Saturday, December 26, 2015

Preconstruction Meeting and Breaking Ground

So we just returned from our cruise vacation and were happy to see that while we were away Haverford broke ground. Now a huge shout out to Owen over at Building Our NVHomes Andrew Carnegie. While we were out Owen was nice enough to send us pictures while out walking his dog. I can't wait for us to be neighbors and walk our dogs together, well when we get a dogs. :)

So let's just jump into the preconstruction meeting. We finally met our project manager Clayton who was just amazingly understanding and nice. Clayton himself is very straightforward and upfront. I informed him that I can be a bit OCD on certain things and that I mean no harm and he said to feel free to let him know any of my concerns but also to be sure and give him time to address them. We covered lighting, ceiling fans, flooring and the possible grading of our property. We also received our lot plan. I wasn't sure of any of the questions I may need to ask so if you have any suggestions please feel free to comment below.

Now for the pictures

from across street

standing at edge of drive way

view of future sunroom and deck
We've been told that the footers should be in this week if the rain stops and we don't get the storms that are being predicted. I'm so excited, it finally seems a little real and the closer we get the realer it will become.

Thanks for stopping by, the next update will be when we have footers.

Monday, November 30, 2015


Welcome back, I'm excited to say that after just over 2 weeks from throwing the towel in on anything house related, we finally got an approval. And I'm super excited that we got approved with room to spare so we went back and added the tray ceiling and princess bath.

Initially, we thought we would only be able to add one or the other. It really came down to the princess bath, master spa bath or tray ceiling. We had decided to only add the princess bath for resale purposes because the master bath is already beautiful without the upgrades. I'm just so excited because my daughter is 6 now and we plan to be there for at least 10 years so her having her own bath was a big deal for me because coming from a large family that had to share, I just knew she would owe me one down the line, lol.

This weekend we were asked to come in and sign some more paperwork. Apparently the original design center selections sheet had duplicate choices so they just cleaned it up to remove them. We wouldn't have been charged extra but our SR loves everything to me neat and clean.

We have also been discussing whether we wanted to add 2 pre-wires in the ceiling on either side of where we want to put the bed but I'm convinced that I can do it myself after and tap into the ceiling fan wiring for power. I also looked at not doing that and putting up plug in swing lights with wireless remotes.

Other than that nothing major has happened, haven't even met our PM yet but I asked the SR to give him a warning. I am not Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada but I certainly do know what I want and hold people to their word. Heck the SR himself was trying to talk the VP into bringing me on as his assistant because I'm polite but stern and have a discerning eye for detail.

Next up......breaking ground.
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Low voltage update

And this is why I won't allow myself to get excited about this process. So a little update on the loan app, it's still in underwriting. It's been weeks and now the issue is that we paid for a vacation club program, that is not a timeshare. It was a one time purchase that is paid off in installments and we get points to use for vacation days. All of the paperwork they requested says it is not a timeshare but they are requesting more information. I know this is pretty much the hard part but it really is sucking the fun out of this and has me worried that things wont happen fast enough to break ground before Christmas and winter hits. If that doesn't happen we wont be in by May which will cause us to have to enter into a month-to-month lease at almost $1400.

Now onto our low voltage appointment. We met at the model home on Wednesday with Chesapeake System Services. CSS provides all cable, phone/internet, home audio and security things for the home. I have posted the documents below, sorry if they are too small. the best I could do.

We chose the 2 Room home Audio, Surround Sound pre-wire and added a few extra cable locations. We are also thinking about upgrading to a 4 room audio. The entire process was super easy because I am a super planer, if you can't tell already. I created 2 separate floor plans to decide my furniture layout and the layout for the electrical because I can't wait until I meet the electrician to figure it out. Yes I researched the code requirements for power outlets which helped in my furniture placement. This also allowed me to do locals for the ceiling fans/lights we are adding.

Now the fun part is to also wait for the VP to get back to us about the basement bar. We made adjustments for the entrance to be near a wall as opposed to it being near the stairs. At this point I just want to get an approval. I know understand how other bloggers have felt seeing those who have started the process after them moving further and faster.

The waiting game is really just giving me time to second guess my furniture choices and I don't think the guy could deal with another decor change. Currently floating in my head is just a very simple monochromatic neutral with no colors on the walls just in the tablescape and pillows. I have really fallen in love with the thought of medium wood tones and linen/burlap fabrics.

Ok, Ok, I am making a promise to myself and I expect you guys to hold me to it. I will not "shop", talk or look at anything house related until the loan comes out of underwriting.

Until next time.....thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Low Voltage and Under Writting

This past weekend was the grand opening for the new Model home in our community. We arrived a little later than I wanted but was happy to see the amount of traffic that came through. Plus we finally saw it fully furnished, we visited last week while the designer was finishing up. (Ha, left with a great recommendation from the SR to the designer to be her assistant. Apparently her office is quite a distance from the communities Haverford is opening and many buyers want to meet and use her services but she can’t accommodate them.) 

Anyway we were finally contacted by the low voltage company, Chesapeake System Services, to set up our appointment. Let’s just say I was really shocked with what they shared. However they were very communicative and answered all questions.  Our community only includes 2 Single Cat 5e Phone Locations & 3 Single RG6 Coax Locations and we will not be able to sub a phone line for a cable line (keep in mind I don’t understand any of this and simply asked because I had read about it on other blogs). In the original email we were told that we would have to put down 100% deposit on any additions we made. This is where the shock came in because up until now I was under the impression that all new builds had the ability to add any upgrades into the purchase price, so when confirming our appointment time for next month we asked about it. The response was that the original offerings set forth by Haverford only allowed what was included but that we could finance in up to $2500 into our mortgage. So for right now I think we have decided to only add the home audio until we sit for the meeting. As for the phone and cable I am comfortable with what’s offered as we can put cable in the master bedroom, rec. room and family room with phones in the rec. room and master. We are looking at getting those cordless phone packages that only require 1 phone plugged in but the other phones just require power. We are still trying to figure out the wiring and things for the theater room outside of the surround sound.

This is what I have in mind for the phones. The main base would be in the Master and the other phones will be in each bedroom and additional headsets for the Kitchen and Basement. The Office will have it's own phone line and phone as well.

Panasonic KXTGE275S

Now for the T.V's and cable. We plan to get Cable in the Family Room, Master and Basement, then have the cable run and split off to the Kid and Guest rooms.

Finally because it's been over a week since the last update our application has gone to underwriting and surprisingly they only has 1 or 2 questions which just required submission of documents that took all of 5 minutes to gather. We are looking forward to hearing from the underwriter and getting the final number. Plus now that we don't have to worry about the low voltage stuff with the purchase the guy wants to go ahead and add the spa bath or tray ceiling.

Lastly back to the grand opening. They served sparkling juices, black caviar, smoked salmon and vairious chocolates and fruits.We were able to provide some incite to our SR regarding a couple we overheard discussing serious interest in the home. Apparently they had just signed  a new lease at the beginning of the month but current delivery times are April/May. We even met a few of the Neighbors that have Ryan homes surrounding our lot. As a cute little sign of appreciation we received a Jar of caviar and requests to come by and speak to potential buyers and after we close to provide a testimonial for their website. And yes they are very much following my blog, but like me and sit silently in the corner observing everything. Hey!!!!

I'll update everything once we come out of underwriting, hopefully sometime this week. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

slow rolling....

Once more nothing really exciting to report. We submitted the loan app last week and even had to submit more paperwork due to some overtime and health and welfare payouts. Seems like the bulk of questioning came from the fact that earlier this year there was a switch from hourly to salary and once you become salaried you no longer get the allowance for health care. Also the overtime is pretty much a guarantee but they were having a hard time with it, guess they don't want to rely on it as income.

In other news, just browsing the builder site we noticed that the homes have gone up another $5K. This is good for us because it's almost like gaining equity before we even move in. The model for the community is getting in the furniture and final prep for the grand opening in a few weeks. We do plan on going to talk to potential buyers about our experience so far and meet some of the owners from the testimonials on their site. Our goal is a bit self serving in that we are hoping to sway those that are on the fence into purchasing because it will add to the "Equity" on our home.

Now for the fun stuff. As per usual for me I love shopping and that really where my excitement for the entire process lies until we get the closing date and keys in our hands.  We went into Bob's Discount Furniture, you know the commercial with the funny little cartoon and the woman doing her version of Vanna White? lol Up until this past weekend I had been online window shopping and you know how that could be, I fell in love with a bedroom set and when I saw it in person...lets just say they should have went back to the drawing board. Plus I finally settled on a color Scheme, I have chosen colors by Sherwin Williams. Here's my inspiration courtesy of Pintrest

So this is how the layout will be....
Sun Room...We wanted it to be bright but not overwhelming yet coordinate with all the other rooms since we have more of an open plan.

Coral Reef
Dining Room...I love the idea of a dark formal dining room. It will have chair rail molding which will be white. I also plan to put a large mirror on the longest wall to bring in more light since the other wall has windows.
Dark Night
 All Other Walls...I don't want all the walls to be white so this color works perfect and coordinates. All the trim will be white.
Kilim Beige
Family Room...This room will be directly across from the kitchen and next to both the dining room and sun room. I plan to have Navy sofas as well.
Requisite Gray
Master Bedroom....I love that this is warm but not so dark since we will have a black and mirror bedroom set and the headboard is tufted ivory fabric.
Wow we really got off track here. We were supposed to be talking about the furniture. Guess I have to make another post just for the furniture, so tell me what you think.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

nothing new yet, putting in the loan app

Well it's been a week since I last updated and there has been nothing new to happen yet. As I stated before the SR informed us that for every Lancaster (our model) sold the price will increase $5K, but we've just been told that he doesn't believe the President will wait for the sales to increase the price. Good thing we initially signed when we did because days later the price increased and apparently the Pres. wanted to raise it to the full $509K. I personally like the idea of $5K for every home because even as good as the market is right know, if anyone has been stalking and on the fence like me that huge jump would really have an impact on my decision.

So with no news to really share at the time we have time to talk about electrical and data wiring. The company Haverford uses is called Chesapeake System Services, which I have never heard of but according to info found on Yelp, they hold some large accounts such as Sheehy, Pohanka, Centex Homes and Toll Brothers. My only gripe is that not much clarity is given on their site about what they offer and the levels of product, everything basically takes you to another website.

For now me and the guy are going over the location for outlets, switches, lighting and all those things. Good thing I created a little mock plan for my furniture layout, that helps out a lot.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Finalized our selections

Today was the day we finalized our selections. Yes, I know this seems to be a little fast from the many blogs I've read but I have also had a lot of time to think about this before we even started the process and luckily I did. I am completely in love with our sales Rep Jim and how transparent he is with the process and not afraid to give his honest opinion. We even had the pleasure of making our selections with the VP Andy.

Well it's not much more to post about other than to ask you to head over t the selections tab to see the updates and selections. I can however drop a few pics of inspiration, this is what I fell in love with.
Oh who am I kidding I didn't drop everything over there so here are our first choice options for the exterior.

And who doesn't want to see the actual kitchen from the model

Isn't it gorgeous? If you took a peek over in the selections tab you will notice we made a few changes. For instance we opted for a fridge with exterior water and Ice machine and we will have a double oven giving us a microwave over the cooktop. Originally we chose the kitchen just as you see it here but with a price tag of $4700 I just couldn't do it. Especially because I wanted a double oven and it would have been an additional $2500 for that. So this is what we did, we downgraded the choice to the most cost effective package that would give me the double oven, fridge and cooktop we wanted. We will purchase the hood I really want and install a conversion kit because the microwave recirculates the exhaust and isn't an exterior vent. Here is the hood we will install down the road.
Maytag 36" Convertible hood Model UXW6536BSS
I almost for got that we are pressing forward with wet bar in the basement and platform seating in the media room. Looking at the floor plan below, the exercise room will be converted to the media because it doesn't have the window and we will finish the "Extended Rec Room" on our own, saving $10K. Noticing that the wall is angled I will add a cabinet and countertop the closet wall for a snack area with a few shelves on the wall to complete it.
We had to do a special request and are waiting to hear back from the designer on the wet bar. We want to flip and reverse the plan they gave us for something that I feel would give us more functionality. This is the original...
Now we want to eliminate one of the counter ledges, close off the right side and only have a ledge on the front and in order to do that we will also have to extend the shorter wall. So it will kind of look like this with the open side extended to the 103" and only having the 1 bar top counter.

Ok all I think that's all I have for now until we have our meeting with the guy responsible for the low voltage items and maybe the electrician, as there are a few electrical changes we need to make.
Thank for stopping by. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Window shopping for the Family Room and Good News

Well it's still so early in the game that I have really nothing to say. Except of course we got some good news Tuesday. We are the first buyers in this phase of development and in the short time frame from Sunday to Tuesday the price of any future models built has already gone up $5,000. I'm not quite sure what that means but I assume that it means we are starting off with a benefit to our side. If anyone knows how that works please let me know.

Now to give you a little incite into me...I am a pretty laid back person that doesn't get excited until everything is in it's place. Meaning that as exciting as this process is I am finding it hard to get really excited because so much can go wrong between now and settlement. Being a first time home buyer and a person who has a tendency to over research, if there even is such a thing, I have found virtually no information from anyone who has purchased a home from Haverford. Actually the only detailed information I have been able to find as been solely about Ryan Homes. I can't imagine that Ryan dominates the market so much that it's the only builder people want to talk about. That is kind of the reason why I have begun this blog for people who are interested in Haverford, a builder who let's it's product speak for itself and doesn't spend loads on marketing and advertising.

With that said back to my reservations. I subscribe to many blogs regarding Ryan homes and I'm even part of 2 facebook groups, I found a little family with them that has helped me a lot. In my research I have come to realize that once you sign on the line you are at the mercy of the builder and loan officer. I have read more times than I am comfortable with that homes appraise for less than the purchase price, the inability to lock in a lower rate, lost documents, pushed closing dates and many changes to the SR, subcontractors and Project Managers, but I digress and try to stay positive.

Moving forward lets get into the fun stuff as I try to stay positive and not let the experiences of others loom over me having my own experiences. Throughout the "window shopping" phase that began last year I had some serious time to think about how I wanted to decorate and the color scheme we can both agree on. We both settled on Navy and White, Aubergine and Gray or Navy and Kelly Green for the family room. I do realize aubergine is a tough color to match but as a shade of purple, it's such a royal and regal color.

Let's start with the inspiration...

Look how beautiful the blue and green are together. I find blue to also be very royal yet "family friendly" for us, as we have a 6 year old and plan to have 2 dogs. We also have large families that like to gather so lots of seating is necessary.
 This blue and white is so crisp and clean giving me a comfy/cozy feeling and keeps it light and airy as well. And if you look into the background near the fireplace, the benches are amazing.

 The same is true for the picture above. This gives me a calm coastal feeling, yet cozy at the same time.

And finally the beautiful purple and gray. The nice neutral sectional allows you to bring in the pop of purple in the accessories. The purple is a tone that is balanced and not to feminine but dark enough to be masculine.

Ok, I'm rambling on but what do you think? Are these selections too trendy? What are your color schemes?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sooooo we're building a home

I  want to first thank you for visiting  my little place on the internet.

When we first started to toss around the idea of buying a home I was a little scared, overwhelmed even. I mean it's a huge decision and even more money. We spent most of the last year driving around most of Prince George's County looking at various models and falling in love.

Wait, wait, wait, let's really start at the beginning. It all started with us driving past "The Villages of Savannah" in Brandywine leaving church. Those homes were so beautiful and stately. I remember we absolutely fell in love with the master suite of the model home, the Modena. I mean just look at it

Isn't it beautiful?

The pictures can show you the beauty but take a look at the floor plan, the master suite is massive. In fact it takes up the entire side of the house and even has an option to add a covered porch.
And just look at the bathroom

Ok, back to how it all started. After see this beautiful master we sat down to see what that would cost us and boy were we in for a rude awakening. So now that we saw what we couldn't afford thus began the dreaming. We were able to create a dream home in our minds and were very firm on what we did and didn't want.

Not quite sure how we ended up in Upper Marlboro but we did and fell in love with the area. Well most of our model tours were a direct result of signs on the highway and internet searches on the builders we like.

On the first visit to Beechtree we viewed several model homes, I mean they are all located in a cul de sac. I completely fell in love with the community, it has both single family and town homes, it's a golf course community and is in the perfect area. You know not to far from family but not right next door, lol. I'll admit that I became a little obsessed with it, so much so that we have gone back about 4-5 times. I liked their Facebook page and even visited the club house and had lunch (it's open to the public). Somehow I always found things I loved but then there was always something that kept nagging at me. On one random trip to another community we came across Haverford homes.

Fast forward months later to today, after I had given up and we decided to wait a little longer. I even signed another lease with my apartment, we come across Haverford homes. Haverford had built in previous phases of the community and didn't have an open model at the time. The new model doesn't even have furniture but is beautiful with all the paint, flooring, just everything. Yes even empty.

I can't even tell you what is was that made us sit down with the finance guy to run numbers but we did. It all really moved pretty fast and the next thing you know the SR is closing up the model, going over selections and printing documents. Suddenly it's 11:00pm and a sales contract has been signed and a check has been written.

We are prayerful that everything works out and come next Spring we will be home owners.

Now onto the selections...

Lancaster, Elevation A (reverse of photo)

The builder is throwing in a 14' x 20' Sun room off the Kitchen and Rec Room. We added in the the gourmet Kitchen, Exercise room (will be turning it into a theater), finished area under sun room, basement bath and wet bar.
Now because it was so late we only got to make the initial flooring selection. Haverford uses a Canada based manufacturer for the wood floors, a company named Preverco. I chose the maple floors in Komodo. It is a beautiful brown with a hint of gray. Keeps us trendy but no so much that it could hurt the resale value. Take a look for yourself

And finally, as I said we went with the gourmet kitchen. I have to remember to ask about getting the double oven instead of the micro/oven combo. None the less, Haverford uses Maytag appliances and I am happy to say I was impressed with all the options available. 

Well I think this has gone on too long so I'll come back later once I have collected all the pictures necessary to fill in the blanks.

Thanks again for stopping by.