Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Signing Day

We signed for our house today! I think it went pretty smoothly. We decided on the Verona elevation L. It'll look similar to the picture above, but with different colors of brick and siding. Our realtor, Barbara Ferguson, came with us in case we had any questions. It has been great having a realtor help us, even when buying from a builder. I wouldn't recommend you ever buy without one. We were lucky that Barbara had previous experience buying in this subdivision before, because she knew what to expect.

Here is what our 1st floor will look like. We turned the downstairs study and half bath into a first floor bedroom with a full bath- perfect for all the guests we'll have :) I love the living room and dining room seperated! I also love that the family room was a really descent size. I'm sure it will be our favorite room in the house.

For our 2nd floor, we added on the bonus room with closet storage, and upgraded the master bath to a seperate tub and glass enclosed shower. We will probably use the bonus room as a play room for our kids as well as another guest bedroom for visitors, because it is such a great size.

These were definitely some of our most expensive upgrades, but changes we could never make for the same price after the house is built. The downstairs bedroom change was $1250, the bonus room was $7990 with $695 more for the storage, and the master bath upgrade was $2590. I've noticed from reading other blogs that prices on upgrades do vary from place to place, but overall they seem to even out. So, if your subdivision is higher or lower, odds are, some other upgrade will compensate for the difference.
We didn't splurge on many other upgrades, because being the DIYers we are we would rather do them ourselves and make them more unique than what you would get from a builder. Here were the choices we made for our home. Some of them are upgrades, some of them came standard. Again, what comes standard tends to vary from place to place.

- elevation L
- 2 garage door openers
- kitchen island
- kitchen enhanced package (pull out trash can and tilt tray by sink)
- maple cabinets
- satin cabinet hardware (only installed in bathrooms, we wanted to do our own in the kitchen before they put holes in the doors)
- cabinet kitchen crown molding
- 42" cabinets
- gas range hook-up
- black appliances: microwave, stove, dishwasher (this wasn't us being thrifty, this was me hating to clean stainless steel every time our dogs lick it)
- dryer gas hook-up
- master bath upgrade
- ceramic surround around 2nd bath
- ceramic surround around 3rd bath
- double bowl vanity in master bath
- double bowl vanity in 2nd bath
- maple tall cabinets in all baths
- attic storage and latter
- bonus room
- closet in bonus room
- 7 ceiling fan prewires
- 1 light prewire
- 1 floodlight
- recessed lights in kitchen
- 10 x 12 deck (although we might make this bigger)
- hardwood in foyer, dining, and kitchen
- bedroom and full bath down instead of study
- 6' privacy fence
When the house is finished we will install our own lights, ceiling fans, a quartz kitchen countertop, kitchen tile backsplash, trim package in the dining room, and overhaul the backyard. It won't happen all at once like it did in our last house, but slowly we'll upgrade to what we could never get from the builder.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

We have Arrived!

My husband and I moved to the Charlotte area this past March, for his new job in Indian Land, SC. We decided that we didn't want to buy right away until we got a feel for the area, so we have been renting a one bedroom apartment near his work. After a couple months, we narrowed our search down to subdivisions near his work that had a community pool. We also wanted to be in a subdivision that was  beyond their first or second phase of development. We looked at both new construction and homes that were built in the last ten years. We finally decided on the Indian Land subdivision of Rosemont.

We loved the amenities that Rosemont offered, a pool with splash areas for little ones, tennis courts, basketball quarts, and some open areas. We also like that they had already gotten a good start on the development. Not only is the subdivision well into it's development, but they are also building like crazy, meaning bulldozers and trucks will be in and out quickly, just what we were hoping for.

The only builder in Rosemont is Ryan Homes, and we were a bit leery of building with Ryan, because most of the information we found on-line about them was pretty negative. However, we still decided that this was where we wanted to be, and the Verona was the house we wanted to build.

I decided to start this blog so that people can see our journey with Ryan Homes, hopefully a journey that combats some of the negative information out there. Time will only tell, but I'm optimistic that building with Ryan will be a great experience that leads us to our dream home.