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I have no clue about what I am doing!

We are looking into building our first home and I am in desperate need of help. I am looking to find a construction loan but have read I should find a mortgage broker to help obtain a construction loan. I don't know where to look. I live north of Pittsburgh PA. Do I go to a bank to find such a person? Also does anyone have thoughts about building or buying for first time home buyers? I have read that they are close in cost but I would love any imput!
  • October 03 2013 - Cranberry Township
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Answers (4)

Profile picture for SoCal Engr
As far as getting an idea on costs (an idea) try this site. It's good in that it allows for a wide number of variables, and also has localized and itemized cost estimates. Just don't get too caught up in the level-of-detail and confuse it for "accuracy". It's still "an estimate".

As for costs, it really depends on what style of house you want, what kind of engineering may be required, and the level of finish.

When I was first pursuing a custom build, I ended up finding a person at a bank that was experienced with construction loans. There's more to it than "get money, build a house". You're going to want help with things like fund control, etc. And, you're going to need a decent "slush fund" to handle over-runs...because there will be over-runs.

Another great help was our architect (since they pretty much live in the world of design-and-build). Find a good architect, and they can provide a lot of tips on how to get through the construction process.

The last key piece of your construction team is a good general contractor. They should know the trades, as well as have enough construction knowledge to keep things on track.

You're taking on a big project. It sounds like fun, and it can be. But, it's also a whole lot of groundwork in putting together a team, design, and schedule.
  • October 03 2013
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In regards to financing mortgage brokers along with local community banks should be a good resource for a construction loan.  However, most construction loans will require a balloon payment after work is completed, thus repaying transaction costs by refinancing into a traditional loan.  If you were interested in renovating an existing home either FHA's 203k program or HomeStyle Renovation loans allow you access to traditional 30 year fixed loans.

I agree with much of the first comment, but comparing the cost of new build vs. purchase and existing home will vary depending on what the market in your area dictates.  Building your dream home can lead to greater satisfaction, but alot of variables and stress along the way.  Good luck!
  • October 08 2013
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Please call me to discuss the financing options for your new home. I will be happy to refer you to a reliable loan officer who specializes in new construction. I will also be happy to assist you in your home building/buying process. [Spam content removed by Zillow moderator due to violation of
Good Neighbor Policy.]
  • October 23 2013
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Building a home can be a very exciting prospect, however, it is not for the faint of heart. It can also be very trying on a relationship. There is a difference between thinking you know what you want in a house and seeing it built. Making changes after the contract with the builder is signed is very costly. There are all kinds of hidden/unknown costs. If a builder gives you $5000 for light fixtures, that might sound like plenty. After all, how much can a few lights cost? Add up the cost of the can lights, then the garage and porch lights...bathroom lighting...not to mention the dining room chandelier and breakfast area. The costs of "hard surfaces" like carpeting, vinyl, hardwoods, tile, granite all add up and quite often the amount budgeted is not enough.  
   For first time homeowners, it is my opinion that they should purchase an existing house first, live in it for a while, do some remodeling to make it their own and then think about building later on.
  • October 23 2013
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