Financing | AiDomes

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THIS DOME HOME SOLD AUGUST 12, 2006

FOR THE FULL SELLING PRICE

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SOUTH CAROLINA DOME HOME for $224,000

The following is the sales information that was presented to the public in 2006. 

One Owner-Builder of an American Ingenuity dome complex is planning to relocate to Florida. He has decided to sell his dome complex in the Greenville/Spartanburg area of South Carolina.

The dome complex consists of one fully furnished 40’ dome home (2 Bedroom, 2 ½ bath 1,600 sq.ft.) linked to a 27’ two car garage with a 12’ utility dome and a dog dome. A concrete foundation for a 34’ screen dome is connected to the 40’ dome. 

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These domes are situated on the high point of 6.9 acres of land. 5.5 acres are pasture land, 1.4 acres are hardwood forest. The domes sit on a hill with a gorgeous view.

 KOLB PROPERTY DETAILS

This dome home consists of an American Ingenuity 40′ dome linked to a 27′, two car garage. The garage first floor is 555 sq.ft. with a 16 foot wide overhead door and a 680 sq.ft. attic. The attic floor is fully suspended from the dome shell so their are no columns or supporting walls to interrupt the garage first floor.

Dome Home Features:

  • Fully furnished with quality items including two king size beds and a solid wood book wall from Denmark.
  • Draperies by ADO – “Draperies with the Gold Thread.”
  • Jacuzzi
  • Non-vented gas log fire place.
  • Flooring: combination of laminate “hardwood style”, tiles and Berber carpet.
  • Heating/Cooling: by means of a Geothermal heat pump, using latent sun energy which is stored in the ground with 1,000 feet of hermetically sealed special plastic pipe loop, at a 6 feet depth.
  • Water Heating: tank-less, on-demand propane gas water heater unit.

Construction: Steel reinforced concrete shell with 7” thick E.P.S polystyrene insulation.

Insulation value: R-28 which is comparable to 11” of fiberglass insulation.

Construction complies with 1995 CABO Code, One/two Family Category.

This dome has been occupied by the original owner since April 30, 2002.

This Geodesic Dome Home is super energy efficient with a low environmental impact. It has been tested by a third party independent testing company and was subsequently certified as an ENERGY STAR HOME by EPA. The home actually uses 61 percent less energy than a comparably sized home designed to the 1993 Model Energy Code standard.

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This home is super strong and is designed to withstand the powerful forces of nature. A limited guarantee assures against any structural storm damages as a result of the ravages of tornados, earth quakes and hurricanes. The dome will survive wild fires.

For the year 2003, the monthly average electrical cost was $48.88. This cost includes: heating and cooling, well pump operation, hot water heating, cooking, laundry and sanitary. Typically the heating and cooling costs are about one half of the total electric bill.

Water is a deep well which is sunken into granite rock for purest, unpolluted natural water.

Dome surroundings: a system of six frost free garden hydrants, three European style garden lamps, one European masonry decorative garden grill, two decorative statues from Italy.

Patio: 34 feet diameter concrete platform with 3 electrical outlets and one hose hydrant.

Utility Dome: 12 feet diameter for utensils, lawn mover, water tank and filter.

45' dome front entrance in spring.

45′ dome on full basement sold in Missouri.  Front entrance in spring.

American Ingenuity dome owners lover their domes, with very few domes ever going on the resale market.  As a result there is no resale value on the Ai dome.  However if our clients ever think they might sell their dome, Ai recommends they build at least a 40′ (3 bedroom, two bathroom size). Plus the resale value of a dome or any other home, is improved when it;

  • matches the neighborhood in size and value
  • exhibits quality construction
  • is landscaped well
  • energy efficiency and strength factors are advertised

When Glenda has an open house quite often she has someone who wants to buy her domes. Why we think this occurs so often is that once the dome is built the buyer can see it, touch it, feel it and look at the low energy bills. The perspective buyer does not have to select a floor plan, buy land, obtain a building permit, obtain construction financing & permanent financing, install a foundation, find and coordinate subcontractors, etc. To put it bluntly they do not have to go through all the construction phases to get a house built.

Until recently there has been little information available regarding the resale value of the American Ingenuity domes. No one wanted to sell.

In the summer of 2005, an Ai dome owner was moving out of state so he had to reluctantly sell his special dome. His 40’ geodesic dome home linked to a 27’ two car garage was sold in Upstate South Carolina, near the intersection of I-85 and I-26, within a 30 mile radius of the metropolitan Greenville/Spartanburg, SC area.

The dome had 1,382 sq.ft. of living space, while the garage and attic added 680 sq.ft of space. The sale netted $189,000, not including the value of the land.

Applying the local construction cost for typical, new residential dwellings and for garage structures, a new conventional residence with the same square footage would have cost $167,000 to build.  The dome sold for approximately 13 percent above the current conventional residential construction costs yet it was 5 years old. In addition, the dome sold in four months and there were other potential buyers disappointed that they arrived too late.

Because of no resale values, lenders require 25% to 35% cash down payment based on the finished price of the house.  Therefore before purchasing building plans, determine your budget and talk to lenders about financing down payments. Best to build the smallest size home possible because construction costs usually exceed expectations. Please click on18 page  Financing Booklet to view ins & outs of financing.

The following came from our Buying Land document. Please contact us to receive the entire document plus our Dome Too Large document prior to purchasing property or determining your dome size.

American Ingenuity (Ai) is happy that you are considering our Geodesic Dome Building Kit for your future home. You have made a big decision to build your dream home, and building with an alternative housing structure that comes with 225 mph wind and F4 tornado warranty that saves 50% to 60% on heating and cooling over conventional house is a smart decision.   Below is info on determining budget, financing and buying land document which can be emailed.

Please click on Planning Process to view planning steps.

DETERMINING NEW HOME BUDGET: Prior to purchasing your land or if you own property, first determine the overall budget you can afford for your new home, land and land development. It is sometimes best to purchase a small piece of affordable land instead of large acreage. This way you keep your land cost down so you have more cash money available for your mortgage cash down payment or more cash to build if you are an owner/builder. To keep your construction costs down, best to build as small a dome as possible; therefore you are on your property living in a super-strong, super-energy efficient dome home saving money on your heating & cooling costs to add on a second dome later. For example a 40’ dome (3 bedroom, two bath) can have 1,800 sq.ft. A 36’ dome (2 or 3 bedroom, two bath) can have 1,400 to 1,600 sq.ft. If your finished cost per square foot for your area is $105, then building the smaller 36’ dome automatically saves you $20,000 to $40,000 in construction costs. A 27’ dome (two bedroom/two bath) can have 800 sq.ft. Building a 27’ dome vs a 36’ dome automatically saves you $60,000 to $80,000 in construction costs. For an approximate cost to build in the area you are considering please contact Ai at 321-639-8777.

FINANCING GENERAL CASH DOWN PAYMENT AMOUNTS: If you will be financing, determine the amount of cash down payment needed. Loans for alternative housing such as a geodesic dome are often harder to come by, and lenders generally require between 25% and 35% cash down. On an approximate $200,000 build for the structure and land development, this could mean a cash down payment of between $50,000 and $70,000. Keep in mind lenders may or may not take under consideration your equity in your land, when lending for the structure and land development. Therefore, if needing a loan to build it is wise not to invest all your liquid assets into the purchase of the property because a large cash down payment will be required on the home loan. Feel free to call us at 321-639-8777 for a friendly chat to clarify these items.

American Ingenuity tries to look out after each perspective client to assure that they are not “blindsided” or shocked about some property issue that could stop them from building their dream dome. The following is a web site that can be used to locate property by state and region without using a real estate agent: http://www.landwatch.com/Land_For_Sale

If building site already owned, initially use the buying land doc to determine what will be needed to build on your property. If purchasing land, American Ingenuity highly recommends that prior to purchasing property obtain answers to the questions in the buying land document.  Call and have us email the buying land doc and checklist.  321-639-8777 Monday – Friday 9-5 eastern time.

 

 Fannie Mae Guidelines for

Estimating Market Value of Non-Traditional Housing

The following information came directly from the FANNIE MAE SELLING GUIDE: SECTION 404.01 – CONFORMITY TO NEIGHBORHOOD

In the appraisal and underwriting process, special consideration must be given to properties that represent special or unique housing for the subject neighborhood. Non-traditional types of housing-such as earth houses, geodesic domes, log houses, etc.-are eligible for delivery to us, provided the appraiser has adequate information to develop a reliable estimate of market value.

It is not necessary for one or more of the comparable sales to be of the same design and appeal as the property that is being appraised (although appraisal accuracy is enhanced by using comparable sales that are the most similar to the subject property). On a case-by-case basis, both the appraiser and the underwriter must independently determine whether there is sufficient information available to develop a reliable estimate of market value.

Great News – If your lender would like to utilize an appraiser who has appraised an Ai dome for a loan and who has visited an American Ingenuity 15 year old finished dome, please call Ai for appraiser’s info. 321-639-8777 Monday – Friday 9-5 Eastern time

  Answers to Our Most Frequently  
Asked Financing Questions

Q: Do you know of anyone interested in financing an American Ingenuity Dome?

A:  For Mortgage Financing contact:

Private Lender who states they will loan on American Ingenuity (Ai) Concrete domes:

James Monroe Capital Lending Services – James Monroe Capital Corp
Attn: James Keyes, Loan Director
Main Office:  4470 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles , CA 90027
Branch: 707 Skokie Blvd Suite 600 Northbrook,  IL 60062
Email: guaranteedlendingservices@gmail.com

Office Hours in California: 9 am to 6 pm Pacific Time  (there is no answer machine please call during their business hours)
Phone Number773-887-2117

Web site:  To fill out loan application, click on   http://www.guaranteedloanmoney.com and then click on Loan Application and complete the form listing that you are inquiring about loan to build an Aidome.    The cash down payment varies from no cash down payment required to 10% to 20% down depending on your circumstances.

Info:

  • 6% interest rate
  • 80% to 100% LTV – (Loan to value) Depending on your circumstances, cash down payment can be none or 10% to 20% based on finished price of the project.
  • No credit score.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Per Jennie Lyn Steeg with Regions Mortgage is able to loan on the Aidomes through its Smart Solutions portfolio.  Jennie wrote Ai:  “We are able to provide end-loan financing to your client through our niche portfolio – Smart Solutions.   I am happy to assist any of your clients.”

Regions Mortgage has offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.   Below is Ms. Steeg’s info.

Jennie Lyn Steeg
Regions Mortgage – NMLS #0676223
Mortgage Loan Originator.  10245 Centurion Parkway N. Suite #300
Jacksonville Fl 32258
Phone:  904-564-3303; Cell  904-228-4004  Email: jennielyn.steeg@regions.com

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Construction Loan is given to the Builder.  Builder owns the lot, builds the dome and then sells the finished dome and the lot to the home owner.

Michael Maxwell, Head of Originations
Builder Finance
55 E 58th St. Sixth Floor
NY, NY 10022
Phone:  212-466-3753.  Mobile 646-620-4665.    Email: mmaxwell@builderfinance.com

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Oscar Sanchez 
Academy MGT Corporation
Phone: 305-603-9181.   305-325-5400    Email: Oscar.Sanchez@academymortgage.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

David Buffington, Mortgage Loan Officer  
BB&T
605 North Orlando Avenue
Orlando Fl 32789
Office 407-691-2150. Mobile 407-256-0015    Email: dbuffington@babandt.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Jay Zerquera VP 
FBC Mortgage
189 South Orange Ave, Suite 970, Orlando Fl 32801
Apply online:  www.teamjandj.com
Cell: 407-509-1846.  Phone: 407-377-0286  Email: JZerquera@fbchomeloans.com

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Your local Wells Fargo Bank and explain that their Tukwila, WA  branch and their branch in  their Sioux Falls, SD have issued financing for Aidome building kits and see if they are interested in reviewing your info for a loan.

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A Construction Loan was issued by AG South Farm Credit, ACA in Laurens, SC  for Ai dome home to be built in the area because the dome buyer had rural ag land. Their number is 864-984-3379.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Construction/Renovation/Purchase/Refinance Options are available through:
Sovann Kang, Branch Manager  – nmls #275454
Umpqua Bank Home Lending
Mobile: 253-376-0991
Web site: umpquabank.com/skang
Email: sovannkang@umpquabank.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

In Lake Placid Florida – Highlands County – Wauchula State Bank at (863) 773-4151 approved a construction loan and permanent financing for an Aidome customer.

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Ai has learned about LightStream’s Anything Loan, a division of SunTrust Bank.  Not sure if they can assist you or not.   LightStream’s Anything Loan is a virtually paperless loan that will let you finance or refinance almost anything.  These loans are very customer friendly with these included features:

Fixed-interest rates range from 1.99% to 9.99%* APR with AutoPay
Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000
No fees, down payment requirements or prepayment penalties
Apply online and receive a response within minutes during business hours
Unsecured, with no liens or collateral requirements for AnythingLoan. (Applicants that do not qualify for the AnythingLoan may qualify for our Secured Loan products).

Financing Alternatives: 

  1. take out an equity line on property you own
  2. obtain a personal loan from family or friends (offering them a higher interest rate than banks, etc. are offering on money markets certificates, etc.)
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Q: What is the resale value of American Ingenuity domes?
A:
Ai knows of only a few of our dome owners who have sold their dome; which is a compliment in itself. Therefore, we have no resale statistics on our dome, but we have heard of other domes being sold at a profit well above their initial building cost. We can offer some insight that would apply.

  1. Geodesic domes being unusual, they will not appeal to everyone and it will likely take longer to find a buyer.
  2. Energy costs are certainly increasing and therefore a very energy efficient home will increase in value as energy costs increase.
  3. A conventional home will show its age as styles change while a new coat of paint on our dome will still look ahead of its time.
  4. Our sales of dome kits has constantly increased through the years and a quality dome that is completed would have the distinct sales advantage of showing the finished product.
  5. The resale value of a dome or any other home, is improved when it:  a) matches the neighborhood in size and value; b) exhibits quality construction; c) is landscaped well; d) offers advantages over other homes.

Also, with the increasing popularity of domes and rising energy costs, the market for an exceptionally energy efficient, super strong, low maintenance home should be excellent. A large percentage of the home buyers cannot visualize a dome & do not want to be involved in the floor plan design & construction of their home. As a result a finished dome that can be touched and felt is a big plus to them. If you are thinking of resale, build at least a 40’ in diameter dome, have it built with quality workmanship & keep your utility bills.

Q: Will it be difficult to get a loan to build my dome?
A:
Yes, conventional mortgage lenders tend to be ultra conservative when considering a dome. Mortgage brokers or indirect sources for financing may be more flexible and quicker for you. Refinancing other property or acquiring loans from other sources may be easier while avoiding the restrictions and requirements of conventional construction loans. Another popular option is the pay-as-you-go method. Combined with partial financing, this can get you into your new dome. For a helpful, in depth look at financing, click on this page Financing Your Dome.

Why do lenders not like domes? Lenders determine how much they will loan based on what houses in that neighborhood sell for. The lender can usually get within three to four per cent of the value of a conventional house. But because we do not have resale statistics on domes they do not know what the resale price is. The lender has to be concerned with the worst case scenario.  Typically they want 20% to 30% down based on the finished price of the dome.  However Sovann Kang can issue permanent financing with 10% or less cash down payment for those who qualify.

 Click on Lenders to find a list of lenders that will consider loaning on the Ai dome.

The following information was written by Michael Darling.  There is good news; there are more lenders who will lend on domes than on other “unique properties. There is bad news – it is still more difficult to get a loan for a dome home than for traditional construction. And there is good reason for hope for improvement in the near future.
Four Scenarios for Financing a Dome Home

Leaving aside for the moment the differences between construction, purchase and refinance there are three scenarios to focus on when it comes to financing a dome home. All three are based on an appraisal from a licensed appraiser (it can be really helpful to have a more experienced appraiser – more on appraisals below).

  • There are three or more comparable properties (comps) of similar design and construction style (dome) with recent sales history in the neighborhood.
  • There is at least one comparable property of similar design and construction style with recent sales history in the area and others in the area but without recent sales history.
  • There are zero comparable properties of similar design and construction style in the neighborhood.

1. Three or More Comps

I have never failed to find a loan for a dome with three or more comps. Many residential mortgage lenders will be able to do this loan much the same as a traditional loan on a traditional home design. There are lenders who flat out reject domes no matter what, but for the lenders who will consider domes, a property with multiple comparisons should be “lendable”. Even with multiple comps, some lenders who will accept domes may only offer a loan with constraints on the size of loan, the loan to value ratio or other underwriting restrictions. (Full doc only, owner occupied only, one unit only, etc.)

2. At Least One Comp and Other Domes in the Market Area

There are a few residential mortgage lenders who will evaluate this situation and may make a loan. Here is where it can really help to have an experienced appraiser who knows the market because the ability of the appraiser to establish a market value and address the uniqueness of the subject property will be vital to an underwriter. Most lenders who will accept domes in this situation will only offer a loan with constraints on the size of loan, the loan to value ratio or other underwriting requirements. (Full doc only, owner occupied only, one unit only, etc.)

3. No Comps and No Domes in the Market Area

I have found traditional residential mortgage lenders in a few states who will evaluate a dome home with no dome comps on a case by case basis. A lender that would accept a dome in this case will almost certainly include constraints on the size of loan, the loan to value ratio and other underwriting requirements. (Full doc only, owner occupied only, one unit only, etc.)

There are local commercial banks who may offer a residential mortgage loan on a dome home with no dome comps. And there are “hard money” lenders who will evaluate any investment opportunity and who may make loans on dome homes- but compared to a traditional mortgage the fees and rates will likely be higher, the terms shorter and the conditions less advantageous.

If the property has an established or demonstrable commercial use it is possible to do a commercial loan with terms and conditions similar to a residential mortgage. The commercial lenders I work with have no restrictions on domes specifically nor will they be concerned about comps with similar construction styles. They will be looking for an appraisal that demonstrates the commercial value of the property. Bed & Breakfast Inn, multi-family rental, retail business, and other exclusive or mixed commercial uses would all be possibilities. (A home office or a business run from home would not generally be enough to demonstrate commercial value.)

There is a fourth scenario that bears mentioning- the dome home that is appraised as a traditional frame construction home using traditional frame construction comps. Though I am certain that loans have been done this way, there are numerous problems with this scenario. First and worst is that intentionally misrepresenting information in a mortgage application is illegal. Also, many applications have gotten far along in the underwriting process before an underwriter reviews the appraisal and sees a photo of the subject property and rejects the file because that lender does not accept domes. This creates wasted expense and frustration for all parties. It is a way to attempt to get a mortgage on a dome home- it’s just not a good one.

Appraisal

Lenders should be thought of as investors who invest in a loan. And each has their own investment criteria. Most investors want to know they can sell their investment at some point in time- and in the mortgage lending world this means that most lenders underwrite with similar standards and criteria so that a loan can be sold. While the general challenge for financing domes is the shortage of lenders or loan programs, I have access to several loan programs that will accept unique properties if the appraisal includes sufficient market analysis to establish a market valuation for the property. So the specific challenge is typically the appraisal. I can help find an experienced appraiser that will be able to complete the kind of appraisal required.

In addition to the usual appraisal analysis, the dome appraisal must:

  • Establish a market value independent of construction type;
  • Demonstrate that the home’s uniqueness is accepted in the market, and;
  • Address the uniqueness of the dome in the context of local area housing types and marketability.

This means that the underwriter must be able to predict, using the appraisal, what the marketability of a house would be in the event the lender ends up having to possess and sell the property. The difficulty with most dome houses is the lack of comparable sales – “comps” – in order to demonstrate the market value. Comps need to be similar enough to the subject property that using them to establish a market valuation is reasonable. Even very similar comps will be adjusted for minor differences, but the hard part with domes is that they are typically very different in appearance and therefore the predicted marketability can vary considerably from traditional construction. In other words, it’s hard to say “a traditional frame house with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms sold for $X in x days and so a 4/2 dome would sell for $Y in y days.”

The best comparable properties will be other domes. If there are no domes for comps, it may be possible to use other unique styles to establish the marketability of unique homes. And if there are other domes and unique houses in the immediate area even if they have not recently sold, adding information about them in the appraisal (quantity, distance from subject, specific architectural style that makes it unique, as well as basic information about the house) will help support that unique styles are acceptable in the area.

 


 

American Ingenuity No Longer Offers Layaway

Due to Suppliers Increasing Material’s Costs Without Notice

For Mortgage Financing contact:

Private Lender who states they will loan on American Ingenuity (Ai) Concrete domes:

James Monroe Capital Lending Services – James Monroe Capital Corp
Attn: James Keyes, Loan Director
Main Office:  4470 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles , CA 90027
Branch: 707 Skokie Blvd Suite 600 Northbrook,  IL 60062
Emailguaranteedlendingservices@gmail.com

Office Hours in California: 9 am to 6 pm Pacific Time  (there is no answer machine please call during their business hours)
Phone Number773-887-2117

Web site: 

To fill out loan application, click on   http://www.guaranteedloanmoney.com/  and then click on Loan Application and complete the form listing that you are inquiring about loan to build an Aidome. The cash down payment varies from no cash down payment required to 10% to 20% down depending on your circumstances.

Info:

  • 6% interest rate
  • 80% to 100% LTV – (Loan to value)
  • No credit score required.
+++++++++++++++++++++++
Per Jennie Lyn Steeg with Regions Mortgage is able to loan on the Aidomes through its Smart Solutions portfolio.  Jennie wrote Ai:  “We are able to provide end-loan financing to your client through our niche portfolio – Smart Solutions.   I am happy to assist any of your clients.”

Regions Mortgage has offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.  Below is Ms. Steeg’s info.

Jennie Lyn Steeg
Regions Mortgage – NMLS #0676223
Mortgage Loan Originator.  10245 Centurion Parkway N. Suite #300
Jacksonville Fl 32258
Phone:  904-564-3303; Cell  904-228-4004  Email: jennielyn.steeg@regions.com

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Construction Loan is given to the Builder.  Builder owns the lot, builds the dome and then sells the finished dome and the lot to the home owner.

Michael Maxwell, Head of Originations
Builder Finance
55 E 58th St. Sixth Floor
NY, NY 10022
Phone:  212-466-3753.  Mobile 646-620-4665.    Email: mmaxwell@builderfinance.com

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oscar Sanchez 
Academy MGT Corporation
Phone: 305-603-9181.   305-325-5400    Email: Oscar.Sanchez@academymortgage.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

David Buffington, Mortgage Loan Officer  
BB&T
605 North Orlando Avenue
Orlando Fl 32789
Office 407-691-2150. Mobile 407-256-0015    Email: dbuffington@babandt.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Jay Zerquera VP 
FBC Mortgage
189 South Orange Ave, Suite 970, Orlando Fl 32801
Apply online:  www.teamjandj.com
Cell: 407-509-1846.  Phone: 407-377-0286  Email: JZerquera@fbchomeloans.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Your local Wells Fargo Bank and explain that their Tukwila, WA  branch and their branch in  their Sioux Falls, SD have issued financing for Aidome building kits and see if they are interested in reviewing your info for a loan.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A Construction Loan was issued by AG South Farm Credit, ACA in Laurens, SC  for Ai dome home to be built in the area because the dome buyer had rural ag land. Their number is 864-984-3379.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Construction/Renovation/Purchase/Refinance Options are available through:
Sovann Kang, Branch Manager  – nmls #275454
Umpqua Bank Home Lending
Mobile: 253-376-0991
Web site: umpquabank.com/skang
Email: sovannkang@umpquabank.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

In Lake Placid Florida – Highlands County – Wauchula State Bank at (863) 773-4151 approved a construction loan and permanent financing for an Aidome customer.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ai has learned about LightStream’s Anything Loan, a division of SunTrust Bank.  Not sure if they can assist you or not.   LightStream’s Anything Loan is a virtually paperless loan that will let you finance or refinance almost anything.  These loans are very customer friendly with these included features:

Fixed-interest rates range from 1.99% to 9.99%* APR with AutoPay
Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000
No fees, down payment requirements or prepayment penalties
Apply online and receive a response within minutes during business hours
Unsecured, with no liens or collateral requirements for AnythingLoan. (Applicants that do not qualify for the AnythingLoan may qualify for our Secured Loan products).

Financing Alternatives: 

  1. take out an equity line on property you own
  2. obtain a personal loan from family or friends (offering them a higher interest rate than banks, etc. are offering on money markets certificates, etc.)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The following information was written by Michael Darling.

Dear dome home owners, buyers and builders:

Because I have seen designs for dome homes that are superior to other construction and design styles, and I’m always willing to go above and beyond when there is a reason. I have been researching the mortgage lending sources for dome homes. There is good news; there are more lenders who will lend on domes than on other “unique properties. There is bad news – it is still more difficult to get a loan for a dome home than for traditional construction. And there is good reason for hope for improvement in the near future.

I contacted every lender I could find, though I do not claim to have spoken with every lender in the USA. And while I would not claim to have done an exhaustive study, I am confident that I have as complete a picture as anyone of which lenders will finance domes and under what circumstances. I will continue to research the subject and will send updates from time to time. If you provide me with your specific mortgage objective, I will notify you when I find a loan that matches.

Three Scenarios for Financing a Dome Home

Leaving aside for the moment the differences between construction, purchase and refinance there are three scenarios to focus on when it comes to financing a dome home. All three are based on an appraisal from a licensed appraiser (it can be really helpful to have a more experienced appraiser – more on appraisals below).

  • There are three or more comparable properties (comps) of similar design and construction style (dome) with recent sales history in the neighborhood.
  • There is at least one comparable property of similar design and construction style with recent sales history in the area and others in the area but without recent sales history.
  • There are zero comparable properties of similar design and construction style in the neighborhood.

1. Three or More Comps

I have never failed to find a loan for a dome with three or more comps. Many residential mortgage lenders will be able to do this loan much the same as a traditional loan on a traditional home design. There are lenders who flat out reject domes no matter what, but for the lenders who will consider domes, a property with multiple comparisons should be “lendable”. Even with multiple comps, some lenders who will accept domes may only offer a loan with constraints on the size of loan, the loan to value ratio or other underwriting restrictions. (Full doc only, owner occupied only, one unit only, etc.)

2. At Least One Comp and Other Domes in the Market Area

There are a few residential mortgage lenders who will evaluate this situation and may make a loan. Here is where it can really help to have an experienced appraiser who knows the market because the ability of the appraiser to establish a market value and address the uniqueness of the subject property will be vital to an underwriter. Most lenders who will accept domes in this situation will only offer a loan with constraints on the size of loan, the loan to value ratio or other underwriting requirements. (Full doc only, owner occupied only, one unit only, etc.)

3. No Comps and No Domes in the Market Area

I have found traditional residential mortgage lenders in a few states who will evaluate a dome home with no dome comps on a case by case basis. A lender that would accept a dome in this case will almost certainly include constraints on the size of loan, the loan to value ratio and other underwriting requirements. (Full doc only, owner occupied only, one unit only, etc.)

There are local commercial banks who may offer a residential mortgage loan on a dome home with no dome comps. And there are “hard money” lenders who will evaluate any investment opportunity and who may make loans on dome homes- but compared to a traditional mortgage the fees and rates will likely be higher, the terms shorter and the conditions less advantageous.

If the property has an established or demonstrable commercial use it is possible to do a commercial loan with terms and conditions similar to a residential mortgage. The commercial lenders I work with have no restrictions on domes specifically nor will they be concerned about comps with similar construction styles. They will be looking for an appraisal that demonstrates the commercial value of the property. Bed & Breakfast Inn, multi-family rental, retail business, and other exclusive or mixed commercial uses would all be possibilities. (A home office or a business run from home would not generally be enough to demonstrate commercial value.)

There is a fourth scenario that bears mentioning- the dome home that is appraised as a traditional frame construction home using traditional frame construction comps. Though I am certain that loans have been done this way, there are numerous problems with this scenario. First and worst is that intentionally misrepresenting information in a mortgage application is illegal. Also, many applications have gotten far along in the underwriting process before an underwriter reviews the appraisal and sees a photo of the subject property and rejects the file because that lender does not accept domes. This creates wasted expense and frustration for all parties. It is a way to attempt to get a mortgage on a dome home- it’s just not a good one.

Appraisal

If your lender would like to utilize an appraiser who has appraised an Ai dome for a loan and who has visited an American Ingenuity 15 year old finished dome, please call Ai for appraiser’s info. Lenders should be thought of as investors who invest in a loan. And each has their own investment criteria. Most investors want to know they can sell their investment at some point in time- and in the mortgage lending world this means that most lenders underwrite with similar standards and criteria so that a loan can be sold. While the general challenge for financing domes is the shortage of lenders or loan programs, I have access to several loan programs that will accept unique properties if the appraisal includes sufficient market analysis to establish a market valuation for the property. So the specific challenge is typically the appraisal.

In addition to the usual appraisal analysis, the dome appraisal must:

  • Establish a market value independent of construction type;
  • Demonstrate that the home’s uniqueness is accepted in the market, and;
  • Address the uniqueness of the dome in the context of local area housing types and marketability.

This means that the underwriter must be able to predict, using the appraisal, what the marketability of a house would be in the event the lender ends up having to possess and sell the property. The difficulty with most dome houses is the lack of comparable sales – “comps” – in order to demonstrate the market value. Comps need to be similar enough to the subject property that using them to establish a market valuation is reasonable. Even very similar comps will be adjusted for minor differences, but the hard part with domes is that they are typically very different in appearance and therefore the predicted marketability can vary considerably from traditional construction. In other words, it’s hard to say “a traditional frame house with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms sold for $X in x days and so a 4/2 dome would sell for $Y in y days.”

The best comparable properties will be other domes. If there are no domes for comps, it may be possible to use other unique styles to establish the marketability of unique homes. And if there are other domes and unique houses in the immediate area even if they have not recently sold, adding information about them in the appraisal (quantity, distance from subject, specific architectural style that makes it unique, as well as basic information about the house) will help support that unique styles are acceptable in the area.

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To view other alternatives than using a lender;

like family financing, equity loans on property, etc. read our financing booklet.

To view it on line, please click on Financing Booklet.

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The following page gives a Financing Overview for a dome home. 

ct-outside

Above is 40′ dome built on full basement in Connecticut.

To view photo gallery of this Ai dome, click on Aidome.

For Mortgage Financing contact:

Private Lender who states they will loan on American Ingenuity (Ai) Concrete domes:

James Monroe Capital Lending Services – James Monroe Capital Corp
Attn: James Keyes, Loan Director
Main Office:  4470 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles , CA 90027
Branch: 707 Skokie Blvd Suite 600 Northbrook,  IL 60062
Emailguaranteedlendingservices@gmail.com

Office Hours in California: 9 am to 6 pm Pacific Time  (there is no answer machine please call during their business hours)
Phone Number773-887-2117

Web site:   To fill out loan application, click on   http://www.guaranteedloanmoney.com/  and then click on Loan Application and complete the form listing that you are inquiring about loan to build an Aidome.   The cash down payment varies from no cash down payment required to 10% to 20% down depending on your circumstances.

Info:

  • 6% interest rate
  • 80% to 100% LTV – (Loan to value) Depending on your circumstances, cash down payment can be none or 10% to 20% based on finished price of the project.
  • No credit score required.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Per Jennie Lyn Steeg with Regions Mortgage is able to loan on the Aidomes through its Smart Solutions portfolio.  Jennie wrote Ai:  “We are able to provide end-loan financing to your client through our niche portfolio – Smart Solutions.   I am happy to assist any of your clients.”

Regions Mortgage has offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.  Below is Ms. Steeg’s info.

Jennie Lyn Steeg
Regions Mortgage – NMLS #0676223
Mortgage Loan Originator.  10245 Centurion Parkway N. Suite #300
Jacksonville Fl 32258
Phone:  904-564-3303; Cell  904-228-4004  Email: jennielyn.steeg@regions.com

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Construction Loan is given to the Builder.  Builder owns the lot, builds the dome and then sells the finished dome and the lot to the home owner.

Michael Maxwell, Head of Originations
Builder Finance
55 E 58th St. Sixth Floor
NY, NY 10022
Phone:  212-466-3753.  Mobile 646-620-4665.    Email: mmaxwell@builderfinance.com

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oscar Sanchez 
Academy MGT Corporation
Phone: 305-603-9181.   305-325-5400    Email: Oscar.Sanchez@academymortgage.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

David Buffington, Mortgage Loan Officer  
BB&T
605 North Orlando Avenue
Orlando Fl 32789
Office 407-691-2150. Mobile 407-256-0015    Email: dbuffington@babandt.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Jay Zerquera VP 
FBC Mortgage
189 South Orange Ave, Suite 970, Orlando Fl 32801
Apply online:  www.teamjandj.com
Cell: 407-509-1846.  Phone: 407-377-0286  Email: JZerquera@fbchomeloans.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Your local Wells Fargo Bank and explain that their Tukwila, WA  branch and their branch in  their Sioux Falls, SD have issued financing for Aidome building kits and see if they are interested in reviewing your info for a loan.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A Construction Loan was issued by AG South Farm Credit, ACA in Laurens, SC  for Ai dome home to be built in the area because the dome buyer had rural ag land. Their number is 864-984-3379.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Construction/Renovation/Purchase/Refinance Options are available through:
Sovann Kang, Branch Manager  – nmls #275454
Umpqua Bank Home Lending
Mobile: 253-376-0991
Web site: umpquabank.com/skang
Email: sovannkang@umpquabank.com

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In Lake Placid Florida – Highlands County – Wauchula State Bank at (863) 773-4151 approved a construction loan and permanent financing for an Aidome customer.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ai has learned about LightStream’s Anything Loan, a division of SunTrust Bank.  Not sure if they can assist you or not.   LightStream’s Anything Loan is a virtually paperless loan that will let you finance or refinance almost anything.  These loans are very customer friendly with these included features:

Fixed-interest rates range from 1.99% to 9.99%* APR with AutoPay
Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000
No fees, down payment requirements or prepayment penalties
Apply online and receive a response within minutes during business hours
Unsecured, with no liens or collateral requirements for AnythingLoan. (Applicants that do not qualify for the AnythingLoan may qualify for our Secured Loan products).

Financing Alternatives: 

  1. take out an equity line on property you own
  2. obtain a personal loan from family or friends (offering them a higher interest rate than banks, etc. are offering on money markets certificates, etc.)
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Conventional mortgage lenders tend to be ultra conservative when considering a dome.
  • Mortgage brokers, small local banks, local credit unions or indirect sources for financing may be more flexible in loaning on domes.
  • Refinancing other property or acquiring loans from other sources may be easier while avoiding the restrictions and requirements of conventional construction loans.
  • Another popular option is the pay-as-you-go method. Combined with partial financing, this can get you into your new dome.

American Ingenuity (Ai) is happy that you are considering its Geodesic Dome Building Kit for your future home. You have made a big decision to build your dream home, and building with an alternative housing structure that comes with 225 mph wind and F4 tornado warranty that saves 50% to 60% on heating and cooling over conventional house is a smart decision.

Prior to purchasing property or if you own your property, feel free to call or email American Ingenuity and ask for our checklist of items to review to assure your site is buildable.  Our number is 321-639-8777. Email by clicking on Contact Us.

Prior to purchasing your land or making a set decision regarding the desired size of your home, first determine the overall budget needed to bring your dreams to fruition (land, land development, utility hook ups and structure). If financing, determine the amount of cash down payment required by the lender. Loans for alternative housing such as a geodesic dome are often harder to come by, with lenders generally requiring a 25% and 35% cash down payment.  However Sovann Kang can issue permanent financing with 10% or less cash down payment for those who qualify. 

If needing a loan to build it is wise not to invest all your liquid assets into the purchase of the property because a large cash down payment will be required on the home loan.

It is sometimes best to purchase a small piece of affordable land instead of large acreage.  This way you keep your land cost down so you have more cash money available for your mortgage cash down payment or more cash to build if you are an owner/builder.  To keep your construction costs down, best to build as small a dome as possible; therefore you are on your property living in a super-strong, super-energy efficient dome home saving money on your heating & cooling costs to add on a second dome later.  For example a 40’ dome (3 bedroom, two bath) can have 1,800 sq.ft.  A 36’ dome (2 or 3 bedroom, two bath) can have 1,400 to 1,600 sq.ft.  If your finished cost per square foot for your area is $105, then building the smaller 36’ dome automatically saves you $20,000 to $40,000 in construction costs vs building a 40’ dome.  A 27’ dome (two bedroom/two bath) can have 800 sq.ft.  Building a 27’ dome vs a 36’ dome automatically saves you $60,000 to $80,000 in construction costs.

That being said, American Ingenuity tries to look out after each perspective client to assure that they are not “blindsided” or shocked about some property issue that could stop them from building their dream dome.  Prior to purchasing property or if you own your property, feel free to call  or email American Ingenuity and ask for our checklist of items to review to assure your site is buildable.  Our number is 321-639-8777.

A no cost service to you: Provide Ai with the tax id for the property you are considering purchasing or you own and at no cost to you, Ai will call the building department. We will show them our web site, email them sample building plans pdfs, describe the component panel, email engineering statement, etc. and find out if the Ai dome kit can be built in your area.

The American Ingenuity component panel conforms to the provisions of current International Building Code Florida Building Code and California Building Code that allows for alternative materials and methods for residential construction.

Dome Resale Value: Ai knows of only a few of our dome owners who have sold their dome; which is a compliment in itself. Therefore, we have no resale statistics on our dome, but we have heard of other domes being sold at a profit well above their initial building cost. We can offer some insight that would apply.

  1. Energy costs are certainly increasing and therefore a very energy efficient home will increase in value as energy costs increase.
  2. A conventional home will show its age as styles change while a new coat of paint on our dome will still look ahead of its time.
  3. Our sales of dome kits has constantly increased through the years and a quality dome that is completed would have the distinct sales advantage of showing the finished product.
  4. The resale value of a dome or any other home, is improved when it: a) matches the neighborhood in size and value;  b) exhibits quality construction;  c) is landscaped well; d) offers advantages over other homes.

Also, with the increasing popularity of domes, increasing number of super-storms and rising energy costs, the market for an exceptionally energy efficient, super strong, low maintenance home should be excellent. A large percentage of the home buyers cannot visualize a dome and do not want to be involved in the floor plan design and construction of their home. As a result a finished dome that can be touched and felt is a big plus to them. If you are thinking of resale, build at least a 40’ in diameter dome, have it built with quality workmanship and keep your utility bills.

To learn more about how to obtain financing on domes, click on Comparables.

This web site file contains Financing Booklet For Your AiDome

Creative Financing For Your Dome. © American Ingenuity – Booklet is copyrighted

For Mortgage Financing contact:

Private Lender who states they will loan on American Ingenuity (Ai) Concrete domes:

James Monroe Capital Lending Services – James Monroe Capital Corp
Attn: James Keyes, Loan Director
Main Office:  4470 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles , CA 90027
Branch: 707 Skokie Blvd Suite 600 Northbrook,  IL 60062
Emailguaranteedlendingservices@gmail.com

Office Hours in California: 9 am to 6 pm Pacific Time  (there is no answer machine please call during their business hours)
Phone Number773-887-2117

Web site:   To fill out loan application, click on   http://www.guaranteedloanmoney.com/  and then click on Loan Application and complete the form listing that you are inquiring about loan to build an Aidome.   The cash down payment varies from no cash down payment required to 10% to 20% down depending on your circumstances.

Info:

–    6% interest rate
–    80% to 100% LTV – (Loan to value)
–   No credit score required.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Per Jennie Lyn Steeg with Regions Mortgage  they are able to loan on the Aidomes through its Smart Solutions portfolio.  Jennie wrote Ai:  “We are able to provide end-loan financing to your client through our niche portfolio – Smart Solutions.   I am happy to assist any of your clients.”

Regions Mortgage has offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.   Below is Ms. Steeg’s info.

Jennie Lyn Steeg
Regions Mortgage – NMLS #0676223
Mortgage Loan Originator.  10245 Centurion Parkway N. Suite #300
Jacksonville Fl 32258
Phone:  904-564-3303; Cell  904-228-4004  Email: jennielyn.steeg@regions.com

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Construction Loan is given to the Builder.  Builder owns the lot, builds the dome and then sells the finished dome and the lot to the home owner.

Michael Maxwell, Head of Originations
Builder Finance
55 E 58th St. Sixth Floor
NY, NY 10022
Phone:  212-466-3753.  Mobile 646-620-4665.    Email: mmaxwell@builderfinance.com

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oscar Sanchez 
Academy MGT Corporation
Phone: 305-603-9181.   305-325-5400    Email: Oscar.Sanchez@academymortgage.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

David Buffington, Mortgage Loan Officer  
BB&T
605 North Orlando Avenue
Orlando Fl 32789
Office 407-691-2150. Mobile 407-256-0015    Email: dbuffington@babandt.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Jay Zerquera VP 
FBC Mortgage
189 South Orange Ave, Suite 970, Orlando Fl 32801
Apply online:  www.teamjandj.com
Cell: 407-509-1846.  Phone: 407-377-0286  Email: JZerquera@fbchomeloans.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Your local Wells Fargo Bank and explain that their Tukwila, WA  branch and their branch in  their Sioux Falls, SD have issued financing for Aidome building kits and see if they are interested in reviewing your info for a loan.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In Colorado, call your local Vectra Bank Branch   Ai has been told they are open minded about loaning on dome homes for those with credit score of 720.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A Construction Loan was issued by AG South Farm Credit, ACA in Laurens, SC  for Ai dome home to be built in the area because the dome buyer had rural ag land. Their number is 864-984-3379.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Construction/Renovation/Purchase/Refinance Options are available through:
Sovann Kang, Branch Manager  – nmls #275454
Umpqua Bank Home Lending
Mobile: 253-376-0991
Web site: umpquabank.com/skang
Email: sovannkang@umpquabank.com

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In Lake Placid Florida – Highlands County – Wauchula State Bank at (863) 773-4151 approved a construction loan and permanent financing for an Aidome customer.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ai has learned about LightStream’s Anything Loan, a division of SunTrust Bank.  Not sure if they can assist you or not.   LightStream’s Anything Loan is a virtually paperless loan that will let you finance or refinance almost anything.  These loans are very customer friendly with these included features:

Fixed-interest rates range from 1.99% to 9.99%* APR with AutoPay
Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000
No fees, down payment requirements or prepayment penalties
Apply online and receive a response within minutes during business hours
Unsecured, with no liens or collateral requirements for AnythingLoan. (Applicants that do not qualify for the AnythingLoan may qualify for our Secured Loan products).

Financing Alternatives: 

  1. take out an equity line on property you own
  2. obtain a personal loan from family or friends (offering them a higher interest rate than banks, etc. are offering on money market certificates, etc.)

___________________

The booklet below gives alternatives to lender financing: i.e. equity loans on property, family financing, stage financing, etc.

YOUR GUIDE TO THIS BOOKLET’S  CONTENTS

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

A STARTING NOTE…

PLAN THE COST OF YOUR DOME

THE MANY ROUTES TO YOUR DOME

FINANCING:

HOME EQUITY LOAN

FAMILY FINANCING

STAGE FINANCING

BOOTSTRAP FINANCING

OTHER ROUTES

THE MORTGAGE ROUTE:

PERMANENT MORTGAGE

HOW MUCH CAN YOU BORROW?

YOUR CONSTRUCTION LOAN

OWNER/BUILDER FINANCING

APPRAISALS

YOUR MORTGAGE & THE U.S.GOVERNMENT

FINDING THE RIGHT MORTGAGE LENDER

BEGIN THE ELIMINATION PROCESS

PRESENTATION

UNDERSTANDING THE JARGON

A STARTING NOTE…

You are an individual – a creative individual. You feel it is time to invest in your own home – one of the best investments to be made. But you’ve been looking at the new homes currently being built and you feel they’re missing something. You are not impressed.

That’s because the one-size-fits-all house just doesn’t fit you and your family. You want more from a house. A home that will work for you. Increase your investment. One that will express your individuality. The established construction industry is set up to turn out mundane little boxes that are all alike. They just can’t deliver what you demand. You’ve decided a dome is for you.

You’ve let your mind wander ahead and imagined all kinds of wonderful things about your new dome: Your family snugly gathered about the great room fireplace as you orchestrate a feast from your efficient new kitchen. A huge Christmas tree soaring up in the cathedral ceiling.

Even the thought of designing and building your dome is enticing. It’s like the ultimate model airplane kit, compelling crossword puzzle, intriguing science project, and magnificent sculpture all rolled into one.

But now, what about the where-with-all to build this spectacular new dream home? Where will it come from?

Considering sources for financing your new home can be overwhelming. But don’t let all the ins and outs, odd language, and intimidation of the financing dragon put you off. You’re determined. You’re creative. You’re special. You’re going to be a dome owner.

Let’s talk money.

PLAN THE COST OF YOUR DOME

If you are likely to need financial assistance to build your dome, think about the Lender’s point of view while you are selecting a floor plan. Stay close to the 3 bedroom, 2 bath concept which has the highest demand on the resale market. Although you may never sell your dream home and may not care about the resale value, the Lender and the Appraiser consider it very important.

The more money the Lender contributes, the more they will want to see money spent on a resalable design. Omit the custom designs until you are sure there is money for the basics. Once you have a floor plan in mind, it’s time to figure what it will cost you to build your dome. Remember that the price of a dome kit represents only a part of the total cost of your new home. You must also take into consideration the cost of:

  • A foundation and site work
  • Electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems
  • Interior finish not included with the kit
  • Exterior finish not included with the kit
  • Cabinetry and fixtures
  • Landscaping
  • Utilities
  • Permitting fees
  • Architectural, engineering, and loan fees

Using cost estimator’s guides from your library, bookstore, or kit supplier, price out the cost to build your dream home. In order to do that, you will need to know what you would like to have in your home. The most direct route is to make two lists: a Wish List and a Need List.  Email us and ask Ai for a document titled “Dome Too Large” that lists the perils of building too large a dome.

Wish List:

The Wish List is everything you’d really like to see in your home (built-in cabinets, stone exterior, Italian tile floors, etc.).

A scrapbook or file folder to collect all your notes, pictures, and articles will be helpful. Not all will survive but for now consider them. It might be more practical to add them after you’ve moved in.

Need List:

The Need List is made up of all those needs that are vital to your new dome.

Check both lists to see if items might be moved from one to the other. Put the most important items at the top and the real extras at the bottom.

Price out the items on your lists and see just how much fits into your budget. Items from the bottom of your Wish List will be cut or compromised first.

If your Need List exceeds your budget, then see what can be changed:

  • Can the guest bath be smaller or less elegant?
  • Can you combine the kitchen, dining room, and living room into one huge great room?
  • Can you build a smaller dome?
  • What can be added later?
  • What less costly substitutions can you make?
  • Can you build a dome complex in stages?
  • How can you cut down on construction costs?

To keep everything realistic throughout the planning of your new dome, list what finances are available to you:

  • Cash
  • Equity in a building site (value of your land minus what is still owed)
  • Equity in your current home (value minus what is still owed)
  • Available credit with charge cards, unsecured loans, etc..
  • Gifts from relatives
  • Availability of a new mortgage
  • Sellable items like boat, valuable collections, land, equipment
THE MANY ROUTES TO YOUR DOME

Your dome can be built with cash, loans, sweat equity, lots of creativity, and most likely, a combination of them all. Different sources of financing have varying costs, but keep in mind that even the most expensive route to your new dome will save you money in the long run. You’ll be investing in your own home rather than your landlord’s.

Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions, to educate yourself, to take time to discover just the right source of funds. Patience has its rewards.

Explore every avenue. Don’t rely solely on your current banker, horoscope, or your “good old Uncle Charlie” to find financing. Consult the experts: books, builders, small local banks, credit unions, lenders, and yourself.

Information on home financing is easy to obtain, financing is not. Like a race, the better prepared you are, the easier it will be. This booklet will get you off to a good start in the right direction. If some of the terms in our discussions are baffling, flip to

the back section “Understanding the Jargon” for a definition.

HOME EQUITY LOAN

You may be sitting in one of the best sources of funds – your current home. If you have a small mortgage on a home in a neighborhood where property values have risen over the years, you already have easily accessible mortgage money. It is easier to get financing on an existing house than new construction since the lender’s risk is less.

Sources for home equity loans are banks, savings and loans, credit unions, home loan companies, and mortgage brokers. You will follow all the same procedures for obtaining a loan, with one exception. You will not need a construction loan, so you can eliminate all the paperwork having to do with it.

Credit Line

Banks, savings and loan, or other loan companies usually offer a credit line or personal loans secured by the equity in your current home. The larger the equity, the larger the loan. Credit lines are often advertised to be used for home improvements such as pools, additions, or remodeling, although they could be for your new dome, the lender may process a 2nd mortgage on your home.

Refinancing

You may be in the position to refinance your home with a larger mortgage. If your equity is large enough and your construction budget is small enough, you can pay off the current mortgage and have sufficient funds left over to pay for the construction of your dome.

If your equity is smaller, you may still have enough to refinance or obtain a second mortgage for working capital to augment funds from other sources such as family or bootstrap financing.

A definite advantage is that having a large, assumable mortgage on your home may actually help to sell it once you have moved into your new dome. Potential buyers will have lower closing costs and less processing time than with a new mortgage.

FAMILY FINANCING

If you are in a special family with a strong relationship, you might approach them as a source. You’d much rather have someone you love receiving the interest from your mortgage.

Remember in all your discussions to be just as professional as with an institution. Treat Aunt Martha and Uncle Henry with as much (or more) respect as the First National Bank.

Make your presentation to them providing many of the same documents like you would other lenders. Suggest they look it over and take time to make their decision on the investment.

When terms are agreed upon, put all the agreements into an enforceable written contract that can be referred to in the future. You never know when Uncle Henry might die and Aunt Martha’s memory may fade. Protect yourself and your benevolent relative.

You might approach your family for just a short-term loan, which combined with some bootstrap financing, could see you through construction. Once your dome is completed you will have an appraisable property, rather than just plans, for a lender to consider. Then use the proceeds from the permanent mortgage to pay off your loans to your relatives.

Be sure to be conservative and accurate in your cost estimates. You want to avoid any possibility of getting in so deep to the relatives that a permanent mortgage can’t get you out.

With any family financing – whether it’s a large permanent mortgage, or a small short-term loan – keep everything in a business perspective.

STAGE FINANCING

Some families build a complex of domes, one at a time, spreading the construction and the costs over several years. With stage financing you finance each dome’s construction separately as it is completed. You can use family financing, a home equity loan, bootstrap financing, a construction loan, or a combination of financing methods over the years to complete your dream dome complex.

For a lender considering you for a construction loan, stage financing has the advantage of building confidence in your construction abilities and loan payment history.

The combinations and time frame are uniquely flexible with domes. Since each structure is self-supporting and stands alone, a main dome can be built, then additional domes can be built at any time and simply linked to each other.

For example, start by building a single dome with a great room, kitchen, bedroom, bath, and an upstairs sleeping or guest loft. Then, as your family size increases, enlarge your home to include a second dome with a laundry room and additional bedrooms or a grand master suite. Also, as savings increase, add a garage dome with an office or family room loft. As your needs and finances grow with time, you can build additional domes to adjoin the main dome.

Stage financing is a great way to spread costs over a period of time while using it as a weekend retreat.

Build a small cabin-sized dome at first, then add to it during vacations. It’s a satisfying way to spend your time away from home and office, especially if you are the creative owner-builder type.

Financing

As an owner-builder, you could even manage to pay for the construction of your new dome out of pocket as you go. Impossible you say? Think again. Hundreds of families finance their domes this way, and you can, too. You just build more with your brains than your billfold. It is not the easiest or quickest route to a new dome, but it just might be the most satisfying.

Build up a sizable nest egg through frugality and put yourself on a strict budget both in living expenses and building costs. If you don’t absolutely have to have it, forget it – and spend the savings on building materials. Put all you can into a building fund. Give up habits like eating lunch out – brown bag it instead.

Time is your biggest ally, since the more time you take, the more opportunity you have to save. Patience is needed, but don’t take so long that your dream fades.

Short Term Loan

Don’t overlook the opportunity to ease cash flow over a short term during construction by granting you a short-term loan using credit cards, a credit line, or a home equity loan.

The extra expense of their higher interest rates may be justifiable because you eliminate many costs associated with a lower interest mortgage. If you can also save the time and money associated with renting inefficient housing and looking for contractors and lenders, the higher interest loan may cost less. However, their justification can be lost with large amounts that take too long to pay off.

Seller Financed Land

If you have not yet purchased your building site, look for properties where the seller will finance all or part of your land purchase.

Offer to make payments to the seller. Having an attorney who represents both of you prepare the papers will put the seller at ease and be a worthwhile investment. You may have several offers on different properties rejected before you find a willing seller, but you’ll have your financing.

Sweat Equity

Put as much sweat equity into your home as possible by doing as much of the labor as you can. The more you and your family can learn to do, the more you can save. Visit the library or a bookstore or the internet for a full range of understandable books on all phases of construction.

Time is your biggest friend. With no lender to please, you can take as much time as you can afford to give to the project.

Building Materials

Your construction dollar can go a lot further than you ever imagined if you just put your creativity to work. Search and scavenge classified ads, garage sales, and lumberyard back lots. Look for:

  • Close-out merchandise
  • Discontinued stock
  • Odd lot items
  • Used building materials

There are lots of bargains out there. You’ll really be surprised at the special touches you can add without busting your budget.

You can also save a great deal on materials that are just as serviceable, but lack the decorator touch. You may scoff at this, saying you don’t want to live in a home with $10 porcelain light fixtures instead of $100 brass ones, but think about it.

Mortgage Free Home

If you and your family build your dome using bootstrap financing, you will give yourselves a rare gift to be proud of – living in a mortgage-free home. Instead of making payments, you can make improvements.