We Are Home Owners!!

It is Monday and I am officially exhausted. I only have to work another day before my week of vacation begins and I can really dig into the home decor!

Friday was crazy, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I picked John up from work around 11:30am and we drove out to Greenbelt to meet with Betty. Going through the closing paperwork only took about 50 minutes. When Betty left the room to mail out all of our documents, we were greeted by some friendly faces! People that I have only had the pleasure of speaking with via email or phone dropped by to meet face to face and congratulate us. Theresa even gave us a very sweet card wishing us nothing but happiness. After a few moments of chit chat, Betty re-entered the room and gave us our keys. Needless to say, we held our composure until we stepped outside. Then of course, it was selfie time.


We drove back towards the city and neither of us could stop smiling. I mean, after all, we just opened a whole new and exciting chapter in our lives together.

We drove over to Bob’s Discount Furniture to start our furniture-purchasing endeavor. We found a master bedroom set and a gorgeous mirror. After purchasing the mirror, we were told that it couldn’t be delivered. We spent about 20 minutes trying to find a way to fit it in the CR-V, but we gave up. I was a little irritated with the service. Why couldn’t it be delivered? Anyways, we moved onto Value City and the experience was the complete opposite. It was stress-free, free shipping, and easy as pie. Our sales agent was great and even gave us a discount for paying everything upfront instead of financing. We got living room and dining room furniture along with a couple of pieces for the study.

Lastly, we went to Target to pick up some area rugs, grabbed a bite to eat, and then drove over to the apartment to load up a few items (mattress, change of clothes, and the dog) into the car.


The first night took some adjusting. We have so many new noises to get used to! For example, we both shot up out of bed when the ice maker released the first batch of ice into the bin. Since we have a big empty house, you could imagine how it echoed and would scare the crap out of someone sleeping in an unfamiliar place. Throughout the weekend, we went in and out of stores, finding items to help decorate our new home. We drove back and forth from the apartment a few times to grab our belongings. We also found that the next town over has plenty of shopping and entertainment! We were excited about that.

We also learned: “You don’t just go into Lowe’s real quick.” A majority of our Saturday was spent in Lowes and I have to say I’m ok with that. We purchased some really great pieces.

Furniture is scheduled to come in next week. I will be sure to take before and after photos 🙂

Talk to you soon!


Final Walk-Through

It’s an unbelievable feeling knowing that TOMORROW is our closing date and we will officially be home owners. As mentioned previously in other posts, the process of finding a lender and the perfect home has been a long, emotional one. However, with lots of prayers, support, and hard work, we finally found the home that fits who we are and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

This morning, we woke up earlier than we have in a very long time. The alarm buzzed at 5:30am and I felt like a zombie for a good hour and a half. I really didn’t fully wake up until we stepped foot in our Ernest Hemingway. Our final walk-through was scheduled with our project manager for 7am and took about an hour and 20 minutes. We walked all throughout the house and pointed out anything that we felt needed fixed or cleaned up before tomorrow. Everything was virtually flawless with the exception of some minor scuffs and settling. We were told that the painters were actually coming back out today to take care of that. There were two doors in the basement that were starting to have a hard time opening. It has been so humid here lately that the expansion of the wood was causing them to stick. We were told that would all be reset by tomorrow as well.

Dan walked us around the home, showing us how to provide proper maintenance and care. We were also shown how to shut off the water in various areas of the home, how to clean the sum pump, how to empty/refresh the water heater, what to do to keep pipes from busting in the winter, etc. We tested each of the faucets and toilets to ensure that all plumbing and water were working correctly, we checked light bulbs, windows, and opened/closed every door. He really went through absolutely everything with us. Towards the end of the walk-through, he gave us a thumb drive with warranty information, maintenance/upkeep information, frequently asked questions, and how-tos. We were told that painters would come again 30 days after our move-in to patch up any scuffs that accumulated during the move. Then one year from the move-in date, they would come back out to refresh the paint and repair any nail pops or settlement cracks. Dan also gave us his number if we have any issues that we feel need addressed before then. He says he typically reaches out about 3 months after the move-in date to ensure everything is working properly.

Overall, we are very satisfied with the way the home turned out and the customer service has been extraordinary. Throughout the whole process, our sales rep and project manager with Ryan Homes have been so responsive and answer questions clearly, offering additional explanations if needed. I feel that they have place our satisfaction at the highest priority and it truly shows.

Now for the fun part of the post. THE PICTURES! Just FYI, I almost cried walking in.


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The Countdown Begins

Here we are less than 2 weeks away from closing! John and I tried to visit the house this past weekend, but it looks like everything is locked up now. It was bittersweet; I am so curious to see the finished product (I wasn’t exactly tall enough to reach any window other than the study window), but this is just another reminder of how close we are to finally owning our own home!

Landscaping is being worked on this week, so we will finally have more than a big, mushy pile of dirt in our front yard. John was so excited by the fact that we will have a trees planted. He even got on Pinterest with me, and no, that’s no lie. He is really interested in ‘dwarf’ fruit trees. Though our back yard won’t have tons of space, we still want to have a couple of small fruit trees and possibly a small area for home-grown herbs! Both of us LOVE to cook (hence the double oven) and are very excited for the endless list of possibilities.

We will start packing up our belongings this weekend. I know, I know. Everyone stares at me like I’m crazy when I say I haven’t started yet, but I just hate it so much! Then next week is all final inspections and walk-throughs. We will be meeting with our project manager bright and early on July 9th for our new home orientation. Basically, he explained that he will take about an hour to walk through the home with us and explain how everything works. We will be instructed on what items to keep an eye on throughout the years, certain cleaners to use that won’t void any warranties, and all about how to get the most out of our Ryan Home.


We now have a porch, a side walk, our blue front door, and all of our columns are up!


Thanks to the porch for giving me additional height, I was able to peak into the study window and noticed the gorgeous wood flooring! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the house looks like.


Finally, here is the view from the back street. Garage door is in, the back patio is up, and we are anxious to move in.

I still can’t believe how quickly this flew by once they broke ground. The longest part of this process was dealing with the lenders and waiting to hear back from the underwriting department. Once that was settled, I feel like we blinked and we’ve arrived. Our friends and family have been so supportive and have shared in our excitement. Our original loan processor with NVR Mortgage helped find us a better loan option with a broker who was even more willing to work with John’s employment situation (he is loving his new job, by the way!). We’ve been tremendously blessed.

Dry Wall, Cabinets, and Tiles… OH MY!

Every time we get a second to make it out to our home-to-be, I am always amazed by the progress made in just a couple of weeks!

Since the last update, we got a concerning phone call from our loan processor with NVR Mortgage. Since John’s original job (the 1099 one) never went over to W2 like they said they would, the underwriters felt that they could not move forward with the loan, even after considering John’s new, higher-paying job. Our loan processor has gotten to know us well through all of the communication, and before I was even able to freak out into my stress-ball self, he offered another solution.

He informed me that before even calling me, he contacted a broker that he has worked closely with at previous companies. He told me that he already explained everything to her about our current loan situation and that she said everything should be fine. His call was not to tell me that the loan fell through, but instead that they found a better option and he wanted to get my permission to send our information over. Within a few days, the new lender at George Mason Mortgage contacted me to introduce herself and inform us that she was able to approve the loan. Phew!

This past weekend, we drove up to our house and found tons of new goodies! Siding has been installed, our porch is almost complete, dry wall is up, first coat of paint is up, cabinets are installed, and tiles have been laid out! I, of course, even got excited about our cute little home address sign and maroon shutters!

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Even little things like red shutters and a home number have me over-joyed!

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Opening the front door expecting to check out the dry wall and finding so much more!

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View of the dining room– columns are in place

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French doors leading into the study/office

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Another view from the dining room, going into the kitchen

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Our espresso-colored cabinets are looking great! Can’t wait for the granite to get in.

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Living room

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Guest bathroom upstairs

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Guest bedroom; we will most likely be turning this room into a media/theater room.

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Laundry room with a cute little window overlooking a pond


Master bathroom! I can’t wait to relax after a long day in this bad boy!

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Master bedroom with tray ceilings


Double vanity in the master bathroom

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My happy hubby at the top of the steps 🙂


Huge walk-in shower in the master bath

image9 (2) image10 (2)Mini kitchen in the basement. We will be adding appliances and making this a rentable space!


Though paper was laid out on top of the tile (I am assuming to keep it from getting dirty), I had to take just one small peak.


I am off to Texas this week to visit my best friend for her birthday. The next time I see this house, we will be only 2 weeks away from our close date of July 10.

Pre-Dry Wall Inspection and New Job

We were up bright and early today, folks! I can’t say that I’m used to rolling out of bed before 8am, so it has been loads of caffeine for me today. Boy do I have some news for you!

First, I will start by saying we did the unthinkable. The big N-O, as I have heard, when it comes to purchasing a home. John got a new job. I can not begin to describe the anxiety and stress that I felt knowing that we would have to tell the lenders at NVR Mortgage. My weeks worth of Google searching told me that getting a new job in the middle of a home purchase is a death wish. That lenders may just up and deny you right on the spot. But I had to keep my chin up. After all, weren’t they telling me how much better a W2 is over 1099 miscellaneous pay?

Turns out, Google was wrong and stressed me out over nothing. Our loan officer said that the new job with the increased income and the W2 pay actually HELPS us. She did say that they would need 30 days worth of pay stubs for the new job before we close and what do you know? We close in 41 days. If that isn’t a blatantly obvious blessing from above, then I don’t know what is. The timing of everything has worked out to be absolutely unbelievable and I’m so thankful for everything this has taught us so far.

Next on the list, we had our pre-dry wall meeting today with Dan the Construction Man! That’s what I call him, although you can probably assume that is not his actual title.

We drove up to the house to find that the brick has already been placed on the front of the home! Dan showed us a little thing called ‘Weeping Holes’ that are placed in the cracks of the bricks. This will supposedly drain water out and away from the bricks, which will prevent water from getting through and causing mold or rot later on down the line. I feel like I’m learning so much!

The siding starts going up on Monday and should only take 1 day to complete for the house and then another day for the garage. Our front porch will be completed this week and so will the dry wall. Pre-dry wall inspection will be completed today. Then we will have a countless number of different inspections from different companies. We have people from the county coming out to do an inspection on the electrical stuff, we have someone else coming out to inspect the plumbing and make sure all of the pipes are working correctly, then we have our first quality home check to make sure everything is working as it should be before they start laying flooring and all the other fun stuff. Dan named off a couple of other companies that are coming out to do other inspections, but I lost track after the first three.

This process has made me have a whole new found respect for construction workers. There are so many steps and so many expectations from a lot of different companies and people. Yet the keep their cool and get things done. Dan has been absolutely fantastic with us so far. Bad communication is one of my biggest pet peeves (hello, Mass Comm major over here) so I, for one, am extremely pleased with the amount of communication that goes between us.


Standing in the kitchen taking photos of where the recessed lighting will be.


Light switches!


Monster tub in the master bathroom


This is where the double vanity will be!


Vent and a ceiling fan (pre-wiring) in the master bedroom


Upstairs guest bathroom


Upstairs laundry room


Living room cable jacks and outlets (options up higher as well for wall mounting the tv).


Where did this house come from?

We finally were able to meet with Paul, our guy over at Guardian, to mark where we want the cable/phone jacks and security sensors. It has been about 10 days since we last saw the house and I couldn’t believe how much had been done since then. I mean really, where did this house come from?!

We got out of the car since we arrived about 20 minutes before the appointment, and started to explore. I was in completely awe and literally wanted to jump for joy to see how fast things are coming along. After all, we are less than 60 days away from the closing of our new home.

We also met our first neighbor! I desperately wish that I could remember her name, but she was as sweet as can be. Turns out, she is actually from Texas as well! I guess my theory that we all flock together is only further verified. She told us all about their move-in process and how wonderful Ryan Homes has been since their close date a little over a year ago. We are actually the last house being built on that block and she informed us that all of the other neighbors have been waiting for us so that they can throw a big block party to get to know all of the neighbors. I was super stoked about that and am all for an outdoor BBQ once we get settled in. The neighborhood is extremely quiet, especially when considering that we’re coming from an urban area in Arlington.

Take a look at our house!


Garage Entrance from back patio of the house


Basement window


View of the back door entrance. So happy that we went with the double doors instead of the sliding glass.


Side of the home (kitchen and dinning room side)

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Garage entrance from the street


Standing in the soon-to-be living room and getting a shot of the kitchen!


View of kitchen from the dinnette/back door entrance


Photo of the dining room from the front door


Photo of Study from the front door (across the entry way from the dining room)


Paul from Guardian is marking our cable and phone jack


View of stairs and entry hall way from the living room


Heading upstairs!


Master Bedroom


Master bathroom. I am assuming that is where the tub will go with the walk-in shower to the immediate right.


Powder room straight ahead, walk-in closet to the left. I believe I am standing on the imaginary vanity for this photo 🙂


Master closet


Guest bathroom in the hallway


Second bedroom, which we will be using as a theater room


Laundry room


Third bedroom


Heading to the basement!




Where we will be placing our full-sized bar/kitchenette

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Basement bedroom and full bath


There you have it! I heard from Dan (our project manager) earlier today and was informed that our deck is being completed today, plumbers are in the home today, and we should start putting siding up next week. We will be meeting with him on Friday the 29th for a pre-dry wall inspection. We will keep you posted!


Framing is going up! We were told we would have a roof by Wednesday. Everything is moving all rather smoothly now and I can’t wait to see the finished product! 

Tuesday we will be meeting with Guardian to mark where we want our cable jacks and outlets. Sometime next week we will also be scheduling our pre-dry wall walk through with the project manager. It’s been busy but we are still projected to close on July 10!  

Front of the house!


Back of the house and beginning of garage.