Sunday, September 30, 2012

Which Refrigerator did you BUY and WHY?

We opt not to get the refrigerator from RH because I have always wanted a French Door with Water Dispenser!  I have seen so many versions and would like to know what you think of your refrigerator and which model are you currently using?  Would you recommend or not recommend it?  I keep flip flopping back forth between the Counter Depth LG or the Samsung with Apps? Please share your feedback.  Thank you.

Our First Visitors

We had our first visitors the other day after we 
walked our LOT #28.  The more visitors the closer we get to breaking ground.  BGE and some other folks staked out our LOT #28 with red flags, red paint and some other folks dropped by to spray orange and yellow paint (not sure who those guys were but they stopped by for a visit, too).   The closer we get--the more it makes me feel REAL!!  Only two more days and we will break ground!!  Here is a funny snippet with the song "the closer I get to you (Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan are crazy) LOL:

Wooden Stakes and Red Flag
Signs that we are getting closer and it makes me feel REAL!  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Want Some Stake Out!

YAY!  Today, it happened!  We finally met at the table with our PM to build our "forever dream home" after waiting nine (9) long long long months!!!  We met from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  He thought we were going to meet for just three hours; however, as you can see we met for six (6) hours.  This was one of his longest meetings in his career other than one other home builder to date with the same time record.  He was extremely accommodating, patient, kind and even purchased us some Starbuck's coffee.  Caramel Latte!  Just Delicious!  We, also, got the opportunity to meet with our alternate PM who picked up the coffee for ALL of us including the SR on site.  He is a great guy too!  We will always have a back-up PM on site which is wonderful!  We are off to a great relationship with our PM and I am quite pleased at his willingness to build our home with the attention he described that it deserves.  Yes, it was a very long meeting and highly productive.  During our meeting, we discovered that building the front porch on our Elevation C extended the placement of our house beyond the property line.  Unfortunately, this meant loosing an additional five feet of back yard space because our house had to be pushed back to stay within the property line.  We really did not have much back yard space to begin with because we wanted a long drive way to accommodate our vehicles and parking for our future guests.  Be careful for what you ask for because now we have a drive way that will extend 65 feet from the curb giving us plenty of parking.  With two pick up trucks, one motorcycle and one SUV, this will allow us to house the SUV and motorcycle inside the garage and the two pick up trucks will stay parked on the outside as planned.  We will still have a decent amount of yard space on the side of the house which I love, because it will angle the house closer to the pond which will give us the views I was hoping to have from the beginning.  This turned out to be a great trade off because DH isn't really interested in maintaining a huge yard, I get to still grow my petite herbal garden, Harley will still have room to run and play and we will get to build our deck and patio combo according to plan.  I can't wait!!  Whoo hoo!  I am so, so, thrilled and elated!!!  We got a lot of work done today-- so let the digging begin!  We are scheduled to begin digging this Tuesday, October 2, 2012!  What a blessing!!!  I am forever grateful!! Thank you, God!  

Yes, Yes, Yes!!  Our LOT #28 is STAKED OUT!

Look how long the grass has grown! 
Isn't she gorgeous!  I loved walking up to these stakes and
seeing our lot number displayed!

Our staked extended across the property towards our
neighbors on Lot #27!  Yikes! 

PM and Hubby double checking the new STAKE OUT configuration!!

Going to the Back of the Lot to confirm the other STAKES!!

Team Work makes the Dream Work!
They are ON it!!  Great Job Hubby and PM!!

Closer Look Into the Lot with the Stakes! 
Me, the Stake and a small part of the
soon-to-be LONG drive way! 

Another view of the drive way from the curb with STAKE!
Further view of the drive way from the curb and
section where the hole will be dug!

Our Approved Permit!  HOLLA!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Corian Counter Tops

There has been some talk around the ecommunity/town about having or not having the options to choose Corian Kitchen Counter Tops.  As we know, region to region, community to community have different standards and offer different products.  Frankly, I do not understand why the offerings are not universal.  We started our selection process in January/February and corian counter tops were an option; however, my personal choice has always been to use granite especially with the theme I have chosen to decorate my home; however, I did some months later ask about the counter tops as an option for the bathrooms and I was curious about the difference in price.  I checked with our SR the day after they chose to discontinue them; however, I forgot I had the price sheet with my files and checked the price and found that the price difference was minimal in comparsion. Once I found this out, it confirmed my original choice to have granite throughout the entire home.  A fellow blogger, Julie was asking about them after seeing them installed in a Rome in our community, so I decided to stop by and take theses pictures.  If anyone is definitely interested in having Corian tops, just remember you can always put in a non standard request with your Sales Representative.   

Corian Counter Tops.  They are typically offered in two levels.
Again, this is subject to change based on your region

Level One Options

Level Two Options

Friday, September 21, 2012

Answered Prayer!!

I am reminded that I do not know what anything is for; however,
GOD is always working on our behalf even when we forget!
With every challenge or moment of doubt an opportunity awaits us to become stronger, bolder and wiser as we follow the path that God has already destined for us!
The Question becomes:  Are we ready?
Talked to our PM today and he gave us these dates:
Pre-construction Mtg scheduled - Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Breaking Ground scheduled - Monday, October 1, 2012

Thank you God for working with a SISTAH!
Thanks to everyone who shared words of encouragement on my blog yesterday it supported me in so many ways. As you know a year is a long time to remain steadfast and patient! 
 I thank God for giving me the tools to understand the true virtue of patience and gratitude!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I put this picture here because this is the expression on my face (tired)  while reading this late night email that we just received from our SR at 11:08 pm last night that reads "we are unable to move forward with the building of your home because the requests to move the vents over 5-10 inches in the loft, the family room and bedroom #2 are of concern to us.  We do not know whether or not it will cause a problem with the energy star rating of the home.  If the request is approved, it is gonna cost ya!"  I immediately sent a return email and told her to cancel/delete the request because this has officially turned into a NIGHTMARE!


I put this picture here because it reminds me of how long we have been on this journey.  We were visiting our LOT #28 during the month of February or March!   It was a big pile of grass at that time.  I am going DOWN!  It is time for me to drop down to my knees, AGAIN, because I feel like giving UP!

I put this picture here because it reminds me of shedding the old to make room for the new. My locks were flowing down my back and yet, I knew I had to cut them.   

So I did!  
Will this house ever be BUILT???
With that said, it's time to move forward!  
I let go and let GOD!
Dear God, please let the building begin on our new home on Lot#28 in Fairwood by Monday, Oct 1 and allow us to close on our new home easily and effortlessly and make a smooth transition from renters to new homeowners!  Amen

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I posted here and there on other blog posts that there was a possibility we would break ground on Monday, September 17, contingent on the front porch approval being returned within the timeframe they allotted.  However, it took them six weeks to get approval when they told us initially it would only take two-four weeks for the DSP Review Board to finalize the approval.  We are extremely excited that the front porch has been approved and very excited this special request will open doors for future home owners who choose to build Elevation C with or without a front porch.  We submitted our final change order for the front porch which is another delay for us to break ground.  Honestly, we have waited nearly a year and another two weeks is not going to make a difference because we will be building our dream home with a front porch. The folks on Lot#14 who were also promised to build Elevation E nearly rescinded their contract once they were told they could not build Elevation E.  However, they changed their minds and decided to move forward with Elevation C.  Smart choice. It's amazing how things happen.  They submitted their documentation to the county for their permit to build Elevation E and it was denied!!  This is how we found out we could not build Elevation E.  They are scheduled to break ground on Monday, September 17, which means we were PUSHED BACK.  They were one step ahead of us, but it is our special request that kept them in the community to build Elevation C with the front porch and their submittal of a permit that allowed us to find out sooner rather than later that we could not build Elevation E.  Imagine that.  If we had not found out when we did, we may have had to wait even longer. We are praying to hear from our PM next Thursday that our Lot #28 will be the next home to build.  For those of you who do not know, every Thursday, RH has a meeting to determine whose Lot will break ground and again, this is contingent on all documentation completed and time to receive a permit to build on the NOW purchased lot.  For us this could mean having a pre-construction meeting the week of September 24 and breaking ground on Monday, October 1.  Should this be the case, we probably will not have a Xmas delivery date; but instead a delivery date of January 2013 to start a New Beginning, in a New Year, in a New Home.  Fingers crossed and prayers lifted that we break ground before or by Monday, October 1.  

Side note: Come February 22, 2013,  I will be celebrating my birthday and I told my husband since we have been dedicated to building our new home, I will forgo the Big 50th Birthday Bash with the Ballroom Theme and prefer to travel to ROME, Italy and visit these wonderful cities our homes are named after.  It would be a dual trip because our 13th Anniversary is a week later on February 28, 2013.  I have already begun researching and too excited.  We could definitely use the respite after this long long long journey to build our new home and besides we deserve it because we did not celebrate my birthday or our anniversary this year with our annual trip out of the country to focus on building our dream home. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bright Idea!

When we picked out the selections for our home, we were clear that we wanted lots of windows and additional lightening to illuminate our new home.  As you know, RH installs recess lights, flood lights, eyeball lights, garage post lights, mounted lights, and under cabinet lightening etc.  Most of these selections are structural and best to install during your build with the exception of the under cabinet lightening.  If you choose the under cabinet lightening it will cost you $500 for the set in our community.  Ideally, you would want RH to install them; however, I chose a less expensive route because it would have cost $1000 to install them in the kitchen and the Wet Bar.

 For those of you who are considering them or wish to install them later, here are the steps to take to give you the under cabinet lightening for under $500 which will allow you to save some money or use that money to get one of the structural items installed like the recess lights.  RH will install recess lights at $125 each.  You may decide to install two recess lights at $250 or four recess lights for $500.  Another option is to purchase the lightening packages from Ikea or from other companies that offer under cabinet light kits online.

If you have not finalized your selections with RH, ask them to install a 110V outlet in the areas that you wish for the lightening.  For example, we installed extra outlets in our master bedroom closets, inside the Wet Bar and Kitchen cabinets.  The cost for one outlet is $75.  If you have finalized your selections you can still proceed with this option (method will change slightly).  The total cost for us to achieve the under cabinet lightening in the kitchen, our wet bar and both master bedroom closets is approximately $460 instead of $1000 to light up four different areas in our home.  We opted to use the huge savings to install additional recess lights in other rooms of the house.

Use these lights to achieve the look below for your kitchen or wet bar.
 The cost for this IKEA kit $49.99
Be sure to purchase the special extension cords kit for $9.99. 
Under Cabinet Lightening in Kitchen
We installed a 110V outlet in the cabinets to hide the cords

Under Cabinet Lightening in Wet Bar (Lights are not installed in this picture) 
 We installed a 110V outlet in the cabinets to hide the cords. 

 We are installing custom built closet systems in both of our master bedroom closets and I want my shelving to be illuminated.  To achieve this look, we are using the spotlight kit below to create the look in the picture above:
The IKEA spotlight kit comes in a three pack for $24.99 or a four pack for $39.99

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Today we received FANTASTIC news:

(Quick Side Bar):  Isn't this little guy cute, borrowed from one of our fellow bloggers!!  I was finally able to get him to dance for me!  Whoo hoo!


The permit to build the Front Porch on Elevation C was approved for our Fairwood Community by the Council Woman of Prince George's County! We can now proceed with breaking ground on our new home on Monday, September 17.  Fingers crossed the date does not change because we now need our permit for our lot. 

When I submitted the request, they decided to push this approval for three reasons:

1) We were told we could build Elevation E; however, after two months they rescinded this option because it was never approved for our community
2) They really like the front porch on Elevation C and want to offer it to future home builders
3) They plan to build another model in our community next Spring: A Rome Model, Elevation C with the infamous Front Porch

The Rome model has become very popular and is the best seller in our community.  The closest Rome model is in Bristow, Virginia (an hour and 11 minutes drive from our community). So what better plan than to build a Rome with the Front Porch in Fairwood!!

They plan to move out of the current Jasmine model in the Spring and surrender the model to its current owner.  I was told they do not have future plans to build Elevation E because it does not fit the standard they want to maintain in our community.  At this time, they will ONLY build Elevations A, B & C!

Here is a little information for future Rome home builders to consider in the Fairwood Community and other Rome home builders:

Elevation A - one small peak on the exterior w/brick option only (inside windows in loft area are not symmetrical) (vinyl may be offered in another community/state)

Elevation B -  two small peaks on the exterior w/slight porch over the front door w/brick option only (inside windows in loft area are not symmetrical) (vinyl may be offered in another community/state)

Elevation C - standard two foot extension in the loft with extra square footage to bedrooms 3 & 4,  the windows on the inside & outside of the house are symmetrical in the loft area, built only with partial stone or brick veneer front, no vinyl  (vinyl may be offered in another community/state)

**As of today, in our community, the new home builder can build Elevation C with or without the front porch**  YAY!

For ALL Future Home Owners:
It's important to ask what elevations are approved for the model of your choice and the differences of those elevations in your community, because it is community and state specific.  It even makes a difference if the elevation you choose is reversed--the placement can and may be different from elevation to elevation.   It helps to visit the elevation that you are choosing to build to note the differences, because most people find out after the fact when it's too late.  Do your homework!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Closer to Breaking Ground!

Drove by our LOT and this is what I found!
They finally took away the dumpster and lingering trash!
They still decided to leave a souvenir bucket marked Fairwood on the lid!
This means we are getting closer!

This is not a hole; however, this slight hole has been this way for weeks; with the exception that it had a pile of grass and dirt on the top of the hill creating the illusion that we had broken ground.    Happy to see they cleaned it up! 

This is a closer look down the Lot!
 To the right is the pond!

This is our near to completion cul-de-sac!  It will be complete in December when we take delivery!  I literally watched each house built in this cul-de-sac!  It's amazing we had to wait so long!  However, I am happy we will begin to build our new home, the rome very soon!  As I mentioned before, I love this cul-de-sac because it only have homes on one side which allows for plenty of privacy and the other side is great for additional parking for family and friends on the other side. 

 Lot #27 (Oberlin)  & Lot #29 (Victoria Falls)
Looking absolutely fabulous!
Our Rome will take residency between the two homes!
We plan to break ground very soon--waiting for confirmation!

I also discovered that our future neighbors are all Dallas Fans!! I hope we have some other neighbors who are Redskin Fans!  I came up with a neighborhood event that will be nice! 
"Fairwood Friday Fellowship"

These homes belong to my future neighbors!  The Milan home with the pink hue brick is the only home I have seen with the infamous Autumn Beige siding that looks absolutely gorgeous!!!  They picked the perfect brick with the perfect siding!  She told me the other day that she loves pink and burgundy and she couldn't be happier to drive up to the exterior colors of her choice.  
What a blessing!!

My future neighbor in the Pink Brick Milan also said "she loves landscaping"!  I plan to show her this Pink Grass!  She is going to flip out!!  lol lol