Friday, April 22, 2011

The Sales Process

After seeing the models and working out the general price points, Megan & I decided to put a hold down on one of the lots. It was a 7-day hold with no obligation. We provided a check but it was not cashed. We scheduled a meeting on the 7th day, our Realtor was present as we went through the signing frenzy. About 95% of the contract, agreement of sale were in plain English and easy to understand. There were a few paragraphs & sections that had a little more legalese than I could easily understand. There is an HOA agreement, and in Pennsylvania, you are given 7-days from signing the agreement to pull out of the agreement for any or no reason. Not sure if every state has this law, but you should look into it.

During the 7-days, I sent the legalese sections of the contract to a real estate attorney and had him review them. The builder flat out told us that there are no changes to the contract and if we have issue with something within it, they would not change it. That gave me more rationale to send the few sections to our attorney. The attorney was able to review and get back to me quickly, just confirmed what the builder stated and represented the document as. I feel it was money well spent for the piece of mind I wasn't signing something I didn't understand.

From the signing, we had 7-days to apply for the mortgage. There was a list of documents we'd have to come up with. I was able to submit these over e-mail. This part went very smoothly.

Other than signing my name 1,003 times, the process was fairly straight forward. We now have 30 days to pick out our flooring, colors, wiring options etc.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Which Model to pick ...

Megan & I researched the floor-plans on Ryan Homes website. Those offered in our community were the Sorrento, Pisa, Sienna, Florence, Venice, Milan, Naples and Rome. The one lot that could accommodate the Rome had previously been sold. We ruled out Sorrento, Pisa & Sienna right off the bat, the Milan & Naples seemed to be nice but higher than we wanted to push our budget. I had in the back of my head that the base price didn't include any upgrades, and I was sure we would add as we went along. There was just something off about the Venice floor-plan, so it was between the Florance & Milan.

Our salesman presented us with a Luxury package for the Florence model which had just about every bell & whistle including finished basement, granite counters, morning room etc. The pricing was right. We were impressed with the options included. Since the on-site model is under construction, there wasn't anything for him to show us. Our salesman recommended that we visit the Florence & Milan about a 1/2 hour away, both at different communities. We skipped the Milan, headed straight for the Florence. Overall we were impressed and were thinking about going ahead with things. That night, I called my parents and asked them to check out the Florence model. The next day, Megan & I headed back up to Richland Greene to talk options. In the middle of a conversation, I get a phone call from my parents. They visited the Florence and were just 'ok' about it. On their own, they headed over to the Milan. They told us straight up that the Milan was leaps and bounds a superior floor-plan. So Megan & I hopped in the car and checked out the Milan model.

I have to give credit where credit is due, my parents were right. The Milan is impressive. Very open floor-plan, has a living, dining & family room as well as 2 walk-in closets, giant bedrooms and upstairs laundry. The house is big enough that we didn't need to add the morning room (as we were going to with the Florence). Ironically, the price of the Milan without the morning room was pretty close to the fully loaded version of the Florence. We were still getting a finished basement, granite counters, tile bathrooms & hardwood in the living & dining rooms etc. Also, looking back, our salesman never pushed us one way or the other. I was expecting him to push us towards the more expensive house with a crazy amount of options. He never did that, he simply said, "Let's build the house the way you want it" and let us make decisions. He also gave us a lot of practical advice from his experience living in a Ryan home.

So that's how Megan & I decided on the Milan.