Monday, April 28, 2014


Our closing today was at 11 am.  It took about a half hour.  Everything was smooth.  We loaded up a minivan and my dad's truck full of some essentials. My husband is at the house now, sealing the granite so that we don't have to worry about that for a while. I've taken all new pics of the house.  Internet is set to be installed in the new home tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have a few minutes to upload those.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lucky 13 - Numbers 11, 12, 13

Tomorrow is the big day!  We close at 11 am local time tomorrow.  I've already got my van loaded with some things to take over to the house tomorrow. My head is spinning with how much stuff still needs to be done, but I'm confident everything will go just fine.  I got behind on my Lucky 13, so I'm going to finish it off today.  

Upstairs laundry - No more lugging laundry down a flight and a half of stairs. Woot woot! No doubt I look forward to this!

Basement - My husband finally has his man cave. Plus there is room to send the kids down there to play also.  There will also be storage space, so I don't have to put holiday decorations, camping gear, etc, in the attic. This will make everything so much easier to access. 

Neighborhood pool - my kids are really looking forward to this.  Another thing having an HOA affords us.  It is a short drive or bike ride from the house and I know we'll be spending some time there this summer.  The neighborhood seems to have a lot of kids in it, which will also be nice for my children. 

That's it!  I hope I make some time to unwind and update the blog this week. I haven't taken good pictures of the house since everything has been completely done, so I'll try to do that before we start moving everything in tomorrow.  Wish us luck please!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lucky 13, Number 10

Today my husband is working on packing the garage up.  Being outside reminds me of my number 10 thing I'm looking forward to.

Lot and HOA

We are currently on a corner lot. Much of our usable yard is on the side of the house and a bit awkward. Plus, my husband has lots of sidewalk to maintain. (He's one of those yard guys that edges the sidewalk several times a year.) Our street is a main thorough fair in the neighborhood so we get trash and yucky stuff in the yard. The lot size at the new house is almost identical in size to the current house, but the way it is situated on the lot makes more sense.  We have a true backyard. We also currently have about 11 full grown trees and while it's pretty, they all leaf out at different times, so hubs seems to be always raking.  We have a gorgeous gum tree, but it drops these little spikey balls all over the side yard which makes walking through that side of the yard painful. We are actually happy to have a few less trees! Hubs did build a tree house for the kids, and I will miss that though. Our new street isn't a through street so we should have less traffic. I know plenty of people that aren't happy to have a home owners association, but we are actually happy to have a HOA. We like to maintain our yard and are happy to live in a place that seems like people also take care of their yards.  Having an HOA helps enforce that - no broken down cars and so on.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Lucky 13, Part 9

I'm still in a flurry of packing but wanted to take a minute to rest and share the next thing I'm looking forward to.

Fifth Bedroom 

Five bedrooms seems excessive for a family of 4, but its kind of our bonus area.   Plus, that room will be my room. It will be a designated craft room/art studio and I can't wait.  I'll be able to have a place for scrapbooking that won't have to be picked up every day, allowing me to do a little at a time if necessary.  Plus, this means I'll really be able to stay out of hubby's office. This will also be another option for guests to stay. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Final Walk Through

Yesterday was a whirlwind of a day.  We had our final walk through on the new home and the inspection on our current home.  I thought I was going to have to reschedule the inspection.  We've had company in town for the Easter holidays and unfortunately we all came down with food poisoning. Ugh.  It was awful.  I didn't think I was going to get my house cleaned up in time, but by the grace of God we did.  To top it off, the inspector got to my house an hour early.  I was not prepared for that.  Fortunately, he was very kind and started on the outside, otherwise I would have had to turn him away.  

Our final walk through was successful.  We taped up the walls some more with drywall and paint touch ups.  We weren't able to test the fireplace as it wasn't quite working yet, but the PM sent us an email later saying it had been fixed.  It seems as though the kitchen vent may not be completely venting outside, so he has to look into that as well.  There were a few hard spots under the carpet.  I wonder if the carpet guy didn't fully clean the full before placing the pad and carpet down.  The PM thinks it may just be nails coming up.  The correct carpet is set to be installed today, so we marked the spots I thought were bad and hopefully they'll get them taken care of when they have the carpet pulled up.  

We are four days from closing. I am in full packing mode, and I plan to have as much as I can packed by the end of the weekend.  We'll be switching to paper plates pretty soon!  It's all a bit overwhelming, but it's coming along.  

Lucky 13, Part 8

Lucky 13, Part 8 

Separate Master Bath 

Our current house has two full baths.  The bathroom downstairs has a standing shower only, which we never use.  We share a bathroom upstairs with the kids. In the new home we will have two upstairs baths and 4 sinks between them! We can shower in the morning without worrying about waking the kids and more than one person can brush their teeth at the same time. Our family had a case of food poisoning/stomach flu earlier this week.  I was really wishing we had the extra bathroom space now. Plus, we have a separate guest bath, so my guests won't have to use my kids bathroom. Which, I've already decided, they will have to clean themselves. (The kids, not the guests!)

Above are my current bathrooms.  What an upgrade we'll be getting!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lucky 13, Part 7

As I think I mentioned, we have family in for the Easter holiday.  I try to sneak in packing a box now and then.  Today I packed up some things from my son's rooms and it reminded me of my number 7 thing I'm looking forward to in my new house.

Larger kids rooms

Our boys bedrooms are pretty small right now, so even with the bare essential furniture, there's not a lot of room for toys.  They'll be able to play in their rooms. We have a bunk bed at my dad's house that we'll be moving to the new house.  If we have a lot of company, like this weekend, one child can sleep in the same room as the other child and the company can sleep in the other room. 

Above are the boys rooms now.  They will also be getting some new bedding for the new house which they are excited about.  

One week until closing!

Friday, April 18, 2014

My Lucky 13, Part 6

I went by the house today and was delighted to see the door was painted black and the shutters are up.  The concrete looks beautiful (well, as beautiful as concrete does.) I didn't go in the house as the cleaning crew was mopping the kitchen.  The energy star test was taking place at the front door.  I did talk to the PM and everything seems to be going along great. He wants us to walk through the house this weekend; kind of a pre walk through of our official walk through on Wednesday.  That way we can get him the list of anything we see that needs to be done and he can actually have it done by Wednesday. From other blogs I've read, this is not a normal thing, but I'm very happy for the request. I know that the PM is really trying to make sure that everything is just the way we want before closing. I've really been impressed with the way that he handles that sort of thing. Our plan is to walk through either tonight or Sunday, after the kids find their Easter eggs.  Which brings me to the next thing I'm looking forward to in the new house.

A Guest Room

We have family coming in from out of state.  It's been a while since I've seen them and I'm so glad that they are staying with us.  I *wish* our new house was done and closed on before they arrive though.  One person will be staying in my sons room while he bunks up on the floor in my other sons room. Another will be staying with her child on the couch in our living room. It will be a little cramped.  I'm am so grateful that we have an offer on our current house, so I don't have to be ready to show the house why they are here. 
Anyway, I'm excited to have an actual guest room. I want to have a private, cozy space for out of town guests which we have several times a year. I have a whole board on Pinterest for guest room ideas.  I can't wait.

Here's what the house looks like with the shutters.  So pretty! I couldn't get a real good angle; there were so many people working on the house I had to try and stay out of their way.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Lucky 13, Part 5

Our PM called me today to give me the last bit of run down on the schedule for the next 11 days.  That's right.  We close on our house in 11 days! Things are coming nicely and I have no doubt that everything will be done by closing. At the end of our conversation he offered me a very sincere apology about the stress we've had here at the end with several things being ordered incorrectly. He really wants to make sure we have a good experience. I was honest with him and told him that while we kind of scratch our heads and wonder how so many (big) things could be ordered wrong, we are very pleased with the way he has handled everything. Everything has been corrected without negotiation and as quickly as possible.  I did ask him what Rite Rug was going to do with the wrong carpet after they take it out of the house.  I told him that if they were just going to throw it away, I'd really like them to leave us a large remnant.  This will allow us to finish the other section of the basement at some point in the future.  He checked with them and they have agreed to leave us enough for that part of the basement.  I'm glad we can put some of the waste to use. He said that if there's anything else we would like him to do before closing, that he would work on getting it done.  He specifically mentioned garage door openers.  We've already purchased some, and after talking to my husband, it would be really nice to have them installed before we move in. So, we're going to take him up on the offer to have his crew install our garage door openers for us.  I really appreciate how he's trying to go above and beyond to make us happy. While we're on the subject, that brings me to item number 5 that I'm really looking forward to in the new house. 

Three Car Garage

We make it a habit to park both of our cars in the garage.  Once we started accumulating more kids things, like bikes, we built a mini barn at our current house.  I don't think we are allowed to have one in the new house.  And, realistically, the kids never take their toys all the way to the mini barn and instead just leave them in the garage.  We'll have space for two cars plus the kids bikes! If my husband has any garage projects it will also allow for extra space for that kind of thing.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Lucky 13, Part 4

Twelve days left until closing!  Time for one of the things I look forward to in the new house.

Dining room 

I know a lot of people that don't use their dining room, but I think we will. I can't wait to get our large dining table that everyone can sit at easily when we host for the holidays or when we have friends over for cards. I have an older set of family china that has been in my attic since it was given to me.  I haven't decided if we'll use it yet, but at least I'll have a place to put it - in the buffet in the dining room.  I will also be putting my husband's family silver in there.  

Above is a picture of our current dining area, which is in the kitchen.  It's nice because it's all together and open, but it's just not big enough for when we host.

Here is an example of a dining room from Ryan's website.  I think we'll orient the table in the opposite direction, but you get the idea.  We'll also have stools at the island, so I imagine the kids will eat their breakfast there. Below are the pictures of the dining room set that we ordered, which I'm pretty excited about.

Owingsville Dining Set from Ashley furniture

Owingsville dining room server - Ashley Furniture

In other news, our driveway and porch are being poured today.  The granite has been confirmed for tomorrow. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Lucky 13, part 3

Another day to post a positive thing about the new house.  Another thing that I am really looking forward to is:  

Mud room

If I had my druthers the mudroom would be slightly larger, but I'm not about to get picky since the house is so large as it is. In our current house, the kitchen is the first room off of the garage and it is the door we use most often.  There is no place to put anything when you walk in that way.  We walk through the kitchen into the front room where a small coat closet for us and our guests.  Right now my kids have trouble hanging their coats so the end up in a chair in our front room.  There's no place for shoes, so they go on the stairs. In the new house, our coats will go in the closet in the mudroom. We'll build some sort of coat storage hooks for guests in our entryway. A mudroom will keep the house much cleaner. I'm thinking of putting up hooks instead of hangers for coats. I find that the hooks always get used first in my current coat closet, so it only makes sense to have more.  

I can't believe I'm posting this

Seriously, I'm shaking my head.  Astonished.  My sister in law and her fiance were visiting and wanted to see the house progress so far.  We got the key from the sales rep and walked around in the house.  Things look good on the inside so far.  The master bath tile is in and looks great.  The mantle is up on the fireplace.  The hardwood floor is complete.  In the family room, there are rolls of carpet which are supposed to be laid today.  So, I'm looking at all of them and they all say the same color; we had chosen a different color for the basement.  I'm wondering if it just wasn't delivered at the same time.  But, I look at the carpet and I don't think the color is right.  It's been quite a long time since we chose the color, so to be fair, I don't exactly remember what it looks like.  However, I did think there was some color variation in the carpet which this does not have.  We also remembered paying extra for the upgraded carpet pad, which does not seem to be what is there.  Little alarms start going off in my head. It's important to note that like the framing, the carpet appears to be delivered pre-cut by room.  Each roll has a size listed on it, which probably denotes which room it goes in.  I go home to check my flooring selection sheet.  What do you know?  It's wrong. So, the level 1 carpet that we ordered in the basement ONLY appears to have been ordered FOR THE ENTIRE HOUSE.  We had requested a different, nicer carpet to be installed in the rest of the house.  There was only one type of carpet pad throughout the house (not installed yet).  It doesn't have the plastic barrier that we remember the nicer carpet pad having.  I believe the carpet pad is wrong. That really makes me mad because if I hadn't been at the house during that time, I would never know that was wrong because I'd never see it again.  

My husband is in the construction industry. He understands mistakes are made and has told me the more important thing is how they respond to fix the mistake.  I've got to imagine even he thinks this is too much. To be fair, so far every mistake has been fixed without argument. This is the third major ordering mistake... that I know of.  I have to start thinking that way now.  Have they messed up anything else that I haven't caught??? I can't remember if I posted on the blog, but the wrong garage doors were ordered as well.  We are still waiting for the correct ones to be delivered. There is no way that Ryan homes is making any money on the sale of our house. The garage doors can maybe be resold or used in another project.  The carpet?  I don't know.  Would someone buy that as a remnant? Possibly. The brick?  That was a total EFF up.  All the labor wasted putting it up, taking it down, then it all had to be thrown away.  Astonishing. 

I emailed the PM last night and I'm sure he's handling it today.  We are set to close in 2 weeks.  How long does it take for carpet to be delivered?  Can we close if there's no carpet throughout the house?  Do I want to?  I wouldn't be able to move anything in.  I already have a moving company scheduled. GAH!!!! I feel my blood pressure rising.  It is my intent to call the SR this morning after she gets in, if the PM doesn't call me before then. 

Back to good news, for a minute. We met the other neighbors on the other side of our home. They are a bit older than us, with a daughter that is a senior in college. They have an adorable basset hound.  They seem very nice. 

And finally, here is a picture of my pretty house.  With the correct brick. It will look even prettier when the shutters go up and the door is painted.

Update: I spoke with the PM and SR.  Basically, I told them I needed someone to make me feel warm and fuzzy about keeping our closing date. (Hug me and tell me it's gonna be alright!) After making some calls the PM said that the carpet we chose is not an unusual carpet so they don't see any trouble getting it in.  It's been ordered but because it was just done they can't actually track it yet.  He told them they need it installed no later that the middle of next week. He also confirmed that the pad is correct. In the meantime, the crew is out installing the incorrect carpet today.  They are doing this as a precaution so that it does not delay inspection or closing. When the new carpet comes in, they will rip it out and replace it. My heart breaks a little bit for the wastefulness of this. He apologized for all the mistakes that have been made in the choices.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Lucky 13, part 2

Today I began going through the desk to purge some papers that we don't need anymore.  For a while today our front room was COVERED in papers. Actually it still is a little bit but I'm working on it.  This brings me to #2 on my list:

Office for my husband 

Right now our office is our front room. There is no privacy an fits hard for him to work from home. Since he owns his own business this is an important space for him. This room also seems to be a catch all for everything.  In the current house it's the first room you see and always cluttered.  That shouldn't happen anymore!

This room actually used to have a fourth bookshelf and all of them were filled to the brim.  I removed a bookshelf and a lot of the items on them for staging purposes.  The room is never, ever this clean. Well, it has been since we've been on the market, but it's a chore.  My least favorite room in the house, I think.  See that blue chair?  All winter coats collect on it.  Not for long!

Offer Accepted!

Late last night we got another counter offer on our current house that we accepted!  If everything goes smoothly, we should have dual occupancy for about 3 weeks.  I'm relieved that we have some overlap; that allows us to remove everything from our current house at a good pace and gives me enough time to clean up for the new people. I plan on having my son ride the bus to the current house at least until we close, so I'll be at the house almost every day and I can do a little bit at a time. Of course, it's also a relief not to have two mortgages for any longer than necessary. 

We registered my younger son for kindergarten at the new school district last night, so we went to the house and the hardwood floors are going in.  The master bath tile still isn't in, but hopefully it will go in soon.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Lucky 13, part 1

Since we are 18 days away from closing, I've decided to post on the things I'm most looking forward to in our new house.  I've got 13 things so far, so I'm calling it my lucky 13.  Our new home will have more than twice the living area of our current home. There are so many things I'm looking forward to, these aren't necessarily in order. 

Bigger kitchen

Here's my kitchen now.  We've recently updated this kitchen.  We stained the existing cabinets and replaced and stained the doors.  The colors are actually very similar to the cabinets we chose for the new house. We put the microwave exhaust up and put the wine rack above it. We also tiled the backsplash. The cabinet next to the pantry was also added, giving me an extra cabinet.  

With the addition of that cabinet, I have 10 usable cabinets.  (I have two above my fridge that are small and basically unusable.)  My kitchen cabinets are filled to the brim right now and some of my kitchen items are in my laundry closet.  I think I will have roughly 19 cabinets in the new house. I can't wait to have everything in the kitchen with more space so we aren't so crowded. You can walk into the new pantry.  Our current pantry is deep, but the shelves are so deep, it's easy to 'lose' things in the back.  Things will be more organizable in the new pantry. I also can't wait for more counter space. I like to cook and I like to host gatherings, and the current kitchen just isn't conducive to that.  

The Tennis Match Begins

Our current home has been on the market for about 6 weeks.  Traffic through the house was slow after the first 2-3 weeks so we dropped the price a bit. Yesterday we had two showings at basically the same time.  Well, the first couple through made an offer.  Between their offer, their request for closing costs and a request for an appliance that wasn't in the offer, it came in a bit lower than we were hoping. So, we are going to counter offer and see what happens. 

In the news for our Ryan home, things are coming along nicely.  Brick laying began (again) Tuesday.  I drove by today and they were almost done. It truly looked like they may have had another hour of work or so left to do.  In addition, our fireplace was completed and it appears that most of the house has received its final coat of paint.  I was pretty hesitate about the flat Ryan white paint, but at first glance it looks much better than I expected.  It's not a bright white, but has some warmer undertones.  We realized driving through the other day that our house appears to be the only Ryan house that didn't get windows in the garage doors.  So, I emailed the PM about it; he said he was aware of it and they are working on it.  I guess it's one more thing that got ordered correctly.  Fortunately they have been superb in correcting the mistakes; I just really wish we didn't have this many.  I hope this is the last of them.  

Correct color brick!

Pretty stone fireplace!

The unfinished part of the basement has been insulated.  I didn't realize they do this, but it's probably required to meet the energy star criteria.  

Older son's room, freshly painted

Very basic stairs going up to the mudroom from the garage. 

We are 18 days from closing on this new house!  I just can't believe it. I probably sound like a broken record but I am so excited. Everything looks beautiful so far.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lights, Camera, Action!

My husband hadn't been to the house in a couple of weeks, so we went to check it out again on Saturday.  We don't live very far, so it's easy for us to go whenever we want. We were able to meet the entire family that lives next door so that was awesome.  Our boys are 9 and 5.  Their boys are 9, 5 and 3; it's perfect.  They seem so nice and I can't wait to move in and meet the rest of the neighbors, there are a lot of kids in the neighborhood and I hope that my sons make some good friends this summer.  

The new development for Friday was that they light fixtures are up and working. Yay!  So, it's much easier to see in the master bathroom and closets. 

Breakfast nook light

Guest bathroom light

Dining room light

As you can probably see from the pictures, they have started to tape the walls for the imperfections that need to be fixed. There are a few places that the trim is shimmed because of bowing in the walls.  I'm not concerned about it at this point, I'm sure they'll make it right.  

This morning I have spent about 3 hours on the phone setting up various utilities to be switched to our name after we close.  So far I've set up Gas, Electric, Cable & Internet.  I've also set our mail to begin forwarding that week.  I still have to send an application over to the water company and contact the city for our trash and sewer.  They don't seem to want to answer the phones today.  I am itching to start packing, but we have another open house set up on our current home for next Sunday, so I know I need to keep the house as pretty as possible until then.  After that, all bets are off, then I really start packing stuff up!!! My husband left a message with the mortgage guys today to lock in our mortgage rate. We close three weeks from today!

Friday, April 4, 2014

New Tile Choice

Last night we drove up to Rite Rug to see our other tile choices.  I was less than impressed that Ryan still only allows us to chose from a small portion of tile that Rite Rug offers.  Even so far as to limit us on size, for example, one board had 4 different versions of the same tile.  A one inch square, a 5/8" square and two rectangle sizes.  However, we were only allowed to chose from two of those four sizes on that particular tile.  WTH?  We have to be extra careful with our choices because the main tile is already in, the cabinet is in and the granite counter top is installed.  This means that the tile that we pick has to match all three.  This right away removed some of our choices.  We were able to pick a tile that matched and that we are happy with, but boy, it sure would have been nice to know our first pick was unavailable before now.  

I made a quick stop back at the house before going to Rite Rug.  They have already stained the banister.  They have also installed the plumbing hardware. The tubs were filled with water to check for leaks.  And the correct brick has arrived.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cabinets are in!

I went by the house this week and I actually squealed when I saw the kitchen cabinets were in. 

Full picture of the kitchen


Wall that the fridge goes on

Banisters in, need to be stained

Guest bathroom vanity

Master bath vanity

Master shower

You can see in the master shower where there are some missing tiles. We go to Rite Rug tomorrow to look at the tile again. I asked the PM is we had to chose a 1" tall tile. He seemed confused by the question. I was afraid that since the original design was for that size tile we would have to stay with it. He said it would've be a problem.