Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Locked in....

We have locked a rate with an outside lender. It's definitely higher than what we would have liked, but hey! rates are climbing and that's a fact we got to face. This is the best rate and closing cost estimate we got in today's market. We would have liked to work with NVRM (they still have a chance, by the way) but NVRM was just not competitive. Their rates have been consistently higher (at least by a quarter point) than everybody else in the market and their closing costs are exactly higher by the "preferred lender incentive" amount offered by RH, so they are not "incentives" after all!

We have been constantly telling them how we feel about their rates and costs. We have sent them several GFEs as proof, and even today we sent them the GFE from "our" lender. If they can't come down, they loose our business! We are still saving like 3 grand (taking into account the lost "incentive"). So no regrets, I guess!

Oh, and one more thing.... Our lender said if we get a better "realistic" rate from another bank during the lock-in period, he would match it, to keep our business. Also, if the rates should fall (at least by a quarter point) from now to our closing date, our rate would go down too by .125% (comparative to the market), at the closing. So we can still hope for a dip in the rates!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Update on previously identified issues...

Not a lot going on right now for us.... brick is coming along and this week, hopefully, we'll pass all the electric, plumbing, and framing inspections to get ready for some drywall!

If you have read my previous posts, you'll remember that there are 2 issue that we have been discussing with RH. 1) We wanted to upgrade our master bathroom and 2) We had opted for additional attic space by our bonus room, which was an upgrade option and we don't think we are getting that.
My husband has been trying to reach our SR's Manager since last Tuesday, but its very hard to get with him! But fortunately, we walked into the model home on Sunday afternoon to check few things in the blueprints, and there he was, working on somebody's training. We were surprised to see him there. Anyways, so he saw us and agreed to have a quick meeting. My husband and I discussed with him these two issues and he checked our blueprints and then he walked with us to our site.
On the attic issue he confirmed that the blueprints show different design than what was built, it was suppose to be a space for future expansion but the way it was built, it could never be useful or finished!Our PM had confirmed that in our pre drywall meeting on Friday. The SR's Manager couldn't explain why they changed, but he said we are not getting what we paid for, so he will return the money paid for that upgrade. So, we are not going to have any spare attic space!

We debated for a long time on the master bath and he was trying to make it sound as an almost impossible job to do at this point. Our SR had said that it would be a one day job (after we close), so certainly, it should be fairly simple modification before drywall! Finally, he said he will escalate this issue to his superiors and see what they can do. He also mentioned that (if at all they decide to change it) it will cost us more than 2k which is the price of the upgrade, at this point. We are expecting to hear from him on Wednesday. One other catch is that we will have to pay cash for this change as he said the loan amount (which was approved for us) with NVR cannot be changed.... But I'm thinking  we did not lock with NVR, so if we go with another lender, we can include this is the sales prices of the house....right? Well, we'll see about that!
Yesterday we found out from our PM that he has been asked not to put brick around the master bath window, just in case if they decide to go with the upgrade they may have to move the window to center it.

I guess my hubby and I are are happy that this issue has been escalated! We were feeling that nobody was listening to us, or cares what we want in our house. We still realize that they may come back saying they can't make changes or with a big number.....but still I want to know what they decide!
Specially when they made a mistake with the attic option, it was a simple fix of  "giving the money back". But what if we insisted on the getting the attic area?! Would they change all the HVAC units and structure as they were suppose to build it that way in the first place?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pre Dry Wall Meeting!

We had our pre dry wall meeting today with our PM. We met him at our home site and he walked us through the house, explained where all the electrical and plumbing rough-ins, power outlets placements etc were. He answered all our questions. Our PM also confirmed that the stuff that we spotted on the wood is not mold, and they'll clean all that up!
But we noticed something different with our attic space..... We had selected an upgrade which would make our 10x20 attic space load bearing with an access (full size) door as oppose to the regular access panel. We had talked but possible future expansion in this area. But the attic space we have now is not suitable for any expansion. Though its weight bearing, there are sloping frames (no head room) and this space is housing the 2 HVAC units. And there is no door! We have the regular access panel. Our PM said it's nothing different than what they were doing in other houses and he showed us his drawings, so I guess we need to sort it out with our SR or his Manager, cos we paid like $900 extra dollars for this. 

We found out that our SR is on vacation for a week and my husband is trying to talk to his manager for 4 days now, about the master bath issue. Now we also have this attic issue to discuss. And our PM suggested we get with them ASAP! I hope we'll get to meet him this weekend.

Coming to the timeline, our PM said that there are few inspections we are yet to pass, so the drywall will take 3 weeks start to finish and we are looking at about 30 days after that! With that info, we should be able to close around 2nd week of August.

They started with our brick yesterday!! I was very nervous about our brick color but We like it!!!
Here are some pictures of our brick,  tub and shower...

Our shower in the master

Our tiny "upgraded" tub

Brick color...zoomed in!

Back wall....

In the front....garage wall

Frame for the portico over the front door

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


We heard from our SR and PM today (via emails). And they have "answered" all the questions.....

  1. The most important thing on our "issues list" was the master bath. I agree it was our over sight, we did not check the "standard" size before we signed. The verdict is that its too big of a change at this point of construction. Why am I not surprised? I just can't believe that after spending a fortune, I will have to live with a master bath I hate! I know it may not be that big of deal for some, but it is for me.
  2. When my husband asked about the roof, our PM said it was done. And my husband said that we checked it last night, it was still open at the top. Then our PM corrected himself and said that they kept it that way for some inspection, and we have passed it, so now they will work on finishing the roof. Why were we not informed about this roof inspection in our last week's status update meeting?
  3. When asked about the stuff growing on the wood, our PM said it's a minor thing, they will fix or replace the affected wood. Is that really minor?
  4. Our SR had a meeting with our LO @ NVRM and her boss, to discuss our concerns with their ever increasing rates. Apparently NVRM said they will do their best to compete with the other GFEs we got from other lenders. However. we are getting daily emails from our LO, with the day's rate and nothing really changed there. And of course, RH has repeatedly reminded us that their "preferred lender credit" is tied with NVRM, even though they are a rip-off!
There are few other things, that our PM will be "addressing" (which doesn't really mean "fixing") at our pre-drywall meeting which may be this Friday sometime...... I don't even know if I want to have any meetings anymore. At this point, I'm completely done with Ryan Homes and NVRM! They keep saying "we are here to make you happy" apparently I'm in tears right now.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Concentrating on the positives......for the most part ;-)

We drive by the house pretty much every day, as it is just 15 mins always from where we live. It can be a good thing and a bad thing based on what you see..... I guess most of you will agree with that....

So until we hear from our SR (hopefully sometime tomorrow morning) about the master bath, we decide to concentrate on the progress! It's amazing how you see something new every time....

From yesterday evening to today evening, this is what's done.....
  1. We got the garage door! YAY!!! But couldn't get a picture of it yet.
  2. We got the stairs from garage to the mud room
  3. Interactive rough-ins (Ethernet and cable)
  4. Sprinkler system rough-ins were done
  5. We got the Front door
As much as we wanna avoid focusing on negatives, there are few things we couldn't help but notice. Somehow I'm not terribly upset about any of these things, partly because I know they'll fix it and partly because I'm way too upset about my master bath. Nothing beats that! ;-)

So here it goes....
  1. There's still a window missing, in one of the bedrooms upstairs.
  2. One of the frame/beam (I don't know if that's the correct word) was kinda set at an angle! Not sure if it's even a problem.
  3. Roof's still not done! The highest part of the roof is still open. And of course, it was raining today! 
  4. And the worst part, hubby spotted some mold on one of the frames. Our PM had mentioned that it's possible to find some mold after the rain and all, but they will fix it. We did email our SR and PM about it, just so they know.....
It's was raining and was kinda getting darker today evening, so couldn't get any good pictures.... But I will post some soon.....

A good news and a bad news....

Ok so good news first..... The crews seems to be multitasking, There has been a lot of progress...

The roof is almost done, so are the electric, plumbing and HVAC rough-ins! And we got our brick! Woohooo!!! The brick seem to be a little darker than the sample, but our SR told that's how it feels now but once they install it with the grout and wash it, it should look just right. So I guess, we'll have to wait and see....

We also have a stair case. I know, lot of good stuff....right! We now have access to the second floor, which I wasn't too concerned about to begin with, but turns out....I love it! I love our Bonus room, dormer in the bonus and other bedrooms. We also have all the windows, doors in the kitchen for the backyard and from the garage. Here are some pictures....

Shingle on the hat and brick delivered!!

Windows are installed

Color of the brick
Recessed lighting in the kitchen

duct work
Door leading to the deck and fireplace. Couldn't get a good pic as it was kinda getting dark!


Garage door

Plumbing rough-ins

And now come the bad news..... We hate our Master Bath! :-( :'-(

We got our shower and tub and they are so tiny! We did not upgrade the master bath, as we had separate shower and tub as a "standard", the next upgrade was titled-in shower and tub for $2000. So we thought we could live without tile as long as we have a good tub. So I got the jetted tub which was a $1000 upgrade.
It is partly our mistake, we should have checked the size before going with the standard option. I mean yeah I got the jets, but I can't stretch my legs. My husband will have to stand straight in the shower, as his elbows will bang against the wall and the door! Oh, and don't even get me started on the quality of the shower and the tub, it was cheap.... it was cracked and chipped around the corners. I mean for a manor price tag, one would thing the "standard" would be at least better than the things in the apartment homes. But one would be wrong!
Our apartment has a TWO bigger tubs than what we are getting in our so-called Manor Home!

We were so very upset last night that we met our SR at the model home and asked him to walk with us to our site and voiced our concerns about the tub...he understood that we felt strongly about it and offered to check  if they'll let us make any changes at this time. But he did warn us that the upgrade will cost more than $2000 now and he wasn't even sure if they'll let us do it at all. I think I already know what he's gonna come back with.....

And of course, he said it was an "easily fix" if we want to get it done afterwards...We were so pissed at that suggestion. I mean we are building a new house...and we are given a list to renovation projects for later! I guess we'll just have to decide what we can live with, the tiny bathroom or the price tag (if an upgrade is possible).

The thing we learned yesterday was - They always say their "standards" are pretty good size, shape or quality, still ask for a sample before blinding going with it, specially for things that really matter to you. Their standards can sometimes be pretty cheap. If we had seen this tub before we would have definitely gone for the upgrade. We were told that the standard would be pretty close to the one in the model. Trust me, it not "close" in any sense! The models are misleading. Making an informed decision would have saved us this disappointment and $$.

If you are a new buyer, who's really particular about a good master bath and did not make your selections yet, go for the upgraded master bath!

We were so depressed that I didn't even feeling like taking a picture of that tub! :-(

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Picture time!

Here is what happened in last 3-4 days...
They started on the roof! I can see our elevation now!!!

A Hat! Yuppieee
Yup, our back view is pretty clean, as we did not add any options like morning room or sitting room!
But I can't wait for our deck!!! :-)
Back view!
The lot next to us was excavated, hence the weird angle!

Side view

The picture below is from Sunday night....I guess they had hard time to work on the roof with it raining on and off! I'm not posting any pictures of our swimming pools, they'll just depress me!

The dormer still needs a hat!
From the Garage side....
These are a couple of sunny pictures from today......
They were putting some black sheet kinda stuff, I guess the shingles will go right on top of that!

It was like 100 degrees outside!
Last but not the least.....
As I need this right now!

I guess I'll need a completely separate blog for how expensive iPhone / apple products can be to fix! I'm not happy about this! :-|

Monday, June 10, 2013

Catching up.....

Hello All,

Hope you all had a great weekend. We were in Knoxville this weekend for hubby dear's league (tennis) was a very tiring weekend but it was so much fun watching him play and cheering for him and his team. We got back around 8PM last night but we still drove by the house to check on it and we did see some progress and a lot of trash lying around. Yup!!! coke cans everywhere, water bodies (thanks to the rain) and of course muddy floors! I heard a lot of you mention the coke cans etc before so I'm not gonna worry about it, but we are definitely gonna tell our SR and PM about this stuff on our weekly call, just so they know....

Although it was really late and it was getting dark, I took some decent pictures. But guess what??? I smashed my phone today morning! :-( :'-( Yes, the screen looks like it was involved in a train wreck! My husband said its gonna be a easy fix... I will post the pictures in a couple of days....

Now here is something fun we heard over the weekend, my colleague who is building a Lincolnshire, right across the street from us has started blogging! :-) So it'll be fun watching their progress. Also, another blogger, who's building a Lincolnshire in NC, found us online. YAY!!! Its great to know Lincolnshires are catching up!!!:-) more thing I forgot to mention.....So the Rite Rug appointment we had went well, I guess. To recap, they said they did not have (for whatever reason) the hardwood floor we chose, so we went to look at more options. SWe were shown a new line of choices, one of which was solid wood, close to the color of our choice, but is was 2 1/4in as opposed to our 3 1/4 in  and of course 3 1/4in of this solid wood option was an upgrade! There were some other options, with 15yr warranty as opposed to our 25 years warranty. So after a lot of discussion we asked them to check if they can bump us to the upgraded option as they can't provide with what we originally chose or find us something better.... Guess what? We got a call back in the evening saying that "our stock was found" and we don't have to make any changes!! I'm happy about the fact that we'll get what we chose as we really loved it but we are also very skeptical about this whole thing.... you know what I mean? Oh well, we'll see.....

I did not get a chance to keep up with our blogging friends over the weekend, So I guess I will be catching up with all of you today. Happy Monday all!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Meeting with NVR LO and a surprise call from Rite Rug

As suggested by many of our bloggers friends we shopped around and took few GFEs from other lenders and met with our LO @ NVR today. We told her how we feel about their rates, closing cost and ridiculously high loan origination fees. Based on the GFEs we took, she saw that their quotes were pretty high.
Yes, it would definitely be convenient for us to work with NVR as we've already gone thru the approval process, paperwork etc etc., but frankly, if we get a better rate with somebody else, we'd obviously go through all that again, and she gets that! Overall, she seemed very attentive today and  thanked us for initiating this talk with her. She said she'll take all this info to her manager and see what they can offer.
Not that I'm counting too much on a big change or anything , but I'm glad that we had this talk with her.

ALSO, Rite rug called.... Turns out the hardwood we chose is no longer available! So they've asked us to come back and pick another one. They said there's a very similar option (similar to what we picked) but they didn't want to change it without our consent. Of course they shouldn't! I was just surprised that they thought they could...Also, they have a new line of hardwood options that we can pick from. So tomorrow we have a rite rug appointment...again!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Framing Progress

It rained on and off over the weekend, so I assumed the progress would be slow. And I did not get a chance to visit our site in last couple of days. So I drove by the site today around lunch time to see that we have a second floor!!! Wooo hoooooo!!!

Here are some pictures I took today.....

Front View
Side view
Side View - Garage
We have a couple more weeks before we'll be able to lock in the, we are still shopping around for lenders and better rates etc, let's see how that goes.