Building Your Dream

October 12, 2020


“Great moments are born from great opportunities.” That quote from the movie Miracle has always stuck with me. And, as I laced up my boots to step out onto the ice for a day of training with the AHL’s Tuscan Roadrunners, I could hear it on repeat. That day in 2018 presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  

Whether you’re trying out for a national hockey team or building a new home, winning always comes down to being able to spot and take advantage of the opportunities life throws at you. Many Iowans are sensing a moment of opportunity right now for the potential of homebuilding. Being the first to own a piece of property is a dream for many, and the great rate environment of today is rightly pushing those dreamers into action.  

The two most common roads to homebuilding are hiring a professional home builder or acting as your own general contractor. Each offers a separate list of pros and cons, but ultimately, they both enable Iowans to customize a home perfectly to their desires.  

1. Going Through a Builder

This is the most popular of the two routes. Whether you already own a piece of land or have plans to acquire one, a builder will manage the entire project. They’ll even finance the build. Here’s a short checklist of things to do if choosing this option for homebuilding:
  • Visit your local Bank Iowa location to determine your budget and get prequalified for a mortgage. If you’re unable to come into a branch, we can plan a call or a Zoom meeting.
  • Research builders and choose one that fits your style.
  • Communicate your home budget with your builder.
  • Meet your builder’s requirements for a deposit on a home.
  • When the home is complete, Bank Iowa will help you obtain a mortgage to purchase the home in a similar fashion to purchasing a home that’s already built.

2. Managing Your Build

This isn’t something we see as often, but it’s certainly an option for those who wish to be heavily involved in their home build. You’ll want to consider taking the following action:
  • Visit your local Bank Iowa to determine your budget and get prequalified for a construction loan.
  • Take out a construction loan using either the equity in your current home, or the equity in the price of the home that you’re planning to build. You’ll need to provide your construction plans to your mortgage loan officer.
  • When you make your first withdrawal on the construction loan, you’ll begin paying interest. Because you are managing the project yourself, you’ll also be in charge of managing the financing.
  • When the home build is complete, Bank Iowa will assist you in refinancing to pay off your construction loan. We will then work with you to begin a mortgage loan that would be very similar to if you had purchased an existing home.

Take a lesson from me: Although I only got to be a Tuscan Roadrunner goalie for one day, I learned a valuable lesson: There’s no better feeling than experiencing a life-long dream become a reality. And while my personal dream was short lived, building your dream home allows you to live out your dream every day.   Are you ready to seize the opportunity of today’s market? Let’s make it happen. Contact me or your local Bank Iowa mortgage lender anytime.  

Brad Parker is a mortgage loan officer for Bank Iowa, Iowa’s second largest family-owned financial institution. His NMLS number is 446562 and Bank Iowa’s company NMLS number is 673681. Brad can be reached at To learn more, visit Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.