Saturday, July 14, 2012

Just starting out

We just signed a contract to build a Rome with Ryan Homes.  I've learned a lot from reading other people's blogs on their experiences, so here you'll find my humble efforts.

I feel a little rushed here at the beginning, because we had the "pricing" meeting to see if this was even a viable option the day before I left husband ended up doing the initial contract over the phone with the Sales Rep.  We haven't even had the basic siding/shutters/paint discussions yet, much less the flooring or other options, and I'm concerned that so much of our 14 day window for changes will elapse before we even see the options.  The SR definitely put the pressure on us by offering additional incentives then telling us that other people were looking at our lot of choice, and there were no other lots that were acceptable to me.  Rather annoying and not a good start to this relationship!

Here's what we've got so far:
Rome Elevation C, with side entry garage
Finished Basement with finished half bath, walkout
Morning Room
Gourmet kitchen island
Ceiling fan rough-ins for pretty much every room
Brushed Nickel fixtures
No fireplace
Deck (whatever the smallest size was) in composite material
Recessed lighting in basement and kitchen
Laundry tub (going to try and get it put in the garage, though)
Standard kitchen cabinets (maple something or other)
Granite-look formica countertops
Upgraded master bath to shower with seat

Our next appointment is with NVR Mortgage on Wednesday, then next Saturday we go over the siding/shutters/paint/whatever else.  Can anyone give me any pointers on those two appointments?


  1. You should have 30 days to make your selections. The 14 days is just for the structural stuff. I just found your blog! Feel free to follow me at

    1. So what do they mean by structural? Obviously which elevation to build or adding extra windows, but what other kinds of things? Are ceiling fan rough-ins and kitchen cabinets considered structural? It would be good if I have more than 14 days for some of the things, but they didn't really explain what things went under that heading. I'm following your blog now, I'll be starting from the beginning so it may take a while to catch up! :)

    2. You are right. Windows, doors, and elevations are all structural. Cabinets, countertops, fixtures, and flooring are examples of the types of things that are NOT structural. You should talk more with your sales rep about this stuff. Ask them to clarify and let them know you feel rushed. These are big decisions you are making and you should feel comfortable with them.

  2. Congrats on the new home build! Definitely push them to see what **all** the options are now that you have signed. They tend to not show those other options until they have you locked in. Not that it is necessarily bad that they do it that way, but maybe it is because they do not want to overwhelm people possibly. You want to get all that stuff in before the cutoff though.

    1. Yes, I intend to be very obnoxious in that department! :D I already showed my detail-oriented-ness at the pricing meeting, because I answered the questions before he could ask them. He was a bit surprised when I said I'd found it all on the blogs! Anything in particular that I should be looking out for? I've got quite a list of little things going...

  3. Hi Amanda, I just found your blog and my initial experience was some what similar when it came to picking out the options. I felt rushed by my spouse who is impatient with decorating details. It's funny because he loves construction and I love interior design. But the goal of the initial meeting was to get a sense of what the budget will be and approximate mortgage. Anyway, I have had lots of time to make my selections because of the time we spent waiting for our loan approval. You may want to set up an additional appointment with your SR to go over your selections. I did this many times!!! In the meantime, I saw your post on another blog about the porch elevation for the ROME! Here is my direct note to you:

    When we first submitted our contract agreement, we were told that we could not get the porch because it was not part of our community selections. Then, I tried to negotiate to extend the concrete on Elevation C to create a porch. My SR said she wasn't sure and I would have to check with the PM who said he had to follow the blueprints. I saw that they were offering the porch in Waldorf, MD; but again, they said it was community specific. Long story short, I went back to our SR to share my desires because the new brochure for the Rome had the elevation E. Well, before I could share my discontent about not being able to get elevation E, she told me she had completed a contract for another home owner with Elevation E only minutes before I worked into her office and that they were now offering it in our community. I believe you still have time to ask for what you want. I believe that most SR's do not know it's an option since it is a new elevation. I was ready to ask the SR to submit a special request or for her to check with the county to see if the permit had been approved for our county. What is the name of your community? Sorry for the long post; but I thought this would help. I would love to follow your journey, please click on the "join this site" button on my blog at We should be breaking ground around the same time. Good luck on getting your Elevation E. Fingers crossed!!

    1. I don't think they intend to break ground for at least a couple months...there were only 3 lots left and not all the houses are built yet, so I'm sure we're last in line for being built. So does that mean that we can make non-structural changes up until ground-breaking?

      We're going to inquire about the you happen to remember what the price difference was? We're at the top of our budget already so I don't know whether this is worth fighting over, I just really wish the SR had been a little more straight with me or at least savvy enough to say he'd look into it! I think I'm following you now, but I like to start everyone's blog from the beginning so I'll be scrambling to catch up! :)

    2. You don't have to wait for the other houses to be done before they will break ground on yours. They have to wait for you to lock-in your structural choices and then they file permits. After the permits are approved, then they break ground shortly after that.

    3. Hi Amanda!
      The Elevation E comes in four different choices with different prices attached to them. These are the elevations: all brick front, partial brick front, partial stone front, and all vinyl front. Check with your SR for the pricing because they differ from state to state. I hope this turns out for you. If you are unable to get Elevation E; go for Elevation C because they both come with the 2 Foot Bump out in the Loft. In the meantime, I believe you have time to make the change. I would inquire sooner rather than later because the window of opportunity is narrow.

  4. Congratulations! In business transactions you have to be your own consumer advocate. Some changes cannot be made but you won't get them if you don't ask! By exploring homes being built we found standard things that come with the house but didn't know...apparently our SR didn't either.
    I felt rushed too, went many times to look at selections and found model homes, list of homes with specific siding etc. and explored homes being built. There is a PDF that shows different color selections that is helpful too. Put the time in and you will be happy with your selections.
    I like your blog name!!!!

    1. Thanks! We actually still haven't been in a finished Rome, we're hoping to go see the model in another neighborhood so we have a better feel for the layout and where we'd want stuff. I'm hoping our SR is on top of things, but it's always a good bet with salespeople that there may be ulterior motives for things! He seems pretty nice and is tolerant of my sense of humor, so hopefully tings will go pretty smoothly with him in the future.

      And thanks on the name...all the good ones were taken (I really wanted "When in Rome...") but I like this one pretty well. ;)

  5. Oh yes, they loooove to be pushy about making you sign. Our SR told us that all of the prices were going up the next month and they'd no longer be offering the morning room incentive so we HAD to sign by the end of the month if we wanted those things. We did, but then I emailed the general RH rep the next month and everything was exactly the same so our SR was full of crap. I guess that's what you call a good saleman? I agree though... so annoying how pushy they are.