Sunday, April 7, 2013

Loan Approved. Electrical and Questions. Guardian Meeting

4/4/2013 - Thursday - Getting Questioned Answered with SR 
Stopped by the Model Home for a last minute scheduled meeting with our SR. We have to finalize structural changes by Sunday, and I wanted to go through electrical diagrams and get some questions answered to be prepared for final choices on Sunday. I found out our SR used to be a PM and had built over 205 houses in the area. I respect anyone who is knowledgeable in their field, and our SR is a master of his craft. We couldn't be in better hands.

Over the next three hours we turned the meeting into a pre construction meeting as I had lots of specific questions and requests and he had an answer for everything. He was too kind and didn't say that my questions should be asked later in the pre construction meeting.. But at the end he said jokingly that we had now finished what we would have done in the pre construction meeting!

One interesting thing I found out is that besides the official choices and options and selections, there is an entire binder full of non-standard requests that people ask. I had a few things that he looked up there, such as the hammer head driveway for side entry garages. I forgot to ask what are some of the strangest things contained in the binder..

Coolest thing mentioned was that they are looking to expedite some builds and ours might be finished a little sooner if everything falls in place at the right time. I wish..

4/5/2013 - Friday - Loan Approved and Banking
The loan was approved yesterday by my bank. The rate is locked at 2.6% for 240 days (we have to close by November, 30 year loan, fixed). I hope we don't take that long as current estimated closing is September. Stopped by bank today ad put down the required 1% commitment deposit to lock the rate.  Got official copy of approval letter. Marching forth..

4/6/2013 - Saturday - Guardian Meeting
Met the Guardian representative and was very pleased. The man asked what I do and I told him I work in IT. He asked if I know what they do and I said I had attended one of their presentations before. He asked if I had any questions about any products or what I am interested in. I indicated I only wanted to place the cable and phone drops and he asked where and marked the floor plan. We talked a little about the equipment they install and wiring standards. It was pleasant and informative and we were done. He did not push any products at me and answered all my questions to my prefect satisfaction. This was a world of difference from the flooring meeting. I almost felt bad I did not buy anything from him.. But the price was insane, despite the technology being cool. I am sure it has its customers, just not this penny pincher.. 


  1. Great rate I thought I had a one but you beat mine.

    I would recommend you do the work yourself on cable, data, and phone lines. They will not encourage yob but will likely not stop you. Do it after hours and get the wall plates yourself.

    Also a constant complaint with Ryan Homes is the lack of interior insulation in the walls and noise transference between rooms. I even had the water pipes wrapped up and insulated the floors. This place better be quiet!

    As a guy who is 9 days away from closing I am regretting not getting additional lighting in the small bathrooms.

    I have a lot of tips and tricks in my blog if your interested.

    1. Hi Jason and thanks for your feedback. I have been following your blog for a while and we exchanged some emails (this is Bashar)

      Your posts inspired me to do lots of the 'custom' work to insulate the house better for sound and heat.. I am an IT guy and your picture demonstrations and email corresponding have given me so many ideas for the cable runs and insulation as well as 'inspiring me' to ditch Guardian..

      I looked at your options and recommendations, and lots of what we added came straight from your list of to do list.. Most famously the driveway which I will post about shortly.. I kind of went crazy with that one!

  2. Just started following your blog. Looks like you lucked out with your SR. Our SR also used to be a PM for a few years, so he's been great at providing insight.

    It's definitely stressful how quickly you have to finalize structural changes. Looking forward to following you on your journey!

    1. Thank you for following our blog, we are following your blog too!

      You could not be more correct about the SR. There isn't enough good stuff I can say about this man. I was joking with him that they may have to give me his survey on 11x17 paper because we need pages of thanks to be fair to him. He never hesitated to meet about anything, and always made stuff happen for us.

      We really wanted the Jefferson Square model at first, but he kept pushing us towards the Victoria Falls.. at some point I felt he was not doing enough to get us the model we wanted, but in truth he was pushing us to the model where he could get us the best discounts and greater incentives, and he did.

  3. I know this comment is coming after the fact, but I'd love to know how you locked in your rate so early? Did you have to pay a fee or points in order to lock so far in advance? Thank you!

    1. Hello and thanks for visiting. When looking for a lender we were looking for one that would give a low rate and lock it for a long time. Third Federal bank had the best rate when we were looking, and they waived PMI with 15% down payment, which saves us an easy $200 a month that would be better spent as extra payment on the principle. Third Federal also locked the rate for 240 days while building. So we went with them.

      Ryan Homes try very hard to sell you on NVR Mortgage, but that agency fluctuates its rates while you are building and it is nearly impossible to know what your rate will be when you actually go to sign. The truth is, if you are good at negotiating, all the incentives that they give you to sign with NVR Mortgage you can still get if you go with another lender. Of course they want to make money from your mortgage business, but I think their main objective is selling you a home. In other words, you will get whatever discounts are promised to you whether the line on the contract says "NVR Mortgage Incentive" or "xyz incentive."

      Finally, with Third Federal you pay the application fee (under $500) and 1% of the loan amount to lock to rate. If the rate drops between that time and when you actually finish building you can get the better rate if you want. I think there is one free rate change then the next one is you lose the 1% down payment, which is sometimes worth it depending on the new rate.. But don't take my word for it, please check their contract. I hope you find this helpful.