Saturday, January 22, 2011

Here we go...

Welcome to our blog! My fiance and I signed a contract with Ryan Homes on December 21st to build our first home. Neither one of us has ever owned a home let alone had one built so this whole experience is definitely going to be an adventure!

We received word yesterday that our mortgage application was approved, very exciting (and completely terrifying...). We were expecting to have to submit more bank statements...possibly a blood sample...maybe our first born, but the mortgage process went smoothly (so far... fingers remained crossed).

We had a major issue with the lot we initially chose, but we are back on track with a new lot. Right now we are deciding between 2 lots that back up to open space that is slated to be developed into a recreational area (playground, pavilion, volleyball court etc.). One of the lots has an additional 50 feet of open space on the side, but this space includes a 6 foot bike path. The debate continues so it may end up being an "eenie, meenie, miney, moe..." situation.

We fell in love with the Bainbridge Hall floor plan and have carefully gone over every inch of the house in choosing our upgrades. Here is what we are going to have:
  • Elevation E (adds 2 feet to the dining room and 1 ft. to the foyer)
  • 5th bedroom (gives us a larger master suite that will be over the garage as well as additional closet space)
  • Sitting room in master BR
  • Soaking tub and shower with bench in master bath
  • Morning room with 2 additional windows
  • 4 foot extension on family room (gives us an additional closet off the morning room)
  • Gas fireplace with blower package and granite surround
  • Standard kitchen island (originally wanted the gourmet island, but it was so large that it restricted movement in the kitchen and access to the basement. The model home in MD actually removed the gourmet island because of how awkward it ended up being) 
  • 42" Cherry Bordeaux cabinets in kitchen
  • Cherry Bordeaux vanities in the upstairs bathrooms
  • Granite counter tops
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Upgraded carpet padding
  • Brushed nickel faucets and fixtures in all bathrooms
  • Moen one-touch kitchen faucet
  • Recessed lighting in the kitchen
  • Service door in the garage
  • Utility sink in garage
  • We were offered a finished basement, but have decided to exchange it for upgraded insulation in the garage (since our bedroom is going to be over the garage),an insulated garage door, 1/2 closed cell insulation on all exterior walls, upgraded HVAC,  and upgraded tile surround in upstairs bathroom
We were supposed to meet with Creative Floors and Guardian last week, but postponed those meetings until we got the lot situation taken care of. We hope to reschedule those meetings for sometime next week.

We're looking for a settlement date at the end of May. We get married at the end of June, so we hope to move in after the honeymoon. The next 5 months are going to be very busy!


  1. Found your blog and after reading it sounds like we will not be next door neighbors...same neighborhood, just not right next door. What was wrong with the lot right next to ours? Glad you were able to get the lot situation straightened out and your mortgage got approved and yes it is one scary process the first time. Your last bullet item was very interesting since none of that stuff appeared as options on our list. Was it on your list of options or are these custom requests on your part. We are especially interested because our bedroom/bathroom will be above the garage as well. Other then that, your selections are very very similar to ours. With the wedding planning and building a new house all happening at the same time, just remember to take time for yourselves and when things get over stressed take a deep breathe and just will all work out just fine!!!

  2. We originally chose lot 449, but at the same time we signed a contract for it with Ryan, someone else signed a contract with LC. Long story short, construction began on the other home and we were forced to pick another lot. It was a mess and quite stressful, but it seems to all be working out now (we hope).

    The last bullet point in our list was indeed a bunch of custom options that we had the rep price out for us. We asked about several things that were not on the option list but we felt were necessary, especially the additional insulation in the garage. Of course there is a mark-up on the price for these options, but it's really difficult to add insulation later. If your bedroom is over the garage I would definitely inquire about the added insulation. Also, my uncle told me about the 1/2 inch closed cell insulation envelope he had installed on his new home (not a Ryan Home, but it was built last year). It's a spray foam that goes on all of the exterior walls that is under the regular batt insulation. It acts to seal the walls and my uncle has found that his utility bills are significantly lower than his neighbors. Here are a couple of links if you would like more information:

    Delmarva (does most of the insulation in our area)

    Alpine Foam Insulation (more information about closed-cell insulation)

    We are so excited that it's all working out and we feel comfortable in our selections. Can't wait to break ground!

  3. So happy to have another Ryan blog to follow! It sounds like your home is going to be incredible!

  4. Congrats looking forward to following your blog

  5. Welcome to the world of fun! Your house is massive!!! When is your estimated time of delivery?

  6. Welcome, hope things go smoothy for you now!!!

  7. Glad to know that we aren't the only ones with a long loan approval process, lol. We also have some other similarities. We also had an issue with the initial lot that we chose and we're scheduled to close in May. I don't think your floor plan is offered in our area I'm going to have to check it out. Welcome!

  8. Jennlp...if you don't mind sharing, I would be interested to know a ballpark figure for the spray foam insulation. Feel free to send it to my email Thanks and congrats on everything working out for you on your lot.

  9. Just came across your blog and it looks like we are having very similar situations! (My fiance and I are getting married exactly a week before you!) It has indeed been a very stressful but exciting couple of months and I know it will only get worse! :) Congratulations and I look forward to hearing your story!

  10. Lispis...congratulations to you and your fiance as well! So much to look forward to (and stress out about) over the next 5 months for the both of us!

  11. How are things going? I drove through the development yesterday and was very surprised to see that the new Ryan Homes model(Bainbridge Hall) already has a roof on it. Do you have a date for ground breaking yet. The LC Home on 449 is moving right along. The two lots next to ours have sold signs on them and they have broken ground on one at the other end of the block.

  12. Hey BD! We are still getting the contract/change order/lot transfer paperwork sorted out. I have the paperwork now, we have to sign and send back Monday. We meet with Creative on Thursday and will hopefully meet with Guardian this week as well. I was hoping to be able to post some news, but there really hasn't been anything new That'll change this week (fingers crossed!). As for breaking ground, we were slated for March 9th and I believe that hasn't changed. We'll find out soon.

    I saw your post about the hardwood you chose. We like the wider planks too...excellent choice! Our floors will be laminate for a little bit, but we fully intend to change to hardwood as soon as we can...and we'll be going with a wider plank too.

    I drove through the development last weekend and was surprised at how quickly the model was going up, it'll probably be done sometime next month at the rate they're going. I hadn't noticed any other Ryan Homes having broken ground, so I will have to check that out. So exciting!

  13. Spray Foam Roofing is a common word used in the building industry, but still not as readily used in our market. There are typically 2 types of spray foam used today. One is an open cell foam insulation and the other is a closed cell foam insulation.