So you’ve done some research on owner builder financing… Maybe you’ve called you’re local bank and said, “I want to build my own home, I need owner builder financing.”, and they basically said, “Good luck finding that!” Well, loans for owner builders do still exist and you don’t need a background in home building to get financing.
You’ll find that some lenders call a program that they have, an owner builder financing program, only to find out that what it really means is that they will let you build your own home if you’re a General Contractor. That’s still great for those with Contractor’s licenses, but what about your average working family with no experience and no license? Most banks require you to have a license or require an approved/preferred site supervisor. Some require an approved builder. What do you do if you want to build your own home, but don’t want to use a builder or site supervisor. Read on.
The internet is a great tool to start searching to see what your options are when you’ve been turned down for owner builder financing locally, so for that I applaud you for finding this article.
Owner builder financing is slowly becoming harder and harder to find mainly because of the current state of the mortgage industry. With all of the foreclosures being filed all across the country, lender guidelines are becoming tougher to meet. Stated income and no doc programs are nearly gone, although there are a hand full of lenders who will still fund them with limited to no documentation to good borrowers. With guidelines stiffening, large lenders are shifting towards A paper loans with very little risk, especially when it comes to owner builder loans. But, this doesn’t mean that every lender has stopped lending money to owner builders, it’s just harder to locate one that will.
Every month, hundreds, if not thousands, of people are looking to the internet to locate and owner builder financing company, but there are a few to be found by searching alone. And, if you do find one, there’s a chance that they do not lend in your state. So, what do you do?
Well, credit unions enjoy funding owner builder loans, it’s just a matter of finding one that can help you in your local area. They usually have great terms for their owner builder financing programs and understand that type of construction loan. Otherwise, your other option is to locate an owner builder consulting company who has probably done all the research for you who can help you with the financing through one of their lenders. A plus to using an owner builder company is that, for a small fee, you can obtain better terms on your loan, like 100% financing for land, all materials, and labor. The reason, because of their involvement, either as a site supervisor or remote consultant, your success as an owner builder increases, therefore it’s less risk for the bank.
One thing to watch out for, are owner builder companies who charge outrageous fees. Some owner builder consulting companies charge such a ridiculously high fee that hiring a General Contractor would have cost you the same.
One excellent program for owner builder financing is construction to permanent loan, this is one loan for the land, construction, and permanent mortgage once your home is complete. This is the best type of loan available for your average size home. You have one set of closing costs for what is traditionally three loans. It works like a normal construction loan, but once you reach completion of your home, it is modified to a permanent mortgage, such as a 30 year fixed, a 15 year fixed, or some type of ARM loan.
Owner Builder Financing Rates
Construction loan rates for owner builders is not terribly insane. People are concerned about paying a high interest rate during construction and should be, but the truth is, construction loan rates are not that bad. The bank is taking a huge risk on you upfront, so to be able to build your home for less than 8.5% during construction would still be a great deal, but the truth is, rates can be even lower than this. Of course after the construction period and you modify to a permanent mortgage, rates should be in the ballpark of what market rates are at that time. There are some loan programs that allow you to lock in your permanent rate before you even start construction.
For owner builder financing approval, you are basically qualifying for the end loan, this is what makes the construction loan possible. Although, if your construction loan term goes over the set 6, 9, 12 month period, whatever is designated by the lender, you may need to be approved again for the end loan.
Construction interest can be paid during construction or some programs allow your construction interest to come out of your construction loan during your build. However, if you do have to pay interest during your construction loan period, you will only be paying interest on the amount that you have currently drawn on. For instance, if you have just closed, you are only paying interest on the amount that was paid by the bank for the land. As you build and draw additional funds for the project, your interest payments will increase. This is a great incentive to make sure that the construction of your home is going as planned and that the project is always moving right along.
Owner builder financing is still available and is not going away any time soon. As long as lenders scrutinize each project so they limit their risks, owner builder financing programs should be around for some time to come.
Why? When you apply for a construction loan, you are budgeting that you can build your house for 85% of what it will be worth, depending on the lenders guidelines. This means that if your home will be worth $100,000 at the end of construction, you should be able to build it for $85,000. Some lenders are tighter on these rules and require that number to be higher or lower, but for the most part, you are required to qualify under ‘future appraised value’ or ‘cost to build’.
Soft Market Areas
In this day and age, there are areas that are designated as soft market areas due to the rate in decline of house values within a certain county, geographical location to a declining area, or zip code. What does this mean for you? Well, if you plan to build in a soft market area, you will be required to bring some money to the closing table either in the form of cash or equity in the land you already own. Most lenders require a down payment of 10% upon closing if you plan on building in a soft market. Some lenders require 20% down. Owner builder financing is still available in these areas, but a down payment is needed.
Owner builder financing is available and can be located either locally or through a nationwide lender to build your own home without having to carry a contractors license.
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