Building a house Questions?

I want to build a house in chicago, IL (3200 SF) that would probably cost around $400K. If I take my blueprints and all to a home-building company (or constructors), will they ask for a down payment (then monthly paymetns) or would they ask for the whole $400K in one payment. What % of down payment would they want? also, can i build a house on land that I'm still trying to pay off? Will construtctors accept house loans as a down payment? (soory for all the questions)

This has been my experience..
Purchase the land first..then go to the bank for a construction mortgage. You will need a down payment in cash to easily get this loan..but you might be able to come up with some other ways.
What builders and bankers want/will give out can be two different things...basically the builder will want at least 10% down then percentages throughout the building period with an amount withheld with your lawyer at the end for a period of time 45 days here to ensure all sub trades are paid and no problems. The money will be given out after certain times in the building it is usually after the inspector has to come out and approved with the bank/lawyer...On my last house there were three payouts..with extras usually done with a cash deal and upgrades paid to the specialty stores or through the builder depending on how it is arranged. Call your bank to talk with them and they can give you info on how they do it and to get your preapproval that your builder will want to know. Then talk to the builder...kind of have to talk to both of these at the same time, but do not start any building or sealing the deal till you know the money is there.
Payment methods vary from builder to builder, but in my experience they generally develop a "draw schedule." This means that as the building progresses, they will get part of the money you owe them. I have built a couple of houses and both builders got their money in 25% increments, ie when the house is 25% complete, they get 25% of the money, at 50% complete they get the next 25%, etc.

However, you should contract a few builders in your area to find out how they do it. Also, make sure they explain upfront when the draw points happen, such as draw#1 when framing is finished, etc.

Building a house is exciting, but you have got to stay on top of the contractor. Get references and good luck.
I'd go to a bank before I went to a builder, if you will have to borrow the money to build with. Find out what they will lend you, and ask for a detailed explanation of how a building loan works, and how much they will advance to you at each stage of building. Get that in writing. You borrow from the bank, then pay the builder with that money.
I would start with a bank loan after I find the builder I want to use. Banks will use your land as collateral as long as you have equity in it. Most banks finance 90 % but in today's economic crisis, they might require 20%.

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