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 The holidays are right around the corner! 

Time to start shopping...but lucky for you, I'm here to help "guide" you!

OUR BASTROP BUILD: The Financial Side

First of all we want to start by reiterating that this process is different for each home build. We should also note that this is for someone that is not self-employed.  That process is different and frankly harder.  One thing we can say about it, is that if you are self-employed and thinking about purchasing a home in the next two years then you should consider how much you write off as that will affect the lenders decisions. Additionally, start yesterday! Ha!

PART ONE: Lot Transaction: We opted to purchase our land BEFORE the building process. There are a lot of different types of construction loans but the one we chose is based around us owning the land prior. For transparency, we chose this option because land in Bastrop was not only hard to find, but the cost to buy was increasing rapidly. Purchasing when we did allowed us to save money as apposed to waiting a few more months and paying more. 

  • Last 2 years of W-2s
  • Last 2 years of 1040 Personal Tax Returns – All Pages, All Schedules
  • Last 2 years of Business Tax Returns (if applicable - - 1120s or 1065, if applicable – all Schedules including K1’s)
  • Copy of paystubs to cover the most recent 30 days (if applicable - if paid every two weeks, please provide the most recent three stubs).  If you are paid on a bonus schedule and you would like to include that as revenue then you must have pay stubs from two different years that shows that bonus. (note: as the months pass by during the transaction, you will have update your lender with the most recent copies. So, if it takes three months to close, you'll provide three paystubs.)
  • Most recent bank statements. (see above about monthly updates)
  • Documentation for other real estate owned
  • Recent mortgage statement from all owned properties
  • Copy of the home owners insurance declarations page for all owned properties.
  • HOA statement showing the monthly, quarterly or annual payment (if applicable).
  • Because of COVID it is important to note that if you are in any sort of forbearance then all accumulated debt from said forbearance must be paid current. 
Here are our loan specifics for the property buy:
  • 15% down
  • Conventional
  • 240 months
My understanding is we wanted to do what we could to get the note as low as possible on the front end.  We would need to start building on the lot in 24 months to ensure that we were built and out of this loan before the interest sky rocketed towards the end of the loan.  


 Well, still here. Still designing and selecting all the things. Still waiting to start the construction loan process (thanks to a change with our requirements after the election results were announced. And hello needing to have X amount in the bank unexpectedly to move forward. EEK!) BUT, we are almost at the finish line. And by finish line, we mean starting line! HA! It's one and the same when building a custom home!

So,  as of February 5, 2021, here's where we are:


They are complete! We are so so so happy with the way everything turned out and we have no one but our builders to thank for that! Jonathan did a wonderful job bringing our vision to life and designing our plans to feature everything we wanted in every room. The trickiest part? The master bath! BUT, he worked it so many times until it was just perfect for us. 

We've decided not to share our completed plans at the moment but here's a peek from the outside!


We feel really great about the direction of our design plans in hopes of truly creating our dream home. As far as selections go, we have finalized everything except tile + wood. We had originally shopped around and "picked" all of those options but to be transparent, we were in a little bit over our head. We made the mistake of meeting with the in-house designer versus a sales associate who actually knew the costs of the items we were selecting. So as we picked tile we got a lot of "well I don't know the exact price but I think it's somewhere in your budget." Quick note, some selections were about 4 times our budget! 

SO, we are going tomorrow to another shop in Austin to try again. This time making sure we are looking in the right places. 


Well, we got the first look and no shock to any of us, we are over budget. So we have had the initial meeting about where we need to dial back the allowances plus what we can wait on/exclude from the loan. So we know where to start and are simply just hoping we can move forward without having to give up too much. I know, easier said than done. 

Once we adjust a few pieces of our budget, we should know exactly where stand and what that construction loan will look like and be able to adjust from there.