Sunday, July 29, 2012


 Went by the house today during my lunch hour to see the progress of 105 and was surprised to see the foundation done!  There was one lone worker in front of the house who explained the drain holes that were in the front part of the house and he pointed out where the garage will go, etc.  I also saw a ton of activity in the community. One house already had lumber, so I'm sure it will be framed by the end of the weekend.  I did not see any wood in front of our house. Either way, I think we'll be framed by next week.  So, here are some pictures... Happy building!
Goosey our  pet. Seriously, here is a goose across the street from our house in the basin. 

Basement, looks like pipes.

Long shot of the front of the house. 

Our backyard. 

Far shot of the side of the house. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Settlement Question

For all of you who are close to settlement, were you able to push back your closing date by a few weeks or did Ryan make you settle within a couple of days of their proposed date?  Thanks for the quick feedback.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

HVAC Update

So, I'm over my issues with only having one zone in our home. My SR, Nancy called and assured me that with the house being energy star approved there will be no hot spots in our home. How's that for service?  I am very impressed with my SR and PM…they're professional and helpful too.  So, now only have 7 lots left in our community of 17 houses.  I'm so glad my husband and I bought when we did.  Who would have thought that the community would have sold out so quickly.  And to think we were worried about being the first sale!  Anyway, I'm excited to see our neighborhood coming together! Hope everyone is having a great day…and happy building!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Building Update #1

Hey folks!  We had a busy, but fun weekend and got a chance to swing by the house.  I have posted a few pics below, so enjoy.  

Basement wall molds

On another note, I spoke with the PM today and he gave me an update.  Although he was talking kind of fast, I did hear something he said, here is a quick run down: an inspection will occur today and barring the inspection they will do a temporary drain, then they will take down the moldings, make the walls damp proof, and finally, the only thing I really comprehended, he said we will have walls in the basement by the end of the week!

I don't know how I missed this one, but I found out that our house will only have one zone for heating and cooling. I was a little annoyed with learning this so late. I think I was more angry with myself for not investigating further.  But oh, well, I guess my wires got crossed with the SR, I thought she said it was standard in all Ryan Homes to have two zones.  I guess it depends on the size of the house.  So, with that being said, I hope that because Ryan Homes are energy star this will hopefully help and the system will be efficient with cooling, especially upstairs.  Does anyone out there have a one zone system, and if so, does the entire house cool off efficiently? 

I spoke with my cousin-in-law over the weekend and he said that his first house (a townhouse) was built by Ryan and they had a terrible time cooling the second floor.  He told me to go and check on the house everyday, because he said huge mistakes take place. How often do you go by your homes? For us, an everyday visit is tough. Although I work about 15 minutes from the house, I'm only in the office twice a week. We currently live about 90 minutes from the new house. Besides monitoring the building process, I'm still a little nervous about what my cousin said about the AC units.  Since he built his house 8 years ago, I hope they worked out the kinks and just maybe, they have set goals to improve with their units, etc.   I know that Ryan Homes have gotten a lot of bad press, but from all the blogs it appears that they have improved a lot--from their customer service to their product.  Well, my friends, that's all I have for now. I will post a few more pictures towards the end of the week. In the meantime, happy building!  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Diggin the scene...

The other day, my stepson proclaimed that my husband and I were "so, 90's!"  Although his comment was hurled at us as a mega-insult of the twelve year-old kind, his dad and I took it all in stride.  We  even patted ourselves on the back, and questioned with child-like enthusiasm, "The 90's?" "Ok, we'll take that!" After all, we hail from the generation without a name, remembering the soulful sounds barreling from our parents eight track tape decks, being marveled by the effectiveness and memory of a word processor machine, and finally, the awesome debut of the first all-music television channel! So, you see, WE will take the 90's!  

Therefore, in honor of the 90's and the very cool fact that we broke ground on our new home today…here is a little TLC.  Cause we are "diggin the scene" at 105 Green Briar Court!   Enjoy the music, and take a look at our little piece of dirt that we'll soon call home!

You can see the workers in the hole…can you say stalker?!?

Our building permit!

I could not walk any closer, the ground was so wet from the rain from last night. 

Here is a zoom of the "hole".

More dirt...

I hope they keep the trees in the back. 

A view of the lot.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

And We're Off...

I have been silent for a few days, but I'm back!  I just left our pre-construction meeting and met with Matt, our Project Manager (PM).  The meeting was quick and efficient. We reviewed our selections, went through the building process, and we wrote our final good faith deposit check.  Our PM said they will officially break ground on Wednesday, July 18 but he suspects they'll start this weekend.  So, it is estimated that we will close between mid-September and mid-October. Wow, I can't believe it!  We will be in our new home in just a few short months. So, stay tuned for construction pictures!

PS: There a total of 7 lots sold in our community…just 9 lots left, and the community has only been open for a month. 

Monday, July 2, 2012


We received our approval today! Can you see that I'm doing the happy dance?  So, I guess we will be meeting with the PM and then groundbreaking. Now the process is real--we are building a house! Thanks everyone for your support…I can't wait to share more as things start to unfold.

Where things stand...

Hi everyone!  I hope you are all keeping cool, that you have power and that you're gearing up for an enjoyable July 4th. As for us, we've been busy celebrating and of course moving to building this house. But now the celebrating note, yesterday, July 1 was my birthday and I had an amazing weekend with my family.  We ended up going into the city (that's NYC for all you non-northeast folks) and seeing the Tony Award winning musical, Porgy and Bess, which was phenomenal.  We had good eats all weekend too--first, we went to El Vez, a Mexican restaurant in downtown Philly. I loved the food at El Vez…best tacos and guacamole I ever had!  An exciting aspect of moving to the Delaware Valley is the great restaurants in Philly.  Then on Saturday, while we were in NYC, we went to the Neely's restaurant. The Neely's are a celebrity chef couple on the Food Network; the food was delicious.  Then on Sunday, after church we headed to a restaurant in Jersey City, Fire and Oak. My husband said it was the best breakfast he ever had. Below are some pics of our food experience. I am such a foodie!

Says it all…a must see show. 

Blood Orange Margarita in a sugar rimmed glass at El Vez!

Amazing, did I say amazing, I mean scruptious mango and papaya guacamole. It was a lil spice with a lil sweetness. Again, this is El Vez in Philly.  

I love cupcakes!  Living in DC area, Georgetown Cupcakes were my favorite.  Since we're moving to Philly metro, we had to give Philly Cupcakes a go. Not as good a Georgetown, so we're still on a mission. 

Fire and Oak also had unlimited Bellini's and Mimosa's.

This was my meal, berry multi-grain pancakes…tried to keep it Weight Watchers point friendly:-)

If you're ever in Jersey City, go to Fire and Oak for brunch. This is Banana Foster French Toast.  You will be satisfied…all day!

We tried to go to Cake Boss' bakery in Hoboken, but the line was very long. 

But I digress, this blog is all about our house. Well, we heard from NVR and they said that our loan is in underwriting. The account rep said we should have heard something by last Friday, but it is radio silence. When you heard about your loan approval was it written or a phone call?  Next we met with the Guardian rep, Robert. He was very nice and we knew exactly what we wanted, so we left the meeting adding $975 to our building budget, which included cable in all 4 bedrooms and wiring for the TV to be mounted over the fireplace.  Although the smart connect was intriguing we decided that we'll make our entertainment area in the basement in about two years, once we recuperate from this house buying process.  We also made some additional changes to the house, they are as follows:

  • Kitchen: Deleted the ceiling fan hook-up over the island.  Our island is so tiny, it just will never be anything other than a prep area for cooking or for serving food. So, we added a  recessed light over the kitchen sink, but I think I may take this one out now while I'm typing this.  What is the point?  I have all the windows from the morning room and a light there. What do you guys think, keep it or not?  So, we keep it we'll a total of 5 recessed lights in the kitchen.

  • Family Room: Deleted the eyeballs over the fireplace, added 4 recessed lights. Added the blower and remote for the fireplace. This is another good suggestion I acquired from the blogs…I had no idea we purchased an over 3K fireplace that would not give off heat--not worth it, so ergo the blower addition.

  • Dining Room: Deleted the hardwood (will do that later with the office, and probably the hallway upstairs) and went with basic carpet and pad

  • Secondary and Master Bathrooms: Changed the cabinet to the one we selected for the kitchen, Wyoming Timberlake Cherry Bordeaux.  I was between that color and expresso, but I think the expresso is very dark (looks black) and I may get tired of it quick--what do you think?

So, that is all for now…will post again when we get the final approval. Looks like we may not break ground until a few weeks, which definitely will take us into a November closing.