My husband Jeff and I decided to build a barndominium style house for one reason, and that was to live a debt free lifestyle. We did research on what this process would cost us. Jeff felt confident he could build this house cheaper than a conventional style house build would cost us.
Once we had our construction budget planned out, we contacted lenders on what their process and fees are for a construction loan.
I called multiple local banks, and talk about getting the run around. When I finally talked to someone that would answer my questions, these were some of the questions I had:
- Do you finance a barndominium style house?
- – Yes
- Do you require a General Contractor?
- What percentage down is required?
– 20% down of the final loan cost
- What are your fees with construction loans?
– loan fees, title escrow fee, appraisal fee, inspection fee, etc…….
They gave me somewhat of a fee list, but would not give me a percentage of what they charged. This was something I needed specifics on since we were trying to cut cost as much as possible.
If you live in the city, there are other requirements that need to be met. For example, they require a general contractor. Depending on the city, there are building codes that must be met. For us, we built out of the city limits, so we did not have to meet building code requirements and inspections.
General contractors charge anywhere from 15% – 20%.
For us we crunched the numbers and felt confident we could build this house without going through a conventional lender. With the equity we had from the sell of our house, our savings, and for the rest we did an owner finance loan.
Owner financing is when a property seller finances the purchase directly with the person or entity seeking to buy it. This type of transaction can be advantageous for both the seller and the buyer since it eliminates the cost of a bank intermediary. We were able to finance the remaining with a family member.
Since we did not have to go through the conventional loan route, Jeff could be the General Contractor. We did not have to pay all of the fees that come with a conventional loan. We built the house and moved in as soon as it was livable. After we moved in, anything we wanted to complete, for example the fireplace, we had to save the money first.
We have lived in our house 2 years now and we are still working on completing minor projects.
If you are looking to build this type of house and use a conventional lender, I believe you can still build this house cheaper than a regular house. Find a General Contractor that will work with you. Communicate with them to see what areas you can do yourself, like painting, setting fixtures, staining concrete, etc… Just communicate with them and I guarantee anyone will be willing to help you cut cost as much as possible.
I will be posting on this account about our journey and what we learned throughout our build in the future.
I documented our building process on my