Our lot

Our lot

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Building with Ryan Homes-How it works

For those that don't know anything about Ryan Homes (just like we didn't a year ago), here's some info on how it all works!

Basically Ryan Homes is a builder/developer.  They buy a big area of land and make a "community"/or really big subdivision out of it.  This makes the option of building really easy for the buyer.  You don't need to look around for land and purchase it and then find a builder and do all the plans.  It's kind of a "one-stop shop". 

Ryan Homes has different communities and in each community it offers certain homes/models to be built.  In our community, there are 8 different models to choose from.  The Florence, Pisa, Venice, Carolina, Milan, Ravenna, Naples and Verona.  They go from roughly 2000-3000 square feet.  Each model has a distinct floor plan but there are tons of options to make it "your own".  Ryan Homes are NOT pre-fabricated homes.  They are built on site to your specifications.

Each model has a "base price" and that includes the home with the floor plan as you see it online and includes the land it's built on.  This base price seems ( and is )an awesome deal for the amount of square footage and they well thought out floor plans.  We looked at a lot of homes to buy that were built within the past 10years and we couldn't find anything with prices as good.  But....the way they get you is with options.

Each home as you see it at the model (if you visit one) or the online virtual tours is very upgraded.  The base home has the floor plan but probably doesn't have a lot of the features.  For example: every model we saw included the morning room.  But that's not in the base model (and costs $12-13,000 more).  Same for finished basements, upgraded cabinets or nicer carpet, hardwood floors etc.  So thankfully, us having friends that bought with Ryan-we were well aware of this and didn't get too excited for the home and not expect the price to go up a lot with whatever options we wanted.

Another way the price can go up is with "premium lots".  This is basically the land/lot that they think is worth more than others so you have to pay extra for it.  In our community-premium lots are on the golf course, or a cul-de-sac, or just bigger than the average lot.  These "premium lots" in our community can be anywhere from $2000 more up to $20,000 more depending on what you want. 

So-you can easily see how that awesome price can get high pretty quickly if you aren't careful.  We went into this knowing we didn't want to get the price up too high and would rather have more square footage and add options later than get a smaller square footage with tons of options.  But....of course just like I'm sure happens with the majority of people-we found ourself "needing" more options than originally planned!

So as it is now (this could change) here are the options we chose and what we had to go without....

Options we chose...
-Elevation "A" with partial stone (this is the way the house looks on the outside)
-Morning Room (the extra dining area off the kitchen)
-Laminate hardwood floors in foyer, hall, kitchen, morning room
-Kitchen Gourmet Island (this is a HUGE island, we wanted the gourmet to add more counter and cabinet space)
-Upgraded Cabinets-Timberlake Rushmore Square Maple Butterscotch (an antique white)
-Cabinets upgraded to 42in (the ceilings are 9ft standard so the taller cabinets add space and look nicer)
-Upgraded Laminate Countertop (a nicer laminate, the Formica180fx)
-Recessed Lighting in Kitchen
-Stainless Steel Appliances (initially weren't going to do but the black looked weird with the antique white cabinets)
-Double Sinks in both master bath and secondary bath
-Upgraded white cabinets in master and secondary bath
-Upgraded Master bath with glass shower/seat and garden tub (this is another we didn't plan on initially but the glass shower really opened up the bathroom)
-Granite countertop in Master bath
-Loft converted to 5th bedroom
-Basement utility sink
-Extra outlet in garage (only has one)
-Lights! (yes you heard me right!  No lights are included in any of the bedrooms or family room, and morning room) Some we just did a "rough in" and will add our own lights and some come with lights
-Premium lot

Options we had to go without (or chose not to get)...
-Elevation "C" with partial stone (has an overhang over the door and a little more character to the outside of the house)
-Granite countertops in kitchen
-Actual hardwood floors (actually chose laminate because of warranty and durability for kids)
-Upgraded carpet and padding
-Service Door in garage
-Garage door opener (we'll get our own)
-Finished basement (we had to go without this due to choosing the premium lot over the discounted one)
-Some extra windows for morning room, family room, and one bedroom
-Fireplace (pretty but expensive and didn't want to deal with one with the kids)
-Front porch (not an option with the Naples model)

Things we got them to throw in...
-Landscaping package
-About $20,000 off of options

So all in all-we are super excited about everything we were able to include.  We pretty much got our "wishlist" and the only thing we know for sure we'd like to change is finish the basement in the next couple years but that can wait.


  1. Thanks for the great post. It will help us make some descions in our home building adventure!

  2. how did you get them to take $20,000 off the options?

    1. Hi Tb~ When we bought they had an incentive to get a free finished basement. Since we had other options that were more important we had them put the "free basement" money towards the options we wanted. Our phase also included an upgraded door and garage door (similar to the cottage style). They did free landscaping and also gave us $3000 towards the outside elevation of our house. Check online and see if they have any incentives or coupons and print them out. And don't be afraid to negotiate! Good luck :)