Monday, October 21, 2013

All moved in.....

Well Friday started out great. 2 of the 3 movers we had when we moved out of our home in August were part of the delivery team. These 2 guys were great and we were very happy to have them back.

And then they started to unload our items....
-One of the legs on our nightstands has a large slice of the wood taken off.
-One of the legs on the entertainment stand bent in half about an inch up from the bottom of the leg.
-A desk leg was cracked at the screw and if we put it back on it won't stand up.
-E's retro desk chair is all scratched.
-And the worst of all.....I had 7-10 Coach purses stolen. The one guy was bringing the crate in and I noticed there was only a few purses in the crate. I went out to the truck thinking that maybe they feel out. Nope, nothing on the truck. They started to name 6-7 guys that helped load the truck from our storage unit. They suggested that I file a police report. I stopped at the police station this morning. Since our items were in so many jurisdictions, I don't think they will be able to help much. They are going to write up the police report and share with the local police station of where our items were stored. I asked the movers and they do have security cameras in their warehouse. They just need to look at the videos and hopefully they will find something.

Of course they had so many people touch our items during the moves and storage, it is going to be difficult to point the finger at one or two people that damaged them. The one mover was mad and kept making the comment that he was suppose to be helping load the truck on Thursday to watch for this kind of stuff.

E called Visa on Friday to freeze the transaction for the balance due on the moving and storage. So far no one from the moving company has called us back about the stolen items and the damaged furniture. If we don't get anywhere with the moving company in the next few days, I am going to have E call back and dispute the original charge from back in August too. Hopefully they will work with us and reimburse us for this. Fingers crossed!

Just a few items from the first few days at the house:
-We are having a hard time getting the upstairs to heat. We have the first floor set at 68/69 and the bedrooms are only heating to 64/65. Hopefully once we get all the boxes moved out and the air can circulate better this will improve.
-Our lights on the garage are not working. We have tried every light switch and we can't get them to turn on. We tightened the bulbs and checked the breakers. I think I am going to have E just try another bulb that we know works to see if they maybe just put bad bulbs in.
-We still need our powder room toilet replaced. The plumber didn't call or stop by on Friday.
-The siding guy still needs to come back and repair the siding on the back of the house.

Other than all that, I am in love with our new home. We are having a hard time setting up the furniture in the Family Room. I have really deep furniture (which we both love), it is just hard to place it. I was worried the whole process about not having the morning room. We are very happy with the kitchen/dinette/family space without the morning room. We will have plenty of room for a larger kitchen table and our family room furniture. The hardwood floor throughout the entire space really helps not define an area and we can make the dinette as large or small as we need. We will also need to purchase new bedroom furniture. Our furniture looks so small in the room. We did find a nice bedroom set at Arhaus; it is $7K so we are going to look to see if we can find something we like that is cheaper.

I will post some pictures once we have a few more boxes out of the rooms. Hopefully this weekend we can make these rooms more livable.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Appliance Delivery

I hope the way things went yesterday are not setting the tone for tomorrow's move.

We received a call right before 9pm Tuesday night (their window for calling with the time was 6-9) that our delivery window was from 430-630; nothing like waiting until the last minute. That worked well so we knew we wouldn't have to rush back to the office after the delivery was over. Wednesday morning Sears called me at 615 AM and told me that they had cancellations and that they needed to push our delivery to 130-330. I asked if they could keep it at 430. I was told that he would have to sit around for 5 hours. Sorry, but that was my problem how??? Take that up with your department that schedules the deliveries. Anyway, we worked with them and said we would meet them at the house if they called us 30 minutes before they were to be there.

So E went over to meet them at 1 yesterday.
The dryer they brought was too long so the dryer is sticking out from against the wall. They wouldn't cut the hose to make it fit.
The water pan under the washer is too close to the wall that the wires are all bunched up. They also couldn't get the washer to plug in due to the safety feature on the outlet. Both E and the delivery guy tried and they ended up bending the outlet. The electrician is coming tomorrow to put a new outlet in for us. We will also need to get a larger water pan and move the washer so we can actually plug it in. I told E to ask the plumber if he would be able to get us one.
They didn't give us a water line for the fridge. He said it wasn't on the order. So we will have to go and buy a water line and move the fridge around to get the water hose attached.

They also got a little bit of mud on the carpet. I wasn't too upset about that; it was raining pretty hard yesterday. But the fact that they just grabbed a rag off the counter (without asking) to clean up the spot on the carpet is what annoyed us.

E was also unhappy with how they rushed through the delivery since we were their last one.

I guess things could have been worse. I am just hoping things go smoothly tomorrow. I was worried about the hardwood floors, but no scratches :-).

Then last night I was wiping the bathrooms down and noticed that our toilet in the powder room is cracked the whole way around!! Hopefully the plumber can bring us a new one tomorrow while we are there moving.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


We closed this morning and the whole process was very quick and simple. Just a bunch of papers to sign/resign - most of which were already signed during the process.

We are taking a few things over to the house today and setting the RAM Board for the appliance deliveries tomorrow.

All of the items on our pre-settlement walk through form are being addressed today and tomorrow. Hopefully they will get them fixed before the big move on Friday.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Only a few more days

We had the home inspection yesterday and our pre-settlement walk through today.
The inspector only found a few minor things so our PM is fixing them up before our closing on Tuesday.
They still haven't fixed the bowing of the siding on the back of the house, so that is on the list to be completed by Tuesday morning.
We walked through the house and went through the home owner's manual with our PM for 2 hours today. In addition to the siding bowing, we found some areas on the walls that needed touched up, there is a scratch in the master shower that needs buffed or the piece of metal will need replaced, and a high spot on the hardwood floor in the Family Room.

I ran over during the inspection to take a peak at the completed house. Even though I knew I would be there at 10 today, I couldn't wait to see everything. And I am glad I went.

The landscaping, flower box, driveway, and painted door really makes a difference on the appearance of the home. They seeded the yard so our PM is going to keep the sprinkler on until we move in on Friday for us. Today it was raining so they might not need to run the sprinkler all day.

Our PM had also installed the lower cabinets and I think the kitchen looks so much better.

I can't wait to move in on Friday!!! But I am so nervous about the delivery guys and the movers. I hope they don't ruin any of the floors or walls. I will be buying some Ram Board for the floors.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Third Car Garage update

We drove out yesterday to check on the outside of the house.
I am so glad our PM was able to get the shingle siding on the 3rd car garage. It looks so much better.
We still have the large gap above the two car garage door. I am not sure how they are going to fix it. You can tell that it doesn't line up with the 3rd car garage. I just don't want snow and rain getting into my garage.

We were able to sneak into the house. The basement door has a broken lock. They have had a piece of wood in the track, but someone took the wood out and the lock hasn't been fixed.
They installed all the toilets, yes we sat on them to see how they felt.
They installed the toilet paper holders and towel bars. It really makes me shake my head that all home builders are installing the large towel bar in the powder room. We will definitely be switching this out as I don't plan on hanging two bath towels in my powder room.
The carpet is in and looks awesome. It also feels really soft.
The dishwasher was installed. I wanted to see the stove, but it was still in the box.

E and our PM were working to get the vents on the back of the house fixed. When they installed the siding around them, they chalked them so tight to the house that it caused the siding to bow in. Now it looks like they just put trim over the chalking. The siding is still bowing into the house. I think E was going to wait a day or two to call the PM to say that they still needed fixed. This will give him time to look at them and have them fixed before we ask him to.

As we were walking through the house yesterday. I couldn't believe that in 3 weeks we will be unpacking boxes and making it home. Hoping that these 3 weeks fly by.

Oh and E's sister had her baby today. Healthy 8lb baby boy. Can't wait to go and meet him on Thursday!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Third Car Garage Debacle

While we visited the hours on Sunday, we were happy with the way the siding looked. At that point, they didn't have the shake siding on the two car garage so we didn't have anything to compare the third car garage to.
Well....last night we meant our PM to walk through the house. And the first thing we noticed when we walked up the driveway was the difference b/w the garages. The two car garage has the shake siding, while the third car garage has the flat siding. Seriously?!?!?! His comment was that he built the third car "per plan". Their phrase which I am now believing is embedded into their minds. We argued with him that it looks really bad. We also pointed out that at the time we signed, the third car garage was not a standard option so we were never shown the plan of what it would look like. He acknowledged that and said he would reach out to Management today. As we questioned a few other things, his response was always "per plan".
After we left the house, E and I went home and compared our picture to other Venice Elevation Ls that we came across. Rachael-I hope you don't mind that I pulled your blog into our blog as reference (I hope the link works). Rachael's Venice
We don't have the trim board above the brick.
The brick is also a little higher than it should be.
The shake siding at the top of the house does not have as many levels
They also used white trim (I think they are called J channels) to finish off the trim siding instead of the color of the siding.
They still need to install the column on the porch and the flower box. They are in the garage.
Fast forward to today....E received a call from our PM and he was able to come through and get approval to put the shake siding on the 3rd car garage. We are VERY happy about that. E then brought up the differences we noticed and the PM asked if E ever saw the plans. WRONG QUESTION!!! E got off the phone and drove over to the house and walked through each item that was NOT "PER PLAN". Some of the items weren't a big deal, he was just making his point. Don't tell us things are done "per plan" and then deviate from the plan when it benefits you and not us.
They are going to put the trim board above the brick, but since the brick is higher than it should be it will not line up correctly. E told him if it doesn't look good they will be taking it down and fixing the brick. I guess they started using a larger brick than the "per plan" brick.
All in all, I am very happy with our PM and the things he was able to get fixed for us during the process. That is what makes me feel bad that him and E got into a huge argument today. But then I look at the price of the house and think no we should want it 100% correct and not just 98 or 99%.
At this point, I don't think our PM is going to let us walk through the house until our pre-settlement walk through on 10/11. At that point, E is going to have a very large punch list.
I always thought it was going to be really good or bad that E has a background in construction. Well, it turns out very good for us and very bad for our PM.

Now to the inside:
I am very happy with the way things are going in here. They are installing carpet today and need to finish the electrical and plumbing fixtures. Our smaller cabinet for above the microwave still needs to be delivered to our PMs house.

Love the New Caledonia granite!!!

I am hoping once they fix the stain on the banister it won't look so dark. The pole is a lot darker than the hand railings.

I am very pleased with the way the tile trim turned out. I like it a lot more now that it is installed.

Our beautiful floors!

So far we are very happy with our build process even though we hit a few bumps here at the end.
For those building the third car garage - make sure to ask how it will be trimmed out. Most likely it is not the same as the other garage.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Closing is scheduled!!!!!!

Tuesday October 15th is our closing date!!

We were originally scheduled for the 14th, but everyone realized today that the 14th is Columbus Day and the banks are not open.
I am going to schedule out the cable and delivery of appliances before the big move on Friday the 18th. I can't believe it's almost here.

We locked our rate with NVR yesterday. They were offering a 0.500% credit for 4.500% interest rate and a .500% charge for 4.3750% interest rate. We went with 4.500%.
They also sent us our appraisal report. The appraisal came in $8K over our sales price, so that's good news.
We still had an appraisal done with the other lender, so E wants to compare these reports.

We are going over tonight and meeting our PM to walk through where they are with everything. We stopped on Sunday to look at the siding and saw on he back of the house, they caulked around a vent too tight that it was making the siding bow in. Our PM was aware and they were coming to fix it.

I am also concerned with the stain on our banisters. We picked Chestnut because it matched our flooring almost exactly. Now the stain looks about 5 shades darker. Our PM confirmed that the stain is chestnut. I may need to make a call to Rusmur Floors to see what they can do about this.

I wanted to ask everyone who has closed. How clean are the houses when you are ready to move in? We are debating if we should hire a cleaning company to do a new house clean for us, but I would rather not pay anymore money than I have to right now. But I also don't want to spend all my time cleaning the house.

Only 3 weeks to go....

Monday, September 16, 2013


They finished the brick last week. We wanted to make sure they had a number brick for the house.

We stopped over today to see the flooring.
Looked like they are pretty much done. The guys in the master bath said they will be finishing the grout tomorrow. I am happy with the tile and decorative tile that we picked.
Everything looks great. I think the handrail stain is a little darker than we originally picked. E is going to check with our PM tomorrow on that.
They also have the door for the master bath backwards. The door is suppose to swing in, but they have it set to swing out into the bathroom. Guess that is why they charged us $350 for this change; they knew they would have to do everything twice to get it correct.

We also noticed that the door to the master closet was not framed over where it was cut out.
And they added the air return vent in the basement. That was new and we weren't expecting to see this large monster. E will be cutting that when we move in.

Only 4 more weeks....
Not sure what is going to take 4 weeks.

Closing Costs

For those who have closed with NVR, how much different were the closing costs from the GFE you received around when you locked?

I know the escrow amounts will change based on appraisal, interest rate, close date, etc. But did the other amounts change drastically?

We are working through to see if it is worth our time and money to switch back to NVR from our outside lender. I don't want to be calculating all of our numbers off of amounts that they give us now, but then they add to them closer to closing.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Quick call from the PM

Our PM called me this afternoon with a weekly update.
A lot of good things are happening.

  • The appraiser came out this morning. Because I never confirmed the time, I didn't think he was going to come out. But at least that is done. Now we will have to wait to see what number he comes back with. I think he mentioned he was going to call me after the meeting at the house was done to get some interior finish details.
  • The PM ordered the new/correct cabinet and it will be delivered to his house. He also told them not to install the knobs.
  • The brick finishers are finishing today. I forgot to ask him if they added our number brick. I will have to check this out next time we run over there.
  • They are going to start the siding next week after they are done with the house up the street from us.
  • The hardwood will be installed in the first floor Monday and Tuesday.
  • The vinyl in the laundry room and the tile in both bathrooms on the second floor will be finished today.
  • They also painted and trimmed the house this week.
  • While talking to him, he was on his way back over to the house to meet the Granite company. They were coming out to size out their template.
They got a lot done since we were there Tuesday night!!!
I am excited to see everything. He said he needs to keep the house locked now as this is when people tend to steal things. He would keep it unlocked for us, but we wouldn't make it over tonight and I don't want it to sit unlocked tonight and during the day tomorrow until we got there.
I think we are going to go over after work one night next week, but it might not be until Thursday. E is traveling again. Hey I can always make a trip without him, right???

What a call and update!!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Brick and a garage of goodies!!!!

They were completing the finishing touches up early this week to start painting. We went over Tuesday evening to see how all the dry wall turned out.
We found a few other little surprises!!
They started the brick which they weren't to start until later this week and all of our doors and cabinets were in the garage.

On Sunday we decided that we no longer wanted the cabinet hardware installed. I wasn't a big fan of the knobs from the beginning, but we thought it would be hard to open the cabinets without them. I emailed our SR Monday morning and they can't adjust the sales price now, so we will have a box of $200 knobs as a house warming gift. Guess I will put these on eBay.

At the beginning of the process, we noticed on blogs that the cabinet above the microwave was raised higher than the other cabinets in the kitchen. For some reason this really bothers me. We made a point during our 2 week of changes that our SR knew that we wanted this cabinet to be flat along with the other cabinets. This was also mentioned to our PM during our Pre-construction meeting several times. He wrote it on his sheet and circled it a few times. When we did our pre-dry wall walk through, our PM reminded me that his notes had that our cabinets are to be flush. I get a lovely voicemail that they are installing the cabinets and the cabinet above the microwave was to the ceiling and was pushed forward so it wasn't lined up with the other cabinets. He didn't think that's what I wanted. I called him back and of course got his VM. Hopefully this is an easy fix. This now gives me a reason to go over and check on things this weekend. I am excited to see our cabinets. As long as the one cabinet is flat!!!!!

I also got a call that they wanted to do the appraisal tomorrow morning. I didn't hear back from my PM yet, so I don't have that scheduled.
I called my SR because I wasn't sure if I needed to go through him or our PM. While on the phone, he told me that NVR lowered their rate to match our rate we locked with an outside lender and it didn't have any points attached to it today. I explained we already locked and he told me that we should be able to get out of it if we didn't pay any money yet.
Has anyone locked and backed out with that lender? Any penalties? E was going to call our LO to see  how this was possible. But I think once we have the appraisal, we are locked in with that lender.

Oh and we also noticed there is a small dent in the corner of the garage door on the third car attachment. We will need to mention this to our PM so they can fix it. If they don't replace the door, hopefully they fix it enough that you won't notice it was dented.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Drywall Complete and Locked & Loaded

E went over to the house last night and saw that they finished up the drywall and applied one coat of mud. Everything looks good except the large gap over the garage door on the two car garage side. Not sure if he had a chance to call our PM about that yet or not today.

The brick was delivered last week, so I am excited to see that on the house.

Below are some pics of the drywall.

All week we have been going back and forth over our mortgage options. We were working with a local bank in addition to NVR. Our local bank's closing costs were a bit more, but they emailed us today and said they were able to lock us in at 4.625% instead of the current rate today as of 4.750%. After tons of spreadsheets, it is cheaper for us to go with the local bank starting after month 38. We are also planning to pay a little bit more each month to get our MI off the monthly payment sooner than 38 months. I found that I can work these amortization tables every which way after these past few days; what does it look like after 5 yrs, 7 yrs, 10 yrs, what if you pay MI up front vs monthly, etc. I think we worked through each combination and each situation only had about a $1K difference between each bank (our incentives were only $5K).  I think E was going to lock today and I think this was the scariest part of this whole process so far.

NVR called us on Tuesday to schedule our closing for Monday Oct 14th. I am hoping that our local bank is able to get us closed during that week as well. Our house is to be finished Friday Oct 11th. I want to ask if we can close at the last possible minute that day so that we have all weekend to move. If we close early in the week, I won't want to wait until the weekend to move.

We also purchased our washer/dryer this weekend during the labor day sale. I went into the store wanting a top load washer, but the salesman talked me out of it. He said the technology in the top load has not caught up with the front load yet and the front load is the better washer to purchase. I also wasn't excited about spending $250 for each pedestal and we wouldn't even be able to use the one under the washer due to the drain tray. I am also short and I can't reach over the front load when they are on a pedestal. Well....we didn't purchase what I originally went into the store to get. We bought a Kenmore Front load with the pedestals all on sale for $1.7K on sale from $3K. The pedestals were only $100/each instead of $250/each.

Kenmore-3.7 cu. ft. Accela-Wash™ Steam Front-Load Washer and 7.3 cu. ft. Dryer
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Love my garage doors:

 Family Room looking into living room:
I keep telling my PM they forgot to build the morning room. He just laughs at me.

 Kitchen looking into Family Room:

Large gap above garage door:
My ugly air vents:
We will have to keep the covers painted the same colors as the wall so they don't stick out as much.
I am just going to walk up the stairs with my eyes closed. 

Master batch switched shower and tub so door swings into bathroom instead of bedroom:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pre-Dry Wall Meeting

We had our pre-dry wall meeting today. All in all it went pretty good.
The framers were a little behind schedule, so the completion date of the home is now October 11th. Not too far off of our estimated close date at signing of October 4th.
I emailed our LO this morning and he said they typically close within 2 days of completion. Since we are now safe and within 60 days, we need to think about which bank we are locking with and lock the rate. And of course they are up to 4.625% with .625% points. That is $152 more a month than when we signed and priced everything at 3.625%.

We did want to change a few things we found during our walk thru:
  • The hose bib on the back of the house was really high. So it wasn't so noticeable, we asked him to move it down a foot or so.
  • He still needs to have the electrician move our thermostat wiring so it is not right in the middle of the wall above where we would put our buffet.
  • The spacing of the two outlets in the master were not spaced the same below the windows/from the side wall. We asked him to move the one. But when he measured it out, it was more then 12 feet away from the other outlet. We compromised and he is going to move the one outlet and then ask the electrician come in and add another outlet to where we wanted to move the other one to. This way we have an outlet under each window on both sides of the bed for nightstands.
  • They did fix the framing for the master bath. They just need to come back in and center the lights over the tub and shower.
  • Our biggest item we saw where the air return vents. I guess they are doing something new now. All the air return vents are above the bedroom doors. So as you are walking up the stairs, all you can see are these vents. We both think it looks ugly. Not too happy about it. He was explaining why they are doing it this way and I wasn't paying attention too much. I was just looking at them thinking how much I hated them being there.  
E stayed back and took a bunch of pictures of all the walls so we knew where we could get a stud to hang items on the walls.
They had the garage doors on both garages, but when we left they were up so we couldn't get pictures of the doors yet. Guess I will just need to drive past again :-)
We saw that our flower box was still on the lot. Since they stopped putting them on the floor plans, we asked if he could just keep it at the house. He said he would put it up if we wanted him to.

They are going to fix some framing issues today, start the HVAC tomorrow, and insulation and dry wall next week. He said he thinks he will be locking the doors this weekend since all the HVAC equipment will be in the basement.

So excited that it is starting to look like a home!!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Third Car Garage Framing

We moved in with E's sister this weekend. The move went well except a few of my items that weren't suppose to go to the storage vault ended up there. The only box I am worried about is the box where I had perfume bottles and nail polish; these items were not packed for storage. Just hoping that they don't break!!!

We stopped by Friday for a quick look and a worker showed up while we were touring the house. We went back on Sunday to get pics and saw that they started to rough in the plumbing.

We also met our neighbors on the one side. They seem really nice and are close to our age. He is actually friends with one of the guys I went to high school with.

I was excited to see that they have the third car garage framed.

They did frame our master bath backwards. The floor plan is to have the shower and then the bath tub and the door would swing into the bedroom. We did a non-standard to flip it so the tub was behind the door and the door would swing into the bathroom instead. We want to put a sitting chair in the corner. We saw on Friday that they had already set the tub and of course it was backwards. We reached out to the PM on Monday and he said he was aware it was wrong and he was waiting for the frame guy to come back and fix it. Everyone knew this would be wrong and that is why they charged us $500 (I think that was the amount) for this non-standard.

We also asked our PM to move our thermostat location. It is currently smack dab in the middle of the small wall. We plan to put a buffet there and of course we won't be able to put a large picture/mirror above it with a thermostat right there. He is going to look at it, so hopefully they will move it for us. Thanks to the other bloggers for reminding me to look into this.
E went yesterday to see if they set any other switches that we would want moved before they wire them completely. There was a large crew there so he wasn't able to get in.

We have our pre-dry wall meeting bright and early tomorrow at 7am. Hopefully the bathroom will be fixed.
And a close date?????

Here are a few pictures. Our house looks huge from the side because of the walk-out basement. We also saw our neighborhood pets on Sunday. There is a large family of turkeys that live in the woods around the house.

We also went on Sunday to pick our granite for the countertops. Well "pick" turned out to be-"Here is the slab your countertops will be cut from; they are all very similiar".

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Second Floor

They must have worked over the weekend!!

They started the second floor. E drove past last tonight and was rather surprised.
He couldn't get in to get pics because they were still inside working.

We need to get in touch with our PM this week to see where we are at.
Maybe the pre-dry wall meeting next week???

We are going on Sunday to pick out our granite slab. They are suppose to measure on 8/19 and install 8/26; all per the granite company.

We are also moving this weekend and I have been doing nothing but packing since Saturday. It's a pain, but then again I am super excited to be unpacked and into our new home!!!

Just a few pictures from yesterday:

I am sure E will go back tonight and see what was done. Hopefully he can get in. I know he was upset yesterday when he wasn't able to see the inside.
I can't wait until they start to frame the third car garage!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Framing & Rate Update

Looks good so far and seems like we are on schedule. We were told they would start to frame to late last week. E drove past Friday night and they have most of the lower level done. No garage or stairs yet. I think he is going to be OCD the next couple of weeks and stop each day.

He also noticed that there are gaps in the framing. One in the kitchen and one in the Family Room directly across the lower level from one another. Does anyone else remember seeing these gaps and what their PM said about them?

I have been sending our information to a few local banks. Even though NVR is paying 1% of our transfer taxes, their closing costs are very comparable to other banks when we have to pay the full 2%. I emailed our LO and he was able to waive the origination fee, but he wasn't able to match the rate (4.375%) without charging .625% points. So with the waived origination fee and the charge for the rate we would get with no points at a local bank, we are back to where we started. I am waiting for him to send me the updated GFE, I am calculating that they should be close to $1K less. So I am curious to see what they added back in. I am going to now go back to the current bank and see if they will give us the 30 day lock rate of 4.25% with no points at the 60 day lock. Never hurts to ask.