Thinking about building your next home? Read this first

March 26, 2018

This piece is presented by MetaBank.

Are you ready to build your next home? Your first contact needs to be a bank.

“There are so many dynamics during construction and having an experienced lender can make a huge difference,” said Keith Portner, vice president at MetaBank.

Here’s where to start:

Contact the bank

Get pre-qualified. Being pre-approved helps you understand what you can afford and what financing options are available.

“Knowing what you want your permanent financing to look like really drives the first conversation,” Portner said. “There are so many different financing options, and we can work different possibilities on the best financing scenario.”

Be prepared

Bring your application, proof of income, and asset, bank and investment statements. Provide construction plans and specs, cost statement, lot purchase agreement and contract with builder if already completed and available.

“Building a new home will likely be the single most significant transaction in your lifetime,” Portner said. “Completing  the due diligence is vital to ensure you get the final home and financing package you want.”

Research builders

Ask for references of the builder and detailed plans and cost breakdowns to avoid surprises. Most importantly, make sure you and your builder communicate well.

From there, a lender like Portner can help determine the best financing option for you.

Keith Portner

“Our strong underwriting abilities give us the opportunity to finance a wide range of construction projects. And because our underwriting is local, we can make quick decisions on all of our loans,” he said.

MetaBank also maintains its own loans, which has many advantages for consumers. The bank offers an extended rate lock program that’s good for up to one year, which is important in today’s rising rate environment.

“We don’t sell our loans on the secondary market,” Portner said. “That means you’ll work with us during the life of the loan. It’s nice to have a local contact when you have questions or concerns. You can walk your payment into any of our locations the day it’s due.”

It’s an approach that worked for Jacob Bunde, an architect, and his wife. They wanted a home that was within their means but also modern and minimalist. Their final concept was a very unique custom home.

“We spoke to 10 or 11 other banks before we were referred to Keith and MetaBank,” Bunde said. “The larger banks wouldn’t even consider the loan because it wasn’t a typical house. The smaller banks in town would talk with me but wanted to charge higher rates.”

“It was a breath of fresh air working with MetaBank,” Bunde said. “The process was easy, and Keith did a great job working with us and meeting our needs.”

Here’s a construction financing checklist:

  • Have a detailed contract in place.
  • Anticipate cost overruns and delays with construction.
  • Build the right house on the right lot; don’t overbuild compared to the rest of the neighborhood.
  • Understand future developments and zoning to ensure that your lot is situated in a long-term desirable location.
  • Make sure lien waivers are completed during the construction process.
  • Avoid financing big purchases or experiencing credit issues during construction.

If you’d like to learn more about home construction loans at MetaBank, contact Keith Portner at 605-782-0809 or

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Thinking about building your next home? Read this first

Are you ready to build your next home? Your first contact needs to be a bank.

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