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Unread 04-29-2013, 01:30 PM
 
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Default Ryland Homes - Design Center questions

Does anyone out there have any experience with Ryland Homes and the design center? My husband and I just signed the contract to build a Ryland home in Mill Creek Falls and are so excited! We haven't yet set the date for our Design Center appointment, but wanted to get an idea about what we can expect to spend. Right now we are hoping to keep the upgrades around $20K. We've already added the structural upgrades so this $20K budget will go toward the non-structural items. Any ideas about what these things will cost and what we should prioritize? I really hope $20K will get us what we want but am a little worried. Below is a list of the upgrades we're considering:

Kitchen: Our kitchen is the #1 priority - we're foodies. Husband cooks, I bake, so we're going to spend the bulk of our upgrades here. Granite countertops are included.

Wiring: Pre-wiring for cable (adding extra outlets), flat-screens in the living room, perhaps in bedroom and/or loft

Lighting: Can lights in kitchen and living room

Bath: Adult-height vanity in master bath

Flooring: Not a huge priority - we can change this on our own once we get settled, but are considering tile in the kitchen and upgrading the carpet, at least the padding. We have dogs so our carpet will likely be trashed regardless.

If anyone can help me out whit this it would be greatly appreciated!! We negotiated an $11K upgrade allowance and like I said, want to keep the total upgrade cost around $20K. Any negotiation tips once we get in the design center?
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Unread 04-29-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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The biggest mistake I made were waiting till I did it myself and not rolling it into the loan. I got the bare stripped down house and did all the work myself. Some was great as it was cheaper and others were a headache and would have been cheaper with the builder.

I would make a list of all the things you want done and price it using outside contracting. Ie, flooring, upgraded appliances. Get a few quotes on it using online pricing or Lowes etc. Just to get a general idea with installation costs. And then when you get to the design center, compare it. You can also use this as a bargaining tool to get the price down.

Also is this a home for life or for a few years? If for a few years, make sure you can get it back in resale if you are rolling into the loan. You might get upside down on the mortgage.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 01:43 PM
 
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Ooh - great idea to get competitive bids! I didn't think of that!!

This is our "for now" house, but we want to be happy with it in case we need to be in it longer than planned.'

What kind of work was cheaper for you to do and what do you wish you would have rolled into the loan?
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Unread 04-29-2013, 01:50 PM
 
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Just a quick look at their website comparing base price to spec home price tells me that it'll take $40k in options for the middle sized home of their floorplans. I'm sure you could get by with less, but not sure just how much you'll get.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 02:00 PM
 
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We're building the smallest one available in the neighborhood - 1950 sq feet or so. Hoping that means we can get by with less!
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Unread 04-29-2013, 02:28 PM
 
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The flooring for one. We did it ourselves which would have been cheaper BUT the cement flooring was really uneven and since we closed without upgrading floors it wasn't part of the warranty repairs. We had to re=cement the entire home. With the added cost, it would have been cheaper with the builder.

The other item that was cheaper with the builder was the fencing of our backyard. It was close to the builder's pricing but theirs were a bit taller than the ones we got. (8 feet vs 6 feet). I would roll in the costs of the upgraded appliances. (we were able to negotiate that pricing down as well by picking what we wanted from their supplier)

The granite counters, we got that cheaper but it wasn't included so that won't apply to you. We also wished we did the upgrading of insulation including what was new back then the reflective attic one. I would also add more electric reset buttons. (the red button to reset if tripped) And I would definitely have wiring for speakers, USB ports put into the outlets and if possible an ethernet port in any room with a computer. It's a new thing that the Time Warner guy was telling us about. It's that so you can plug in the computer into the modem from the other rooms for faster service than wifi only. Best.thing.ever. I told my husband when we buy, we are so doing this.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 03:19 PM
 
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Was your builder similar in size to Ryland? I worry with these "big box" builders that we won't have as much bargaining power. I think we could have bargained quite a bit more than we did on the initial contract but oh-well, that ship has sailed already.

We will DEFINITELY be adding a fence - the sales person at the development said that it will be cheaper to get our own contractor, though, so we will see with that one.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 03:40 PM
 
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I bought the smallest house and it was just a bit over 2100 sq feet. I didn't negotiate the base price but did so on the land. (got an oversized corner lot) They weren't Ryland but they were a big builder. The bigger, the better you can negotiate as their pricing on stuff is bought on a bulk pricing.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 04:20 PM
 
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I think if something doesn't last for the 30 years (appliances, flooring, fence, etc.) in the life of your loan you should not finance it and save yourself some cash in the long term. Anyone who finances things like that are just pissing their money away. I have neighbors who have financed their freaking window blinds. Don't forget about interest on your loan. If the builder can't give you free upgrades get it done after you move in. Private contractors want your business and would do a lot better quality than a builder. And you can get as many quotes as you want for negotiating power. And their warranty is most likely longer than the one year a builder will give you.

Last edited by kevcar; 04-29-2013 at 04:23 PM.. Reason: Added last line.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 04:42 PM
 
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Awesome advice. I think we lose track of the big picture sometimes as we're so excited about our new house!
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