Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ohhhh, the Agony!

Waiting to hear back from NVR is so nerve-racking! Today makes the 8th day that the loan has been in underwriting. How long did it take before you received your official approval?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Floors and Tile and Carpet, Oh My!

Today was a pretty good day.  Got word that my loan has been moved to underwriting and also had a meeting with Creative Touch Interiors to choose our flooring options.  .

Let me just say that I am a very, very indecisive person.  I make technical decisions year round at work  but when it comes to something that directly relates to me... I need some help when deciding.  I went in feeling confident that I would stick to the budget and have a good idea of what I wanted but that quickly changed when the Representative pulled out the floor plan and options.   The representative, Ali, was AWESOME.  She had a great sense of style and easily nudged me in the right direction when color choices just weren't matching up.     With lots of help from her, here is what I chose:

Kitchen Cabinets - Tahoe Cherry Bordeaux
"Faux Granite" Laminate Counter Tops - Antique Mascerello
Kitchen Floor Tile - 12 x 12 Russet
Grout - Earth

Cherry Hardwood Floors in the Foyer, Powder Room & Mudroom leading to Garage.

Master Bathroom
Vanity:  Maple Espresso
Shower, Bath & Floor Tile:  Fidenza Caffe
Listello:  Stone Radiance, Morning Sun, Tortoise & Mushroom
Grout: Earth
9'' Corner Shelves

Kid's Bathroom
Vanity: Maple Spice
Vinyl Flooring:  Intiator 66204 (will be in the 2nd floor laundry too)
Bath Walls:  6x6 Artic White Ceramic Tile

Standard Carpet & Padding
(Left)  White Fox for the Great Room & Basement  (Right)  Wool Skin for the Dining Room and Second Floor

And we're off... (to underwriting)

I got a call from my Loan Processor (LP) on Wednesday (9/19/12) asking for additional documents & information.  I thought that I was pretty thorough in providing just about everything during the loan application but I guess not.  She requested letters, more tax documents, my 401k plan statements & my position's salary key to verify my income with a service called "The Work Number".  I spent most of the day trying to recount reasons for deposits and writing explanations for those deposits.  Most of which came from selling things via Craigslist :) 

I also had to write explanations for a teeny-tiny derogatory item on my credit report that was paid off sooooo long ago.  I couldn't wrap my brain around why it even mattered at this point.  But none the less I submitted all of those documents a few hours after her request. 

I submitted the loan application on September 4th so I was a little disappointed to learn that 2 weeks later we were still so early in the process. 

She emailed me this morning to say that my loan has been moved to underwriting and that generally it takes 7-10 days for approval.  I hope so!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Love Thrifting!

Pinterest has become my best friend when it comes to looking for new DIY ideas and home furnishing tips.  I've always been rather crafty when it comes to putting things together and doing things myself so I think that I'll try and do a lot of that in our new home. 
via Heart Tree Home
I fell in love with this chair via Pinterest and have been on the hunt to find something similar that I can refinish for my home office.  I visited a couple of thrift stores over the weekend but had no luck finding a chair silimar to the style but I did get away with some other great items.

I own a small event planning business and I'm always on the hunt for things that I can use for display and decor.  I found 3 great trays that I'll add to the inventory.  I purchased all three trays for $5 (SCORE!)

Also found eight mustard colored plates at the Goodwill that I'd like to use for in our new home.  The color would be great for a fall themed dinner and I'm already looking for napkins and rings that would compliment the dishes.  They were half off so I purchased the set of eight for $3.75 (SCORE!)

On top of those great deals, as I was checking out I found a bag of Beer Bottle Caps.  Immediately my mind jumped to the Basement and the bar area that I'd like to build.  The Basement will be the area of the house that we spend the most time in since we love to entertain.  I got the entire bag of caps for $2 and will think of some funky idea to incorporate them into the bar area.  Whether it be framed, in a vase, or some other idea like this bottle cap table top for example.  I'm sure I'll think of something.  If not, they will most definitely be used at the next male centered event I plan. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cable & Wiring...

Met with the cable & wiring folks at Structured Cable on Friday (9/14) & the meeting went much better than I expected.  I expected to be bombarded with High-Tech features and over the top prices but the prices were reasonable (in my opinion).  I took a good friend with some knowledge of the industry to the meeting & he would probably beg to differ. Most of the things I wanted to add he'd shake his head at and insist that I would come out a lot cheaper doing it myself.  Luckily, I have a week to finalize my options but so far I think I made good choices. 

I've included the prices in case anyone in the local market is curious as to how much these options run. 

The Standard Package includes 4 single port jacks of your choice in any location.  I chose the following:
3 cable jacks (Master, Bedroom 2 & Bedroom 3)
1 phone jack for the 1st floor office

  • (3) Additional Cable Jacks for the Family Room, Basement & 4th Bedroom ($149 each)
  • Basic Security System with 60 Month Monitoring Contract ($299 installed and $26.50 per month for 60 months)
    • The Security System includes 1, Master Control Panel, 1 Interior Siren, 1 Standard LCD Keypad, 1 Motion Detector, 1 Smoke Detector with Monitoring. 3 Door Contacts & 24 Hour Monitoring via a land line. 
    • If you don't plan on having a land line there is a $175 fee for adding the GSM (radio)monitoring and the monthly fee increases to $38.50.  This is a cool feature however because you have the ability to add the Total Connect Service which allows you to control & monitor the system remotely from your smart phone or computer. 
  • Prewire for 5.1 Home Theatre Speaker System ($595)
  • Media Closet  in Basement ($895)
    • This includes a 50 foot HDMI Cable, Infrared Sensor Kit w/ 3 Flashers, 1 Multi-Media Jack & a 4 Shelf Audio/Video Rack.  I like this feature because it allows us to mount the television and have all of the "tv equipment" out of sight.  
  • (2) HDMI Wiring behind the TV to below for the Living Room and Master ($165 each)
  • (3) Power surges behind the TV's in the Master, Family Room & Basement ($75 each)

Other fancy features that they offered where a central vacuum system for around 3k, intercom system throughout the house (didn't inquire about pricing), music throughout the house around $2,300, upgraded options for mounting televisions and tricking out your security system. 

They will even mount Televisions that you own ($465 if you don't have the mounts) and you can purchase TV's and Theatre Systems from them directly. 

Another "decisions" appointment down, One more to go (flooring).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Decisions, Decisions.

I am really having a hard time with the vinyl siding colors I chose. I think it's hard because I can't visualize the color choice on the house. There's only one house in the community with the exact same color scheme (silver mist siding, grey shutters, red door). We drove by to check it out but it didn't "Wow" me.
I think what I'm struggling with the most is that it sometimes looks white & I definitely didn't want a white house.

I really wanted a brick veneer front but once I changed the elevation for A to B, brick went from 4,990 to almost 14,000 so it was kind of out of the question at that point.

I think it would be lovely if Ryan Hones offered a virtual home builder of some sort. That way you could try out vinyl siding on your house, pick your features & see it as you add/delete features. That would have made this process so much easier for an OCD sufferer like me.

I'm leaning towards a green, dark green shutter, red door combo (pictured below)

**Update** I went back and got the Spanish Olive.  Now I can sleep at night.

Spanish Olive, Spanish Moss Shutters and Red Door that I'm leaning towards

Silver Mist, Gray Shutters & Red Door that I chose

Don't know what to do!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Chair Debate...

We visited our local furniture stores over the weekend to get a feel for how we wanted to decorate the place and to make sure we budgeted accordingly to furnish the house.  I've had my apartment furniture for so long that we'll be ditching it.  We'll keep our current queen size bed for a guest room and maybe my current desk.

I have my eye on the following pieces for the family room but there has been great debate as to whether we love or hate this chair.  

Likes:  The colors - blue, tan, green and a light shade of orange.  I think there are endless decorating possibilities with those colors.  

Found a bar stool in the same store that matches the blue in the sofa pillows and the chair which would tie the kitchen and family room together well.  

I love the square shape of the sofa and love seat.  It gives off a very modern look.  

Dislikes: I just think that the chair is very busy, but I love it.  

The very funny thing about it is that my cousin, Ray, and I went shopping together and he immediately hated the chair.  He gave me a strong "No!".  His exact words were "I love the set, hate the chair".  We went to visit to model after leaving the furniture store and what was sitting in the office?  The exact same chair!  Don't know how I missed that the first time, but once I saw it there I loved the set even more.  

For the Basement (which will become our family room) I'm thinking of a nice red sectional with a red chair and ottoman.

What do you think????

The Ball Is Rolling...

The past 2 weeks have been nerve-racking.  From the loan application, to the structural features, I am happy to put these things behind me and confident that I made the right decisions.  I stayed away from a lot of cosmetic changes and tried to think of things that would bring real value to our home.

The Loan Application meeting was easy.. being that I'm very well organized gathering the boat load of documents required to complete the loan application was a breeze.  We completed the loan app on  9/4/12 and hope for a speedy approval process.  We'll visit locking in a rate later but as of today we are doing a 30 year FHA loan at 3.25%.  I don't think it will get much better than that, but I don't see it getting any worse either being an election year and all.

On 9/7 we meet with our SR to make my final selections, choose siding, counters, cabinets etc. Here is what we chose:
  • Palermo, Elevation B
  • Siding Veneer Front ($1,790)
  • Finished Basement ($10,590)
  • Plumbing Rough In Basement ($1,590)
  • Recessed Lighting in Basement ($795)
  • Recessed Lighting in Kitchen ($795)
  • Kitchen Island ($1,490)
  • 42'' Tahoe Square Cherry Bordeaux Cabinets ($2,685)
  • Standard Black Appliances (we'll purchase our own stainless appliances later)
  • Upgraded Master Bath - Soaking Tub and Shower with Bench ($3,990)
  • Maple Spice Vanities in Bathrooms ($100)
  • Double Bowl Vanity in Master Bath ($590)
  • 2 Windows on the Dining Room Side ($990)
  • 2 Windows on the 1st Floor Office Side ($990)
  • 2 Ceiling Fan Rough Ins- Family Room & Office ($380.00)
  • "Antique Mascarello"  Laminate Upgrade Kitchen Counter ($190)
  • Laminate Upgrade Island ($90)
  • 10x12 Deck ($2,400)

Color Selections:
Red Door
Gray Shutters
Silver Mist Siding (Not sold on this color but couldn't get what I really wanted since our neighbor had it)
White Exterior Trim & Garage
Grand Caramel Brick with Buff Mortar
Black Roof

Flooring & Electrical appointments are up next.. I'd love to add music throughout the house (if the price is right).  Right now the only upgrade would be to have cable in each room.  I learned that you're only allowed 4 wire locations (i.e 3 cable, 1 phone or 2 cable to 2 phone) as part of the standard package.  Not sure what I want as far as flooring at the moment.  Stay tuned...