Wednesday, October 31, 2012

We are OK!

We made it through completely unscathed.  Thank goodness!

Still no word from NVR about our loan.  Will they call and tell us the decision? Or will we have to wait for the letter to come in the mail?

So very anxious.  This whole process happened so quickly!  I don't know how all of those people who buy early on can do with all this waiting.  At least ours was the next to last unit in the row to sell so things just sort of took off after that.

Hopefully I will have more news on the progress of our home later this week.  Not sure what our home site looks like after the storm, but since there wasn't much there to begin with, I assume there is just a whole lot of water on the ground.

In the mean time, here is a picture of the nice little pool of water that grew and grew during the storm next to our apartment.  We've always wanted waterfront property!

Monday, October 29, 2012

One Year Anniversary

Today is our one year wedding anniversary!  Mike and I are hunkering down in preparation for hurricane Sandy, although I am heading into work for a few hours this morning just so I don't have to take much leave.  I'm trying to save up as much as possible so I won't have to worry about it when I have to take off time for closing and to move. 

Mike is a teacher for Prince William county and they have already closed schools ahead of the storm so at least I know he will be safe at home keeping Daisy company.

Still hoping to get a loan decision this week, even with Sandy bearing down on us.  Fingers crossed!

Cupcakes Actually did our wedding cupcakes last year.  As part of our contract they made an extra special jumbo cupcake for our anniversary.  If you haven't tried Cupcakes Actually in Fairfax before, I highly recommend them. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

First homesite visit - Week 1

We were pleasantly surprised when we visited our home today!  It looks like they were able to begin putting up the forms for the walls yesterday after all.  They didn't finish all of the units but the fact that they began the process is exciting!  Looks like they stopped halfway through our unit so they have our unit to finish and two others before they pour the concrete.  I'm willing to bet thats not going to happen until the week after next if we end up getting a visit from hurricane Sandy.  But hey if they do make progress next week it will be another pleasant surprise right?

Anyway, we took a few photos of the progress:

Can't see much from this point yet, but once framing begins we will be able to have a good view of the progress.

This is a view from the rear of the home, where the garage will be.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Quick update

Just got a late update from Adam and he sent us a picture!

The footers are done, but no wall forms. He's also not sure how much will be done next week due to the hurricane.

I still plan to visit tomorrow for more pictures since we'll be out that way anyway.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

I guess it's only fitting that our one year anniversary gets a visit from Hurricane Sandy.  I mean naturally since we had a snowstorm on our wedding day it only makes sense that this year we should experience a hurricane right?  Really though my only concern is the house and whether they will be able to do the pipe work and pour the slab next week.  I suspect they will be able to lay the pipe AFTER the hurricane but I don't think they will be able to pour concrete until the following week.  But who knows, I'm no professional so its not like I know what the crew is capable of doing after so much rain has fallen.  I guess we will just have to wait and see what they do. 

I am a little disappointed in the Farmer's Almanac.  In their post about next week they only say the weather is unsettled. Ya think?! Thanks Farmer's Almanac.

Anyway, we did get an email from our PM about the progress this week.  He said that they hope to finish the footers today and set up the walls on Friday.  I don't know what "set up the walls" means.  I think it means when they put the forms in so they can pour the slab, but I'm not sure.  And if that is the case, I don't know if that will actually happen now that Sandy has decided to grace us with her presence.

Other than that, we are still waiting to hear back about our loan.  Our loan processor Chrissy said she expects us to know by next week, so fingers crossed that actually happens.  I know that I am expecting to be off at least one day next week because the building I work in is known for losing power in bad storms, but I surely hope NVR doesn't have the same problem, otherwise that will probably push back the time frame on making a decision right?

Mike and I are visiting our home site on Saturday and plan to take a few pictures to document the process.  I will post them this weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pre Construction Questions

Here are about half of the questions we asked at our meeting.  I can't seem to find the other half. :(

  1. Can we make shower heads in shower higher?
  2. Will we be able to control the fan and light with a light switch?
  3. How many electrical outlets will there be? Where? Will there be one on
    the island?
  4. Will there be a light and ventilation in the attic?
  5. Where will attic access be?
  6. Nails or screws in drywall?
  7. What is between the walls (in between us and the neighbors)
    Will the drywall dust be cleaned up before floors and carpets are
  8. *establish desired communication procedures* how often will we get
  9. Will there be insulation in the garage?
  10. Will the granite overhang be the same as in the model (breakfast bar)
  11. Confirm all walls will be smooth and not textured
  12. Will you install ceiling fans for us if we buy them?
We had more questions, but I had just typed them out and didn't save the document and now I can't find the print out either.  Most of those questions we got online so I'm sure a quick google search will find more.

Pre Construction Meeting and Breaking Ground!

Because I started this blog a little later in the process than most I am going to take you back to this past Monday when we had our pre-construction meeting (10/22/12).  There isn't much to say, except now I am beyond excited!!  We went over all of our selections, Adam our PM explained the whole process and we got some tentative dates on when each stage of the building process is expected to begin.  This was also an opportunity for Mike and I to ask any questions about our new home.  And boy did I have questions!!!

This past weekend I spent a lot of time on my iPad researching questions that I should ask, because to be honest we had no idea what we should need to know other than a few cosmetic things we had wondered about.  I found a ton of useful information on the web from other new home buyers, and was even able to find a few blogs that were Ryan Homes specific that allowed me to learn from what they wished they had done.  All in all I think we did well and came to the table with over 35 questions!  A lot of them were answered through the general process of the meeting, but we had a chance to ask the rest at the end which was really nice.  I don't have my list with me, so I will be sure to post it later when I have the chance.

So TODAY (10/24/12) they are supposed to be breaking ground and they will prepare to have the footers done by Friday, then sometime next week they will do the pipe work and pour the slab and hope to let that dry over the weekend.  Our lumber will arrive the following week on November 5th and if the weather is good, they will begin framing.  Adam said he expects framing to take about a month and hopes to have our pre-drywall meeting the first week of December which will be an AWESOME birthday present for me!

Adam also told us that he hopes to have the pre-settlement meeting/demonstration by the first part of February, assuming nothing crazy happens with the weather.  He also said worse case scenario we would close towards the end of February or the beginning of March, which is still fine since we don't have to be out of the spider cave until March 15th.  He was pretty sure our home would be done by the beginning of February but wanted us to be aware of the paperwork process for FHA loans which tends to take a little longer than the standard type of loan.

I also want to note that crazy me purchased the Farmer's Almanac on my iPad Kindle app just so I could be aware of any weather like issues through the process.  I know I know many of you are probably wondering, "why the heck would this lady believe in that Farmer's Almanac nonsense!?!?."  Well I will tell you why.  Mike and got married last year on October 29th.  A year before that in 2010 we were planning our wedding.  I really wanted a fall wedding and I wanted it to be during the peak times for foliage since it really is beautiful out this way when the leaves begin to turn. SO that is when I turned to the Almanac to find out when those times would be.  They are good for some things you know....

Anyway, while I was perusing the Almanac, I discovered that they had predicted a little bit of a snow squall during a 4 day time period at the end of October 2011.  So here we were, about a year out from our wedding, and I was reading about snow on the day we had chosen.  My reaction? "pppffffftt snow in October?!?! What could they possible know about the weather a whole year in advance?!"  Needless to say it definitely snowed on my outdoor wedding on October 29th, 2011.  Sigh.  So now I think it is only fitting that I consult the Almanac on the weather situation this winter right?

The Almanac states that while we will have a colder than normal winter, we could possibly have a snowstorm December 12-15 and big one the middle of February and another in March.  So really I think it's looking pretty good for us, as long as Adam can make sure we have a roof by December.  And just for a cheap laugh, the Almanac usually writes about the year in review and boasts about the predictions they got right in the last edition.  Our wedding day got a little shout out....

Funny right? Ok moving on, I hope to have more pictures from this point on as they begin to build our awesome Mozart, but until then, here is a photo I took of our "sold" sign when we signed the contract back on September 30th.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Setting the stage...

Okay so before I get down to the details, I thought I would try to explain the back story to our little adventure.

Back in March 2012 Mike and I moved to Ashburn, VA from Manassas into what seemed like at the time a quiet, cute little apartment.  Our intention was to sock away as much money as possible so that we could purchase a home in a couple of years.  Fast forward 6 months and we were already at our wits end with the neighbors upstairs, the constant equipment failures, the rodent problem we seemed to have inherited from the previous tenant and our units propensity to attract ALL of the spiders in Loudoun County.

So even though we hadn't been planning on buying a home so soon, we took the plunge.  We signed our contract with Ryan Homes - Heathcote Commons on September 30th, 2012.  We are building a Mozart with a ton of options that we are super excited about!  

To date we have already met with our flooring, tile and wiring vendors and just yesterday, we had our pre construction meeting.  While I was preparing questions to ask at the meeting, I was searching online for additional ideas since not only have we never built a home before, we are also first time home buyers!  Much to my surprise I found a ton of blogs of people documenting their Ryan Homes experience, but none of them were Mozart specific and none of them were located in Virginia, thus our new blog is born.

In the midst of all of this crazy we are still waiting on a loan approval from NVR on our VHDA loan, so you can imagine how hard it is to temper our excitement in case we don't actually get approved.  I guess this blog has two potential outcomes.  One would be the most successful in that it shows the progress of the building of our very first home from start to finish and the other would be the worlds shortest blog, when everything comes crashing to a halt because we have no loan!

Fingers crossed we can finish this project. ;)