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
Kenmore 3.7 cu. ft. Accela-Wash™ Steam Front-Load Washer and 7.3 cu. ft. Dryer
$2359.98Starting at $1399.98
The Kenmore 3.7 cu. ft. steam front-load washer features the Accela-Wash™ option, which can make wash time 33% faster. This Kenmore washer has 3 unique wash motions, offering special care for fabrics. And with the power of steam, this front-load washer virtually eliminates the need to pre-treat stains.The Kenmore 7.3 cu. ft. dryer has an extra-large capacity for bulky items such as bedding. It automatically detects the moisture to determine the right drying temperature and time. The steam refresh option adds steams to reduce wrinkles, odors and static cling.Save floor space by mounting the dryer on the washer with the optional stacking kit. Or use the matching pedestals to raise your washer and dryer 13.7-inches to a more comfortable height for loading and unloading. The pedestal's large storage drawer holds and hides your laundry supplies, including large detergent bottles and boxes.
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: