Construction loans present a risk to both borrowers and lenders. As a borrower, you don't have any assurance that your project will go according to plan and your lender has nothing to fall back on besides a hole in the ground and the sky above it if you default. For these reasons, construction financing is distributed piecemeal in the form of draws as construction proceeds.
The draw process has all sorts of exciting risk factors to building projects, the main one being that you have to have a plan and stick to it.
Because construction financing is given out in stages, you as a borrower need to do everything in your power not to divert from your initial budget. Any diversion on your part and you might not have enough money to finish your project. If you don't stick to your budget, disaster might be around the corner, as the following purely hypothetical scenario will clearly illustrate.
What not to do when it comes to construction loans
Our borrower is in the middle of building his dream home: a glass box perched over a beach. He's had a clear budget thus far, but he feels the initial 5 x 5, floor-to-ceiling windows won't adequately capture the view, so he orders, new 20 x 5 windows which have to be shipped from Italy and cost $20,000 apiece. No matter; he ignores the pleas of his grumbling architect who now has to reframe that whole section of the house to accommodate the new windows. "There's enough in the budget this month," the borrower says, and he is right about that, to a point.
Construction proceeds over the next few months as only a bit of minor work is needed, but then, sure enough when it comes time to install the drywall, our poor builder can't afford the cost of installation.
He asks his lender to increase his loan balance because he just needed to have those new windows, but it's safe to say the lender rejects his request for more money. Work ceases on his glass villa. Until he can get another loan, the house will remain empty and unfinished. Worse yet, he's still on the hook to pay the loan for his unfinished dream home.
The best way to risk less when it comes to construction loans is to stick to your budget.
The above story may seem far-fetched, but such situations are not uncommon. If you change your mind on a whim in the middle of construction, you can run out of money and your lender might not agree to give you more.
Do yourself a favor and have a plan and stick to it, unlike our hypothetical builder. Cost overruns are inevitable in any construction project. Most reasonable lenders are willing to work out some contingency if an unforeseen expense comes up, but few lenders are going to give you more money just because changed your mind on a whim. Staying as close to budget as possible is the best possible way to ensure you will have the funds needed to complete your construction project.
Level 4 Funding LLC
Private Hard Money Lender
Arizona Tel: (623) 582-4444
Texas Tel: (512) 516-1177
Dennis Dahlberg Broker/RI/CEO
NMLS 1057378 | AZMB 0923961 | MLO 1057378
22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112 | Phoenix | AZ | 85027
111 Congress Ave | Austin | Texas | 78701
About the Author: Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 44 years. He purchased his first property when he was just 18 years old. He quickly learned about the amazing investment opportunities provided by trust deed investing and hard money loans. His desire to help others make money in real estate investing led him to specialize in alternative funding for real estate investors who may have trouble getting a traditional bank loan. Dennis is passionate about alternative funding sources and sharing his knowledge with others to help make their dreams come true. Dennis has been married to his wonderful wife for 43 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters and 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 43 years.