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 Message Boards » » Buying my 'forever' house: real time updates Page [1] 2 3 4, Next  
MaximaDrvr

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Well, my wife and I just put down a deposit on a new house. This thread will be real time updates.

We had been talking about moving for over a year. We love our house, but it is in a neighborhood that has gotten significantly worse in the 5 years that we have lived here. The crime, graffiti, and general disregard for property maintenance are getting more obvious.
We now have a 4 month old, and schools would be a concern in the future.

The current house:
2,400 sq.ft, 5 bed, 3 bath, loft, 2 car garage, .16 acres. Totally open property

The new house:
3,380 sq.ft, 4 bed, office, 3.5 bath, 3 car garage, .31 acres. Heavily wooded.

This, but brick where there is stone, and stone where there is siding. 12x17 deck on the back.


We were just driving around with James (son) in the back seat sleeping and decided to drive through this new neighborhood. It is about 8 minutes from where we currently live, but in Mint Hill vs Charlotte (nicer).
We had 6 people wave as we were driving through, which is different than the usual scowls from the current neighborhood.

We walked a model on Sunday, and were interested. The agent was supposed to be off Monday, but instead we saw the model of the floor plan we were interested in, and decided to run the options and numbers.
We then put down a fat check and started the process.

This is ahead of our planned schedule, and about $75k more than we were expecting to spend, but it had too much going for it to walk away and not regret it later. Now we just regret it now.

So far everything has gone extremely well. The agent did have to request a new check from us, as they do not accept them with cents, but that was the number they requested from us. Xx,xxx.39 vs xx,xxx

I'm headed over tonight to take some lot pictures and verify some details on construction.

9/8/2015 12:32:11 PM

Brandon1
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Who's the builder? I've been a builder with a few different builders in the Ral area, maybe I can let you in on a few secrets. PM is ok too.

9/8/2015 1:22:24 PM

jbrick83
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Congrats, now you will have space for all three of your Maximas.

9/8/2015 1:34:14 PM

synapse
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^^ Looks like Ryan Homes

9/8/2015 1:43:46 PM

Brandon1
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^Duh, I didnt even see that.

Ryan builds good stuff, pretty cool the way they manufacture their homes with the pre built panels.

9/8/2015 2:44:44 PM

MaximaDrvr

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The lot

9/8/2015 9:56:42 PM

HaLo
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Congrats. Nice house, not a fan of the front facing 3 car garage. That's gonna be a lot less wooded lot after they get done putting the house on it.

9/8/2015 10:03:48 PM

richthofen
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3380...that's a big sucker. I'm still getting used to 2300 after moving here from an 850 sf apartment.

Generally I'm a fan of older houses, but if the neighborhood is getting worse and schools are a concern, then I can understand your reasoning. Looks nice, though as has been said I'd prefer a side-facing garage. Not having any siding is a huge win as far as maintenance is concerned, too.

9/9/2015 1:11:10 AM

MaximaDrvr

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The garage will look like a 2 car garage. The 3rd bay will be brick and windows, and will look like part of the house. It will function as a workshop area for me in theory.

They only offered a side facing garage as a two car.

9/9/2015 6:08:56 AM

Brandon1
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One thing I will tell you, pay attention at your pre drywall and your final walk around with the builder. He will go over options you have chosen and make sure they are in the house and on the plans and cut sheet. I cant count how many times that options the customers chose didnt make it to the cut sheet, we caught it too late, and had to rip up the house.

Ryan has a 120 day or so cycle time, but if you arent comfortable with that then stress to the builder that you dont want it to close that quick. Allot of times I had to close homes to make quota, rushing construction and inevitably skipping some quality.

EDIT: Also pay attention to your lot walk. I had to do 20ft setbacks from the house on the sides and back, and then nearly clear all of the front. Make sure you mark what you want to keep, and make the builder clear what you want not what he is suggested to do.

[Edited on September 9, 2015 at 7:04 AM. Reason : .]

9/9/2015 7:03:43 AM

MaximaDrvr

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We already have a scheduled close on 2/15/16.

Thanks for the tips. There are already a few things that are in the plans that I will be discussing slight modification with the construction manager.
Ex: they have switches for the living room in the middle of the wall as opposed to near either entryway. They should be two studs left or right from where they are.

9/9/2015 7:23:26 AM

MaximaDrvr

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We were told yesterday that the elevation we wanted was not available, but a very similar was.
We discussed and agreed to the new elevation, then I get an email today saying they went back and have approved the original elevation. Frustrating, but not really an issue.

Still has the wrong third garage face, and the colors of brick and stone will be different:


[Edited on September 9, 2015 at 1:21 PM. Reason : .]

9/9/2015 1:18:54 PM

sumfoo1
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dunno why but it reminds me of mine.

only on a long skinny 2 acres (110ft x800ft)

two windows to the left of the single car garage are a side load double car garage

[Edited on September 10, 2015 at 12:51 PM. Reason : .]

9/10/2015 12:50:42 PM

MaximaDrvr

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That was another floor plan we looked at, and I really liked. It was the same price for 2,700sq.ft.
We would have preferred a side entry garage, but this floor plan didn't allow it.

Looks nice.

9/10/2015 6:04:53 PM

dannydigtl
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Read the book "Get Your House Right".

Those are architectural nightmares.

9/11/2015 8:49:10 AM

MaximaDrvr

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Aaaand back to the alternate elevation. Wife says she likes it better anyway, so nbd.

Lined up a rental house this weekend for when this one sells while waiting for construction to finish.

Loan approval meeting yesterday (Monday) morning. 3.75% locked till March. I'll shop around more as we get closer to the Feb closing date.

Had the low voltage meeting yesterday evening. They wanted $70/month forever to prewire for alarm and surround sound. (+monitoring 'included'). Just stuck with coax prewired. No hard line for phone.

Had the listing agent for our current house come take pictures this morning so it can go active next week.

Completed the flooring meeting this afternoon. Upgraded the flooring, carpet, and tile in the master bath. Selected the flooring color and style, tile in all bathrooms, vinyl floor in laundry, and confirmed the granite selection for the kitchen and baths.

So far, the changes/upgrades from the initial plans and signing are as follows: (base, A, B, C, D)
Upgraded engineered hardwood w/ 25 year warranty, entire down stairs, level C: $11,500 (over base, carpet/vinyl)
Upgraded carpet and padding w/ 10 year warranty, entire upstairs level A: $2,000 (over base)
Upgraded tile in master bath: $900 (level B to level C)
Upgrade to single basin sink: $200
Upgrade deck from 10x12 to 12x18: $1700
Add hose bib: $380
Add 3 gfi outlets (one on front patio, two in garage): $600

9/15/2015 9:35:10 PM

MaximaDrvr

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The flooring and carpet


Wife and child as we took a walk on the communities 2 miles of paved trails. These go through the protected wooded areas, and have some decent elevation changes.

9/15/2015 10:16:51 PM

eleusis
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with only a third of an acre, will any trees remain on the lot?

9/15/2015 10:38:02 PM

MaximaDrvr

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Lot is roughly 80x 160, and the house ends at 80' deep. We are planning on approx 40' of grass and 40' of woods to remain.
Also, we have 100' of community property protected forest behind our house.

[Edited on September 16, 2015 at 7:15 AM. Reason : .]

9/16/2015 7:12:00 AM

Jeepin4x4
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congrats. What part of Mint Hill? Mind if I ask which community in Charlotte you were in? Curious about the crime and graffiti.

9/18/2015 9:03:11 AM

MaximaDrvr

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The house officially listed today. Mls#3115476


The new neighborhood is Summerwood. Not really sure how it relates yet to the physical Mint Hill proper. We are located between 51 and 218 near 485.

I was in east Charlotte, Hickory Grove division.
My current neighborhood actually has the lowest crime of any division in the neighborhood.
The graffiti was bored teenagers who sprayed the courts, playground, and new construction.
The crimes were a few simple assaults, a vehicle theft (moped), and some theft from construction.
It is more the attitude of the neighborhood. I'm currently on the board there, and the reality is that I'm discriminated against and accused of a lot because i am white. The community is 80% black. It was great when I moved in and everyone got along, but a lot of NY city northerners moved in and brought the city with them.
I could just ignore it, stop trying to help the community grow, and live a happy life, but that isn't my style.

[Edited on September 18, 2015 at 12:34 PM. Reason : .]

9/18/2015 12:31:35 PM

MaximaDrvr

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First showing Saturday, two more today.
Discovers the MLS has me as 3/1 baths, but I am 3/0.
Hopefully that gets updated.

9/21/2015 12:34:41 PM

MaximaDrvr

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Original plan in the mast bath was to have a "roman" shower, two heads, large walk in.
Wife was missing a soaking tub, and we had originally dismissed it because we were told it was 3k additional.
I went through all the contract options, and it looked like it would be $1k.
Called, submitted the change order, and when I came back, it was a $0 change.
Don't know why, but not going to complain.

10/5/2015 12:25:10 PM

goalielax
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take that newfound "Savings" and use it to upgrade to composite decking if it's not already. trust me, you want it

10/6/2015 2:30:15 PM

MaximaDrvr

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Composite decking is $45/sq.ft.
That is almost $10k to upgrade to composite decking.
Not happening.
Maybe rebuild the deck with it in 10 years, but they want way, way, to much to put it in to start.

[Edited on October 6, 2015 at 9:04 PM. Reason : .]

10/6/2015 9:04:36 PM

Crede
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damn you can get a lot of house in the south. my 3br 1.5ba in Chicago cost $300k. granted it was built in the 50s.

10/6/2015 10:04:11 PM

BobbyDigital
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That actually sounds really reasonable for what i'd expect in Chicago.

Even in southern cities, if you want to buy in the urban/downtown areas, cost goes up dramatically. The triangle, triad, charlotte areas just have all this empty space around it to sprawl, so there's always somewhere with $100/sqft new construction going on.

I remember my first house I bought in '03. It was a new starter home subdivision near carmax on glenwood. Paid $183K for a 2100 square foot house. Sold it in '08 for $248k just before the bottom fell out of the housing bubble. (lost money on the next house of course). Houses in that same neighborhood are going for $250k and up now. They're not particularly well built, are small, and cookie cutter as fuck. But, the surrounding area has filled in a lot, so the location props up the value, whereas it was considered way the fuck out in the burbs back when I bought it. Cary was the suburban paradise/hell back then, followed by apex, but now it's too expensive for the majority of middle class families, so everyone's moving out to Holly springs and fuquay now, which were considered po-dunk towns less than a decade ago.

yeah i rambled on way more than i meant to here. but i typed too much to delete it now.

10/7/2015 1:56:43 PM

goalielax
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i'll just point out that an additional $10K is less than $50 more a month on a 30 year mortgage. If you really would replace it in the future, you'd be wasting money not doing it from the start. have you thought about having a contractor do it after the builder is done? is that even an option?

these prices make me laugh/cry. I live outside of DC near Annapolis. paid $615K for a 15 year old cape cod 4/3.5 on 2.25 acres (granted, that is a big parcel for the region). $400K around here gets you a shitbox on a postage stamp lot

[Edited on October 11, 2015 at 9:44 PM. Reason : .]

10/11/2015 9:39:39 PM

synapse
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$50/month for 30 years for a nicer deck? Are you seriously making an argument for that ITT?

10/12/2015 12:21:12 AM

goalielax
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that's the way mortgages work, yes.

10/12/2015 7:55:08 PM

KyleAtState
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50*12*30=$18,000 yikes.

You could almost certainly save up $18k cash and buy nearly twice the deck or a deck and a hot tub in a year or two vs. the 30 year plan.

10/13/2015 9:44:37 AM

MaximaDrvr

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Yeah, the plan is to do a bigger, nicer, multi-level deck when we replace this one. We should get 10 years out of this one with no problems though.

If your starting budget is 500k and you find a house at 375, then sure the 10k for a deck upgrade may make sense.
If your starting budget is 350k and you find a house at 375, then 10k for a deck is assenine.

We can afford this house, but don't want to be stupid. Paying nearly twice as much for something, at only $50 more a month, is like being sold by a car salesperson asking if you want mudflaps.

10/13/2015 7:10:08 PM

MaximaDrvr

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Had the preconstruction meeting and plot walk today.
The lot will be cleared next week, and construction starts in two weeks.
Construction should wrap up in the end of January.
We verified all options, additional receptacle placement, and the few trees on the plot we want to save.

Things should start moving a lot faster now.

10/15/2015 6:39:11 PM

Bobby Light
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Quote :
"i'll just point out that an additional $10K is less than $50 more a month on a 30 year mortgage"


Really dude?

10/16/2015 9:37:43 AM

MaximaDrvr

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Went by today, and they already have the bull dozed in place.
My lot is from the orange mark in the street at the bottom right of the photo to the rear of the car on the left side.

10/18/2015 1:51:09 PM

MaximaDrvr

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The lot is 70% cleared.

With the shade,mans the sun going down earlier, I'll probably only be doing weekend progress pictures from now on.



10/19/2015 5:58:53 PM

Brandon1
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Those 953's are no joke, clear a lot in no time.

10/19/2015 9:59:47 PM

MaximaDrvr

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All clear. Foundation and concrete over the next two weeks.

10/25/2015 6:46:12 PM

MaximaDrvr

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They poured the footings and foundation base today.

10/30/2015 7:54:57 PM

synapse
play so hard
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pic or it didn't happen

[Edited on October 31, 2015 at 12:52 AM. Reason : ]

10/31/2015 12:52:13 AM

MaximaDrvr

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11/1/2015 7:17:32 AM

Jaybee1200
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sweet, looks like a sustainable, walkable community where you dont have to drive for things like milk, eggs, etc. and entertainment and you dont spend hours a week commuting to work and away from your family and your kids get to walk/bike to school. Impressed.

[Edited on November 1, 2015 at 4:46 PM. Reason : s]

11/1/2015 4:44:27 PM

MaximaDrvr

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Crawl space walls are going up.



Quote :
"sweet, looks like a sustainable, walkable community where you dont have to drive for things like milk, eggs, etc."

Harris teeter, publix, target, Aldiss, Home Depot, lowes, and clothing stores are all within 5 miles. They do have a 4 acre lake in the community with concrete pads for picnicking.

Quote :
" entertainment and you dont spend hours a week commuting to work and away from your family and your kids get to walk/bike to school. Impressed."

I still commute 30 miles to work, but the schools are closer.

11/6/2015 7:37:38 PM

Jaybee1200
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5 miles is a long way to walk for a gallon of milk or a taco

11/6/2015 7:41:21 PM

MaximaDrvr

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Within.... Starts at about 2 miles.
Still would drive it though. I'm lazy like that.

11/6/2015 7:43:22 PM

TreeTwista10
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Jaybee walks everywhere because the traffic is so bad in Atlanta, walking is just as fast as driving.

11/6/2015 7:46:25 PM

Jaybee1200
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much faster, but it's more of something to do no matter what the traffic conditions are

11/6/2015 7:52:36 PM

MaximaDrvr

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Some brick went up.
The rain all last week slowed them down.

11/11/2015 6:59:43 PM

MaximaDrvr

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Walls

11/13/2015 7:08:51 PM

Str8BacardiL
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Did your realtor advise you to get a rough in inspection?

11/13/2015 9:34:56 PM

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