Monday, July 15, 2013


I'm too tired to post anything tonight so I'm just going to add a picture of the kitchen we took today - all the appliances are in! We can't wait until they uncover the floor so we can see what it all really looks like together!!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

And the garage door makes everything whole

Here it is folks - the correct garage door! Can I just say 'we're in love'? Unfortunately we couldn't get the door to stay down so we could take a picture of the entire front of the house but you get the idea. We even have an official address now...they added it to our garage on the right side. Now all we need is our rose Rosemont mailbox!
The downstairs toilet is in, the carpet's been cleaned (we have the NO SHOES sign on the front door!), the granite is set, the dishwasher's in, the water is running...only 16 more days! We took a few other pics today so head over to the Our House Pics tab and check them out. Let me know what you think of the vinyl in the kid's bathroom...I'm not feeling it AT ALL. On a positive note, you'll never be able to tell it's dirty!

I forgot to mention we added 2 bar stools to our Ashley Furniture lay-a-way on Saturday. We wanted stools for the island so we were super-psyched they had counter-height stools that matched the dining room set we also have on lay-a-way at Ashley (and they didn't cost a fortune)!
I got a red-striped shower curtain and accessories for the kid's bathroom but I realized when I saw the vinyl, there is no way we can do a patterned shower curtain so I returned all of it. It would make it WAY too busy in there. We found one that we think will look decent with the vinyl. Of course when I got home and started looking for accessories to match I found out they are discontinued but I was able to find the matching rug on Overstock pretty cheap.
I also picked up a small rug last week. I would have loved to buy a bigger size but I had to have this and stop the spending at the same time. I think getting the smaller size was a good compromise. Wouldn't you agree?  :)
I really am trying hard to stop shopping. No really, I AM...SERIOUSLY! If I keep this up we won't have enough money to close in 16 DAYS and that would really suck.

While I do spend several hours each evening 'shopping' online and we do go to 'home' stores on the weekends, it's more window shopping than anything else. It's exciting to see all the neat things available and picturing how it will look in our new home! To be clear, we have only purchased the few things you see on my blog and all purchases were paired with discounts, coupons (hooray for Kohl's Cash and Bed,Bath & Beyond 10% off coupons!), and money from my wonderful mother-in-law. We even put the furniture on layaway so we wouldn't have to invest any money in it until after we closed. FYI - I don't really shop all day and I don't stay home in the evenings so I can shop was my attempt at humor people. To be clear, I would NEVER jeopardize the purchase of our home by shopping so much that we wouldn't have money for our closing so please take my posts about shopping with a grain of salt.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Crazy like a fox

A brown fox that is...our door has its first coat of paint!   
BEFORE - White
AFTER - Brown Fox
P.S. My car in the driveway looks pretty good too.  :) 

Now we just need the right garage door and get that pole out of the middle of the driveway. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Odds & Ends

It looks like house is almost complete! We had a few things completed yesterday and today (check out Our Home Pics for pictures!)...
  • Granite counter tops
  • Owner's suite shower frame
  • Rough-ins for pendant lights over the gourmet island
  • Stained bannister
  • Wire shelving
  • Front door got its 1st coat of paint (we forgot to take a picture but we'll get one tomorrow)
  • Space between front porch windows
There are only a few odds and ends (most minor) that still need to be done...
  • Correct garage door - it was supposed to be replaced today
  • Move the staircase light to the Morning Room (the wimpy light was installed in the wrong was supposed to be in the Morning Room which makes much more sense)
  • Put up a new light in the staircase (hopefully it is the same one in the Rosemont model)
  • Replace the light above the front door entrance so it matches the other ceiling lights
  • Fix holes in the ceiling they cut out while putting up the pendant light rough ins
  • Replace the mirror in the downstairs 1/2 bath
  • Finish the shoe molding in the study
  • Install stove, dishwasher, & fridge
  • Blinds
  • Cut down the pipe in the middle of the driveway
  • Landscaping
On another note, my shopping has come to a halt (as I cry softly to myself). Closing is in 19 days and we have quite a bit of $$$ we need to bring to the table. I love all the new things but that would suck if we couldn't close because we didn't have enough money in the bank!

We hope everyone is having a safe holiday weekend! We can't wait until next July 4th when we can celebrate in our new home!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Not only do we have our laminate floors AND carpet completely installed, we also have electricity! It's nice to turn on the lights and see how everything looks. The floors are covered so I can't really get any good pics of them but here's a pic of the carpet on the stairs that I snapped at lunch today. 
Similar to our vinyl, it's darker than I was hoping but it still looks (and feels) nice. We'll definitely never see any spills or marks! I also expected our upgraded carpet pad to be a little more 'springy' doesn't seem especially spectacular considering how much it cost. I took a piece of it and I am going to run by Rite Rug to confirm it's the right stuff. I'm sure it is but mistakes happen and it doesn't hurt to just check, right?  :)
22 days and counting!!

They don't waste any time

I went by the house after work yesterday to see if they were able to get the concrete in. We've had quite a bit of rain lately and Kevin, our PM, said they couldn't do the carpet until the concrete was done so I was getting a little anxious.

Not only is our concrete poured but the guys were 1/2-way done with the downstairs flooring. As quick as they were working, I feel certain it was completely done before they left for the day. These guys don't waste any time! I was thinking about going by at lunch today to see if they had started on the carpet but a monsoon is supposed to come through this morning and early afternoon and I'm not trying to traipse through the soggy dirt in my work clothes.

Here are a few pics from yesterday. The house was full of people working so I quickly took a few shots and got out of their way. We were SO planning to etch something in the concrete (like 'The Radkes 2013') but the guys were standing over it (as you can see in the 1 picture) so I was too scared to try it. I was also going to ask the flooring guy if he could go ahead and extend the flooring into the downstairs closet but I chickened out. Besides, I wouldn't want anyone to get into trouble. I should have called Kevin though and asked him if we could keep any leftover flooring so we could have someone come in after the fact and do it. I have no clue why Ryan Homes puts carpet in the closet when you have flooring everywhere else but they do. I should have just sucked it up and paid the extra $200 to have them do it but whatever...not going to stress about it now.

On another note - we're still trying to decide on a company to do the fence. Prices range from $3100-5200 which is a bit more than I expected. I talked with one of our next door neighbors yesterday and he is wanting to put up a fence as well so hopefully we can go in on it together and save a little bit.  :)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer & Winter

Nothing really new to report today (other than they have framed out the sidewalk and driveway for our concrete) but I just had to post a picture of our shower faucet is the sun and cold is a snowflake...LOVE!!!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Day of Comparisons

We went by the house today and we were excited to see all the electrical and cable outlets are in. They also added all the lighting fixtures and bathroom faucets (very pretty)! Our microwave is in and our dishwasher is there but not installed yet. There may be an issue with the staircase light isn't the same as the one in the model and let's just's a little wimpy...a lot wimpy actually.

COMPARISON #1 - Model Light (beautiful) VS our light (FAIL!)
What the heck is that thing? There's no way it's going to light up the's itty bitty and not very attractive. The one in the model makes a statement - the one in our house? Well... 

I realize they changed to a different lighting package and I like the other lights in the house (albeit the 1st entry way light which is a little grandma-ish and I pray we can switch out as well) but the new package has a large light similar to what's in the model so who thought it was a good idea to use the tiny one? Anyways, I asked if we could get the foyer light from the old lighting package so it's like the one in the model so we'll see what they say. I'll be very disappointed if we are stuck with the one they put in there and it will be the first thing to go when we close! As hard as they're working to get our place ready in time for us to be out of our rental on time (early, in fact), I really can't complain about a light, right?

So if you've been following my blog you know I have somewhat of a shopping obsession at the moment. This past week I was traveling for work and got stuck in the airport for a few hours so it seemed like the PERFECT time to shop (when is it not a perfect time really). I headed to one of my favorite sites lately - - and found some outdoor pillows that I thought would really look cute on our new front porch furniture that we got from Kohls. They had these cute red and orange flowers with some green thrown in. I thought, like the chair cushions and green like our house...PERFECT! So my lovely new pillows arrived today...take a look

COMPARISON #2 - Pillows I purchased (beautiful) VS pillows I received (FAIL!) 
What in the heck is that? Did someone's little kid make these? Because it is CERTAINLY NOT the pillows I purchased on the web site for $44 A PIECE. It reminds me of the night I joined some friends at one of those places where you bring wine and someone who is good at painting shows you something they painted then they tell you how you can paint it too...and you drink some wine with your friends and try to channel your inner artist and what you end up painting looks nothing like what the good painter showed you it should look like...that's what these pillows remind me of...the crappy picture I ended up painting that night. Granted, I had fun drinking wine with my friends but the hideous picture I created that night went straight in the should these pillows.

I went on on line and requested to return the pillows and they want to charge me $7 PER PILLOW to return them. Seriously? I think not. I will be giving them a call on Monday and will be asking for a FULL REFUND. The pillows I received today are a joke and there is no way I am going to spend $14 to send this garbage back.

On a positive note...

COMPARISON #3 - Our home on 05/29/13 (beautiful) VS our home today, 06/29/13 (BEAUTIFUL)
All we need is the right garage door and the outside will be done...except for that small strip between the front porch windows. I wonder what they are going to put there. On some houses I see stone and others I see what looks like siding. Mmm....I see a COMPARISON #4 on the horizon.  :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Never say, "It can't get any worse!"

Long rant ahead but it has a happy ending & a few lessons learned

The other week I was talking with someone about our building process and I gushed (yes, GUSHED) about how everything was going so well. Seriously, we've had like NO problems! We were able to afford most of the upgrades we wanted, Ryan Homes approved all the changes we requested during our pre-construction meeting, Kevin, our PM, has all our building tasks on track (even with a 3-week delay on the building permit), the home inspector was uber-impressed during our walk-thru, all the neighbors we've met are wonderful, our house is looking BEAUTIFUL, I loved this and that, and on and on and on I went. DUMB MOVE RADKE because nothing is EVER this easy!
  #1 LESSON LEARNED - Something WILL go wrong at some point
If you've read through our blog, you know we rent our house so once Ryan had an idea when our home would be finished, I turned in our 90-day notice. Everyone felt quite certain we would be able to close no later than 7/29 so I told our landlord we'd have his house cleaned out, cleaned up, and carpets cleaned by 7/31 so when Ryan emailed me on 6/19 and said there weren't any closing dates until the 1st week of August, I about had a heart attack! 
#2 LESSON LEARNED - They don't close on houses the last 2 business days of the month (seriously?)  
Poor Ryan tried for a couple of days to get our date moved up but the best he could do was a definite 8/1 close date so needless to say, I was in a panic since 7/31 was our last day in our house! The only thing I could think of was we would have to have the movers pick up our stuff the weekend before, store everything for a few days so we could get the house cleaned out, then get a hotel on 7/31 so the house would be empty (and clean!) for the next tenant on 8/1.

Needless to say, I fretted all weekend about it and then I committed the ultimate sin...with my head in my hands, I moaned, "IT CAN'T GET ANY WORSE!!!" Man, little did I know....
Since we had a definite date, I caller Terri from NVR late Friday afternoon to ask about locking in our rate. Honestly, I hadn't even thought about it and no one had said anything about it so it didn't even dawn on me we were within 60 days and could possibly lock in an interest rate. So get this, Terri tells me I was supposed to call the loan officer to discuss locking an interest rate, not the other way around, and that it would be a good idea to call the loan officer 1st thing Monday morning. Now I am a little tweaked...we got a letter the end of April letting us know we had a new loan officer but we hadn't talked with her and after our initial meeting, we hadn't talked with our first loan officer either. I just assumed we would just be working with Terri until we closed. You know what happens when you assume people!
I also put a call in to the property manager for our community at the Ryan Homes Corporate office, Jerry. I explained our dilemma to him and asked if there was any way he could help me get our closing date moved up, especially since our house was going to be ready by 7/25. I would think they would want me to start paying for that monstrosity of a house ASAP and I really didn't want to be homeless! Jerry was super-nice and said he would talk with his management team and see if there was any flexibility in the date but that if the date was set in stone, there probably wasn't anything he could do. We hadn't received an official closing letter so I said a silent prayer that it meant our date wasn't set in stone.
So I call our loan officer first thing Monday and guess what? Interest rates had jumped from 3.75% (when we signed our contract) to 5.00%. WHAT THE <#%&@>?!?!?! The initial contract raised our monthly payment $300 from what we are paying now and with the jump in interest rates, that added another $200 to our payment...a total of $500 more that what we are paying now! Who the heck can afford a jump like that?!?!?! NOT US!
And get this...the loan officer tells me we were supposed to call when we had our pre-drywall meeting to talk about locking a rate and asked if we had done that yet. Um, DUH, that was weeks ago...BEFORE THE RATES JUMPED! Now I am REALLY tweaked. Why didn't anyone call us?!?!? Our contract says we have to close by 7/29 or we have to redo the loan process so wouldn't you think the loan officer would be checking in to see how things are progressing? By the way, I asked the loan officer about that 7/29 stipulation but I guess they can change the date? Good to know because I really would have had a break down if we had to go through the loan process again.

FYI - this is not a slam against our loan officer, Cristina. We should have asked about the rate when we knew we were close to 60 days, even though we didn't have an exact date. It was just frustrating no one told us when to call and no one called to check on it. Cristina, is absolutely lovely and I am enjoying working with her to get ready for our closing.  :)
#3 LESSON LEARNED - Call your loan officer after your pre-drywall meeting to discuss locking in a rate; don't wait for someone to call you
Now I am really in a tizzy...we can't close until 8/1, interest rates are at 5%, THEN I get a call from OHM, the granite company, on Tuesday that we need to come and pick out new slabs of granite because someone dropped ours when they were being delivered to Metro Stone. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! I sent an email to Ryan and told him if one more thing happened my head was going to explode!!!!
#4 LESSON LEARNED - Never say, "It can't get any worse"

I think Ryan must have thought I was about to take a long walk off a short pier and called over to Corporate to talk with Jerry. Certainly they didn't want my internal combustion to be on their hands! A short while after I sent Ryan the email, he called and gave me some GREAT news...they were able to work it out so we could close JULY 24TH. NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! We were going to have to do our pre-settlement walk-thru and closing on the same today so there were probably going to be some minor things they would have to fix after we moved in but we can live with that. I also talked with Cristina and while we couldn't get our rate back in the 3s, we were able to lock in at 4.5%. It had gone done slightly and we ended up buying down the rate but at least we don't have to worry about the rate going higher.
#5 [BEST] LESSON LEARNED - It all works out in the end!

MANY THANKS to all the people who helped make this happen - Jerry, Ryan, Cristina, Kevin (poor Kevin...this is going to be a hardship on him but he's as sweet as he can be), the guys/gals working on our house, and anyone else who helped get this pushed through! You guys are AWESOME and just reinforces the fact that we made the right decision to purchase a Ryan Home at Rosemont!


Monday, June 24, 2013

What a difference ONE MONTH makes

This was our house on 05/22...
And here it is on 06/23...
***Take a look at all the new pics on the Our Home Pics tab!***

Saturday, June 15, 2013


So I have a confession to make...

The closer we get to closing on our house, the more things I buy to put in it. I CAN'T STOP MYSELF! I scour the internet on Craigslist, Wayfair, Kohls, Macys, Pinterest, Houzz - you name it - every day looking for ideas and deals. I can't sleep, I can't eat, I don't want to leave the house...I JUST WANT TO SURF THE INTERNET AND FIND MORE THINGS TO BUY! 

If it's not bad enough that I can't stop shopping, we may need to rent a storage unit to store all this stuff until we move. "CRAZY!" you say - I KNOW, I AGREE! Right now it's all going in the dining room but it's quickly running out of space and our house is on the market so we can't have all this stuff just laying all over the place. And what should we do with the stuff that needs to be assembled? If we wait until we move and it's damaged, it will be too late to take it back but if we put it all together, where in the heck are we going to put it?!?! OH DECISIONS!

Here's a few of the things we (well, I) picked up for our new place:

Front porch - new patio set (Kohls bargain!)

Entryway - Console table (
Office - desk (courtesy of a Rosemont neighbor)
We also got a blower from him but who wants to see a picture of a blower?

Owner's Suite - comforter set (Kohls - going with grey/yellow/turquise)
Outside - EZ Up Tent
Ok, so it's not for the house but it got picked up during my shopping frenzy none-the-less...I told you I have a problem!

And let's not forget the loft sectional and dining room table we have on lay-a-way at Ashley Furniture.

HEY - look at that...someone in our new community is having a yard sale today! Think they would mind holding on to my yard sale purchases until we move in?  :)

While I do spend several hours each evening 'shopping' online and we do go to 'home' stores on the weekends, it's more window shopping than anything else. It's exciting to see all the neat things available and picturing how it will look in our new home! To be clear, we have only purchased the few things you see on my blog and all purchases were paired with discounts, coupons (hooray for Kohl's Cash and Bed,Bath & Beyond 10% off coupons!), and money from my wonderful mother-in-law. We even put the furniture on layaway so we wouldn't have to invest any money in it until after we closed. FYI - I don't really shop all day and I don't stay home in the evenings so I can shop was my attempt at humor people. To be clear, I would NEVER jeopardize the purchase of our home by shopping so much that we wouldn't have money for our closing so please take my posts about shopping with a grain of salt.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Talk about putting the cart before the horse - WAY BEFORE

A couple of weeks ago I received a promotional email from Vistaprint letting me know their postcards were on sale - something like $4.99 for 10 postcards. One of the examples in the email was a 'We've Moved' postcard so I was like - "HUH, those are pretty cute...and cheap!" - then I headed over to to check them out. Well, 30 minutes later, our 'We've Moved' postcards were created and paid for. Yes, before we even had a concrete slab, we received our 'We've Moved' postcards! Yeah, that's how I roll. Heaven forbid I wait until we actually move in. I just pray something doesn't happen that causes our address to change before we close!

Anyway, here they are and of course I bought like 40 and added a few extras. I don't even think I know 40 people to send them to and the standard postcards would have been perfectly fine but NOOOOO, I just had to keep adding things. My cheap, $4.99 postcards ended up costing like $60! Again, that's how I roll.  :)

(FYI - I removed our street address and email address from the front but you can see where it goes.)

Postcard Front

Postcard Back
Envelope Front (back of envelope has our new address)
Inside Flap of Envelope
I got the security envelopes and instead of having just a shaded interior like most security envelopes have, our envelopes say 'The Radkes' in alternating black and white text, over and over (look close). I know, that really was way over the top and no one will probably notice it when they open the envelope but whatever...LOVE IT!!  :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pre-drywall inspection = Pricey --- Peace of mind = PRICELESS

This morning Don, from Pillar to Post, came out and did our pre-drywall inspection. I'm happy to say, we got an excellent report! I walked through the house with Don and he showed me a lot of interesting things about the house and why some of the things are done they way they are. 

So what did he find? Very minor stuff:
  • Bowed piece of wood in the dining room (just one, that's pretty darn good)
  • Loose plywood in the owner's suite (again, just one and the guys fixed it while I was there)
  • No support under rear tub feet in owner's suite bathroom (simple fix)
  • Split ceiling joint (which we had already reported to our PM, Kevin)
Overall, it was a little pricey ($295) but we think it was money well spent. It's nice to know we don't have to worry about what's behind the walls once the drywall goes up. I was also thrilled to see that Killingsworth came out and pretreated the wood for termites. According to Don it lasts 5-7 years so that was pretty cool. We'll be seeing Don again for our final home inspection before we close.  :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Can we GET any more excited?!?!?!

We didn't get a chance to go by the house yesterday and it almost KILLED me! We made a bee-line for the house as soon as I got home from work and took a nice stroll through our place. The HVAC and most of the electrical is done so it was neat to see how everything was hooked up. 

Our kitchen recessed lighting is in and there are a few light rough-ins missing but I am sure they will be there before our pre-drywall meeting tomorrow. There is also a main support beam that has a pretty big crack but our PM is aware of it and I am sure will have it handled as well before our meeting. I REALLY REALLY like our PM...he always seems so happy! I couldn't do it...I would be like, please people, PLEASE stop bugging me. lol  But he always sounds happy to talk with you which makes this whole process even that much better. A++++++ for our PM, Kevin. (Don't be jealous Ryan...we still love you)

I'll do my best to post an update after our meeting tomorrow! Oh, and I added some pics from today. The tankless hot water heater (which seems so's amazing how that little thing works!) was installed Tuesday but we forgot to get a picture. The other pics are just some HVAC and electrical interior pics. They aren't very exciting but I wanted to make sure we have a picture of everything...even if it's lame.  :)

Check out our pics HERE.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The reason we go to our house at least twice a day

Today we met with Jim from Guardian to go over where we wanted the cable and ethernet outlets. I wish we had taken a picture with him because he had on a great orange hard hat - he looked so cute. The meeting only took about 10 minutes since we had already walked through the house several times and confirmed where we wanted everything.

The plumbers were hard at work and they had just dropped off the roof shingles...this was around 1:30pm. We took the kids back around 7:00pm tonight and not only was the plumbing done but they has almost finished with the roof shingles - SAY WHAT?!?!?!  Man, Ryan Homes has this building process down to a science! At 1:30 the shingles are on the front lawn in a bag with no roofers in sight and by 7:00pm they are almost all on the roof - NUTS! It just goes to show, go by multiple times a day and no telling what you might see! Ok, I am trying hard to justify going by there multiple times a day but whatever.  :)

We saw our SR, Ryan, showing some homes while we were at the meeting so I just HAD to holler a shout out to him out our window. I'm sure the people he was showing houses to thought I was nuts. I would hate for my big mouth to run off potential buyers! Oh well - better they know now who might be living next door (or across the street)!  heehee

I posted today's pics on the Our House Pics page so feel free to take a look.  Things are really coming along - LOVE IT!!!!

(See, I am doing better with blogging in real time! Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know it's only 2 days in a row but it's progress!)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Long Time - No Blog (Sorry!)

Things have been moving SO fast since we got our building permit that I just can't seem to keep up! I FINALLY posted updated pics on Our Home Pics page so feel free to head on over there and check them out. :)

Here's a synopsis of what's been going on since we got our building permit on 05/15/13:
  • 05/18 - Waterproofing
  • 05/22 - Concrete
  • 05/24 - Our wood arrived! (thanks for the wood pic PINKRAGE!)
  • 05/24 & 05/25 - First Floor 
    **our roof trusses didn't come with the rest of our wood so we had to wait a few days for the second floor work to start**
  • 05/29 - 05/31 - First Floor and House Wrap (thanks for the crane pic Erin!)
  • 06/01 - Second Floor  
  • 06/03 - Roof
Here's what's coming up:
  • 06/04 - We have our meeting with Guardian tomorrow to go over where the cable outlets are going to be (we didn't need a land line so we didn't get any phone outlets)
  • 06/07 - Pre-drywall meeting (that's what I'm talking about!)
  • 06/10 - Inspection by Don from Pillars to Post (he came recommended by a few people in the neighborhood)
I can't believe how fast things are going right now. After all the waiting, we aren't used to this fast pace! I'll try to do better with keeping up on the new pictures and posting events in a timely manner going forward. We go out there pretty much every day because each time we go there is something new - this is a really exciting time!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Back to the waiting game

I got a call from our PM yesterday and guess what?  We still don't have a building permit.  **SIGH**  Oh well, there's nothing we can do about it so we're back to waiting for something to happen.  There's always Monday, right?

On a positive note, I drove through the neighborhood this evening and my down-the-street neighbor who has the same color siding as us (Spanish Olive) has her siding so I got to see what ours is going to look like.  It's not as green as I expected but it's been so long since I saw the siding sample...  :)  
I was expecting a darker green, like this:
I forgot to mention the other day they have switched out the lighting package.  I like the new light in the dining room but I would have preferred they kept the previous entryway light.  We'll probably switch that one out at some point.

Old/New Dining Room Light
 Old/New Entry Way Light