Construction loans are a confusing issue, a Frankenstein of sorts among real estate financing, as they usually come in the form of two loans in one. The first covers the cost of construction while the other loan is a long-term, conventional-type mortgage. You risk less when you have refinancing built as part of your loan package.
Let us call the ideal form of construction financing “short to perm.”
You have the option to get a loan that purely covers the cost of construction, but a short to perm loan with refinancing is better. Many articles on the internet cite vague, if not trivial benefits in the case of short to perm loans. Some of these benefits include you only need to pay closing costs once, which results in lower loan fees. Some talk up the fact that with refinancing built into your loan package your interest rate is locked in.
These are all nice benefits when it comes to short to perm loans. But it’s safe to say loan fees are a minor expense in the context of a construction project. Also if you think about it, how likely are interest rates going to go up drastically throughout a 6-month construction project? Barring an economic meltdown, it is unlikely that this is going to happen.
The real advantage of having refinancing built into your loan package is that it protects you from risk should your project face an unexpected disaster, after construction finishes.
Say a developer gets a single short-term construction loan. He aims to construct a post-modern apartment building complete with a pool a gym, a sauna, and all sorts of other yuppie amenities. The initial monthly rent offered is pretty high as a result of all these features. After construction ends, potential tenants fret over the $2,000 initial rent, but this is the absolute lowest rent he can offer to break even and maintain all those shiny amenities.
Before his loan comes due his beautiful apartment complex lingers at roughly 15 percent occupancy, and bank after bank denies him the opportunity to refinance for this reason. The initial lender who financed his construction calls his loan, and he’ll have to pay the full balance himself, and we can only hope this didn’t ruin him.
If our developer had refinancing worked into his initial loan, his project would still suffer as a result of low occupancy, and yes he’d still have a loan to pay. But by securing refinancing ahead of time, he would have time to maneuver and secure more tenants. Instead, he had to make a massive balloon payment to pay off his construction loan, without much in the way of additional money coming in.
In short, the main benefit of a short-term construction loan with refinancing built is that it assures you that you’ll be covered if things don’t work out according to plan.
Level 4 Funding LLC
Arizona Tel: (623) 582-4444
Texas Tel: (512) 516-1177
NMLS 1057378 | AZMB 0923961 | MLO 1057378
22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112 | Phoenix | AZ | 85027
111 Congress Ave | Austin | Texas | 78701
About: Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 40 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 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 40 years.
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