Archive for the 'Budgets' Category

BUILDMAX article in “Family Home Plans”

Follow this link to excellent article in the Family Home Plans digital magazine Fall 2008, titled “the Upside of the Downturn in Home Construction”.


What construction lending terms are your receiving?

OK readers.. would love to hear from you in regards to what kind of construction financing you are finding out there!

I am aware that many local banks are still lending.. but at what LTV/LTC, what down payment, and with or without a builder?

WE still have available 3 lenders and soon to add another…. and can you believe that we are STILL able to offer a construction to perm loan with only 5% down (based on appraised value of the project)?  AND with credit score of only 640?

I believe that this is still a good time to build.  In many areas the values are stablizing and may not drop further.   Your construction-perm loan is based on Fair Market Value at the time of construction start; a new appraisal is NOT done at the completion of the project.  Thus, IF you are building in sufficient ‘sweat equity’, then your investment will be safe.

Many subcontractors need the work!   Why not start your project now and a discounted land purchase, and employ these needy trades!

TWELVE.. count them… 12!  months of no payments while you build!

Call me.  I will get you started first with an estimated cost to build budget line-item, a detail of lending terms, and then get your loan application over to the lender for credit approval.

Again, I welcome your replies in regards to what lenders are offering you on construction financing!

NEW Line-Item Budget Form!

Just in!
an AMAZING form compiled by BuildMax that if all material were printed it would be over 400 pages!

Check it out.. this line-item budget form has hyperlinks for each of the line-items to an online pdf document. This form answers the following questions for each line-item:

1. GOAL: What problem are you trying to solve for this budget category?
2. CONTACT: Who are the professionals & where do you find them for this budget category?
3. COMPETENCE: What questions are pertinent to arriving at a cost for this budget category?
3. STANDARD: How do you know when you’ve gotten enough information to move forward?

Would that be helpful to you?
If so, email me ( ) and ask for it!

here’s a sample:
for line item 101: Architect, Engineering, & Soil Study Fees, hyperlink leads here:

Spring Build offer!

You DON’T want to be breaking ground when the snow starts flying!
Start NOW!

I can help you get organized to move forward and break ground sooner than later!
And to give you that extra push, I am extending my $250 gift card offer!

The offer now is:
Complete a loan application and provide me with your project details by May 23rd (this is the date that my son’s school is out for the summer!), and then break ground by 4th of July (this means you have signed construction loan documents with the bank), then I will issue a $250 gift card from Lowes or Home Depot!

THIS gives you plenty of time! If you procrastinate until 5-23, then you have only 45 days to get all material together. If you start today, then this gives you a whopping 70 days!

Here again are the stages in the construction loan process:
1. PRE-QUALIFICATION: Completed from your gross income and monthly debt payments, along with information about your intended build. If you have a floor plan in mind, you can email it to me (web link, CAD, PDF files) or fax, and I will work a personalized Feasibility Study. This Study will indicate a range of estimated costs to build the intended house, and add up all the associated costs, lender fees, reserve funds, land payoff, to make sure it is feasible for your financial situation.
2. PRE-APPROVAL: Completed from a full loan application & credit pull. You can complete a loan application on my secure website at (but we cannot skip step 1!)
3. CREDIT APPROVAL: Lender reviews actual financial documents you send them (w-2’s, paystubs, bank statements), and approves YOU for the loan.
4. PROJECT APPROVAL: Now the project gets approved via an appraisal, title report, and budget/plan review.

Of course, I want to make sure you are fully informed before you put in a loan application, so contact me for more information as needed!

Now let’s get building!

Get Ready for SPRING Building!

The ripple effect.
In late 2007 we saw the subprime mortgage market (less than perfect credit and stated income etc) all but disappear…
–>causing the housing market inventory to rise
—>and halting new housing starts.
This in turn caused the following to happen in some areas:
Residential builders switching to the commercial sector;
Drastic cuts in home sale prices in order to move inventory;
Less demand on building costs
How does this affect YOU- the owner-builder?
While different areas of the country may experience different local challenges, I believe that NOW is a great time to move forward with your construction project!
Many subcontractors are itching for work –> lower labor costs for you!
Falling land prices –> we are in the TROUGH!
Building Material demand down –> softening demand means lower prices!*
Mortgage rates are at their lowest since the summer of 2005; Fixed Rate mortgages are averaging at 5.69%!
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) expect housing starts to start upward the third quarter of the year. Wouldn’t it benefit you to start now prior to local subs becoming busy again?
We have the lender programs available now to get you started; lock in with your construction-perm program now!   Note that under the one-time construction loan, you are obtaining two loans- the 12 month construction loan that modifies into a permanent 30 year mortgage.   You are qualified once, pay fees once, and you are guaranteed the final loan once you start your construction!
The process to obtain a construction-perm loan takes approximately 45 days.  The steps are:
1. Determine your program parameters; what are you building, what is land cost?  Does this fit within your qualifying ratios?
2. Complete a loan application and obtain a pre-approval
3. Support the information you gave on your loan application and obtain a full credit approval
4. Complete your budget and have your project appraised.
5. Complete final loan underwriting based on your credit approval, appraisal, budget.
Starting this process now will move you ahead of the pack- you could be breaking ground by MARCH!  
Our program allows you to build your own equity, but consider the market now… the down-swing of any market cycle is always followed by an up-swing… build your own home now and you will not only be building in sweat equity, but forthcoming real estate appreciation!
Contact me at 866-874-8926 toll-free (or via email)
to discuss your project further or lending parmaters;
I am anxious to get your ready for Spring Building!

You may also input your project details on my website at  Here also you will find a secure loan application form.
            *the cost to transport, ie. FUEL costs, is affecting some building material costs in some areas. 
Best advice… shop local, which also is a very green approach!

Organizing your build project

If you are acting as your own project manager, it will be critical to stay organized.   Here are a few ways to consider:

  1. Set up a file box just for material samples;
  2. Set up another file box, with file folders, for subcontractor bids and material costs;
  3. Use a notebook to help organize your ideas;
  4. Use a flow-chart to help schedule your subs (email me for this:;
  5. Post your bids to a computer spreadsheet.

BuildMax offers a FREE Project Workbook.  A valuable tool, this customized Excel multi-page spreadsheet offers a Project Preliminary Analysis, and a computerized program for you to build your budget item by item.   You can use the information within the Project Workbook to help you move forward with your build as it will help you:

  1. See the different areas that you will need to obtain costs/bids for (i.e. don’t leave anything out!);
  2. Indicate a total estimated loan amount needed- adding in lender fees, reserve funds, and estimated closings fees to your soft and hard costs;
  3. Help you decide if the project makes sense for you (i.e. overimproving the property or beyond your qualifications).

For your FREE project workbook, enter your details HERE.

Buildmax final budget review change

As of 11/1/06 all budgets sent to BuildMax for final review will need signed bids for the following items:

  • Excavation
  • Foundation/basement walls and slab
  • Framing materials
  • Framing labor
  • Plumbing
  • Electric
  • HVAC

This new guideline is implemented to assure that real bids are being obtained, and thereby preventing cost over-runs!   Put your plans in front of 2-3 sub-contractors, using our bid-forms (contact me regarding this: ) in order to compare apples-to-apples, and thereby choose the “best” bid.. which sometimes is NOT the lowest.   The bid should indicate exactly what materials they will be using and how much, and IF they will hire additional subs to assist, those subs should be listed for you.

Bravo for checks and balances! 


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July 2018
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