A New Home Sweet Home – Coming in 2015

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.

IMG_1696

Release day! We bought a 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.

This is what our new house will look like - only it will be flipped. The front door will be on the right and the garage will be on the left.

This is what our new house will look like – only it will be flipped. The front door will be on the right and the garage will be on the left.

This is the model home's kitchen, but ours will look similar.

This is the model home’s kitchen, but ours will look similar.

This is the model home's living room, but ours will look similar.

This is the model home’s living room, but ours will look similar.

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!

The beginning...

The beginning…

Next up, the concrete pad...

Next up, the concrete pad…

Our future garage!

Our future garage!

Standing at my new kitchen window.

Standing at my new kitchen window.

On our second floor, checking out our view, which is towards the ocean.

On our second floor, checking out our view, which is towards the ocean.

Standing in our yard, looking at our living room.

Standing in our yard, looking at our living room.

Dan standing in our yard, plotting our garden and flower beds.

Dan standing in our yard, plotting our garden and flower beds.

Edited on 9/29/14 to add:

Framed Second Floor - With Roof!

Framed Second Floor – With Roof!

Baker Ranch House Framed with Roof 017

First Full Family Photo in House – Standing in the Office/Guest Room

Baker Ranch House Framed with Roof 010

Dan and Vivian in the Living Room

Baker Ranch House Framed with Roof 004

Progress! Our house is the second one on the left.

Edited on 10/10/14 to add:

Framed House at Walkthrough!

Framed House at Walkthrough!

Edited on 10/21/14 to add:

First coat of stucco!

First Coat of Stucco!

Edited on 10/27/14 to add:

Painted and drywalled!

Painted and Drywalled!

Standing in Our Bedroom

Standing in Our Bedroom

Edited on 11/17/14 to add:

Shutters and Window Box are Up!

Shutters and Window Box are Up!

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Cabinets are In! Dan Stands at Our Kitchen Sink

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Back of House

Vivian in Her New Bedroom

Vivian in Her New Bedroom

Edited to add on 12/11/14:

Street Pavers & Landscaping In Process!

Street Pavers & Landscaping In Process!

Vivian and Mama at Our New Front Door

Vivian and Mama at Our New Front Door

Granite Kitchen Counters Are In!

Granite Kitchen Counters Are In!

Bathroom Tile is In!

Bathroom Tile is In!

Master Bathroom Tile is In! Not Pictured: Raincan Showerhead!

Master Bathroom Tile is In! Not Pictured: Raincan Showerhead!

Edited to add on 1/6/15 (it’s almost done!!):

Kitchen Complete with Flooring, Counters, and Stainless Steel Appliances

Painted Kitchen Complete with Wood Flooring, Granite Counters, and Stainless Steel Appliances

Living Room - Painted with with Wood Flooring

Living Room – Painted with Wood Flooring

Powder Bathroom Complete with Wood Flooring and Paint

Powder Bathroom Complete with Wood Flooring and Paint

Upstairs Laundry Room

Upstairs Laundry Room with Tile Flooring

2nd Full Bathroom Upstairs with Tile Floor

2nd Full Bathroom Upstairs with Tile Flooring

Painted Office with Carpet

Painted Office with Carpet

Vivian's Bedroom - Painted and with Carpet

Vivian’s Bedroom – Painted and with Carpet

Master Bathroom with Tile Flooring

Master Bathroom with Tile Flooring

Master Bedroom - Painted and with Carpet

Master Bedroom – Painted and with Carpet

Looking Down the Stairs

Looking Down the Stairs

View From Outside!

View From Outside!

Edited to add in March 2015 (we’re all moved in!!):

Standing in Our New Kitchen 10 Days Before Closing!

Standing in Our New Kitchen 10 Days Before Closing!

photo 1 (4)

All Unpacked – Even the Vehicles Fit in the Garage!

photo 2 (3)

Valentine’s Day in Our New Kitchen

photo 2 (4)

The Arbors Club – One of Our New Community Pools

The Beautiful Arbors Club

The Beautiful Arbors Club

photo 3 (1)

New Living Room, New Sofa, & New Blinds!

Edited to add in April 2015:

We love our new home!

We Love Our New Home!

About Carrie

I'm a Midwest transplant in SoCal...spending my time exploring, questioning, reading, writing, baking, skiing, and running.
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One Response to A New Home Sweet Home – Coming in 2015

  1. This is great, great news! Outlining it as you did I realized how much work it was to buy this home, and that does not even count paying for it! Your kitchen will be much upgraded from the photo – it will be filled with the delightful aroma of your cooking and baking. Thanks for sharing the excitement and construction process with us.

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