Building a new house with Ryan Homes was the least stressful part of moving. Unpacking, organizing and moving in with two kids? That was the challenge! Ryan Homes' process, complete with scheduled meetings, check points and inspections made what could be a crazy process, totally sane. Are you building a new home? Here are some of my tips to hold on to your mind (Believe me, you are getting advice from a pro.)
Before we signed any paperwork, we did extensive research. I called the township code officer with specific questions about the land surrounding our development. I researched school district information until I was blue in the face. I even knocked on the doors of my future neighbors asking about the area, local daycare, schools and traffic. Crazy? Nope. Thorough! Once you are confident you are moving to a place in which you will like to live, you can focus on the other important things like signing contracts, securing loans and packing.
Look at Every Model
Our particular community only had one model, which was lovely, but not for us. We visited a neighboring community to view another model, and even poured over other available floor plans, pricing out different combinations and square footage. And then we went with our gut. There is a certain feeling when you walk through a model home and it just feels right. When we walked through the Ravenna, I could picture our kids running through the halls, fighting over sinks in the bathroom, and having meals together in the morning room. It just felt right. And it felt different from other homes we'd gone through. This was the one.
Create a Running List of Questions
The pre-construction meeting is probably the single-most important meeting you will have in your homebuilding process. There, you'll meet with your sales rep and project manager to go through every detail, upgrade and option to make sure everyone is on the same page. You will want to ask a lot of questions. Make sure you write them all down. To get started, here's a list of 25 questions to ask your project manager at your pre-construction meeting.
Explore Every Option and Upgrade
I do have a few regrets (I'm being honest here), and one of them was not inquiring about every single option and upgrade. And to be frank, some things were just not offered to us (a-hem, eyeball lights above the fireplace). If you can get your hands on the option sheet for your model, do it. Ask about everything. For example, are you choosing nickel hardware for your doors and fixtures? Make sure your project manager knows you want your bathroom fixtures to be nickel, too.
Make Friends with Your Sales Rep
Until the build begins, your sales rep is your main point of contact. Make sure you get to know him or her. I'd phone her (stressed out!) with a question, concern or change, and she handled my calls like a pro. I didn't hesitate to call when I had a question and she was happy to field them, or find an answer for me when she didn't have one.
Erica is a full-time consultant and blogger, who wrote about her own experience building a Ravenna model in New Jersey on her blog, Building a New House with Ryan Homes.