Saturday, June 1, 2013

Is it hot in here?

Is anyone else having an issue with a toasty second floor?  We thought it was crazy to have a 3,000 sq ft house with only one unit for a/c, but our SR assured us that it would be fine "because its energy star."  Yeah right!!  I am just curious if there is something wrong with ours or whether we aren't the only ones with this problem.  There is a significant change in temperature's going to be a long summer.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Window treatments

If you are considering plantation shutters, we highly recommend them! These are the ones in our morning room. Love them! Great for privacy, but they also let in plenty of light when you want it. Here is a pic from the morning room...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Overdue update

It has been over a month since we have moved in and we absolutely love our new home. It's still way too premature to show pictures of the rooms. It seems like most of our time is spent emptying boxes and trying to figure out where to put things! :)

One thing that we have learned is the value of good shelving. We have pretty much redone every closet with help from our friends at the Container Store. The owners closet is my favorite, but the pantry is a close second! The Ryan pantry consisted of four shelves with lots of wasted space. We managed to get seven shelves in the same space! The shelves don't buckle under the weight of canned goods and they are all lined to prevent items from falling through. Before and after pics are below.

I hope to get blogging soon with more details on the 30 day walk through, the things we wish we had thought of earlier in the process, etc. It's too much to share from the tiny phone keypad. ;)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Moving in

Three days, four truckloads, five moving men, and countless hours later, the stuff is all in! Our current decor is a sea of cardboard. I can't help but wonder how long it's going to take to get some semblance of organization in this house. It's overwhelming...there just isn't enough time in the day (or energy) to do what we want. Maybe by summer we will be finished unpacking. LOL I can't even begin to think about decorating. I am definitely looking forward to getting our house in order!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Zero days

We are down to about 19 hours! I thought this week would drag, but we have been so busy packing and prepping, it has flown. A word of advice for those waiting to close...pack early, pack often. I held off on packing the kitchen because I figured we still needed a lot of odds and ends in there. When we finally got to it the other day, I found myself packing box after box of things we definitely didn't need to keep out. How many casseroles could one possibly need in a day?! LOL
On that note, I will sign off to continue packing...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Five more days!

If you've read our blog, you know that we have been sitting with a completed house for about two weeks now.  When my husband contacted NVR to inquire about closing early, he was pretty much given the brush-off.  In fact, for the last few days NVR has been telling him that our loan was still in underwriting.  We suspected that was a stall tactic for a couple of reasons.  First, it came out of underwriting last week with one condition that was resolved within a few hours.  I highly doubt they started the process all over again.  The second indication that it wasn't in underwriting was that the settlement office had contacted our realtor to get information for the HUD-1 on Tuesday.  I am not sure what NVR would gain by holding out on us, but that's what appeared to be going on.

The settlement company contacted my husband today about something.  He mentioned his frustration about not being able to close sooner.  She put him on hold and within a few minutes...voila!  She had moved up our closing date by two days.  She is the one that has to change the dates on the documentation, so again I ask--what did NVR have to gain?  We can only wonder what would have happened if we had heard from the settlement company sooner.  I bet they could have squeezed us in even sooner.  We are very thankful for the extra couple of days we got, though!  If you have questions about your settlement date, you can contact NVR, but don't forget to call NVR settlement services too.

The lighting in the dining room and foyer has been corrected and looks MUCH better.  Now, I just need to get in there and replace those darn CFLs.  I get it they are "green," but they also put out green light.  It makes the granite look icky.  Here are some pics of that and a couple of other finished-room pics. Guess we should get going on packing the rest of our stuff! :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Closet organizer!

We stopped into the Container Store today after seeing their products on an HGTV show this morning. How did we not know about this place after all of our years of home ownership? Anyway, all of their Elfa storage is 30% off through Tuesday. We had them design our owners closet. Good deal if you're looking to get organized. Not the cheapest I have seen, but appears to be great quality.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Still waiting...

Here we sit with a finished house, a completed appraisal, a certificate of occupancy, walkthrough completed, the thumbs up from underwriting, and 14.5 days until closing. glad you built in that cushion for the VA appraisal, NVR!  I read another blogger's comments about how dealing with this type of thing has lessened her excitement about the house.  I'm with you on that one!

I guess this will give us time to pack our remaining items and RH time to get the right lights hung in the house.  Oh, and a word of advice if you have a white vanity top--look closely for scratches.  We have been in that house numerous times with a fine-tooth comb and didn't notice the massive amount of significant scratches on it until last week.  Same goes for the cabinets.  Look closely for touch-up attempts gone wrong.

I know that we should appreciate the opportunity for more time to pack...but that doesn't seem nearly as fun as using the time to unpack in the new house :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Final walkthrough coming soon

The final walkthrough is scheduled for Wednesday, but I could take it or leave it.  I guess that's because we will still have 23 days to wait for closing after the walkthrough.  Also, I'm tired of looking for (and finding) things that are wrong with the house.  Overall, the house is in great shape.  Looking for things wrong takes some of the fun out of it.

  • The Broan range hood is staying.  Apparently, the GE Profile hood doesn't meet the Energy Star 3.0 standards.  The Broan is quiet and has nice lights, but there is a gap between the bottom of the cabinet and the hood.  I'm not impressed.  It's not like they compensated for the lack of matching appliance by upgrading the hood, either.  It's around the same price as the Profile hood.  Lesson learned:  Ryan Homes will substitute as needed, regardless of what you picked out.  I guess I should be happy that it's not one of those 1985 rectangular jobs.

  • The foyer and dining room lights are still not right.  I have no idea where the correct dining room light is.  I sure hope to see it when I walk in on Wednesday.  The foyer light is still hanging from a chain too.  Apparently the electrician can't figure out that it can be hung either way (semi flush or by chain), so he just shortened the chain.  I'm not sure that will be fixed by Wednesday either.
  • The VA appraisal was called for on January 22nd.  That means the results will be in on the 4th or 5th of February, depending on how you count the 10 business days.  Once the appraisal has been received, NVR Mortgage will send us a copy to sign off on, then our file will go to underwriting.   Depending on when the underwriting department gives NVRM the clear to close, we may be able to get our settlement date moved up.  Does anyone know how long it takes from the time your file goes to underwriting until the time you get the clear to close?
That is all for now.  Hopefully I'll have some good pics from the walkthrough...all of our recents have had blue tape!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blue tape time!

After we visited the house earlier this week, I told myself that I really don't need to go back until our final walkthrough.  All of the major items in the house are complete and the house is locked after hours. I'll have a "reveal" like Nadase did.   Well, that didn't last long.  After our PM called on Friday, I couldn't stay away!  It's not like anything exciting happened. He said the the range hood and dishwasher were being installed.  It was enough of an excuse to make the drive to see it :)

The first thing we saw when we walked in was blue tape everywhere.  Our PM really has an eye for imperfections.  Love it!

They also finished fixing the bathroom window.  I was so worried about that, but it's all level now--window and sill. 
There were also a couple of things we weren't too happy about (in addition to unflushed pee in our toilet and chewing tobacco spit in the sink).  If you've read my blog, you might remember the question about that pesky Broan range hood in the garage.  When our appliances arrived, I figured the hood was for someone else since our GE Profile hood had been delivered.  Not so much. Our GE Profile hood is nowhere in sight and the Broan is plugged in, but not yet hung.  I'm not trying to be too picky, but we paid for the package with MATCHING appliances--including the GE range hood.  All stainless isn't created equally and there is a slight difference between the Broan and the GE stainless color.  Also, the GE profile hood doesn't have any buttons on the front.  While neither are all that attractive, at least the GE has clean lines.  Here's the Broan:
We talked to our SR and tried to reason through this.  Maybe they chose this one because of the new outdoor venting requirements and the issue with this vent coming into the top of the hood vice the back.  My response was to find a GE profile hood that would fit the situation.  We'll see what happens. 
I also questioned why our dining room light is the same as the one in the foyer, which is definitely not right.  The SR said he's pretty sure that was done to pass an inspection and that it's only temporary.  This is probably why they lock people out during this stage. :) 
Here are a couple more pics of St. Cecilia.  It looks completely different in the day light than it does under those harsh CFLs.

More random pics of the house...can you believe there's still another month until we close?!
Bonus room w/ Level A Thornwood carpet

Owner's bath
Rushmore Butterscotch Glaze vanity & Absolute Black granite

First floor panorama

Master bedroom


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Question for Ravenna owners...

If you have the upgraded owners bath, where do you hang your towel? RH installed the towel bar above the tub on the same wall as the vanity. That seems kind of far away...what's your solution?

I don't know if this is a problem unique to the Ravenna so if other people have run into this, I would like to hear what you have done as well.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

First cleaning

The floors and countertops were uncovered today! The cleaners did a ton of work in there and it's starting to look ready to move into. We were only able to see half of the house though...the stairs had been polyurethaned and were still tacky. We were trying to figure out a way around it, but no luck. Bummer! I have to wait at least another day or two to see the carpet without plastic.

Here are some pics of what we could see:

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Someone was busy in the house this morning :). When we got to the house today, we saw the railings and steps had their first coat of stain! They are gunstock to match the flooring. Whoever did it did a great job. There wasn't even that much of a mess. Nice!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pics of a cabinet & granite combo

Following A and M's lead, here's post #2 today...

This is a post for Robbin who was looking for some good pics of Giallo Veneziano with the Rushmore Maple Butterscotch Glaze cabinets.  Hopefully it can be of help to others that are still in their selection phase!

Note:  This is a model home kitchen, not ours.

Final touches

We had our PM update on Friday and were told that the final touches will happen this week and it will seem like things are slowing down.  Well, no wonder!  When I look around, it seems like there isn't much left to do.  Of course, we still have about 40 days until closing so there is plenty of time to do any finishing touches/repairs...(sigh).

Here are some pics of progress from this week:

New outside this week:  carriage lights, metal roof, painted columns
Gunstock floors

Undercabinet lighting

Gunstock in the family room

Nice job around the fireplace!


More carpet

Toilet & faucets

More faucets

Shower faucet

Owner's bath window, fix in progress

Spacesuit for the basement :)
Basement bathroom rough-in & more spacesuit