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Building A Barden Home

My step by step experience with Barden Homes

I’ve Changed My Mind, Hometown Banking It Is

clock April 14, 2009 18:27 by author Donny Kemick

After fully convincing myself that I was going to use Robar General Funding Corp. for the construction loan, I have been convinced otherwise by my General Contractor.  Being someone that has worked several banks through the years, he told me that my best bet was to look right in my own backyard, at Northwest Savings Bank.  His opinion was that they offered the fewest fees, the most flexibility with rates through construction, and he had worked with them a ton.

All of my personal banking is through Northwest, as was my previous mortgage, so this was music to my ears!  Because of the banking crisis, I decided that I should check a few others as well, and I did find that Northwest was the best deal.  They were also one of the only banks that allowed me to lock in a rate for my final mortgage up front.  With rates a historic low, I didn’t want to gamble with what my rate would be at the end of construction, something Robar and many other banks require.

Flexible Rate

One of the best features of the loan through Northwest is that they will allow you to pay a fee during construction, and after, as long as they have not sold your loan, to get a rate very close to the current rate.  So, if during construction the rates drop below your locked in rate, you can pay a one-time fee and get the 1/8th above the current, lower rate.

No Bi-Weekly Payments

With our first 20 year mortgage, we setup automatic bi-weekly payments, which drastically reduces the amount of interest you pay on your loan, and cuts a 20 year mortgage down to 17 years.  The way it works is you take your monthly loan payment, and pay half of it every 2 weeks instead of all of it once a month.  By making half of the payment more regularly, you reduce the principle balance faster, thus reducing interest on the principle.

This was something that I really wanted to do again with our new mortgage.  Unfortunately, Northwest has now implemented a bi-weekly payment processing fee that neutralizes the effects of the bi-weekly payments, thus making it completely useless.  To get around this, one can make one extra mortgage payment a year and achieve the same effects.  I think I’ll be doing that.

Shop Around!

If you’re looking for a construction loan or mortgage, take a day and visit all of your local banks.  Make a spreadsheet of:

  • Their best rate for 15, 20, 30 year mortgages
  • Their closing costs
  • Their acceptance of bi-weekly payments
  • Any prepayment penalties
  • Down payment requirements
  • Preapproval amount

Then, you can take an unbiased look at the data and make a good decision.  Having shopped around, you will certainly feel better about your decision, even if you end up going with the original bank you wanted to work with.


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Barden Home Budget Breakdown

clock February 7, 2009 17:36 by author Donny Kemick

In meeting with our General Contractor, we’ve gotten a breakdown of the areas to budget for in the project, along with his thoughts on numbers for each category.  Here’re the categories:

  • Barden Homes Material Package

    • Sales Tax for materials
    • Crane Fee
  • Foundation Package

    • Poured/Block/Precast Basement walls
    • Poured/Block/Precast Garage walls
    • Lolly Columns (the columns in your basement that support the main beam)
    • Foundation coating (Platon in our case)
    • House floor
    • Garage floor
    • porch floor
    • Stone
    • Basement windows
    • Drain tile
    • Excavation
  • House Erection Labor

    • Erect home
    • Install shingles
    • Install windows
    • Install siding
    • Insulation
    • Trim labor
      • molding
      • install doors
      • door knobs
      • closet rods
      • hardware
      • kitchen and railing installation
    • Drywall
    • Allowance for Flooring
    • Per bath plumbing
    • 200 Amp electric service
    • Forced warm and central air
  • Options

    • Exterior stone
    • Fireplace
    • Chimney stone
    • Granite countertops
    • Master bath tub
  • Miscellaneous

    • Permits
    • Utility hookups
    • Painting (we’re doing this ourselves)
    • Light fixtures
    • Appliances
    • Gutters
    • Bathroom mirrors




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Give Me Some Numbers! What Did We Forget?

clock February 3, 2009 17:18 by author Donny Kemick

Now that we’ve made the switch to a new floor plan and house design, I have been very anxious to get some new numbers.  It seems like it took much longer this time around to get some pricing, but I finally got it.  We’re still finalizing many things, but I was given a breakdown that included budgets for:

  • Barden Homes Material Package
  • Foundation, Porches, Garage Slab, Excavation, Stone
  • Erection Labor – erecting home, installing shingles, installing windows, installing siding
  • Insulation
  • Trim Labor - molding, install doors, door knobs, closet rods, hardware, kitchen and railings
  • Drywall
  • Flooring
  • Plumbing
  • Electric
  • Forced Air Heat and Central Air
  • Exterior Stone
  • Fireplace

My question after seeing the pricing and breakdown was, what’s not here?  Not because the number was lower than I expected, but because I knew there had to be some items omitted.

I then found that some items left off were:

  • Fireplace Stone
  • Granite Countertops
  • Master bath tub
  • Permits
  • Utility hookup
  • Painting – I am going to do this myself
  • Light fixtures
  • Appliances – We need a refrigerator, microwave, range hood, dishwasher, and just bought a new range
  • Gutters
  • Mirrors in baths
  • Extra excavation beyond the hole for the basement and backfill around the house

Barden Homes DIY

I’m by no means a carpenter or contractor material, but I am relatively handy.  In looking at the projected budget for painting the house I decided I couldn’t stomach it, and that I would do it myself.  Will I regret it?  Probably, but at least I’ll save some money!  The cost of a painter would be more than if I went without a paycheck for a month!  Not worth it.  I may as well just take some time off and paint.

I’m also planning on running all of my own data, phone, and coaxial cable to support our networking, phones, and TV.  I’m familiar with all three and should be OK there.

Waiting on Final Plans

We’re currently waiting for our plan changes to come back from Barden Homes.  after that, we’re hoping to go to the bank.

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