Thursday, March 31, 2011

First timer...from the beginning to now

So, outside of a few Facebook post (if that can be consider
as blogging) I have never done this before. On request from my sister I've
decided to share our story for whoever cares to take a moment and read my I must warn you, this post is super long but it starts at the beginning
and up to the here and now.

 Our journey began a
little over a month ago when a friend and I decided to go window shopping homes.
We decided to tour a couple of the builders in the area to get a feel for what
was out there on the market. We visited quite a few builders and this
is my personal scale:
Never going to happen...I'd rather rent: Essex Homes.
Ok but not that impressed: Mattamy Homes and True Homes.
A maybe...kind of like it, but let’s see what else is out there: MI Homes and
Lennar Homes.
Really nice but can never afford: Shea Homes (my friend loves Shea Homes).

After a few hours I tell my friend...ehhh not find anything that say's me, nothing
that makes me want to break the check book out. We continue to look around with
low expectations on finding anything that day. Realistically who expects to
find their dream home in a few hours? Just when I thought the next model we
drove up to was going to be just as disappointing as the last one, we pulled up
to the Ryan model.

The model available was the Milan which is both beautiful and really
affordable; but not big enough. We need at least 4 bedrooms and the Milan is
only 3. While talking with the sales rep, I was very clear in telling her what
I need and unfortunately this model wasn’t going to cut it. (Side note about
me: I am a northern girl recently transplanted in the south. I am very
direct, honest and animated when I talk so she can immediately tell she's in for
it with I explained what I was looking for and she sent us to
tour a just completed Naples which is also a 4 bedroom  with a warning to have an open mind when viewing. I was a little confused on the disclaimer but immediately understood when I
stepped into the home. The owners choose not to upgrade anything and the house was very basic. My response: Even with an open mind it's a
NO...did not like it at all! The sales rep laughs and then tells me well
"I bet I know what you will like, there is the Rome model which is a 4
bedroom in another area but because of the time I wouldn’t be able to tour
until tomorrow.
I drag hubby out of bed after working all night and we drive
over to this mode we’re supposed to really like and guess what??? We LOVE
IT!!!!It is so home!!!! I can instantly picture my family and friends gathered
in this home and know just like that this is the one. Oh and hubby really
likes it too. After leaving the model we drive all the way over to the original
sale rep to tell her... we love it.

It’s now time to sit down and talk estimates; of course you want but can’t have
everything and keep your price low so we pick only must haves as our upgrades. We
need to keep our price point under 200k because we’d like to use the NACA program
to finance our loan and for our area the home can’t be over $200k.

Here's when we hit the first slight ripple.

The rep tells us how she has a meeting with NACA this week to discuss how to
improve their working relationship for clients. According to the rep NACA is
really slow and it causes quite of few potential homeowners to abandon the
process because they take so long. She also explains how the program does
not work the same with Ryan as with other builders, because Ryan does
not have a lot of inventory to provide large markdowns to buy down the
rates. She suggests we try to apply for other funding if this is something we
really want to do just as an alternative option in case NACA does not work out.
I kind of feel the air deflate just a little from my happy bubble. This is not
the first time I’ve heard about NACA’s reputation for being extremely slow among
other things. I know the program is an awesome program and it helps a lot of
people but from my research it seems you have to practically ride them to get
things done.  I also don't know what our
chances of approval are with normal banks either. With all the tougher
requirements in the mortgage industry I’m just not confident on where we stand.
Like with most people, we we're not the most credit savvy in the beginning, but
I have been working really hard to try and repair the mistakes of my youth.

After dinner, hubby and I sit down to have a talk and we're just not sure if we
will be able to buy this year. Our lease is up in September and we’d need to
give at least give 60 days’ notice if we're going to move. I really don't
want to stay in the town house for another year but can't pinpoint when NACA will
approve our loan. I decide to call my NACA representative to schedule an
appointment. During this time a Lending Tree commercial comes across the screen
and with laptop in hand I debate. Should I apply and see if we can get
approved? If we apply and don't get approved how much will it hurt our already
recovering credit? Finally, I say to hell with it and apply with Lending Tree.
I tell hubby look, we'll just see what happens; if it's meant to be then it
will be.

Monday morning

Nothing happens...I'm so sad and upset with myself, I go on with my crazy work
schedule and try not to think about my failure.

Monday 12 am...technically Tuesday

My phone dings signaling a new email has hit the inbox. I have a message from
the bank stating you've been matched. I need to call the bank first thing
tomorrow to follow up. OH MY GOSH...I call the hubby right away with the news.
Now I'm so nervous I can't even sleep. I have to talk myself down saying don't
get your hopes up girlie it's just a phone call.

Tuesday 8 am
I call the bank but the assigned mortgage rep does not come in until

I get a call, we talk about something’s, I fax over something’s, I email something’s
and then finally when I can’t take it anymore, I ask so does this mean I can
get a approved? Rep laughs and says "oh yeah, your good. I would like for
you to pay off a few credit cards to push your score a little higher but your
fine."WHAT!!!! I can't believe it! I thought he was going to tell me no
ma'am we made a mistake. Turns out all my hard work is paying off big time.


I have my preapproval!!!!! Ryan here we come!

Over the next couple of days hubby and I view a few sites, going back and forth
between moving to the outskirts of town or in the city. We finally decide on
the city since one of our biggest issues living back home was the commute to
work. We definitely did not want to purchase a new home with a hour long
commute. We talked to our rep and picked a lot. My rep wrote up our purchase
agreement and we signed with a small deposit.
During our visits to the model home we noticed a special
incentive for agreements completed before 03/15 to receive an appliance
package. I hate to admit this but this is my first home and I assumed all homes
come with a refrigerator...right??? Wrong! If not for the sign I would have
assumed the house came with a refrigerator. Now it's a race to make sure I get
my contract rectified before 03/15 so I can move in with not only a
refrigerator but also a new washer and dryer.

Next weekend

We took the kids by the subdivision to show them where we’ll be moving and
turns out we gave the rep the wrong lot number....CRAP!!! I had to rush over to
meet with the rep to sign an addendum for the correct lot before it was
snatched up by another family. Whew, so glad we caught that!

Few days later one of my coworkers mentions that Ryan Homes was just starting to
build in his subdivision. Really! They didn't tell me that, it wasn’t even
posted on the web site when I checked. I immediately sent my sales rep an email
because I really like his subdivision plus it would be nice to know someone in
the neighborhood. In my email I ask her if it's was too late to change to a different
subdivision. Plus I requested her to send me what the price difference will be
if we decided to change; and what was the difference in taxes and HOA fees from
our original subdivision?

Response email a few minutes later: Calm down! lol. Sales rep promised to
research and get back to me with the information. Informed me she believed the
price was more than the original. Of course I now want to get in the car and go
look at the other subdivision at 9pm at night just to be sure I really love it
more than the one we have now. Hubby shuts that idea down quickly. Tells me I’m
being ridiculous, it's late and dark out. Hubby informs me “we’re not going to
be able to see anything out there tonight because it’s dark." Now at this
point we have a slight disagreement, I pout but finally realize he has a point.
I spend the night stalking the internet searching available properties in that particular
area and discover to build there is going to increase our purchase price by
$9000. Wow! Is it worth it? Internally I debate this question all night long.
I send the husband over to the site while I’m at work to
view the site and send me pictures of lots he likes. After work my husband and I
drive to the site and ride around viewing the available lots while discussing
the pros and cons of changing our subdivision.
Decision made! We are changing our subdivision. At this
point my husband just wants to pick a lot and stick with it.
We meet our sales rep to sign yet ANOTER addendum and lot change
request form.
Although I have my own lender Ryan suggests I apply with
them as well and then decide who to choose as a lender. I overnight the
mortgage application and all required documents back to NVR the next day for
Following Friday
We have our flooring and pre-wiring appointments completed.
All contracts have been signed on our end, now waiting for
Ryan’s signature should have paperwork by Thursday.
No contract today. Sales rep said will not be ready until
next Wednesday?
Again contract is not ready and will not be available until Monday.
What!!! So now I’m really annoyed and beginning to have second thoughts. I mean
really, they can’t deliver a contract when promised but I’m supposed to trust
them to build me a home??? Apparently there is only ONE person that reviews all
contacts before submitting them to the VP for signature and he is on vacation; really?
One person in this entire organization, what would happen if this person decided
to quit or got hurt? I feel slightly guilty because sales rep received an earful
My husband and friend feel I’m being impatient they tell me
to relax.
I received an email around 11:00 pm letting me know the
contract was completed! Yay! My rep is the best she took care of this on her
day off! I should send her something right?
Ok, no turning back now! We delivered the remaining $5832
check to my sales rep for our deposit.
I received an email informing us our tentative start date is
04/12/2011 and the date for our preconstruction meeting is Wednesday
Wow this is a lot of information I would like to thank those
who cared to keep reading, you are all caught up on where we are in our
process. My husband would like for me to share how happy he is that I am now
sleeping again and not up interrupting his sleep.  As well as how much he can’t wait until it’s
all done because I am driving him crazy.
Note:  I promise the
entries from here on out will be MUCH shorter than this one. I had a lot going
on within a short amount of time getting me to this point.


  1. Niccceeee, Reeta! I read the whole blog, wow how did you remember all that stuff? lol Make sure you post pics up too. In the end who did you go with NACA or Ryan's lender? My old co-worker had a Ryan home built in Delaware, she loved it.


  2. We're getting the Milan! We paid to have the loft turned into a 4th bedroom. With 3 kids, we need 4 bedrooms. The living room will be a study/playroom. We loved the loft, but we got a great deal on the Milan and just love the house!

    I understand the credit thing!! We made a lot mistakes in our youth that lead to a b/k 2 years ago. We learned a lot of the lessons the hard way. Now everyone is afraid to touch us. A local credit union said no to us b/c we didn't have enough credit back out there after the b/k. Um...kinda the point! If we don't have the cash, we don't charge it. We have 2 credit cards. One in his name, one in mine to "establish" our credit. And we've paid on our car. But that was before the b/k. *sigh* The waiting game is so hard.

    The neighbors building across from us are doing a Rome! I haven't ever seen one except on paper. The look huge, and beautiful!! Congrats!

    I see your a "transplant". lol Welcome to the South honey! I hope you like it here!

    Can't wait to see your next posts and pictures.

    What did you decide to put in your lovely Rome?

  3. Oh...also....we seem to be a lot a like. lol Impatient about wanting our homes and wanting to do everything "right now". I hate having to wait. So right now, I figure I am in a trial of learning about patience. lol

  4. Welcome to the blogging family and congrats on building a Ryan Home...I will add you to my list :)

  5. @ Jack...we have yet to hear back from NACA concerning the appointment request. I put an application on Lending Tree and was matched with a bank. I submitted an application with NVR and it is in underwritting at the moment.

    The process is so exciting it's hard to forget anything. Plus it helps to write things down.

  6. @Noey814 I am definitely impatient, I want the house to be done like! I also think i'm on a journey to learn patience. Being young and carefree aka careless is not all it's cracked up to be when you get older, The advise I tell myself everytime I start to second guess everything and get down on myself; is to stick with the process, keep praying, and claim your home.

    @India...thank you and congrats on your home. I like the count down clock you have on your blog. I think once we get under roof and I get to the 60 day timeframe i'm going to figure out how to add one to my blog.

  7. Congrats! We all seem indecisive in ways! I feel glad I'm not the only one! Lol I had over 10 addenum changes! I kept changing everything...the entire time...thank god the house is finally started! You will only be 10 days behind me :) so excited to follow your blog!

  8. My husband and I just started the process well. We are building a Waverly north of Pittsburgh. We have been at this since January 2008. I love how detail your blog is; it makes me feel like I am right there with you. I started a blog a few days ago; and hope to keep up with it. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to being a part of your journey.

  9. @momoftwins...Thank you and same to you! Yes, if you ask my husband I can't make a decision to say my life. Although, I beg to differ as it was I who made the decision to build. LOL. I think we've only done 4 addendum changes and now that the house is scheduled to change it will probably remain at the 4. Unless ...I can add a porch...we'll see. I hope we remain only 10 days behind because it's scheduled to rain down here on and off over the next few days, which may cause a delay.

  10. @HW...Thank you and congrats on your home! It is going to be a beauty. I really love your lot! It looks like you back into the woods which give you a lot of privacy. I would have really liked to have a privacy lot and a front porch. I have a meeting with the sales rep today so I'll see if it's not too late to add the porch. Now for the lot, there is a stream that runs behind the privacy lot and we are too concerned with flooding so we opted for the one we have now. Our development is about 85% completed so it limits the choices. Do you know when construction will start?

  11. Just found your blog. The Rome is an amazing home. Looking forward to watching your progress.

  12. Like the way you documented your journey. By now you are approaching your 1 year anniversary (smile). I too, am looking at Ryan Homes(Harrisburg, NC), the Milan fits our budget even with the options we are still under $200k. As far as financing goes NACA is the best choice for closing cost, down pymt, or fees. Interest rate right now is 3.88%. Although, our neighborhood qualifies for USDA financing, you still have closing cost and pre-pairs. If we start with NACA now we should be okay to start building in May to be ready for our home in August. I will keep you posted.

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