Man, the blogs have been SSSSLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW lately. There use to be several posts a day. Now we are lucky if we have one some days. So depressing.
That being said, I thought I would write a little something for those just starting the home building process.
First of all, welcome to the process of building your home!! =) Excited yet?
A few pointers, or advice, or maybe it's just me being bored and needing to do something other than clean. Either way, I thought I would share what I have learned.
This process will be one of the most exciting, exhilarating, stressful, hopeful, beat-your-head-against-the-wall experiences of your life!
Maybe you've found that home that is perfect for you, and you have already begun daydreaming of what it will be like to live there. Maybe you are still in the process of narrowing down the models. No matter what, you are probably soaring on high right now that is also eclipsed with a bit of stress. Yes? We've all been there.
All of your daydreams of your home, hold on to those. You'll need them. I suggest getting a 3 ring binder to keep all your paperwork in, your pictures in, and any notes you take from reading the blogs. Have it all in one place.
Have you picked a lot yet? Hair pulling experience!! You want just the right one and sometimes it's hard to imagine the house on it, how big your yard will be, and how close the neighbors will be. But you'll get there!
Your Ryan Rep is there to help you. They don't mind meeting over and over or answering ANY of your questions. They WANT to help you. You are not an inconvenience to them. So don't ever be afraid to call them up, or email them. They will be your new best friend for the next couple of weeks.
First comes the loan process. This can take anywhere from weeks to months (trust me). They'll want paperwork ASAP and you'll hurry to get them, just wait some more. Be prepared! This process alone is enough to stress ANYONE out. I suggest getting a pre-approval before hand if you can. It will help speed the process along. It's not a must by any means, but it helps. (we didn't get a pre-approval until after we found our home).
Then there are all the options!! If you aren't a decisive person, this can be more of a headache than fun. But believe me, it IS fun.
I suggest sitting down with the Ryan Rep and getting a list of all the upgrades. Take some time to look it over and add as many as you can to your house first thing. Get the final price, and then make an offer. Trust me, they accept offers. The more you can get in the offer, the better. But yes, you can add things later. Do you you know you want molding? Upgraded carpet pads? Wood flooring? Upgraded cabinets or lighting? Granite? Add it now if you can. Again, it just makes it easier later.
Picking out the colors for you home may not be as easy as you'd like it to be. There really aren't any real photos of the houses with those color schemes. Just color swatches on a piece of paper, and little pieces of siding and shutter colors. If you are building in an established neighborhood, feel free to drive around and look at the colors on the houses and see if there is one you like. If it's not so established, see if Ryan has another community close by you can drive through. But please note, just because one community has the colors, yours may not. But it's a good place to start. Take pictures! I HIGHLY recommend this!!
We had a heck of a time choosing our colors. We finally picked what we though we'd like. Then I drove around and found our model house with the colors. And even though it was beautiful, it wasn't what we were hoping for. So back to the colors drawing board again it was. We finally picked another set of colors. And after an extensive online search, I was lucky enough to find our house with the colors online and we loved it!! I suggest bringing a camera and taking a picture of your final selections. So when you have that first twinge of doubt, you can look back on it and either re-assure yourself, or know you need to go back to the drawing the board.
Flooring!!! This meeting I dreaded. I was afraid of all the choices they may have. And we got there, and yes...there were more choices than I ever dreamed. BUT, it was so easy and fun!! And the sales rep was friendly and not pushy at all! And from what I have read in other blogs, this is the case all around. We even took our 18 month old toddler at the time. And we still had a good time.
Things to consider when going to this meeting are:
1. Are you on a crawl or a slab? This may effect the carpet padding you get
2. Your cabinet choices (no worries...they have them there)
3. Ask as many questions as you can about warranties and durability of things. Especially when considering upgrading. Doing this helped us decide on carpet upgrades and what to do for flooring in our entry way.
Again, take your camera. Get pictures of all your options together. You are going to wish you had them later if you don't. And believe me, they sales reps are use to people with cameras. =)
Now you thought the "hurry up and wait" process was just for the loan. Wrong!! You are now going to have to wait for your meeting with Guardian (wiring). Here is the link to my Guardian entry for pricing and kinda what to expect:http://themills-noey814.blogspot.com/2011/04/guardian-meeting-and-pricing.html . They are going to talk to you about cable, phones, surround sound, security, and such.
Then you have to wait for pre-construction meeting. By this time you'll be so anxious to start the process you may feel like this meeting is taking forever to get too. No worries. It'll get to you! This meeting is to meet your PM (Project Manager...kind like the super superintendent for your house). he will be your GO-TO person now. You will also go over every option you picked and over the lay out of the house, as well as visit your lot! =) At this meeting you will get the project break-ground date. Finally a sigh of relief and the start of high expectations. lol Don't be afraid to ask your PM for weekly updates!
This is the part of the process that's the most fun. I am lucky enough to live close by and can drive by almost daily to check the progress. If you live close by, do this!! I know gas isn't cheap, but you'll be amazed at how quickly it all happens and the transformations that take place.
You'll have the prettiest pile of dirt ever!! You don't think you'll be excited about dirt? Trust me, you will be by this point! Then you have stakes in the ground and then an outline. Then plumbing, then before you know it you have either your slab or crawl space going! And then the framing begins. They work so hard!! Visit as much as you can. Because once you are under roof and have cabinets in, you'll need to get your Ryan Rep to let you in. The house will be locked!
After you are framed and under roof, it's all inside stuff for a while. More plumbing, Hvac, inspections, pre-drywall, insulation, wiring, dry-wall up, flooring, painting, cabniets, ect. (not necessarily in this order). So enjoy the outside drive-by's while you can. =)
At this point, we are almost done framing and wrapping our house. And I look back on my list of options and pictures from time to time. You will too. You won't be able to wait to see them in your brand new home!
Before the framing starts, it's a long process of waiting. But hold on to your dreams and your pictures. They will help keep you excited and motivated and hopeful. Consider blogging about your process. Many of us do and it helps us. =) And we love being here to help encourage others.
Just remember (and this is what I keep having to remind myself) that this process in the end, will seemed like it flew by really. And in the end, you will have the big beautiful home to call your own. It WILL get here!