Skip to main content

Building Rural Dreams on Shared Trust

Loan officer and couple walking through a house under construction

Someplace peaceful. A home tailored to their liking. Space to raise their kids and animals freely. This was the rural dream George Hernandez and Mackenzie Tillery had in mind when they decided to explore building a fully custom homestead to get Closer to What Matters®.

“For us, it came down to the ability to design everything just the way we wanted,” recalled Mackenzie. “And, we knew if we planned to eventually grow our homestead with goats or cattle, we’d need more land.”

As George researched lenders who might be a good fit, he came across the Rural 1st website and reached out. Little did he know he’d hear a familiar voice on the other end of the phone—that of his former classmate and Rural 1st loan officer, Brandye Smith. 

“When I heard her answer, I thought, ‘It can’t be!’” George recounted. “I couldn’t believe it was someone I went to school with. Someone who rode the same bus as me. From then on, I knew I was working with someone I could trust.”

Knowing George and Mackenzie were early in the process, Brandye walked them through their options to ensure they would feel comfortable and informed throughout their journey, from buying to building. After talking it over, the couple decided to go ahead and purchase the land they wanted and wait a bit before construction

However, the variable rate they closed on changed drastically as the housing market intensified and mortgage rates climbed higher. When it came time to begin the build, Brandye proactively saw an opportunity to help George and Mackenzie secure a lower interest rate through the Rural 1st Conversion Program.*

“Conversion is something I tell all my customers about,” Brandye explained. “Through the program, customers can convert their rate once a year for a small fee, potentially saving thousands over the lifetime of their loan. Combined with our one-time close on construction loans, this was a great option for George and Mackenzie.”

From working with their contractor to managing draws online, George and Mackenzie had the support of Brandye and the entire Rural 1st team for the project's duration.

“The whole experience was super easy, and everyone was very accessible throughout, which is exactly what you’d hope for in a lender,” George shared. “We’ve always known what we wanted, but Rural 1st helped us make it happen.”

If you dream of a fully customized rural home like George and Mackenzie, our construction loans may be a great option for you—learn more about all we offer. 

*Provided that eligibility requirements are met. Conversion has a one-time fee of $750.00. Terms and Conditions may apply. The fee is subject to change without notice.

Explore Your Options

Get Started

One of our loan officers will contact you to discuss your financial options.

Inquire Now

Start Your Application

Ready to get started on your loan application? You can complete your application online.

Apply Now

Contact Us

Have questions? You can find what you need on our support page.

Go to Support