After just stopping in to see the model home, it wasn't long before we were in love with the house-- the open floor plan, the high ceilings, the beautiful master bed and bath. But we expected our friends and family to tell us we were crazy, remind us that it's our first home and to be more economical etc. We actually heard the opposite from most of the family members we discussed it with- they cautioned us that we would probably end up staying in our first home longer than we expect to, and to make sure we had room to grow. They also thought it might save us more in the long run to have a newer more energy efficient home.
So... after much deliberation about the finances and timing etc.; we took the plunge and signed the contract for our little patch of dirt that will someday be our Strauss House. We picked one that would not be built until the summer so we would have more time to save up for the down payment. The incentive they offered us (to use their mortgage company) was $2,500 in closing costs plus a free deck. Ryan homes is also paying $6,500 toward closing costs.
And so now, the long wait and save game begins. :)