Construction Loans: The Dangers of Going off Budget

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Construction Loans: The Dangers of Going off Budget

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 you have to have a plan, and you have to 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 five by five floor to ceiling windows won’t adequately capture the view. So he orders, new 20×5 windows which have to be shipped from Italy and cost 20 K 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,” 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, “but what about the budget we agreed to?” they ask him.”Umm, well those windows were just so amazing, I had to have them,” 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 or shall we say nightmare, 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. No doubt cost overruns are an 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.



Dennis Dahlber Broker Ri CEO Level 4 Funding LLC
Dennis Dahlberg

Broker/RI/CEO/MLO

Level 4 Funding LLC 
Hard Money Lender

Hard Money Loans

Hard Money Loan

Arizona Tel:  (623) 582-4444

Texas Tel:      (512) 516-1177

Dennis@level4funding.com

Dennis Dahlberg Broker/RI/CEO


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22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112 | Phoenix | AZ | 85027

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About the Author:  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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