Romanowski Custom Homes are the featured subjects of a recent Times Leader article, appearing in print and online @ timesleader.com. Owner Mark Romanowski describes the unique and convenient financing methods offered by Romanowski Custom Homes.
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By BILL O ’ BOYLE firstname.lastname@example.org
KINGSTON TWP. – Mark Romanowski says the down economy has not hurt his homebuilding business at all. In fact, the 38-year-old contractor from Shavertown says he is busier now than he has ever been. Romanowski Custom Homes has a business plan that his loan officer says is unique. Romanowski asks his clients for $20,000 up front, then he builds the home they want and when it is finished, they buy it from him.
Lisa Perta, loan officer for the McCabe Mortgage Group in Kingston, deals with Romanowski Custom Homes and she said the Back Mountain builder’s approach to the construction business is unique and unlike the conventional process.
“Most builders will not finance during construction,” Perta said. “They would get payment in stages as the work progressed – from foundation to framing to finish.”
Perta said builders usually get paid in five stages, requiring the buyers to obtain traditional construction loan financing.
Romanowski, Perta says, doesn’t require payment in full until the home is complete.
“The word on the street is I’m the busiest builder out there,” Romanowski said. “I know I’m pulling a lot of permits; I think I have triple the number than my closest competitor.”
Perta said underwriting guidelines for home construction loans have gotten stricter within the last year, requiring borrowers to have 20 percent for down payment rather than five or 10 percent with private mortgage insurance.
“We’ve seen a lot less new construction financing due to the borrowers’ inability to come up with that 20 percent down payment,” Perta said. “Romanowski Homes doesn’t require payment in full until the home is completed; he treats it like a purchase rather than a new construction loan.”
Perta said she does not know of any other builders that operate the way Romanowski does. She said some build “spec homes,” where they construct a house and then put it for sale on the market.
Romanowski said he offers buyers “the most home for the best price.”
He said his success is as simple as it sounds.
“People like dealing with me,” he said.
“They finance right through Romanowski Homes – I call it in-house financing.”
Romanowski said so far his business plan has worked.
The $20,000 down payment he requires is non-refundable.
“Customer satisfaction is what’s most important,” he said. “The concept has worked; I have a few trade secrets that I only share with clients.”