Our lot

Our lot

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Choosing our lot...

Most of the lots in our community and in most Ryan homes communities are built with streets in rows so the backyards are butting up next to each other. So we fully expected our lot to be like this and although we would have liked not having neighbors behind us (or looking out our morning room into our neighbors yard) we didn't expect to have a choice.

So, before we visited our sales rep (who did an awesome job by the way) again to talk about the model  we did a drive by of the communty a couple times.  We wanted to get a good idea of our preferred lots ahead of time.  Actually, we do an elephant sized amount of research before talking to him or making any decisions.....that's just who we are.  Alicia was recently having second thoughts about Ryan homes and this community in general.  She wasn't ready to give up trees in the backyard for another house that we would be looking at.  I was not happy because we already made this decision and put in a ton of time and effort to get this far. She always second guesses everything though and i know by now just to reassure her and wait patiently for her to come back around:)   Nonetheless, when we drove around looking at lots we thought for sure we wanted a lot on the golf course.  However, the only lots currently opened on the course backed up to a pond which would not work with our little ones with black belts in curiosity.  We knew we had a special pricing deal on one of the lots with our back yard with a neighbor behind us. But we fell in love with a lot that we had not noticed before.  It was more expensive (because it was not the special deal and had a little premium on it) because it was practically on a cul-de-sac and had trees in the backyard.  Once we realized this lot was available we were determined to figure out a way to get it....so we did! We made the decision and later brought the kids out to see "our dirt" as they always referred to it.

Choosing a Model

Our Must Haves:
At least 4 bedrooms on the same floor (since have the 3 kids and possibly more to come depending on
God's plans for us)
Morning Room (this is an option with Ryan Homes, basically an extra dining area off the kitchen with a wall of windows that makes everything feel a lot bigger)
At least 2 1/2 bathrooms
2 story
Open floor plan
Kitchen Island

The Models we considered....
The Venice-2224 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms. 

The Ravenna-2560 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms (with option to add a "bonus room")

The Naples-2760 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms (with loft that has option to be 5th bdrm)

The Venice we initially thought would be our choice.  2224 square feet seemed like a ton compared to what we have now and it had all the "must haves".  Adding the morning room adds about 150square feet.  But when we saw the model it didn't seem as big as we expected.  The family room wasn't much bigger than what we have now and there was only one extra room downstairs (living/dining).

The Ravenna is the model our friends have that seemed huge when we first saw it.  But, they have the "bonus room" which we wouldn't be able to afford to add in.  It still was a good size though and had a bigger family room that the Venice and three extra rooms downstairs (living, dining, office).

The Naples had a little more square feet than the Ravenna and the morning room would make it almost 3,000 square feet so almost double the space we have now (and even 1,000 more if we finish the basement).  When we visited it, it seemed like a better layout for us than the Ravenna.  Instead of having three extra rooms downstairs it had two (living, dining but no office) and that extra space made some of the other areas feel larger (mudroom, laundry room, master bedroom/bath).  It also had the option of a 5th bedroom which we really liked since it could be used as a playroom for now and then if we ever need a 5th bedroom we will have it.  The master was a lot more spacious with 2 walk-in closets (which Dan really liked!).  And even though the base price is slightly higher on the Naples than the Ravennna, the price per square foot is actually cheaper.

Sooooo...if you couldn't tell already...we chose THE NAPLES!!!

The Back Story

We've taken a while to post because the first post has so much information to cover that it might take a while....soooooo here's the back story.

We moved into our current home in Oct 2006.  It was just the two of us and even though we hoped to start a family soon it seemed like this house had plenty of room.  3 bedrooms, 1550 sq. feet, a cute neighborhood and lots of character-it even had the white picket fence and white birch tree out front that we had talked about always wanting.  The park just at the end of the street seemed perfect for walks with the babies to come.  We planned on being here about 5years and having maybe 2 kids while we were here. Well, just a month or so after moving in we became pregnant.  And 2 years after that baby #2 came.  And 1 1/2 yrs after that-baby #3.  So in that time our sweet little house with character has quickly become a sweet LITTLE over-crowded house with not much room to grow. The school system has went downhill and our plan to be here 5years is up....

In the past year friends of ours that lived nearby with 3 kids of the same ages as ours, and a house the same size as ours decided to build with Ryan homes.  We didn't know too much about Ryan homes or anything about the building process.  They moved into a beautiful Ravenna model that was about double the size or their old house.  We loved the model and thought "Wow wouldn't that be nice to have someday..." thinking someday way far off from now. 

Well time has moved a lot quicker than we thought.  In January, Dan decided to take a new job and it extends his drive time to work from what was about 15min to now 35min.  When we decided to for sure have him accept the position we realized that it would mean moving sooner knowing the time it takes to get to and from work and the gas milage, as well as just our outgrowing our house anyway.  We started looking online at Ryan homes and found them to be a lot more affordable than we originally expected.  Especially since we would be moving out of a county with high income,sales, and property tax into a county that was much more affordable.  So our next step was to check out the different communities available and see if any of them fit what we were looking for.

The first day we went looking at the different communities we printed off a map and had 3 different subdivisions to look at.  They were all within about 10-15min from each other and we noted price ranges for each community (since prices range quite a bit depending on which subdivision you choose).  Initially, I was thinking for sure to go with the cheapest subdivision.  Mainly because it would enable us to get one of the largest homes for the same cost as the smaller homes at the other subdivisions.  So the first subdivision we went to was the most expensive and we didn't like it at all.  Everything was nice but it was EXTREMELY close to the highway.  Like the backyard was the highway.  We knew that wouldn't work.  The next subdivision was the cheaper one but when we drove in we felt claustrophobic.  The houses were really close to the street and to each other and it felt so closed in.  So as we drove to the third subdivision, I wasn't very hopeful and was thinking Ryan homes might not work for us after all.  Dan secretly wanted the third subdivision all along though.  It was in an area he remembered from growing up and he thought it could be just what we were looking for (he didn't tell me this of course).

So on the way to the third subdivision, I started to get excited.  The drive there was beautiful and the area had a much more open, farm-like feel.  Just what we were hoping for.  We passed beautiful houses and three golf courses and big farms and I told Dan I thought this could be the one.  When we drove in- we both loved it.  It's open, farms are within view, it's on a golf course, and has a pool with waterslides for the kids, and a clubhouse.  It seemed like the exact place we had talked about someday "staying put" at and raising our family.  The taxes are the lowest at this subdivision and the school system is great.  So the next step would be figuring out if we could afford it and which model we would choose...

Monday, March 19, 2012


For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. -Jeremiah 29:11

Starting a blog!

We thought we would start a blog to share with everyone the fun in building our new house.  It'll be an easy way to keep everyone updated on the progress and pictures of the building process but also will include whatever we've been up to.  We've never blogged before so bear with us!