Sunday, October 14, 2012

Layout, Selections, and Upgrades

Exterior Style and Colors

Every home in our neighborhood has a 'cottage style'.  Below is a picture of a house in our new neighborhood that is the same model as ours and has close to the same exterior colors.  Everything is pretty much the same except our siding color is lighter.

Stone: Bucks County Ledgestone
Shaker: Canyon
Siding: Sandy Tan
Trim/Garage Door: Almond
Shutters/Front Door: Black


Structurally, we made a few changes to the 'Florence' layout.  Here a few things we added/changed:

morning room
gourmet island (really a peninsula)
stone fireplace (side)
walkout basement
basement 1/2 bath rough in
changed small square inoperable window in master bath to a small, operable, mini-window (we had to get special request for this change as this is not offered as a normal upgrade/change)
additional side window in master bedroom


Hardwood Flooring in Foyer, Powder Room, Kitchen, and Morning Room
Level 2 carpet throughout whole house
Level 2 carpet pad throughout whole house
Wood stained railing and white spindle downstairs and throughout upstairs
Level 2 GE black appliances with smooth top stove
Upgraded laminate in kitchen
Upgraded cabinets
Cabinet crown molding
Recessed lighting in kitchen and family room
Wiring for outdoor speakers
Additional cable hook-up in upstairs loft


Bruce Hardwood Wide Plank Oak in Saddle
Shaw Simple Touch Carpet in Sand Swept

Armstrong Initiator 66178 Bridgeton Cinnamon Vinyl Flooring (Mudroom/Laundry Room)

Armstrong Initiator 66180 Glenville Creme Vinyl Flooring ( Master Bath & Kids Bathroom)

Maple Cognac Kitchen Cabinets
Formica FX180 Laminate Countertops in Antique Mascarello

Stone Fireplace in Buff Ledgestone 

Building our New Home

Just down the road from where we currently live is a quaint little neighborhood currently building.  Ryan Homes is the builder and we have been eying this community for quite some time now.  We love that it is in a better and smaller school district; providing more opportunities for our kids.  We also love the fact that we can build a house again and get it just the way we want it.  This is this house we plan to be in for a long time, so getting it just right is important to us.  Also attracting us to this neighborhood, is the fact it is so quiet with only 60 lots tucked in the back of an older neighborhood.
Ryan Homes is currently building right in our price range and offers some upgrades that we have always wanted in our dream home.  We have decided to go with the 'Florence' model which is slightly bigger (200 more square feet) than what we currently have.  In many ways it reminds me of our house now: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, loft, and an open floor plan on the main level.  Yet, we are incorporating some elements we have always dreamed of having in a home: morning room, gourmet kitchen, hardwood flooring, stone fireplace, and walk-out basement on a wooded lot. 

Our lot!

We have already been through the selections and financial processes with Ryan.  We signed a contingency with Ryan Homes on the sale of our current home.  Since our house is officially under contract, we are now just waiting for closing to get started with the construction of our new home.  Fingers crossed for a smooth and successful closing so we can start the next chapter of home-ownership!

 Future Home!

On a side note, the kids are starting to understand what is going on.  We drive past our lot so much that they now refer to it as "the neighborhood".  They seem excited about getting a new house, but I am not quite so sure they understand we will have to leave or current house in order to get the new one.  The next few weeks should be interesting as we try to explain to two three year-olds that we are going to pack up all of our things and go live with Grammy and Papa for a while. 

Selling Our First Home

I have to admit, every time I think about moving I get a little emotional.  This is our first home.  This is the house we built together as a newlyweds.  This is where I brought my babies home from the hospital, and this is the only home my children have ever known.  It is has been a wonderful house, with great neighbors, and good memories. 

After months of casually talking it over, Drew and I finally decided to have a real estate agent come and look at our house on September 5, 2012.  We liked what she had to say, so we decided to list our home for sale the next day.  It was one of those moments that makes your stomach churn due to the unknown.  But we did have confidence in the glimmer of a market turn around, and we knew this was the best decision for our family.  So we took a leap of faith not knowing the what would lie ahead.

So why are we moving?  The biggest factor is education.  Where we currenly live, the school district has been unstable.  Just last year it was under state control and cutting programs like art, science, music, and physical education.  Being both teachers, Drew and I knew we couldn't send our children to our current school district.  Another large factor in our decison to move was the upswing of the market in our area and the current low interest rates.  Houses in our neighborhood have been selling for $20,000-$30,000 higher than what we built our house for 3 years ago.  We figured with the money we would make off this house, in combination with low interest rates, we could afford a better house in a good school district that would provide a lot of opportunities for our children.

After 20 days on the market, 2 no-show open houses, 2 appointment showings, and 1 St. Joseph buried upside down in the yard, our house was under contract!  We were so suprised and taken back on how quickly it sold!  Our house is being bought by an investor out in California who intends to use it as a rental property.  Even though I would have loved to have sold our house to a family with young children, a buyer is a buyer!  The investor is paying for our house in cash so we have 30 days to get out of our house starting from September 26th.  My in-laws have graciously allowed us to live with them while we build our new home.  Our closing date is set for Friday, October 26th.  Although we are sad to say good-bye to the only home we've ever known, we have confidence in our decison and can't wait to start our journey to building our new home!

Still so surreal to see this sign in the yard!