Have you ever dreamed of moving into a brand-new home? – Or transforming the home you have? The appeal of new floors, fresh paint and the latest trendy finishes is hard to resist. Some people have the do-it-yourself bug that sustains entire cable TV channels while others prefer to visit and gain inspiration from model homes and let a builder take it from there. Whether you prefer to be hands-on or take a supervisory role, there are many common misconceptions, mistakes and pitfalls along the way to making the dream of a new or remodelled home a reality and finance expert Carrie Guarrero of Fairway Independent Mortgage knows exactly what they are.
Mortgage lending – and homeownership in general – is really Carrie Guarrero’s family business. Carrie joined her mother in the lending industry at a very young age, and she gravitated toward builders and providing the information and support they needed to help consumers finance new homes. Carrie was a fixture at model homes and job sites, helping builders and clients navigate what can be a confusing construction loan process. Carrie worked with thousands of people during the construction boom of the late 1990s and she’s been through the process herself:
“My husband and I built our home from scratch in the early 2000s. It’s impossible to get everything right on the first attempt and it’s definitely not all sunshine and roses. Thank goodness we’re still married!”
With the build and remodel renaissance underway in places like Edina and Southwest Minneapolis and the traditional home shopping season ramping up, Carrie understands what people are looking for and how to help them make it happen. Helping new construction buyers is one thing, but living through a major build project herself increased her ability to connect with customers and help them along what is often a rollercoaster ride.
Here are some common scenarios that arise when building a new home or doing a remodel:
Transitions: It’s normal to experience a gap between your new home being ready and your old home being available. Carrie, her husband and their five children lived in residential suites for a month until their new home was finished so she truly empathizes with her clients. Delays such as material delivery or a contractor getting sick are common, but they can have a big impact on your living situation (and sanity). It’s important to be aware and prepare for obstacles.
Lending. There are different requirements and processes for construction and rehab financing and it’s critical to deal with a loan officer and support team who are well-versed in these loan types. Choosing an experienced group like Carrie and her team who understand the unique experience of major construction projects will help make the loan process as seamless – and pleasant – as possible.
Prices. The end price of your project is almost always higher than the initial price. Everything from lighting to backsplashes and hardware can jack up prices, so it’s important to take details into consideration and plan for the possibility of overruns.
It may be hard to imagine why anyone would want to build or take on a major remodel after considering all that could be difficult or go wrong, but Carrie says there’s really nothing like it in the end:
“It’s your dream home! It’s virtually impossible to find an existing house that has everything you want. Building – or even a big remodel – gives you a blank slate and you get to design it to your specifications and style.”
After over twenty years in the industry, Carrie has more passion than ever when it comes to being part of helping people on their personal paths to homeownership – whatever that looks like. Construction and renovation financing is a wonderful way to build or create the home of your dreams; but the process is different than a common purchase home loan and it’s important to have expert guidance backed by years of experience in that arena. Carrie and her team bring decades of experience and exceptional service for the best possible customer experience. There are a lot of moving parts to construction and renovation loans and everyone’s situation is different, so it’s critical to make sure you get the right financing for your project, needs and goals. When it comes to mortgages for new construction or rehab, don’t try it at home…or rather, don’t try it on your own.