I'm starting this blog to chronicle the building of our new home which will be the Ryan Homes "Rome" plan. When we got serious about signing the paperwork and committing to build, I began to scour the internet for information about Ryan homes, the new building process and the Rome model. Along the way I stumbled upon a wealth of information in the form of blogs written by fellow Rome owners and Ryan Homes builders. I have already learned so much from reading (I haven't read all of them yet, but I'll get there!), that I figured I could also pay it forward to the next set of new home builders and share my experiences. I also thought some of my family and friends might like to follow along with the fun. We are building in South Carolina, and since most of the blogs I have been reading deal with Ryan Homes developments in the Virginia/MD/Delaware/PA area, I thought a southern perspective might be welcome.
I'll use this post to do some quick introductions and tell our backstory, and then over the coming days I'll fill in what we have done so far, all our options choices and upgrades (that's the fun part, right?).
To tell you a little about ourselves, our family of four (me, Marissa; my husband, Mark; and our two boys, Everett and Foster) moved to the Charlotte metro area in February. My husband just finished ten year of service with the US Navy, and we are now transitioning to civilian life, and looking forward to putting down real roots and NEVER MOVING AGAIN. We've moved a lot in those ten years and we have lived in some awesome places (Pensacola, Florida; Old Town Alexandria, VA) and some awful ones (like our current run-down rental house). Our move to Charlotte happened rather quickly, so we decided to rent for a year, and use that time to find the perfect place to call home.
It was during the move to our current rental home that the idea of new construction seemed like the best choice, I was scrubbing 10 years worth of grime off the kitchen cabinets when I thought "wouldn't it be nice to not have to do this the next time I move, wouldn't it be nice to live in a brand new home". We have lived in so many places and dealt so so many less-than-ideal living situations, that the thought of having our own place, built from scratch with all our preferences and choices (no more carpet in the dining room!!!), just seemed like nirvana.
I spent some (alright tons) of time scouring Zillow for pre-built homes, and I also took it upon myself to visit every new development in our area (which was no small feat). We narrowed it down to the Ryland Homes Mcrae or the Ryan homes Rome I liked that the McRae had a downstairs bedroom and full bath for guests, that the living room/dining room were on opposite sides of the front entry way (seems more spacious), the larger bonus room, and the larger master vanity. I didn't like that the eat in kitchen disrupted traffic flow, that the laundry room was between two bedrooms, and that hardly any upgrades came standard.
With the Rome I liked that I could get attic storage, a 2 ft bump out for the garage, a morning room for free, that glorious gourmet island, a big pantry and linen closet, and that enormous master bedroom with two huge closets, plus lots of extra upgrades standard. What I really missed was the downstairs bedroom and bath along with smaller bonus room.
The Ryan homes community also had lower HOA fees than the Ryland, and it offered a pool complex with 2 story waterslide, lazy river, jr. Olympic pool, and zero entry splash area; a nice playground; and a huge club house with a gym (seriously, its going to be living at a resort!).
The two homes were about equal in price, but Ryland had a shorter commute for Mark, but Ryan had sidewalks and a better school district.
After much back and forth the Ryan Rome won our hearts, the amenities and the schools were better and I honestly couldn't stop thinking about that amazing kitchen island and morning room (I've always wanted a sun room). Two weeks ago we signed the purchase agreement and I've had zero regrets. I'm really excited about this whole process (and a little nervous), but I know the end result will be worth it and I can't wait to get into our new home and start this new chapter of our lives.
I'll end with a photo of Everett modeling our lot! Next stop, Rome!