Ryland, Seriously?

I know, that’s just what I was feeling. Bitstrips is so nice for that! πŸ˜€ Yes, that’s me–or as close to me as you can get in the Bitstrip world. I’m sure you’re wondering why Ryland? Weren’t we not building with them? Weren’t they returning our check and not proceeding with the contract because they didn’t want to build the house? Yes, yes, you’re right. That’s exactly where we stood–until John checked the bank and guess what? Yes, you guessed right, Ryland cashed our check. Imagine his annoyance at finding this out…and then calling the Ryland sales lady and she knows nothing about. Imagine still further that he called back a couple of days later and left a message and she didn’t call him back. Have you seen angry John? πŸ˜‰ Not many people have!

So, he called her again today and this is the really unbelievable part. I mean, I know there is confusion at big companies sometimes and things happen that aren’t supposed to happen. One hopes they straighten them out and apologize. What is not expected is when they call you back and say, well wouldn’t you rather just go ahead and build with us anyway? Then that whole silly cash checking thing wouldn’t be a problem anymore. No Ryland, we do not want to build with you…we are broken up, move on!


Ryland decides we’re not going to build a house with them

Yes that’s right…after making us spend 5 1/2 hours signing a contract (don’t get me started, this length of time was not because we’re slow readers or signers but more the lack of organization on their side), 4 days later we were told that they “don’t think we would like the house on that lot” and “the house would fit very nicely on that (ugly) corner lot”. And then came back to say that the builder just “doesn’t think it would work out and we wouldn’t be happy”. Nice how they know what makes us happy, huh?

So, another builder doesn’t want to build with us…we’re getting a complex. We haven’t done anything wrong, seriously! But this, of course, makes me feel that people are thinking “hmmm…two builders don’t want to build with them, it must be them…there is sooo something wrong with them!” Maybe so, but really I think it’s just we know what we want–but maybe what we want no one makes?

When I think about people building new houses, I’m pretty sure they are just trusting that the builder will do everything right. Because most of the builders seem to give you a tentative price which is subject to change until you pick things out at the design center. I’m unwilling to have that kind of uncertainty–especially when Ryland couldn’t even tell me what the price differences would be for various cabinet and flooring categories.

We visited a Gehan community this weekend and they actually can give you that information. Like if you go to cabinet level D, it’s $6500 more and level F is $8000. So at least you know the maximum the upgrade charge can be. But I digress, I seem to recall that I was busy bashing Ryland. πŸ˜€ I’m sure they build perfectly fine homes, but I think in this case, they are building outside of their normal price range and don’t understand how the other builders at that price point work. Or if they did, surely they would change?

We actually think Ryland really just figured out what the foundation would be for the plan we picked on that specific lot and decided they weren’t going to make enough money. πŸ˜‰

The first (and maybe final) snag–just 2 days later!

You know when you read a contract to sign and there are weird clauses in there that you just know are only there because someone once sued them for that very thing? I found this one in the Ryland Homes contract.

View Not Guaranteed: Β You acknowledge that Your right to a view will stop at Your property line. By signing this agreement, You acknowledge that Ryland makes no guarantees on what may be built or changed on adjacent real estate (sic).

We just laughed about that one. Then a few pages later, I found this wording:

Position of house on lot: Ryland may move or change the position of the house upon the lot. This includes turning the house, changing the orientation of the house, etc.

I wasn’t laughing about that one. We had a particular lot and a position on the lot which allowed enough space for the pool behind the covered patio. No one was moving the house or turning it without my approval! I pointed this out to the sales lady and she said, “Oh, we would never do that!” I said, “I like you and I’d like to believe that you would not do that. However, this is a contract and I am not comfortable with that language in my contract.” John backed me up on that as did our realtor, Paula. So Ryland added an amendment to the contract.

Yesterday, the sales lady called and said the lot fit people did not want to put the side entry garage floor plan on that lot. She said they didn’t think WE would like it? She suggested we move to the one (!) other lot where the house can be built, which is a corner lot. Or change the house to a front entry garage…which results in entering the house through the laundry room, something I explicitly did not want and which results in a smaller laundry room AND a tandem garage instead of three separate bays. I told her that neither of those options were acceptable to me. She said that of course we would not be held to the contract if it did not work out–darn right!!

Still waiting on the results…

Dum dum dum…it’s semi-official

I know, you’re all wondering–what in the heck happened to the house building blog. Well, we wavered, we vacillated, we flipflopped, we changed our minds (sometimes a couple of times in one day). We’ll just wait, just forget it, let’s buy an existing house…on and on and on. Finally, we calmed down some and thought about what we wanted. We decided we did kind of want a community (as long as it is, of course, just the right kind of community), but we also wanted a little seclusion.

Triana out in Helotes seemed to fit the picture we had. There’s a pool and a playground, but every row of houses has at least 30′ of green space behind their back fence. And Ryland (gasp!) had the floor plan we liked the best, was running a good promotion, and had an awesome lot for our new house.

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The lot is on a cul de sac, so should be nice and secluded, plus behind it is the Triana’s (name of the people who sold the land to the developer) home ranch–pretty large. We like our floor plan and asked for just a couple small changes–we’ll see how amenable they are to making them. Plus, we made them write into our contract that we can back out (and get our money back)Β after we see the upgrade pricing at the design center (hence the semi-official-ness). We also like the elevation and the side entry garage.

This is the floor plan we're getting

This is the floor plan we’re getting

Front elevation

Front elevation

Will John and Lynne change their mind? Will John tell the saleslady that she must not want to sell us a house if she won’t make the changes we want? Will Lynne be able to pick out kitchen cabinets for an amount she feels is reasonable? Will John be snide when told each additional outlet he wants to add is $65 (probably)? Stay tuned for more updates from the bat cave…

Revisiting new communities

Because we are apparently gluttons for punishment (odd phrase, that), John and I decided to visit a couple of new home communities. Well, we actually were going to stop by an open house–cause I’ve been sick and Fiesta-ing was too much activity for me, but we saw a Sitterle sign as we were going to it. So we hopped over to the Balcones Creek community and saw Ryland was also building there. Don’t get me wrong here as Ryland is a perfectly fine builder, but we’ve always found their houses…I dunno know…borrrrinnnngggg! πŸ˜€ But this model actually looked interesting on the outside and was also (gasp) interesting on the inside! Unfortunately, though both builders were building nice homes there….they are both slightly above our price point and the location is waaaay out of town.

But…Ryland is also building at Triana just outside of Helotes–which is where we were originally going to buy the lot (I mean, in Helotes, not in Triana itself). So that got me thinking…I wonder if they have nicer homes there too. So I looked online, and being a major builder, Ryland of course has a huge web presence with interactive floor plans and other gizmos. And yes, seems like some of the houses are pretty nice. So, we head over there to check them out. Three hours later, we have a ton of floor plans and options and are too overwhelmed to go on. πŸ˜€ Or at least John is.

We’ll see what happens…I liked the floor plan at Balcones the best tho! Does anyone want to give me an extra $100K?

ryland olympia fp

Oh, but with some changes (of course!)

ryland olympia fp-rev