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Construction Loans

Construction loans typically require interest-only payments during construction and become due upon completion. Completion for homeowners means that the house has its certificate of occupancy.

Construction loans are usually variable-rate loans priced at a spread to the prime rate or some other short-term interest rate. You, the contractor and the lender establish a draw schedule based on stages of construction, and interest is charged on the amount of money disbursed to date.

Another variable in construction loans is how much of the project cost the lender is willing to lend. If you already own the land, then that can be considered as equity on the construction loan.

Many homeowners use construction-to-permanent financing programs where the construction loan is converted to a mortgage loan after the certificate of occupancy is issued. The advantage is that you only have to have one application and one closing.Depending on your view on interest rate trends, you could also purchase a rate-lock agreement valid through the expected completion of the construction. Just make sure you allow for the inevitable construction delays.