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Julia's Forum Posts: 2

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By Julia in TX on 8/3/2004


My husband and I are considering owner-building in the Pearland area close to Hwy 288. We have an appt. to meet with the Ownerbuildernetwork this weekend. Does anyone have any feedback on this company? They want to charge a $2.95 sq ft on living area (fee). Does this sound normal to charge a fee like this? We found a piece of land we are interested in as well. Is is wise to buy the land then get a construction loan or wait and get one construction loan that can be used to buy the land? ANY INFORMATION would be welcomed. Thanks Julia
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By Craig in TX on 8/26/2004


We have some friends that used them and were quite happy, but I am not sure they really ended up saving much money. We looked around at various owner-builder programs and I was prepared to just go it alone until a friend of mine started a business building budget-minded semi-custom homes in the Houston area. It wasn't that they were necessarily bad, I just felt I had enough homebuilding experience and had done enough research that the fee they all charge was a great place to save money on the house.
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By Craig in TX on 2/7/2005


I should reply to my post and say that since I posted it, my friend's company went under and I found myself on my own to finish the house. 

That in itself wouldn't be a problem.  The big problem is that I am now stuck with a bank that looks at owner-builders like amateur surgeons. 

I have had to sign on with an owner-builder consultant in order to get the project moving again, but I am still faced with a bank that for some reason, wants this project to fail. 


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By Greg in Houston, TX on 2/16/2005


I began the process with Owner Builder Network in May, 2004. My construction loan did not close until December, 2004. It is my opinion that they are only good for helping you obtain a loan. Not good with returning calls after you sign the contract. In addition, they lost their contract with the companies providing liability insurance and home warranty. OBN did not find it necessary to notify me, therefore I had to find out through these companies once they refunded my payments for these programs.
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By Michael in Dickinson, TX on 3/31/2005


I understand that in Texas you can not be your own GC. Is there anyone in the Houston area that has built their own home that can give me direction as to how they were able to get the job completed without a GC. I could hire one but that seems to take away from the reason I want to build my own home that is to same some money and add equity.
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By Greg in Houston, TX on 3/31/2005


If I am understanding your question correctly.  Yes you can be your own GC.  On many occassions people like myself go under an umbrella company to assist us in obtaining a loan.  Afterwards, we do all of the leg work by hiring subs and following through with the building process. 
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By Michael in Dickinson, TX on 3/31/2005


So, If I have the money and do not need a loan, I can be my own GC? If this is true I must have misunderstood the Texas rule. I was under the impression you couldn't get any of the permits without being a GC?
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By Jason in Burleson, TX on 3/31/2005


To be a registered home builder in TX costs $125 and you have to fill out a form.  Here's a link to some info and to the form itself.

http://www.contractors-license.org/tx/Texas.html#homebuild


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By Michael in Dickinson, TX on 3/31/2005


That looks simple enough. Are there any other things I should know about registering or is this form pretty much all there is to it? Are you in the Houston area?


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By Craig in TX on 8/3/2005


It took Owner Builder Network five months to get us started, but I can't really lay that at their feet.  The bank we originally had with the builder did everything they could to stop the process. 

So far, we are pretty happy dealing with them, they pretty much just get out of the way and let you do it.  We did have an issue with a contractor, they got on it and fixed it and it wasn't even a contractor on their list. 

Could I have done it without them?  Everything I've done so far except the financing part, but my case was different from most. 


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By Spencer in Sherman, TX on 8/8/2005


I went to look at the registration form that was mentioned above and found in the helpful facts section that a person building his/her own house is exempt from getting a license.

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By Julie in Arlington, TX on 8/8/2005


What service does the Owner -Builder Network provide for the $2.95 per sq foot?
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By Jason in Burleson, TX on 8/8/2005


I think I saw that as well.  However, it might prove useful to fill out the form anyway if you want to look more "professional" to suppliers/subs. 

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By Spencer in Sherman, TX on 8/9/2005


I went to one of their introduction seminars and listened to their pitch. From what I can tell is that they hold your your hand while you do the work. They say they supply a list of subs that are reputable (but be sure that the sub list they have is in your area). They will do a lumber take off list for you (most lumber yards from what I understand and or framing contractors will do the same). They will give you a step by step guide in binder form to follow along with some miscellaneous other things that I can not remember right now. The biggest thing that I thought would be helpful is their access to lenders which can be hard to find for owner builders here in Texas from what I hear. I have not started looking for a lender yet but the time is fast approaching. I have decided not to go with them because I just couldn't justify $7375 (2500 sq ft house) for finding me a lender......

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By Bob in Houston, TX on 5/29/2006


Hi Julie,

I just read your post about starting out w/obn. I'm already locked in, but am very interested in how do it go for you w/ them?

Would appreciate the good/bad and ugly about them if you can share w/me..

thank u...bob s


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By Charlie in Magnolia, TX on 11/12/2006


I'm using Dan at builderspriority.com 936-321-2701. Maybe we can share subs, vendors etc.
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