Home Construction Loans
By: Kevin Adelsberg
You've found the perfect piece of land for your dream home. Now, you've got to find a way to get your plans off the ground. Because of the risks involved in letting a builder finance home construction, many financial planners recommend taking out a special home construction loan.
You can maximize your savings by shopping for a lender that can provide you with a combination loan. The combination loan starts as a construction loan. During this phase, your lender cuts checks to your builder and their subcontractors as they successfully reach significant steps in the building process. Once your home nears completion, your lender activates a traditional mortgage. The new loan pays off your construction loan and rolls the remainder into the assessed value of the new property.
The first way a combination loan can save you money is by eliminating a second set of closing costs. By handling both deals simultaneously, you save yourself and your lenders considerable time and money, savings that lenders are happy to pass along in the form of preferred rates.
Many banks let the commercial side of their business handle construction loans, while the consumer division oversees the mortgages. Therefore, the best place for you to start your hunt for the best deal is with the branch manager of the banks with offices in your area.
Unlike traditional mortgages that can be handled over the phone or the Internet, construction loans require significant local oversight. Fortunately, commercial lenders enjoy the opportunity to plant more roots in their communities. In fact, the commercial banker handling your quote for the construction loan may be able to pull strings to get you a more competitive quote for your eventual mortgage.
When shopping for construction loans, understand that the commercial lender will charge a much larger administration fee to compensate for the step-by-step management of your building process. Sometimes, you can expect to pay three, four, or five points (percentage points of your home's value) as a fee to the bank. Considering the amount of work involved in communicating with builders and subcontractors, most administration fees actually pay for themselves by freeing up your own valuable time.
As an incentive to keep all of your business under the same roof, many banks will actually rebate much of your commercial loan's administration fee when the time comes to roll it over into the mortgage. You may receive a personal mortgage with no points, or you may even receive rebate points that you can apply to the principal.
Throughout your planning process, involve local banking professionals and ask your builder about positive experiences they have enjoyed on past projects with your contender lenders.