Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sherwin Williams 40% off Sale

Sherwin Williams is having a sale this weekend - 40% off paints and 30% (?) off painting supplies.  It inspired me to stop by my local store and grab a ridiculous number of samples, which are now tucked behind random light switches so we can try to figure out what they might look like.

I'm not really ready to tackle painting, but the white walls are beginning to depress me, so this sale might inspire action on at least one room.

Right now, the winners look like White Raisin for the family room/kitchen and Brandywine for the morning room.  Still struggling with whether to do an accent wall, or try to break up the color between the family room and the kitchen.  Actually, I'm struggling with how long it will probably take to paint this entire room!

Here's a question for you all:  Did you (or do you plan) to paint the under-side of soffits?  We've got a soffit that runs the entire length of the family room into the kitchen - the underside of it was white in the model house, but I thought it looked kinda funny.  But it would sure be nice to not have to paint it too....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

NVR Still Sucks

Yes, NVR continues to be frustratingly inept, weeks after we closed!

A couple days ago, our NVR mortgage broker sent BF an email.  They needed us to sign and initial some additional paperwork, because they had screwed up the paperwork that we signed at closing.

Is anyone surprised by this?  Yeah, I thought not.

The first thing they wanted us to sign was the form that my mother had sent in to document the gift she had given us.  The same document she scrambled to send in to them on their timeline - they neglected to finalize by having us initial and sign it.  After all the crap my mom went through to get them the documentation, I was quite ticked that they hadn't finished the job.

Wait, but that's not all!  They also screwed up our HUD settlement statement, which, as near as I can tell, documents and calculates our deposit money, downpayment, settlement cost and outstanding amount owed to the mortgage company.  I think its pretty serious that they had to amend this after settlement.

I looked at the two versions for about 30 minutes, trying to figure out where the differences were - eventually I figured out (and verified via email) that they had not changed the amount of the initial balance in our escrow account.  We got a check back at settlement of the difference between the initial calculated amount and the final amount, but for some reason, the HUD sheet didn't reflect the change (this would explain why I couldn't figure out why we were getting money back).

Neither mistake was terribly big, and didn't affect anything we paid or money we got back at settlement, but it was annoying to have to spend time trying to figure out that their mistake was minor AND it makes me wonder what other mistakes they made that weren't caught, and that could mean issues for us later down the line.

Morale of this story is, try to check your numbers at closing.  Ask questions - make sure you understand where any overpayments or underpayments are going and where they came from.  And, if you have a choice, run far far away from NVR and use a company that doesn't suck quite so badly.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Double Coupon: Lowe's v Home Depot

Before I forget, I wanted to share a Lowe's & Home Depot tip with you.

When we changed our address with the Post Office, we were offered some online coupons, one of which was for 10% your entire purchase at Lowe's.  Pretty nice, since big box home stores are sucking our wallet dry right now.

I had the 10% off Lowe's coupon in my wallet at the Home Depot checkout.  The cashier kindly offered to see if they could accept it.  Hey, alright!  I'm all for it.  She got on the phone, talked to her manager, then told us that they couldn't take the coupon, but would give us a discount off one item.  The discount she gave us off the one item was about 10% of our entire order.  AND we kept the Lowe's coupon and get to use it next time we go to Lowe's!

File this under: You Never Know until you Try.

(PS - I really prefer Lowe's but Home Depot may have won me over with this)

11 Days

Hello Everyone!

We've been in our new home for 11 days and we are both still trying to get adjusted.  I never imaged how difficult it would be to adjust and feel "at home" in a new place.  Its slow going, but we are making progress every day.

For the first time in my life, we hired movers, and they were absolutely terrific.  Nothing was damaged or lost and the guys were hard-working and very friendly.  If anyone needs a moving company recommendation in the MD-PA-DE-NJ area, I'd be happy to share.

I spent the day after the move unpacking the kitchen - we tripled or quadrupled the kitchen space and I'm still struggling to figure out where to put things so that they are in the most useful place.  I find myself walking around and around the island grabbing a spoon here, the walking around and grabbing a bowl there, then again for a tupperware....  Ah, the problems that come with that gargantuan island.  

The kitchen, before we started using all the counterspace
as a place to store things we don't have a place for yet  :)

42" cabinets are great, unless you are 5'4 - and then only the
bottom 2 shelves are useful.  I seriously am in need of a kitchen stool

I unpacked some of my great-great-aunt's china (circa 1929) and I
intend to use it the next time I invite the girls over.  Except for this, which
I think is a butter warmer.  Anyone?
We had people over a couple days after we moved in - probably not the best idea in the world, but it was nice to breathe some life into our new place.  Official housewarming will happen way down the road, when the 2 front rooms aren't filled with boxes.

So far, I think my favorite part of the house is the front porch.  If any of you out there are thinking about getting a porch and wondering whether to do it or not, don't hesitate.  Get the porch!!!  We are already planning for how to decorate it for Halloween.

Now that things have settled down a bit, I can get back to blogging and sharing our progress.  Hmm, or maybe I should unpack a box or two?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Shower to Shower

Ok people, I have a very important question for those of you with a stall shower.

How do you put your STUFF in it?!?!

I realized today as we were sealing the grout that we've got one soap holder in there, and that's it.  Its really pretty and sleek and fancy, but there is absolutely nowhere to put a bottle of shampoo, or a razor, or a shower poof.  I mean, I could change my hygienic habits, but BF probably would tire of that fairly quickly.

To me, the most feasible option looks like drilling some shower shelves in there, but drilling through that tile scares me!  Not much room for error there.

So, other than a thing that hangs from the shower nozzle, have any of you found any ingenious products for storing your suds in the shower?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Precious

Good Lord, its over (well, except for the packing and the moving, and the moving in and the renting out of townhouse...)

We are now the proud owners of this Ravenna:

Our closing was at 11am yesterday.  BF and I had a nice relaxing morning, then drove to the lawyers office, which was so sterile and unpersonal if I hadn't know any better, I would have thought we were in a hospital.  We signed our names 7 zillion times to all sorts of papers that promised blood, limbs and firstborns if we were caught late with a payment, in default, or sneezing the wrong way.  The absolute BEST though, was the sheet of paper we had to sign for NVR providing a reason why NVR had pulled our credit reports!  I mean, if that just doesn't put the cherry on top of the NVR bullshit sundae, I just don't know what does.  I laughed and signed it, and thought "I can't WAIT to put THAT on the blog!"

We did some errands on the way to the house, and stopped at Sears to buy appliances.  I've had really good luck with Sears and Kenmore products in the past, and I just don't have the energy or desire to wander around Best Buy or HH Gregg and the small appliance stores in the area aren't open when I need them to be, so Sears it was.  With the Labor Day sale and a new Sears Card (that we purposely did not open until after closing was final) we got 35% off our Kenmore washer and dryer, and a really decent chunk off our Samsung fridge.  If anyone wants to know which models we decided on, let me know and I will find them and post pictures.  We bought a 3 -year service plan on the fridge, but nothing on the washer/dryer.

Then we headed to our house to meet our awesome PM, who had our keys there (yes, we left settlement with no keys to the house!) and who had done EVERYTHING on our final walk-through list in 1.5 days.  I can't say enough wonderful things about our PM - from start to finish, he was there for us and answered our questions and did absolutely everything we asked for.  EVERYTHING.

When we arrived at the house, there were new plants all over the front porch!  It looked so good; what a great gift.  There was no name or note on any of the flowers, so I figured it was a gift from Ryan Homes.  Our PM was puzzled when he arrived.  He said they weren't from him and that he had never seen the sales rep send them.  What a mystery.

We eventually found out that they were from my mother, who had driven over after dark the night before to put them out.  What a really sweet and thoughtful gift.  It immediately just made it feel like home.

We still have a long, long way to go.  New appliances are delivered Sunday, we still haven't packed anything and the movers come on Wednesday.  Wish us luck, its going to be a very busy Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Keys will be mine, tomorrow

Folks, it has been one hell of an exhausting week.

We had our first showing, and are having second thoughts about our property management company.  There have been some rather glaring and annoying communication issues that make us both have a bad feeling about it.

Despite saying several times that they had everything they needed, we STILL had to provide additional documentation to NVR this week, including the paycheck stub that I received TODAY, for my paycheck TOMORROW.  Seriously NVR?

The neighbors continue to be both fascinating and completely irritating and horrible.  Which makes me think our chances of renting the townhouse are getting slimmer by the minute.

However, we had our final inspection and walk through and it was quite good.  I can write more later, but we found a couple minor issues that could have led to problems later on.  PM agreed to fix everything we asked and most should be done before we get our keys tomorrow.

Closing is at 11, then we are going to buy some appliances (cross fingers for kick ass labor day sales) and if I'm super lucky, I'll get to go to the DMV!  

Am hoping that one good night of sleep and the prospect of actually living in my beautiful new house will shift my attitude by tomorrow morning.