Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Great Expectations!

Hi everyone,

I hope you all are having a great time building and settling into your homes. We just completed our 30 day inspection and in typical Ryan Home fashion, we had a great experience.  Below is a list of our quick fixes:

1. Fireplace screen needs to be replaced, there is a small rip.
2. Ordered new parts for our range, a scratch and a few nicks on the grates.
3. Carpet needs to be stretched in transition areas--hallway bath, top of steps and in the family room.
4. Trim around the front door needs to be sanded and repainted.
5. Hot water in Master bedroom needs to be adjusted and a tile needs some grout.
6. A few nail pops on the stairwell and a nick on one of our balusters needs to be fixed.

So, as you can see we have minor things to fix and we couldn't be happier with the craftsmanship and work done on our home.  Our PM, Matt and Chris are always timely and ready to fix or answer our needs. 

On another note, there is something else that we've been building besides our house.  We're having a baby!  We're over the moon and tickled pink--with the news that we're having a GIRL!  So, my Parisian themed guest room will be turned into a Parisian themed nursery.  Our daughter's room (gotta get used to saying that phrase) will be our first project and priority. I'm so elated to start the process.  Below, please find a picture of the lamp that inspired the room--gotta love HomeGoods!

Also, I found a great piece of furniture from Macy's.  Our furniture will look like the piece below, put the color is a mettalic grey.  Once it arrives, I will take a pic of the completed room.

Well, happy building everyone and enjoy the day too!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A few pictures

Just a few pictures of what we have done with the house so far. I will have more to come with other rooms soon.

Happy Building...
The Kitchen

Morning Room

Pantry solution...Thanks to The Container Store. 

Showing off our Roman Shades by Blinds to Go.

Side view of our Costco Headboard

Espresso Colored Wooden Blind by Blinds to Go.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Some New Building Tips

Hi everyone,

Since my husband and I are the first to move into our community, I wanted to give some tips on things to ask prior to moving in. Here's a list below:

1. Cable: Ensure that the cable wires are placed underground. Although our house was cable ready in the inside, it seems as if the builder and the cable company did not communicate to prior too and the wire were not placed underground.  Although we had a temporary wire above our lawn for a few days, it was difficult to see the cable company rip up our nice hyrdo-seed yard to place the wires underground.  So, make sure before you move, the wires are secured underground first.

2. Phone:  If you're going with a carrier like Verizon, you will also need to make sure the wires are placed underground.  Similar to the cable experience...not a fun time.

3.  Water Company:  We also had a problem getting an account with the water company.  Hopefully, it won't be a problem for our neighbors moving forward because we've already established residence, but just make sure you put the water company on high priority because it tooks us at least 5 days to get the account and service going.

4. Microwave Installation:  Check with your PM to make sure that no structure exist behind your hooded fan.  Apparently we had a 2X4 piece of wood behind our cabinet that we did not know existed. When the microwave installer came, he removed the wood because he said it was pointless and would prevent the microwave from being placed correctly. Well, what we have is a microwave that does not vent correctly.  So, thankfully our PM is going to fix this, but to save you a step, ask before you get the appliance installed.

5.  Trash Pick-Up and Recycling:  We still do not have trash or recycle service. I have called the township, the sanitation department, and the builder! So, i would say get on this fast. I am still waiting, but thankfully, our PM allowed us to put our trash and boxes in the dumpster. That's all I have for now...I hope this list is helpful with your transition.

Happy Building...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weathering The Storm

Hi everyone!

Well, as smooth as our building process and our closing went, our move was quite the contrary.  We were scheduled to move on Tuesday, October 30 and then came Hurricane Sandy!  The planner that I am, I rescheduled our move for Wednesday, October 31 thinking that Hurricane Sandy would not be a big storm. Well, on Monday, October 29, our power went out at 6:30PM and my husband and I realized that our move would probably be an issue.  

The next day, I contacted our movers and our apartment complex to see if we could change our move to Thursday, November 1.  Both obliged and Patrick and I were set to do the last bit of packing during the daylight hours and luckily my sister-in-law still had power and we bunked there for 2 nights. After waiting in line for 2 hours and 45 minutes to get gas, Patrick and I were feigning to get into our new home, which thankfully had power and no damage from the storm.  

On Thursday, we patiently waited for our movers to show up and after waiting for 3 hours, I finally was able to reach the moving manager.  Of course their phone lines were out and cell phone service was impossible too.  The moving company wanted to change our move to Friday, November 2nd, but Patrick and I could not wait another second, yet alone another day.  We needed to move pronto! Another dilemma for us was our apartment that was still without  power. This meant our movers could not use the elevator! Thankfully, we lived on the first floor, but it was still no small feat to see these guys move all our furniture in the dark with the aid of flashlights.  So, after a 90 minute drive to our new home, the movers unloaded the truck and left to drive 90 minutes back at the midnight hour--yes, they did not finish until 12AM!

Although Patrick and I are exhausted from packing, to unpacking, to coordinating….we're so thankful to be in our new home and feel so blessed to have the luxuries like TV, power, and heat.  We still have friends and family who are without these things. We see the destruction of our state and realize that childhood memories of walking the boardwalk may be a thing of the past. It is sad.  So, we will continue to pray, give support and resources to the victims of the storm.  Meanwhile, we're taking our time unpacking--it is just too much to do!  I hope that all of you are enjoying your building process.  I will post pictures in the next few weeks. 

Happy Building...

Monday, October 15, 2012


Hey fellow home builders….just wanted to send a quick update that we closed today without a hitch.  It took us 90 minutes to finish everything and just like that, 6 months worth of saving, collecting papers and providing proof of everything was DONE!

As messy as NVR was during the process, they had everything together for us at our settlement.  No complaints from us and we're happy to have a home of our own!  Now, we'll be hunkered down packing and unpacking, so this is where I will sign off for a couple of weeks. I promise to return once I have some great pics to share.  In the meantime, happy building!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Closing Eve

Here we are at the eve of our closing and looking back, the 6 months has been a whirlwind for us.  It's hard to believe that by 2pm tomorrow we will be homeowners!  The good news is our house is absolutely everything we ever wanted.  We hired a personal home inspector and he did a great job going through our home.  The inspector found some minor issues, such as some shingles that need to be replaced, a scratch on the range fan, and some caulking that should be done around the exterior of the house.  The inspector noted that our house was very well built and told us that just like a car, a home needs annual service.  I forwarded these issues to our PM and he has no problem in making the changes.

Our walk-thru with our PM was good too.  Matt was informative and talked us through the warranty. I have to say that I'm very pleased with the workmanship of our home.  BUT we had one issue at the end of our pre-settlement walk-thru.  We were told that although all our inspections were completed, there was one piece of paper between the builder, the township, and the developer that was outstanding and this may push our closing back to a week. WHAT??? I was not a happy camper and really did not understand how this oversight could have happen?  However, I can say that my PM worked hard on pushing to keep our original date. Even though our PM was on vacation, he kept me informed through out the day. So, at 5:30 on Friday evening it was confirmed that we will be able to close on Monday.  Yes, can you hear me exhaling?

Now onto NVR…I know that I've complained about their communication, timing, and organization.  But after speaking with my SR and with one of the associates at NVR, I realized that many of their issues have to do with the mortgage crisis.  The rules are constantly changing on them and that means we--the customer have to bear the brunt of trying to meet the new rules.

Below, please find pictures of OUR HOME.  Happy building!

Family Room

Morning Room

Morning Room 

Dining Room



Steps leading to the back of the house

Showing our upgraded staircase from the second floor.

Showing our two story foyer/balcony.

Bedroom #3


Small loft space upstairs.

Hall Bath

Bedroom #$

Bedroom #4

Master bath

Master Bath

Bathroom window

Master Bedroom

Bedroom #2

Showing off our carpet color. 

Showing off our stairs

Sun got in the way, but here is our home with our red door!

105 is ready to be lived in!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Lately, I have been super focused on taking care of what seems to be everything except monitoring the new house.  We did hear from our PM, and the landscape is finished and that the house looks great.  We have our pre-settelement walk thru this Thursday. To help us look for structural fixes, we hired a home inspector.  I'm clearly not as knowledgable as Colette and her husband, so having a trained professional eye will help both Patrick and I. 

I did a little price comparing too with window treatments.  It seems like Blinds to Go is very expensive and Home Depot is limited in their selection.  If by chance, any of you have a good place to buy blinds and the like, please do share.  We close on the house on Monday, 10/15 and we move in on 10/30. My goal is to have window treatments done prior to our move-in.  I also found a place called Budget Blinds, so I will see about them as well.  

It is hard to believe that we're finally at the place to move into our home.  Where did the time go?  Although I'm excited, I'm nervous about the change.  After all, we're moving a good 90 minutes from where we currently live.  A different part of the state, a place where I lived before, but my husband has not.  I hope it all works out smoothly.  So, my fellow home builders once we have a walk thru, I hope to give another update and maybe even add some pictures.  Until then…happy building!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Locked and Locked Out!

So I forgot to share with you last week that we locked in at a great rate. Yeah....wait for it....3.25 at 0 points for 30 years!!!!  That rate saved us $4400 at closing. So with this savings comes another great surprise, we will be saving $400 a month paying for a house instead of renting an apartment.  I know the economy is still in flux, but with rates and savings like that, I have to say, the housing market is getting back on its feet.

We are set to close in 19 days!  We will be moving into the house in exactly 32 days.  I'm glad we'll have a two week break in between closing and our actual move. This will allow us to move in gradually and for me to get window treatments up, appliances delivered and proper sealing of bathroom tiles and the garage.  Speaking of the house, I went by yesterday to do my weekly inspection and to my surprise, I was locked out!  Behaving like a nosy Ms. Jenkins, I peeked through my own house window to see that our hardwoods  and carpet has been installed! From what I could see, I loved the color and I'm so happy that we upgraded our staircase.

In addition to those changes, the front yard is in the process of being graded, sidewalks have been poured, and a really long driveway has been installed. I think Nadase, our driveway is about 65 feet as well. With a driveway that long, my husband was real clear that we must invest in a snow blower! Although all the shutters are finally hung, we still need our front door  painted and some minor repair on the roof and around the garage.  Sorry kiddos for the limited pic, but I guess we'll be doing our pre-settlement walk thru sometime soon and I will get pictures then.

Happy building....

Monday, September 24, 2012


Hi everyone!  It has been awhile since my last post. Life is moving fast, we're about 20 days away from settlement. I went by the house last week and was really excited to see tile and lights (outside lights were also installed).  I was rushing, so my pics are not the best, but I will be by the house this week so hopefully my  pictures will be better.  Happy building….

Foyer Chandelier

Hallway bath tile

Hallway Bath Shower/tub

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


It has been close to two weeks since I was by the house and what did I find yesterday?  Cabinets! 
Cabinets with crown molding.

View of the kitchen from the family room.

View from the side of the morning room all the way until the dining room.

 I was very excited and very pleased with our pick (see the upgrades entry from June for more details). And for laminate (which was FREE), it works for us. We will think of upgrading our counter top later after we complete the first big project of finishing our basement.  In addition to cabinets, I saw doors, wall, trim, and our finished fireplace. 
Slate fireplace.

Temporary stairs for the two story foyer.

Up close picture of our faux granite.

We have a door to our "skinny" pantry.

Standing in the MB, with a view of the hallway.

I also met a neighbor from a few blocks away who was very nice and assured us that the town we're moving to is a nice community. So, the next step will be for us to lock in our rate, sometime this week and on Saturday, we have 30 days until we close!

Hope everyone else is doing well...happy building!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Worst Part of Building a House...

When I shared with my dad that Patrick and I wanted to buy a house and it would be new construction, my dad said, "you may want to do something else; building is a headache."  I was very prepared to go at odds with our PM and each time I visited the house I looked at every turn of construction with a laser-like focus because I knew something was going to go wrong.  And the things that had gone wrong  were minor, essentially, no stress for me or Patrick. 

The stressful part of this building process has been with NVR. OH. MY. GOODNESS!  They have been a train wreck the entire time.  Not only do they lose paperwork but the communication has been horrible.  Now, I see why the have the incentive of a basement, morning room or whatever else they try to give. It's all because if they we're  not giving anything, no one, I mean, no one would use them as a mortgage company.  I know there is the famous evaluation that NVR gives at closing and surely we will provide them with some thoughtful feedback. But truth be told, as bad as NVR is the real problem lies within the mortgage crisis and how people were able to get homes with no documents and barely had to prove an income. And now, it's like they conduct an evasive internal exam. Give us, the American people a break!  I hate to get political on this blog, but the truth of the matter is hard working , honest people are being screwed because greedy, lying and conniving politicians misused the system.

Yes, I'm angry that it is so hard to secure a mortgage and we all have to go through this pain process.  How many times do I need to send you my bank statements?  Oh, I have to explain every deposit into my account over $1,000 and you have to verify where it comes from--every two months? Patrick keeps reminding me that we're in the final stretch and it is only by the grace of God that we are able to get the home that we wanted and had the right to choose.  So, I get that through the pain there is a silver lining.  But, venting is a good thing, right?

Switching gears to the house, is moving along but I will not have any progress pictures until next week. Until then here is a picture of the front of our house with the shutters going up. Happy building everyone, and let's try not to have NVR get us all down! Happy building…

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pre-drywall Meeting

Hi everyone!  Yesterday we had our pre-drywall meeting and everything went well. We are pleased with the quality of construction of our home.  Our PM gave a detailed review of our home, allowed me to ask questions (I guess I have the reputation of being on "it"), and our PM was aware of the minor issues that I brought to his attention. 

The next step for our house is the sheet rock phase.  As a matter of fact, that happens today and will go until tomorrow.  Our PM reminded us that we not visit the home during these two days.  But, I'm sure I will take a look at the house on Saturday, so I can capture some pictures and see what our home looks like with walls!  I also saw that our neighbors to our right have the foundation down for their house and the lot to our left has been sold! I believe there are only 4 lots left in our community!  I'm so glad that we took the risk to be the first sale.  Who knew that the community would sell so quickly?  

So drum roll, please……we were given a settlement date of October 15 and we could not be any more happier with that date.  We currently live in an apartment, and our lease was to end on 11/10, but I just spoke with our apartment manager, and she is ok waiving two weeks for us, so we'll be moving on the spookiest day ever--Halloween!

Now the work begins (yes, Nadase, I really need to work on that spreadsheet) and we will start to look for movers and will put on our packing hat.  We are so grateful for this experience and thankful to God for blessing us.  With that being said, here are a few pics of the house. I hope all of your homes are coming along too…happy building everyone!

Our recessed lights for the kitchen.

Outside outlet and another example of some brick work that needs to be fixed.  
At first I thought this was a mistake because the brick at the base of the window is turned down. But I learned yesterday that this is a good thing to prevent water from seeping into the home, etc. 

This is the outlet for one of the outside lights.  
If you look closely, you can see a space between the brick and the trim. Our PM said they will fix this.  
We have a garage door. My husband did not understand why I was so happy about the door.

Latest picture of the house.