How to Get a Development Loan: Ultimate Guide

Development Loan

There are several sources to finance a real estate business, but the most popular of them all are listed below:

  1. Traditional Loans
  2. Private Lenders
  3. Venture Capitalists
  4. Angel investors
  5. Small business administration loans
  6. Real estate crowdfunding
  7. Microloans
  8. Hard money lenders
  9. Home equity loans and lines of credit
  10. Money partners
  11. Commercial loans

Many people want to get into real estate investing but are hesitant to make the plunge. These individuals are prepared to quit their nine-to-five jobs in order to live a life of financial independence. They still aren’t aware of the funding options for a real estate company. Many people believe it is impossible to begin without their own money. However, this argument is untrue.

There are several ways to finance a real estate business without using your own money. Not only are there real estate development loans, but there are plenty of private lenders out there willing to take a risk on your business. Consider property development loans if you are desperately trying to quit your job to become a successful entrepreneur.

This article will show you the Best Real Estate Development Loans, 6 Tips For Getting Property Development Loans, and Eleven Real Estate Funding Sources.

What Are Real Estate Development Loans?

Real estate development loans are capital advances given to borrowers who require money to start a project, pay for construction, and hold the finished product through the leasing phase. Investors typically use real estate development financing to either purchase undeveloped land on which to later construct a building or demolish an existing structure in order to construct a new one.

4 Types of Real Estate Development Loans

The most popular types of real estate development loans include, but are not limited to:

  1. Acquisition Loans
  2. Development Loans
  3. Acquisition And Development Loans
  4. Construction Loans

Acquisition Loans

Acquisition loans are used specifically to finance the purchase of undeveloped land, as their names imply. Loans for acquisition are frequently used to purchase undeveloped land. Even though they are common, acquisition loans offer little flexibility and frequently require additional loans to continue developing the land. This provides the least amount of freedom among the real estate development loans made available to investors.

Development Loans

Borrowers might require a loan to proceed with any plans if they want to develop the land they recently bought. To do just that, development loans are typically borrowed. To make improvements to the land, borrowers will take out development loans. By obtaining a development loan, you can level your property, construct roads, and install water lines. Additionally, it takes development loans to turn undeveloped land into a building site.

Acquisition and Development Loans

It’s not uncommon for borrowers to want to buy undeveloped land and develop it simultaneously. Acquisition and development loans, thankfully, are available for just such a situation. These loans give borrowers the ability to purchase undeveloped land and turn it into a building site, as their names would imply. This loan is the most flexible of the ones offered for real estate development.

Construction Loans

Construction loans are used to finance the construction or renovation of a specific real estate project, which is not surprising. According to Links Financial, “it differs from other loans in that the developer receives the money in monthly draws as development progresses rather than in one lump sum at the beginning of the project. As you take out more money from the loan, your monthly payments rise.”

How to Get a Development Loan

For those looking to embark on a development project, such as the construction of a new development or the completion of significant renovation work, property development loans are a type of short-term financing option.

This type of financing is only available to those who are buying land or a piece of property with the intention of developing it, not for minor repairs to property or for long-term land or new home purchases. Other loans or mortgages might be appropriate if you’re looking for a way to finance any other property-related investment.

What You Need to Apply for a Property Development Loan

Most loans of this kind are obtained for terms ranging from 6 to 24 months. Because this loan has a short-term, the funding will be determined by the project’s viability and potential profitability.

Before providing the developer with financing to finish the project, lenders typically want to see that the borrower has a solid track record and experience in the type of work they intend to carry out.

Nevertheless, even developers with little to no experience can still apply for this type of financing. However, they may need to provide the lender with additional security, such as by hiring professionals, such as architects, project managers, and professional builders, to name a few, to help with the project and reassure it is in good hands. Additionally, you must show that you have the necessary resources to contribute to the project if needed.

You will likely be asked to provide evidence before you can be approved for developer finance, this evidence can include:

  • the cost of purchasing the property, including any applicable legal and/or stamp duties.
  • a complete breakdown of all the expenses that are anticipated to be incurred over the course of the construction or renovation project, as well as the overall anticipated cost.
  • The final value you anticipate from the project (also referred to as the GDV: Gross Development Value) and the project’s potential yield (for instance, if you’re building a building of apartments to rent out, what are your expectations for the rental income?)
  • a backup strategy in case something goes wrong with the project.
  • the project’s plans or drawings, along with information on the goals you have for it.
  • a deadline by which you hope to finish the work. This ought to cover any potential delays, emergency plans to be implemented, and various work phases that will be finished.
  • Information about any relevant experience you may have as well as the credentials and complete information about your team.
  • Evidence that any necessary building regulations are being followed as well as that the project has received planning permission. Moreover, any limitations, Section 106 requirements, or Community Infrastructure Levy limitations should be mentioned here.
  • Information on your plan for getting out of the loan early, in case issues arise. This could include plans to sell the property or refinance.

How Do You Access Property Development Finance?

A number of programs or private avenues allow you to apply for financing for property development. You may occasionally need expert assistance, such as that of a mortgage adviser.

Make sure you do your research into the type of development you are attempting and are not rushing in without the full picture. Developers have occasionally used loans to obtain planning approval, but doing so can be risky because it can take a while for approval, lengthening the loan’s term. Sometimes, a request for planning permission is outright denied, which immediately puts a stop to plans!

Lenders value experience as well, so you are much more likely to be accepted if you can demonstrate that you have worked on a project of a similar nature in the past. You must demonstrate your expertise if you are a novice developer. If you want the project to be taken seriously, maybe you’ll even put some of your own money into it. Keep in mind that private property finance organizations have different requirements than high street lenders.

Be honest about your project’s timeline and the resources you have at your disposal. While it’s important to carefully fill out the paperwork, under or overfunding a project can cause significant problems in the future. While still making room for unforeseen circumstances and additional costs, it’s critical to be as accurate as you can.

As you can see, obtaining development financing for construction projects can be challenging and time-consuming. But regardless of whether you need financing for commercial real estate or want to renovate your own home, we hope this article has made your options a little bit clearer. Please feel free to leave a comment and forward this article to your friends if you liked it.

What is the Capital Stack?

The various layers of financing that go into a project are known as the capital stack. The use of multiple sources of funding when acquiring a deal is customary, if not expected, in the real estate sector. The capital stack that results from each loan has more senior debt at the bottom and funding sources with a higher priority at the top. The capital stack in financing is made up of common equity, preferred equity, mezzanine debt, and senior debt.

The highest priority but lowest risk debt is usually found at the bottom of the capital stack, or senior debt. Usually, the collateral for these loans is real estate. The debt with the lowest priority or greatest risk is common equity, which is listed first. Only after the remaining capital stack has been paid off are these loans paid back. The main purpose of this idea is to order the various financing options used in real estate transactions.

Read more: What Increases Your Total Loan Balance? – 6 Causes

11 Real Estate Funding Sources

There are several sources to finance a real estate business, but the most popular of them all are listed below:

  1. Traditional Loans: Traditional loans are the kind that you would get from a bank or another institutional lender. In an effort to stay competitive, they have fairly low-interest rates. However, their underwriting is extensive, and their lengths are frequently long. The majority of conventional loans have terms of 15 to 30 years or longer and an interest rate that is in the neighborhood of 4%.
  2. Private Lenders: Anyone with capital and the desire to invest it can become a private lender. To put it another way, a private lender could be anyone, including a close friend or someone you met at a networking event. As their names imply, private lenders lend money for profit rather than because they are institutionalized or have a license to do so. Private lenders typically have more flexible terms and will lend for shorter periods of time but at a cost of an interest rate of between 12 and 15 percent.
  3. Venture Capitalists: High-net-worth individuals or businesses are known as venture capitalists, and they often invest in startups that have the potential to succeed. Although venture capitalists are more selective than traditional small-business lenders and frequently willing to lend much more money, getting their approval can be challenging.
  4. Angel investors: Angel investors are typically wealthy people who contribute money to start-up businesses in return for convertible debt or ownership equity. Although it’s important to keep in mind that an angel investor’s funds aren’t technically a loan, they do have a reputation for taking on greater risk. The funds signify the purchase of a piece of the company.
  5. Small business administration loans: The government offers a variety of packages for small business administration loans. Small business loans have a wide range of options, but they can be time-consuming to apply for and take a while to be approved.
  6. Real estate crowdfunding: Crowdfunding for real estate entails combining funds from numerous individuals and sources. The use of crowdsourcing is on the rise and can give recipients flexible terms.
  7. Microloans: Small business owners are eligible for microloans up to $50,000, though most people accept much less. Small business loans are frequently simpler to obtain than traditional loans due to their smaller size, but there is a chance that the loan won’t meet all of your needs.
  8. Hard money lenders: Although they may have a license to lend money, hard money lenders are not institutionalized. Usually, their loans have brief terms and are leveraged against the relevant asset. Although the interest rates on hard money loans are high—often hovering around 12 percent—they can provide borrowers with quick access to capital.
  9. Home equity loans and lines of credit: Home equity loans and lines of credit, also known as HELOCs, are a form of revolving credit, similar to a credit card. But with home equity loans, your home’s equity is used as security.
  10. Money partners: Money partners are exactly that: people you might collaborate with because they have access to funding. If you don’t have access to capital, it might be in your best interest to partner with someone who does; this person is referred to as a money partner.
  11. Commercial loans: Investing in commercial real estate is made possible by commercial loans. Commercial loans are long-term, similar to traditional loans. Commercial loans typically have low-interest rates to reduce the risk of default. As a result, getting a commercial loan approved might be more difficult.

It’s easier than you might think to begin investing in real estate. If you’ve selected your area of concentration, i.e., single-family homes, apartments, commercial real estate, etc. – and your preferred exit strategy – i.e., flipping, buy and hold, or wholesaling – all that is left is finding the capital to fund your first deal. Understanding real estate financing is crucial because it is what will enable you to make your plans a reality. Several lending sources are made available to those who are willing to put in the work, which is why “I don’t know how to finance a real estate business” is no longer an excuse to avoid investing.

Development Loan

Alternatives for Small Business

There are numerous options available for small businesses looking for financing. If you own a growing company and need to keep reinvesting returns, check out the following alternatives:

  • Private Placement: The business would act as the project sponsor in a private placement, which is essentially a real estate syndication. In this scenario, investors are given access to an unregistered securities offering. The aim is to increase the current project’s equity.
  • Build-to-Suit: Build-to-suit means just what it says on the tin. A commercial project is created and constructed with the end user in mind, after which it is managed by an investor who handles the financing. In return, the operating company consents to sign a lengthy lease. In a build-to-suit arrangement, the company gains long-term access to a custom-built space even though they do not technically own the property.
  • Sale-Leaseback: A sale-leaseback is a potential third choice. In this scenario, a property is sold to an investor and leased back to the company. The business won’t ultimately own the property, much like a build-to-suit arrangement. However, the proceeds from the sale can be used to fund a brand-new construction endeavor.

Read more: How Can You Reduce Your Total Loan Cost? Top Effective Ways

6 Tips for Getting Property Development Loans

For novices, acquiring capital for real estate development might prove challenging. Because of the high crash rate for real estate development, only seasoned developers can easily get loans. Follow these suggestions to help you overcome to difficulties of gaining real estate development loans:

  1. Acquire Credibility: To be trusted with a loan for real estate development, you should work to gain the experience you need. You can achieve this by working for a reputable real estate developer, who will then lend you credibility.
  2. Find A Partner: If you already have some of the money, partners may be helpful. They will be able to co-finance with you if you can find a developer to work with.
  3. Develop An Attractive Plan: A project plan that is appealing can make it simpler to obtain financing for property development. Beginning developers typically consider small residential projects with one or two homes. Getting a loan for property development can take several months. The property you want might, in some cases, have already been sold by the time you receive a loan. Consider identifying several different properties that you might be interested in. You should do your research when creating a plan regarding zoning restrictions, access easements, utility easements, and other unique conditions.
  4. Do Your Research: An extensive amount of information about your project will increase the likelihood that potential lenders will grant you a real estate development loan. Prepare any building cost estimates, including materials, labor, overhead, and profit, by conducting market research in your area to determine accurate sales prices.
  5. Practice Your Pitch: Last but not least, start practicing your pitch once all of your planning is finished. Take everything you’ve learned and present it in a confident, succinct, and convincing manner. Any inquiries about the price or the property itself should be met with a prepared response. Your lenders will be more willing to offer you a property development loan if you can give them as much information as you can on the spot.
  6. Keep Costs Low: Maintaining low project costs is important when obtaining loans for real estate development. Your profits will be higher the lower your costs are. Low development costs are advantageous for both you and any potential equity investors. If you are applying for a bank loan for property development, you should also keep costs to a minimum. Funding for projects with lower costs has consistently proven to be easier to come by. When banks lend money, they take into account two figures: the percentage of your total projected cost and the percentage of your total projected value after the project is finished. You’ll want to keep initial costs as low as possible because it’s very challenging to repay this debt while the project is still being developed. Banks will be stern if anything goes wrong.

Best Real Estate Development Loans

It’s critical to consider costs, eligibility requirements, approval times, and other factors when looking for the best real estate funding sources. To make sure they select the best financing option for the circumstances at hand, aspiring investors should carefully examine any factors involved in obtaining real estate development loans. The following list of real estate development loans is a great place to start:

  • US Bank: As they permit investors to borrow up to 80% of the property value, loans made available by US Bank are a fantastic choice. Their loans may have fixed or variable interest rates, and the repayment period may be up to 25 years.
  • Wells Fargo: One of the biggest funding sources for real estate in the nation is Wells Fargo. When working with Wells Fargo, investors might discover that they can receive funds in as little as four to six weeks. In comparison to other financing sources, they also give less consideration to the borrowers’ credit.
  • JP Morgan Chase: Each year, JP Morgan Chase offers real estate loans to a number of investors, concentrating on different property types like multi-family and mixed-use. The fast application and approval procedure is one of the main advantages of working with this loan provider.
  • Liberty SBF: For investors looking to borrow up to 90% of the value of the property, this lender is a great choice. Their flexible loans typically come in three parts from a combination of traditional lenders, development companies, and your own down payment.
  • SmartBiz: Based on the unique needs of the borrower, SmartBiz attempts to match investors and loan providers. Even though the requirements for their loans can be more stringent than those of other loan providers, investors looking for quick financing find their loans to be the most appealing.

4 Stages of Real Estate Development

When examining a typical development process, real estate development is divided into 4 stages. The first step is picking the ideal location and buying the land you’ll be using for your development. The next step is to begin planning your development and obtain the licenses and permits needed to start construction on the property. The project’s development and construction are started as the third step. The development’s operation as you had intended must begin after construction is completed.

Funding for Real Estate Investing: Which Will You Choose?

You must examine your strengths before attempting to secure financing for real estate development. The aforementioned options are typically available, but before choosing one, you must fully understand what you’re getting into.

Any lender will want to hear certain things, regardless of the type of financing or development loan you pursue. Be honest when you present the figures and let them know what to anticipate. Your timeline, your anticipated profit, the required loan amount, when they can anticipate seeing a return, and how involved you want them to be are all things that lenders will want to know.

In any meeting with a potential lender, it’s crucial to project confidence, but it’s more crucial to be open and gracious. Remember, the lender is helping you. They are still taking a risk even though they will profit if the deal works out as you hope it will. Be prepared to discuss your portfolio and respond to any inquiries from lenders.

What Can You Get Toward Your Property Development?

It is imperative to have all the information mentioned above before applying because the size and scope of the project will significantly influence the funding you are able to obtain for your development. This gives the lender a clear understanding of what you’re proposing so they can ensure their terms are suitable for the job.

Lenders will typically offer development finance options between 70 and 80% of the project’s total cost, which includes the cost of the land and construction money.

As a result, the developer will need to come up with 20 to 30 percent of the financing on their own. However, if the developer owns multiple properties, he or she may be able to offer security in the form of a commercial mortgage, which may be used in place of cash if necessary.

If the land hasn’t yet been purchased, these conditions can be changed.

For instance, a lender might offer to finance 100% of the building costs and 70% of the purchase price for the land, up to a maximum Loan to GDV of 65-80%, depending on the lender and the scale of the development.

How Does Repayment Work?

Development loans are typically provided on an interest-only basis and have a fixed repayment schedule. The interest is added to the loan and is due in full when it is paid off. “Exit” of a development loan usually occurs when the property is sold and the loan, plus interest and any fees, is repaid to the lender. Unlike a typical mortgage, which requires a monthly payment, this one does not. Therefore, those who are undertaking development projects that might not be profitable until sale may find that development loans are advantageous.

Lenders will only provide a development finance option, it is obvious if they are certain the project will bring in enough profit and interim revenue. A lender won’t offer to fund if they’re uncertain they’ll get their money back, so they must also believe the project is feasible.


A real estate transaction’s financing requires a lot of work. In fact, there are several real estate development loans designed to help buyers in every situation. If nothing else, the loan options offered to borrowers suggest that everyone’s needs vary. As a result, borrowers must compare offers to ensure they are getting the best loan.


Is a Lack of Funds Keeping You from Investing in Real Estate? Don’t Let It!

Finding funding for real estate deals is a challenge that many new investors encounter. The goal of our brand-new online real estate course, taught by seasoned investor Than Merrill, is to get you started understanding the various financing options available to investors as well as the most successful real estate investing techniques currently in use.

How to Get 100% Development Finance?

To get a 100% development finance deal, most lenders will want you to secure the loan against another property, more than one property, or valuable assets you own and hold sufficient equity in. With these criteria met, getting capital with no deposit may be possible

How Can I Invest 50k into Property UK?

  1. Step 1: Select Off-Plan Real Estate. The ideal starting point for any investor is an off-plan property located in the city center.
  2. Find the ideal location.
  3. Research the location’s capital growth and rental yield.
  4. Work With A Property Investment Company.