Our House

Our House
is a very, very, very fine house...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

And Then There Wasn't....

A delay, that is......  Well, maybe a little one, but not one that is going to affect our "Finish Date" :)

I received a call today from our AWESOME salesperson, Becca, and we are on the list for construction to begin the week of 5/12 and our end date is still listed as 8/8.

So, in 30 years, when we are done with our mortgage payments, I am going to look lovingly at my husband and say "Was there something you wanted to say, my dear?"

I think that maybe my Love owes me a gift (not for being awesome, because I am not, not really... but for stressing out over something out of his control).   And really, would you knowingly CHOOSE to have the big green ugly box in your front yard, if you could help it?  I saved us from having an eyesore in the yard (or having to get one of those "fake rock" covers for the thing..)

 I have decided that I would like two of these in the yard:

Isn't it pretty?

I have always had this dream of being able to tell the kids to "go outside and play - and eat your lunch while you're out there!"  The seller claims: "Attractive and edible! Enjoy the best of both worlds: Dainty white blossoms in the spring with silvery-green leaves that turn red in the fall for ornamental appeal and tasty cherries in the summer for an edible bonus. " 

Click here for a link to their website.  Stark Bros has some very nice products.  We bought an apple tree from them when we lived in Kentucky - and then moved before it was old enough to bear fruit :(
That won't be a problem this time!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

And then there was a delay....

One thing we had determined from the beginning... "We are not going to be the ones that cause a delay!"  Our goal was to be available when needed and turn in paperwork quickly so that we were never the cause of a delay.  I'm sure you can see where this is going... we've been delayed... and it's my wifes fault (I refuse to take half responsibility!).  We had picked a lot that was "next in line" so to speak.  When my wife had visited it with a friend late last month, they noticed the big "box" in the yard.  It was decided that we would switch to a lot two down from that one (the one next to it was already spoken for).  What we didn't realize at the time, was how much that would effect our permitting.  Although it had only been about two weeks since we had picked the first lot when we changed our mind, we found out to today that it would cause a month (and two days) delay.  So instead of breaking ground on 5/8, we will be breaking ground on 6/10.

In the long run, it was probably the right decision (resale value and so forth) but right now it feels like a small kick in the gut.  It's not fun packing six people into a small temporary apartment... and finding out it will be for a month longer than already planned doesn't make it easier.  Right now, we are being told that it might not push back our closing a whole month but there is always a chance of other delays during the process so I'm sticking with the finishing being a month later as well.

It's hardly the end of the world.  I'm sure when it's all over, we'll look back on this and... nope still not laughing.  I'm already planning on turning to my wife approximately 30 years from our original closing date and saying "You know... it would be paid off by now if we hadn't switched lots!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Catch up on activity....

My lady will continue to keep the decorating posts up to date but I thought a little on where we are in the process would help.  On 4/14 we got approval for our loan.  That was a relief (although until the keys are in hand... I'll never be comfortable).  We also got a date for our pre-construction meeting (5/2).  Our ground-breaking date should be set this week (I may update this post with that when it becomes available).  It was tenative for 5/8 but we switched lots early on so that might have caused a short delay due to the need to change the information on the permits.  Despite that, they don't feel it will effect our expected finish (we'll see!).  Once we get a more detailed schedule I'll post a timeline.  I've found a couple that I like on other blogs.  One of the frustrations in researching this stuff was that so many people keep up their timeline untill about halfway through and then stop adding dates.  I promise not to let you down!

Not much else to post right now until the work starts and pictures can begin to roll in!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thoughts on Designs... Nebulous though they be.....

MB here.

Well, we have, at the very least, decided on the basics.

We are getting "Elevation K"

The Main Floor -

The Upstairs - 

The photos reflect the options we chose for our home.  (Sorry, the photos are links on the Ryan Website.  If you are interested in seeing their photos, click here.)
We do have all the optional side windows.  Let the light shine in!

And, for the first time ever - I GET A DOUBLE OVEN!!!!   Can I just tell you how excited I am!?!?  
We opted for the Tray Ceiling in the Owner's Bedroom.  It was a real struggle for me whether or not to get the soaking tub.  The thought of spending an hour just soaking with some Chianti, Vivaldi, a few candles and a good book...  Well...  I get a bigger closet and two sinks in both upstairs bathrooms.  And, with 4 kids, having dual sinks in the kids' bathroom makes toothbrushing time a little easier ;)  And, also, 4 kids...  Soaking time might happen in another 20n years.  Why get a tub now I can't use -my way- for that long, right?

Our final bedroom choices are in.  Obviously my Dear Love and I will be in the Owner's Bedroom.  Bedroom 4 goes to the boys.  Bedroom 3 will be the Princess Room.  Bedroom 2 will be the Guest Room.  The HUGE Bonus Room...  That, dear reader, will be a "Creative Space" - craft room, sewing room, kids want to paint/color/decoupage/whatever room....  I plan to spend the time I would have spent in the tub in the Bonus Room.  At least for the next few years :)

So, my future posts will be a room by room breakdown of ideas I have for decorating.  Because, you know, contractor white walls - well, the only word that comes to my mind is "Nope".  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The end of design choices... 30 days in

Today (4/13/2014) we had our 30 day review.  There wasn't much that we changed... a light here or there.  The most exciting part for me was setting the Pre-Construction date (5/2).  Our estimated ground-breaking is still May 7th or 8th but we should get a more accurate date this week.

We did have some excitement with financing.  We got a email from our Senior Loan Officer asking for documents that we had already provided.  After a flurry of emails (including one harshly worded one from me) everything was taken care of nicely.  We are on schedule to get an answer back from underwriting this coming week.  The financial hurdles can be as satisfying to pass as the home building ones. 

Most of the time that we've had since the last posting has been spent looking for decorating ideas.  I have more trouble conceptualizing color schemes and ideas without being able to see it in full so most of the work fell to my wife.  I did enjoy occasionally throwing in my worthless two cents (I usually got change back).  Anyway... I think I'll let her give you the update on how the decoration plans are going....

And that will be in a post in the (very near) future.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

And so it begins...

Over a month ago, my wife and I decided to look for a new home in Northern Virginia.  We have been renting since I went back to Graduate school in 2006.  I had decided that I didn't want to continue to pay rent and we began to look for a place to buy.  The high prices in the D.C. area meant that to find something to fit our six person family, we would need to look away from the city.  Despite some hesitance from my better half to look too far away, we quickly realized that we weren't going to get something that fit us near to where we currently lived.  We put a bid on a house in Bealeton that seemed to fit us just right.  However, it wasn't to be and the house went to someone else.  It was at that time that she spoke to a friend who lived in Culpeper, VA.  After learning that someone from the same Church/boy scout troop/American heritage girl troop lived and loved it there... she was finally convinced to look at what was in that area.  They had houses that were the right size and the small town looked like a perfect fit for us.  We looked at the Ryan Homes development that our friend lived in and that led us to another smaller development that fit us better a few minutes away called Magnolia Green. 

We sat down with a representative and began to look at a Palermo model.  We immediately wanted the extra space that the morning room provided.  They had a "deal" being offered in which we could get the luxury kitchen (larger island) and the kitchen appliances.  The morning room made for a nice, open, and beautiful kitchen/dining area.  We home school, so the office being right off of the Great room was also a plus as it kept everything on the main floor during the days schooling (from meals to homework).  I had to add the fireplace as I've always loved them and we hadn't had one since we left Burnsville, MN.  We put in some extra hard wood in and the wife gets the mud room she always wanted (with four kids, it's a blessing).  It wasn't until we saw a model of the Palermo in Fredricksburg that we decided we had to have the bonus room upstairs.  It will become a craft/scrapbooking/sewing room.

We signed our agreement on 3/16 and submitted our loan application on 3/17.  We have already had our 14 day meeting and our flooring (in which we added a backsplash to the kitchen) meeting on 4/2.  Our next big date is the wiring meeting on 4/8.  We are trying to make it seem like the time is going faster by having big countdowns to each event (in an attempt to make the long time till completion not be thought about too much).  My wife is mostly concerned with what the colors will be in the new place while I'm mostly concerned with getting the financing taken care of smoothly.

I plan to keep a running track of key dates and plenty of pictures as we move through this.  I'm looking forward to moving into a brand new home and I only have to wait how many days again... nope... not gonna think about that!