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 handle...hot 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 though...it isn't the same as the one in the model and let's just say...it'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 staircase...it'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 - wayfair.com - 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, mmm...orange/red 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 trash...as 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!"

WARNING
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!
AAAGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!
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!

WE LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

What a difference ONE MONTH makes

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

Saturday, June 15, 2013

PUT DOWN THE DEBIT CARD AND BACK AWAY SLOWLY!

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 (Wayfair.com)
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?  :)

*****DISCLAIMER***** 
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 online...it 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 Vistaprint.com 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 tiny...it'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!!