Friday, August 29, 2014

ODE to NVR Mortgage

      I think any person who is in the middle of the build process or thinking about starting the process and has done some research about NVR has been privy to the not so nice reviews regarding their services. 

   I read the reviews and was a bit frightened to deal with them. I try to forge my own opinion so I was cautiously optimistic. Well, thank goodness for cautious optimism because it served me well in this situation. I have enjoyed my experience with NVR and have found my LO (loan officer) and anyone else I have worked with to be delightful. 

Katie is my loan officer and she is attentive and never rushes an explanation. If I am still unclear, she finds a way to explain it differently. I have one LO and  one underwriter and frankly I think they are both lovely and very professional. 

I shouldn't be surprised because my experience so far with Ryan Homes has been so fantastic and NVR is part of the Ryan Homes company. 

We are currently about 60 days out (according to my PM) so we are talking about the ever changing rate and if we should lock now or wait? Katie has been amazing with explaining and telling me how things work. 

Today the rate is 4.0% with a discount of .75% (lowers our closing costs) and these rates are really good but we are going to wait. If they drop even lower it would lower our monthly cost and make us much more comfortable.  Katie is on board and will keep me me there is nothing more important than great customer service and so far NVR is rocking it!

Nothing has really changed with the house but the metal cage has been removed. I am getting more and more excited and when I saw our PM on the street he mentioned our lumber is coming and that we will begin framing. Watching our home take shape has been really nice and gets me excited with each step. 

Here is a picture of the house yesterday - no cage and really no changes - 

Back of the property (standing in my back yard)

Standing closer (looks really small like this)

Standing at the far edge of the lot 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We have a wall or basement?


     Well, I do love to drive by the site and yesterday when I went I saw something that resembled a basement but had a metal cage around it. I am not a construction person at all so I am not sure what this really is but whatever..We have a wall (sort of).

The neighbors down the street received their lumber and I feel overly excited for them, since they have basement walls that don't have the cage around it they must be a step ahead of us. 

I am looking for lumber this week. I feel like I will drive by next week and possibly see a framed house? I would try to pretend like I could go a week without driving by but that is not a possibility. I love driving by and also, I like to make sure things are being done the correct way. Can't help myself about driving by.

I have to say again how much I love our sales rep and another sales rep that isn't ours but she works in the office and we love her as well. NO, I do not work with Ryan Homes or have any weird arrangement with them. I just have had such an amazing experience and when you are building a home this is how it should feel. 

Here is a quick progression of photos of the house. 

Thursday - August 21st.

Friday - August 22nd (weird shaped hole)

Tuesday - August 26th (Basement with a cage around it and weird lump is still in the middle) Wondering what the weird square shaped lump of dirt is?

Well, I will drive by today and see if that lumber has been delivered - things have started to move and I am getting excited. 

Will we be celebrating Thanksgiving 2014 in our new home? Our projected move in date was November 30th but we were moved up 2 weeks on the dig schedule so I am keeping our fingers crossed that we are also moving in two weeks earlier than November 30th. Also, our PM Mike sort of mentioned something about the beginning of November but I will not get my hopes up! 

                                        (Secretly, my hopes are already up)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Moments of impact -


   I find this post one of the hardest to compose. Even though I have a million descriptions of feelings and thoughts, I have had the hardest time putting into words about this day. 

This is the day that changed our daughter's life and opened us up to the fear that can hit a parent and send you on a journey you never see coming. 

         Here is the story of my Baby and our moment of impact-

October 18th, 2013 - I took our daughters for the 4 month and 2 year checkups at the doctor. We had a nice appointment. The girls were growing nicely and the visit was standard. Our 2 year old didn't need any vaccines but our 4 month old did. That day she was to receive 5 shots. Vaccines have always made me nervous but I believe in the lesser of two evils. We only had minor issues with our older daughter so this time around I was more trusting. 

I am haunted by this day.

Here are my beautiful girls, happily waiting to see the doctor..

Late that day my baby was fussy and we put her to bed early that night. Around 7:30 pm I heard a strange noise through the monitor and rushed upstairs. I flipped on a light and my husband and I witnessed our 4 month old having a seizure. Her head was at a weird angle, her eyes were rolled back, her body was tightly shaking. I scooped her up, told my husband she was having a seizure and ran downstairs to take her to the emergency room. My husband wasn't quite sure what he saw but I knew in my gut that I had just watched my baby have a seizure.

Our 2 year old was asleep so my husband stayed home. I called my mom and told her what happened. She is on my way to the emergency room so she went with me. The seizure only lasted a couple of moments so I had to describe to the ER doctor what the issue was. He basically made me believe that I didn't really see what I thought I was seeing and that a child her age having a seizure (without a fever) is rare. He asked me if I wanted to subject my baby to a bunch of un-necessary testing. 

He made me doubt myself and so I believed him and thought maybe I over reacted.  1 hour after arriving home, she was asleep and it happened again. I gathered up my daughter, her diaper bag and any extra items I would need. Picked my mom back up and headed straight to the Children's hospital. 

I wasn't going back to the local ER again. The doctor at the local ER made me feel silly even when I was sure. My second lesson to trust my gut had been learned.

After a long ER stay where they took blood from my sweet baby, put in an IV and did some testing. We were finally admitted, my husband arrived and with in a short time our daughter had her 3rd seizure. This time all the nurses on the floor were witnesses and told us that yes, it was a seizure. 

Watching our baby seize is one of the scariest moments of our lives. It was a horrible, helpless moment. I thank God for the nurses who took care of her and us while we stood by her hospital bed unable to help. 

We quickly were introduced to our first pediatric neurosurgeon and our daughter at 17 weeks had her very first Spinal tap. We had to hand over our small baby to a doctor we had never met to have a needle injected in her spine. We weren't able to accompany her and my husband and I didn't speak while she was gone. We weren't able to and we didn't need to, we were both scared.

All of our tests came back negative- The MRI, Spinal tap, Catscan, blood cultures, physical and neurological exams. Waiting while these tests are ran and watching your tiny baby go thru all these huge machines isn't something I will soon forget.

The doctors felt sure that this could possible have just been a reaction to the vaccines and that typically it is an isolated event and so after three days,they were comfortable sending us home.

I was ready to go home and being that my baby only had seizures in her sleep I was grateful that she still slept next to my bed.

We were home for 1 1/2 days and she had 3 more seizures. We went to see our neurologist in the office and she immediately admitted us to the EMU. The Epilepsy monitoring unit. The baby had to be hooked up to a EEG and monitored for 72 hours. It was a long and scary 72 hours.

No seizures happened while we were there so after 72 hours we were again released. We settled back into home life with the constant watchful eye on the baby..wondering if it would happen again.

We were home for 13 days when our she had 8 seizures in a day. The seizures exhausted her so much that she was non-responsive all day and wouldn't wake up for more than a few moments. Becoming a quick expert on hospital stays I packed us up for 3 days and took her to the ER again. We were re-admitted again to the EMU and this is where we finally had sucess. If this is what I can call it. 

On this particular Seizure we were able to get it on video and to see what kind of seizures she was having, where they started in her brain and that every time she had a seizure her oxygen levels dipped. They had to give her oxygen and this was like a kick to my gut. I didn't notice that she was cyanotic and what it looked like.. how could I not have known? 

They gave her a loading dose of medicine to stop the seizures and started her on her own medication for stopping these seizures. 

I learned some good lessons on this trips.
1. Advocate for your child you are the only one who can do it.
2. Ask the questions over and over and over until you are comfortable with the answers (there are none) or at least the path they send your child down.
3. Don't let someone tell you you are wrong or maybe you are over reacting (ER visit) believe in yourself.

I am a mommy who learned quickly what fear tastes like and repeated the silent prayers that you say when you are pacing the floor in a hospital room over and over while you are holding onto your child.

Dear God, please let my baby be okay, Dear God, please let my baby be okay.

I will continue her story in another post as this one is a bit lengthy. We will be told that it adamantly not the vaccine and again I will doubt myself even though in my heart I know. We have learned so much from this journey we have been on..soon we will head down the path of genetics, second opinions and the scary things they will tell you until they know the exact diagnosis. Exact diagnosis is a sentence that doesn't go together. 

Share your stories with me as I will continue to share mine! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

We have a hole in the ground..Come on Florence!

    Thursday August 21, 2014 - I drove by and discovered there was a digging machine on our lot. It was after the workers had left but it was right in the middle of the lot and the claw was at the ready. I was so excited that I knew on my lunch the next day I would be driving by to see if the claw had done any digging.

Friday August 22, 2014 - Lunch Time! I drove by and saw we had a temporary rock driveway and they had started digging..

Saturday August 23, 2014 - The hole has shape. Not sure what is next in the step but I assume some sort of footing/cement situation that fills up the hole?



I have gathered that there is no building on the weekends so I will remember to check status on the weekdays. We are getting excited and thankful for our comfy short term apartment. Today I shall see what is cooking at the Home Goods?

Any ideas on where to find a good deal on ceiling fans?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Road Map to our Florence

   So one of the most important meetings you will have prior to your hole being dug is the Road Map. The second most important person you will meet (next to your Sales Rep) is your project manager.

I was nervous to meet our Project Manager because I had some giant concerns over our lot.

Flashback to the week before our Road MAP - 

Here is the lesson that I have learned, walking the lot and interpreting the writing on the sticks in the ground will NOT give you an accurate picture of what your yard will look like. I did this and made myself completely panic thinking my babies would not have the yard we have desperately dreamed of and that we were the people who fell for the fancy house on the tiny lot.

I ran home - emailed my SR (Sales Rep) Michelle and she called me and soothed my fears. She talked with me about grading and final grading and how hard it is too see what I am actually looking at. Well Michelle was 100% correct and she told us to not panic until we meet with our project manager.

I might add that before Michelle called she put on some boots and went out and walked the lot. She did this so she knew exactly what I was picturing and could assure me about what would be happening - this is only one of  the things that make our customer service experience way above anything else we have experienced.

Flash forward to the actual Road Map - 

We started off at the model to discuss a step by step process on what is going to happen when the actual digging starts. We were already moved up on the schedule about a week and a half so I was delighted to hear that our home will start around 08/27/14.

We chatted about where your utilities and water will enter and exit the house, materials (already ordered) and all things that come together to make your home.

Mike was very honest with how he follows up with his home owner's and how he prefers to be contacted and I really have to say that I appreciated that very much. I hate not knowing when to expect a call or in what form your contact will be returned.

Once we went over the plans step by step it was time to actually walk our lot and have Mike explain the wooden stakes (See above about not looking at stakes by yourself).

I was nervous and almost sick to my stomach about what we were going to see. When you have someone who actually knows what the sticks mean and wields a handy can of spray paint, things make a TON more sense than what I originally thought.

Once Mike explained in great detail what things would look like and where our driveway would start and end and where the house would start and end both my husband and I were once again excited.

Mike didn't hurry or talk in a way we wouldn't understand, he took his time, he answered all of our questions and because he knew how concerned I was he invited me out this week to see an actual grade of our lot so I would feel better.

Um..I honestly am once again overjoyed and impressed with the care and service that this experience has provided so far.

As I write this, Mike has called and asked that we pop out to see the lot. I will sign off and excitedly drive over because our PM took time out of his very busy day to do something so that my husband and I were understanding and comfortable with our relationship with Ryan.

I can't wait, I am on my way! I will actually have pictures this time. Its hard not to have pictures for my posts but there is really nothing to take pictures of week there will be some!

Thanks for following and I am open for any advice or comments from anyone who has built or is building a home!

Guardian Meeting for the house!

Guardian has been working with Ryan homes for a long time and they have a good relationship. We were told that we would be meeting with Guardian to discuss upgraded options. The options were surround sound, piped in music, security and where to place your cable outlets. 

I had no intention of doing any more upgrades as we are maxed out and anxiously awaiting the budget tightening that naturally comes when you move to a bigger house. We met our Guardian rep and I was  honestly impressed.

Not to much of a sales pitch. Straightforward option choices and very informative.

We did 2 extra cable plugs- 1 additional in the family room because do to my Ryan Home blog research people complained that with only one option there was limited options to re-arranging the furniture. 

1 for the loft area so that we may use it for an office (my current plan) or put a television in there if our girls get older and want to use that as a rec space for themselves. 

We have also decided to go forward with the security package. I am a penny pincher to almost a fault and didn't want to do the monthly payment of $40 for the security but my husband makes a good point. He works 3rd shift and I am alone at night with our daughters. 

I was surprised when our Guardian rep told us to have the whole house wired for security that it would only be $250. This way the house is hardwired and the system put in place behind the dry wall. When we were told what not only the cost but the seemingly cheap way security is installed after building, it made our decision easier. We will have security added to the house.

I worry about the new costs and what it will feel like to have everything be more expensive but I think it is something we need and will give me piece of mind. 

We didn't get piped in sound or surround sound (husband would have loved) because it was VERY expensive but we are okay with the decision.

1 step closer - Flooring appointment here we come!

My First Series - Stay at home Mommies

 Stay at home Mommies

      Every Friday in June I will have a new guest host. I am so grateful to my 4 friends who have agreed to host. The topic is Staying at Home. I am a working mom who is dying for more time with my girls and my friends who stay at home probably have wishes of their own. I have asked 4 very different friends to each tell me what it is like to stay at home. Neither staying at home or working is easy. I wanted to discuss this because I have had people say some pretty strange things about staying at home and how easy they think it is.    
   I don't stay at home and I don't know If I would be able to do it. Stay tuned for each Friday and my hosts as they open up and give an honest review on being a stay at home mom. 

I saw this video on You tube and I know that most people have probably already viewed this but if you haven't..then take a moment. The next month I am focusing on moms and the different jobs they have! 

               World's Toughest Job

See you tomorrow!