The finalization meeting today went well. The only thing that I had to compromise on is the finishing of the basement bathroom. To keep the cost under the "magic number", we had to do a 3 piece rough in instead of the bath finished. I think I can get the basement bath finished for less than the $5600 Ryan charges (and we won't be paying taxes and closing fees on that money), but I can't help wishing we could just move right in and it be done. We originally wanted them to finish the media room but removed that at the beginning to pay for other options. So we will have to try and quickly get our savings built back up and get the media room and basement bath finished at the same time.
I think the only question that really remains is exactly how much my upgraded trim package is getting me. One of the big reasons I wanted to pay to upgrade is because I fell in love with the wainscoting going up the stairs and in the upstairs hallway (as seen in the model nearby). It really added so much to those areas. But my SR has to find out if the wainscoting goes to these areas. I'm really, really hoping that it does. Otherwise I don't know if it is worth the extra $900 to upgrade if I'm only getting the wainscoting in the dining room and foyer.
Other than those two things, I'm pleased with how things worked out and I am really excited to see how the house looks finished. I spent a lot (a whole lot) of time and effort, working in the constraints of my budget and options offered, to make this house as "me/us" as I could.
Next up is the preconstruction meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for February 4. Our SR said that right now it looks like we could be starting construction last week of February or first week of March. The sooner the better for two reasons. The first being I just can't wait for my house :) and the second (and most important) being I really, really want to get a fantastic interest rate. The sooner we get to a lock, the better because you never know what is going to go on with the economy.
I did get some unexpected good news today; our house will be built under new county code, which upgrades the mandatory insulation requirement. Extra insulation is always a good thing for energy bills (I hope anyway). So yea!