Land loans, unlike mortgage loans, are provided solely for the purpose of acquiring land on which to build a new home. Land is a finite quantity anywhere you go and in todays world it is at a premium because there is only so much to go around. Finding an appropriate lot for a home can be on the level of difficulty of finding an affordable loan for land. Financing can also be more difficult if the borrower intends to wait for more than a few months to build on the property because it adds to the perceived risk if the lot turns out to not be suitable for the building without major work done on the land.
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Land loans are consistently perceived to be of greater risks by lenders. The lenders require great detail about the proposed home that will be built because they want to be sure that the sale price of the home where it will be located isnt less than the original loan amount. For this reason, lending institutions that are far away geographically from the land lot will often not make the loan on the basis of knowing very little about the property and the property values of the surrounding area.
It is not uncommon for land loans to carry an interest rate that is a few points higher because of the added risk. For this reason it is sensible to make a sizable down payment on the land loan because it will be rolled into a single mortgage with your construction loan once the property is finished. Because land is often snatched up quickly once it becomes available it pays to talk to a lender before beginning your hunt to discuss your finance options so you can move quickly when land becomes available.
For a land loan, the building company is expert on what kind of property can feasibly be built where. A good builder will provide all of the necessary tests of the land to ensure that it will past muster when put under the scrutiny of a lending institution. Often this added work involves soil sample testing and reviews of zoning laws that apply to the area. All types of qualifications must be met before a lending firm will back the loan.