Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The real scoop on the pricing of a Ryan home

I'd like to share some information that I had to learn first hand when it comes to figuring out what the final cost is going to be when building with Ryan homes.  I am going to try to explain how the price keeps going up and up with every meeting you will have, and you will have a TON of meetings, even before ground breaking.

  My wife and I wanted to build the Jefferson for several years, ever since we went through a model in the Tallmadge area.  While we had gone through much larger homes and more expensive homes, we kept coming back to the Jefferson.  So when we were told that they were opening up a new phase in the area we wanted to build we jumped, and jumped fast.

  On one of the very first days that the phase was available to be sold, we made an appointment and met with the SR.  We picked out a lot and the SR went through all of the upgrades/options that we wanted and gave us a price close to $360,000, before incentives, and right around $331,000 after incentives and the 5% down that would be required.  So in summary, we would be financing $331,000, or so I thought which they estimated would work out to about $2300.00mo with insurance and property taxes.  My wife and I were fine with this price and agreed to meet back with her the following week to sign the purchase agreement papers.
  While we waited for our paper signing meeting to come up, we realized that there were options that the SR didn't go over during the first quote that we simply could not live without.  We contacted our SR and she said she would add them in, so the price went up thousands more.  On the signing day, I decided that I wasn't happy with just the incentives that they were offering and basically demanded that they take another $10,000 off the price. They made some changes and gave us discounts very close to that number, unfortunately this did not offset the costs of the changes that we wanted so the price crept even higher than the $360,000!  And on top of all that, the SR gave us the "master option" list, which had even more options to go over before our next meeting.

  A couple of weeks later we met with the flooring people.  This is where things started to get REALLY expensive.  The flooring package that they price into the quote is a joke, and they don't even try to give you an estimate during that process, and now I know why.  The selection for the flooring is limited, despite what you might have read anywhere else, and at least in the North East Ohio area, your choices are pretty limited.  You are pretty much forced to select the highest grade of carpet unless you want stuff that isn't even good enough to wrap those cat tree things in.  Then my wife and I had to pick out a solid wood for the vast majority of our main floor (only the family room will have carpet), and we quickly eliminated it down to a couple of choices, which was of course the most expensive group that they had.  Now I guess you could have chosen the cheaper packages, but with a solid wood floor, it's something that should last for 25+ years, so now isn't the time to be only "ok" with your selection.  Then came the tile for the bathrooms, once again the included package looked like leftovers from a clearance sale at Kmart.  The good news is that we found tile that we absolutely LOVED in the group right below the most expensive tile package.  The bad news is that the carpet (which isn't great quality despite being the highest level they offered), the solid wood floors, and the tile package has now added an additional $28,000.00 to our purchase price, so now we are sitting close to $390,000!

  We then meet with our SR the following day to go over color choices and electrical.  We picked out the cabinet wood and color for the bathrooms and kitchen.  Since we had initially quoted out cherry cabinets everywhere and ended up only keeping the cherry in the kitchen and putting various maples in the bathrooms, we saved a small bit of money.  Then we had to pick the granite for the bathrooms. Well all FOUR, yes only 4, choices were garbage.  So we went with cultured marble instead and will simply replace later on, but this did save us some money once again.  The problem is that we decided to upgrade from the white balusters to iron balusters, so there went some of the savings.  Then we had to pick the faucet package, of course the base package was complete garbage so we upgraded that and the same with the lighting package.  This resulted in us spending all of the savings from dropping the granite and changing out some of the cabinets, and actually ended up with netting an additional $2k in cost.  Then we came to the electrical portion of our meeting.  They don't give you very many recessed lights, outside of the kitchen, basement, and hallways when you select the "recessed light" package.  After all said and done, we managed to add 51 recessed lights through out the house at $150ea -- that added up fast.  Throw in a couple of flood lights for out back and some extra outlets in the garage and we had added another $8,000 in upgrades.

  So now we sit at close $400,000 if not more than that, when we haven't really added anything more than what I was expecting to get at the $360,000 price.  Now to be fair, I knew the flooring and extra electrical work that I would want would add some cost, but I was thinking closer to $15,000.

  The scary part is that we still have to do our meeting with Guardian, which I'm sure will be another $10,000 and waiting to hear back about even more options that we realized were in the model that we wanted and yet were not listed on any option sheet, including the "master option" sheet.  I will be surprised if we don't end up in the $420-425K range before we are done.

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