Question: Looking for knowledgeable lender

We received from the following note from Zeigh Ownesby regarding lenders:

I am a registered user of your web site, but need a little more information. Do you have a packet and/or links to information for bank officials who are familiar with fly-in communities? The bank that I used before on a previous airpark had to be coached extensively on what this concept was. Otherwise, they kept viewing a runway close by as a primary negative detail instead of the biggest positive amenity of the area. Now I am having to do this all over again for a land loan elsewhere. Any information to help would be appreciated.

I directed Zeigh to the Resources section of the website. However, we have just three contacts listed. I’d appreciate any additional contacts we can share with others. Comment below, or email me at

3 replies on “Question: Looking for knowledgeable lender”

If he is lucky enough to be building at Independence, Or., try here. We are presently dealing with Washington Federal Savings in Monmonth. They have financed dozens of construction loans in the airpark. Ask for Debbie

523 Main St E, Monmouth, OR 97361, USA

Where is Mr. Owensby?

If he’s in central Florida I *might* have a lender for him – maybe.

Land loans are tough in good times – one bank I spoke to was offering all of 35% loan to value, most weren’t interested at all. Problem here is vacant land has no income and is hard to sell. With a big down payment, he might be able to get a construction loan, but if he has no plans to build now, that will be tough.

Has he checked into seller financing? Maybe a five or seven year balloon mortgage with an option to renew? DON’T even consider getting a land contract, he wants the title to the land in HIS name NOW – that makes it a lot harder for him to get screwed (but it can still happen).

Right now there are almost no loans available for anything – bank resales are priced 20% under the cost of new construction and the banks sold more homes last quarter than realtors and private sellers combined. “Values” are greatly depressed (tell me something I don’t know . . . ). Actually, the values haven’t changed, it is just the selling prices that have tanked.

He’s going to have to “coach” the lender a LOT – banks are very, very nervous about any property which is the least bit unusual, they’re convinced that EVERYONE will default and they are asking themselves “what could we get for this property when the buyer defaults?” Not “if”, but “when”.

Super credit, strong income and a big down payment are advised.

He also needs an appraiser who knows something about airport properties – and under the new rules, you really don’t have much of a say as to who will do the appraisal so you will probably get some moron who has no idea that runway access makes a property unique and valuable. (BTDT)

If there are other airport lots in the same place, that makes finding comparables easier – anything over 5 miles away can’t be used, so (for example) just because you are near Spruce Creek ($$$$$$) it won’t increase your value in the eyes of the appraiser, he’ll appraise it as just another rural vacant lot (almost worthless).

The mortgage business sucks so badly right now that after 20+ years in the business I have not renewed my mortgage broker’s licenses – it just isn’t worth it, lots of risk of lawsuits and government actions for “violations” of obscure, useless regulations, no lenders, and limited opportunity – you just can’t make any money as a broker any more, and I don’t believe in beating a dead horse (so I’ll become a “consultant” instead!).

If I go back into this AT ALL it will be in three years or so after the market has healed and the regulations have stabilized – and if I can’t make any money at it, I won’t even bother.

Go ahead and send him my e-mail, I’ll be glad to correspond with him and hopefully steer him clear of the biggest pitfalls . . .

Thanks to all for the financing suggestions and tips in dealing with bankers. I particularly appreciate Mr. Airman’s honest opinions of what he has witnessed and what he perceives is really happening behind the curtain of the mortgage industry right now. It is indeed a buyers market, but only buyers with actual cash in hand.

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