Monday, September 30, 2013

2 weeks since close

Holy cow, do we have some crap. After our initial move in and 4 pod emptying, I was lulled into a sense of semi-organization because we had a scheduled weekend trip the first Friday/Saturday after close so we waited until the SECOND weekend in the new house to empty our two big storage units. As in the units we filled in April and May when we put our old house on the market.

Oh, how I wish it was actual furniture filling my garage and basement right now, but 90 percent of it, I swear, is just CRAP! LOL

Suffice to say, we are making use of all of the dumpsters around here to get rid of the clutter.

I really won't have house pictures in this post b/c the house looks like it did in my last posts, just with a lot of aforementioned crap lying around. It's the internet, people, you know I have to wait until I have enough done that I can at least PRETEND it looks semi-decent. LOL. Also, I've had NO TIME FOR PICTURES. Life goes on. Kids get croup. Preschool driving sucks up hours of my life. Responsibilities continue at church and work. Some day, I'll take pictures, and post, some day...

Back to closing, two weeks ago - it was so dang fast. Seriously, it took 25 minutes and we were walking out the door with keys in hand. Props to NVR for leaving the best parking spots especially marked for those of us about to sign 30 years of our lives away. (Or hey, maybe you're lucky and did a 15-year before the interest rates jumped. If so, darn you!!)

We were at the house by 10am and with the girls occupied elsewhere until 2pm, we got started with a few guy friends unloading our pods.

Let me make clear that we are overwhelmingly satisfied and happy with our build, the house and the people involved from Ryan. The little nitpicky things I am about to mention are only for those curious and perhaps some things can be helpful for those still in the planning stages.

So far, we have found very few issues - a box-cutter looking set of scratches on the top of our island that are actually really hard to see except when the light hits it right, some window latches missing, a tiny gouge in the bottom of the master bath tub (fiberglass) and a couple little gouges around the door knobs to the study. Seriously, not much AT ALL. 

We had our refrigerator delivered the day of closing. I had to wait a day for my water/ice dispenser because my husband had to go out and buy a longer or better (I forget) connector. We did have some service issues with Verizon, whose installation we had originally scheduled for closing day as well. The Saturday before our Monday close they started calling leaving us voicemails that due to a service issue (they didn't have the necessary hubs in our area yet) they were going to have to postpone us. We were pretty ticked off since we had booked this weeks before and they had plenty of time to figure it out. Fortunately, instead of a week, they ended up being able to do it the Wednesday after close. Our mattresses were also delivered that day - Yay for master bedrooms that fit king size beds! The king size bed is just awesome.

My husband ended up taking the whole week off from work and doing things like installing ceiling fans, the garage door opener, washer/dryer, tvs, etc. (**We paid $180-ish for the exact garage door opener we had wanted that also went on sale at Sears the week before close. MUCH better than paying, what was it? $600? $800?- I can't remember -  and having it in our mortgage!)

Thoughts By Room
  • I've decided the laminate counter top I chose is too dark. That being said, it's fine and we picked the laminate because we plan to put in quartz in the near future so I'm not terribly disturbed by it. 
  • The dishwasher is right next to the corner cabinet/lazy susan, which means both doors cannot be open at the same time, which means, whatever I need to put away in the lazy susan cabinet has to be set on the counter first, the dishwasher door closed and then the cabinet opened. It's not a huge deal, but not the ideal way I'd lay out that corner.
  • I love the laundry room next to the kitchen. LOVE.
  • We are so glad we got the regular island because we adore the open space (dinette technically) between the kitchen and family room. (We put a small round table on one end of the morning room for breakfast.)
  • I had to buy a bigger sized step stool from Target (Oh Target... you may as well take my firstborn next after all the money I have spent there this month.) to reach the top two shelves on all of my cabinets. I'm 5'5". Even my 6'3" husband can't reach the cabinets above the fridge.
  • The pantry is awesome. I hate to complain about shelves since it's better to have so many than not at all, but the wire shelves can be annoying for some items. Flat shelves would be better. But again, just having the shelves is 100x better then not having them.
Morning Room
  • We are still figuring out what to do here. We have a small table for breakfast with 2 chairs (b/c we only on 6 chairs still and we need 4 in the dining room for dinner. Haha), the girls art supplies, and my secretary desk. Our thought is besides morning use, we will use it for the kids art/craft stuff, and my work from home job/regular home management type stuff, the thought being I can watch them while I work. We'll see how that goes. We need some shelves and possible additional seating in here. We have yet to buy a ceiling fan for this room so it currently doesn't have its own light source.

Family Room
  • It's huge. Get ready for this - my husband is right. It desperately needs a bigger TV. Our old TV and our old furniture looks ridiculously tiny. Sigh. The sectional we bought is back ordered until freaking DECEMBER 1, so right now we have two (mis matched) couches in there and our matching chair and ottoman. It works temporarily, I keep telling myself. We like the recessed lighting and so far have also not bought a fan for this room.

Dining Room
  • We've had dinner in here every night. Needs some curtains, a buffet and well, yeah, I just want a new dining room set. We'll see...

  • All good. No real observations here. 
  • We have ceiling fans/lights now installed in all 4 bedrooms. We are on the hunt for new master bedroom furniture since we got the new king mattress. Our old furniture is in the guest room, awaiting its first guests this weekend! We want something solid wood so we are taking some time researching and price shopping. I hope to do this soon though. 
  • We are getting the light blocking cellular shades (with cords internal) for all the bedrooms. Using our 10% Lowe's coupon from the post office. Ha.
Front porch
  • All I dreamed it would be.
  • The cul-de-sac full of little kids is awesome. Our girls ride bikes out there almost every single day. Exactly what we wanted for them!
  • Also, a great place for the girls to watch our neighbor's house go up!

  • We got to use the pool twice! It closed today for the season. I'll close for now with that and will talk to you all soon with more pictures.

P.S. Water your grass. It really does work. ;)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Final Walk-Through Done

We did the pre-settlement/final walk-through this morning with our awesome PM Dave. It took about 90 minutes and he went over everything in every room and things like warranties, service calls, lawn maintenance, etc.

The items to fix are tiny and we are very happy with everything about the building process.

I didn't take many pictures at all because not much had changed since my last visit. The one thing I really wanted to see was our oven installed:

Love the 5th burner in the center
Here's a wider view... our refrigerator (which will arrive after closing on Monday) goes behind the open basement door. There is another set of cabinets and counter top there as well.

The only other pic I took was of the family room...

Now that I look at it, Dave's hard hat adds an artistic touch, don't you think? Hahaha

I don't know if they say this to everyone to make them feel good but our PM said they (the workers on site) have seen a lot cars come into the cul-de-sac to look at our house. He also noticed (as did I) that our house really doesn't look like anyone else's on our street and few in our entire development. He said the front porch and stone have attracted a lot of attention and compliments from these drive-by-ers. 

Panoramic of our cul-de-sac from earlier this summer - shows the other homes and their elevations.

So now we just have to make it through the busy weekend without jumping out of our skin in excitement. 

Closing at 9am Monday!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Landscaping Done!

Okay, I know I said no more pictures until walk through but my husband stopped by today after our PM told us yesterday that the landscaping was done. Drumroll... 

Can you find BOTH trees?

The angle above really shows how much front/side yard we have since our house is turned on an angle to face the cul-de-sac. I had never realized how far over our property extended when it was all just rock. This is a good chunk more than I ever imagined. Yay!

Front View - all done on the outside!

We got our HUD-1 today and fortunately it was negligibly different from the original estimate. We had to laugh that the NVR rep who called said it was our "final preliminary" estimate. Sigh.

I just about finished setting up the utility transfers. That was a part time job in itself this week. Fun stuff like the wrong city and zip on one and the lack of our permanent water meter added a lot of drama. 

I did get to do some fun stuff like buy our girls new comforters and a few accessories. 

It's hard to believe this is finally happening after starting this whole process in early April. It's also amazing to see all of the choices you made on paper and from little product samples transformed into a real, life house. I'm still a little in awe of that.

5 days to close.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

8 Days & Counting

We took the girls (and our friends) to see the house today. We got about 5 minutes inside before a dry wall contractor showed up (at 6:30pm on a Saturday) to finish sanding. They said painting was to start Monday. 

Immediately we noticed our lamp post up and a light on over the garage. Okay, so we may have had to find an alternate route into the house after the garage and front door were locked. I'm guessing this means we will be locked out the rest of the way through so I'm glad I got a few minutes to snap a few pics before we had to get out.

Our 2-and-a-half-year-old going up the stairs for the first time.

We love this stone detail on top of the garage.

Heading inside...

Powder room fixtures - they are nicer than I expected, honestly.

She took off her cowboy boots to feel the carpet. I am SO pleased with the carpet choice we made. It's called Intuitive Sweet Tea. Our Rusmur rep had told us that with kids, we should go with the darkest color we could stand. I believe this was also a friese (sp?). We stayed with the standard padding, as Ryan had recently upgraded what was considered standard. It feels awesome and looks fantastic.

Laundry room, off of kitchen

Pantry doors - I like the lever handles

Dining room light fixture - I barely remember picking this out but I like it.

Our oven was in the kitchen finally, but not installed. It was also in several pieces and I didn't have a chance to find the stovetop, which was a bummer because I wanted to look at the 5th burner area again and dream of the grill pan I'm going to put on there, ha ha.

A very, very, very dusty kitchen

I'm now very happy with my choice in floor and cabinet...I think it looks exactly how I wanted.

Morning room - I can't wait to use this room. We have a few ideas including my work space for my work from home job and the girls' art supplies/table so they can work on things while I'm cooking or writing.

The pass through from morning room into kitchen. I'm still not sure if this is exactly wide enough to eat at. We shall see.

The black dishwasher blends perfectly with the (very dusty) cabinets. Love.

Glass doors into study are in.

They finally located our data connection and fixed the dry wall holes they made searching for it.

Carpet is in upstairs as well! I really didn't have time to shoot many pics as the dry wallers were walking in the door.

But....I got a couple ;) The girls loving their new room.

Our little one just ran around in circles, so thrilled at finally having open space!

Master bath

Master bath light fixture - in case you were curious what comes with a standard bath.

Same light in girls' bath - not sure if they put the light down more in our bath or if we just have a bigger mirror. Didn't notice the difference until we were home and looking at the pics.

Girls' bath with the cognac cabinets.

We did notice this scratch in the porch rail - something to mention at Friday's walk through. Looks like a box cutter scratch.

Meters and A/C and such.

Grading was started and the back yard is looking a lot more level. Yay!

We plan to put our deck off the morning room:

Love, love the front porch. Sigh.

Mailbox on site

I also love the recessed lighting on the front porch.

Overall, we are very excited to be so close to the end. I probably won't have pics again until the walk through. Have a great Sunday everyone!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Quick Friday Update

I got two quick text pics and a phone call from husband on his lunch break. Our porch is almost done! He was able to walk inside via the front door for the very first time.

The carpet is also in - this is the view from the kitchen at the family room.

Only the dishwasher is installed in the kitchen so far... all of the interior doors are now up and there has definitely been some grading started. We are planning to head there this weekend with the kiddos to take better pics.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Porch Progresss

Since I last blogged, the outside work has really kicked into high gear. We have a driveway, shutters, front steps, completed stone and they started working on the porch today!

Navy shutters up, stone done, driveway and stairs in, porch work underway

We really like the stonework on top of the garage. My husband is going to check back this evening to see if they finish the porch rail. I'll update this post if he gets any new pics. I'm hoping he can get inside and see if the appliances and/or carpet are in. These were the last two things I was anxious to see inside.

Zoomed out to shot dirt. Glorious dirt!

He also thought they had started bringing dirt in. Because our lot was pretty much solid rock, the PM was planning to give us some dirt on top before the topsoil and grass seed goes in.

On the moving front, we ordered our cable/internet/phone. We're going to try Verizon Fios...a first for us. They said to transfer the utilities starting a week before so I'm going to try to start that tomorrow so I can finish up by Monday the 9th. I feel like I haven't done much else house-related b/c this week was the start of preschool and other fall activities. I'm getting myself mentally prepared to spend every morning in my minivan, sigh. 

11 DAYS TO GO!!!