Saturday, December 21, 2013

Elevations to Consider for our Rome

Elevation C

With Cobble Stone - Adds a 2 Foot Extension on the Loft.  This is my favorite
elevation thus far!

elevation C - Moving on up Home in a Rome

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bad - Beware of Inaccurate Credit Scores!

So I signed up for a few months ago so I could monitor my credit score.  Now CreditKarma pulls its score from Trans Union based on their website info.  I was a little stunned to see the score it listed me as but I never thought it was wrong just didn't know how or why it was what it was.

Low and behold the other day I signed up for which gives you all 3 Credit Scores - TransUnion, Equifax and Experian and wouldn't you know my Transunion Score was 31 Points Higher then what stated which makes a HUGE difference!

OMG! I was so happy but a little mad that it had me so worried and trying to bring it up all these months all for not!  So if you are monitoring your credit score - make sure you use a reliable and accurate site like  There may be others out there but this one came highly recommended and its only $19 a month.  They do give you a 7 Day Free Trial.  I will only need it for 2 months until February at which time I will simply cancel it.

Helpful Sites:

Ryan Homes Monthly Incentives! Does anyone else Get Excited Watching This?

This month Ryan Homes had an amazing incentive - you get a FREE Finished Lower Level saving
you over $10,000!  The last few months the incentive was $4000 off a morning room, not so great of an incentive but it beats a blank LOL.  Some communities/states have even better incentives.  The current incentive in the community I want to build in states it ends December 22nd however, Ryan's website states it ends December 31st. 

So I'm anxious to see what the next 60 days will bring in incentives.  I know year end incentives are typically better because they want to meet their end of the year sales quota.  So we shall see!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Keep an Eye on the Daily Mortgage Rates!

If you plan to build soon, you may want to keep an eye on the daily mortgage rates.  They continue to
rise!  The people who were able to lock in during the historical lows of 3.25% were oh so lucky - well seems like those days are over!  As of today we are at 4.37 - 4.62% for a 30 Year Fixed.  :(

So if you can afford to do so early - you may want to meet with your Lender and discuss options of locking in the interest rate before they go up again.  Right now we plan to just wait it out until February and keep our fingers crossed tight that the rates stay pretty stable for the next 60 days!

Helpful Sites to Watch Daily Mortgage Rates:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lets Talk PMI - Private Mortgage Insurance

PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance.  If you do not put 20% down on your home, then PMI is required for both FHA and Conventional Loans. I'm going to focus on Conventional Loans since that is what we are going with.

So the other night I was up bright and early and thinking about PMI.  So I started to do a little research.  Based on a Pre Sales Cost Estimate that we did earlier this year, the PMI on the sales price of $323,000 was going to be around $180 a month.  I really hate to have anything on my payment that is unnecessary so I started to research on how we could remove the PMI without putting 20% down.

Just a quick note, if you are not putting 20% down on your house, be sure to have an in-depth conversation with your lender about PMI so that you clearly understand what your options are.  Every lender is different.  With NVR, I am know they give you an option to Pre-Pay your PMI but I have not received all of the details around it.

We are hoping we can save and just Pre-Pay the PMI at closing.

Here is what I learned in general about PMI.
  • PMI - It is put in place to protect the lender in case you default on the loan
  • PMI - It is not removed unless you reach 20% Mortgage to Loan Value or if you Refinance.
  • You can Pre-Pay PMI to remove it from your mortgage upfront - It is typically about 1.75% of the Purchase Price to Pre-Pay and Remove the PMI. So on a $300,000 sale price it would cost around $5,250 to Pre-Pay and remove the PMI.  This is a no-brainer!  Over the life of the loan, you are going to save around $17,000 if you Pre-Pay your PMI upfront!  Other terms used that mean the same as Pre-Pay PMI are Single Pay PMI and Single Premium Insurance.
Here are some helpful sites I used to learn more about PMI.

Our Journey - Downsizing & Building Rome with Ryan Homes

This blog is to document our entire journey of building the Rome Model with Ryan Homes.  We will document the entire process!  Starting with the preparations that we are taking prior to meeting with with our SR and then continuing through the entire building and closing process from start to finish.  We will also continue to share with you later upgrades we will do on our own after closing!  

The purpose of this blog is to help others in their journey.  Hopefully you will walk away with some new found knowledge, or fresh ideas on how you can make the most out of your building experience and maybe even some money saving tips as well :)

This will be our 3rd time building and this time we plan to get it right!  Our first home was built with
My Old House - Nantucket II - Bye House LOL :(
Ryan Homes back in 2001, it was a Westmoreland Model, about 2400 Square Feet w/Finished Basement - we ended up outgrowing it due to the fact that I work from home.  Then in 2008 we built a Nantucket II with Heartland Homes, 6400 Square Feet w/Finished Basement, gorgeous home (picture to the right), LOVED IT, but 4 years in we realized that we built way too big and didn't need a house that massive
as the kids are grown now (20 and 24) and will be gone soon, we hope LOL. ;)  So in August of 2013, after 18 months on the market, our house FINALLY SOLD!  So now we are ready to downsize WOOHOO..thought the time would never come!  

So now we are ready to build our new idea of our Dream Home, the Rome!  Our goal is to never build or move again after this therefore, we are taking our time to think everything through!  I mean EVERYTHING!  Hence why we decided to rent a Patio Home for 1 year prior to building, and I must tell has been an eye opening experience to say the least!  I never realized how spoiled we have become LOL!  I find myself missing the small things that people take for granted like Good Lighting, Garbage Disposal, Peep Hole in Door, Ample Cabinet Space in Kitchen, and a Refrigerator with Water and Ice Dispenser to name a few LOL!  This place we stay at is beautiful, however, its nothing compared to our Nantucket. I feel like I've been displaced or living in a hotel for 4 months LOL!!  But don't get me wrong, we are blessed and so thankful our house finally sold!  Anyway, you get the point!  I'm soooooo READY TO BUILD!!  :)

With that said, the 3rd time is a Charm and this time we are going to take our time, do our research and put the knowledge of what we've learned from past experiences to use and do things the SMART WAY this time around!  I am going to SHARE EVERYTHING I've LEARNED or continue to LEARN WITH YOU IN THIS BLOG!  I've learned just from building these last two homes and I've learned even more just by researching online and reading other blogs!  So I have ALOT TO SHARE!  :)  And I know this time around we are going to SAVE A TON OF MONEY as I have learned its important to keep your money in your pocket whenever possibleI will be sharing ways to save with you in other post as well!  So please FOLLOW ME :) 

So when looking at Ryan Homes models, we fell in love with the Rome!  We even drove 6 hours to
Rome Model in Virginia that We Toured - Love it!
Virginia to see the model because they did not have one here in Pennsylvania for us to tour.  I like to see decorated models rather then empty homes being built - it gives me a better feel of the living space etc.  Let me tell you - It was a trip worthwhile!  I would never advise anyone to build a house Model unseen!  In touring the actual model vs watching the Virtual Tour on Ryan Homes website - what I found was that some spaces looked either bigger or smaller on the Virtual Tour then they did in person - this is very important to know because it could make a huge impact on your decision.  In the end, we decided the Rome Model, with its spacious and open floor plan, larger bedrooms, and 1st floor office, is perfect for our family.  It is one that we can grow old in and raise our future grandbabies  :)

We have been in constant contact with our SR since our house went on the market almost 2 years now.  So on February 28, 2014 we will be officially meeting with our SR to start our building process!  Let the Countdown begin!  Super excited!!

So please follow me as I take you along through this exciting new phase in our lives and share valuable information that you may find helpful in your own building process with Ryan Homes.  Whether you are building a Rome or another Ryan Homes model, this blog will come in handy to you through the process.