Welcome to Mortgage Notes from Otto Kobler

filed under: Country Property, Finance and Lending posted on April 19th, 2011

I am very pleased to welcome Otto Kobler of Maximum Mortgage as a guest contributor to Wine Country and Horses. There are so many things going on the in the world of lending, and so many opportunities and challenges that I welcome Otto’s expertise! From jumbo loans to FHA loans for first time buyers and everything in between, Otto has years of knowledge and experience to offer.

Plus he fits the wine country mold–besides being the branch manager of Maximum Mortgage in Santa Rosa and very active in the local real estate community, he and his wife grow highly ranked Syrah grapes on five acres in Green Valley between Graton and Forestville, also known as the Russian River Appellation.

There are lots of lending topics to discuss. Today Otto is going to talk about financing for country property. It may not be as hard as you think.

Perception versus Reality

Often when I talk to people interested in buying country property in Sonoma County, their first question is, “Can I get a loan?”. The perception is that it is so difficult to get a mortgage today, that anything other than a standard subdivision home is not financeable.

Here’s the reality. There are plenty of country properties getting financed today. Horse properties, properties with vineyards and vacation/second homes, they are being bought and sold and yes, financed.

Just recently, a couple from San Francisco wanted to buy a country property as a weekend home. The home was on half an acre and dated. It definitely needed some updating. Interestingly, they were renting a home in San Francisco, so, as first time buyers, they were able to qualify for a low down payment FHA home loan that also provided funds for the updating of their new home.

Financing for horse and vineyard properties had been tougher to get until recently. The reason being is that many lenders were equating the horse/vineyard aspects of the property to commercial activity. Now, it is true that either a vineyard or a horse property can be a commercial venture. But the reality is that smaller vineyards produce very little extra income. Horse properties are similar. It’s much more about the joy of the adventure rather than a big money maker. The grapes from my property go to a small boutique winery. My family name is on the label and the wine has been well received by wine critics. That’s small vineyard success.

In any case, today’s residential mortgage lenders do not want to lend to commercial properties or properties that are commercial in nature. That reluctance to lend has changed recently, so unless it is a massive vineyard or horse facility, good low interest rate financing is available.

To find out what loans are available to purchase your country property please email otto@maxmort.com or call 707-694-6604.

posted by Pam Buda // Comments Off on Welcome to Mortgage Notes from Otto Kobler