Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Neighborhood News

Well, from I'm told, most of the lots in here that were open and for sale have now sold.  The next section they are going to "open" up will be right behind me.  I'm going to lose my beautiful view.  =(  

We knew we would.  We knew that eventually, a house would be right behind us.  We were just hoping it would take a bit longer. 

I'm not sure when they will open up this section for sale.  The road isn't even there yet.  There are tire tracks from hunters that go back in there to hunt dear, but that's about it.  So I'm assuming they'll be paving and putting in drains and curbs.  But than again, I may be assuming too much.  You never know.  I would think that a road with drains would be on the top of the list, so people could drive back there and pick lots.  We'll see.  If that is what needs to happen, it may be later in the spring when they open it up.  Who knows.  A girl can hope!  We were hoping for a year with nothing going on back there (that would put it in July).   It will be what it will be.  We'll see what happens.  It'd be nice if they finished the sidewalk beside my yard that has been a mud hole since NOVEMBER!  Maybe they are waiting to do it and the curb for soon-to-road all at once.  I just wish someone would tell us something.  I have a dog and 3 kids.  Muddy yard is NOT good.  Especially when the original plan was to have all this done back at the end of July/beginning of August.  I think we've been patient.  I guess I'll have to shoot the PM a email.

The lots behind me are smaller (50-55 ft lots I believe).  I'm not sure how they are going to fit these 2200+ sq ft homes on those sites.  That will be interesting.  I'll have to check the bi-laws.  They may be able to build smaller homes (ex. Sienna or Florence).   It will be interesting to see what happens.  As of right now, my street is all 60 ft lots.  And the only houses really being built are the Venice, Milan, and Naples.  No one wants to put the Rome on one of these smaller lots.  (The Rome is the biggest house allowed on these smaller lots.  We do have a section of 80 ft lots.  You can build the Milan, Naples, Rome, Verona, Dorsey Hall, James Joice, and few others on those lots, but like I said, they are almost out of lots).

I suppose it's a good thing we have so much going on in here.  The prices for the size of these homes are low.  Interest rates are crazy low.  So now is a great time to buy.  And the more homes we get, the closer we get (hopefully) to getting that pool put in.

I'm still not happy about that.  We were told in the beginning we'd have pool THIS summer, that the funds were there and put aside for it.  But I suppose something changed, because most of the people after us were told "hopefully 2013".  I'm guessing that they want enough homes in here to pay for it.  That makes sense, right?  But again, I'm only guessing.  It could be that the bank developing the property has decided NOT to do the pool since they are hoping to sell to a new developer (something they have been trying to do for a while a now).  Who knows.  I guess when construction starts up there, we'll know.

It's hard to believe they aren't going to open up some more of the bigger lots first.  Those are selling like hotcakes!  And the road is already paved and everything up that way.  But, I suppose they have plan.  Maybe they are wanting another builder to come in and build on those lots.  *shrugs*  It'll be interesting to see what happens. 

Over all, it seems like we'll have a pretty full neighborhood soon enough. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

HOA Uproar: Update (if you live in the neighbor, you may want to read this)

So we made some calls once we calmed down.

The HOA company never received any of the funds from closing.  HMMM

So we called the attorney's office that handled closing and had several questions.

We got this wonderful blue book at closing:

This book has ALL our closing information in it, our paperwork, our everything!  On one page, it stated we gave $500.00 as an HOA contribution.  Uh...what?  Contract said we were suppose to pay nothing.

This is where we got upset.  At closing, the attorney's office told us to take this up Ryan.  They were charging it.  Ryan said we'd get a refund or a credit with HOA management company.  Something wasn't adding up.  We know we didn't get the refund, we never got the check.  So where was our credit at?

However, in a plastic sleeve insert inside this book, is our actual receipt for closing (settlement statement).  The book is made up ahead of time.  So any changes made prior to signing paperwork, are not reflected.  The paper receipt in the sleeve is actually printed up just before leaving closing.  It is accurate.

On the bottom of 2nd page (settlement) it said we actually gave just less than $250 to the HOA contribution/assessment.  Ok, bettter.  At least it's not $500.  But whatever happened to that money?

Answer:  NOTHING!  The attorney's office still has it. We called.   >=/     Really guys?   It's been 6 months.  So a paralegal is speaking with an attorney and we are waiting for another call.  Either they will forward that money over to the HOA management company and we'll be credited it, or we will receive check in the mail.  They are suppose to let us know something in the next 24 hours.

So that money was just sitting there.  My advice to anyone living in this neighborhood:  Look at the bottom of your settlement papers, see what you paid.  And then if you got a bill from the HOA management company, call the attorney's office and find out where YOUR money is.

I'm just glad to know that one way or the other, it's being taken care of.

If it does just get forwarded to the HOA management company, we will be calling to make sure they credit us and not take it for granted.  That's for certain.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

HOA Uproar: Attorney being sought

*disclaimer:  some of what is about to be written came from a third party

So, earlier this year I was called an idiot for stating that HOA fees would start up in January.  Well, guess what?  We all got our bill.  Redemption!

Now, when most of us closed on our homes, there was no HOA or fees.  It was put in our contract that we owed NOTHING for HOA fees or dues at closing.  And yet, we were made to pay them.  From others I have talked too, the amounts differ, but we paid.

I had an NVR rep and my realtor at closing.  BOTH told the attorney we weren't suppose to pay.  The attorney told us to take up with the builder after closing.  We did.  Our Ryan Rep told us that we would either get a refund or have the money put in as a credit, and we'd owe nothing for a while.  Ok, great!

We never got a refund check.  So when the bill came, we weren't happy.

This is where the disclaimer above comes in:

I talked with a neighbor today.  Accord the neighbor, lots of neighbors are unhappy.  One called the management company with our same problem (paid at closing).  According to this neighbor, the one that called the company was told by the management company that what ever happened at closing wasn't their problem.  Pay or be fined.  (I did not directly to this neighbor, so this may wrong.  Again, I'm just going on the information given to me).

Seriously, WTH?!  I don't think so.  This better not be true.

So I am calling the company personally tomorrow.  I'm worried.  I have already contacted several people in the way of finding an attorney, just in case.  NO ONE is going to take money from me for an HOA that didn't exist, tell me it will go toward it when it finally does exist, and then tell me, "too bad.  That doesn't count.  Pay again".    Many of us are pissed off (from what I can gather).  Seems like stealing to me.  And if the HOA company tells me what they did the neighbor, I'll be asking who else wants to sue both RYAN and the HOA company with us.  Seems like fraud to me. 

So wish us luck.  It looks like my drama free days may be coming to an end. I hope not.  I hope my calls go well and all goes well.  But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little worried.  I'm a lot worried.  I hope this whole mess gets cleared up quick.  And if we could do it nicely and with no headaches, that'd be great.  Wish us luck!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

For Romero and Esmeralda

Thanks for asking!

My holidays were a whirlwind of wonderful!!

My Sister moved up the street two weeks before Christmas.  A week later (the week before Christmas) our family from Germany arrived.  After that it was all family all the time!

We had the most wonderful Christmas Eve celebration at my sister's house.  The doctor's have told us it was my Grandfather's last Christmas.  His cancer has spread.  They have upped his pain meds as much as they can.  From what I have been told, the next step is morphine.  The doc's want the family to call in hospice.  He is doing REALLY well considering how bad off he is.  Everyone knew the situation, so we all made sure to make this a wonderful Christmas for him, and it was.  I don't know if I have ever seen him smile so much.  =)

His Alzheimer's is acting up some too though.  He kept calling my husband by my deceased dad's name.  That was a little hard on my husband and I both.  But he has always told me how much my husband reminded him of my dad, and how fond he was of both them.  So...

Christmas Day we did Christmas with children, and then hosted a Christmas lunch for my husband's side of the family.  Then we went up the street to my sister's for dinner, and then to my aunts for dessert.  I was exhausted by 8 o'clock.  lol

We also had an amazing New Year's Eve party up at my sister's too.  =)

If we weren't at home entertaining, we were shopping or visiting family.  My daughter and our next door neighbor's daughter are in the same class at school.  And they only got to play once in the 2 weeks they had off school.  =(  We stayed that busy.  But it really was amazing.  And it was wonderful to spend our first Christmas in our new home.  We made memories.  =)

And my family from Germany is still here through Saturday.  So we still continue to stay busy.  =)  We only seem them about once every 5 years so, we try to make it count.  One of my German relatives is about my eldest's age.  She wanted to know what school was like over here in America.  So we just got everything cleared todayfor her to go to school Thrusday with my daughter, for the entire day.  They are both VERY excited.

My holidays were magical.  Thank you for asking.  How were yours?  How is everything going?

The Great Paint Wars (Milan owners, PLEASE weigh in)

I have seen so many blogs lately of bloggers showing off their pretty painted rooms.  They are all so beautiful!

My husband wants to wait until after the 10 month drywall to paint.  So that puts us in the vicinity of end of May/beginning of June.  The waiting is hard, but at least the walls are not stark white.  They are a nice creamy color.  Still bland, but not white.  So that helps.  Thanks Ryan!  I can't wait to paint!  But here's the kicker, I have NO idea what colors I want!

The Milan's Morning Room is behind a wall and a totally separate room for the most part.  It is in NO way open to the rest of the house. The mud room is also connected to the kitchen in much the same fashion.  My first delima:  Do I paint all three the same color?  Or not?  I think the Morning Room would be okay a different color.  But our mudroom has a little hall way that attaches it to the kitchen.  So would those all be the same the color as the kitchen?  If the Mudroom is a separate color, what color to we do the little hall way?  the kitchen color or the the mudroom color?  (yes, I over think things sometimes).

I am leaning toward the kitchen, hall, and mudroom being all the same color.  At least for now.

The downstairs bath is going to be one of 2 colors that I've narrowed it down too.  =)

I'm lost for kitchen color though.  TOTALLY.  I have three different thoughts in my head.  And my DH (darling husband) doesn't even want to begin help narrowing down anything yet.  =/  But the color of the kitchen will decide the color of the den and morning room.  So it's kinda a big deal.  You know?

We have support beam that runs across the den.  What in the world do we do when it's time to paint that?  I thought about just doing an accent wall on the back wall of the den.  Between the support the beams and our speakers for surround sound, it may be best.  But DH wants to paint all the walls.  *face palm*  I think WW III is going to start over paint at my house.  lol

I know I want my dining room a nice dark blue.  Or maybe a light gray?  *bangs head against wall*  I'm going to wait on this one.  I want at least a chair rail up first.  Maybe some wainscoting.  Then I'll decide.

My two eldest girls know what colors they want their rooms.  So that's good.  Again, our bedroom is another story.

Milan Owners:  How are you deciding to paint?  I need some ideas as far as the kitchen/den/mudroom.

If you aren't a Milan Owner, still feel free to weigh in as well.  =)


morning room entry
see how it dead ends

Morning room behind this wall
Mudroom/hall into kitchen

Because of the speakers on the wall, and the support beam up
on the left, one of my thoughts is to paint the wall with the fireplace
and the wall UNDER the beam the same colors as accent walls.  This
would leave the beam and tv wall the colors they are, and the wall the
bar is on would remain the same as the tv wall.  Thoughts? 
(Please ignore my daughter's purple chair.  It's going to her
room as soon as we finish it)

wall as accent wall?  Waiting on curtains until we decide paint color
You can see the placement of the bar wall here too, behind the couch

this is little wall and bar would remain the color you see here.  This
is behind the couch across from the tv.