Georgia has been an economic powerhouse in the southern United States for many years. With a strong economic base in Atlanta, the state is home to many large corporations and small businesses.
With all this economic activity, it’s no surprise that the state is growing and housing prices are increasing. The state’s average sales price is $406,102 according to the Georgia Realtors Association. The state is doing so well that it has one of the lowest foreclosure rates in the nation as homeowners are able to consistently make their mortgage payments. In fact, homebuyers are making real estate moves in one of the fastest and most competitive markets, which is why many are looking beyond conventional loans.
For some homeowners, construction loans are becoming more and more common as they consider the benefits of building a new home or renovating an older home compared to buying in the hot real estate market. Rather than negotiating with a seller, you could be coordinating with an architect on creating blueprints for a custom home. Kick off your construction project quickly with a lender, down payment, and home construction loan. As a borrower, you’ll look for the perfect place to build and get a short term construction loan to build your dream home.
When finding the right construction lender, it’s important to work with a loan officer that has experience in construction loans. You don’t want to work with someone who mainly focuses on traditional mortgages as construction loans are a different animal entirely. We have a network of battle tested construction loan officers with experience overseeing thousands of new homes.
Benefits of a getting a construction loan in Georgia
There are many benefits in getting a new construction loan in Georgia. The main benefits are that you can choose the land and exact build you want. You also will have a lot of control over the process. Best of all, getting a construction loan will align a powerful bank behind your interests. Once the loan is signed, the bank is just as incentivized as you are to get the home constructed.
Before choosing a lender, there are some things to keep in mind when looking for a new construction loan in Georgia:
First, it’s important to compare the rates and terms from different lenders. This can be a significant factor in determining which lender is the best fit for your project. Some lenders may offer lower interest rates, but their terms may be less favorable. Others may have more flexible terms, but their interest rates may be higher. It’s crucial to weigh each lender’s pros and cons before deciding.
Second, you’ll want to consider how quickly you need the money and whether the funds will be available when necessary. Most lenders fund construction loans through a series of draws with bank inspections throughout the process. You’ll want to make sure the bank’s expectations of the fund disbursements match up with your construction plans.
5 Best construction loan programs in Georgia
1. Georgia’s Own Credit Union
If you’re looking for a credit union to finance your construction loan, Georgia’s Own Credit Union is an option to consider. As a not-for-profit financial institution owned by its members, you may find lower fees with a credit union.
Recently we asked Georgia’s Own Credit Union to provide us with details on their construction loan and this is what they said:
- Single-close construction loans for primary residences.
- Based on the appraised value or purchase price, whichever is lower for single family homes
- Interest-only payments during the construction process
- 15-, 20-, or 30-year fixed rate options
- No builder-owner loans
- Investment properties not eligible
- Land loan can be rolled into the one-time transaction
- Interest-only payments during construction
If you’re interested in connecting directly with a loan officer at Georgia’s Own Credit Union that specializes in construction loans, we can put you in touch with them directly.
2. Ameris Bank
Ameris Bank is a full-service bank in Georgia and many surrounding states in the southeastern United States. Not surprisingly, they offer a construction financing product to assist you in building a new home.
We contacted Ameris Bank to learn more about their construction loan. Here are the highlights:
- Prefers to be contacted after a construction contract is signed by your builder or developer.
- One-time closing construction loan involves only one application and one closing.
- During the construction phase, you may have interest-only payments.
- Once the construction phase expires, the loan converts to a fixed-rate or adjustable rate mortgage.
- Two-time closing construction loan involves a short-term construction loan and a long-term mortgage.
- During the construction phase, you will only be responsible for interest-only payments, with monthly payment amounts increasing as funds are utilized.
- When construction is completed, the mortgage will be considered a loan refinance, paying-off the construction loan.
- A two-time closing typically has lower modification and underwriting fees when compared to a one-time closing construction loan and provides flexibility to increase loan amount due to cost overruns.
If you’re interested in connecting directly with a loan officer at Ameris Bank that specializes in construction loans, we can put you in touch with them directly.
3. Century Bank of Georgia
Century Bank of Georgia is a local bank in the state that has a long history with Georgia consumers and businesses. They also understand the demand from Georgians to build homes and offer a construction loan to satisfy that demand.
The construction loan product offered by Century Bank of Georgia is unique in that it is available for second homes, vacation homes or investment properties. We contacted them to learn more:
- Available for primary residence, second homes, vacation homes, or investment properties
- Interest-only payments during the construction phase
- Payments are made on the amount drawn on your loan sufficient to pay your builder
- Construction draws applied in stages based on work completed
- Loan advisors with working knowledge of the North Georgia property market
- Quick, local decision-making in the North Georgia area
If you’re interested in connecting directly with a loan officer at Century Bank of Georgia that specializes in construction loans, we can put you in touch with them directly.
4. Wintrust Mortgage
Wintrust Mortgage is one of the top 20 bank-owned retail mortgage originators in the country that originates in excess of $4 billion in loans annually in all 50 states.
Recently we asked Wintrust Mortgage to provide us with details on their construction loan and this is what they said:
- One-Time Closing. Only pay the closing cost once
- Lock in your rate upfront and avoid interest rate risk
- FHA, VA, and Conventional options
- 0% Down up to $822,375 (VA ONLY)
- 3.5% Down up to FHA County Limits ($356,362-822,375)
- 10% Down on Second homes
- FICO 680+
- Loans must include building no Lot/Land Loans
- Maximum of 10-acres per build site
- Stick Built and Modular Homes ONLY
- NO log homes or metal homes (barndominium)
- Tear Down and Rebuilds do qualify
- No self-build or owner builders. The builder must be approved.
- Does Not allow ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Unit – Granny Flat/Garage Conversions/Basement)
- Now lending in all 50 States
If you’re interested in connecting directly with a loan officer at Wintrust Mortgage that specializes in construction loans, we can put you in touch with them directly.
5. CBC Bank
CBC Bank is a local bank in Georgia started in 1929 as a state charter bank in Hahira, Georgia. The bank still serves Lowndes County and other areas in southern Georgia.
We noticed that CBC Bank offers a construction loan and so we reached out to them to learn more. Here are more details about their construction loan:
- Offering construction-to-permanent, all under one roof.
- Funding loans for a large home in the South Georgia countryside or a smaller house closer to town
- A construction loan can cover both the land and the construction for the home itself together.
If you’re interested in connecting directly with a loan officer at CBC Bank that specializes in construction loans, we can put you in touch with them directly.
Does a Georgia construction loan make sense for you?
If you’re not yet ready to build, you may consider a land/lot loan to secure your piece of property before you commit to a full construction loan.
If you’re not willing to manage the construction process and wait 6-18 months before you can move into your new house, you also might be better off pursuing a traditional mortgage and buying an existing structure.
There used to be a time when getting a construction loan was challenging. Lenders were hesitant to give out money to people who wanted to build homes since there was always the risk that the project would never be completed. But those days are gone. These days, lenders are more than happy to issue construction loans, as long as you can prove that you’re a good credit risk.
If you’re looking to explore construction loans in other states, check out our national guide to construction loans and get started exploring all 50 states.
Joshua Holt is a licensed mortgage loan originator (NMLS #2306824) and founder of Biglaw Investor. His mortgage expertise lies in the areas of professional mortgage loans, particularly for lawyers, doctors and other high-income professionals. Prior to Biglaw Investor, Josh practiced private equity mergers & acquisition law for one of the largest law firms in the country.