Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Long Wait

It's been a long wait, but we got the call today to schedule our Pre-Construction meeting! Yay! I've been stalking the county website waiting for our permits to go through for what feels like forever. Our official start date is next week.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Rite Rug and Guardian

We were able to schedule our meetings with Rite Rug and Guardian on the same day, March 10th. I was most excited about flooring, because I was hoping to have some wood-grain tile options (but also concerned about the cost). Hubby was looking forward to meeting with Guardian, because he's the techie engineer and gamer.

The meeting with Rite Rug took forever. We had our selections chosen within an hour, but the paperwork took almost two hours! Luckily, cell phone provide enough distraction with all the wonderful games on them :)  Everything I've read in others' blogs was true...expect to spend money. We ended up adding an additional $12k to our mortgage on flooring (that's the max, by the way...2 story homes can add $12k to the mortgage for floors. Anything above that has to be paid out of pocket.). The good news is I GOT MY DREAM FLOORS! The wood-grain tile is definitely the majority of that budget, but Hubby said it could be my (really big) birthday present. My birthday was 2 days later.

We also upgraded the carpet to a Level 2 carpet that has the pet stain repellent and a Level 2 carpet pad (Commander). We went with one of the included options for bathroom tiles, but upgraded the tile in the Master Shower.

Pictures are below:

 My wood-grain tile next to the kitchen cabinets and granite we chose for the counters. The tile will be all throughout the first floor.

Carpet will be upstairs (Zone 2), Master Bedroom, and Downstairs Guest Bedroom (converted dining room)

 Master Shower options.

Included bath options for the 2 guest bathrooms.

We also chose some upgrades with Guardian. The big purchase here was the Audio package/Surround Sound Hubby wished for. We'll get 6 directional speakers in the Great Room that will be installed in the ceiling. We also added TV hookups to each of the 4 bedrooms and the loft as well as a CAT5 Data and 2 tech tubes (one for the Great Room and one for the Master Bedroom). Altogether, we added just over $3k, but had to pay about $1k out of pocket due to the limit of $2k being added to the mortgage.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Big Decision

Why the Blog?
So, I decided to make this blog about our process through building a Ryan Homes Santa Rosa model, because I've been searching through many blogs by people that have built with Ryan Homes and found none from the Florida region and none that have the same model that my hubby and I chose. I want to be able to help future home builders with any insight I can provide about the process.

Why the Area?
Hubby and I had decided a while back, when he got his new job by Disney in Orlando, that we weren't going to buy a home for a couple of years. We would rent, pay off my student loan, and then save for a good down payment on a nice home. We live near Daytona right now and Hubby has to drive a lot each day for work, so we were definitely planning on moving into the Orlando (Disney) area. We also drive to Tampa frequently - it's where we are both from and the majority of our families/friends still live there - so it was ideal for us to live on that side of Orlando. Obviously, our decision to not buy has changed recently.

Why Build?
We were driving home from Tampa on Sunday, February 19th. It's a two hour drive every time, and we hate it. We end up having to spend the weekend in Tampa, even if we're only there for a dinner, because we don't want to drive our hours in a day (that's exhausting, too). Well, Hubby had mentioned checking out an area that seemed like a good distance to both work and Tampa. So we detoured and drove around.

We stopped at a couple of developments just to get an idea of what we might like to save for. We didn't really like the area, but kept driving anyway. Eventually, we found civilization and followed some of the sign-twirlers for new developments. That's when we saw the Ryan homes development. The key factor for us what that it said "No vacation rentals". It's definitely been a challenge to find a community in the Orlando/Disney area that is a family community and not just a bunch of vacationers. I want my future children to grow up with the same kids in the neighborhood. We had the dogs with us in the car, so I got out and ran in to the model to just grab a brochure. First thing I noticed was the kitchen ( I wanted it! I spoke with the Sales Rep (don't remember her name) for a couple of minutes about us not buying yet and paying off my student loan first. She talked about home prices going up and that she understood wanting to pay off the loan, but maybe for Hubby and I to consider the home price situation as well. She also mentioned that the kitchen in the model was also the incentive for February (remember when I said this was Feb. 19th? That meant we had about a week to get that kitchen.) I got back in the car and Hubby and I talked for a bit the rest of the way home. We agreed to look at the budget, that it did make since to maybe wait on the loan (I'm a teacher and can get it forgiven in another 5 years or so anyway), and go back to the model the following weekend to at least get more info.

We ended up meeting with the SR on Friday, the 24th. He was great! Our SR gave us all the information we needed to make our decision. We saw the Seagate model and then drove to another development to view the Santa Rosa model. Then, we took all of the information, looked at the numbers and drove back the next day (Saturday) to sign a contract on the Santa Rosa. If you're looking at the timeline, that means that six (6) days after seeing the house the first time, we signed a contract to build! Eek!

We really liked that we can make this house our home for a long time. We are planning on taking care of Hubby's parents and my mom at some point and this home provides us the ability to have a downstairs guest bedroom and full bath for that purpose and enough room upstairs for the family we want to start.

Our plot :) I can't believe there's going to be a house there in a few months!
When Will it Be Here?
This is the stressful part. As I am a teacher, I'd REALLLLLY like to be moved in before the start of the school year, which begins in early August. Right now, it's looking like it could happen that we close at the end of July, but it may not be until mid-August. When we signed our contract, we agreed to not make any structural changes after that day in order to speed up the process. Our SR assured us that this could help shave off 2-3 weeks from the build time. Fingers crossed, please, that our home is ready in July. Otherwise, I'll be driving a very long distance to go to work at a new school at like 5am every day.

What's Next?
we have our flooring appointment with Rite Rug this Friday morning and then are meeting with Guardian to discuss cable/electrical stuff (that's Hubby's purview) shortly after. I'm most stressed about flooring. My dream floor has always been wood-grain tile, but I don't know if that's going to be an option and, if it is, how much $$$ it's going to cost. We hate the idea of getting whatever the base is just to rip it up as soon as we close and get the flooring we want, so it'd be great if we get good news at Rite Rug. I'll update about that after the Friday meeting.