Monday, July 25, 2011

30 Days already!

Hey Guys! I know I've been missing in action and for that I apologize. Congrats to Momoftwins, Noey, and LaLady on their closings, and congrats to everyone else on their building progress!

We had our 30 day walk through this past Saturday. Wow, I can't believe it's actually been 30 days already. There really wasn't to much to report, we have 3 nail pops so far, a scrape on the floor, cosmetic scratches in my tub, and the counter needs sealant. Other than those things it's perfect!

 My hubby, with some assistance from my son installed the front storm door this weekend. I absolutely love it and thinks he did a fabulous job btw! Next weekend he'll be putting the lawn mower together and I'll be trying my hand at mowing the lawn. That's going to be an adventure...I'll have to let you guys know how that goes. LOL.

We had all intentions of having garage door opener installed professionally of course, love hubby and all but I'd like to know it's not going to come crashing down on my car one day..lol. But we have to hold off a bit since we decided with the new distance from our jobs we could no longer function as a 1 car household anymore. Plus, I am not having the best year with my teeth, just found out today I now need a root canal which is costing us a small fortune and delaying some of my decorating plans. Speaking of decorating, we decided to wait on painting the house until after the 10 month review...although seeing some of the updated post and how great everything looks it makes me want to hire a paint guy. LOL

I just want to share with you guys that I am soooooooooooooooo in love with our home. Especially my kitchen and family room. Each day I wake up looking around smiling and truly thankful that we've been blessed with such a amazing home. Just want to give you guys a little forewarning...those with the gourmet island and bar style counter, all that wonderful space will make your tables obsolete. We pretty much eat all of our meals at either the counter or island. Except for Sunday dinners...that's our day to sit at the table and have dinner together. Then afterwards the hubby and I sit out on our back deck (cool weather permitting) listening to music and enjoying the little bit of time we have together. Last night was a great night to sit on the deck. We have an 11 foot umbrella for our patio table (Garden Ridge) and were able to sit out on the deck even during the storm enjoying the cool breeze. It was the best part of my weekend!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

House update

Wow, so it's almost been a full week since we've moved into the house and I'll tell you guys one thing....it's HUGE!!!!. I think the hubby and I are still trying to get adjusted to the amount of space we now have. We spent the first couple of nights looking around just our bedroom both thinking the same question. What are we going to do with all this space? We were able to get almost all of our things moved in the same day as closing and got to sleep in our home that very night. While hubby was off to work the next day, the kids and I spent the day unpacking all the boxes on the first floor. Since hubby was off work the three days following, we alternated back and forth between cleaning out the townhouse and unpacking the new house. As of today, we are mostly unpacked just have a few scattered junk boxes around the house with things that will need to find a home.

My plans for this weekend is to finish hanging the curtains hubby started on Sunday and get the kids rooms in order.

We had our first visitors from PA last week. One of my closest friends, who I call my work mom A. and her hubby B. traveled down to help us get the house in order. I just realized how that looked but I swear her name begins with A and his B...lol! Initially, they were going to bring the entire family from PA, her daughter, son in law and grands to helps us move but since she knows me so well, only her and her hubby drove down.  A. & B. got in early Saturday morning, helped us put some furniture together, picked up some things we needed, and helped us get settled before they left on Sunday. Although they were only here for a day and a half we really enjoyed their company.

Their visit really made me think of my relationship with my parents. It really kind of touched me in both a happy and sad way. I felt like it was something my parents should have done especially for such a big life event. I would have loved to be able to share our first weekend in my new home with at least one of my parents. But since I know not to expect to much I am grateful that God places people in my life to act as surrogates.

To A. & B. (because I know you read it although you don't comment on my blog)

Thank you guys for caring for us and taking the time to come and see that our family gets settled into our new home. Thank you for your words of encouragement, advice, and the gifts you purchased for us. For A. especially, thank you for being that motherly figure in my life, for always listening and offering advice (even when I don't want to hear it), and MOST of all thank you for being such a good friend!

I know I haven't commented on any of the blogs in a while but I am reading them. I'm still waiting on my Internet and have been super busy at work. I'll try to do better once I'm connected again at home.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Closing and the move

I know I still have yet to post my number 1. I will do so as soon as I can catch my breath. Lol. closing went very smoothly, it took about an hour tops. We weren't able to get our keys right away. We had to wait for the funds to be wired to Ryan that took longer than it needed to due to email issue. Other than that we're all moved, in boxes everywhere and I'm so exhusted can barely see our hold the phone anymore. Will give updates and pics in bad being hours the am.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Final walk through update for Stephanie

Today was our final walk through and all went great! I ended up recording it since the hubby wasn't able to attend because I know I would forget stuff. I really didn't have any issues to find since the hubby and I had already done 2 pre-walk throughs last week. We reported those issues to Doug then which he had address at the time. There is one issue I consider to be a major issue in all this southern heat, for some reason the AC was not working today! Doug said he didn't know why because it was working fine on Friday. He had already contacted the subs to look at it this afternoon. He told me not to worry about it because he will make sure it's all taken care of by Wednesday.

Stephanie you asked for some tips for the walk through and this is what I did:
  • Tap each of the cabinet doors to make sure they don't bounce or have dents in them
  • Turn on all the light fixtures
  • Ring the door bell
  • Make sure all the exterior lights are working and are aligned straight
  • If you received a washer and dryer run them while your there
  • Test the temp in the freezer and fridge if it was provided by Ryan
  • Make sure all the paint meets the trim in corners and around windows
  • Check to see if your stove is level...we rocked ours last week and found it wasn't
  • Make sure all the carpet is clean
  • Check the door fixtures to confirm they are correct
  • Same with the lighting fixtures
  • Discuss any special outlets or custom request
I didn't stop the tubs or sinks because that is apart of the quality inspection so it was no point to do so.
I'm trying to think of all we did...but again because we had done walk throughs previously there wasn't anything for me to complain about. LOL! I would say the best thing is to just look for things that don't seem right and then ask questions. Doug told me he loved that we were at the house so much because we were his second and third pair of eyes, which sometimes they need.

The meeting lasted about 2 1/2 hours total, but I think a lot of it was because we were chatting. I had to sign some stuff for them about the 30 day and 10 month walk through as well as stuff about the lawn care...etc. I got my Ryan Homeowner book with all our user guides and contact information.

I did find out something surprising, when I pulled up these guys were working on my neighbors fence behind me which I didn't think anything of it until they started walking on my freshly laid sod...lol As I was giving them the side eye, Doug explained they were his subs moving her fence because it was on my property. He said they gave her a letter telling her she had until last Friday to move her fence off my property or they were going to take it down and move it. WOW! He said she never responded so they are moving it. I didn't really think it was a big deal because it was already there, but whatever. He said they had to in order for them to be able to let me close since it is a part of my property! Well ok Doug...lol! That pretty much sums up our meeting.

Rest assured that your PM is going to walk you through the whole house and outside to point out anything you should know.

Here's our book.
*Edit*
I found out from our PM that Ryan management is now fully aware of our blogs and are starting to monitor them for feedback!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

#2 Stability

#2 Stability

Purchasing our home means we'll are giving our kids the stability they deserve. This will be our fourth and hopefully last move since our kids have been born. I am not sure how that compares to the average family but for me that is a lot of moving. Come Wednesday we will be able to finally move into a place without having to worry about if we will outgrow this place, if the rent is going to go up, or what will happen if my landlord and I have a disagreement about repairs. These are a few of the things we've had to worry about in the past in our other residences. Now we'll be able to prove to our kids they are finally stable. The move to Charlotte was extremely hard on them because we took them from everything they've ever know and moved 550 miles away. I know that they didn't understand or even cared to understand when we tried to explain we were doing so to give them a better life. All they knew was they had to leave.

I think I've share with you guys in the past that my son is autistic. Change is hard for him and was NOT at all happy about the move. When we first got here he told me he wanted to move back to PA to live with my mom because he did not like it here. I was (and still am) so worried about him. Although, on the outside he looks like a normal teen he is a few years behind mentally. Some kids are so mean to him and try to take advantage of him when they discover he's different. I hate that kids can be so cruel to each other. I often have to restrain myself from fighting his battles with them because I want him to be independent and able to stand up for himself. It just breaks my heart to see him sad because he is such a wonderful kid! My daughter doesn't worry me as much because she is a social person, she has an easier time making friends and tends to make a new one everyday it seems...lol!

After a few months of living here they slowly start to make friends and all seems to be going well until we tell them again that they have to leave. Again they are not happy.

In the beginning of the process my son expressed his disinterest in moving during several conversations. I felt so bad but tried to explain the benefits of us having our own home...didn't work. As the process went on and we got to see the house become reality he started to show a little more interest but not much. I think it wasn't until the walls were in and things were really starting to come into focus that he started to kind a sort of like the idea of us getting a home. He's still not crazy about the move but I think we've come to the point where he realizes that it's happening regardless. I have been making it a point to spend more time with him and dragging him over to the house every chance we get so he can see how it's evolving. I continue to pray that he will do good in our new neighborhood finding friends that will like him for him and not use him for what he has.

I hope that after this move, they can finally let their guard down and know it is ok to make friends without fear of having to move again because this home will be OURS!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

#3 Garage & some updates

#3 Garage
I would like to piggyback off of Stephanie's earlier post concerning the garage. I can't wait until we are able to pull up the house and park in our garage. When we lived in PA all the parking in our area was street parking, that meant we'd sometimes have to park around the corner or all the way down the street because there was no parking. I hated it! When moving to Charlotte, I thought the parking situation would be better here since each little cul de sac had an ample amount of parking. I was wrong. In the complex where we live now all the tenants are supposed to park one car up front and one in the back to be considerate to the other tenants. Of course this doesn't happen. We have our neighbors right next to us with three cars that always have to be parked directly in front of their unit. This wouldn't even be such a bad thing if any of them knew how to park! I mean seriously you can't pull in between the lines without being on some type of angle?

Then we have our other neighbors that also have three cars and must always park directly in the front of our place btw since they live on the side of us. Our unit is on the end and the other units across the walk way extend beyond where ours stop. Along with their three cars they always have two and three cars worth of company that never park on the back row either. Now don't get me wrong, my neighbors are all nice people and we get along just fine, they just aren't parking considerate. I will just be so excited to pull up to the house with  a million bags (as usual) and be able to back into the garage and unload without having to do extra duty by lugging them across the parking lot.

***Packing Update***
I am sooooooo happy to say we are about 85% finished packing and cleaning!!! YAY! I would like to thank my awesome hubby who got out of bed after only getting 4 hours of sleep to help me. Hubby works about 80 hours a week and sleep is hard to come by as it is for him without the moving drama. But to stop me from panicking about not being done in time he and the boy (reluctantly) jumped in and got it done. We have all the rooms with exception to our room (1/2 done) and some minor things in the living room and kitchen packed up!!! We started around 3pm and didn't stop until 8pm then hubby had to turn around and go to work. He thinks I didn't feel bad for him but I really did and I would like to just share with you guys that I have been blessed to have an awesome husband and my kids have a great father!

***Closing update***
Closing is on Wednesday @9 am and I received final word on Thursday that everything is all done and the amount I needed to bring to closing was $353.98. I said thank you Jesus! I was excited when I thought it was the $1132 but I was floored when she told me only $353.98.

Happy Father's Day to all my e-neighbors! I'm off to make hubby's favorite...banana pudding...lol

Friday, June 17, 2011

#4 Master bedroom, bath, and closets!

Bedroom
The master bedroom in our new home is about the same square footage of the entire top floor of the home we lived in back in Philly. The closet space we will have is more space than we've ever had in any of the places we've lived, including where we are now! My plans are to make our bedroom our own private escape for JUST the two of us....no kids allowed! Response we've received from the boy and the girl when we told them this...ummm sure, ok. I personally don't feel all that confident that this rule will be followed. LOL! However, I will need to be careful with the hubby as well, if I make it to much of an escape he'll never leave it. Although, this room is last on the list compared to the other rooms we're going to work on, I'm just so excited about the option to do whatever I want with it because there is so much space.

Bathroom
You guys just don't know how happy I am to have a toilet closet...a place with the toilet and a door... Love it! I am also looking forward to the bench in the stand up shower, this is hubby's favorite thing in our bathroom. I'm not sure yet if the soaking tub is a plus for me yet, every time I look at it I picture myself slipping and falling trying to get out of it because I'm so clumsy....lol. I definitely know it's not a plus for the hubby, he is to tall to fit comfortably so I don't think he'll even bother with it. I'll get back to you guys with a update on the tub.

Closets
Oh the possibilities! I will have so much space in my closet so I guess this means I have to go fill it up right? Yup, see this is why I love you guys, we're always on the same page! My closet (the biggest of course) is in the bathroom, going forward I wont have to ever leave the bathroom to get dressed; and the hubby will no longer need to complain about me taking all my clothes out of the closet and leaving them all over the bed. Clean room plus! I plan on putting a nice big mirror in there along with a small chair or ottoman (oh yes it's that big) so I can do it all with out leaving the closet. Now, I may have to hear him complain about the fact that we're always late because I don't leave the bathroom...but look you can't win them all.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

#5 Shopping!

  
#5 Shopping!!!
The next best thing to getting a home is all the shopping and decorating you get to do! I am sooooo in love with JCPenny! I never really knew they had such incredible stuff and the sales are so hard to walk away from. Last night, we went to get our daughter some stuff for her trip and noticed they were having a 2 day sale. Of course this meant I had to take a look at stuff for the house since we were already in there. The hubby and I had wanted to purchase another stool since we are pretty sure the counter will accommodate a third one. We saw they had the stools but they only in the 24" instead of the 30". My thoughts were...oh well two will have to do. Now, the hubby would like you guys to believe that the next turn of events was my fault; but I'd just like to say that had HE not went inquiring on those stools I would've ONLY bought what I went in there for. 

While I was in the dressing room with my daughter, unbeknownst to me HE was having the sales rep check to see if they still had the 30" stools. When my daughter and I came out of the dressing room HE informed me they still had the stools in the back. Now, if you guys remember the earlier post (Furniture Finds) we purchased normally $200 dollar stools for 70% off with an additional 15% off coupon.  In order for us to get the stools for the same price today, I would be forced to use the 15% off coupon I received after completing the customer satisfaction survey. Well, the coupon is only good for 1 day so if I have to use it I may as well get some other stuff on sale with an additional 15% off too...right??? I knew you guys would agree...lol. I ended up getting the family room curtains for under $30 dollars a panel, the formal living room curtains for $25 dollars a panel, and curtain rods for the family room marked down on clearance for $4.27 a piece. You can't beat it...this is what I'm saying to the hubby as he's shaking his head at me.



So this is what I bought.

These are my family room curtains

 But they're In this color




These are for the formal Living room. I ordered them in warm spice, not the color shown.



This morning I was looking on the website and guess what I found??? The valance that goes to the curtains...on sale! So, I thought to myself why not try and use the coupon code to see if it works and guess what it DID!!! Valance purchase for under $20 dollars. Like I said before you can't walk or click away from the sales. LOL.


Valance for the Dining Room. The color is a more burnt orange in person.
This purchase I take full ownership for, hubby doesn't know about this yet. LOL!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#7 CO & # 6

#7 CO (House update)
I had my last Monday update with Doug yesterday...=(... during which he advised me they were in the final stretch and just about done on the house. The schedule for this week is sod installation along with free sprinklers and a hose...yay! The punch out guy should be finished in a day or so, drywall sub will be coming to do a final inspection, and the painters will be coming to touch up any rough areas. Friday he is going to have the carpet cleaned and the house power washed for our final walk through. That is also the last and final inspection scheduled for our home.
I guess you guys are wondering what the CO is for...they received our certificate for occupancy from the city! WOOOHOO!!! This is a very good thing Doug said.
That was yesterday.
Today I was so excited to hear that the sod was being installed that I made hubby come and get me on my lunch break to go over and see. Well the bad part about that is there was no sod being done.  The good part is that Doug was there and we got to do a pre-final walk through since the hubby can't attend on Monday.
There was blue tape everywhere so it really wasn't all that much for us to point out. We did notice the stove was wobbly, a couple of the cabinets wasn't lined right, there was mud in a few places, and the master bath had grout all along the tub. When we went up to point out the issues in the bathroom there was already someone fixing it which made me very happy. It shows they are really building a quality home and take pride in what they do.

# 6 pics will speak for themselves!













Monday, June 13, 2011

#9 & #8

#9 Pantry
In most homes in Philly you have to use your cabinet space for all your needs. This includes your food, dishes, and pots and pans. Rarely will you find a home in the city that has a separate pantry.  When we moved to Charlotte we were so excited to get a place with a pantry. I couldn't wait to have a space to store my food items and leaving my cabinets for all my other needs. The pantry in our new home totally out shines the pantry in the town home. I will be able to walk in the pantry instead of reaching in side ways to grab that item all the way in the back...lol. We just packed up our small pantry last night and I couldn't believe we had five boxes worth of things in the small pantry. Can you guys imagine how much stuff I'm going to be able to put in the new one? Can't wait to fill it up!!!

 #8 Cabinets and Counter Tops
This relates to the post above. We are going to have so much cabinet space, I'm excited! We are coming from having almost none, to having a little bit more to having a lot of space. I will now be able to have all my gadgets within reach in a cabinet or on the counter instead of filling up our closets and hiding things in corners because there isn't enough space. I also can't wait for us to be able to cook together with ample space instead of trying to squeeze in all of my ingredients (including putting things in the sink) on to our small counter tops. Currently, when the hubby and I cook together we have to take turns using the small counter space, or are forced to use our table for prep...which I hate btw. Come next week we'll be able to be on opposite sides of the kitchen without bumping into each other while we cook. I also love the fact that I'll be able to utilize my island when I bake. I'll be able to icing and decorate without fear of staining the carpet. The first thing I'm going to next week is bake a cake in my new oven. I love the fresh baked smell and I've been on a baking hiatus! Oh and the cakes aren't bad either...lol!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

#15-10 Yeah it's long as usual, but worth it!

Wow am I behind on my countdown! So lets first address my slacking.

#15  Slacking
I have been trying to keep up with the blog but every time I try to update, I get distracted with something else and next thing I know another day has come and gone. I promise to try and get my act together enough to focus! LOL.

#14 Morning Room
The first thing I fell in love with over and over again regardless of the model we were touring was the morning room. I grew up with what we call up north a breakfast room, this is where all the family meals took place (unless it was too crowded and spilled into the dining room), where all the family discussions took place and the place everyone flocked to in general. No other builder I've visited had a room like this and if they did it did not give off the same feel to me. I can't wait to have our first event with all my family and friends in my morning room and kitchen!

#13 (Hubby's pick) Upstairs Loft
We love to watch some of our favorite shows together, (wipe out..yay baby!), have movie nights and play wii with the kids. We plan to use this space as a less formal area for the four of us to relax and have family time in a more intimate space without having to be downstairs in the family room all the time.

 It's also a space the hubby can retreat to when I don't want to watch the game in the bedroom...he can just go right down the hall. LOL.

#12 Backyard
As I said in a previous post, one of our biggest reasons for moving south was so we could purchase a home with some land. I can not wait for our grass to grow back there and to put up a fence. I plan on stalking the internet and magazines to find a backyard design that will create a nice space for entertaining. I can see a lot of barbecues in our future.

#11 Mailbox
I know this may seem silly but I was soooooooo excited to see our mailbox installed. To see that small black box with the numbers for our home and to know it was put there just for us with no one ever having mail sent to that number was so overwhelming.



#10 This one is very special to me....Storm door
So, I like to think of myself as someone who is easy to get along with or maybe at the least be cordial with. Well recently, I had been having a sort of misunderstanding with one of my coworkers. For some reason or another we just did not see eye to eye it was to the point that I had to remove myself many a times for the situation and just say she is not worth it....plus the fact that I need to keep my job because I'm buying a house....lol! What I decided to do was pray on it and turn it over to God. I asked for him to give me patience and understanding and the ability to hold my tongue...which is almost impossible at times.

So I turned it over and washed my hands of her. Our relationship went on like this for a while but it always bugged me that we couldn't have a simple discussion without being at each others throats.  So I decided that one day I was going to start my just saying good morning. That good morning lead to another discussion a few days later and we sort of talked out our differences. She accused me of treating her different then the other co workers on the floor, which admittedly I did. The way I saw it was if you didn't like me and it was clear and apparent that you didn't, then I wasn't going to break my neck to talk to you unless it was work related.

I'm getting there...lol

 So that day I made her a promise, and I can't stand a liar so I was not going to make myself out to be one. I told her from that day on out that I was going to come to her desk and talk to her regardless of she wanted to talk to me or not! And I have every day since. Now to the good part...During one of our conversations I had mentioned some of the stuff we were going to need and that we had taken a trip to Lowes to look at storm doors.  So she said to me that when we received our bonus she was going to buy me a storm door. Now I will honestly say I didn't really believe her because seriously, who buys a coworker (someone you couldn't stand a few weeks ago) a storm door? They are really pricey! Well I'm just going to say like my grandmother told me, you never know what God puts on someone's heart, sometimes he can surprise you with a blessing from a place you'd never expect.

Well my e-neighbors, I am here to tell you that not only did she purchase our storm door but she even tried to pay to have it installed until I stopped her. I told her the door was more than enough! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would get any gift from her but a storm door wow...and she didn't give me a budget or anything, she just said pick it out and I'll pay for it? I was at a lost for words on her act of kindness...all I could say was Thank You to her and to God!

Here is the link to our new door!

http://www.lowes.com/pd_262518-78360-34914032_4294807200+5003701_4294937087_?productId=3041457&Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_quantity_sold|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_200%2B400_4294807200%2B5003701_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr%7C0%7C%7Cp_product_quantity_sold%7C1&facetInfo=$200 - $400

Monday, June 6, 2011

#15 House Update

I spoke with Doug today and he said they are pretty much DONE!!! They just have the punch out guy starting today to get it in tip top shape for us. All the subs are done pretty much except for whatever little touch ups that still need to be completed. He has the final inspections scheduled for this Wednesday with a follow up on Thursday if needed.

The last last thing is the landscaping. Again this week the weather is causing him to push it back until next week because he doesn't want the sun to burn the sod. I love that he has not forgotten my issue with the rocks and the hill in the backyard. He said they will take care of all of that next week for final walk through on the 20th.

I'm a little sad because after that I won't have anything new to post about regarding the house.

#17 & #16 Furniture finds


#17 Family Room

I've finally made a decision on the furniture for the family room. The hubby is very happy about this...no more indecisiveness and trips to the stores looking at the same pieces that I “like but don’t love”. Hubby was convinced we would never have any furniture in the house. Lol!

 I am going to get two of these sofas since I don't like the love seat; it’s not spacious enough for me. The side pillows along with the throw pillows take up more space then I think is necessary and would not sit 2 people comfortably. I also want to add my own decorative pillows to add some color so no the love seat will not do.





#16 Counter area stools

The hubby and I were in JC Penny when we came across these stools and noticed they were having an awesome sale. We found 30" stools normally $200 (an insane amount btw for a stool) for 70% off regular price. At the same time we were looking at the stools I remembered I had received a text message from them for an additional 15% off. We had been debating on getting them but after realizing it would get us normally $200 stools for 1/4 of the price the debate was quickly over. When we got to the check out we found out the coupon for home products was only 10% off not 15%. I explained to the associates at the counter that the text I had did not state it was only 10% on home. I showed them the text and wanted to know if they could honor the 15% off. The associates said they were not sure of why it didn't mention it but would not be able to give me the 15%. I requested to speak with a supervisor because I was not happy that the text did not have that in the message. Come to find out that one of the associates was a supervisor...lol!

Hubby stepped in and said to stop being cheap (frugal) and just get them! It's still less than regular price he said. Fine I said and handed over my cc to the associate. When the supervisor went to enter the code she smiled and told me she was going to go ahead and give me the 15% but I had to do her a favor and complete their survey…lol. I told her no problem and walked out with my new chairs that I got for $51 bucks!


 
Oh and I made sure I completed the survey the very next day…YAY for great customer service!!!!



Sunday, June 5, 2011

#18 Question: Should you complain about an incentive?

I guess this really shouldn't be a question since I've already fired off my email...lol But I was wondering if we (I...hubby doesn't care) have the right to complain about one of our incentives.

Here is the email I just sent to my rep:

It's really long!

Hi....

I would like to know what options I have with getting a different model for our washing machine. This weekend I spoke with one of the sales reps at Home Depot who advised the model Ryan is offering is a horrible washer and has a lot of complaints. I also researched both the old and new models and found they both have very bad reviews from many different sources online. There are even youtube videos showing the exact washer that is being offered displaying one of the many complaints regarding it's balancing issues. I understand it is being offered as an incentive, however I don't think of it as a good incentive if we will not be able to effectively use the product as it is designed. I also have concerns with it's rating as an energy star appliance especially since the complaints mention that the product takes longer to complete a single load of clothes due to the balance issue resetting the time. I would hope that Ryan is not knowingly offering a product of this poor quality to it's new customers, especially since Ryan holds themselves to have the best quality standards within the industry. I would hope that standard falls to their business partners products as well, since these are the products they are placing into customers homes. Can you please research what our options are as far as getting a better quality washer, even if we have to add funds to it. I'd rather add the extra than to have one that is a repair nightmare for us.

Thank you,

~Syreeta
Here are just a few of the videos I found on youtube and some of the reviews I found online.

http://youtu.be/s3uRDmvtQts

http://youtu.be/eVU0Anj9lhc

http://youtu.be/WWatshEdyFY

http://youtu.be/1y0U8-8AAIY


Best Buy
1.0
Each week when I try to use this washer I feel ripped off all over again. I did not do my research and I am suffering for it. What others have posted about this model are very true. The unit may look nice and has a reasonable price tag but that is where the positives end. I just spent 2 1/2 hours trying to do one load of laundry that should have taken about one hour. The unit just can not seem to balance loads for the spin cycle. If you do not have the magic quantity of identical garments this machine loses it. The unit is level, shipping bolts removed, it's just a piece of garbage. I should have taken $800 and flushed it down the toilet. At least I would have saved the frustration this piece of trash is causing me. Good thing is, when it does manage to spin, it shakes so hard it should fall apart in no time. Next time, and I don't expect it will be long, I will do my research.
What's great about it: NothingWhat's not so great: EverythingNo, I would not recommend this to a friend.

Every time I use this washer, it vibrates so much that it feels like my whole house is shaking. It is extremely loud. I can't wash large items like blankets because the machine gets unbalanced. The ten-year-old top-loading washer that this machine replaced was quieter, vibrated less, and could handle large items easily. I would not buy this washer again.
What's great about it: It looks niceWhat's not so great: Everything elseNo, I would not recommend this to a friend.
Horrible, Horrible, Horrible, Run Away!Customer Rating
1.0

1.0
This GE washer is truly horrible. My clothes always smell like mold/mildew. They smell 10 times more horrible after they are washed than before. I totally wasted my money on this washing machine and could not be more disappointed. It only hold a very small amount of items. I have been washing clothes almost constantly with this tiny washer since it was delivered. :-(
What's great about it: lots of featuresWhat's not so great: it doesn't clean my clothes!No, I would not recommend this to a friend.

Worst Machine ever, Repairman out all the timeCustomer Rating
1.0
Ok I brought this as a dream machine. It is the worst machine ever, from day one. I hate this machine. Have had 3 calls on machine and will call every month until I get results.
You can't wash a quilt, blanket or large items, Wont' clean in the middle. Leaves dry spots through the clothes, Was told by repairmen, load with same size clothes, will be unbalanced, plus smells moldy constantly, off balance and will actually shut machine off and you won't know if clothes are done or not, doesn't spin at times dry enough, I can only do 1/2 basket of clothes, will not clean, not to mention will not mix bleach in with the water, so now have bleach spots, Sad thing is all repairmen know this machine has problems. I HATE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REPAIRMAN OUT TONIGHT AND SAID YES IT HAS PROBLEMS, BAD CLEANING, UNBALANCED, MOLDY SMELL. IT WILL NOT HANDLE WHAT THEY ADVERTISE......AMAZING....GARBAGE MACHINE.
What's great about it: NOTHINGWhat's not so great: Read review.Bad Cleaning,Smell,Unbalanced,Can't fill full,Doesn't mix bleach,lots of repair callsNo, I would not recommend this to a friend.

Sears

Need to choose another washer - purchased GE WCVH6800JWW - going back!

Home Depot (it has better reviews here than on any other site)

If I could give this washer zero stars if I could. It is that bad. Before I get into the catastrophic repairs I have had to make 17 months into ownership, let me descibe the basic dislikes about the unit:
Washer cycles take about 1 hr 20-1 45 minutes. If you use the "speed" cycle it can cut that down to about 50 minutes but even then, it is a gamble. (Today we put one toddler blanket in for a 37 minute cycle and it took 1 hr 30 minutes before we took it out ourselves).
Cannot handle large or medium loads. The spinner goes off balance easily. With a set of bath towels or sheets I usually have to stop it part of the way through the cycle to keep it from bouncing all over the laundry room. It

The front gasket holds water which molds and more importantly gets holes in it very frequently. Read reviews online or search for issues with this washer and you will find plenty of people with this problem. Worst appliance purchase I have ever made by far.

I have owned this machine for over 3 years....and from day 1 have had problems. In the first 5 days, we had to replace the washer 3 times (from leaking out the back and then the front). The main issues is that it WILL NOT stay balanced while spinning...and YES, I have tried many different scenerios (changing load, cycles etc.) and nothing has helped it. It has 'rocked' so hard, it put a hole in the wall and broke the face plate on the light switch. The rubber liner inside has mildewed (Yes, I left the door open, and yes, I have tried to keep it clean...but not after every wash.) My clothes do not come out clean and have to re-wash many times to try to get that 'smell' out. I have always used

I have had this washer for about a month. It did a decent job cleaning my clothes, but after three weeks the door started to leak. The washer leaked water all over my laundry room and made a huge mess.

I have only had this washer for 3 months. I have had to have service out here 3 times. You can not put a load in and leave. Every single load gets out of balance and you have to rearrange items or add to or take out items. It is a pain in the but. It takes approximately 90 to 120 min to do a load of wash because every spin cycle will not complete.
I hate this item.

Lowes

I have had this washer for less than 6 months and it has flooded my laundry room 2 times. Going back to LOWES

Clothes smell, whites are dingy and worst - it unlocks constantly and doesn't finish a load. It's taken all day to do two loads to day - started at 8 am and it's 4:00pm! Started when I put two towels in and it couldn't handle it. We've checked and rechecked the levels and they're spot on and we redid the draining system. We won't even give this one away - that would be cruel. Our last washer lasted over 15 years and we gave it to friends as we built a new laundry room and since the dryer was going, we replaced the washer as well just four years ago. Big mistake. Looking at new washers next weekend. Done with this one.

This machine is awful. Spin cycle with towels makes our entire home vibrate. Clothes do not come out clean. Leaves an awful smell in your clothing! Don't waste your money, this machine should not be for sale!! Have had repair people out more times than I can count. Always say nothing is wrong. Definitely something wrong when your home sounds like your having an earthquake during the spin cycle. Has woke up our children and ourselves. AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are a family of 6 and do laundry quite often, which pushed us to buy this washer. The thought was that we would save time and cost, but the reality was something very different. The 1st service call started about 4 months after the unit was new. It has never functioned right since, and it has been approximately 10 service calls, which equals2weeks without a washer per call. If we had not purchased the extended warrenty, we would have sold the washer and dryer off, as we have had just as many issues with the dryer. The extended warrenty period is coming due in approximately 9 months and we are already shopping for new appliances. Its a frustrating loss of time and money. We have vowed to never purchase GE again... Good luck

OK...so should I let it go or should I push Ryan for a better option?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

#19 House Blessing: part 2

Here are the pictures from yesterday when we had the house blessed. The pastor that blessed our house is the father of one of my good friends from work. Her family welcomed us with open arms as if they had known us for years. That was so special to us because it is very hard when you don't have any of your own family to laugh, share a meal with, or to spend time with.



Oh and guess what? He and I have the same birthday!

My surrogate family.

Coworker from across the street
It was soooooo hot in there...the girls acting silly.


my daughters bff...she praying and my child is reading...smh

Oh we found out we have carpet in the whole house!
And a GAS stove!!! Love it can't wait!

#20 House Blessing: Thankful...part 1

As a lot of you know or may not know, we picked up and moved from our home town of Philadelphia PA to Charlotte just a short year ago Saturday. We left ALL of our family (who thought we were insane by the way) and transferred jobs to Charlotte. To some, that isn't a big deal but for us it was a HUGE deal. My husband is an only child and I was raised by my grandmother whose hip I was practically still attached to as an adult. We also left our 3 month old brand new baby nieces (that was so hard for me) and I’ll say it again, ALL of our family and moved south.

When we decided to move, some of our family did not think we would be able to make it. Some of my husband’s family was sure we wouldn’t be able to make it here (me especially) since we are so family oriented and since I was always with my family. Although I knew people were counting against us, we decided to show our kids that there is more out there then what we were seeing back home. Don’t get me wrong, I love Philly and will always be from Philly (if you know what I mean) but Philly for me was not a place I wanted to raise my kids. I wanted to be able to provide them a better life with a beautiful home (with some grass)…in a safe neighborhood not in the concrete jungle as big cities are often called.

10 years ago when I was with BOA, I had started thinking about transferring to Charlotte but those plans were quickly set aside when I was laid off after the MBNA merger.  I look back at that time and realize I wasn’t ready then. So this time, while making preparations to move, I prayed about it and asked God to make it so if it was for me, and he did! Any hurtle we had before moving that I thought would deter us was quickly removed from our path. That gave me the assurance I needed to know that this is where my family is supposed to be. When I finally told my family I was moving, they honestly didn’t believe me because I had been saying it for so long but had never acted upon it. A lot of them told me to my face that I would never be able to leave my grandmother because we were so close. They even tried to make me feel guilty about leaving my elderly grandmother. This almost made me cancel the move. But after talking to my grandmother she assured me that she would be alright. This is what she told me: “Monique, go if that is where you want to be. I’m 72 years old and I’ve lived my life and you need to go and live yours. You don’t have to stay for me, I’ll be alright.”  Even though, I know in my heart she did not want me to go she refused to be the reason I didn’t go. So with a heavy heart and a lot of faith I packed up my family and off we went.

I'm so glad we did!

This past Feburary, out of nowhere I decided I wanted to get a house. The process happened so fast but even in doubt I knew it was time. So I did what I always do when I'm not sure, I prayed. I asked God again to make it so if it was for me…and AGAIN he did. The process I was so dreading and so sure wouldn't happen for us...so far (*knock on wood*) has been smooth and painless. I say ALL of this to say that without GOD I am nothing. All that I have asked for and haven’t asked for has been granted and I am SO THANKFUL of this. Even when I feel I don't deserve a blessing he makes a way.

This is very personal for me and I have almost never shared with (even some of my closest friends) how deep my faith is. Typically, I don't share how a lot of my decisions are made because I have “consulted” in God...even when I wasn’t what some will call a practicing Christian. But, for the first time in a long time I truly realize how good God has been to me and my family.  It has made me realized that I couldn’t possibly move in to what is to be our new home without his blessing and anointment. So I asked the parents of one of my good friends from work to come and honor us with blessing in what is soon it be our new home.

I had planned for my post to be about that actual meeting, but as we all know sometimes it's not about our plans. I will post them later as my #19 post when I can figure out what happened to the pictures I added to Picasa this morning.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Closing update

I talked to Doug and he said he is not going to change closing. Said the inspectors were giving him a hassel about moving the date and he did not want to rush it. Soooooooo no early close for us :(

As I said before, as long as it's not pushed back we're good.

Updates 24 - 21

#24 Shutters

We now have our burgundy shutters in place. Although, the photo doesn't really give a great picture because it was soooo sunny out they look a lot darker than what they are. The front door will also be painted burgundy.





#23 Final installations

According to Doug all final installations should be completed this week. The flooring subs will finish the carpets, final paint touch ups, gutters & mailbox, final inspection, and final clean.

#22 Yard
Doug said he has been holding off on laying our sod due to the heat. Even though they will water it he does not want to lay it in almost 100 degree weather. He is hoping the weather will break some by next week but it should be completed by next Friday.
#21 Earlier Closing....maybe

Since they are actually AHEAD of schedule on our home we may be able to close earlier than the 22nd. Doug said he is going to look at the schedule of his punch out guys (??? don’t remember what he said they do) and see if they can accommodate. I believe these guys are the last people to work on the house before closing and they are currently in another home right now and ours is next after that one.  Not quite sure if this is going to come through… I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I just told Doug anyday after June 10th is fine by me, as long as it’s not being pushed back I’m good!!!
Will definitely keep you guys posted on that one.

Friday, May 27, 2011

#25 Landscaping Ideas

As you all know from a previous post meltdown, that I don't know the first thing about landscaping and lawn care. This is still worrying me, I would love to have a nice garden with really pretty flowers out front and not just bushes.  I joined the Home Depot garden club for some tips and have been getting advice from friends and coworkers over the past few weeks. I am trying to get some ideas of how to design our front yard and what type of materials I'll need. Also, I failed to mention that in the south we don't have dirt we have red clay and from what I'm told it's a ___ to get things to grow. So I'm reaching out to my e-neighbors for help and ideas on what to do with my front yard.

I really need your help guys, my coworkers feel I should just hire someone since I'm clueless, but I really want to learn how to do it myself.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tornado Warning!!!

We have just received a tornado warning for Gaston, Union, and Mecklenburg counties. Please be safe out there all my NC neighbors.

# 26 Hangover

I know this has nothing to do with the blogs, but some of us really could use a good laugh. The Hangover 2 is coming out tomorrow. Go check out a movie and get your laugh on! Oh and Bridesmaids was hilarious as well.

#27 Gourmet island



I love my gourmet island. I was standing in the kitchen this afternoon and could just see all the platters that will fit on the island comfortably come Thanksgiving. We have always had a small kitchen with a limited amount of cabinet space and counter tops but boy have we hit the mother load with this beauty. I can not wait to decorate for the holiday with the tree back in the front window where it belongs. This year was the first year ever that our tree was not standing beautifully decorated in my front window. Our town home windows are level to the ground outside because the house is a split level, you enter on the landing and you can either go up stairs to the bedrooms or downstairs to the common areas.

I saw Jerry tonight and he was helpful as always, answering all of our questions and taking notice of the things we saw that need tightening up. I was surprised to find out that our property line extends over a little further than what I thought....Yay! we discussed the walk through and the backyard issues. I told him as long as the back is as flat as it was before they started building we wouldn't have any issues. He agreed that they will need to haul some of the dirt out and level it down. Love that he and I are on the same page.

I also inquired about the refer program and found that in N.C they can not pay you to refer people to them so the new buyer gets a credit in options.

Here is the link to the rest of the pics.
https://picasaweb.google.com/102408520675602155175/05262011?authkey=Gv1sRgCPOm65K59_3YQA&feat=directlink

#28 Noey

Well Noey says that the blogs have been slooooooowwww...lol so this post is for Noey.

As much as she says the blogging community keeps her sane, I think at least for myself that is, that she keeps me (insert us if you agree) sane during this journey. Noey is the BIGGEST cheerleader in our e-community! She is often the first of our e-neighbors to post a comment onto the blogs and it's always what you need at the time...supportive, excited, outraged, encouraging, informative, or just a friend; she is always on it! For me this is truly a blessing, I am fully aware of my ability to work a nerve sometimes with my craziness but she, along with all of you are always ready to lend support from a good place. Trust and believe that not everyone’s support is coming from a good place so you have to be careful for who you depend on. So to Noey and all of my e-neighbors I'd like to say thank you for being the support I never knew I would need or find.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fix on Blogger issue thanks to New Build Noob!

Just uncheck the keep me signed in box and sign in...everything will be good as new!

Anyone having this issue with Blogger?

I am getting annoyed with Blogger or maybe I should be annoyed with our server here at work. Idk. Since my laptop is being repaired, I’ve been keeping up with the blogs on my phone and while at work. I have a desktop at home as well but honestly, when I finally get settled at home the last thing I want to do is sit downstairs in front of that thing; add in the fact that I sit in front of dual screens at work all day….yeah that’s not going to happen. I like to lie in my bed while reading the blogs so when I’m done I can just turn over and drift off to sleep….call me lazy but I only get about 5-6 hours of sleep before I have to get up at 5am the next morning and do it all over again. So what I’ll so is read the blogs on my phone at home and then comment when I get to work. I really don’t like to comment using my phone because it takes forever and sometimes my phone is temperamental…lol

Recently I’ve been having issues with commenting on some people’s blogs. For some reason I am stuck in a continuous sign in loop after I’ve typed up the comment and entered the security word.   No matter how many times I sign in, the site will not post the comment, it just takes me right back to the sign in screen. Has anyone else experienced this? If so what can I do to fix it? Also, what’s really strange is it does not happen to everyone’s blog.

Ahhh nothing like frustration in the morning!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Let the count down BEGIN!!!

Today, I am officially scraping the weekly updates for the 30 day COUNT DOWN! I am still in awe of the fact that we will be homeowners in 29 short days. Excuse me, let me rephrase a little, we will be homeowners of a made just for us, picked by us, meant for us home.  Can you guys tell I’m excited?

So let’s get the countdown started.

#30
I am a little sadden because the drive by’s are not as exciting as they use to be now that the house is under lock and key. Due to our work schedules, we are not able to get up to the house until the late evenings when everyone's already left for the day. Recently, I found myself driving as if I’m participating in the Indy 500 trying to rush over to the site before they lock up. Even still sometimes that’s a bust because the agent is not always on duty in our development. =(

Honestly, I really would rather not ask the agent to let us in because she will not let us into our house until all the people leave the model home, and then she stands and waits while we are looking around. One thing that really boils my peanuts is when you have someone who does not know how to give you space. I can’t stand it when someone follows you around while you look. It is soooo annoying! It also makes me feel like I have to rush because clearly the impatience they are trying to hide is very apparent. I want to be able to look around my soon to be home without someone looking at me with the wrap it up face. LOL


Well griping aside...

I spoke with our PM Doug today and he said we have an extremely busy week.

Today: Cabinets are done and the painters are in there (as of this post) finishing up.

And for the rest of the week we have:

Flooring
Plumbing
HVAC
& Electrical

The last 3 are supposed to only take 1 day to finish.

Hearing all of this being done this week it sounded as if the house was ready for us to move in next week. So I asked if they are pretty much done with all the trades this week, what do they need the remaining 24 days for? LOL

His response, well we have to go through and make sure it’s all perfect before we put the bow on it for you. Love it!

We also talked about my access to the house and how we are not able to get in by the time we get off from work. He said he's fine with leaving one of the windows open for us as long as we make sure to lock it back up before we leave. I can only imagine one of the neighbors or a passerby calling the cops on us to report a B&E. I’m not sure if the cops will believe we are the soon to be owners without having us take a ride down to the station. Although the thought is really horrifying, it does not deter me from doing what I need to do (by way of tossing one of the kids through the window to open the door) to see my house. LMBO!!!!


#29
Loan updates: I received our final, final approval! According to my rep with NVR the underwriters are done with my file and sent the final approval. I just need to submit the next 2 paystubs and provide employment verification right before closing. YAY!!!

She also shared even more fabulous news than the final approval. She said she is pretty sure that our final amount to bring to closing will be a  WHOPPING $1131.76. What !!! (in my Despicable Me minion voice) I knew she had overestimated the figures but I didn’t think it would be that low. This is such great news because I certainly had a MUCH larger figure in my head.

Well that is all the update I have for today. I’ll only post pics if I see something really different than the last ones I’ve posted.  I will also try to make sure my #28 is not a report of my conversation with Mecklenburg’s finest.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pics

Living room

Dining room

Powder room mirror is in.

Kitchen!!!!!

Butter rum counter tops.

OMG so much usable drawer space.

Hubby in the morning room.

I really like the mantel and fireplace.


Master bedroom

Double sink counters are in.

IDK where this is...lol

Mirror in hall bath is in.

Hall bath.

Last one on the way out the door.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Week 6 Updates

My day to day PM doesn't really give us a breakdown on what is happening each day, he just kind of gives me all the info for the week.  I don't really mind either way as long as I'm being informed. The agenda for this week:

Finish any drywall issues
Painters
Trim Package ( interior doors...etc) He did say this will be delivered tomorrow.
Cabinets will be coming in this week.
Then the painters and drywall subs will be coming back again to fix any dings caused by the cabinets.

He informed me the house will start to be locked up within the next day or so to keep all the rift raft out...his words not mine. LOL Said he wanted to make sure there will not be anything walking out of the house or any kids playing in it now that the drywall is up.

We also discussed the concerns I have on my yard space. Per the city we are required to have a drainage ditch in the back and I have no issues with that as long as the drainage ditch looks like it did before we started building. Currently, it looks like we have a small hill in the back and not the small drop off we had before. I also saw puddles at the bottom of the windows under the morning room which I think stem from them packing the dirt higher than it was before. Doug said he would go out and look at it but it may look like that until the landscapers come and level it out. He said the graders can only do what the city required and won't alter it. I advised him that I had no problem with the ditch as long as my yard is a flat as it was before they started building. 

At this point I have expressed my concerns and will wait and see what it looks like after the landscapers come.