Wednesday, July 29, 2015

We're on the Other Side...Time to Breath Easy?

Well, I've certainly managed to do a spectacular job of ignoring this blog. I now understand why the posts are more spread out once people approach that magical closing date & the real fun begins.

J & I closed on July 10 and I must say, there were certain things that went well, overall, and certain things that still anger me greatly.  So I'll start with the good!

Good Things:

1.  Our home is absolutely beautiful.
2.  Our home was pretty clean and ready when we did our walk through the day before - there were a few issues we noted but they were fixed by the time we got our keys.
3.  We have the space we needed and wanted.
4.  Our lawn is starting to think about growing (more on that because it's also a negative)
5.  We can still see the top of the USX Tower & the BNY Mellon building from our 2nd floor even with the new homes going up down the street!
6.  All of our neighbors are pretty great - good advice, very welcoming and friendly people.  This court is going to be a great place for us!
7.  Our Sales Rep (the one who doesn't suck) left us a nice welcome gift.  More reasons why I don't want to grade him and our Worthless Rep on the same survey.
8.  This home is exactly what Justin & I wanted and we are thrilled to share it with each other, our new puppy AND our other new addition...

Bad Things:
1.  NVRSS, in particular, is incompetent.  These bozos have no idea how to do things in a reasonable time frame or how to communicate with a buyer.  They also refuse to take any responsibility for their mistakes and have an attitude that they are clearly untouchable.  We'll see how much they like a letter to their higher-ups.

At closing, we were still questioning some charges on our HUD-1 (remember the one that came in at 1:45 on a Wednesday, we needed to wire money into NVRSS's account by 11am Thursday for an 11am Friday close? This is part of the poor timing/communication.  Doesn't jive for people with jobs.)  Our loan person fell off the planet and wouldn't respond to us.  She tried to have someone else do it (the office mgr, as it turns out) but that person never responded.  They did explain where our incentives were located but really - did that HAVE to be done at the 11th hour?  We asked for 2 days and got no answers.

Our closing was pushed back a few hours per NVRSS.  Wonder if we would've been able to do that? Guessing no, but I have no claim there. Just another annoyance to a customer trying to plan their day/time off.

When we again asked why we were never told our closing date and thus were subjected to a 0.5% point higher interest rate, we were not given an answer that is reasonable.  Their failure to communicate & point fingers at the PM/others is astounding.  I fail to see how THAT is at all something we should pay for over the next 30 years.  See the letter threat above.

2. Our landscaping, particularly the yard.  C'mon, you really think at this price point that grass seed is effective/called for?  It looks like hell.  Add to that we didn't get our lawn graded/roots sort of picked out & seeded for 3 days post-close (granted it was very wet but Not My Problem) and then were hit with a 10-day dry spell and you guessed it, grass is having issues.  We are also at the top of a hill and our water pressure stinks.  The fix, from our awesome neighbors, is to contact the PM & have them adjust the regulator.  Fine, but with 3 sprinklers & 2 pieces of hose for an entire yard, you'd have to be moving hoses every 3 hours to make this system work.  So for now we've invested in timed manifolds to try and water our grass, including the sweet ruts from the truck that weren't fixed when they seeded.

Side Note:  For anyone in the greater Pgh area interested in an alternative lawn...there is a sod farm up in Evans City that delivers by the pallet at a VERY reasonable rate.  We bought 1 pallet for the backyard so Harrison could have a nice potty area & it wasn't bad at all!  J built a temp set of steps until we do our outdoor patio next spring.  Next up is a fence and perhaps we'll just sod the rest of the lawn.  Perhaps the landscaping guys would like a little job on the side??

3.  Little things we find that are just bad.  Example - flush the toilet on the main level & you get a nice low-pitched whine.  But only when the toilet is flushed.  Stain on the walls but missing from the railing.  A chip! in my beautiful granite island.  NOT going to just let that be filled get the idea.

4.  The driveway.  I'm curious how OTHER folks got a concrete driveway.  And one that's a little wider than the garage door.  Ours seems really, really narrow.  At some point, we are going to widen ours but this would've been easier to do during construction.  We are also going to install a little pad for our trash cans.  Even though we got the garage extension, the garage isn't as big as it looks.  We're going to put in a shed ASAP to house the lawn tools, ladders, etc so we have room for my "dowry."  I came into this marriage with a radial arm saw, compound miter saw, tons of tools & a sizeable workbench.  Ergo, that's my dowry!

5. The mailbox situation.  We have a cabinet.  We had to go to USPS and they were just confused.  Eventually they left us a key to our mailbox but didn't know which cabinet we were in.  Just confusing.

6.  Not really an NVR issue but kinda is.  For our property tax abatement, we had major issues trying to send the paperwork because the address doesn't exist on the county's website.  Super convenient.  Hours of phone calls later, I think we are set.

Now for some pics...finished rooms will be forthcoming, but I do not guarantee that they will be posted quickly :)

Finished!  Well, except for the pesky lawn :)

Dining Room.  I LOVE the way this floor turned out.
You wouldn't know it's laminate!

Living Room, c/w Bucks County Ledgestone fireplace surround

My pretty kitchen.  Kinda my pride & joy.

Morning Room!  J is just happy I found an alternative to
Restoration Hardware...

Pantry, before.  Now it's got shelf liners and is filled.
How I fit everything in my small townhome kitchen & closets,
I just do NOT know.

Laundry - I have a red Samsung front loader & matching gas dryer.
A word about the've got to be creative to hook it to the vent box
bc they forgot to leave the oval - round adapter piece.  The 4" round metal
thingie at Home Depot (or Lowes) bends and works just fine but aggravating to deal with.

This is dark, but my master bath/shower.  I love it.  The shower door
is solid but kind of a pain.  A word to the designer...where in the hell
do YOU keep your bath towel?  A bar somewhere in reaching distance
is needed.

Look close at the horizon (really close) and you'll see the tops of
the USX & BNY Mellon buildings.

The night we moved in.  It's like it was meant to be!

Announcing the arrival of Baby Stewart!

Only a puppy could lay like this for hours!

Harrison J. Stewart:  World's Cutest Puppy
(I may be a little biased)

Harrison helped us announce.  Responsibilities
begin early for our little guy - a Guard Dog at 8 months!
Joining the team this Christmas!
(Harrison thought HE was the baby...dark days, indeed!)

One more Buccos picture

One of my favorite views of Pittsburgh!  Happy to call this place home!


  1. Congrats on the home and the baby! Glad to hear you are settling in.

  2. Congrats your home is beautiful! We are building still in Moon Township right now with Ryan. I had a question about your sod. What price was the pallet? I have a dog too and the thought of waiting for seed to come in sounds like a nightmare!

    1. We paid $275 for a pallet containing 400sf, including delivery. We get $10 back if we return the pallet. It covered quite a bit of the yard & was in great shape despite the string of sunny days we've had recently. We're probably going to go through them and sod our entire yard in the next year or two - they're more reasonable than Home Depot or Lowes & provided the sod for PNC Park. Just a note - drive the sod to your backyard bc it's hell to move.