Hot Topic – Development Finance

With savings accounts paying little in the way of interest, and the stock market proving to be particularly volatile at the moment, bricks and mortar remain the investment of choice for many. Investors, in particular, are looking for opportunities where they can develop a property and add value, before either selling it on for a profit or renting it out. If you are in this position, then you are likely to need specialist development finance.

Given that the UK has a severe housing shortage, it is no surprise that investors see such an opportunity in developing and refurbishing property. However, getting the finance you need can be a challenge, particularly achieving it within your required timeframes.

Development finance can be used for refurbishing or rebuilding a residential or commercial building, or building from scratch. There is a wide choice of specialist development lenders offering a range of products to small and medium-sized property developers, at competitive rates. Lenders like to see a track record of development from applicants and evidence of completing similar projects. Criteria varies from project to project but it may be possible to borrow up to 100 per cent of the build costs.

Anyone considering taking on a development, whether it is a light refurbishment or starting a build from scratch, should consider the following top tips:

• Consider your budget and cost control. You need to be realistic about your budget, rather than optimistic, and be clear on your specification before beginning work. If you are in a rush to get started on the project, and then change the specification part-way through the build, it will cost you more money (and time) in the long run.

• Time is money so schedule each part of the build carefully and stick to your plans as much as possible. If the project overruns significantly, it could end up costing you a lot more money than you had planned for.

• Paperwork may be a drag but there will be a lot of it and you need to keep on top of it. Developers need to take many health and safety requirements into consideration when working on a project. You don’t want to harm your existing project or your ability to undertake future projects by letting this slip.

• Keep abreast of planning conditions. Keep in touch with the planning officer to ensure everything is on schedule so that any planning permissions are not allowed to lapse.

• Choose the suppliers and sub-contractors you work with carefully. They need to be able to work to your plan and budget, as well as providing the right quality of work and finish that you are looking for.

• Make sure you get the right finance for your project. This could have a huge impact on the level of profit you are able to achieve.

AWS Financial Services has extensive market knowledge when it comes to arranging development finance. We have good relationships with a wide range of specialist lenders offering development finance and can advise as to whether your project meets a specific lender’s criteria. We save you time and effort, identifying the right funding for your needs on competitive terms, and guiding you through the process from start to finish. Get in touch for more information.
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