Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Home To Call Our Own!: Pt 1.

Wade and I did something huge recently... we decided to build a house! We have been renting our house for 4 years now and decided now was the time for the next chapter. We hired an agent through USAA's {MoversAdvantage} program and started looking at houses soon after. If you have USAA I highly recommend signing up for the program. They match you with a reputable agent in the area AND give you a pretty handsome check if you end up buying a house. {even if you do not end up financing through them} The program also gives you a specialist within USAA to check up on you and see how you are doing with everything; which was great considering we are first time home buyers.

Any who. Back to the looking part. In a nutshell we did not find many houses that we were drooling over; and we saw a bunch! Of course as first time home buyers we {I} wanted it all.. big master with closet space, deck, hardwood floors, lots of land, nice upgraded kitchen etc.  I love love love old house with a bunch of character, however the thought of something breaking unexpectedly really haunted us. Since we would be on a tight budget already, fixing a roof or leaky foundation would not be quite doable.

From the beginning of our house search, we saw a lot for sale with a particular model house included in the price with the same street address as we have now. We laughed and said we should just move there since it was right down the street!

After some failed attempts at searching for already existing houses, our Realtor called the owner of the lot; Rylea Homes, and got more information about the lot. The "development" had 4 lots; 3 of them with homes already built and 2 of them with families living in them. The lot available was 3.26 acres (3.64 with the shared driveway) right next to a horse farm and with wooded areas around it.

We met the builder/owner, Jim at the "spec" home for sale right next to the lot and listened to what came standard with the house (granite!) and how he builds his houses.  We were sold! We loved that only 4 houses were in the "development" and all the space we would have land wise.  The lot was huge at 3.2 acres and completely overgrown with brush but had an awesome tree line around the boarder.  The only negative part was that the highway was at the very back of the property; but at least it has the tree line to block it as well as the house sits on the very front of the property distancing it as much as possible from the noisy road.

 {Shared driveway along a horse farm}
 {our house-add 2 car garage and bedroom over garage}
{aerial photo of our lot}
 {Staked lot}
 {Wade and Cha Cha exploring the lot}

After the meeting, we met the builder's realtor at a local model to see how our house would look in person and decided to go for it! We were beyond excited to start this adventure.  We signed the contract on 7/31/2014; brush was cleared out, the house was staked and permits were submitted to Frederick County! We were on our way to owning our very own new home!
When we originally started looking at houses we contacted Bob Kirchner from Caliber Home Loans to run some pricing estimate scenarios for us; however we found out if we went with our builder's preferred lender, MLend, we would recieve some closing help. Long story short, Mark Pritts of MLend was awesome; however we were unable to lock in our low interest rate until our house was completed. Caliber had an awesome builder's program which allowed us to lock in for 180 days! So back to Caliber we went! We ended up going the USDA route (yes like the cows.. its a loan program in rural areas) which meant we did not have to put any deposit down and were able to get a great low rate.  After some blood, sweat and tears our loan was submitted to USDA!

It took a month and a half to get the permits approved but once they were; construction started almost immediately!  Fast forward 3 weeks later we have the shell of our house and we could not be happier with the progress! Up next I will share the options we chose (cabinet color, flooring, etc)  I am so excited to share this adventure with you all and spin off into the world of home decor. Check out the first part of our home building journey below:

 {Some of the brush was cleared!}
 {digging the foundation}


{grated and cleared out some more of the brush}
 {Footer is poured!}
 {Poured the foundation-those are the molds}
 {Voila! a foundation!}
 {Brought in more dirt to level}
 {Walkout basement}
 {two windows in basement}
 {Framing of main floor}
 {Large pantry}

 {Standing in our soon to be kitchen}
{Cha Cha checking out her new home}

 {Vaulted ceilings in Family Room}
 {Walking around upstairs}
 {Adding the second level}
 {Putting the trusses on}
 {roof is on!}
 {Standing in the Master closet}
 {Master Bedroom}
 {House wrapped like a present!}
{Windows and doors in!}

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hometalk Hustle: Downtown Frederick Blogger Event

I was invited to my first official blogger event a few Saturdays ago and could not have been more excited. I received an invite email from Sweet Clover Barn and jumped at the opportunity. I read some of the details and noticed the event was co-hosted by Hometalk.  I googled them and discovered {Hometalk} is a knowledge and social media for everything home decor. I instantly feel in love. Hometalk has an endless supply of ideas for the home.

I arrived at the {Frederick Hilton Garden Inn} and walked into a conference room for a short networking session before breakfast.  During the session I got to opportunity to chat with Cassie, writer of {Primitive and Proper} / co-owner of {Sweet Clover Barn}, Elena of {DC in Style} and Maggie of {Polkadots in the Country} about their blogs and why they decided to start them. To top it off, I was thrilled when my Frederick Bloggy bud, Liza of {(a)musing Foodie} walked in! I believe we were two of the few from the Frederick area.

Hometalk provided a delicious breakfast spread full of pastries, eggs, bacon, fruit, etc. We all sat down and Cassie from Sweet Clover welcomed us and told us a little about Hometalk and the overall direction of Sweet Clover Barn. Next up the owners of {Silk & Burlap}, Angelique and Saule, spoke to us about their lives leading up to Silk and Burlap and what it is like owning their own boutique!

 {Cassie from Sweet Clover Barn}
 {Yum Yum!}
 {Angelique and Saule from Silk and Burlap}

Kara Norman, Executive Director of the {Downtown Frederick Partnership}, was up next to talk facts about Frederick (I learned a ton!) and how Frederick is continuing to grow and thrive! You could tell Kara was passionate about the mission of the Downtown Frederick Partnership, and it made me even more proud (if that is even possible) of my awesome hometown!

 {Kara from the Downtown Frederick Partnership}
{Our swag bags!}

Shuttles from {A Touch of Class Limousines} then took us to Sweet Clover barn to start our day!

I am a huge fan of Sweet Clover Barn. I actually bought some of my vintage wedding decor items from there, and of course got a ton of amazing ideas! Now that I am entering the home ownership realm, I entered Sweet Clover with a different vision. I saw a ton of cute dressers, end tables and console tables that gave me design inspiration for our new home. I cannot wait to move in and head back over to Sweet Clover Barn and get my decorate on!  Check out some fun photos from my walk around the Barn!

 {Painting Demo!}

 {Loving this desk!}

 After some giveaways, we all headed back to the shuttles and headed downtown to Silk and Burlap! On the drive, I got the opportunity to chat with Lindee of {The Lindee Tree}, Fadra of {All Things Fadra}, Ashley of {Attempts at Domestication} and Jodi of {Glittered Barn LLC}! Awesome gals!

When we pulled up to Silk and Burlap, I was pumped! As owners Angelique and Saule,explained earlier that morning, Silk and Burlap is a life-style boutique; everything you see in the store is for sale.  They have way more than awesome clothing and accessories. They have candles, pillows and furniture galore. The owners broke out some wine for us to sip on while we looked around. I ended up buying an awesome fall, oxblood, floppy hat. LOVE!

{Must have that ladder!}
{My favorite candles on this planet}
{Love this!}
{Matching shirt, hat and wine in hand!}
{Seriously was contemplating buying this scale!}
{Love this tufted couch!}
Next we headed over to {Whidden Hill}; the boutique opened not too long ago and I was super excited to check it out. The ladies of Whidden Hill gave us some gourmet chocolates that were to die for yummy. I loved the cowboy boot selection that took up a large portion of a display wall!
{Delicious Chocolate!}
{Boots galore!}
We Right next door was {The Skin Care Shop}; which had some awesome soaps and a ton of other body care items!
{Such a beautiful day!}
{I just love Frederick!}
{Bloggers Hustlin' around DTF}
Next it was off to {The Muse}. There was an awesome leather good demo for us to take advantage of. I also found an awesome dish towel that took everything in me not to buy!
{Leather Demo}
{this is perfect}
{Velvet Lounge}, one of my all time favorite shops in Frederick, was up next. We were all able to pick out some adorable floral studs which was a pleasant surprise. I was drooling over their fall sweaters! Gimme Gimme!
{Love this idea of golden hanging gourds!}
{Velvet Lounge also has cute decor items!}
While walking back to the shuttle, we peeked into the new {Smokestack Studios} and feel in love. Talk about unique design!
{I just love all of this!}
{Love that chandelier}
{Love the idea of a pallet inspired wall}
When I got home, I was able to fully check out the swag bag and some of the goodies and coupons given to us at some of the stores downtown.  Thank you so much to all of our sponsors for making it such a fun filled day! I had a great time!
{Swag Bag}