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By Khawar in Orlando, FL on 9/13/2005


Can anyone tell for sure if I can build my own home in Orlando area? I have been to a few banks and they all require a licensed contractor???? Also if yes, then what are some sources for owner-builder financing? I can put in up to 15%-20%.
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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 9/28/2005


Welcome to the forum.  You have a couple of different issues here:

1) Can you O-B a home in Orlando.  While I have never reseached Orlando, I would be surprised if there are any locales that specifically prohibit a person from working on their personnal residence.  In my locale, you are allowed to O-B, however permits are only issued to licensed contractors.  I was surprised how easy it was to get a GC license (which in conjunction lowered my confidence level of quality of GCs in my area).

2) Can you get financing allowing you to do this?  This is a different issue entirely.  I started by looking at the big banks in my area, but soon realized through O-B networks that the small town banks are much more likely to loan to first time O-Bs.  A construction loan to a person that has never built a house is a high-risk loan, not every bank wants to take on these risks. 

3) Also you might consider Owner-Builder Conections (look in the upper right hand corner of the main forum page).  There are about 30 +/- registered users that live in Orlando, and you can send a message to any one of them directly.  These potential local contacts can provide a wealth of local knowledge that you won't be able to find on the forum, including financing, suppliers, subcontractors, etc. all relevant to your area.


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By Kathlyn in Orlando, FL on 10/31/2005


We built a garage apartment in Downtown Orlando as O-B, completed in 2003. The City inspector was a nightmare, but my husband is a civil engineer and was able to make him happy.  Had some perfect subs and some creeps.  We are going to start a house now and will be smarter about it.  We are THRILLED with our garage apt., just learned a lot about the building process.


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By Jeff in Orlando, FL on 8/14/2006


I am with UBuildit now and Spectrum International is one of their recommended finance companies for obtaining construction loans. They are most likely referring their customers to each other. I don't know anything about the reputation of Spectrum International, just thought I'd point that out.

If anyone is still looking for a construction loan, the mortgage broker I use has good programs available. His name is Giles Wardian (407)210-6535. Tell him Jeff Co referred you and he should knock $100 off his fees.

I am just referring him to anyone because he is a diligent worker, who is honest and competitively priced. I've used him before for a refinance and a condo purchase. I'm waiting to close on my construction loan with him as soon as I get my building permit. I don't get any kickbacks in case you're wondering.


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By Lisa in Groveland, FL on 8/19/2006


Khawar

I read this and we have not used Spectrum but we did have a meeting with him a couple of years ago.  My gut feeling was this guy is oily.  I have since learned a lot from people in this business and been warned to steer clear, which went along with my gut feeling.  He will tell you the parameters that banks require, but unless asked directly, will not tell you which bank you are dealing with. 

We thought he was a broker, but he is actually lending his own money, then selling the mortgage to a bank.  I have nothing against this - until you look into the closing costs, they are horrendous. Going with BuildMax and paying their $8,000 on top of the Closing costs came in at thousands less than the closing costs here. 

Look into Harbor Federal. We are within the next month, as we want to commence permitting first. They are meant to come in a percent below IndyMac. You can go with IndyMac through a broker, who is used to doing construction loans. You can go directly to IndyMac and you will save yourself big time on closing costs. I have heard that Countrywide does decent construction loans.

Do all of your applications within one month, thentheyt will only count as one inquiry on you credit score.  The higher the credit score the lower the interest rate you get.

Hope this helps.

Lisa.


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By Lisa in Groveland, FL on 8/19/2006


Thanks Jeff,

We will check Giles out next month too.

Lisa


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By David in Ocoee, FL on 8/22/2006


Lisa,

I have been told by an associate of mine that Indymac Bank IndyMac does a lot of construct to permanent loans.

Here is another one that states up front that you are not required to hire a GC: OwnerBuilderFinance.com

I have always been able to get a better deal over the internet, whether it is a streamline mortgage (FHA refinance with no closing costs) or a second mortgage. Perhaps you should give these folks a ring.


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By Lisa in Groveland, FL on 8/22/2006


David,

Many thanks for that.  We certainly will call OB Finance, and compare as well. 

Has anyone else used this company before??

Probably a really ignorant question, but I've noticed you had "Moderator" by your name now.  Is that new? I'm guessing you edit threads, did you choose to be one?  Are you working for the OB Book now?  How does that work?  I looked for an explanation on the site and could not find anything.

Just being nosey.

Thanks Lisa


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By David in Ocoee, FL on 8/23/2006


Lisa,

Questions are encouraged. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people on these threads and hopefully someone will eventually come along and answer a question.

Concerning the moderator thing, Mark Smith, the site editor, sent me an email and asked me if I would like to be a moderator for the Florida forum. As you may know, I love construction. So I volunteered for the task. I review each post for content and accuracy. My objective now is to keep as many threads alive as possible, increase participation in the other less visited threads. There is a lot of excellent information out there. There are a lot of folks that have either already started building or will soon start. I will be visiting my architect some time next month to get the ball rolling. I just wish that my house would sell now.

Keep up the good posting

 


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By Cara in Orlando, FL on 9/7/2006


We're using IndyMac and feel pretty good about our choice. I have lots of online access, and it's a pretty easy process. I think it might be more expensive- the during construction rate is 8.5% I think, but we'd rather go that route than have a sketchy or inaccessible lender. IndyMac has always been responsive to our needs and was there to clarify whenever there was a problem of any kind.

Cara

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By Jason in Orlando, FL on 9/16/2006


I would like to add more insight into Cara's post to IndyMac since we are doing this together. We searched long and hard for a bank that would meet our terms. It was not easy to find. We had superb credit, large down payment, and a nice portfolio. No one wanted to play ball until we found IndyMac.

We have been treated with respect during the whole process. We actually made the call from a Home Depot application. It took them a week to call back and when they did, they seemed a little sketchy when I mentioned owner-building. In the days before I got the call from that guy we found another person who had used them and the guy was working for IndyMac out of Texas. We called him up directly and he made it happen for us. We ended up hiring his location for our construction here in Florida.

The closing costs were on par with any loan and they do a construction to perm. This means one closing cost. You can pick a term of 9, 12, or 15 months. Like Cara mentioned, their website is very comprehensive and you can access any info about your account at any time and do everything on-line. We are on-line people and this makes us happy.

I give IndyMac 5 stars for explaining the entire process as we went along, 4 stars for a competitive interest rate, and 5 stars for account accessibility. As long as your representative was like ours you will be in good hands.

Also if you secure it with a Home Depot account you get 5% cash back on everything you purchase from HD. It adds up quick and it's free money.

--Jason

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By Mark in Provo, UT on 2/16/2007


Jason,

    Could you explain further about securing your loan with a Home Depot acount and getting cash back on your HD purchases?

Many thanks,

Mark

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By Cara in Orlando, FL on 2/17/2007


I don't know when Jason will get to this, since he is swamped, so I will answer... IndyMac partners with HD to incentivize purchases at HD. Basically, when applying for our loan we were offered an option to get this "Construction Loan" card. We made application and were granted a $69K credit line (presumably because we could make a lot of big purchases there :)). We pay the entire balance each month, to avoid finance charges. At the top of the monthly statement, it shows the usual cc info, and also "eligible spent to date" and "rebate earned to date." If I understand correctly, we will receive the rebate in the form of a check at closeout of the construction period. Also, getting this card does not preclude you from getting the other HD cards to take advantage of percentage off and/or promotional financing rates. So between the two of us, we have three separate HD credit accounts.
Hope that helps!

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By Jason in Burleson, TX on 2/17/2007


Home Depot still has information in their stores and online (contractorservices.homedepot.com/Services/Loan) about this construction loan with the 5% rebate.  However, they no longer have the relationship with IndyMac that they previously had.  This offer is no longer available according to the Home Depot associate I spoke with today as well as the IndyMac rep I called today.  I reached IndyMac by calling 866-238-4635 (from the HD construction loan website).

Apparently this offer ended 4 or 5 months ago.



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