Monday, February 25, 2013

Wow, we've been busy!

We had Verizon and the Lowe's blinds installer in on Friday, painted just ONE room (with the help of my mom) and moved on Saturday!  Our new home is a MESS, but its still OURS!!

We still have a few things at the old place, but at least the movers got most of it for us.  We used My Truck Buddy.  They are awesome.  We also used them last year to move into the apartment.  They are affordable, quick and polite.  If you are in the market for a moving company, they are your guys!  The only thing they don't do, is back your boxes.  TOTALLY worth it though!

My mom rolled up to the house right as the movers were arriving with our stuff on Saturday and once they unloaded everything, she blew through the kitchen and unpacked all of our boxes!  It was such a big help.  I wonder if I can get her to come back and do the rest of the house? :P

I think once we get settled in, it will begin feeling more like a home.  We still have tons of painting to do because on Friday, the paint fumes and dust in the new house made me sick.  Did you know that paint fumes can give you bronchitis? YEP it CAN! Its not contagious or anything, but still very inconvenient.  So it will be a slow process for us, but I am determined to get it all done!

Once the house is in better shape, I will take some photos.

In the mean time, here is one of the messy living room with one of the rugs we bought during black Friday.  Don't mind the TV on the floor.  We are in the process of remedying that now!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It's been a busy day!

As you know, yesterday the branch manager called late afternoon to tell us that we wouldn't be closing at 10AM, but that she was sure we would close sometime today.  About 10:30 this morning she calls to let me know they are GOOD TO GO and asked whether we wanted 12PM or 1PM.  Well duh, we needed to be in there ASAP so Mike could run off to basketball practice afterwards, so we chose the 12PM appointment.  Thank goodness we picked the earlier time because it took TWO HOURS to close.  It took us about 45 minutes to sign all the paperwork, but towards the end, our settlement specialist noticed that our 2nd trust on the VHDA paperwork was more than it should be.  So she took all our paperwork to get a second set of eyes.  After 15 minutes she comes back with bad news.  Turns out VHDA was insisting it had to be the larger amount (about $200 difference) which meant they had to redo about half of the paperwork so we could sign it all over again.  Redoing the paperwork took about 35 minutes and it took another 10 minute to sign it AGAIN and then she made copies for us.  I am so happy that part is all over with!  WE ARE HOME OWNERS!!

Once we left NVR, Mike ran off to practice and I headed on over to the house.  I got there and look what I found!

An awesome gift basket from Lauren and Adam!  We are so grateful to have such an amazing team!!  Thank you so much Lauren and Adam for being there for us, even if it was just letting us vent!  You ROCK!

I unloaded a few items from my car and promptly got to work calling the utilities to get everything set up and I took a quick trip over to the post office to get our mailbox keys.

I took Friday off so the blinds guy, and FIOS guy could come in and do their thing and also so I could paint a few rooms and then move in on SATURDAY!!!! SOO EXCITED!!!

This post wouldn't be complete without thanking Chrissy, Kay, Carey and the NVR settlement team for working their butts off to make sure we closed today.  They really did go above and beyond.  THANKS GUYS! I'm sorry for making your lives hell the past few weeks! :P

And of course thanks to all of my blogger friends who have cheered us on to the finish line!

Monday, February 18, 2013

We were almost there!

...and made it almost the entire day stress free, until branch manager called to tell me that the underwriter failed to get VHDA final approval.  A pretty big deal when you have a VHDA loan, dontcha think? 

So we are being reassured that we will still close tomorrow, but they don't know exactly WHEN.  Branch manager says close to 12-1PM.

This would have been nice to know last week so I could arrange coverage for my job.

How can you overlook something as important as a final VHDA approval?!

Thursday, February 14, 2013



With conditions of course, but its just paystubs and W2's,  and a few forms we have to sign.  So I think that should be OK.

We are scheduled for the 19th, but I am still waiting for a time.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Closing Update!

Alright! This is the closest we've been to a real closing date! Branch Manager called to let me know that she was able to speak to our underwriter today and she said that she told her that she hopes to have our file done by early afternoon tomorrow (Thursday).

I asked her if the file is indeed done by that time, would we will still be able to close by the 19th and she said YES it shouldn't be a problem because everyone is keyed in for the 19th and they are ready to roll when that file comes in.  She even went so far as to say that even if the file comes in at the end of the day, we should still be OK.  I guess once that file comes in, she will be able to give us an actual TIME too.

So I am really super excited right now, but am trying to temper it in case something bad happens.  YAY!!

Will the 19th be the day?

So for a couple of days now, I have consistently heard the 19th as being our closing day.  Although, even with all of the talk they still can't actually CONFIRM that day until our file comes out of underwriting.  The branch manager is visiting PA for meetings today where all of the underwriting occurs and she hopes to speak directly with the person working on our file in hopes of getting an idea of WHEN exactly that will happen.  Once she can pinpoint when we get our final approval, she will be able to confirm for us if the 19th is even possible.

So today, Mike is cancelling his original leave request for the 15th and submitting a new one for Tuesday.  It has to go through the special process again since it is the day AFTER a holiday.  I hope it gets approved because I have no idea what were going to do if it doesn't!

The 19th is pretty much THE LAST possible day we can close before work and school EXPLODES for me.  I will have a hard time finding free time to schedule a closing after that day.

Anyway, the branch manager plans to call me sometime today to give me another update.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quick Diversion

Today is an exciting day!  Our wedding has been featured in a very popular local blog called United with Love.  We are so excited!  Mike and I got married on October 29, 2011 on the first October snowfall in Warrenton, VA since the 1800's.  It was definitely a memorable day!

Go check it out HERE.

Monday, February 11, 2013

UPDATED: While we're patiently waiting...

...for an update from the branch manager today, I figured I would mention AGAIN how awesome our PM and SR are.

Lauren our SR was working our issue even on her days off last week which is going above and beyond if you ask me.

Adam our PM, politely agreed to fix all of the stuff we taped in our home this weekend even though I'm sure he walked into our house today and felt like screaming.  We used so much blue painters tape it looked like a smurf exploded.

On top of that I know our NVR team is working diligently to try their hardest to get us to closing this week, so a big shout out to them too!

I am hopeful I will have good news about our closing date being scheduled for this Friday like it was supposed to be and like we desperately need it to be for everything to work out logistically.

I REALLY also want to be able update our countdown widget to reflect the TIME of closing too because right now its just to some random time, because its driving me nuts know its not correct. :P

UPDATE: Okay, she called and she still hasn't heard anything.  She says we will not be closing on Friday.  She said next Tuesday seems possible but she couldn't even confirm that date either.  I am so tired of this, so much so that its becoming very hard to get excited about our new home.  I know I've said this before, but it just keeps getting WORSE!  

All of this BS would have only been OK if we were to close on the 15th because at least I would know that they truly HEARD me and understood how valuable our time is.  Because really when it comes down to it, we are customers.  Right now, we are extremely unhappy customers. 

So at this point, this means that we won't be painting our home, we won't be installing our back splash, we won't be sealing our grout or counters until after we've moved in.  Realistically speaking it means half of that stuff won't ever happen.  Its going to take so much extra work and effort and time to make our house a home and I'm pissed because NVR led us on for so damn long.  I regret believing in them and believing they could work this out for us.

Powder Room Mirror?

For those of you that own a Ryan home or are in the process of building one, how are your powder room mirror's hung?  The Mozart model home has it hung with 4 brackets that hugs it tight to the wall, but they installed ours with one hook towards the top of the mirror, much like you would hang a picture frame on the wall.  It swings from side to side when touched which seems rather sketchy.  PLUS when that happens, it scratches up the wall!

How did they install yours?

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Of course the minute I close out the last blog post I would get a call from the Branch Manager.  Lets get the good news out of the way.  The appraisal came in today!! Such a relief!  So they are sending everything to underwriting tonight.  Unfortunately she does not think we will close by the 15th.  HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT.

She plans to call us late Monday to give us an update on the status of everything.  At that time, she hopes to definitely nail down a closing date.  She was leaning more towards the 19th which is much better, but still not what we were hoping for.

I told her I remained hopeful that a miracle would occur and we would still close on the 15th, but she still maintains that her gut tells her that won't happen. I refuse to give up.

So on the positive side, its nice to be dealing with ONE person with all the information vs. three people with contradicting information but I was hoping for some vindication!  I want to be able to FORGET how awful this experience has been.  I am still a little bruised from the drama earlier this week and it has simply left a really bad taste in my mouth.  Its hard to be mad when we are now dealing with someone who has their act together, but at the same time I feel like speaking up about what happened hasn't changed anything.  Some poor unsuspecting person will get stuck in the same vicious cycle we have been in over the past few weeks and they will walk away with a bad experience too.  Isn't the point of their survey to help improve their processes and become a better company anyway?  Do I lie on the survey because a branch manager went out of her way to try to help us out?  Don't get me wrong, she has been SO helpful and I do feel better now that she is in control, but how does giving 10's on this survey help them improve?

So what do I do now? While communication has improved, we still aren't getting what we needed most which was the weekend after the 15th to prepare our new home for our arrival.  Now I am going to be MIA right after closing on the 19th only to parachute in at the last minute to meet the movers.  I am just not OK with that.  Now we will have to be rushed and stressed all because of something that was completely out of our control. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get excited about our new home.

I am relieved that we have our appraisal now and also relieved to have just one person to communicate with, but that doesn't fix it for me.  I don't mean to sound so ungrateful, but my heart was REALLY set on the 15th.  I don't want to settle for anything less.

Declaration of War!

Did you think this post was about our NVR issues?  With a title like that you would think major drama is involved.  Never fear, this post isn't about NVR (although I am still waiting on news about our appraisal). 

Nope, this is about our future neighbors.  I had to swing by our new house yesterday to allow a measuring guy from Lowe's in.  He measured all of our windows for our blinds!  WOOHOO!

As I walked towards the house, I saw the unthinkable!  One of our neighbors had ALREADY let their dog do their business right by the stoop and didn't bother to pick it up!  WHAT THE SMURF?!

I know since our house is technically a condo that we don't own the outside, BUT STILL!  Who would do such a thing?!  Mike and I are very diligent in making sure we pick up after Daisy.  I was hoping that moving to a place where people owned their homes they would respect the area more.  Clearly I was wrong.

The apartment Mike and I live in now is on the first floor and is right next to a path where people walk their dogs all the time.  These people are AWFUL about cleaning up after their pooches.  It was so bad over the summer, that we couldn't even open up our windows to enjoy the warm weather!  I will be pretty upset if the same thing happens in our new neighborhood.

I would like to see another pet waste station installed in the open area across the street from us in hopes that these people will start using it.  Not sure what I have to do to get that done though.  I mean really what else can you do?  I guess we could install a little video camera and catch people in the act and turn them into the police, but what the heck are they going to do about it?!  I fear that if we put a polite sign up, that someone might get a little sassy and purposely let their pup do their business near the sign.  Am I thinking too much into this?

So obviously this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine, otherwise I wouldn't be blogging about it.  What would you do?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

An Upswing..

After much discussion today with our LO and LP, I wasn't able to get any additional information, and I kind of feel like they were unapologetic for what they put us through the past few weeks.  I understand that there wasn't much they could do since the process was dependent on something external to NVR, but the point I was trying to make was that the confusing information and lack of communication exhibited was what ended up flipping my crazy switch, which was totally avoidable. I think what frustrated me the most this week, was that they just kept repeating the same information about not having control over the appraiser as if I didn't already know that. And they failed to call me back with the update the next day as promised.

At some point in the day today the branch manager got involved and called me later in the afternoon. While she basically told me the same thing our LO and LP had been saying, she seemed to actually CARE about how this situation came about and seemed generally interested in making us have a more positive experience with NVR. She is going to try to find out when exactly the appraiser plans to submit his report and once she has that info, she hopes to be able to nail down a closing date for us.  She plans to give me a call or email me late tomorrow.  I remain hopeful that they are still able to get us to closing on the 15th.  Yes, this is because it is most convenient for us given our work schedule after that week (for me it gets REALLY hectic) but also because Mike went through the trouble of getting special approvals for his leave on that day.  You will recall I mentioned in an earlier post that because the 15th is a working day before a holiday (President's Day), teachers in the county have to get special approvals from the assistant principal. Thankfully, he found out today that his leave was approved! I just hope it wasn't a wasted effort on his part and that we will be able to use his existing leave request vs. starting the process over again for a new day.

So that's all the info I have right now, but I do hope to have good news to report tomorrow.  Maybe then we will be able to finally relax and actually enjoy the prospect of being brand new homeowners!

Not Closing on the 15th

I'm so angry.  So much so that I might cry.  Of course my job throws a wrench in things by making it pretty impossible to close after that date, so I guess that's on me.

The part that makes it 10 times worse is that I have been given the run around for several weeks now.  I think that if they (NVR & Ryan) were 100% realistic with me to begin with this might be a little easier to stomach. Their lack of communication between the different offices does not help much either.  It could just be because I am still very upset right now, but I feel like its going to be quite a stretch to give them high marks on that survey of theirs.  I feel so beaten and bruised and a little shell shocked.  I know that buying a home is stressful and building one just makes it more stressful, but I don't think its supposed to be THIS BAD.

One thing is certain though.  We will never do this again.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Choosing a paint brand - Consumer Reports Weighs in

Mike's parents sent us THIS article from consumer reports about what paint is best for different applications.  It looks like Valspar beat out Benjamin Moore this year as far as coverage goes in the matte category, but a new brand called Clark & Kensington won the satin and eggshell category.  That is just fine with me, given the savings potential.  Now lets just hope they can color match all of our selections!

The article also talks about best painters tapes as well which is an ongoing debate in our household!

Monday, February 4, 2013

My brain hurts....

Our loan processor called today.  She just wanted to let us know what was going on with our loan and also to prepare us for the possibility that we may not close on time.  Add to that the fact that she gave us yet ANOTHER closing date is giving me quite a headache.  It was a bit contradictory if you think about it.  Here we are thinking were closing on the 15th, but then she calls to prepare us for the worse (not closing on time), yet she still gives us a possible closing date that's one day SOONER than what we were expecting.  WHA?!

They are still waiting on the appraisal, but she seemed confident it would happen this week.  I asked her if the appraisal comes in this week, would we close on time and she said it would be tight but she thinks it's possible.  She just wanted to make sure we were prepared for the worse.

So lets see, first our estimated closing was the 14th, then it moved to the 1st, then back to the 14th and then it moved to the 27th, and they changed it to the 15th after that and now were back to the 14th!  See where one might get a headache?

Really the 14th or 15th doesn't matter for me.  I can get either day off without a problem.  Mike however has to get special approval for the 15th because he is a teacher and they are not allowed to take the day before or after a holiday off and since the 18th is President's day, he would have to get special approval to take the 15th off.  Not to mention we kind of need to know soon, so they can arrange a substitute!  So really this new date (the 14th) works better for him and its fine for me too, so I am really hopeful that they can just stick to this date for good. She is supposed to call me tomorrow with a better idea of when we are expected to close.

I guess if Mike can't get the day off we will have to get a power of attorney.  Anyone have to do that before?  I would REALLY prefer that he and I were both at closing, but what if the higher ups don't approve his leave?!