All Financial Education

Buying, Fixing, or Building: What Loan is Right for You?

April 28, 2021

Couple in front of new home under construction

To build or to buy, that is the question! When you’re ready to take that next big step toward your dream home, it may be the question you’re mulling over and trying to decide on. Whether you want a home that’s updated and move in ready, a home that needs a little bit of fixing up, or to build the home you’ve been dreaming of, we have home loan options to fit your needs.


When you’ve finally found the home you love and you’re ready to move forward, Idaho Central is ready to help you through your home loan process and offers tools to help guide you through the beginning stages of buying a home. This includes the Rent vs. Buy Calculator, which breaks down the cost differences between renting and buying, while taking into consideration taxes, insurance, and other fees. The Mortgage Qualifier Calculator helps you understand how much you can afford to borrow based on your annual income. You can even use our Home Loan Calculator to find out what your monthly payment, including principle and interest, would be. At Idaho Central, we also offer a variety of products well suited for any homebuyer, whether this is your first home or you’re buying the home you plan to spend your retirement in.

Fixing Up

Now what do you do when you have your heart set on a home that needs some major updates and upgrades? If you have been watching any home renovation TV shows, you might dream of buying a home with good bones, redoing the kitchen cabinets and counters, finishing the floor with your favorite wood, and customizing everything exactly the way you want. One misconception that arises from fixer-uppers is that you would need a construction loan. Construction loans, however, are just for new builds. When you are purchasing a fixer-upper home, you will finance this as a regular home loan.

Fixer-upper homes need more work and effort than a typical home, which means you can often get it at a lower price-point than what your budget will allow. Since your mortgage payment is lower, this gives some more wiggle room in your budget to allow for the renovations. Since renovations are out-of-pocket costs, though, this can be off-putting for the average borrower. Sometimes the best option is to live in the home and renovate it slowly, allowing you to build up equity over time. Once you have built up some equity, you can then open a Home Equity Line of Credit, giving you access to a line of credit that you can use to start the big renovations you’ve been dreaming of!


Building your dream home is a great option for those who are ready.  After shopping around and considering your options, you might find that building a home makes the most sense. . When you build a home, you need a construction loan rather than a regular home loan, and Idaho Central is ready to assist you through the construction process.

Deciding where to build is the first step. You may have noticed a lot that’s up for sale, perhaps it’s that piece of land up the hill that oversees a river, a lot with some acreage for that garden you’ve been dreaming of, or the perfect lot in that cute new neighborhood that you’ve been eyeing… but you’re not quite ready to start the build just yet. At Idaho Central, we offer land loans for this purpose. With a land loan, you can purchase the land prior to starting the construction process.

Once it’s time to build, your land loan can be rolled into a construction loan. The best part? It helps you build your dream home without the financial stress that comes with paying large construction costs out of pocket. We offer fixed interest rates, and you make interest-only payments during construction. Most homes can be built within 6 months depending on the size of home, the complexity of home, and the builder. However, we understand some homes take a little longer to build, so we offer build times up to 18 months.

No matter what type of borrower you are, we are here to help you achieve your dream of being a home owner.  Contact one of our home loan specialists to help you start the process of getting your dream home!