Terry Maynard and his son, Austin, were tired of hunting on other people's property. They were tired of getting up early to drive hours to access land where they were likely to run into large groups of people, unsafe hunting practices and temporary deer blinds.
That’s why three years ago Terry and Austin bought 92 acres of recreational land in Parma, Michigan with a country living loan through GreenStone Farm Credit Services, and realized every hunter’s dream.
“If it’s 7:30 a.m. and I decide I want to go hunting, I can just walk out back and I can go hunt,” says Terry. “I don’t have to load up the truck and walk miles in the dark to get to a tree stand.”
“I can shoot targets off my back porch and nobody is questioning me,” adds Austin, who built a home on the property last year with hands-on help from his dad and a GreenStone construction loan.
Knowing it would be theirs for years to come, father and son also built themselves a permanent deer blind with lots of space and windows that slide open.
“We’d put a recliner in there,” Terry jokes, “but we didn’t make the door big enough!”
Once the Maynard’s had scouted out their perfect property, financing their country living rec land loan with GreenStone Financial Services Officer Deborah Teller was easy. They provided tax returns, pay stubs and a down payment, and officially became land-owners after signing paperwork at the title company.
“Our recreational land financing is available to individual buyers as well as multiple buyers, and even for those who form an official business group,” says Deborah. “We not only finance the construction of homes on rec land, we also finance barns and other improvements. Both options have highly competitive rates. Some think of rec land financing just for hunting, but I have closed transactions where the entire family was at closing and excited to have a place to hunt, cross country ski, camp and fish.”
Building a home
Austin and his wife Jessica are parents to a three-year old and a nine-month-old baby, and knew they would be settling their family in a custom built home on the property. The recreational acreage had been chosen, in part, because of its proximity to a favored school district.
Deborah was ready with construction loan information once Austin was ready to build. GreenStone finances do-it-yourself construction loans, and the process requires some careful planning.
“We had to submit blueprints and a budget,” recalls Austin. “We had quotes for materials and contract work, and we had to turn in lien waivers and sworn statements for each draw request. I would turn it all in to the title company and to Deborah, and within two to three days the money would be in our account. We would make draws on the account to write checks to our suppliers and contractors.
“The hardest thing about building a house and getting the construction loan is you basically have to determine what you want from the start. You have to know what flooring you’re going to install, what cabinets you’re going to plug in, what tile you’re going to use. Before you can get approved for the loan, you have to show GreenStone that you have a plan.”
Having GreenStone hold him to a budget gave Austin sound financial direction; he admits it is incredibly easy to fall into the trap of spending extra money on ‘upgrades’ while in the middle of construction. Except for cement work, plumbing, heating and drywalling, Austin and Terry did much of the work themselves.
The Maynards are proud they were able to bring the house in under budget, and finish it in one year.
It was a year that Austin and Jessica spent living in Dad’s basement with a new baby, but Terry is planning his own future DIY home project on the property, and he knows that his son and daughter-in-law will be his willing build partners. Terry also knows he has a partner at GreenStone; Deborah’s responsiveness helped save Austin nearly $20,000 during his build when hurricane destruction in Florida caused the price of lumber to skyrocket.
“It was rewarding to work with Austin and Terry,” Deborah reflects. “First, on their dream hunting ground, and second, helping Austin build a home for his family. The Maynards both worked hard to come in under budget for the home build and their hard work paid off.”
It’s been a busy three years for the Maynards, but they are pleased their planning and hard work is making home and hunting possible under the best circumstances for their family.
“The rec land is ideal. We are away from everybody and we never get bothered,” says Austin.
“My son and I have always hunted together,” Terry adds. “Now we’re able to hunt together on our own property.”
To view the article in the online 2020 Fall Partners Magazine, click here.