Saturday, July 31, 2010

Flooring and the Big Decision

We had our flooring appointment today.  It was okay.  I was still feeling a little sour about our big decision and the flooring just overwhelmed me!  We were hoping that by doing just the base on the flooring that we'd save some money - knowing that in a year or two we're going to upgrade the flooring ourselves.  That's the case for the areas we're getting the vinyl - the kitchen, morning room (if we get it), bathrooms, and entry way.  While I really dislike the idea of vinyl in the entry way, I just keep reminding myself its for the short term.  It would be foolish to upgrade it and then take it up in a year or so.  So we did just stick with the base vinyl.  And while I don't love it, its really not that bad.  Vinyl has come a long way.  It looks like larger square tile.  We went with a lighter color in the kitchen and upstairs bathrooms and a darker one in the entry and powder room.  The flooring lady, while a bit blunt and hurried, was helpful in telling us that a lighter color makes the space look larger.  We're all about that!  So while its not my first choice, it will work.

We had heard from other blogs that it was important to upgrade the carpet padding.  We added that into our estimate and were planning to just go with the base carpet.  Well, we were wrong!  It was pretty bad.  Very cheap looking and feeling.  The flooring lady told us that it would start to show its wear in about a year!  It only came with a 5 year warranty, so that was pretty telling right there.  With all of the other work we'd like to do to our house over the next few years, we're not particularly desiring to replace the carpet, too.  So we upgraded the carpet.  While it was an expense we weren't expecting, I think its a good place to invest a little.

The great thing was is that they had all of the cabinet selections there so that we could put our flooring choices right up to it.  Originally we were going to go with a medium dark wood called cherry, cheery.  It is in the lighter of the darker brown family (if that makes sense).  Well after thinking about it today, we think we may change it to the wine berry cherry, which is a darker wood.  Its very rich looking.  I've liked it better all along, but was worried it would be too dark.  But after considering the fact that we can lighten the room up with our flooring choice and the amount of sunlight (hello morning room!) we think we'll go with it - as long as we keep the morning room.  If we eliminate that, we'll go for the lighter wood so the kitchen isn't too dark.  I really do like both of them, and lucky for us they were both an upgrade level 2, which we had already budgeted for.  No extra money.  Yay!  We'll see if that's what we end up sticking with.

We also stopped back by the Florence model today.  And you know what?  I'm really okay with it.  Sure the bedroom sizes aren't as big as the Venice and there is less closet space, but its still a great house!  The closests aren't as small as I thought.  And as far as the bedrooms go, they will be fine.  The master is actually a bit bigger and bedroom 2 is a good size as well.  It's the third and fourth bedroom that are small.  They way I look at it is if we have 2 kids, only one of them will hate us for having a small room!  Walking through the model again reiterated how much we love the morning room!  So we took that all into consideration tonight as we sat down and worked the numbers.

While the decision is not final, I think we're leaning towards the Florence now with partial brick and KEEPING the morning room.  We got rid of a few other small upgrades and it puts us at a comfortable place.  We would love our payment to be lower, but we feel if we cut much more we'll regret getting rid of the things we'd have to get rid off.  We'll be fine with our payment and won't be house poor and that's what we were after.  Some other positives are the first floor laundry and the beautiful banister and spindles that we'll have going up the steps and upstairs.  I know its a small detail, but its very sharp! 

We did meet briefly with our Sales rep, today (who we absolutley love!) and she did a great job at keeping us from freaking out!  We're going to go with her tomorrow to look at a Venice that doesn't have a morning room just to see how we like it.  So we'll see.

Our clock is ticking now.  We have 14 days to finalize our plans without penalty.  I'm looking forward to when all of the decisions are made and we can move on and just enjoy all of the excitement as we wait for our house to be built!

Long a few weeks there will be little to talk about for months!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Journey Begins

A few months ago when my husband and I first began talking about building a Ryan home, I turned to the Internet for information.  Along with many negative reviews, I found a great blog that documented a person's journey with Ryan.  I've followed it (and a couple of others that have popped up) and have found it very helpful and reassuring.  We made our decision to build with Ryan and I decided that even if no one else read it, I'd start a blog to document our journey.  It is our family's history in the making.

Last week we signed our purchase agreement and began our journey to building our Ryan Home. We weren't planning on building quite yet, but we decided to move forward!  We actually had to enter a raffle for our lot because there were 4 lots that were being released and 6 families interested in them.  It was an interesting experience, and while we didn't get our first choice, we got our second choice of lots.  The neat thing was that this unique raffle allowed us to meet our future neighbors!  How fun!  Though we're starting the process now, we won't break ground until October and the house will be finished in February.  Right in the middle of winter!

While I was filled with excitement a week ago, we've realized that we need to make some changes on our original plan to be sure that we can afford our new home without being house poor.  I know in the end we will be totally thrilled with the house we build, but we now must decide what to "sacrifice".  All along we decided to do mainly structural upgrades.  We figure there are a lot of things we can do ourselves after we move in - flooring, faucets, fixtures, etc...  While that's still the plan, we now have to give up one or a couple of the structural upgrades we were planning on.  At first, we were going to build the Florence.  When we learned that the Phase 2 price increase was only going to be $4,000 rather than the predicted $10,000 we decided to upgrade to the Venice.  The main difference was that this house had about 200 more square feet, larger bedrooms, and more closet space, yet had a very similar floor plan downstairs to the Florence which we really liked.  So now that we have to give something up, one of the considerations is going back to the Florence.  Another consideration is keeping the Venice and losing the morning room, which I really, REALLY love and feel makes the downstairs!  The other option and may be combined with the downgrade in house model, would be to do all vinyl siding rather than the all brick front that we were originally planning.  I'm feeling very conflicted!  I am looking forward to our 14 day deadline when all of these decisions need to be finalized.  If anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it!

Tomorrow we have our flooring appointment!  That should be fun.  Then we sit down and seriously talk about what we need to make our monthly payment more comfortable.