- I had to gather up and hand over recent pay stubs, tax returns, and bank account statements to prove I had proper assets (just like with a normal home loan)
- The bank had to run a credit and reference check on me
- I had to get two full sets of plans from the architects to the bank
- I paid the bank ~$500 to get an appraisal done on the lot + proposed structure. The appraisal had to come up at or above the value of the loan.
- I had to formulate and sign a contract with the general contractor I picked out to build the house
- The bank had to run a credit check on my contractor including a reference check on all of his subcontractors
- The purchase and sale agreement had to be amended to include stronger wording regarding the shared driveway between the two lots. This had to be signed by both me and the seller.
- I had to pay a deposit to lock in my interest rate at 4.999%
- The underwriter had to approve the loan and the loan amount
If any one of those items didn't go through, the whole process would come to a halt. Luckily, it all turned out okay. The only bad thing that happened was I had to increase my down payment to a very uncomfortable amount in order to cover for the changes made to the foundation. This is something I hope I can live with and won't come back to bite me in the construction phase. Anything that goes over the proposed budget + contingency during construction has to be paid out of pocket. My pocket. My very empty pocket.
The final steps were to write a deposit check to the contractor, completely drain all my accounts with a massive down payment check to the bank, and sign the final set of loan docs at the title company. And with that, I am officially a land owner in Madrona.
I can't quite celebrate yet though. The adventure is only halfway over. Will everything contintue going smoothly and on time? Will I go drastically over-budget, sink the project, and go bankrupt? I have no idea! Tune in to find out!