Now that we’ve finalized our floor plans and have the GC establishing a final cost, we need to secure or get preapproved for a construction loan.  I plan on having multiple banks pre-approve me; some local, some online, and some on the recommendation of the Barden salesman.  At this point, I have gone through Lending Tree and Robar General Funding Corp..  You’ve probably heard of Lending Tree before, but maybe you haven’t heard of Robar.  Unless you’ve searched through this site and found my Barden-Related Links, or have spoken with a Barden Salesman, you probably haven’t heard of Robar.

I was a bit skeptical when my Barden Rep highly recommended Robar.  My first thought was, any funding source that has a main navigation link to Barden on their site, probably has some commission deal with them.  Untrue.  I asked my rep and he set me at ease.  They just like working with Robar, and for good reason.

Advantages of Robar

In my opinion, there are two overwhelming advantages of working with Robar.  The first is that they act as a mortgage broker as well as a construction loan provider.  What this means is, they provide you with the construction loan, and also find a final mortgage provider.  If you need a refresher on the financing process for a Barden Home, take a look at my last post on Paying for Your Barden Home.  You DO NOT have to use Robar to line you up with a mortgage provider, but they can.

Let’s think about why they want to be a mortgage broker for the project.  One reason may be that they get some commission or deal for passing along mortgagees to banks.  That’s pure speculation on my part.  Seems like it would make sense though, considering the massive amount of money a lender makes on a mortgage.  The second reason is that they are ensured their payment at the end of the construction process that way.  If they line up a mortgage for you, they solidify the odds of them getting paid back.

The second MAJOR ADVANTAGE, in my opinion, is that Robar will allow you to take as many draws against your construction loan as you want.  If you remember from my last post, I mentioned that Construction Loans incur interest based on the amount of many you’ve taken to date, much like a credit card.  So, having the flexibility to make as many draws as you want against your loan, allows you to take out smaller amounts of money at a time, saving you interest during construction.  Some banks limit you to 5-8 draws.  Robar would allow 500 if you wanted, or even more.

Contacting Robar General Funding

I finally contacted Robar about a week ago, and they started the process with me.  Because I don’t live in their area, it was important to me that they would work with me remotely.  Luckily, they were happy to work with me remotely.  The person I spoke with at Barden referred me to their online application to get started.  So, I completed the application and heard back from my rep the next day.  She had some follow-up questions to ask and wanted to clarify some of our information.  She was very pleasant and easy to work with.  Because I’m self-employed, they needed copies of my last two years’ tax returns, but my accountant was able to email them directly to her, saving me time. 

The next day I heard back from my rep again, and she told me they needed to do some research into my credit history and would get back to me.  That was on a Friday, so I said, I would look forward to hearing from her next week.  Much to my surprise, she said she could call me the on Saturday (the next day), if I wanted, so I took her up on that.  She waited until a reasonable time to call for a Saturday, and gave me the details (most importantly, that I was approved for enough money).  She even took as much time as needed to explain the whole process to me, and work through some of the details of what I would finance versus pay down.  I was surprised to find out that they actually pre-approved me for the final mortgage, which therefore, preapproved me for the construction loan. 

The Bottom Line

Overall, I have been very impressed with Robar and will likely use them for the construction loan.  I have a few more banks to talk to, then I’ll make my final decision.  My bet is that it will be Robar.