Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BREAKING NEWS but We Missed It

Whooo Hoooo!  Two posts in one day!

Pizza makes everything better!
 (We, The Pizza, DC)
So why the need for pizza after lunch?  Let me explain...

Earlier, I told you all that we had been waiting on a call from our new SR to tell us more on the pre-con meeting and moving forward in general.  Well I called our old SR just to find out that they have already broken ground and our pre-con meeting will be Sept. 2, 2014.  Now I am not sure how many newbie's are out there, but for me, this was like a bad break-up.  She did allow us to pick the date for the meeting, but I was pissed about the ground-breaking already occurring.  This is our first home and I really wanted needed to be there for this HUGE milestone.  I mean it's not like we build homes every year right? 

So if you could imagine how heavy the world seemed at that point...I wanted to scream to the top of my lungs and eat pizza afterwards.  Since I couldn't scream, I decided pizza would do for the time being.  Seriously, I was really upset at NV Homes for this move.  Shouldn't I be?  Our [old] SR told us that our next milestone would be framing.  Heck, I am leaving for holiday travels and now I am afraid when I return, the entire row of towns will be complete.  Plumbing, painting, electrical, you name it.   

As bad as I wanted some movement, I didn't think they would skip the vital parts like telling us when it would officially start!  I have counted down from 999 about 65 times (so I could write this post), but I must head to Sbux to help keep me cool until I can get home.  

I plan on going out to the site to reenact my photos of the "ground-breaking"!  I want to capture as much of this as possible...no thanks to NV!  LOL


Just Waiting and Virtual Tour

Happy Tuesday!

In the midst of waiting on the phone to ring, I decided to add the virtual tour to the page.  At least you can get a feel of what it will look like with some furniture.  I guess I was bored and wanted to contribute something to the blog!  LOL

So what's new?
We are still waiting to hear back on when the pre-construction meeting will take place.  I spoke to our new SR over the weekend and he said he would call us for sure Monday evening with an update.  Since it is Tuesday and I am NOT writing about that conversation, it is safe to say we did not receive a call from them.  Am I surprised?  No not at all, but I will be calling him today.  This is not a rant, just wish they were a little more responsive and kept true to their words.

Until next time, enjoy the tour and I will keep you posted!


Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's Finally Moving!

Happy Saturday BFF's (Blog Family & Friends)!!!

We received some exciting news recently that our row is ready for building!  YIPPPEEEEE!  This news made me so happy as I have waited to hear something since the beginning of August!  I told myself that I would just be patient and enjoy the process.  We visited the community today to talk to the SR...which by the way...our original SR is now at another location *insert side eye here*.

One unit that was originally sold is now available because financing fell through.  Good thing is they only needed 6 of 7 to start building.  The SR told us that we should hear from them in about 10 days to set the pre-construction meeting date.  While I don't have many new things to show, I managed to snap a few pics while at the property.  I can report that our lot has been cleared of all the 'mess' that was once piled up...I will count that as progress!

Anywho...I hope you all are enjoying your weekends and I look forward to posting more in the days to come!  If you all have any advice or tips for the upcoming pre-construction meeting, please share.  I could use all the help you have to offer!

Lots are cleared from the pile-up of supplies

Great elementary school at entrance to our community

View that some (not us) will have from their property

One happy girl in the model bedroom (please forgive the outfit) LOL

Monday, August 4, 2014

Guest Post From the Hubby

Hello there Bloggers!

     My wife asked me to write a guest post about our experience with purchasing a new home so here is my shot at it.  Rather than re-hash details about selections and what not, I'll just highlight things I liked/disliked:

  • Everything is new and should be relatively maintenance free for the first 5-7 years.
  • Let's be honest whether it's shoes, cars, or new homes...nothing beats that new smell 
  • Being able to pick out certain upgrades make sense during the building phase.  That way you don't have a $20k project to completely redo your bathroom and kitchen to your dreams.
  • You have very little power as a buyer in new construction.  The builder definitely has the upper hand and the contract is titled in their favor.  I'll provide a little more detail on this later.
  • There is very little transparency in costs of upgrades.  Here's a task...ask your builder/design center who is the maker of the cabinets you upgraded to.  Now, go research and try to find pricing on those cabinets.  More than likely you will not.  
  • Not having a choice in things like who you buy your finishes from or who does your wiring can only be towards everyone's advantage except yours.  If you want details, I can answer those in the comments section.  
So any advice I can offer or things I would do differently are:

  1. Hire a realtor.  Some sales reps will tell you there is no need, but I don't agree.  Most builders have a fund setup to pay realtor commissions so it likely costs you nothing.  An honest realtor will also agree the amount of work on new construction is much less on their end vs. buying/selling existing homes Some will even contribute a portion of their commission towards closing costs.  You probably have to ask though and your mileage may vary.

    A good realtor will explain in simple terms the key portions of the contract and advise you of the risks before signing/agreeing.  They will also help you with selections and let you know what makes sense to do now/later or what's important on the re-sale market if that is important to you.  Lastly, a realtor will be that sounding board and make sure you can't find an existing home that will make you happy at a more attractive price point.

  2. In Virginia (not sure about other states) you have 3 days to review the HOA bylaws.  Within those 3 days you can cancel your contract without any questions asked.  In existing construction, I believe you have until post-inspection to do so without any explanation.  

  3. Most builders include a 2 year timeframe to build your home from the day your contract is ratified.  They can keep your earnest money during this time.  I've never heard of one taking this long, but just thought I would mention it to serve as a another example of the tilt of power.  I'd be surprised if most reputable builders wouldn't just refund your earnest deposit before holding your money for 2 year because of things like a market crash/recession in their defense.

  4. If you really want something, negotiate and then get it in writing as an addendum to your contract if possible.  Something as simple as if you love the standard window you see on the model.  Make sure you get it written in your contract that your unit has to have it regardless if the builder no longer carries it by the time you build.  Now some builders might not budge, but if it is a make or break item to you then it's better to decide before signing as opposed to not getting it because the builder is saving a buck by switching because the contract language allows them to.

  5. Questions I would ask a 2nd time around are:
  • What are the standards and what in the model is an upgrade?
  • If the model doesn't have the standard (such as cabinets) then can I view the standard cabinets, countertops, etc.  
  • Can I visit your design center to see my choices and how much additional choices will cost me?  This way you can get an idea of total cost of your home after upgrades.  It will also give you an idea if your builder is truly that much better on standards vs. the competition.  
  • Ask for a price list on low-voltage wiring if that is sub-contracted as well.
  • Visit your local home improvement/hardware stores and compare the prices once you get a better idea of what the builder is going to charge.  Also go online and look at the cost of things such as a spool of material used in wiring. I know labor is also a factor, but let's be honest they are going in pre-drywall so theoretically the labor should not be the same as someone getting it done after the drywall goes up.  Pretty sure the builder or supplier buys in bulk too.  All this is to give you more clarity on how much things costs post-construction and are you paying too much during the building phase.
  • Can any of your incentives be included without me being tied to a certain lender?