Getting an FHA Loan for a Custom Home


Are you looking for options to finance your custom home? If you don’t have a lot in the bank, FHA (Federal Housing Administration) could potentially offer very flexible, attainable options for you. At Elk Ridge Custom Homes, we have helped several clients build their custom homes thanks to our model that makes this and other traditional financing options available – even for a custom home project.

Today, FHA loans are among the most popular mortgage programs for Americans. Once restricted to low-income groups before last decade’s economic meltdown, they’ve since gained immense popularity and are being used by people across the income spectrum. In fact, analysts credit the FHA program with saving the housing market during the most recent meltdown.

What Is an FHA Loan?
The idea behind this mortgage program is to help borrowers qualify for the loan they need and reduce the risk for the lenders. It is a win-win arrangement where loans are easily made available and lenders can also find customers without additional acquisition cost. Apart from home building, these loans can also be used for refinancing a property and come at the most attractive rates.

fha loan custom home
Even first time home buyers can build a custom home with FHA financing!


If you have a high credit score (580 or higher) you can be able to get mortgage with mere 3.5% down payment (article written May 2016). The flexibility of the loans makes them very popular. You can choose a 15 or 30 year repayment pla, keeping your options open for whatever works best for your budget – now and in the future. This loan program also allows home builders to bear the closing costs on your behalf, making it the perfect mortgage plan for a custom home project. In fact many customers looking for custom homes prefer the FHA program over traditional construction loans – they just aren’t able to secure them without other partners in place

At Elk Ridge Custom Homes we help you get FHA loans easily through our financing partnerships. We work with great lenders offering financing through FHA loans and would guide you through the entire process. The beauty about the entire FHA program is that you are eligible for financing even if you don’t have the perfect credit score. Over the years, we have worked with dozens of clients who have got their homes financed under the FHA program, which has helped us build expertise with the loan program. If you have a steady job we can talk about your custom home project, even if you don’t have an extravagent budget. Book a consultation with us, or download our PDF below to get started!

To learn more, download our guide below to discover your dream home!



Custom Home Builders: 4 Exceptional Qualities

Just mentioning the term ‘custom homes’ is exciting as it allows homeowners to create a space that is truly tailored to their desires and needs. And the project starts with hiring a seasoned builder for the job. But with so many custom home builders, zeroing in on one can be an overwhelming task. Here are four exceptional qualities that we try to emulate here at Elk Ridge Custom Homes.

#1 Strong Reputation          
As is the case with most other service providers, you need to take note of the reputation of your builders. It takes a lot of time for a builder to establish a strong reputation. When you engage with a reputable builder for your custom home project, you can expect the finest workmanship and enjoy a living space that youll be proud to call your home!

#2 Flexibility in Planning & Execution
The very idea behind custom homes is that “one size doesn’t fit all.” The idea of a dream home is as diverse as every individual. You need to choose custom home builders who offer you a wide choice of floor plans. They should have options for every budget and should be able to work with all kinds of topography. Some builders will only be able to make minor adjustments to their plans, while others will bend over backwards to accommodate you needs. We’re committed to always being in the latter.

custom home builders
Investing time during the planning process is a guaranteed way to minimize stress and confusion during the building process.


#3 Quality of Service           
The third important quality to look for is the level of service. A builder may enjoy great reputation but may not be able to handle special requests while the project is being executed. Similarly, a large builder may not engage their best team for your project, especially if you are looking for a budget home. All these tend to have an impact on the final outcome of the project, so quality of service is a very important consideration.

#4 Patience
Last but not the least, a good builder needs to have patience and should understand that the home means a lot for the customer. It is a big investment decision and you are bound to have doubts and apprehensions in your mind along with the ideas that you bring to the table. A good builder should educate you on the pros and cons of all your ideas so you can make the best choices for the long run. That’s how we approach it.

If you’d like to get started, book a consultation and we will be happy to go into greater detail with you in person or over the phone!

Custom Homes for First Time Homebuyers

The very idea of owning your first home sounds exciting. Who doesn’t like to call a property their own? Apart from the fact that you claim ownership over something significant, you are also in control and can customize it however you’d like. From your own home theater to a wine cellar, your options are limitless. But here lies the big catch; if you buy a pre-owned home or even a newly constructed model, there are certain limits to your customization options. Of course, you can remodel it, but that can get expensive and you are still limited to the original architecture of the home.

Give New Meaning To Your New Life
If you are young couple starting your life journey together, you probably haven’t thought building a custom home is a realistic option. However, this is actually the perfect time to look into your opportunities. You are likely to be filled with energy and ideas for your dream home, and this is the best time to focus on building a long-term foundation for your future. While most young couples dream of a custom home, many drop the idea owning to the fact that they do not qualify for the construction loan to build a home. On top of that, owning the land, having a big down payment and the financial reserves for a contingency fund make this dream even harder to attain. In the spirit of innovation, Elk Ridge Custom Homes has re-invented the custom home model. We have teamed up with financing partners who work with us directly, enabling you to get pre-approved for a regular home loan (FHA, conventional, VA and more) and close after construction. We are so confident in our work that if you walk away from your house, we know we will easily be able to find another buyer!

custom home first time homebuyer
Make your first home a dream home, and every day will feel a little bit like a great family vacation.

Dream it and Get It
Most young couples are very aspirational about their life and living opportunities. With better financing options at your fingertips, nothing should stop you from waking up each morning with a sense of pride for your home. Whether you’ve been constructing ideas in your mind for years, or were awestruck by a home that you spotted during your last vacation, your dream house is more attainable than ever. As custom home builders, we love working on challenges and always strive to help our customers become kings and queens of their own homes. With a skilled and experienced team, we look forward to building you exactly what you want!

To learn more, please download our free e-book below, or you can kickstart the process today by booking a consultation!



Custom Homes in Camas and Washougal, WA

There are few things in life that give you as much satisfaction as owning your own home. A custom home amplifies that feeling tenfold, as you get live in a space that you create from scratch based on your needs and sense of style. There are many different factors that define your idea of a dream home: You need to find a great community, have easy access to amenities you enjoy, and of course, everyone wants good value for their money. If you are thinking about building your custom home in Washington, you may need to start looking beyond Portland and Vancouver.

Tale of Two Cities
In recent years, homebuyers have shown lot of interest in Washougal as a fast growing community of 14,000 located in southwest Washington along the Columbia River. Once a supply camp for fur traders and explorers, it has turned into a hot destination for homebuyers. With plenty of public parks and options for other recreational activities, it is a place gaining strong momentum. A little more than a mile to its west, Camas is garnering similar attention in the realty market. Bordering Washougal on the eastside and Vancouver on the west, it’s home to businesses such as Hewlett-Packard and Sharp Microelectronics, and is a preferred place to live for many professionals.

If you are looking for reasons to invest in Camas and Washougal, we have plenty for you –

Portland Has Become Saturated
Like all other big cities in the United States, Portland has also become saturated. Once a much-sought out place to buy a home, many residents in the city are migrating to the suburbs to escape the suffocation they feel every day in their lives. With the population growing at a brisk pace there is little room for people who want to live in a calm, relaxed environment within the city limits.

custom homes in camas washougal
Portland has become a vibrant, exciting place to live, but many are now preferring a short commute to a home outside of the city.

Growing Communities
Both Washougal and Camas offer great prospects for those who want to invest in a custom home. They have some of the best neighborhoods with easy access to great schools, shopping areas and places for recreational activities. They have also become popular communities among people working in Portland and Vancouver, with a very reasonable commute time.

Return on Investment
If you are building a custom home purely from the perspective of investment, Camas and Washougal would be an ideal pick. The price of realty in Washougal has gone up by 12% in the last one year while Camas homes are growing by 10% (2015). This is a trend that is expected to hold for years to come, as there is ongoing interest in these communities among buyers. Investing in a property here would offer you great returns in the future.

9 Brilliant Reasons to Build a Custom Home

Build Custom and Win


A home is an extension of your personality, which is why people around the world are extremely choosy when they build a home for themselves. There is something special about building a home from scratch, as you watch your dream take shape and offers you a sense of accomplishment and achievement upon completion. Here are nine brilliant reasons why you should build your custom home.


custom home builder
Building a custom home makes your dreams come true each day and every night.


  1. Original Design –Everyone has an idea of a dream home, and when you build one from scratch you can design and style it the way you want. It will always leave an impression in the minds of your friends and family.
  2. No Renovation Costs – Buying a pre-owned home may require you to spend a fortune renovating and remodeling it to suit your style. There are no such costs when you are building one for yourself.
  3. Control Over Budget – When you are building a home, you have more control over the budget. Whether you are looking to build one for a leaner budget or plan to spend serious cash, you can go the way you want from the beginning.
  4. Serves Niche Needs – Every individual and family has special needs for their living space. The home for a young couple would not be the same as for an elderly woman. When you build a custom home, you can design it to serve your needs.
  5. Optimize Space – Every family sees space from a different point of view. While some may opt for a larger garage, having their personal theater or gym might be a priority for others. You have complete control over space optimization with a custom home.
  6. Flexible Model – Often home building is a continuous exercise where you can plan to expand in the future. With custom homes, you can easily leave the scope for an extension down the road.
  7. Quality Control – You have more quality control over the construction material used as well as the quality of workmanship. This is a big advantage over pre-owned homes, where you have to accept what you have and hope for the best.
  8. Safety Standards – Building codes have evolved, as well as the technology that keeps your family out of harm’s way. In your custom home, you’re be able to install the latest safety equipment in terms of fire-safe materials, alarm systems, etc. to improve safety.
  9. Less Maintenance – Since you are building a brand new home, less maintenance is required for at least a few years to come. Whether it’s your HVAC system or your plumbing, going custom gives you peace of mind and time to save for repairs down the road.

To learn more, download our guide below to discover your dream home!



4 Ways to Build Resale Value into Your Custom Home

Building a Valuable Home


The entire process of building your custom home is an exciting and memorable experience. But it is an equally challenging season of life, as you need to make important decisions for the future. Depending on your goals, one of the areas that you may need to focus on is building your house in a way that increases the resale value of the property. Here are four valuable ways in which you can add to the resale value of your custom home.


#1 Treat Each Room As An Individual Entity
Chalking out a plan for your custom home is crucial, and it should be done methodically rather than emotionally. One of the ways to minimize the chances of poor decision-making is to take each room one at a time and treat each area of your home as an individual entity. Each part of your home should be purposefully- built with pros and cons and mind. Do different areas complement each other? Will one part of the house become a disadvantage to the other? This allows you to create a home that is aesthetically appealing and at the same time, comfortable to live, driving its resale value up. For example, building your home with a master bedroom next to the garage might not look bad on a floor plan, but would make for a loud and uncomfortable master suite.               

#2 Focus on Kitchen
The kitchen represents the nucleus a family, as it’s a hub for cooking, gathering, and more. It’s also often where families welcome and serve their friends and guests. It is definitely the most popular place for gathering and entertainment, and of course delicious food. When you are building your custom home, this is one place that should be heavily considered and built around. The sink, backsplash, flooring and the cabinetry all need to be planned carefully, down to the last detail. But keep in mind that over-customization, or doing something very unique may actually deter future buyers down the road.


custom kitchen vancouver home
Investing in a great kitchen is one of the smartest things you can do to add value to your home.


#3 Give Due Attention To The Bathroom
Bathrooms undergo the most wear and tear in any home. For a prospective buyer, they can win the day or lose it. Since you are building a custom home, you have the chance to build smart, durable bathrooms. One of the best ways to do this involves your choice of materials and cabinetry used in the bathroom. Though this can increase your cost a little bit, it will serve as a sound investment if you decide to sell your home.


#4 Maximize Space
Put yourself into the buyer’s shoes and think of priorities that you would focus on when buying a pre-owned home. Space utilization is almost always at the top of your list as everyone wants to live in a spacious home. Although floor space is a physical aspect of the property, proper planning during the building phase can maximize space utilization and make a property look larger than it actually is. With all the projects we do, we work closely with our clients to help them get the most out of their home!

There is Character and then There is “Character”

What do we mean?

Simply know what you are paying for. To us character is the look, feel, and style of a home. Whether or not you use Elk Ridge floor plans or your own design (which we can crate for you), the home will represent you.

Why go with Elk Ridge for your new home?

Because none of our homes come with the other kind of “character”…the stuff you could live without.


We have all heard horror stories when it comes to home buying, and so we searched the web and found some of the best (or worst depending on your point of view).


  1. When Dawn Turner’s son purchased a foreclosed home in rural Tennessee, he thought he was getting a steal. But after three years of living in the home, he and his family found out from neighbors the home was considered “unfit for human inhabitation” by local health authorities because the former owner produced methamphetamines in the home. From there, the new homeowners were financially responsible for bringing their home up to code.
  2. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that home sellers do not have to disclose if the home was the site of a murder, suicide, or satanic ritual. The ruling came after a homeowner filed suit because her home was the site of a murder/suicide.
  3. Although a home inspector passed Justin and Kate Treher’s home, he missed some problems. For instance, the previous homeowner supposedly installed and tested the sump pump in the basement, and it failed shortly after move in, flooding the basement. Then the lovely sunroom was filled with termites, costing the couple $2,000 in repairs. After the termites were eradicated, they discovered the sunroom was entirely covered in mold — there was no caulking around the windows to keep the moisture out.
  4. When Gregory Leeson listed his Dunmore, PA home for sale, he wanted to be honest. His home was “slightly haunted.” Nothing crazy, just the usual: footsteps, knocking, and screams. His listing went viral, and ghost hunters from around the world were knocking on his door. Turns out, he didn’t have to be so honest. Pennsylvania law only dictates that home sellers have to list any “material defects that would have a significant adverse impact on the value of the property or an unreasonable risk to the people living in the home.” And since proving you have a ghost is pretty much impossible, it’s not required. But your state might be different, so make sure to check with a real estate agent if your home gives you the heebie jeebies.
  5. A man who lost his home to foreclosure, and made certain the bank would remember his name. With nothing left to lose, the Texas resident poured concrete down all the drains, yanked the porch from the house with his truck, and left holes in each of the walls–sometimes multiple holes in one wall, as a final farewell. The former tenant did such a number on the place that the city government had to demolish the entire structure.
  6. A lettings agent in Holland Park arrived at a property with a prospective tenant to find the front door hanging on its hinges. Inside, the flat was a shambles, but the agent continued with the viewing and merely pulled the door shut when he left. It wasn’t until the owner returned home that evening that she discovered she had been burgled.
  7. An estate agent showed prospective buyers around an £800,000 house in Notting Hill, London, without realizing that the 55-year-old owner he presumed was asleep on the sofa had actually died. The agent admitted to a coroner’s court that he had thought “something didn’t seem right” but continued with the viewing nevertheless.
  8. Elizabeth Kearney, a business consultant and author, was a real estate agent years ago. She says she was pleased to get a lead for a listing in an expensive part of Los Angeles. She jotted down legal details, including the owner’s name, and visited the house. She was met at the door by the man who lived there. Kearney and the man toured the property together and talked about the listing’s details. Kearney handed paperwork to the man to sign. “Oh, I can’t sign this,” she says the man told her. “You have my name wrong.” After some back and forth, Kearney realized that she wasn’t meeting with the owner; she was speaking with the tenant. He was renting the house. The owner didn’t know about the tenant’s overtures to Kearney, and didn’t want to sell.
  9. The Thompsons bought a house that was for sale by the owner. The house was on a septic system, but the Thompsons took the seller’s word that the system had never given him any problems. Six months after closing the drain field started to puddle and overflow into the yard. The Thompsons called a septic company to drain and pump the entire system. Another six months down the road the system overflowed again, but this time into the neighbor’s yard. At this point the Thompsons had a smelly, overflowing septic problem as well as angry neighbors. Unsure what to do, Mr. Thompson talked to a friend who suggested he contact the county to get a copy of the original septic permit in order to make sure the seller had installed the proper system. Here begins the real horror. The seller did have a septic permit, but it was for a three-bedroom home. The Thompsons had purchased a five-bedroom, three and a half bath home. The existing septic system could never have supported a house that size. Mr. Thompson had the septic company come back out to the house to find a solution for the problem. To his surprise, the company said nothing could be done. The soil wouldn’t perk, there wasn’t enough room to install additional drain fields, and even if there were the soil could never support a house that size. If the Thompsons notify DHEC, they’ll probably be forced to move out of the house. Upon further investigation, the Thompsons discovered that the septic system had never performed properly, a fact the seller intentionally hid from them, which is a huge violation of the disclosure law.
  10. An older couple, we’ll call them John and Mary Jones, purchased a house in the Southeastern area. They didn’t know nor were they advised by their agent to have a home inspection, even though the house they were buying was over 30 years old. The couple did not even know they had the right to a final walk-through inspection. Apparently, their agent had better things to do than to help these clients. After they closed on the house and moved in, Mary was emptying the water in the kitchen sink one day and it started backing up. The next day, the washing machine overflowed. John took a look under the house and found several leaks, so the Jones’s called a plumber. The plumber came out, and as he was tapping on a drain, the entire bathroom floor fell in. Later, the dryer door was not closing properly so the couple called a local repair company. The person they spoke to told them that they had been to the house before and had told the previous owner that parts were no longer made for that particular dryer. The big problem started when the air conditioning wouldn’t work properly. The service person discovered that there wasn’t a filter in the unit, which caused it to malfunction. The repairman decided to go into the attic to investigate further and discovered thousands of bats that were covering the eves, preventing proper ventilation in the attic. But here’s the nasty part: five 55-gallon containers of bat guano – yes, that’s what you think it is – had to be removed from the attic. The guano had penetrated the insulation and wood in the attic and as a result, Mary developed a rare disease associated with being exposed to bat guano, which destroyed her peripheral vision. The Jones’s sued everyone involved, but some sharp defense lawyers caused them to have to settle for much less than the actual damages. The couple ended up moving out of the house – still making the payments – and living in a house donated by their church.
  11. Henry and Marcia had an unfortunate experience the first time they bought a house. Not only were Henry and Marcia inexperienced, their agent was too. The couple was excited about their first house and closed on the morning of December 12th. As soon as the final papers were signed, Henry and Marcia took some friends over to see the house and discovered disaster. The sellers’ relatives, who were doing the moving, had stripped the entire house of anything they could unscrew or pry off including light bulbs, electrical fixtures (even the plastic covers on the wall switches), curtain rod fixtures, cabinet knobs and all the drawers in the garage work bench. In addition, the seller had siphoned all of the oil out of the fuel tank after the gauge had been read for the closing adjustment. The sellers had replaced the new appliances with older models that didn’t work. The carpet had several large holes in it and the area underneath the sellers’ couch had been completely cut out. Several areas of carpet in the bedrooms had large bleach spots. Many of the windows had broken seals and would need to be replaced.
  12. This horror story comes right out of Lexington, South Carolina. The Turners purchased a home in a very nice subdivision on a heavily wooded lot. The family did not like trees but the house was beautiful and perfect for their needs. About 45 days after closing and moving into the house, the Turners decided to cut down all the trees and landscape and sod the yard. They called in a tree company within a few hours 43 trees had been cut and removed from the yard. Late that afternoon the developer was in the neighborhood checking on a new construction project. When he saw what the Turners had done he was livid. He stopped and informed the Turners in no uncertain terms that the subdivision restrictions prohibited the cutting of any trees unless they were diseased or dead or were a threat to a house. The restrictions further stated that if the homeowner cut down any trees unnecessarily the owner would replace them with trees of similar size. I don’t know if you have checked on the price of mature trees and the planting of them but it is very expensive. The Turners had to spend over 45 thousand dollars to replace what they hated.


Links to where we found these stories:


What’s the moral of the story?

If you want zero surprises, and you want your home buying and/or building experience to be the best, then you have to work with the bestElk Ridge Custom Homes.

People Are Moving Here and It’s Not Stopping


According to one census…

“Clark County has been like a release valve for the Portland metropolitan area.”


In the Southwest corner of Washington State sits Clark County, and in it there are the cities of Vancouver, Camas, and Washougal (just to name a few).

Why did we just name these three towns/cities?


They sit right on the bank of the Columbia River.

And directly across the Columbia River is the city of Portland, Oregon.

Some say that Vancouver is a suburb of Portland, even though they are two different states.

True or not…

They are completely different worlds.


Let’s take the town of Washougal, Washington for example…

There is no other town like it on the Oregon side of the river. People live in Washougal because they have fallen in love with the quaint picturesque town where time has slowed down, but still want to be in the hustle and bustle of a major city (Portland) within a few minutes.


Washougal is also (purposely) where Elk Ridge Custom Homes builds a lot of homes.

Why is that?

Because that is where people want to live. The founder of Elk Ridge lives there too.


But let’s hit you in the pocketbook…

It is cheaper all around to live in Clark County than in the Portland metro-area.

Houses and land are less expensive in Clark County than in the Portland metro-area.

Elk Ridge Custom Homes builds higher quality for a lower cost compared to EVERY other company in the area.


So why not reach for the stars and get what you truly want?

A custom built home that you want and designed, in an area that is so beautiful that you’ll never want to leave, and all for a lower cost than buying a house that’s been previously owned.

Make your dreams happen through Elk Ridge Custom Homes.

Call us today…




Fact…Tornado Did NOT Damage Elk Ridge Properties


An F1 tornado hit our area a few weeks back, and as an area that rarely sees any sort of tornado activity; that is major news and is…well…frightening.

It was big enough to have a category ranking.

We know…

The Midwest probably eats F1’s for breakfast because they have tornados big enough to destroy entire towns.


All joking aside…

No Elk Ridge homes were damaged.


Two reasons…

1. We use quality materials, products, procedures, and techniques; all guaranteed to give your home a very long life. We don’t skimp on anything. Our roofs, for example, will outlast other home’s roofs because we have seen Mother Nature in action, and so we prepare for the worst when we build so that you can have peace of mind and safety during a storm.

2. There wasn’t a lot of Elk Ridge built homes in the area, but even if there was; we would still have the same story. We don’t believe in shortcuts because it can kill someone later. We may joke among each other, but we never joke when it comes to safety and quality.


Zero damage to any of our homes from the tornado, other high winds, and storms. That is a number that we are proud of.


Elk Ridge Custom Homes invests in your family’s future.

You should too…

Call us today…

1-855-225-4636 (toll free)