doesn't make any difference.  We were told pretty much "tough luck".  =/  Some other counties in my area do give discounts, but not ours.  So that's something for ya'll to check on where you are building

So watch the water bills guys!  Especially if you're watering the lawn.  I'm glad our lawn isn't bigger!  For anyone building this time of year though. you may not have it as rough.  The weather is getting cooler so your yards won't scorch as easily.

I wanted to pass along the info.  Hope it helps some of ya'll out!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Updates

Wow.  We've been here a month now.  It's so hard to believe.  =)

We have our 30 day on Friday.  I can't believe it.  (it's more like a 45 day...but that's okay)

We have kept a list of the things we found.  Most things are little, but still a nuisance.  We'll see what happens.

My sister has her pre-con next week!  Tentative close date of Dec. 8th.  This is good.  Because our family from Germany flies in the 17th.  This gives them a little time to get moved before they arrived.  I'm STOKED!!  Praying that this can done in time and we have good weather and there are NO hold ups!  Fingers crossed guys!  Please!

Other than, that, all is well!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Electric Bill Is In

I went out to the mailbox today and our very first electric bill awaited me.  I was apprehensive.  But I had a figure in my mind and as long as it was around that figure, we'd be okay.

Now keep in mind the following:

We moved from a 1900 sq ft house to a about a 2700 sq ft house. 
We moved in the HEAT of the summer where at least half (if not over half) of the days were the heat index was over 100 degrees
We keep our thermostat set at 73 degrees, upstairs and down, all the time.

I also am still waiting for my Energy Star Certification Certificate to send in for my discount rate.  So this bill did not have that on there.

So....  I opened up the bill, hoping to see the figure I had in my head.  When my eyes found the figure I gasped!!  I couldn't believe it.  Someone had to make a mistake.  I checked the dates.  They for exactly 30 days.

I ran in and checked what I had paid last year.  I glanced at the new bill again.  The difference was....

*drum roll*






































-----------------------------------
$50!  IN OUR FAVOR!!  My bill was $50 was LESS than at my old house!!!  And again, I'm still awaiting my Engery Star discount!!!  WOOT WOOT!!!   My last house was 10 years old.....but we increased size!  LOVING Energy Star Homes!!!

Now if the water bill could only be so good.  LOL  I doubt it.  We have had all our moving laundry, and blankets, and towels, plus running the sprinklers on the sod (3 of them)......  We'll see.

I am one happy customer right now!


Monday, August 22, 2011

For Tasha: Speakers

For my other readers, Tasha had a question concerning her surround sound speakers.  You can view her blog here:    http://countdowntomyryanhome.blogspot.com/2011/08/center-surround-sound-speaker.html

I wanted to post a picture of my speakers to show her what I was talking about.
You can see 2 of the three speakers on the wall.  One
is behind the tree.  lol 


ceiling speaker behind couch but before kitchen

Other ceiling speaker (again, please ignore all the
floral stuff.  I am preparing for my sister's
bridal shower.  I'll have to post regular pictures after the shower.  lol)

Another view of wall speakers
I know that wall speakers aren't for everyone.  But after speaking with several people in the business, and not wanting to pay for the upgraded directional ceiling speakers, this was the option for us.

P.S.
I love being able to sit at my island, blog, and cook dinner.  *contented sigh*






Potential Milan Owners....

Did you know there was an option to add yet ANOTHER bedroom to your house?  YUP! 

I know that you can turn the loft into a 4th bedroom (we did that).  That is an option.  But that is NOT what I'm talking about.  After talking with some of our neighbors, we found out you can put a master bedroom downstairs!

Someone in the area has an elderly relative living with them.  In order to accommodate them, this is what they had done:

Instead of living room/study, hall closet, and dining room; they made that whole area a down stairs master bedroom complete with closet and private bath!   Now I'm not sure of costs.  But I do know it was done.  =) 

I thought I would pass this little tid bit along, in case any of you were considering the Milan, but needed a bedroom on the main level, I wanted you to know it can be done.  =)

Happy Building!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Neighborhood News

Good Saturday to you all!!

I gotta tell you, I REALLY love my house and my neighborhood.  I love living here!   And the fact that one of my sisters is moving just up the street now makes it even better!!

My baby sister may not live here, but she likes to ride her horse over this way.  She was a big hit last Saturday.  On of my neighbors had a large cookout, another one had some kind of get together as well, and of course I was having a small one for the first pre-season NFL game of the season!  lol

So when she showed up on her horse with her dog, all the kids swarmed!  lol  Her horse is HUGE.  And beautiful.  Great Grandson of Seattle Slue.  =)  He's tall and gorgeous.  lol  But do to an approaching storm, she had to hustle back, breaking the children's hearts.  lol  I had to explain that she'd be back another day for a visit.  I love that I will have one sister up the street and another that can visit when she is with her horse.  =)  We even keep carrots here now for him.  lol

My kids loving playing with the kids on our street too.  They seem to be feeling at home now too.  =)   They love that they have friends now.

In neighborhood news, construction is going on like crazy!  A Naples is going in across from me.  That will make my street almost all Naples and Milans.  lol 

The Naples and Rome seem to be the most popular models to build in here right now as far as I can see. Followed by the Milan. We do have 2 Dorsey Halls and my sister's will make 3.  We also have one Verona, a Raveena, and a Canterbury.   Our neighborhood offers 12 different models total.  Lots of variety to chose from.  I am amazed no one has built a Venice yet!

Also in neighborhood news, there may be an issue with the new developer according to rumors.  Something about the developer wanting to hike the prices up on the lots.  And both WF and Ryan do NOT want that.  So whether or not they continue to be the developer, or everything goes back on the bidding block remains to be seen. 

My little stretch of road where my driveway is was suppose to get paved.  Remember that?  Well, it's still crush and run.  =/  I emailed our PM and he said the company who was suppose to do it has pulled out.  >=/  So now they have another company in talks with them and bidding it out.  He is hoping it will get done soon.  We'll see.

The people we've met so far have been incredibly nice.  I'm looking forward to meeting more.  =)

So that's what's going on over here.  Hope ya'll are doing well.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Driveways

Since starting the blogging process, I have noticed that driveways vary just as much as our houses do.  Some are asphalt, other cement.  Some need sealed, others do not.  I thought I would shoot some pics of our drive (and other random stuff, sorry) to share what ours is like.

I am going to put a little flower garden under the morning room
windows I think.

Our driveway
we have built in sections and joints



The joints/seams are built in for Cracking.  Any cracking of
our driveway should take place in these seams as the
years go by.  We'll see.



sidewalk made the same way

flower in my front flower bed

Home sweet home

new wreath




So anyway, that's that.  Some random pics and driveway pics.  If people down here pour driveways with seams and joints made to do all the cracking over time, I don't understand why other cement companies don't do the same thing?  Huh.  Different regions, different ways of doing it I guess.  I do know since I'm in the south, we don't seal driveways down here.  No real reason for it when you only get one winter storm a year.  lol

Anyway, that's my updates.  Happy blogging everyone!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Well, whatdya know!

After yesterday's shenanigans, NVR came through.  My sister is going to be my new neighbor!!!  She is APPROVED!  =)  She's a street over and we'll be able to see each other's house.  I don't know who is more excited...  Them?  Me?  Or our kids!  lol

I'm stoked!!

Now hopefully they can get in and settled before "the Germans invade".  lol  I know that sounds horrible, but honestly, it's said with so much love!!  I can't wait for my sister to tell them that when they come that:
1.  They'll be staying in a brand new house and
2.  They'll be able to walk to my  house!! 
I have every confidence in our PM here to get their house built, built right, and in time.  He rocks!

I'm so freaking excited!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Well that was fast & Frustration

Our first mortgage payment is due Sept. 1st, and it's already been sold!  Our first payment is no longer to the mortgage company who wrote our loan, but now it is due to Bank of America.  *face palm*  Of all the banks out there, why them?  Around here (where they are head quartered) they are NOTORIOUS for trying to start foreclosure proceedings on brand new mortgages and homes not anywhere near foreclosure.  UGH!  I can't believe they sold it that fast and to THEM!  Oh well.  We'll just make our payments and cross our fingers.  It is what it is.

Speaking of mortgage frustrations.....


My family is trying to get final approval so construction can start on their house.  NVR promised they'd have an answer in 2 weeks.  We are now in week 3 and NVR's response was "It's ONLY been 3 weeks" (I capitalized the only, they didn't).  Why you would say 2 weeks and then turn around and try to cover your butt and say it's only been 3 weeks and "these things take time".  GRRRR

We have family from another country flying in in December to stay through the holidays.  They stay with THEM.  I have no room for them.  Well, my family made it clear they had close end of November.  The reason for this was so they could hurry and get moved in before our other family arrives.  The longer this takes, the less likely that looks.  If they can't close the end of November, they are prepared to walk away from the contract.   A part of my family feels like they are getting the run around.  At this point, I can't say I blame them.  They've been told that the end of November wouldn't be a problem.  They were told final approval in 2 weeks.  And so far, both are looking to be BIG problem.

I'm just as frustrated as they are at this point.  NVR was awesome to us.  But so far, the experience has been far from that for my family.  You shouldn't give deadlines and make promises if you aren't 100% sure of them.  That's bad business.  Period.

And worse yet, no one is even bothering to look into why it's taking so long.  All my family gets are excuses.   And if I were them at this point, I'd be telling them if construction didn't start by Sept. 1, I'd be walking away from the contract.  This is just ridiculous.  But it's not up to me.  And they love the house and the neighborhood.  But don't think the thought hasn't crossed their minds....

I'm sorry.  But I am NOT happy at how this process has gone for my family one bit.  I guess it's a good thing they are more patient than I am.  But I can tell you, their patience is starting to run thin.  But can you blame them?  The home loan processes is taxing on all who go through it.  And to be told one thing and then have it be another is not an easy pill to swallow.  And no one being willing to find out what the hold up is not helping.  Getting excuses is not helping.

NVR may have been good to me, but I am appalled by them at this point in the process with my family.  If you are going to buy a Ryan Home, I suggest getting your OWN financier and NOT going through NVR.

I pray they get their approval by week's end......for all our sakes.

I'm sorry.  I'm just super frustrated.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birthday Bash

This is a re-post from my personal blog.  But since the house played a part in it, I thought I'd share:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So today was my birthday. =) And it was an amazing day. I got phone calls, texts, and I am still reeling over how many FB "happy birthday" messages I got today! I didn't realize I knew that many people, let alone that many cared. I am floored!

My hubby got the kids out of the house this morning so I could sleep in. Ahhhhh..... When I did finally arise, I had flowers, balloons, cards, and Dukin Donuts coffee and donuts! =)

My kids did not fus, fight are argue all day! That was amazing! My youngest isn't feeling well, she's a bit off. Not like her. But still, a great day! My hubby even swept and mopped the kitchen floor for me and changed every diaper today. I literally didn't have to do a thing a today. Wow. =D

I got to relax today. Only did a little laundry (b/c if I didn't, I'd feel bad for not doing a thing) and even got a shower by myself!! I have only had one of those since moving in. lol My youngest likes to walk into the shower with me. She loves it, and there's more than enough room. lol So getting one alone again was nice too. =)

We went over to my mom's tonight for dinner. Both my sisters and their families were there. She made my favorite meal. =) My sister made me my favorite cake. The kids all played wonderfully. *contented sigh*

Oh, and the best part....I got play with adults tonight!! My mom watched Bean (our nickname for our youngest) for us, and my husband, me, both my sisters and their husbands (husband-to-be in one case) all sat around and play Scattagories. We all laughed so hard!! I can't remember the last time I sat around with adults and played a game, let alone one with family.

Good food, good wine, good times. =) Loved it!

We got home tonight as a huge storm was starting up. We were under a warning with large hail and winds 60-70 mph. We put the kids to bed, shut off all the lights, opened the blinds in the morning room, and watched the storm over the field and trees behind our house. It was PERFECT. I love a good thunder storm. More and more lately. It was great.

I know it doesn't seem like much in the way of birthdays to some. But to me, it was all I ever wanted. It was a perfect day. Surrounded by people that I love. An easy, do nothing, relaxing, wonderful day. This, to me, is what life is about. Good times with good people. Today was perfect.

A big thanks to everyone who helped make it so special; from phone calls, to texts, to facebooking, to ... all of it!!! Thank you!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Couldn't believe my eyes!!

So there is another Milan going up in the neighborhood.  I couldn't believe my eyes!

They started framing yesterday.  Today it is done!  Windows and all!!  Now why is this such a big deal?  We had one heck of storm come through today.  Crazy wind and sideways rain!  (which stings when it hits you!!!)  It last a while.  Everyone around commented on how bad it was, and we've had some doozies. 

Well, guess who was out working in the rain to complete the house?  Ryan's builders/"worker bees" (as some bloggers have dubbed them).  I cannot believe they were out in that mess!!  HORRIBLE!!!

I had just gotten home from dropping my van off and getting a rental.  My air compressor went out.  Not good when you're in the south for the summer.  YUCK!!  My van is programmed to my garage door.  So when I got home with the rental, guess who had to make a mad dash to the front door to unlock it, go through the house soaking wet, open the garage, then pull the rental into the garage so my kids (& nieces) could get out someplace dry and not crazy?  That's right...ME!  That's how I know how the rain stung.  It was horrible.  I just don't know how those workers did it.

I know it wasn't my house they were working on.  But I was amazed to see them working on it in that mess none the less.  God bless those poor men!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

We have barstools and greenery! =)

My husband's birthday was the first and mine is this weekend. So my mom & sisters went in together to get us a joint birthday/house warming gift.... BARSTOOLS!! We love them!!

Dh and I also went out to A.C. Moore yesterday and got some greenery for the house! What a difference it makes! (I have been shopping around and they had a good selection on clearance!)

Here are some updated pics for you.




BEFORE


AFTER


Please excuse the mantel.  I'm preparing for
my sister's bridal shower



a total of 5!  =)

more bridal shower decor  lol


close up of vertical blinds in morning room
Can you tell they have an ivy design?

morning room

apparently kids have scooted the table some  =/
Excuse the top of the hutch, again, bridal shower decor
staging area.  Notice our table matches our kitchen.


light my daughter picked out vs. a fan

master bedroom

we can put the treadmill down and use it now!

the dreaded book case we couldn't find a place for
told ya'll it was big.  I know the rocker is a bit old and
ugly now too.  But I have rocked all three of my babies
in this chair.  It's not going anywhere anytime soon.  lol


study/playroom doors down on the end

I love these stools!  We all do!





I know we still need curtains. But that's going to have to wait a little bit. We have my sister's shower and wedding. Then my eldest's 10th bday, and then the holidays. It'll probably next year before we have curtains. But I'm okay with that. At least we have blinds! lol

So that's my big update.  Not much I know.

Building has picked up.  We're excited.  We only have 2-3 lots left on our street for now.  =)

So that's it guys.  Happy building!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rumor has it......

So, we know that there only 34 lots left, at this point, that are not under contract yet.  Crazy!  I can't believe they have sold so many lots in less than 6 months time.  =)

We also know that the HOA is starting up in January.  They are keeping with the current HOA rules.  No fences above 4 ft high folks!

And rumor has it, that a new developer is now under contract!  =)  HOPING this means a pool by next summer.  Ryan was hoping to have more lots opened up to them.  We'll see!

I have an email in to the Rep to confirm.

I make the statement about the pool because back when we started our process (in Feb.) we were told the funds were already there and put aside for the pool to be complete (not necessarily the club house though), but that Ryan was not finishing the pool, and the current developer didn't want to do it.  They were looking for a new developer to come and in and finish it.  So....  we'll see.

Other than that...  I had another neighbor move in over the weekend.  Very nice people.  And it looks like another one may have started the move, but not sure. 

For those following, living in here, stay tuned to this post and I'll let you know when/if I get confirmation.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Question for you who have already closed....need help

Ok guys, I need ya'lls help.

How does your dishwasher work?  Honestly.

Ours doesn't seem to want to dry anything.  YES, it's set on Heat Dry.  But everything is still covered in water and wet when we go to unload it....HOURS later sometimes.  It just seems to us that a brand new dishwasher should not be acting this way.  Our old 10 year old one did this.  There does seem to be some heat from it during the dry cycle, but....  I don't know. We are extremely unhappy with the how it drys.  Love how quiet it is, but what good is a dishwasher that doesn't dry worth a darn?

So, what's going on with your dishwashers?  Do you like them?  Do they dry worth darn?

Thanks.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Info for you

So I had heard that Energy Star certified homes are so good at being air tight, it was suggested you get a few plants for the indoors to help improve indoor air quality.  Hmmm....

So I have set out to scour the internet and see if this is true.

I first started at Ryan's Website.  Interesting....
http://www.ryanhomes.com/energystar/index.htm

Check that out.  Scroll over the numbers to see how Ryan makes their homes energy star efficient.  I was a little surprised by a few of them.  The paint and carpet especially.  It didn't really answer my question, but it is neat information there.

Here is another cool link:   http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=new_homes_partners.locator
Use this link to find incentives in your area for having an energy star certified home.  For example, in my area, once I get my Energy Star Certified certificate in the mail (approx. 45 days after closing), I can send a copy to my power company and get a discount on my bills on top of the already lower prices of having an energy star home.  WOOHOO!!

However, I am unable to either substantiate or dismiss the plant vs. air quality  debate.  I have found several sites that suggest a plant or 2 (or more) in any home to help improve air quality no matter the type of home you have.  I could research this thing for hours and hours more, and possibly come up with it.  But I have been at this a while already and am tired.  lol  So I'll leave it up to ya'll to decide if you want plants or not.  However, a few in the Morning Rooms may be nice.....

Went with my sister to see our Rep today.  Our neighbor officially re-opened this past February after several years of nothing.  (Developer went bankrupt and the 8 or so houses/families in here were just abandoned for a few years until this past February when Wells Fargo took over development).  Now there are officially only 34 lots left available.  0.0  SNAP!!  I know some of you out there are building in neighborhoods that may only have 34 lots or less.  But they have officially sold exactly half of all their available lots from mid February to the end of July.  I asked if this was normal and she said NO!  They don't normally sell this fast.  WOW! 

So if anyone out in cyber land is considering buying in here, you might want make up your mind soon.  Just a thought.

So that's my info for the day.  I was going to take more pictures, but my hubby took the camera this morning.  So, soon.... 

Until next time!

 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Home Sweet Home Part 1

SOME of you bloggers have been asking for pictures.  So I snapped a few tonight.   I was forced to unpack the dreaded box (ok...I didn't unpack so much as I did just open it) to find our pool bags.  lol  So I grabbed the camera bag while I was in there.  I hope to unpack it tomorrow.  Before viewing the photos....

Please please try and remember a few things:

1.  Our stuff is OLD!!

2.  We're still unpacking and settling in some

3.  Yes, I know we need curtains. 

4.  Please excuse the blue card table in the kitchen corner.  It's our staging area for now.  It will go.  And eventually we'll find something nice for the corner.  A plant.  Corner shelves or cabinet.  We have time.

5.  These were taken tonight, not long ago.  So no sunlight.  Sorry.

6.  We're still decorating.  It's going to take time.

I guess that's enough with the disclaimers.  I can't believe I'm going to do this.....  Here we go:

Going to add curtains, a tree in the corner on left, and something pretty over fireplace
The boxes next to the tv have our gaming systems in it.

front hall
Please ignore the picture on the floor in the dining room  lol

Our ugly bar stools!!  We are currently shopping for
prettier ones.  =)

Coming in from Morning Room

I LOVE my Kitchen
Soon we'll be able sit at the island and enjoy a
movie at the same time.  lol 
No more food in the den!

Hubby's cake and birthday cards are on the island. 
It's his bday today and he won't be home until midnight.
*sigh*

The first one says:  FAITH is being sure of what you for
and certain of you do not see
Hebrews 11:1
the second one says:  BELIEVE...
All things are possible if you believe
Mark 9:23
Kinds sums up our journey
Also, we will have bar stools under the island on the left soon.  =)


Pink Dora chair is still trying to find a permanent home  lol
That blue table in the back would be that staging table
I was warning you about.  It's not permanent.  Something pretty
some day  will go there.  Until then, the table will go and it will
remain empty.

We seriously need a picture up there.  lol


above our picture table in the hall.  It reads:
I know the plans I have for you...
They are plans for GOOD and not evil,
to give you a FUTURE and a HOPE.




Our Hunter Fan in the Den.  We love it!  And we have it in white
in our bedroom.

So that's it guys.  At least for tonight.  I'll try and get morning room pics, dining room pics and bedroom pics soon.  I hope this will do.  Please don't laugh at my stuff.  =(  I know we need new stuff .  Eventually we'll fill this home with all the decor we hope to get it.  But for now, it's filled with love.  And that is what is most important to us.   ♥  =)