It will always take twice as long and cost twice as much

The saying about renovations is true – take your budget and timeline and double it, because that is exactly how much it will cost and how long it will take.  It’s not that someone might not plan properly or not know what they are doing (although both can be a problem) but has more to do with the unknown.  Renovating a property as opposed to building a brand new one may seem like a cheaper option upfront but as you get into it you realize two things:  1) there are problems you will encounter that you could not have foreseen and 2) those unforeseen problems will cost you more money than you budgeted for and will mean you need more time to finish the work. Continue reading “It will always take twice as long and cost twice as much”

$9,000 almost cost a client their new construction home

It doesn’t happen often but sometimes we get to the last days of a deal when all of the pieces can be broken a part by one small unforeseen change. Recently we helped a client purchased a newly constructed townhouse with a well known builder who at the last moment had one of these unforeseen changes happen. The client needed a mortgage that was equal to 80% of the purchase price and had the remaining 20% in cash as their down payment. One of the items the bank had requested was an appraisal Continue reading “$9,000 almost cost a client their new construction home”

CASE STUDY – Build a restaurant and they will come

I am just wrapping up a construction mortgage for a group of folks that are opening a second restaurant in Calgary, Alberta.  There are several things that make this transaction unique from other conventional commercial mortgages I broker and advise on – the cost of construction and the single use of the building. Continue reading “CASE STUDY – Build a restaurant and they will come”

CASE STUDY: Construction complete on an infill

A small home builder approached us to replace the financing that he used to construct two infill properties that are now listed for sale. The construction mortgages were interest only
payments and open for repayment at anytime without penalty. The properties are going to be listed for sale and given the amount of equity the builder has in both properties we arranged no income qualifying 1 year open mortgages that will allow him to sell the properties and repay the replacement mortgages with no penalty. The interest rates on the replacement mortgages are very competitive and the fees were less than 1.0%.

Construction financing has been hard to find over the past several years however recently lenders are coming forward to offer construction financing to strong borrower who can demonstrate real equity and personal net worth. Once construction is completed, mortgages can now be put in place with a growing list of lenders who are comfortable lending to a certain percentage of value and loan size.

If you have a construction mortgage that you would like us to review, please email or visit