Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home
Lot #9043

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Are we there yet?

We visited Susan and finalized our options / upgrades. We opted out of the microwave as it doesn't mount well next to the fridge. My subway tile backsplash came back at half the cost of their own backsplash choices. So that moves us to the next phase, finalizing design choices. 

We are expecting a call from the design center in the next couple of days. 

We meet with Guardian next Saturday at 9.  We've decided on the intercom system, the alarm system and 3 extra cables. 

We are still shopping for appliances. We've decided on a slide-in range. We will make the purchases over Memorial Day weekend sales, and Lowes will add on our military discount on top of that!! Much cheaper than Inverness could offer us. 

I must say that I'm so impressed with how they've dealt with the curve balls we've thrown at them. Every request has been priced out and granted. They really let you have just the house you want. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Paperwork and more paperwork

We met with our lender and signed, oh, about 3000 documents today. He joked it was the warmup for our closing day

Then we contacted Susan and made an appointment for tomorrow to finalize our paperwork with her. 

We leave for a short vacation on Sunday. When we get home we will get our final design center appointment to finish up this beginning process. 

Next Saturday we meet with Guardian. 

It's all moving at a nice pace. Though I'm told once we get this first process over, we will have to wait a couple of months before anything happens. 

We braved Sears on Black Friday to check out appliances. Seeing them in person, vs online, helped us make some decisions. 

Now I just need to research how to keep nasty fingerprints off my new appliances. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Stake colors?

We drove into The Bluffs for the first time today. They have the curb and pavement done all the way to the end of phase one. 

There are stakes everywhere in several different colors. I'm not sure what the colors mean. There were blue ones near the curb and I was assuming they were property line markers but I could be totally wrong. 

We guessed where our lot sat. I think there is a huge pile of big rocks in my backyard. 

Susan will be placing the lot numbers on next week. We will be joining her to put our sold sign on it. 

I can't wait to actually step foot onto our land. 

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm cooking my turkey in a bag this year. Wish me luck!!

I just keep thinking how wonderful Thanksgiving will be next year in my beautiful new kitchen. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Gobble! Gobble!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Moving along nicely

The pavement is down, though it's not pretty. It's not level with the main road yet, but it's good enough to get trucks on. 

When we met Doug (area manager) he said work on the model had halted because without pavement they couldn't deliver the forms they needed. They are still stuck at footers. 

We hope to drive through the development tomorrow and get an idea where our lot is. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

We have pavement!!

We drove by the Bluffs today. There was pavement from the main road all the way back to the first corner. It was dusk and they were still working on it.  I'll get a picture tomorrow. 

They were also digging a large trench on the right side of the property (in what will be the very edge of my backyard) putting in large black tubing. 

Progress!! YAY!! The Bluffs is underway!

We also stopped by Susan's office (our model home) to give the rest of our down payment and proof of service letter. We walked around the model discussing furniture placement.

We met the sales manager Doug.(Susan's boss). He was very friendly. He joined our discussion with Susan about rotating the bathroom in the basement. Later this evening we received a text from Susan saying we have been approved for the rotated bathroom, free of charge. I wonder if Doug had anything to do with that. 

Friday we meet with our lender, Joe. Then next Saturday we meet with Ron from Guardian.  I'll keep you posted. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Whirlpool appliances

Inverness homes uses Whirlpool appliances. We are purchasing the dishwasher, microwave and canopy range hood from them. 

We want to keep the appliances consistent and have picked out this matching refrigerator.

We put in a special request to get this hood. Waiting on pricing. 

This is the range we will get. With our military discount, we will save quite a bit purchasing it on our own. 

The microwave will be mounted under the cabinets next to the refrigerator. 
This dishwasher is the 3rd level upgrade in stainless. 

Proud owners of lot #9043

I was so excited to log on to the Inverness site and see our lot shaded out as SOLD!!!  It's really happening!  What a great feeling. 

Mother Nature... We need to talk

Thanks to that lovely Polar Vortex over the past two weeks, the crew at the Bluffs have been unable to put the roads down. They were prepped and ready just before Queen Elsa decided to visit. 

They require temps over 45 to put them down. Today fits the bill, but Mother Nature has reared her ugly head with 40mph winds and showers. 

I don't know if they can pave in this weather or not. Luckily I work 2 blocks from the Bluffs and live just 3 blocks from there. I will stop by on my way home and check the progress. 

Update: No pavement today, but they are pushing dirt around and playing with big pipes. A little progress is better than no progress. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tentative design selections

We had our visit with the design center today.  It was a lot smaller than I expected it to be.  But they had small samples of everything we had to choose.  On the weekends they are open for walk-in's to just browse.  During the week they have appointments for those finalizing their decisions.  

There was another couple occupying the design assistant, so we just browsed and picked out things for ourselves.  Which is how we prefer it.  She came over and asked  a few times if we needed help, but we were able to manage on our own.  

Everything was labeled with what upgrade they were.  Upgrade 1 - 5 in some cases.  We chose mostly upgrade 1 for everything so it was easy.  There weren't a lot of choices.  Mostly you have either gray or beige to choose from, varying shades.  

I did find the oil rubbed bronze was more brown in person than in the picture, so Susan will switch my door handles, faucets and lights to brushed nickel.  

I also liked the subway tiles they have available for the listello in the shower.  So I asked Susan to price out a backsplash for my  kitchen in subway tile. 

Here are some pics or our tentative choices.  I didn't get one of the carpeting, lights or door handles, but I'll get them all on our final appointment.

Master bath.  Black marble with grey speckles for the counter, Landen white cabinets, and Brixton Bone tile.  I chose a glacier grey listello and delorian grey grout.  (not pictured)

Kitchen choices.  Caledonia granite.  Smoky Mountain laminate.  Landen white cabinets.  The pulls are a brushed nickel.  I didn't get a picture of them either. Ugh, I missed so much.  To be fair, it was a bit overwhelming with all the decisions to be made.

The kids bathroom will have the standard options.. basically versions of white were available.  So I chose the whitest bath tile, and matching marble countertop.  I chose a darker Sinclair Sarsaparilla cabinet.

We are sticking with vinyl in the laundry and I layed our tile choice next to all the samples.  This Classic Tan was the closest fit.

Finally, the exterior was a lot more difficult than I expected.  Choosing the siding was fairly easy.  I chose the platinum gray siding, white trim, black shutters and for now.. the savannah gray brick.  They were very  nice and sent us to the nearest Inverness development with a map of each brick choice to see first hand on a home.  The siding colors will stay the same, the brick may change.  

What I'm most grateful for is that we are one of the first houses in our development.  The unlucky couple with us at the design center had to choose all of their exterior based on making it different from their neighbors.  It made their choices fairly limited.  We were also told by Susan that her 4 o'clock appointment on Saturday, after we signed our contract, had asked for our lot.  Phew!!  For once I can really appreciate the efficiency of my boyfriend.  The saying holds true... the early bird does get the worm.

New Neighbors

The Bluffs on Trebein are being built on old corn fields.  The farmer who sold the property is retaining an old farmhouse in the front of the development.  He also retained a 10 acre lot adjacent to build his own small development for his family.

Beyond that is more farmland, 78 acres worth.  On both sides of the road.  There were huge signs placed up on the land saying it was going up for auction.  I'm sure you are all thinking what I was... it was going to be developed.  

They ended up selling it in pieces, the closest plot next to us going for $45,000, to the owners of the home on the opposite side of the property.  

When asked what he wanted the land for, he replied, "I wanted to preserve what it was".  

Thank you Mr Risch!!  Your new neighbors are grateful.  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Signed, (almost) Sealed, (on the way to being) Delivered

We had our appointment with Susan today and went through our selections one more time.  There are some additional things we added, some things clarified and some things taken off.

We are getting pricing on a canopy range hood, instead of the microwave over the range.
We are mounting the microwave to the cabinets next to the refrigerator.
We also bumped out the cabinets over and next to the refrigerator to the base depth.
We raised all cabinetry to 42".
We asked for pricing on double vanity in the hall bath.
We extended the 3rd car garage to 28' and added two windows and a door to it.
We also made the 3rd car garage door 8' by 8', insulated.
We added listello to the master shower.
We removed the door in the mudroom and put an arched opening instead.
We clarified that the ceiling in the master was to be textured instead of smooth, to match the remainder of the house.
We clarified the faucet in the kitchen would come stainless, while the remainder in the house would be oil rubbed bronze.
We clarified where the 220v outlet would be placed.
We clarified where the recessed lighting would go in the owners suite.
We raised the commode in the powder room to comfort height.
We clarified the driveway will be straight back from the road on the side of the 3rd car garage, and the curved side will be on the side of the front door.
We removed the range, as we are going to buy our own.  We received a $250 credit for it.

Susan will have the pricing on the custom options in the next day or two, where we will have to re-sign just the front page of our contract.  We now have 3 weeks to finalize our options, and sign our final contract.  We are heading to the design center tomorrow to make our choices.  We are also calling Guardian on Monday to get our choices set and into our contract and mortgage.   We will meet with our lender and hopefully get all of our documents in line, and get everything signed.  We will drop off our "good faith" deposit on Tuesday.

As of right now there is 1 house, 3 doors down, that is being built.  They have finalized their contract.  There is a 2nd house in the works, but we are told they are moving slowly on their decisions.  Most likely we will be the second house on the development.

Susan said they are talking about putting her in a trailer on the development, once the roads get poured this week.  We advised against that.  If you remember, we originally came to see her about a Hammond model.  If she hadn't been in the Darby II model home,  if we had just seen the Hammond and decided against it, we would be building a Ryan Homes Palermo right now.  She said she'd bring that up to her office to hopefully keep the poor lady out of a trailer.

Tomorrow's update will include all kinds of pictures from our design center visit.  I can't wait!!

Here is the picture I promised of our front door choice.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Some pics of our selections

This is the lighting package we chose. It is included with the house. We chose oil rubbed bronze over the brushed nickel.

We will be putting in glass French doors instead of the archway. Turning this room into a study. 

I wish I had taken a picture of the door we chose. I will make sure to do it at our appointment for Saturday. We will have sidelites, and the door will have a large glass panel with designs in black. 

We chose this exact cabinet setup. We raised the ceiling to 9' to accommodate the cabinetry. We also chose the same type of backsplash. Color choices will come later at the design center. We chose the same appliances as well. I'd like to do white cabinets, black pulls and black granite. I love my new kitchen. 

We chose the recessed light package for the kitchen. Instead of the one overhead some light. 

We also chose the two pendant lights for over the peninsula. 

We chose the granite countertops as well as the extended backsplash and bar top. 

We chose to add the fireplace. We will have marble instead of granite. We will choose the color later. 

We chose the wrought iron balusters

We added the slopes tray ceiling in the owners suite

We raised the vanity in the master to 35" and upgraded the vanity top. 

The elongated toilets come with the Legacy series. We chose the "comfort height" for the master

We chose not to get the utility sink. I'll use this space for shelving. 

We are finishing about 2/3 of the basement. The wall will come out where the stairs come down and meet the furnace. 

Tomorrow we have our appointment to sign our purchase agreement. Then the whirlwind of meetings come with our lender, the design center, guardian, etc. 

We are taking the kids with us so they can see the house for the first time. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Included Features

There are two types of homes to choose from in our area.  The Legacy Collection, or the Brighton Collection.  Each comes with a set of included features.  The Darby II is from the Legacy Collection.  Some of these items you will see listed in my selections post as "(included)."

Legacy Collection Included Features

Energy Features

  • Tilt-in vinyl insulated double pane windows with Low E Argon-filled glass
  • High Efficiency Natural Gas Furnace (95%)
  • Energy-saving air conditioning system with 13 SEER rating
  • 50 Gallon Efficient Power Vent Water Heater
  • Continuous Run two speed ventilation bath fan(s) - per plan
  • Enhanced anti-air infiltration sealing and insulation package
  • Basement wall insulation - per local energy requirements
  • Premium dent resistant fiberglass Six Panel insulated exterior front doors
  • R-38 attic insulation - R30 in Cathedral ceilings
  • Continuous Ridge Vent
  • Maintenance free vented soffits 
  • Energy Performance Certified by an independent third party

Construction Features

  • Pressure Treated sill plate around entire perimeter of foundation
  • 2”x 10” #1 SYP - Floor joist at 16” O.C.
  • ¾” Tongue and Groove sub-flooring with super strong orientated strand board glued and screwed for extra strength
  • 2“x 4” Wall construction at 16” O.C. (exterior and interior walls)
  • Tyvek or similar full house wrap
  • Steel Reinforced poured concrete foundation walls
  • Drain Tile at interior and exterior of foundation to direct water away from foundation or to sump pump
  • 10 Yr. Limited Warranty Basement waterproofing system with transferable conditional performance warranty
  • ½” Drywall nailed and screwed for better finish
  • Copper wiring throughout home
  • 200 amp electrical service
  • Quality FlowGuard Gold plumbing water lines

Exterior Features

  • Brick Detail on all front elevations with 4’ brick returns on sides - per plan
  • Professionally designed landscape plan
  • Sod full front and side yard and 5’ to rear of home (community specific)
  • Two Exterior frost proof hose bibs - front and back
  • Duplex weather proof exterior electrical outlets - front and back
  • Fiberglass self-seal shingles with 25 yr. warranty
  • Seamless aluminum gutters and aluminum downspouts
  • Raised panel steel garage door
  • Garage Door outlet provided with low voltage prewire
  • Maintenance-free vinyl siding with limited lifetime warranty
  • Professionally coordinated exterior color schemes
  • 4500 P.S.I. air-entrained concrete walkways, stoops and driveways
  • Front elevations windows and garage door trim to receive primed and painted redwood for enhanced appearance - per plan
  • No Identical homes sold side-by-side and no identical exterior color schemes sold side-by-side
  • Coach lights on garage
  • Privacy deadbolt and thumb-latch entry handle-set

Interior Features

  • High-tech home wiring package includes 5 (CAT5E or RG6) outlets in main distribution panel
  • Designer lighting fixtures
  • Armstrong no-wax resilient flooring included in kitchen, baths and laundry room - per plan
  • Stain resistant wall to wall carpet with ½” 4 lb. pad
  • Armstrong laminate flooring in entry and powder room - per plan
  • Raised interior six panel colonial doors and finger jointed primed pine trim
  • Vinyl window sills - or similar material
  • Full basements available - per plan
  • Smoke Detectors - each floor and all bedrooms
  • Brushed textured ceilings
  • Pressure Balance valves for all tubs and showers to prevent scalding and freezing
  • Cold air returns in all bedrooms and Central return for better circulation and efficiency
  • All garage walls and ceilings drywalled and rolled with drywall compound
  • Choice of Brushed Nickel or Bronze passage and privacy locks

Kitchen Features

  • Aristrokraft cabinets with solid oak fronts and crown molding in choice of finishes
  • Whirlpool appliances including - self-cleaning range, dishwasher and recirculating range hood
  • Stainless steel double bowl sink with disposal
  • Moen washer-less single level chrome faucet with sprayer
  • High Pressure laminate square edge kitchen tops with back splash 
  • Ice maker rough in

Bathroom Features

  • Cultured Marble vanity tops with backsplash and side splash - per plan
  • Spacious walk-in closet(s) in Master bath - per plan
  • Shower stalls with chrome glass door in Master bath - per plan
  • Mirrored Medicine cabinet in all full baths
  • Ceramic tile tub and shower surrounds - per plan
  • Moen chrome washer-less single handle faucets
  • Aristrokraft vanities solid oak fronts in choice of finishes
  • Chrome towel bar and paper holders
  • Porcelain on steel bath tubs - per plan
  • Elongated commodes

Customer Conferences and Inspections

  • Pre-construction Conference
  • Pre-Drywall inspection
  • Pre-Settlement inspection
  • Sixty-day Customer Warranty Service after closing
  • One-year Drywall and Warranty Service Review

Warranties & Guarantees

  • Inverness Homeowner One-year Limited Warranty
  • 2-10 Residential Warranty Corporation (RWC) warranty which includes 10-year structural warranty
  • Extensive manufacturers warranties on components and materials

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Selections "rough draft"

I will say this is a rough draft of what we have selected, but we asked for pretty much everything we wanted and even a few, "well, why nots". 

Darby II ($242,900)
Premium lot ($9,000)
Elevation A (included, elevation B was 5k more, but we like the fact that A has less brick and more siding, plus a smaller porch.) 
2" garage extension ($1,390)
3rd car garage with 7ft offset($10,215)
Pushing back the house 9ft to make room for the garage ($1,350)
Deluxe Shower ($1,255)
9ft ceilings ($2,500)
Sloped tray ceiling in Owners suite ($1,970)
Upgraded shingles (included)
Full brick 1st floor walls (included due to HOA rules)
Address marker set in the stone ($160)
Seed the rear yard (included, HOA rules require sod in front and side, also included)
Landscape package with extra tree (included, also HOA)
Mailbox (included)
Contrasting interior paint colors ($1,045)
Upgraded aged bronze levers door hardware ($730)
Crown moulding in the entry ($400)
French doors for the flex room ($1,000)
(6) arched openings ($1,500)
Wrought iron balusters ($450)
Finished basement Option 1, 589sq ft ($13,260)
Fireplace in the great room, marble surround, mantle ($4,420)
Cabinet hardware ($495)
Raised vanity in master bath from 30" to 35" ($120)
36" and 42" kitchen cabinet combo ($560)
Crown moulding on cabinets (included)
1st upgrade cabinets, powder room ($130)
1st upgrade cabinets, master bath ($255)
1st upgrade cabinets, hall bath ($190)
1st upgrade cabinets, kitchen 36" ($2,335)
Granite countertops w/ eased edge ($5,280)
Granite bar facing great room ($595)
Extend granite backsplash behind sink to meet bar top ($350)
1st upgrade carpet, great room ($180)
1st upgrade carpet, flex room ($90)
1st upgrade carpet, Rec room ($290)
1st upgrade carpet, owners suite ($190)
1st upgrade carpet, bedroom 2 ($130)
1st upgrade carpet, bedroom 3 ($130)
1st upgrade carpet, loft ($225)
Upgrade padding 6lb ($540)
Laminate flooring, foyer (included)
Laminate flooring kitchen and nook ($2,425)
Upgraded ceramic tile, mud room ($705)
Upgraded ceramic tile, powder room ($170)
Upgraded ceramic tile, master bath ($700)
Upgraded ceramic tile, hall bath ($480)
Upgraded ceramic wall tile, deluxe shower ($665)
Stainless steel Range ($615)
Stainless steel dishwasher ($150)
Stainless steel microwave ($475)
Insulated garage ($550)
Insulated 3rd car garage ($265)
Insulated garage door ($450)
Insulated 3rd car garage door ($265)
Garage door opener ($445)
3rd car garage door opener ($445)
Add windows to garage door ($475)
Add windows to 3rd car garage ($235)
(2) French doors, one for mud room, one for basement ($2,000)
Glass paneled front door with side lites ($1,435)
(12) 2" faux wood window blinds ($1,680)
Water softener rough-in ($910)
Comfort height commode, elongated for master bath ($195)
Oil rubbed bronze pullout faucet ($470)
Dedicated 220v inside outlet ($275)
(4) recessed lights for master ($400)
(3) ceiling lights for flex room, bedroom 2 and bedroom 3 ($360)
(2) pendant lights in kitchen ($165)
(5) recessed lights in kitchen ($470)

Total options = $70,750

Incentives: 1/2 off up to $30k
Military discount: $3k

Total cost= $306,000

With a $10k deposit it puts us just under our max budget. This pricing doesn't include the added 4ft extension to the 3rd garage. Nor have we seen our upgrade options yet, so those may change. We feel comfortable that with minor tweaks we can come in just on budget. 

Today was such a pleasant experience with Susan. All of the questions I had written down were answered before I could ask. We had some great laughs and feel very comfortable moving forward

We put in applications with our loan officer and got approval to move forward within a few hours. We have an appointment to sign our contract on Saturday. We want to lock in our lot ASAP!!  

Touring the Darby II model

 We are heading back to see Susan today.  Her office is in a Darby II model.  I am bringing my notebook and camera and listing all my "needs" vs "want's."  We will be pricing out our options today.  We also get final confirmation on whether our model will fit in the lot with the 3rd car garage.  The boyfriend has not yet decided if this is a "need" or "want", as he can't fit into our garage currently.  

     Here is a quick tour of the Darby II model at The Oaks in Huber Heights:


Rear elevation

The first floor, (3rd level)  View of the Great Room standing at the front door. 

The mud room, with built in (included in the base price!!!  how exciting is that!)

This model has the dining room option, we will be leaving it as a flex room.  So the opening leading to the kitchen will be closed off. We are going to put french doors in to close off this room and make it a study for the kids to do their homework.  Finally their backpacks and paperwork will have a home.

View from the dining room into the foyer.  The arches are an additional cost.  But we think of this as a "need" as it's what add to the character of the home.  The arches mimic the arches in the windows of the great room. 

The fabulous great room.  The size and all the windows are included.  The only additional cost is the fireplace.  I think this is a "need" as well.

View from the back of the great room looking toward the foyer and the loft above.

 View toward the stairway

Looking into the kitchen from the great room.  We are still debating on the granite option, as we would like something that requires less maintenance.  Laminate is not really an option we like either, due to its lack of durability.  I'm hoping they have choices for some man made solid surfaces.   The boyfriend really likes the undermount sink that comes with the granite.  We shall see what happens

View from the breakfast nook looking toward the front of the house.  Our fridge will be where the doorway to the dining room is currently.  And the cabinetry will take the place of where the fridge is now.  The ceilings are at 9', an additional cost.  But if we raise them to 9' they get raised everywhere, including the garage, which my boyfriend absolutely loves.  This is a decision that will be made after all the options are added up.

View from the kitchen into the great room and breakfast nook.

(2nd level) The stairs leading down into the finished rec room, 1 level down from the main floor.  This is included in the base pricing.  The door leads to the basement, another level down (1st level).  We are leaning toward finishing it.  But Inverness has several finished basement options to choose from.  We are thinking going with the "upgrade A" package of finishing 1/2 the basement (for our home gym) and leaving the other 1/2 unfinished to use for storage.  

We will be using this rec room as our dual home office.  

The only issue about this floor plan is the location of the powder room.  Our guests will have to go down a level to use the bathroom. 

The stairway outside of the Owners Suite. View from the 4th level looking up to the 5th level.

View from the french doors looking into the Owners Suite.  The tray ceiling is a "want" but very close to the "need" list.

View looking at the double french doors, one leading into the stairwell, the other leading into the bath.

This model has the optional deluxe shower, instead of the bath and shower that comes in the base plan.  We are debating this, as of this morning.  We have 3 bathtubs in the house we are in now, though only one gets used.  The one in the basement.  We have used our master bath only a handful of times, and it's a pain to climb in and clean all the dust out of when not being used.  The boyfriend is not comfortable with only having one tub in the entire house though.  The debate will continue all the way to our meeting today.

 We are shower people and this shower is ideal.  By cutting out the bathtub, we add space to the closet and to the water closet (toilet) as well.  I think these two facts will help me win this debate.  If we have the tub, we also lose out on the dramatic french door entrance into the bath area.  (which I love)

The walk-in closet.  We are already looking at what closet organizers will work best for us.  These wire racks are just not going to cut it. 

View from the 2nd floor (5th level) down the stairs.  Having these risers done in wood, rather than carpeting, was a "need" for us.  We want carpeting in the bedrooms, the great room and possibly the rec room.  We want tile in the laundry, bathrooms and mud room.  The rest of the house will either be wood or laminate depending on cost. 

The laundry, located on the 5th level next to the loft.  Far enough away from both the owners suite (one level down) and the kids rooms which are located on the opposite side of the loft.  

The loft area, our designated "kids area" for their television and toys.
View from the loft down into the great room.  

The 1st bedroom, located at the front of the house.

The 2nd bedroom, located at the back of the house.

The bathroom that lies in between the two bedrooms.  We would like to add a dual vanity, but that is a "want" rather than a "need"