Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Time to Call Warranty

Wow! It's been a while since I've blogged about my house! Yes, I am still loving my home! Slowly but surely I'm adding in some new furniture and decor. I'm in no rush really, I'll be here for what, twenty years? I hope!

I have been watching the neighborhood build up around me. To be honest, it's been nice not having construction on my side for the past several months.The new streets to the south are quickly filling with homes and recently KB has started extending my street and the street behind me. Many more streets and homes to come so I know the quiet Ive experienced in the past is about to come to a screeching halt.

And little by little the pool is coming along, too. I say that because the poor builders had such a rough go during May and June when we had ALL THAT RAIN. We would see them complete something only to have it ruined by storms and they'd have to tear it out and start over. Now, with the summer heat and dry weather once again, they're getting closer to completion. However we still might not get to swim in it this year. All of the local public swimming pools have closed with exception to the rec center.

Anyway, this post is about my house, of course. As I mentioned, I had to break down and call Warranty Services this week. Ive been noticing some places on the columns on my front porch where the wood seems to be pulling away, causing a gap. At first I thought it was just a seal issue, but the obvious gap tells me maybe a nail wasn't used? I have no clue. To make matters worse, I'm seeing where the tops of the columns aren't sealed. Wasps are making a home in there! You can see them coming and going. If they're getting in there, I know ALL THAT RAIN did, too.

So... Lance came by today and is supposed to check all of the trim on my home to make sure its sealed and secure. In addition, there was never a bit of molding or flashing (whatever its called) up on the roof over my air conditioner. That needs to be put on.

Otherwise, like I said, I am loving my home! Ive watched as my mom has looked at numerous houses over the past 2 years and each was nice in its own way. She'd look at me and say "You could move!"

I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Update to My Weedy Lot Issue

So you've probably read my rant about being given a written violation for having a weedy lot. This post is a follow up to that one.

Since receiving that violation letter, Ive been taking notes of what Im seeing around my neighborhood. I see several neighbors who do not trim or mow in a timely manner. They have overgrowth sprawling across their cement walkways and driveways. Some lawns have gone to seed with weeds tall enough to sprout a flower of some type. Some have dead plants. Some obviously just don't care.

But I do. I hire a service to keep my lawn clean and attractive. Sure I water and prune and make sure that I maintain what needs to be done between those weekly services. I am doing my best to make sure I do not violate any of the deed restrictions. I am proud to be a homeowner and I am taking great pride in keeping my house and yard in impeccable shape. I don't want anyone complaining about anything on my part.

I emailed the woman at Real Manage (who maintains our HOA) and voiced my unhappiness at their assessment, and I included pictures of my yard space. Later that day I received a response of:

"We do appreciate your compliance. We are merely upholding the governing documents of your community however, it is possible the inspector may have cited the wrong address so please accept my apologies. I have closed the violation on your account. Thank you for providing the photos." 

So then later that night, the girls and I took a walk with Annie down to the model homes on Animas. While we were walking, I made mental notes of the common area being "weedy" and having obvious dollar weed and broad leaf weeds, even nutsedge. I saw yards similar to my neighbors' overgrown yards and was sort of angry that I received a violation when my lawn looks much better than many of the ones I saw while out walking.

According to the City of Georgetown, a weedy lot within a residential neighborhood is one with weeds taller than 6". Even if you have a couple weeds taller than 6" (because let's face it, they can pop up overnight quite easily!), my thinking is that one or two weeds surely shouldn't constitute a "weedy" lot.
You can bet Im going to keep on top of this. And if need be, petition for changes that can allow for summertime growth, rain and watering, and that allows new yards to get established for a couple of months, at least.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Good Morning Surprise!

This morning I let the dog outside to go do her business and, quickly after, heard her barking and scrambling as fast as she could to get back up onto the porch and to come inside. I thought she was being silly and barking at some workers who were working on the house behind us. I took her back outside but she wouldn't budge off the porch. Then I heard the sound that caused me to look up into the sky. There, hovering really close to my neighbor's house was a hot air balloon!

(Oh, and there's another view of my weedy lot!)

That's not something you see every day!

Monday, August 4, 2014

First HOA Meeting

This evening I attended my first HOA meeting. Couple of things I learned from those I sat by: (1) these meetings usually occur twice a year, and (2) they thought this standing room only size crowd was a good turn out compared to the 5-6 people at the last meeting.
Tonight's meeting was called because Forestar, the company that planned and developed La Conterra originally, is passing it's reigns over to KB Home. The rep from Forestar and KB Home were present and they discussed the transition (increase in dues, any changes to bylaws, etc) and then KB took over and talked about what's happening going forward. They mentioned that the amenity center would be complete within 12 months and said our community would top out at about 530 houses. Right now we're sitting at about 150ish. Lots more to come!
Some people were upset because they thought the amenity center would include more than a pool and pavillion. Lots of chatter about the entrance traffic, street parking and possibility of 1460 being widened and/or a stop light being added, however that isn't an issue KB can deal with. That one is for TXDOT to address.
Interestingly enough I didn't see any of my new neighbors there.
I did pick up the business card of our rep at Real Manage. I intend to talk to her about my weedy lot violation letter tomorrow. I'll be eager to hear what she has to say about it. Stay tuned!

Rant: Weedy Lot?!

My neighborhood is typical to most in that it has a Homeowner's Association (HOA). And they are usually there for the greater good--controlling unsightly nuisances such as junk cars and trash piles, making sure people don't build outbuildings too close to their neighbors' houses, taking down Christmas lights in a timely manner, etc. But unfortunately mine is also really nit-picky. Twice I've received notifications that my lawn was "weedy". I've lived here for a total of 4 months (today!) and received those notifications in May and again this month.

How is this possible when I have weekly lawn service? My lawn cant get more than 6-7 days of growth before its mowed again. We haven't had that much rain to cause my lawn to grow excessively tall. This is laughable because we're in a drought here! It surely never reaches a foot tall to be considered 'weedy'.

It's not like my lawn is out of control or loaded with grasshoppers feasting on a overgrowth of weeds. Your child will not get lost cutting across my corner. I don't have sunflowers peeking at you over my back fence.

Sure, I have some weeds and I am actively at battle with them. Considering it's freshly placed sod over farm lawn which was... wait for it... WEEDY before the house was built, it's an ongoing battle. Yet I have fertilized, put down weed control and, on a regular basis, Im armed with Roundup spray. My lawn service is also actively doing his part to keep my yard clean and attractive. His hard work shows; my yard is green and attractive. Yet I still received two violations.

I say cut a new homeowner some slack! It's a new yard! It's not like Ive lived here for years and should already have an established lawn. It's going to take some time to get all of the weeds killed and pulled before they stop infiltrating the grass. As if we new homeowners don't have a zillion other things going on at this very same time--moving, unpacking, settling in, dealing with the solicitors you send our way (in addition to those that find their way independently), dealing with service people, warranty appointments and everything else we need to do just to survive.  As a single mother, I don't have the time or energy to go out every single night and spend my time pulling weeds. That's why I have a service!

Below is a picture of my weedy lot. Im warning you in advance.  Feel free to use your browser's back button and save yourself from what I am about to show you.

Quick, shut your eyes. Turn your head away! I don't want to offend you.

Isn't it just hideous?! This is what it looks like every day.

This is my most weedy area. Dang! It's a mess!

Tonight is our first HOA meeting. Hmph.