So, we sold our house back in November. Since then, we have been trying to decide what we wanted to do and where we wanted to live. We have both always dreamed about building a house, but certainly didn’t know if it was something that would even be possible for us for a long time.
Since November, we have been keeping our options open and looking at many different resources to find a potential home. Sometimes I think we’d spend more time looking at newspapers or searching real estate websites on our phone than we spent actually talking to each other.
One night, we found a piece of property we thought we might be interested in. Not being able to wait, we took the puppy out at 9:00 pm (on a school night!) and made the 20 minute drive to look at the land. It was dark, of course, and we really couldn’t see anything. However, aside from the land we did see a house for sale that caught our eye as well. We decided to inquire about both, and from there we met our realtor.
Our realtor wanted to get us pre approved for a loan before we looked at houses that were not necessarily in our price range. So, we met with a mortgage broker one afternoon shortly after seeing the land and the house we were interested in. On our way home from that meeting, we drove through a Ryan Homes development just to browse around and see if there was anything for sale.
We drove by a house with a model sign out front, and decided we would stop in and take a look. Due to the extremely cold temperatures, the model was closed. Fortunately, there was a man there (turns out he was the project manager for the development), and he let us in to take a peek.
Needless to say, we pretty much fell in love with home we saw. The PM answered our questions easily and even though his job doesn’t require him to sell the houses and show them off, he took the time to walk us through it, and get us in contact with the Sales Rep for the community.
Meanwhile, we decided to look at the other house we were interested in. Our realtor also set us up to look at several other houses in the area, just to get an idea of what was available and help us make our decision between building and not building. After look at several houses, we couldn’t seem to ignore the fact that each one was missing something. We couldn’t place our finger on exactly what was wrong with them (they were all relatively new, with good upgrades and features we would want)….but they weren’t “the house.”
We realized then, that we really wanted to build, and we wanted to build with Ryan. The model in our community is a Ravenna model, but this model was too large for us right now. So we decided to take a look at a local Venice model and a Florence as well. The Venice and the Florence have a similar floor plan. The major difference between the two is that the Venice had a large upstairs with larger bedrooms and closets. Also, the laundry room in the Venice is on the second floor, vs. the main floor in the Florence.
After looking at the Venice, we were almost certain we couldn’t live without it. Unfortunately though, the base price on that house was a decent amount more than the Florence model. We knew we wanted to add some upgraded features in the house to make it our dream home, and so we decided to go look at the Florence. We were nervous the entire trip to the Florence, feeling like we were being set up for disappointment. However, we were VERY surprised when we realized just how similar they were. In the end, we decided the Florence was perfect for us!
Now, we just needed to see if we could make it happen. We sat down with our sales rep several times, to hash out ideas of what we wanted in our house. She made a list of the items we wanted with the price points to give us an idea of the cost for the things we wanted. She tried to stay within our price, and helped us to think realistically about some of the things we said we wanted. For example, the granite countertops. We have always wanted them, but she reminded us that those could be put in later, and that job is relatively easy to do. So we took out some of the items we thought were must haves, in order to keep it within our price range.
Then, our sales rep took us through a Florence model home in the community we would be building in. She wanted us to see a home that wasn’t a model. This home had very few upgraded features. She wanted to show us that we could still build a beautiful home, even if we didn’t do EVERYTHING that we said we wanted. WELP, that had the opposite effect. We liked the layout and the floor plan, but we were pretty bored by the place. Again, we continued to think the same thing: if we are going to build, we want it to be done right! However, with the cheaper price, we were willing to think about it.
When we left that night, we went home and looked over our paperwork and pricing options. After the meeting, we felt confident that we were heading in the direction that we wanted to be in, but when got home, we started to second guess some of the choices. After all, if we are building the house of our dreams, we want it to have the things we want it to have. If we didn’t, then we would have settled for some of the other houses that we looked at. We knew we needed to go back and see if there was anything they could do to make the cost more affordable for us. We researched online and read the blogs written by other Ryan Home buyers. We found out that Ryan will sometimes negotiate prices on upgrades and other items in order to make it more affordable for the buyer. Also, sometimes they run special promotions on various house features (ex- half of a finished basement and free stainless steel appliances).
So, we had another meeting with our realtor, and the sales rep (who, kept her patience with us throughout the process and has been the most helpful person we could have asked), and we revamped our list. We included EVERYTHING we thought we could possibly want. We explained that we weren’t going to build unless we could build it the way we wanted to, and if that wasn’t going to work, then we would have to wait to build or look at more options.
After putting in everything we wanted, they gave us a quote (obviously way above our budget). We told them that we needed to get all of those items for our budget, or else we cannot build. So, our sales rep got in touch with the sales manager to see what they could do for us.
After waiting for several days on pins and needles, we finally got an answer. Between various incentives and upgrade discounts, they were able to take about $30,000 off the price of the house. This is something our sales rep said she has never seen before. We were very excited and surprised…..
So we pulled the trigger…and decided to build.