Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's SOD Day

Our PM had advised us to wait till the weather gets a little cooler to install sod on our front yard. He had asked us last week if we'd like to have in a week (weather permitting) and here it is! The Sod arrived by 6.30-7.00 today morning and by 8.00am it was all up! :-)  Our PM also said they'll leave us a couple of hoses and sprinklers.

We met our PM at the house today morning and went over the list of things that needs to be fixed in round one. He had a list from our walk through and we added few things to it, we went item by item and prioritized things. He said that a bunch of them will be done by Tuesday next week.... and that's when we'll have a 30-day meeting (round 2). Most of the paint and trim issues which are already identified maybe pushed back to be done all at once in the round 2.

We pointed out another issue we are having (which was not identified before), our master closet smells a little damp (like mildew) may be because the vent in the master closet is not fully functional (I guess) or our PM was guessing that the tub motor vent (or whatever that mechanism is) needs to be sealed coming out of the crawl space.... but he said he will have it checked right away. I think that's the only major issue we had so far.

Overall, we are feeling good about how things are coming along with the house. As far as shopping goes.... we've got a TV stand, a foyer table and bath rugs for all bathrooms. That's it!! ;-)
We are gonna have some family and friends visit us this weekend, so that'll take my mind off shopping for a little bit I guess! I'm very much looking forward to spend some quality time with my 21 month old niece. :-) Can't wait!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm back!!!

Its been a little over 2 weeks since we moved into our new house. Its really just 1 week since we started living, because the first week we just slept here and kept moving out of the apartment (yes, it took us all week long)! I had promised not to disappear but I did.....sorry about that! But there is so much to do in the whole moving process, it's so overwhelming and stressful to say the least.

Some of you may agree with me that packing and moving wasn't the hardest part. The hard part is what comes after that....unpacking, setting up the new house and getting use to it. There is so much going on that I had a hard time focusing on one area, to prioritize, to take it easy, to slow down. I mean its fun....I love my house and everything, but its not easy by any means.

Thanks to my husband and my 'always-ready-to-help' friends, I'm now able to sit back and relax a little bit. NO, we are not anywhere close to done! We just got the kitchen, master bathroom and master bed to functional phase and my husband has convinced me to keep our existing furniture (which is such a misfit in the new living room) for little longer, and tackle things slowly. So we have a couch to sit on, TV to watch football, a bed to sleep and a place to cook and...... there is lots of wine! ;-)

There are still some things to be done, before our house is complete - complete! Yes, things that we found before and during the final walk through, aren't finished yet.
Soon after we closed our PM left for a week long (much deserved) vacation -3 of his projects closed that week. Phew! And we were so caught up in the whole moving process that we were not too worried about things that needed to be done. So we spoke to our PM today morning and we scheduled a meeting for tomorrow morning to go over the list and set up a game plan. My husband made it clear that there needs to be 2 separate phases of fixes..... one is for finishing the initial stuff - completion phase and the other will be the 30-day phase. We don't want to push everything under 30-day list.

So for the first phase we're looking at the following....
1) Filters needs to be changed - we have couple of old filters (still) that make so much noise that we cannot even have a conversation in the living room and No, I'm not exaggerating, it is that loud!
2) Mud room cabinet (bench with hooks) has been missing forever. Our PM had re-ordered it over a month ago and we still don't have it!
3) Carpet installation in the closet by the bonus.
4) Squeaky floors near the ovens.
5) Sloppy job on garage sealant.
6) Missing grout around the tub.
7) Master closet air vent not working.
8) And some blue tape stuff (paint/trim) that had been identified during the walk through. (this may go under 30-day phase)

For the second phase (the 30-day part) I'm already finding so much stuff with trim, paint, caulking, finishes, grout, tile etc....that it is depressing! I mean I understand it pretty minor stuff and very common, but it makes me question the whole quality of the build. Our PM has been pretty cool and I know he'll have these things fixed but still just the sloppiness with which the work has been done is bothersome.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rookie Mistake!

Yes, I was very excited about our new home and under prepared for the change. I was so focused on the construction delays, closing, rates etc that I did not pick anything for the new house. Now we are moving (slowly - little bit everyday after work) and there is so much to immediately!

I knew I needed bathroom rugs, kitchen rugs, area rugs (living room - first priority) but I did not (could not) shop. I knew I needed shelf liners and trash cans but I pushed that thought aside. Now, we are bring these boxes home, but I can't unpack before I do some serious shopping! And believe me that's NO fun!
And the bigger stuff - Sofas, coffee table set, foyer table, dinette, bedroom set, curtains..... the list goes on and on. I know we don't have to buy everything at once but I just don't know where to start and what to focus on. I recently realized that sofa can take 4-8 weeks to arrive after you pick 'em! What the what! And of course there is no sale going on.

But we did get few things done - we ordered the temporary blinds and they went on the windows the day we closed, our grout is sealed in master, powder and laundry, appliance are delivered and all the utilities are transferred. And we got the internet set-up today.

And the moving part...... There are no (good) words to describe it.
When/How did we accumulate so much junk???? Yeah, that's right......When I got married!
Yesterday the movers moved the couches (that I will get rid of, if I ever pick a new Sofa set), mattresses, the TV (which is sitting on the floor cos I did not pick an entertainment center yet) and some heavy suitcases and boxes. But there are these tiny, annoying things (everywhere!) that the apartment maybe magically producing, I mean, no room/corner is fully finished, ever!

So in next 4 days we'll need to wind up the moving and clean the apartment. And we have to shop for some much needed stuff!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

We Closed!

Yes, we did it.....We are now (very poor) Home Owners!!! :-)
Closing was a very smooth, painless process.... well it did hurt a little when the attorney took away our check. But apart from that it was pretty easy and quick!

Our PM still have our keys as he is trying to finish up minor touch-ups and stuff we found yesterday in our walk thru meeting with him. Our PM has done an incredible job so far, he picked up this project mid-way and made this very stressful process easy and fun for us. He worked very hard to make up for the delay, escalated our issues, made sure we got answers and helped us close on time (before our credit reports and rate lock expire). I can go on and on about him, but  all I wanna say is that we really really enjoyed working with him.

Our journey of building our first home was exciting and stressful as expected, but sharing this process with all my bloggers friends made it fun, I loved documenting it and I've learned a lot from all of you. Thanks Guys!!! :-) I'll post some pictures of the home soon......

We absolutely love our house and can't wait to start living there.
I can see that next couple weeks are gonna be a little chaotic with the move and settling down but I promise I won't disappear. We won't be decorating anytime soon, but I'm sure I'll need your help in that too.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

We are closing early.....

Sorry for the late update, but its been crazyyy......
Friday we got a call from our LO, turns out our credit report is expiring on 5th (not 6th) so we will have to close on 5th in order to save our rate lock!
Our LO already discussed this with our PM. He was pretty confident that our house will pass the QI. And as long as we are on board with little things (that we may find during the walk thru) being fixed in 30-day inspection, our PM is fine with Thursday closing. Our LO also cleared it with the settlement company, they also approved our early closing.
Our QI was suppose to be done today...did not hear from our PM yet, on how it went. We have our walk thru scheduled for tomorrow. And we are all set for Thursday noon!! I just hope all the required documentation is received by Wednesday. Fingers crossed...

This labor day weekend was productive (and hectic). We purchased all the appliances. We returned our Samsung refrigerator that we bought a few weeks ago at Sears and got another Samsung model at Best Buy, along with Samsung Washer and Dryer. I'm happy with the deals we got. We also went furniture shopping....we did narrow down some selections but did not order the sofas yet!!
Here are pictures of our new refrigerator, washer and dryer....

Samsung - 25.5 Cu. Ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Thru-the-Door Ice and Water - Stainless-Steel
Model: RS265TDRSLarger Front
Samsung - 3.9 Cu. Ft. 11-Cycle High-Efficiency Steam Front-Loading Washer - White
Model: WF393BTPAWR

 Larger Front

Samsung - 7.4 Cu. Ft. 13-Cycle Steam Electric Dryer - White
Model: DV393ETPAWR
  Larger Front

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My two cents....

Always, always, always communicate via emails! I know this may be common sense to many of you, but there may be some first time buyers like us who trust there SRs or PMs who encourage you to call anytime with anything and get carried away. And please don't get me wrong, they may really mean it when they say that but few things do slip thru the cracks! And whatever they may say or make you feel, you are not their only client. Cover yourself. We learned it the hard way and too late in the process.

What brought this on? Well, remember the whole mater bathroom fiasco?! One tiny detail which I don't think I even mentioned earlier was that we were given an option of either obstructed or clear glass for the shower in the master bath. I liked a frosted glass door in my sister's master bath and thought obstructed glass would be similar, so I chose that initially. But once we upgraded the bathroom, I debated about the glass too, as we were now getting beautiful tile in the shower! So we discussed this with our SR. We had to sign the change order for updated tile so we went to the model home and he suggested that maybe we should take look at a home with obstructed glass on a tiled in shower and decide if that's what we want. He was the one who said, with obstructed glass the accent tile in the shower will not be visible.

So we went to this home in our community, on our way out after the signing the paperwork and looked at the obstructive glass set-up, and we hated it! I was very happy with our SR that he suggested the right thing and that we actually got to look at a sample (for the first time) and prevented us from making a wrong decision. We called him from that home and confirmed that we'd go with clear glass instead and went away for a relaxing long weekend!

Last night we stopped at the house and of course there was obstructed glass in our shower, I immediately emailed our SR trying to remind him how we had changed our decision back in July. He doesn't recollect that conversation and there is no email, no paperwork, nothing. He said he'll still communicate it to our PM but realizing things like this 8 days before closing, is frustrating!

On a different subject: We had scheduled a third party inspection today. The schedule had been discussed with our PM. We did remind him about this appointment again on Monday when we last met. The inspector came in today morning and said he can't to his job as the house wasn't ready for inspection. One would think the PM would know that....but one would be wrong!
Anyway, the inspector was kind enough to reschedule it to next Wednesday. Right now I don't know how I should feel about all this! Frustrated!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Getting close.... yet so far!

A lot has happened since my last post and there is a lot more to do! Am I getting nervous?! UH....YEAH!!!

Sorry for the delay in the updates. Now, I don't even know where to start...every time I went there was something new. I may miss a few things, but here it goes....
  1. Landscaping is done! They have seeded the front and backyards and they won't be sodding until end of September (saves us some serious water costs)
  2. We have our mail box
  3. They were working on the columns of the portico 
  4. Deck is installed
  5. The light fixtures are installed (inside and outside)
  6. We have counter top!! 
  7. Appliance are in (expect for the ovens)
  8. Fireplace mantle was installed, and so was the surround granite
  9. Flooring is almost done...both hardwood and carpet. They ran out of hardwood, so they had reorder it
  10. And of course, the master bath now has tub!
  11. The faucets and fixtures in all the bathrooms are completed


Can't wait to chill on this deck!

Light Fixture in the Dinning

Dinette area
A peek at the hardwoods

Love this!
Ignore the photographer! And that's our PM behind me, posing with the ovens sitting in the living room!

Not sure if I like this granite selection! But our PM loves it.

What's left???
  1. Complete the exterior portico, accent trim over the dormer and foyer windows and pressure wash everything.
  2. Complete exterior paint
  3. Seal the deck
  4. Install window screens
  5. Finish flooring (hardwood and carpet)
  6. Install ovens
  7. Trim hardwoods around the cabinets and baseboards
  8. Install missing cabinets in kitchen
  9. Change cabinet door in the butlers pantry
  10. Install missing cabinets in the mud room (which has been ordered, but hasn't arrived by the way! :-( )
  11. Finish the fireplace
  12. Install shower door in the master
  13. Access panels in the bonus rooms needs to be installed
  14. Final Paint 
  15. Clean up
And I'm sure there are many more things that I have forgotten about.... Our QI will be this Friday or next Tuesday and our walk thru is on Wednesday. Fingers Crossed!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Grading, paint and more....

We stopped by the house yesterday as our PM had said that a lot of things will be happening simultaneously and we should check it out in all the hustle and bustle. But no one was there...probably because it was around lunch time, so we went over to the model to see if one of the SRs will let us in....but surprise!! nobody was there either, this never happened before. So we were just strolling around the house checking out the graded yard, when a couple of workmen came and opened the door. So we did check it out at last. So no electrical, interactive or plumbing trimming out but alot of things were done.... final grading on the yard, side walk poured, final coat of paint, trim on the walls, clean-up for floors etc...
Check it out in pics....
With final grade
Drive way
The crooked lead walk
   Our PM had said that this was "per design" but I don't like a crooked lead way...Does this bother anybody else or is it just us???

Dinning with trim and rail complete with paint!
How do you like the color?

Study double doors
Study with final coat of paint
Master Bed
Tiled in shower

Tile surround for the tub

Living room...still needs a lot of work!

We stopped by the model again last night after work and met with our SR and PM. They apologized for the our morning trip, turns out they were all in a meeting. Our PM said that they were a little behind on electrical and plumbing trim outs but interactive was done. We went back of the house again and few people came in with lights and fixtures...they were getting ready to start working (around 5.30 in the evening!). My husband wanted to stay back and watch them work, but I was so tired and we had planned furniture shopping, so we left.

Yesterday was our first day shopping for furniture.... I just wanted to get a feel for "our" style. We went to a couple of stores, looks like we are gonna actually agree few things... :-) that's a good start! ;-)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

After a week....

Somehow we haven't been to our house since last Wednesday! And I was one of those who stalked the construction site. I think I got over all the anxiety, excitement and restlessness.

We had a meeting with our PM today morning (we have fallen into this ritual of weekly walkthrus with our PM:-) ) and saw lot of changes....
  • Trim (baseboards, columns, crown, door casings etc etc) almost done.
  • We have tile in masterbath, guest bath and powder room floor (all covered up - I was itching to take a peek, but I was good)
  • Metal balusters are installed and all covered up for paint.
  • And lot of changes on the outside - we have drive way and lead walk poured.

Drive and lead walk poured
Columns are in!
Balusters installed and covered up!
Glass detailing over study door
Chair rail and trim in dinning
Tile in master bath
Tile in powder room
Chair rail in foyer
Hubby measuring to make sure the fridge will fit!
We walk around with our PM he answered some questions we had and told us about things that will be happening next:
  • Side walked will be poured today
  • They plan to start final coat of paint today, which may take about 3 days
  • Monday they'll work on trimming out electrical, plumbing, etc...
  • They plan to do the first clean-up to prepare for flooring after paint
  • Hardwood may arrive next Tuesday (it may take 2 days)
  • Carpet many come in on Wednesday
  • Plumbers were working the bathroom, getting ready for tile in shower and tub
  • Tile in shower and around tub in the master has been delayed a little bit, it may go in a day or two (I'm not sure)
  • The missing kitchen cabinet has been ordered. Glass door cabinet has been order for butlers pantry (this is not a standard, but we were promised one so they decided to order one for us! )
  We also marked the deck and stairs placing today with our PM. So overall, there's a lot going on and I'm unable to keep up with it!:-) We are very happy that our PM is confident that we are in a good shape  for closing on September 6th! YAY!!!

NVR Update

When our PM confirmed the possible closing date as Sept 9th, we contacted our NVR LO to talk about the rate lock situation...After some back and forth, our LO confirmed that our rate lock will beroll,eyes
extended to Sept 9th without any charge (I don't know why would they even mention a charge??? It was they who changed PMs on us!!). Anyway, she sent us some paper work to sign.... a rate lock agreement from July, in which we found few things to be incorrect (like origination fee,  sales price etc) and then there was the August extension agreement in which the information was corrected. Also our LO had emailed my husband that even though our rate lock is extended by 3 days, She may have to pull up our credit again as the credit report expires on 6th too and if our scores went down, she would have to give us another rate (Can you hear my eyes rolling.....) Again there was a lot of back n forth between my husband and LO. Our credit scores did go down by a little bit as we shopped around for interest rates and 4 other banks pulled our credit in one month. So we decided that the best thing would be to discuss it in person. We scheduled a meeting for Tuesday 08/13 with our LO.

Meanwhile my husband called our PM just to check on the progress and see if there's any chance of closing on Sept 6th instead of 9th, so that we'll not have to worry about the NVR drama! Thankfully our PM felt confident that we may be able to close on 6th. My husband explained to our PM about how a weekend is going to affect us, and our PM seemed to understand our situation. He called our LO and confirmed that we are good to go on Sept 6th. So Tuesday we met with our LO, pointed the things which were needed to be changed, and signed few documents. I could not hold it, so I vented out to her about how disappointed I was with the whole experience we had with NVR and RH in general and she was sympathetic to us.

Remember during the whole master bath upgrade fiasco, how our sales manager said that we will have to pay for the master bath upgrade out of our pocket at closing as they cannot adjust the loan amount??? Well, we found out on Tuesday that it isn't true...because they did change our loan amount! We mentioned that to our LO and she was like "What?! I don't know why he said that?" Just a classic example of Ryan ways....

Oh well! It wouldn't be an "experience" without a little drama I guess. Best part is, now we are good to go, without any additional credit checks, rates changes etc on Sept 6th...thanks to our PM!

Monday, August 12, 2013


We were so caught up in the construction process, worrying about timeline, rain, delays, rates and payments that I was unable to look beyond closing. But this weekend, with encouragement from some good friends, we went appliance shopping! Just to get an idea of what's out there, what we'd like style wise and all that. After looking in just 3 stores and we ended up purchasing a refrigerator! That doesn't happen a lot of times with us..... Usually we look in-store, online and then look and then look around some more, before we read reviews, argue, debate to get on the same page regarding a budget or style or model.

Its a Samsung 30 Cu.Ft. side-by-side, with water and ice dispenser. We bought it from Sears, Samsung was running a price cut on this model and Sears had a family and friends 15% off sale on top of that. So I think we got a good deal . The sales guy was pretty cool and they offered price match for next 30 days if we find a better deal during the long weekend or from another store.
Here are a couple of pics I found online.

Larger Front

Alternate View 1

Of course it was quiet unsettling that we made such a big purchase in a day, so we went home and did some research and read few reviews online, and I'm not second guessing it yet, which is again very very rare!

Next on the list - washer and dryer! We'll see how that goes....
Let me know if you find any good deals! :-)

Thursday, August 8, 2013


We met with our PM today morning and discussed few things around the house. He is happy with where they are and so are we.
As the title of this post suggests, we have cabinets!!! We also got first coat of paint (primer) done. They plan to start putting in ceramic tile today- we are talking about master bath, powder room, guest bath, and laundry. So it may take a couple of days and then we will get to the trim. We may also have gas lines laid out by Friday (if it stops raining! Grrrr)

Picture time!
We went for the slightly upgraded basic cabinets, Andover Maple Spice.

Some hardware still waiting to go in
Butlers pantry cabinet
Butlers pantry floor cabinet
Master bath Vanity with counter top
Vanity in 2nd bath waiting to go in

Cabinet in 2nd bath - this doesn't look right for the big counter top!
Trim waiting in garage to get in
So are the doors....
 Of course we found few things here and there, but nothing major...everything fixable.
1) Missing wall cabinet by the ovens in the kitchen
2) Cabinet in the 2nd bath doesn't look right, maybe it has to be switched.
3) Missing power outlet on the kitchen island
4) Missing power outlet on the great room wall by the TV connection

Lot more to do....but we are getting there!