Commercial Loans Blog

Commercial Construction Loans and Raising Equity

Posted by George Blackburne on Sat, Jun 9, 2018

Apartment ConstructionNinety percent of all commercial construction loans that are turned down are rejected because the developer lacked sufficient equity in the deal.  In the parlance of commercial real estate finance, he didn't have enough skin in the game.


Need Equity Dollars?

Are you a real estate developer?  Are you trying to build a project right now?  My name is George Blackburne III, and I'm the attorney that owns both C-Loans.com and CommercialMortgage.com.  I also own Blackburne & Sons, the $50 million hard money commercal mortgage company that I founded almost forty years ago.

If you need help raising equity dollars, I am available for consultation at the rate of $375 per hour, with a minimum of only $100.  I consult three times per week at precisely 1:30 p.m. ET on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  Please call my son, Tom Blackburne, at 574-210-6686 to set up a consultation


 

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Commercial construction loans can be pretty risky.  You have the risk of cost overruns.  About twenty-five years ago I was financing a deal, and the lumber costs soared by 40% in a single week. You have the risk that the workers will go out on strike.  Labor is getting harder and harder to find these days, and I predict that you will see more and more labor slowdowns, as workers demand higher pay.

You also have the political risk that some government employee could put some last minute kibosh on the project.  Think of that poor developer who discovered that he was excavating into an ancient Indian burial ground; or perhaps the City Council increases the parking requirement at the last moment.  Then there is construction risk.  Imagine a crane falling or dropping an expensive beam.

 

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Then you have marketing risk.  Are the condo's that are you are building going to sell at their projected sales prices?  Is your new office space going to lease at your pro forma rents?  Let's face it, a million thing can, and do, go wrong on commercial construction projects.

As a result, banks are demanding a ton of equity in their construction deals.  During the go-go days before the Dot Com Meltdown, banks were making commercial construction loans of 90% loan-to-cost.  Many got slaughtered when commercial real estate collapsed by 45% after the dot-com stocks melted down.

 

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Eight years later, after the commercial real estate market recovered, banks were making commercial construction loans of 80% loan-to-cost.  Then the Subprime Mortgage Crisis struck, and banks once again got slaughtered in commercial construction lending.

In the wake of the Great Recession, banks regulators really clamped down on commercial construction lending.  Loan-to-cost ratios in excess of 70% were strongly discouraged.  Requiring the developer to contribute 30% of the Total Cost of a development project is a deal killer.  Commercial construction has never recovered to pre-crash levels.

 

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The good news is that a few banks - much less than half the banks - are once again making construction loans up to 80% loan-to-cost.  This still requires that the developer contribute a whopping 20% of the total cost of the project.  The good news is that under the JOBS Act, it is much easier to raise equity dollars these days.

 

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Need Equity Dollars?

Are you a real estate developer?  Are you trying to build a project right now?  My name is George Blackburne III, and I'm the attorney that owns both C-Loans.com and CommercialMortgage.com.  I also own Blackburne & Sons, the $50 million hard money commercal mortgage company that I founded almost forty years ago.

If you need help raising equity dollars, I am available for consultation at the rate of $375 per hour, with a minimum of only $100.  I consult three times per week at precisely 1:30 p.m. ET on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  Please call my son, Tom Blackburne, at 574-210-6686 to set up a consultation


 

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Topics: Construction loan equity