A little over a year ago, Dan and I were touring a model home in a new community and suddenly realized, while standing in the home’s kitchen, that we could buy a home like the one we were touring. We looked excitedly at each other across the island’s granite kitchen counter top and then naively walked back to the sales office and said that we’d take one home, please. Then we got schooled on the process of buying a new home. As it turns out, at least in Orange County, you can’t just walk into the sales office and buy a house. Oh no. You must get prequalified for a loan to buy the house first. Then you can be put on the very lengthy wait list for the housing community. After that, you either wait for a phone call that may or may not come when/if they get to your name on the list or you show up to monthly releases. At these releases, the builder calls names from the prequalification list. If your name is called at a release, you can defer and keep your spot on the list, or you can buy if the house plan/lot that you want is still available (and if it’s not, you have seconds to decide if one of the plans/lots that is available is one that you want to buy instead). If you don’t show up to a release (even if your name is not being called), you drop off the list. So…we did a bunch of legwork and got on about eight different new home community lists. We knew that we would eventually want to upgrade our living situation from a townhouse to a single family home and I was having a hard time getting on board with buying a resale house that would need a lot of work to it to get it up to our standards. A brand-spanking new house sounded so much nicer! And, the price of a new house was very comparable to the price of a resale house.
For various reasons, all of the new housing communities that we were qualified to purchase in fell off our list. The houses weren’t designed to our liking, the yards were too small, the location wasn’t ideal, the prices rose too much. But then, earlier this year, Dan came across a new community, Baker Ranch, that best fit our next-step in housing. The community opened in February and that’s when we got prequalified for their list. Finally, on July 12, 2014, our name was called during their sixth phase release and we bought a house! Since then, we’ve signed a ton of paper work, picked out all of our upgrade options, and started watching our new house be constructed. We’ll move in sometime in early 2015. We are so excited!
We will be living in The Knolls community (housing plan 1, Santa Barbara elevation) inside of Baker Ranch. Our new house will be directly across the street from Dan’s current job and only a few short miles away from my job. It will also be in the same town as Vivian’s daycare. The house won’t be big – it’s just under 1600 sq. ft., but it will have 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, a 2-car garage, an upstairs laundry room, and a little yard.
We’ve already started monitoring the construction progress, which is so fun. The house has quickly gone from a dirt pad to an actual framed house!
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Edited to add on 1/6/15 (it’s almost done!!):
Edited to add in March 2015 (we’re all moved in!!):
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