Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Stopped by the community to check out the sites/sights near our lot and as you can see the Milan on Lot #30 is making much progress and the Victoria Falls on Lot #29 next door to us is rising up!  I was excited to also see the light post which will be right in front of our house--look closely and you can see our sold sign and the light post.  Our drive way is 60 feet back which gives us plenty of parking space.  Our house meets at the point of the house on Lot #29.  Their driveway is also 60 feet back from the street.  Awesome!!

Here is a larger picture of the lamp post in front of our Lot #28.  You can see in the background the Oberlin to the right on Lot #27 which is nearly complete.  They have a fantastic view of the pond.  You can literally see the entire pond from every window on the first floor.  It's breathtaking!
I see the LIGHT at the end of the Tunnel!  God is good all the TIME!  Today is a GOOD day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In GOD's hand!!

Well...things are looking bleek over here!!  We heard back from the loan officer with some not-so-good news.  They are taking it to another process for consideration.  If my husband and I are supposed to be in this home it is truly left up to GOD!  We have done everything they asked us to do.  It has been three long months plus.  I have to admit I feel defeated in every aspect.  This process has caused lots of stress for us and its a wonder we are still together.  So keep us in your prayers and your fingers crossed.


Until today, I had been agonizing for days over the exterior colors of the house.  My fellow bloggers supported me with a tool and a picture of a house and these resources supported me in making my final decision.  The Silver Mist was definitely an option; however, using the tool and looking at the picture I could tell that the Silver Mist was closely in color to the Island Pearl.  So I went back to visit the SR and we sat to remix my color choices.  This meant I had to release the idea of having black shutters and door.  This choice was much easier to make once I discovered that the house on Lot#29 and Lot #32  chose black shutters.  Lot #27 has greenwatch shutters which is so dark it looks black.  So here is my remix:  Elevation C (partial stone veneer (color Aspen), vinyl (Sandy Tan), trim (natural almond) shutters (brown) and door (carbon copy).  These colors have the warm look and feel that I wanted.  I wanted to see some color when driving up to the house.  NOW......this works.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ask and You Shall Receive!!

Our community changed their siding colors in January 2012 which meant that anyone building a home afterwards would have to choose from the current colors.  Right? The building was very slow when we first started our house search in this community.  When we sat at the table in February 2012 to sign our purchase agreement, we made a quick decision on the exterior house colors.  We did not understand the impact of making this choice so quickly.  Originally, we chose island pearl siding with dover white trim, black door and shutters with the aspen stone.  After viewing many sites on the blog and driving around in the neighborhood, I noticed the house would be much lighter.  I discussed our options with the SR.  She told us, "if I wanted to keep our black door and shutters, we only had two options."  Autumn Beige or Silver Mist.  I chose the Silver Mist.  I read to many horror stories about the Autumn Beige. 

In the meantime, all the houses in the community had the original colors.  The new home builders were choosing from the new colors, but no one had chosen Silver Mist.  So I had no reference to make a decision and I was concerned about choosing the wrong color.  I wanted a contrast that was darker than the Island Pearl.  The Stone Mountain Clay would have been perfect but I could not choose this color because it was already taken by our neighbor.

I put out a request in my earlier post--I asked if anyone had seen a house with the Silver Mist siding.  The Silver Mist has a grey under tone and the Island Pearl has a cream under tone.  Honestly, I did not think anyone could find it because I searched high and low on the blog and could not find it.  I was pleasantly surprised when I came home this evening and checked the blog and read KevinC's blog spot.  He literally drove around in his community and found us two homes with the Silver Mist.  His family is in North Carolina and we are in Maryland.  What a friend!!!  Thank you so much KevinC!  I am so pleased and I can finally stop worrying about the siding.  It is true blog family!  Ask and you shall receive!  Good night!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


In the meantime, to help stay in the moment, while waiting on our loan approval.  My husband decided to take us on a day trip to Philadelphia for some Philly cheesesteak (absolutely delicious), visit my friend, Robin from school  and YES, go to the stadium and watch the 76ers get crushed by the Boston Celtics.  It was worth the trip to see my team WIN!  HOLLA!  

Searched High and Low

We talked to our loan officer briefly yesterday, who said he did not have a chance to follow-up with the underwriters yesterday because he was in training all day.  He promised he would send them an email by c.o.b to check the status of our loan.  I really hope we hear back from him today or tomorrow. The best part about waiting is that I get to take advantage of being absolutely certain of our selections and upgrades to the home.  For instance, we initially chose island pearl siding with dover white trim to go with the partial stone veneer exterior.  After viewing several homes with this combination it was going to make the house much lighter than I wanted.  I saw many homes with the stone mountain clay which I love; yet it was too late to have as an option because the family on Lot #27 has this siding color.  I want to keep my black shutters and door so I must find a color scheme approved by RH.  RH has this booklet with the color schemes that you must adhere to and another rule:  you cannot pick the color siding of the two homes to the left or right of you.  We had two options left and they guessed right.....Autumn Beige or Silver Mist siding, with dover white trim, black shutters and door.  After reading many blogs about Autumn Beige and checking out the color with outside lighting, it confirmed that pink hue that everyone described, so I immediately crossed it off my list.  The Silver Mist is several shades lighter than the Stone Mountain Clay (not even close to it).  Does anyone know what this color looks like on the house?  I have searched high and low and cannot find a house with this color siding.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

She brings me JOY!

Okay, it's Tuesday and STILL nothing from the loan officer regarding our loan.  The stress of waiting nearly three months to get a phone call from the loan officer with a YES, instead of we need more documentation, is definitely taking its toll.  With that said, I continue to remain optimistic. So I decided to focus on something absolutely beautiful to granddaughter, Ylicia!  I decided to highlight her today because she brings me joy and laughter!  AND her birthday party is this weekend.  I plan to do a complete photo shoot of her getting her hair done at the salon, taking studio pictures, picking out her dress for her Princess Enchanted Tea Party, the pajama party and more!  She is so excited to be turning six.  Those were the days and I get to live this experience through her vicariously.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Electric Water Heater vs. Gas Water Heater

Can anyone in blog land give me some feedback on how they doing with their choice for an electric water heater or gas water heater?  I have done some research as usual and would like to make an informed decision.  In some states they are offering the gas water heater for free!!  In our community, you have to pay the cost of $950 for a gas efficiency water heater.  BTW, I asked the SR about the tankless water heater and she said it was not an option.    If you chose a gas water heater, are your bills lower or higher than expected and the same with the electric?  Thank you so much!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Between us TWO!

Stopped by for a few minutes to see the community.  They had two workers working on Lot #30, the Milan Model.  Otherwise, it was pretty quiet today.  I saw some minimal progress on the Oberlin, Lot #27 (last house on the right).  It looks like they are preparing the house for siding and they have their garage door.  We are located exactly between these three lots in front of the white van. This is a view of our Lot #28 where the house should stand.  It should stand 60 feet from the driveway which gives us extra parking for our guests.  This was important to me because I love to entertain and we chose a lot within a cul-da-sac.  If you look closely, you can see the pond to the right which will give us some beautiful views from our morning room on the main and basement level.  I am having RH install two windows in the same location in the basement so we can capture the view from up or downstairs.  We also have views from my dressing room, guest bedroom, living and dining rooms.   HOLLA!  It also gives me a view of the street which gives me the illusion of the city.  I am a native New Yorker and streets are a highlight for us.  As for the illusion of the country, behind that fence you can see a herd of cows across the street.  Hilarious!

Here is a closer view of our cul-da-sac.  The house to the left is the Milan on Lot #30.  We are at Lot#28 with the dumpster sitting on top of the driveway! Ugghh!

On another NOTE!

This is ME when we first discovered the SOLD sign on our beautiful Lot #28.  As you can see, it was dark.  Had to capture this moment. Too precious to me!

AND here is my hubby!!  He was excited too!  Love IT!! And I Love Him!

In my Rodney Dangerfield voice, "we don't get any respect around here!"

We have been through many phases of this new building process that it's making my head spin!  I have to admit, since we are only 5 minutes away from our new community, I make frequent visits to our Lot #28 just to admire and dream of all the possibilities.  We watched another Rome on Lot #34 get built, and are now watching Lot #27 being built with an Oberlin.  The speed at which they are building is amazing!  They now have Lot#29 started with a Victoria Falls.  Lot #30 has a Milan, the framing is up, up, up!  Lot #24 has another Milan. Lot #39 has a foundation that I can't determine what it is--need to check with the SR.  Lastly, another Rome is being built on Lot #21.  The good news is that both Rome models that currently exist do not have the Elevation C that we picked.  Yay!  Lots of building going on around our isolated Lot #28. So in the meantime, our precious Lot #28 is being used as a garbage disposal, a porter potty, and dirt dumper.  This sucks.  It was very pretty with the SOLD sign on the Lot. For weeks they have had this huge dumpster sitting on our Lot and our SOLD sign was bent against the dumpster. No respect!! Luckily, I had taken enough shots of the Lot before today.  Like I said, "we don't get any respect around here!"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gas Range & Microwave Dilemma

This is a view of the Rome kitchen at the model.  I read a few blogs and noticed that several people mentioned when you purchase a gas range, you cannot place the microwave above it.  I checked with the SR and PM and they acknowledged that codes are different from state to state.  As you can see placing the microwave in a different location with the cabinet set up would not work.  The structure does not allow it unless they were to raise the cabinet a few inches higher which could create me having to use a stool since I am just under 5 2 feet.   The SR suggested sitting it on the countertop which would take up more counter space that we do not have.  The PM said that he would have to go by whatever the blueprints tell him at the time of build; yet he believes it will not be a problem because he is going by the 2006 codes and other locations may be going by the 2009 codes and if he gets 2012 before our build he has to go with that change.  This answer is vague and I don't want us caught in a pickle. Any suggestions?

Here is a better view of the kitchen.  One option would be to build another set of cabinets in the location where the lamp and table are sitting.  I am sure this would be a customized request and MO MONEY!  Not good!  And, I would have to find another location to put my existing baker's rack. Ugghh!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Any Moment Could Be the Moment....

....when we get that exciting phone call from our loan officer this WEEK!  We are confident that this is going to be the week.  Here is a picture of the only model home we could find in the area which is an hours drive away from Maryland.  It is there cottage elevation; however, we have chosen elevation C that looks and feels similar to this elevation.  We both have the 2 feet bump out in the loft on the upper level.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Guess what, we heard back from our loan officer yesterday and they guessed right!  More documentation!  We should definitely hear back from them by next week with our loan approval.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

We started this journey to Rome last summer of 2011!  We had just moved out a 1600 sq foot apartment to downsize to a 1100 sq foot apartment to begin saving for our dream home.  The plan was to stick around in this apartment for two years.  Well, that thought only lasted for a few months. I found myself roaming around the nearby homesite called Fairwood in Maryland. They currently have three builders on the site and a few just around the corner.  I took the liberty to visit the homes at Stuart Kret, Ryan Homes, K&P, K. Kononvian and a few others.  I narrowed down the search to three builders and strategically showed my husband all three homes.  We loved each of them, but I knew one would be a perfect fit for us and I had to do some more research. Now that my husband is involved, we noticed one of the floor plans called the Rome at Ryan Homes was 45K less and had the most square footage compared to their signature series and the other contenders in the neighborhood. The floor plan seemed to best fit our needs; however, we needed to see the home and closest model was an hours drive away. My husband (God bless his heart) left work for an extended lunch break.  Okay, he owns an construction company which allowed him to leave since business was slow that day.  Anyway, we arrived to the model and fell in love with the home and knew this was the perfect fit based on our needs. We raced back to the community to let the agent know that we were interested and wanted to put a contract on the home.  We provided the necessary paperwork and picked out our preliminary selections; however, we were not ready.  She told us nicely to complete our taxes and put a contract on the home at the beginning of the year. This visit took place in September of 2011 which gave us a sense of what selections we could put in the home without surpassing our proposed budget.  Let me say that again, our proposed budget.  We put the contract on the home on February 9, 2012 and it is now May 3, 2012.  We are hopeful and prayerful that our loan officer will give us a call this week to give us our resounding YES, OF COURSE, your loan has been approved.  We were inititally told that we would have a projected move in date for July and now it looks like September. At this rate I could care less as long as we get to build our dream home. We chose the Rome and fully loaded the home like a Rose Royce.  It is smashing!  We have all our selections picked out, met with CTI, Guardian and M&R and I must admit the blessing in this process is that I have been given the opportunity to critique some of our selections.  Yay!  We picked elevation C with the partial stone veneer front on Lot 28 in a cul-da-sac which is reversed on the blueprints.  We have a nice size lot that offers yard space for our dogs, a tree view with cows--yes, cows and a pond view with a walking trail.  The geese love it there and I love watching them.  It's a coincidence that we picked out a lot with the same day we chose for our wedding day--February 28, 2000.   So hang in here with us and pray with us to get that exciting YES phone call this week.  Thank you for taking the time to read about the beginning of our journey.