Land & Lot Loans in Wisconsin

Land loans give borrowers and first-time homebuyers a way to build a home on their ideal plot of land.

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6 Best Land and Lot Loans in Wisconsin

Key Terms

  • Land loans can make real estate in more expensive areas more accessible than a mortgage loan.
  • Until you build on a lot, you will not need any insurance or PMI like you would with a traditional home mortgage, which means lower monthly payments.
  • In many cases, the purchased land can serve as collateral for an eventual construction loan.

Love the outdoors and like your “big” cities filled with small town charm? Wisconsin can deliver.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Wisconsin has 54,167 square miles of land, ensuring that almost any Wisconsinite can find their ideal corner of the state. 

Homes are getting more expensive, however, even in Wisconsin where the cost of living is still decent. With a land loan, you can purchase a lot in your favorite area and then build a home that you want, instead of settling for a home that’s not quite right or overextending your budget. With the value per acre of land in Wisconsin at $9,924.41, per the New Estimates of Value of Land of the United States, Wisconsinites may well be able to purchase several acres and build for less than it costs to buy a built home.

There’s an added bonus, too. As you pay off your land loan, the equity in your acreage can help you take out a Wisconsin construction loan, making for an easy way forward to your ideal home. 

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How land loans work in Wisconsin

Saving for a down payment is often one of the most difficult aspects of buying a home these days. You begin saving, but as you get closer to your goal, prices change, and you must save even more. Sometimes it feels like you’ll never save enough money to buy your first home – or even a vacation home!

A land loan changes the game slightly because the down payments are often low compared to mortgages, and, of course, vacant land is less expensive. So you can buy the lot you want in the neighborhood you want now without worrying that it will be out of your price range in a few years.

Obtaining a land loan and purchasing vacant land in Wisconsin also means you’ll never have to compromise and get a home you don’t adore. When you’re ready to start building, you can customize your home to your specific needs. So it’ll be exactly what you’ve always desired— yes, a dream home. 

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6 Best Wisconsin land loan lenders

If you’re ready to learn more about the best land loan lenders in Wisconsin, here are the top options we’ve found through our research.

1. RIPCO Credit Union

RIPCO Credit Union serves the Rhinelander and Eagle River areas of Wisconsin with a number of financial services to help meet members’ needs for anything. RIPCO Credit Union offers products when it comes to loans for purchases of vacant land, improved land, and land with a mobile home.

We asked RIPCO Credit Union for more details on their vacant land loan product and here is what they said:

  • Vacant land loans with no structures are eligible.
  • Improved land loans where the land has some type of structure, such as a barn or cabin, are available.
  • Land with a mobile home also available.

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer, use our form to quickly match with land and lot loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

2. UW Credit Union

Based out of Madison, Wisconsin, UW Credit Union serves the Madison and Milwaukee areas as well as Green Bay, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Stevens Point, and Whitewater. UW Credit Union has many banking and financing products to meet its customers’ needs, including credit cards, mobile banking, personal loans and savings accounts, home equity lines of credit and land financing for home building.

We reached out to UW Credit Union to discuss land loan FAQs, which you can read about below:

  • Lot loans allow you to purchase an undeveloped parcel of land.
  • Get a fixed interest rate for three years with potential rate adjustments every 6 months thereafter.
  • Maximum loan amount of $647,250.
  • 20% down payment required.
  • Land must be zoned for residential use, with a maximum lot size of 20 acres.

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer, use our form to quickly match with land and lot loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

3. Vacation Property Loans

Vacation Loan Properties is a part of Northview Bank and offers a number of real estate loans and services for people in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Most of what Vacation Loan Properties has to offer are loans for bare land, development, lake lot loans, hunting land loans, and log home loans, among others.

We reached out to Vacation Property Loans to discuss land loan rates, which you can read about below:

  • Bare land loans available
  • Recreational land loans available (for hunting or development)
  • Down payment of 35% required for recreational land loans.

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer, use our form to quickly match with land and lot loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

4. Summit Credit Union

Summit Credit Union is based out of Madison, Wisconsin, and looks to provide its members with the financial products and services they need. Summit Credit Union offers a variety of products with competitive rates to its customers, including home equity loans, construction loans, lot loans, and land loans for all property types.

We reached out to Summit Credit Union to discuss land loan details, which you can read about below:

  • Lot loans available for up to a maximum of 10 acres
  • Lot loans offer adjustable-rate mortgage rates
  • Land loans available for up to 125 acres
  • Can be used for hunting, recreational or other purposes

 When you’re ready to connect with a mortgage loan officer, use our form to quickly match with land and lot loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

5. Capitol Bank

In 1995 Capitol Bank was founded to serve the Madison area of Wisconsin with a variety of banking and lending services to meet the needs of property owners. One of the options offered by Capitol Bank is land loans for the purchase of a property to develop.

We reached out to Capitol Bank to discuss land loan details, which you can read about below:

  • Only available for people looking to build / new construction at some future date
  • Local lenders and underwriters.
  • Only available in select areas of Wisconsin.

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer, use our form to quickly match with land and lot loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

6. Governmental Employees Credit Union

Governmental Employees Credit Union opened its doors in 1931. This not-for-profit and member-owned credit union offer a range of loan options, including refinancing, online banking, land and lot loans. It provides services to those who live and work in La Crosse County as a federal, state or city government employees.

We reached out to a loan officer at Governmental Employees Credit Union to discuss the land loan details, which we’ve included here:

  • Rate terms customized to project
  • 10% down payment required
  • 20-year maximum term

When you’re ready to connect with a loan officer and start your loan application, use our form to quickly match with land and lot loan programs based on your specific circumstances.

Is a Wisconsin home land loan right for you?

If you need to buy a house quickly, a land loan is probably not the way to go. When you choose a lot or land loan, you will be constructing a home from the ground up, which can take months, if not years, in some cases. If you need to get settled quickly, this is most likely not the best avenue.

However, if you want the freedom to choose the exact home you want and are ready and able to spend the time and hard work to get the job done, you can get everything you want in a home, while saving money.

When it comes to purchasing property, land and lot loans aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, they are an excellent, creative approach to home ownership for first-time homebuyers and seasoned homebuyers alike. Given the current state of the housing market, going with a lot loan is becoming an increasingly appealing option for many Wisconsin residents.

Looking for a land or lot loan in a different state?

If you want to find the best land and lot loans in other states, click on your state below.

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Joshua Holt is a licensed mortgage loan originator (NMLS #2306824) and founder of Biglaw Investor. His mortgage expertise lies in the areas of professional mortgage loans, particularly for lawyers, doctors and other high-income professionals. Prior to Biglaw Investor, Josh practiced private equity mergers & acquisition law for one of the largest law firms in the country.

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