Monday, February 28, 2011

Are you curious?

I have had one hell of a day/week. I need to keep my mind busy (I'm sick, so I have little energy).

Are you curious as to what we are excited about? I thought I'd go ahead and share.

We picked the MILAN model.

Some of the upgrades we had to have are:

~The family room turned into a study on the first floor. This will serve as an office/play room.

~Instead of the really cool loft, we needed a 4th bedroom

~We are also upgrading to the deluxe master bath.

~ Extra carpet padding in the hall, study, and den.

The total sq. footage I think is 2524 sq ft.

There are other upgrades we opted to put in for now, but when the counter comes back we may need to cut back them on them. Some of them include:

~Elevation L (How it looks above although it looks kinda squished in that photo)

~bigger patio out back

~flood lights out back

~ceiling fan rough-in in all the bedrooms

~an over head light rough-in for the study (these room come with a light switch to control a light you plug in the wall. We want overhead and fans)

~Upgraded counters to granite

~Upgraded cabinets to 42" AND cherry

~ An island in the kitchen with the upgraded cabinets and granite

~upgraded appliances to smooth top range/microwave and upgraded dishwasher (energy star)

~a banister upstairs instead of a 1/2 wall

~ second sinks in both bath's upstairs

~ fireplace in den

~ upgraded flooring (wood) in foyer and in kitchen/mudroom/downstairs bath (higher grade linoleum in these three)

As you can see, we really did try and build our dream house. Why not, right? If the counter is too high we will rethink the elevation, the size of the patio, and the kitchen counters and granite and make some compromises. By the way...they are running 1/2 off all upgrades up to $20K (so a $10K cap). So that really helps!

I don't think we went too crazy. We didn't get the gourmet island and "morning room". We didn't upgrade the carpet (let's face it, I have 3 young girls, and a dog. That carpet IS going to need to be replaced in a few years no matter what. Why waste the money). We aren't paying to have the garage finished either. We were told we could do it cheaper ourselves. I know I did go a bit over board with the cabinets and granite, but like I said, lets try for the jackpot first. We can always edit later if needed. I did not go for the recessed lights in the kitchen either. I want my florescent one. I want to SEE what I'm cooking. The lighting in the kitchen in this house ... HORRID! I miss my bright kitchen.

All these homes are energy star rated. So that helps us feel better. I was reading one blog from a woman who built a 2700+ sq ft home and her bills are about the same as mine now (in this older 1900 sq ft home).

Maybe you can understand why we are so excited. It's a lovely home. It is. The model of this home is over off Sugar Creek Rd. in a development there. We fell in love the moment we walked through it. We weren't too sure about the plans, but then we walked through it and wow!

So anyway, I decided to share ahead of time. My family has had a blow today, and I needed to concentrate on something more upbeat. Although I awake several times a night dreaming of the house, and such. I worry too much.

Found out we needed to get some paperwork we're getting that together. Hopefully Friday, we'll have answers.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Status update

We did it. We put in an offer!! For them to accept it would be...just out of this world amazing. lol Our realistic hope is that the counter comes back in our price range and we won't need to cut down or out a few of the "upgrades" we would love to have. After all, our plan is that this will be our home for the next 10-15 years. This is the home we want to settle down in. This is not a 5 year home for us (God willing). When you know you want to be in the home for a long term, you'd be a fool to try for everything you want at first. Right? And then if you have to "trim the fat" you can.

So this week we will wait...with baited breath....for the counter to come in. We hope to know by Friday.

I can't believe how exhausted we are. I knew this could be a bit stressful. But tonight, we are both feeling it. In two weeks time, we've toured a few homes, decided to build, and have had to decide on all the upgrades and ect. (no easy feat), and then worked out an offer. This would truly be a dream come true for us. =)

And the thing is, it's not a huge 3000 plus sq ft home. It's a home that is just big enough for us and all we need. We are just trying to make it as nice as possible.

Once I have answers, I'll let you know. I'm sure my stress levels this week will be up there. I'm waiting to hear on this, I have 2 sick kids, and am trying to fight off the creepy crud myself. But this too shall pass, right? lol I just need a measure of grace and patience I suppose.

I'm excited though. Over all, I'm excited.

Please keep us in your prayers this week! If this turns out well, I will tell you a bit more about it. I may even have to update the blog title. LOL

We've had the best people helping us during this process. A wonderful realtor and a the sales rep there is just wonderful!! Very helpful and believe it or not, honest! =) They both have been amazing!

So for now, I will sign off. Pray and wait. Pray and wait. lol My next entry will hopefully have some answers. Wish us luck!

Here we go!!!

Going over to meet with C. again just shortly. Gonna put our final up-grades in, discuss price, and put in an official offer!! I don't expect them to take our first offer (although it is a fair one). I do expect a counter offer. To which of course, we will counter. =)

So today, we begin the dance! Hopefully by the end of next week, I'll be posting about a new home!! *fingers crossed*

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The longest day

Once again I awoke around 6 a.m. thinking about the house. This has happened WAY too much this week.

I'm so excited and nervous. We are hoping to go around 1 tomorrow to make the offer. This is going to be longest day I of my life to date. I know once we are there and the offer is made, I'm going to have to wait God knows how long for an answer. I'm not good with things like this. The stress is already effecting my sleep.

*deep breath*

One more day....I keep telling myself that. One more day.....

*deep breath*

Friday, February 25, 2011

Decision Made

We went and looked at our top 4 houses today (was gonna be three, but just couldn't cut one from the list). We walked away more convinced than ever that building is the thing to do. Or at least taking the next the step in the process to see if it's the thing to do.

We are going to go back on Sunday and haggle. If we can get the prices right, we'll make an offer.

It's contingent on a few things of course. But, we need to be moved before school starts in August and it takes 4 months to build a home. The sooner the better here.

It came back that property qualified for the loan. And we are pre-qualified, so to speak. Can't officially apply for it until April 15th. Ryan homes has offered to start building the home immediately if we put a "good faith" deposit down. The amount is truly yet to be determined. My hubby has a figure in mind, but I'm not so sure of it. Should this loan fall through, there is always the FHA loan.

So anyway, we're off to the model again. To take some measurements and see about a few things. We want to make sure this is what we really want. We believe it is. But we have to keep checking our i's and t's, so to speak. We don't want any regrets.

So, we're taking the next step in the building option. I know some people are happy for us. Others aren't. Honestly, I could give a crap what anyone else thinks. This is our lives. We will make the decisions from here on out. I'm done talking to people about it. If you can't be happy for us, please kindly smile, nod, and keep your mouth shut.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Could be? Who knows.

So, we are waiting for the yes/no pre-qualification for a specific loan. It's called a USDA loan. Yes, like the beef. lol

To qualify for the loan, certain criteria must be met:

1. The payment must not exceed 26% of your income
2. You have to fall in the income requirements determined by how many people are in your family
3. You must not currently own your own home (we rent!)
4. The property being developed must be determined as them as "rural" and fall in their guidelines. They are wanting to help develop areas that need it.

We meet all the guidelines! However, it's guideline #4 that is hold us up. The address that the agent of the neighborhood gave them came back as un-qualified. =( Talk about your setbacks. However, when I went to their site:
I did some research.

I just clicked our state and then county. I looked at what was and was not eligible. This neighborhood comes off a "main" road so to speak. Not a highway, but you get the drift. Anyway...according to their site, everything on one half of this road is NOT eligible. Everything on the other half...yes the half this neighborhood is on, IS eligible. Crazy huh!? So did the lady just make up an addy and give it to her? Or did she give her a real one?

We are going to get them some more addy's for that street and see what happens. So, we wait. Our sales lady there won't be back in until next week I believe. My hubby left a message at the model for someone to call him so he could get other addresses. We'll see. (yes, we are in direct contact with the Loan officer person). So, is the website wrong (if so, so was the sales agent), or was their a mistake else where and it IS eligible? We wait to find out.

So this is where we are at the possibility of building. It's so frustrating! lol But, I am looking forward to looking at the 4 houses we have lined up for Friday. My real estate agent is AWESOME!!! And should this whole thing turn out to be that we do build, we'd need her help in writing the contracts. I totally trust this woman. =) She actually talked to me about this neighborhood! She is in it for the customer.

So, with baited breath.....we wait.

UPDATE: WOOHOO!! I did some research and found out what the hold up was!! I found the problem and the solution!!

The USDA's site doesn't have the neighborhood on it at all. Every address you enter come backs invalid. (That was even what the loan officer said she talked to my was an invalid address). Because the neighborhood doesn't exist, of course the street addy's won't exist and be invalid. They need the latitude and longitude of each property site. THOSE do come back valid (according to their site).

So now a phone call has been made for the sales rep to get in touch with the loan officer and give her the Lat. and Long. along with the addresses.

And again....we wait.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I have done nothing but think all day. I am starting to lean toward getting an existing structure. Here's why:

1. Established neighborhoods
2. No construction traffic (nails in the road) or noise
3. Having neighbors (friends for kids)
4. A much faster move in date vs. building

If we are going to take the time to build something, I want it to be perfect. Exactly how we want. I mean God only knows whether the neighborhood will continue to grow or not. And it's much further away from his work then we want it to be. If we're going to take those risks and such, then in my mind, it should be for what we want, and no less. Why build if you have to settle?

If we build something that's not all we want it to be, then we're settling. And for what? A months away move-in date while they build? In a questionable neighborhood? NO neighbors? Lots of construction work and noise? Further away from where we want to be? Why settle for that when there are many fine homes out there right now we could move into and NOT wait and put up with that crap, and be in the area we want?! If we have to settle it might as well be for something where we want it to be and have to wait 4 months to move. You know?

I don't think we can build this house they way we want, and afford it. And the more and more I think about it, the more and more I'm convinced of it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The beginning to where we are now

Wow. We have been so excited about the possibility of getting a new home. Buying a home. No longer renting. Starting over. We at first started with our focus on foreclosures. Most bang for your buck thing. But then we extended that to actual houses on the market as well. Why not include all our options?

A week or so ago I called my lovely husband and asked him about a community in our area, The Mills. He chuckled some and said he was wondering the same thing.

The Mills is a community that was started a few years ago, and then was abandon (with like maybe 10 homes in it). The developer went bankrupt. Well a big name bank owned the note. And they final got all the legal work taken care of and the money put aside to re-start the neighborhood. That's right, the bank is now the developer. After the neighborhood has been built up a bit, they plan to put shops and stuff in at the main road. It would be cool.

This is why it was so odd both my husband and I thought about this same abandon place on the same day. Come to find out...They had JUST re-opened that week!! =) What are the odds we both thought of this same place, on the same day, the week they open! It's not like we're anywhere near it and drive by it often at all. Haven't been down that way in almost 2 years really.

So, for sh*ts and giggles (as they say) we went to see about building a new home. We really didn't expect much to come out of it. Only, we found a plan we liked. They had a model in another neighborhood. We saw it. BLAH! But going to that model and meeting the person there, led us to another model by the same builder in yet another neighborhood.

We came home, looked at the plans. Yeah, it was nice but... After some deliberation, we decide to run up and check out the other model. Not expecting much since the first one did NOT make much of an impression on us. It wasn't bad. Just not for us. We just wanted to make sure we left no stone unturned. Boy were we wrong! We fell in the love with this model. But realistically, could we afford it? Only one way to find out.

We made the appointment to talk to C., the lady at The Mills. We played the "why not" game and put in a ton of options (again...for giggles). Maybe we were trying to sabotage it upfront. We don't want to get hopes up and get disappointed.

To our surprise...we were $100 away in payment from we wanted to be with one loan, and right on target if we got the other one. *shock!* And we never even got around to the negotiation of least not yet. . .

So...we have been waiting 3 days to see if we qualify for the first loan. IF (what a big little word), IF we get the this amazing loan we are going to consider building! We will sit down, really look at our options, negotiate price, and perhaps build a brand new house. One with warranties. We've never owned a brand new home before. I have owned and rented "used" ones. UGH! Things go wrong and need replaced and yeah. How cool would it be for us to build our own home, they way we want it, and not have the worry about the roof, or windows, or carpet, or heating/air unit needing replaced. Well, at least we're 90% sure we would go ahead and build. Plus this neighborhood, they way they plan it, doesn't seem very likely to turn into a "hood" if you know what I mean. But then again....

We do have an appt. on Friday to see 4 other houses. A foreclosure, a short sale, and two listings, I believe. We just can't make any final decisions (no matter how excited we are) without at least checking out a few of our other options. I mean, buying an existing structure would allow us to move in a whole lot sooner than waiting for one to be built. Plus, if we built, we'd literally be one of the first, if not THE first to resume building in that neighborhood. Kinda makes you squirm. Dirty roads, the sound of construction all the time as it's built up, no neighbors (no friends for the kids). All these are drawbacks that an existing structure would not have. Plus, The Mills is a bit further away from the area we originally wanted to live in. So, further to work, and everything else. BUT....the existing structure comes with the worries fore mentioned, and a different loan. They both have their plus points and minus points. It's just a matter of finding what's right for us.

So again....we are sitting. Waiting. Weighing our options as we wait for word. Trying to find out what's IS right for us. Right now the key to this game is patience. Something I'm not very good at. lol