Wednesday, October 29, 2014


We have closed. Closing lasted about 40 minutes and was painless. I had them send me all the documents a week ahead of time so I could review. Now we move...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pre Settlement Meeting #2

Today, bright and early (8AM), we had part two of our presettlement meeting. For the first time, it didn't feel or looke like a construction site. There were no tools, no ladders, no blue tape and everything was clean. It was nice. Overall, the meeting lasted about an hour and a half and we went over everything they could possibly think of.  We talked about warranties, maintenance, lawn care, floor care, what todo in an emergency, sealing the grout, how to cut the water off, winterizing the irrigation system and hose bibs, cleaning out the heat pump pipe, and we even talked about how to flush the toilet!!

As we walked around the house, we found small areas that need touch up and they will be taken care of by closing on Wednesday. Also, our refrigerator and washer/dryer will be delivered and installed Wednesday morning. 

One cool thing that we got in our package was a 25% off coupon to Budget Blinds. I'm not sure if this company is overpriced to begin with but we plan to check them out since we haven't purchased blinds yet.

I will try to post pictures with our furniture and decorations after closing. I know we'll spend the first week hanging pictures, ceiling fans, and installing the garage door opener as well as just unpacking. If there are no updates from me in the next two weeks, it's because I'm taking a break and will be too lazy to take 5 minutes to upload pictures. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pre Settlement Meeting #1

We had our first of two presettlement meetings yesterday. We focused on things we'd like to have fixed. Our next meeting is Monday and we'll discuss how things work (demonstration). 

We got to the meeting about ~30 minutes ahead of time so we could check around and see what stuck out to us. Overall everything looked good but we did add our share of blue tape. 

Some of the bigger issues were:

- the floor wasn't level between the kitchen and the morning room. PM said they would pull up the hardwood in the area and sand the plywood? Sounds strange to sand the plywood but ok. 

- at one point they had coverings over the floors. The coverings were removed and the carpet has what looks like stains in several areas and the hardwood has pretty large scratches (one the length of a dollar bill). They will fix both. Our thing is they will have to pull up hardwood in random spots. Once they do this, they'll have to nail the hardwood down and fill the nail holes then stain over the fill. That's less than desirable because it's almost certain it will be noticeable but we'll see. 

- whoever painted the morning room door did a seriously God awful job (paint that dripped and dried as a tear drop, missed spots, just terrible). Do they screen these workers? Where else have they done this bad a job that we missed, you know?

- we added the refrigerator, washing machine, and dryer pretty late in the process. I knew from reading other blogs that late adds are sometimes missed or not received by the PM. I asked our PM if the items were on order and he responded he needed to check our paperwork. Yep, not on order. 

- maybe not a “bigger issue" but definitely something that makes you question if these folks are competent. They put the door handle on wrong for the master bedroom door. The lock is on the outside of the door, so a kid could lock us in our room.  We noticed this three weeks ago but didn't say anything assuming someone would notice. No, we finally pointed this out at the meeting. WTF?!?!?

I'll admit, some of this was a bit discouraging and sort of diminished our excitement. We'll see how it turns out Monday.  I will post an update with pictures then. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Less than two weeks to go

We are 12 days from closing and it can't come soon enough. We've been visiting the house about 5 times a week for the past 11 weeks.  Crazy, right? It's about a 25 minute drive from where we currently live so we're going to save a lot in gas when we finally move in.

Now, we're making a move out of our current apartment and move into our new home to do list. We moved into our current apartment at the end of July and decided to only unpack essentials so we're pretty much ready to go. 

Move out:
Just need to cancel our gas/electric/cable service. 
Schedule movers (brothers, cousins, and other family haha)

Move in:
- USPS change of address
- Notify DMV
- Update address at my job, at banks, insurance and voter registration 
- We already ordered Verizon Fios Preferred Triple Play. I was able to get a discount on services through my job. $79.99/month and get the $300 visa gift card. I picked our closing date for installation and Verizon was supposed to mail the equipment two days prior to installation. Well, they mailed it and it was delivered to the house already according to UPS, so I will need to check with the PM to see if he has it. 
- Turn the power and water on in our name. Think Ryan Homes gives a grace period for this and we plan to use it!!
- Order trash collection services. So, yesterday when I visited the house I also checked around the neighborhood to see who most people were using for trash services (ducks disposal or county waste). I also noticed there were a number of houses where I didn't see trash cans. So I pulled onto my block and straight ahead I see someone, who moved in about a month ago, tossing his garbage into the dumpster at another house that's being built, haha. So that's the plan?

So as far as the house is concerned,it's practically done. They just have to touch up and clean. At this stage in the process our visits will definitely decrease. We will probably only visit two more times before closing, once for the pre pre closing walk through on the 22nd and once for the pre closing walk through on the 27th. At this point there's minimal progress but plenty of bad stuff to see. People have been using the toilets, microwave, leaving chip bags and drink bottles everywhere, a cigarette butts in the garage. The hardwood floors are not covered and of course they get the most traffic.  Is this new or used?  Must be a home now cause we care about these things.

Pictures and blue tape galore. 

Study doors still not painted.

The tile was installed before the fixture, so they had to take a tile out.

At some point they will stain the hand rail. 

Living room

Family room - should have got a fireplace

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

We're close

There's been a lot of activity at the house the past few days.

Outside, they've paved the driveway and front walkway. They have also started the yard - just waiting on the top soil.

On the inside they've pretty much installed all the light and plumbing fixtures and our tankless hot water heater is in.  They also spent a lot of time this week “perfecting" everything. They were leveling door trim, straightening cabinet doors, and doing drywall touch up in preparation for another paint next week. AND today, they have installed the hardwood floors. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I was really concerned the room would look really dark with the floors installed. The kitchen looks really nice now - although I don't love the look of the appliances. Wish we could have had more options. 

Left to do is paint the inside, stain the railing, install the french doors for the morning room, put carpet in and finish the yard. Last week I was concerned they wouldn't finish in three weeks. Now I'm wondering why they won't be finished next week. Oh well, I like that they left time for repairs and to perfect everything.

Kitchen. We're planning to add under cabinet lighting and a backsplash
After closing. 

Another view of the kitchen. Worker still there putting in floor so we left and came back later to see the finished product. 

When we got back everything was locked so I took this picture from the sidelight. 


Monday, October 6, 2014

Locked out

In the last post I complained about the lack of progress. Over the past few days, there's been a little activity. They have installed our granite countertops, laundry room countertop, door handles, decorative columns, vents and outside HVAC units, ovens and our cooktop. Seems like a lot after writing it but they did this over the span of four days. With only 3 weeks away until closing, I think they need to pick up the speed big time. They still need to do more drywall work, paint, put down floors, install toilets faucets, shower doors, towel bars, stain the railings, install the dishwasher, microwave, office French doors, washing machine, dryer, refrigerator and a lot more. On top of that, they haven't started to grade the yard, haven't poured the front porch or the walkway. And even more, the tile around the master bathroom shower is not level across the top, the front door and morning room door don't shut properly, and they have to replace a broken window. Think they need to pick up the pace at some point. 

For the past few days we've been able to go inside the house using the morning room door, which is 5 and half feet above the ground. The front door has been locked and the garage has been closed. After they installed the appliances today, they locked all doors, but we were able to get pictures first. We won't be able to track progress daily anymore because we'll need an escort.

I'm confident the PM will pull the troops together and make great progress in the next few days. The next post should have plenty of photos. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Four days with no change

There's been no changes to our house since Friday, I believe. Not seeing progress is frustrating espevially given our current living conditions. Nonetheless, I emailed our PM to get a schedule for the next couple weeks and to make sure we're still on track to close October 29th. He emailed me back this morning. 

PM Response:

“This week we are getting into what we call the trim-out phase. The electricians, plumbers and hvac contractors will be back to get the power, ac and water up and running. We will also be getting doorknobs and anything that the trim carpenter was missing from the first round. After we get through this stage of trim-outs over the next few days, we will be working on drywall and paint the beginning of next week and should be having hardwood installed by the end of next week."