Duck, duck, duck … goose?

With the floor plan picked out it was then off to pick a lot.  Prior to actually talking to anyone from Ryan, we had driven the the development a few times.  Our concern was always how big the lots were.  Neither one of us would particularly like having to maintain a large yard; however there’s something to be said for having a large yard.  A larger yard decreases feeling like eyes are always prying in.  It would also be nice to have a yard big enough to have outdoor gatherings in the summer time.

From the road the lot sizes didn’t seem particularly deep from the road.  We were beginning to notice what appeared to be mounds in each lot that obfuscated our view though.  So after meeting with someone from the Ryan sales team and going over an initial price / configuration sheet, we asked if we could walk some of the lots.  We all piled into his son’s Accord and drove the two minutes from the model to some of the lots we had liked.

lotsOn our previous visits Brandy and I liked lots #9658, #9659, and #9660; there were also openings where lot #9668 and #9690 are listed (all the other lots either had homes already or are in the process of being built).  Each lot was approximately a quarter acre and had a view of a small little pond.  You could not really see the pond from the road so this was a happy surprise.  We could imagine having breakfast in the mornings looking out to the peaceful little pond.  This might also be the appropriate time to talk about lot premiums.  Lots that either have extra space or some type of really good view are deemed to be “premium”.  You pay extra to upgrade to a premium lot.  So lot #9659 had the highest premium and we knew why, the view.  The sales guy also explained that there is a drainage easement running through the back of property.  This meant that we couldn’t do fencing or the like, but extended the open feeling of the lot (the easement is actually ‘community’ property).  With our morning room addition the view of the pond would almost be framed perfectly.  We decided to walk across the street to lot #9690, there was no premium there and the back of the lot butts up to an open field.  The open field was really nice, but talking with the sales guy, this is where phase two is slated to be.

As we walked back to the car we noticed geese droppings on the road.  Ugh.  Geese.  Those of you familiar with geese know these creatures are not to be messed with.  They are nasty, mean, and poo all over the place.  We drove back to the model, headed home with quite a lot to think about, and we let it stew for a few days.  A few days later we decided to go see what lot #9668 had to offer.  We went out and walked it ourselves.  It’s a corner lot, so there wouldn’t be anyone next to us for a while.  Phase two would be slated to the right of us wrapping around, so we would not have neighbors there for a while.  There was also an easement that runs in the back of this lot.  Because of that easement we wouldn’t have anyone directly behind us and the next house is pretty far away.  So that is lot we decided on.

Now on to more pictures!

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Lions and Tigers and Floor plans, oh my.

So, we knew what development we wanted to build in and we next needed to determine which floor plan we wanted.  When you choose to build in a Ryan Homes development you are able to choose from a half dozen or so floor plans.  We knew that we wanted at least 2,000 square feet and that eliminated some of the options.  Brandy has always desired to live in a multi-story house and that eliminated a few more. We knew that we needed some kind of an office space; I work from home and need a dedicated work space.  We also knew that we wanted at least three bedrooms, a large kitchen, large family room, and at least 2.5 baths.  That left us with three different floor plans to consider: the Palermo, the Naples, and the Victoria Falls.  Once again we hit the pavement to find models we could walk through.palermo


The model we saw was actually flipped

The Palermo was the first floor plan we started to consider and there just happened to be a decorated model in North Canton.  Our first impression upon entering? We felt really claustrophobic. Immediately walking in through the front entrance we were greeted with a stairway to the second floor in front of us, also ahead of us was a hallway toward the kitchen and family room, to our right was a dining room and immediately to our left was a powder room.  We walked through the hallway into the kitchen and were amazed at how large the great room was.  The model also had an optional dedicated office space, which was exciting, until I realized it didn’t seem any larger than our current home.  The upstairs bedrooms were decent sized and we would have had plenty of room for a guestroom, when Brandy’s dad comes in from Chicago.  However, we were never really able to get over how we felt underwhelmed when we first walked in; how uninviting and closed in the foyer felt.  Strike that one off the list.


The model we walked through was flipped here too.

naplesIt just so happened that on our way home from the Palermo that there was a Naples model in Green.  Okay, so we knew it was there when we left and had it planned the whole time.  So we entered into the Naples.  The entrance here was similar with stairs ahead of us, to the right was a living room, however no powder room to our left.  It felt more inviting already.  We could substitute the living room for a study and I could get some dedicated office space.  Our concern in doing that however, was would it then be less inviting and closing off the foyer?  On to the kitchen and family room, which were really nicely sized.  We ascended to the second floor, where we found 4 bedrooms, a nicely sized loft area, and second floor laundry.  This house had some really nice potential.  Remember from the first post how we analyze things to death?  We had been following the progress that a high school friend (Dan) and his wife (Alicia) had building a Naples through their blog and asked if we could chat with them about their experience and perhaps see the finished product.  We cannot thank them enough as they opened their home to us one afternoon.  They had added a morning room, which we really liked in all the models we had toured, their kitchen had a really large island, and the loft in the second floor had been converted into another bedroom that was serving as a play area for their kids.  Overall we really liked the way the Naples was laid out.

Ours will be very similar to this, without the brick though.

Ours will be very similar to this, without the brick though.

vicfalls-floorplanThe Victoria Falls was actually the first model that we had walked through, it was the closest to us and was in the development we were looking at.  Upon entering from the front door you first see a waterfall stairway in front of you, to your left is a formal living room, forward to the right a few feet is a powder room, and a hallway to the mud room and kitchen.  It was really the stairway that sold us on this floor plan.  It seemed so inviting and welcoming.  We are currently thinking, right now, that we will use the formal living room as an office space and might have French doors put in at each entrance.  We will be getting the large island in the kitchen, the four foot extension in the family room, and morning room off the kitchen.  We’ve always really wanted a fireplace, so we are getting that too.  It should be really nice to see the fireplace from the kitchen in the winter time.

The journey thus far.

Six years ago Brandy and I moved into a quaint, approximately 1,000 square foot, ranch style home in Norton, Ohio. This would be the first time we were out living on our own (unless you count living in college dorms).  We were looking to establish a home, before we married.  We wanted a house with three bedrooms; we would use one for an office, one as a guest room, and have the third be the master.  Our approach was that this would be a starter home.  Our thought was to put a few years in, gain some equity, and put the house up for sale in five years.  After about a month of looking and over 35 homes later, we found a house we both liked, put an offer in, and shortly thereafter it was ours.

So here we are six years later and this home has suited its purpose. We had made this our home, there were many laughs, some tears, and frustrations over the years.  This was the home we came back to after we were married in 2008.  This was the home where we hosted Christmas events with Brandy’s family.  However, there just doesn’t seem to be as much room as we had when we first moved in and our five year timeline came and went.

Last year we began to discuss what our plans going forward would be.  Would we move into an already established home?  Would we build our own home?  I was tending to lean toward the option to build.  How fun and exciting would it be to pick out all of your options and get a house just the way you wanted it?  Last year we went through the Medina County Parade of Homes and the homes we saw were spectacular.  I think that’s when Brandy started to seriously consider building.

f2dfb701-7fac-49dd-a39c-3bec06107a2eSo we thought we wanted to build our next home, but where would we build?  We both really liked growing up in Medina County, so that is where we started to look.  We came across several nice developments along the way, such as Blue Heron (Medina) and Hunter’s Glen (Seville / Medina), and then we stumbled upon Tiberon Trace in Wadsworth.

Tiberon is a Ryan Homes community and was annexed into Wadsworth from Sharon Township sometime around 2007.  They receive all the amenities of living in Wadsworth when it comes to shopping, restaurants and utilities.  It also means that if we ever had kids they would attend the Highland School District.

ryan_homes_logo_bigSo, we next began to do research on Ryan Homes; we are nothing if not meticulous when it comes to analyzing and researching things.  So we did what most would do in our situation, we hit the internet.  It seemed that for every bad experience there were just as many good.  Well this made things tough.  We decided we should hit the pavement and tour the model home and were very pleased with what we saw.  We had a few friends that have built homes with Ryan over the years and we met with as many as we could.  They all seemed to have fairly good experiences and that made us feel better.  I guess when you are as large as Ryan is there will always be people on both sides of the fence.

Future site of our new home

That really brings us to this point in time.  In the matter of the last two weeks, we’ve put our house on the market, picked out the Victoria Falls as the floor plan we like…and signed a purchase agreement.  So here we are, two days removed from signing the purchase agreement and we are pouring over all the configuration options.  We’ll talk about some of that in subsequent blog posts, but here we are in this whirlwind of activity.

Some might be wondering what the header picture is.  Victoria Falls, while a great floor plan, is also a waterfall in southern Africa.  When trying to come up with some inspiration for the title of our blog I came across this bridge that leads to those falls. We hope to give future people looking to build some insight and keep our friends and family updated on our progress.