Financing Update, Lot, Timeline, and Rev. 2 already

I’ve been doing quite a bit of research around what financing is available and what I’ll need in order to buy/build our house, and am quite excited, because about 3 weeks ago I found a viable option for financing.

There is a bank in Rochester, in which they are the lender and servicer of their mortgages. Not only do they lend and service, they don’t sell their loans! So they are stuck with the loan for the rest of their life, for better or worse. Because of this, they are able to modify conditions of their loans so it is not-so-common.

Their name is Normandy Bank and they specialize in “self built” houses, which is exactly what I am doing. Here are the details:

  • Require 25% down payment for the land purchase (only the land purchase)
  • You can borrow up to 90% of the final value of the house (not the construction costs – IMPORTANT!)
  • You need to have 10% of the construction costs as cash reserves, but don’t need to put it down. This is so you can pay stuff before you take delivery
  • 720 credit or higher, 45% DTI ratio
  • You DON’T have to move out of your current house.

I can’t believe it! This is the perfect loan and come late this spring, it’ll be exactly what we are looking for!

So… now I have a loan in mind. Now we have to find the land. Amanda and I looked at a parcel of land on 2 Bolt Rd, Glenville, NY. It is 2 and change acres and has already been site approved for a lot. It’s relatively close to civilization but far enough that we can get 2 acres and a decent amount of privacy. The lot next to it is for sale as well (any takers?)

Amanda is sort of nervous because it doesn’t have woods. She (and I) would love to have property back to woods. I was trying to make the argument to her that we can plant our own woods using privacy trees for now and planting shade trees that will be big when the kids are older. I’m not sure she’s convinced. Other than that, it seems like the perfect lot. There is another lot that is 5+ acres, but it’s pretty far out in West Glenville.

If everything goes according to plan, we’ll be putting a contract on the land in late-Spring with a due diligence period of like 4-6 months to get all of our permits in place before we actually close the land and start breaking ground.

Of course, it’s hard to wait, so I’ve been designing our house already. I started putting in every feature Amanda and I want in a house and I ended up with a 5,000+ sqft house! So I had to shrink everything and move some stuff around and came up with a decent first cut…

First Floor

First Iteration 2nd Floor

So I showed this to Amanda, and we talked through the design. She pointed out some really great things and for the first time, I think she was excited! I think she’s still a little skeptical as to whether this is actually going to work or not 🙂 Maybe I am as well… it’s a huge undertaking, a big dream, and there’s a lot of excitement but a lot of caution as well.

Either way, I took Amanda’s advice back to the drawing table (literally) and came up with a layout. Just a layout at this point, but what do you think?

Second Iteration First Floor

Second Iteration Second Floor

This post is already long enough, but I would love to share some of the details we’ve been working out about the house. I guess I’ll save that for a later post.

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