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Beware of IndyMac


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By Ashley in Candor, NY on 8/8/2007


Beware before you use IndyMac for your loan. We were told that we were about two weeks from closing and had the appraisal all done, when today we were told that starting yesterday, they no longer lend to first-time owner-builders and that we are out of luck. He did say that they were going to have a meeting on it tomorrow (but I doubt that will do us any good).

Before you go through them, make sure that they are actually going to let you build your house and not wait until the last minute to tell you they changed their mind, like they did us. Now we don't even know if we will be able to build a house.
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By Toi in Alachua County, FL on 8/9/2007


I spoke to IndyMac a few minutes ago. According to them they still loan to first-time owner-builders, however they have stopped loaning to first-time home buyers. The rep said that if there is no mortgage history showing on your credit report, they will not lend.

I called:
1-800-425-5626
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By Richard in Coventry, CT on 8/9/2007


I have not used this mortgage broker but have spoken to a few reps there and they seem pretty good. 

normandy.com


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By Kay in Covington, GA on 8/9/2007


I too was two weeks away from closing with IndyMac.  Man! So close. Then I got the dreaded news yesterday. Since then I have been trying to find another lender (such as IndyMac) that will do 100% financing. Any ideas?


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By Richard in Coventry, CT on 8/10/2007


For 100% financing try The Construction Loan Company

loantobuild.com


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By Kay in Covington, GA on 8/14/2007


I filled out a pre-approval form for loantobuild.com. They don't lend in Georgia :-(
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By Tonya in Mount Sterling, OH on 8/25/2007


We were in underwriting with IndyMac and they said now they have changed their requirements to a higher credit score and that we had to put 9 mos. of reserves in the bank.

When we started they changed on us two different times. I wanted to cry. But maybe it's a sign to not go to IndyMac

Will be looking somewhere else. Any 100% loans for Ohio?

Thanks.


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By Michael Penn in Dripping Springs, TX on 8/26/2007


With the recent sub-prime mortgage/general financial debacle that has hit almost all financial institutions to some degree, I wonder how much of this tightening of lending standards is just specific to IndyMac, and how much is more general.

Has anyone heard specifics of recent changes in lending standards with other lenders?

My construction loan and mortgage (one-time close) are with Capital One, and I know that last week they announced they were shutting down their wholesale mortgage company, Greenpoint Financial, which they had acquired in the last few years. I'm assuming that won't affect my deal--plan to ask them about it this week. But it's just one of many examples I've heard of over this past month. I had stock in a couple mortgage companies that cratered, American Home Mortgage and Thornburg Mortgage.


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By Whitney in Saint Augustine, FL on 9/15/2007


Hi Kay,

I looked into IndyMac and a few other national programs, and found going with a local lender ended up being my best option. I have had many mortgages, but never a construction loan and certainly never an owner-builder loan. I spent several weeks preparing a proposal for the bank. The only issue is that they will lend only 90% of cost to build; so if you don't have equity or cash reserves, this probably is not for you. We were very well received; however, we were scrutinized very thoroughly prior to being approved. I close next week with People's First. 

The only issue was we had to trim the fat so to speak on the extras until we close, due to not wanting to fall into a jumbo loan program and costing us an extra 3/4% in interest. Otherwise, we were courted by four local banks very seriously, which is not what we expected. 

Good luck!

Whitney


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By Gabriela in Readington Twp, NJ on 9/28/2007


Hi Whitney,

Was wondering if you can share any pointers or tricks on how to avoid a jumbo loan?

Our current property (land and small house we hope to demo) has a mortgage of $307K that would need to be paid off. Additionally we are looking to borrow $350K to build new. We have equity in the current land and home of about $100K, but jumbo seems to be the order of the day since we would be above $417K when both are added together. Any tricks on avoiding jumbo and subsequent higher rates would be appreciated.


Gabriela


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By Jared in Lake Havasu City, AZ on 11/13/2007


Hi all, we just closed on our 100% one-time-close loan. All went very well, so I thought I would share a few things with you.

After we had gone down the road with IM and had them change their rules on us at the last minute, we found our way to ctploans.com thanks to this forum. They proved to be wonderful to work with. We closed at the end of last week.

A couple things we learned in the process:

1) Make sure you know what is on your credit report when you apply for your loan. We were surprised when we did our first application to find that we had a collection account from an old cell phone company (they said we terminated early, which was wrong - but it took several weeks to clear up). If we had taken the time to run our credit before hand, it would have saved us time. By the time we went to ctploans, though, we had it cleared up and all went very smoothly from there.

2) If you are buying you land as part of the loan, make sure to negotiate upfront enough time to get to closing. We were very lucky to have a seller who was kind enough to put up with the delays caused by Indy, but could have been in real trouble if he hadn't been so nice. Truth is, I think we under-budgeted our time from the very start: we agreed to a 45-day close on the land purchase and that was just not enough to get all our plans and bids together. The mess caused by Indy ended up buying us more time to get those things done, but we should have asked for closer to 90 days right from the start.

3) Plan your budget by getting real bids from several subs. When we first set out to do this project, we came up with a budget based on some estimator we found online. It could not have been further off the mark! We were amazed at how different our budget looked once we got real bids. And, don't take anyone's word for an "estimate" - get the real bids in writing. I now understand how important this is. I would hate to start building this month without real bids - that would be just plain dumb to do.

Well, that is our update. I'll try to keep everyone posted on our progress. We are really excited to finally get started. I'm glad we found the answers to the financing we needed on this forum.

Jared

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By Pat in Arnold, CA on 12/5/2007


I have to say the person I've been working with at IndyMac has been super.  She has spent hours trying to manipulate our numbers to get them to work in the best possible outcome. We currently own three homes and this new one we are building will be our fourth and we are just over the income to debt ratio. So, she had come up with several alternatives for us and found a few "loopholes" that will be to our advantage.

During the past two months, there have been some changes in the IndyMac rules and limits, however that is true of the whole industry and not just IndyMac. The whole Countrywide nightmare put lending in a tailspin along with the national foreclosure rates. Yup... IM changed their rules midstream on us... but that's understandable considering the national problem right now. IM even gave me some names of other lending institutions and a broker to see if I could get better rates elsewhere. I called around and everyone had just changed their guidelines and some weren't even funding owner-builder loans anymore effective immediately. 

Pat


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By Pat in Arnold, CA on 1/7/2008


FYI - Indymac is no longer doing lot loans effective two weeks ago.  He said most of the national lenders are not doing them anymore and if you need a lot loan to go to regional/local banks that know the local economy better. 
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By Whitney in Saint Augustine, FL on 2/4/2008


We are about halfway finished. We are getting our MEP inspection this week, then on to drywall. We have been very pleased with Prosperity Bank.   The key to any construction loan is to ensure you have enough funds of your own (in addition to what the bank asks for up front) to pay your subs timely. You often end up paying them well before your bank draw comes in. This can be very stressful if you do not plan well. They are pretty strict about sticking to the percentages of draws based on the work being done, so ensure your bids are in line with this, or have plenty of cash on hand. 

Good luck!

Whitney


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By Pat in Arnold, CA on 2/5/2008


The other thing that can disqualify you for a 100% loan is your income to debt ratio. We had plenty of cash in the bank but our income to debt ratio was 3% above their limit... so, we will have to put 10% down.
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By Whitney in Saint Augustine, FL on 2/5/2008


Hi Pat:

We were well below the income to debt ratio, so I cannot comment on how much comfort level your lender will have with that. We never paid a sub before the inspection was completed, which should have nothing to do with your loan amount. If  you are concerned with this aspect, make sure your lender spells out for you your draw schedule, as each one is different. You don't want to be asking for a draw after each sub. This could cost you if your lender only gives you "x" amount of draws. If there is no cost for unlimited draws, this will work in your favor.

Our lender has been more than accommodating. We received three bids for every trade, but you can never be too prepared for unexpected events. We have not had to request funds in excess of what we expected so far. We have received funds within 24 hours of our request. Sometimes sooner, not that is was needed that soon. Regardless of your draw schedule, you should have a reserve that you are comfortable with for unforeseen expenditures, events in your life. Not that everything will go as planned, but our subs have been superior, and very agreeable to our financial terms. Do not let this allow you to lower your standards. We put minimal down, as expected, but were able to utilize the rest for initial capital. Good luck!


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