Sunday, February 16, 2014

Signing Day

It felt like it was never going to happen. We are still not officially approved for our mortgage, but we were able to make our final selections, today. From the beginning, we have had the mindset that we would invest in structural upgrades, rather than cosmetic ones, and we stuck with that plan.
When we started down the road of building our home, we quickly realized that we would not be able to afford everything that we wanted. This was difficult to accept as we increased our maximum budget by twenty, and then forty percent. We are planning for the long-term, however.

This strategy has been validated by some of the blogs and anecdotes that we have heard from friends. Someone we know did the exact opposite as us. She spent extra money on all of the cosmetic updates, to make the house look great inside and out, but made the sacrifices on the structural side. No morning room, no four-foot extension, etc. A couple of years later, when they began pricing out the cost of building an addition onto their home, they really regretted their decision. Although the home is very nice-looking, it does not meet their needs the way that they thought that it would, and the cost of expanding is exorbitant.

The cost for adding cosmetic updates is much more palatable than the high cost of structural changes, and there are fewer complications. With that said, plain Jane siding is not going to win our new home any awards, and we are likely never going to reside it with brick or stone. Inside, however, we can paint, carpet, refloor, etc. to our heart's content, much more reasonably. One of our first priorities is finishing the basement space. While we pricing out different options in the initial stages of our experience, I noticed that the taxes went way up on one; it was the square footage of the finished space in the basement. So, we figured that we could buy our home with an unfinished basement and save on taxes while we finish it, one room at a time.

  • Morning room
  • 4' extension on family room
  • Side fireplace
  • Attached garage
  • Alternate master suite
  • Kitchen counter peninsula
  • Tray ceiling in the dining room (our only purely aesthetic option) - my wife wanted one nice thing
  • Maple spice cabinets
  • Kitchen recessed lighting
  • Family room recessed lighting and ceiling fan
  • Ceiling fan prewires in all bedrooms (Ryan Homes does not include overhead lighting. This is one completely ridiculous thing. The ceiling fan options are so-so quality and overpriced, so we just had them wired and will buy and install, ourselves.)

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