Checklist for First-Time Homebuyers

12 Months Out:

  • Check your Credit Score: The 3 credit bureaus are each required to give you a free credit report once a year.
  • Determine How Much You Can Afford: Talk to a Lender. Lenders will need to know your debt-to-income-ratio.
  • Make a Down Payment Plan: Narrow down how much money you want to put down and what type of financing options you have (conventional loan, FHA, etc.)

9 Months Out:

  • Prioritize What you Want Most in your Home: What’s most important in your new home? A Big Backyard? Proximity to Work? Amenities? An Open Floor Plan?
  • Research Neighborhoods and Start Visiting Open Houses: Start getting an idea of what kind of homes are in your price range and what neighborhoods appeal the most. This is where the fun begins!

6 Months Out:

  • Collect Your Loan Paperwork:
    • W-2 Forms
    • Personal Tax Returns for the past 2-3 Years
    • Recent Pay Stubs
    • Credit Card and all Loan Statements
    • Bank Statements
    • Previous Addresses
    • Retirement Account Statements, such as 401k

3 Months Out:

  • Get Pre-Approved For Your Loan: Start working with a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
  • Start Shopping for Your New Home: Now that you are pre-approved, start targeting homes that meet your priorities and price range. 

2 Months Out:

  • Make an Offer on a Home: If you are purchasing a pre-existing home, it usually takes   approximately 60 days to close. If you are purchasing a new construction home that needs to be built, it usually takes approximately 6-10 months.

The Final Month:

  • Triple-Check that all of your Financial Documents are in Order and Review all Lending Documents Before Closing: You’re in the Home Stretch!
  • Get Insurance for your New Home: You’ll need to bring proof of insurance to closing.
  • Final Walk-Through
  • Get A Cashiers Check or Bank Wire for Cash Needed at Closing: Make sure you get an exact amount of cash needed for closing. You’ll get that number a few days before closing so you can secure a cashier’s check or arrange to have the money wired. Regular checks aren’t accepted.

Last Step- Enjoy Your New Home! Congratulations 🙂




Bring on the Blossoms

TOP TEN Picks for Flowering Shrubs

Start the season with a beautiful display of spring-flowering shrubs. Flowering Shrubs not only bring beautiful blossoms to your garden in the spring, but they carry on giving well into the Fall season and beyond. Blossoming shrubs offer the full package: attractive foliage, garden structure, and beautiful blooms draw you in without needing a lot of maintenance in return. Here are ten choices with outstanding spring and summer blooms.

1. Rhododendron: These flowers have long been mainstays of late spring because of their spectacular clusters of showy blooms, plus their large green leaves that often stay green throughout winter.  Tubular, or bell-shaped flowers- and often fragrant. These shrubs prefer climates with adequate rainfall and moist summers.

2. Rose: America’s official Floral Emblem comes in many forms, sizes and flower colors, with some being very disease-resistant as well. Selections can be found to grow in almost every climate!

3. Hydrangea: With their cotton candy-colored blooms and ability to take the shade, hydrangeas are one of the most beautiful summer-flowering shrubs. Hydrangeas, which come in types that can flourish in sun or shade, offer huge bouquets of clustered flowers, in various arrangements from mop-head to lacecap from summer through fall.

4. Forsythia: The forsythia is a fast-growing, hardy shrub that blooms early—providing a sunny sight before the rest of the landscape greens up. Forsythias make an excellent choice for those wanting a fast-growing flowering hedge.

5. Flowering Quine: Flowering quince is often the first shrub to bloom in early spring, with its apple-blossom-like flowers that attract hummingbirds standing out among bare branches like a beacon of the season.

6. Bridal Wreath Spiraea: In full bloom a bridal wreath spirea looks like a fountain, pouring clusters of white flowers all the way down its arching canes in spring, often before the leaves appear. When cut, those canes can easily be shaped into bridal headdresses, explaining their name.

7. Common Lilac: With a delicious, heady fragrance that attracts birds and butterflies, and abundant panicles of white or purple flowers, lilacs are one of the most popular flowering shrubs for good reason. Size varies by variety, but most are upright-growing to at least 10 feet tall by 6 feet wide.

8. Deutzia: Tiny but powerful white or pink blossoms light up the spring. They are used as garden shrubs, and the smaller varieties can be grown as ground covers or in containers. You’ll plant it for spring blooms, but will be thrilled by its red fall color.

9. Weigela: This old-fashioned shrub has attracted new fans in recent years with recent breeding of unusual leaf colors or variegation. Trumpet-shape spring blooms, usually in some shade of pink, white, or red, just add to the excitement.

10. Viburnum: These shrubs are diverse in shape and foliage, but all have something special to contribute to the landscape, whether with awesome autumn color, fragrant blooms, or clusters of colorful fruits that beckon flocks of overwintering birds.





3 Winter Home Building Myths

As temperatures drop and snow fills our forecasts, Ryan Legacy Builders thought it would be a great time to discuss building a home during winter months. We wanted to break 3 popular myths about constructing a new home during the winter. With new technology and building methods, there are actually quite a few perks to building a new home at this time!

  • Myth #1: “Winter Projects Take Much Longer.”  A blizzard will certainly stop progress on home building, but outdoor crews often work through light snow flurries. No matter what time of year a construction project starts, there are always going to be weather-related obstacles. A construction worker’s productivity will not be hindered by cold weather any more than extreme heat and harsh conditions that come with summertime. Exterior work can be done on a new home when temperatures are in the 30’s and high 20’s as long as there is no ice. Interior work can be done as long as the house is sheeted with vapor barrier, and temporary heaters are kept running.
  • Myth #2: “Concrete Poured During Cold Weather Will Be Weaker.” In order to combat the slower curing times for concrete in the winter, additives such as calcium chloride are added to the concrete mix. Concrete with additives compared to concrete without additives shows no significant differences in strength when both are fully cured. Concrete walls with additives in the mixture must, and do, meet building code requirements.
  • Myth #3: “Framing Wood is Compromised By Snow.” It is true that, in a perfect world, every day in the framing stage would be 72 degrees and sunny with low humidity but we rarely are fortunate enough for that to be the case. Since inclement weather is more likely than not to occur, the lumber industry has and continues to develop procedures that are used in the milling process that inhibit the deleterious effects of poor weather. Framing lumber is kiln dried and delivered to the job site at 19 % moisture content. This is the case throughout the entire year and it is when ambient humidity becomes a factor. Snow has no adverse effects on lumber as long as it is removed before melting.

Although challenges may come up, a high-quality home will be constructed no matter what time of year. Building in the winter means your home will be ready in the spring. Relocating in the spring and early summer is much easier on a family especially when switching school systems. Children can have the entire summer to meet new friends in the area before starting in a new school in the fall.




10 Tips for a GREAT Lawn!


Do you dream of a lush, green lawn? 

Do you want your home to have beautiful curb appeal, but don’t know how to get there?  It’s easier said than done- especially when starting from scratch as a new homeowner! We have put together a few key tips to help, but remember, it does take time!

  1. Water Deeply and Less Often. Watering your lawn frequently for short periods of time teaches your grass to have a shallow root system. This is NOT what you want. This makes it easier for weeds to emerge and also makes the grass more susceptible to disease. To prevent this, you should water less for longer periods of time.  This will help your lawn stay green 🙂
  2. Water in the Morning. The best time to water your lawn is the early morning because the sun will help dry the grass. Nighttime watering can result in prolonged moisture on the blades, which can cause some diseases.
  3. Aerate in the Spring & Fall. Aerating is extremely beneficial for your lawn. It gives your lawn’s roots room to grow, and allows water and nutrients to penetrate your soil.
  4. Feed Your Lawn. Nitrogen is the most important nutrient for your lawn. Look for a mix of fast and slow release fertilizers that will green up your lawn quickly, and feed it over time. Feed in the Spring and Fall.
  5. Make Sure Mower Blades are Sharp. A dull blade tears the grass, resulting in a ragged edge that makes the lawn look grayish brown. Sharpen or replace the mower blade when it shows signs of wear – or at least once a mowing season.
  6. Mow when Grass is Dry. When grass is wet it is difficult to cut and can easily clog the deck of your mower. Wet clumps can be compacted on the surface of the lawn, causing water and oxygen to be cut off to these areas.
  7. Mow at a High Height. Mowing your lawn too short may seem like a time saver, but this can damage your grass as well as allow weeds to set root. A healthy height is around 3″. Keeping your lawn a bit taller results in healthier grass. Never cut off more than a third of the grass blade.
  8. Prevent Weeds before they come up. Stop weeds from gaining a roothold in your lawn before they even germinate by using a pre-emergent herbicide. Use a pre-emergent early in the Spring.
  9. Reseed Sparse Areas. If your lawn is a little thin in some areas, you can seed over the area to help grass growth. Fall is the ideal time to reseed.
  10. Alternate Mowing Patterns. Mowing your grass in the same pattern all of the time will cause the grass to only lay in one direction caused by compacted ruts from your mower. To prevent this, mow in different directions and change your pattern. This will lead to a better looking, more even lawn.

RWC New Home Warranty


What does Ryan Legacy Builders Membership with RWC mean to you?

RWC does NOT have an open door policy when it comes to Membership. Not every Builder is able to attain Membership with them the way Ryan Legacy Builders has done. 

  • Potential Members are examined for financial stability, customer satisfaction and technical competence.
  • As an RWC Member, we agree to comply with specific construction standards in order to have our homes warranted by them.
  • This is our assurance to you that Ryan Legacy Builders is committed to standing behind our homes and providing you with peace of mind long after the sale.

What’s Covered?

The RWC 10 Year Limited Warranty on your home identifies what is warranted, what is excluded and the duration of the Warranty.

  • In the first year, the Warranty applies generally to workmanship and materials.
  • In the first two years, portions of the major systems in your home are warranted. These systems include wiring, ductwork, and pipes.
  • For all 10 years, the Warranty includes protection on warranted structural elements in your home, as defined in your Warranty book. The Warranty identifies which parts of a home are warranted, and the criteria for establishing a structural defect.
  • Your Warranty book spells out who is responsible for warranted repairs, defines basic terms that are important for you to know, and describes the process you will use if you think you have a warranted problem in your home.
  • Note that the Warranty is “limited” which means you are responsible for maintaining your home, from changing light bulbs to maintaining proper drainage patterns. Areas which are not part of the primary residence, such as driveways, are excluded from your Warranty and some products come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

Value to You, the Homeowner.

Resale Value- Your home is warranted for 10 years as shown on the front cover of your Warranty book. If you sell your home during that term, the balance of the warranty transfers automatically to the next buyer. That transferable home warranty is an excellent marketing tool when you offer your home for sale to prospective buyers.

Protection- When Ryan Legacy Builders chose RWC as our warranty provider, we made the decision to provide you with a written and insured commitment that your home will be free from specified defects. Your RWC warranty is independently written and administered and remains in place for 10 years, regardless of what the future holds. 

Expert Second Opinion- Even with a written warranty, misunderstandings may arise. If you disagree with us on whether or not something should be considered a defect, the limited warranty can be a valuable “measuring stick” for evaluating the issues. You benefit from third-party assistance with home warranty issues. The warranty standards included are based on accepted industry practices.