4 Jul, 2024
woman thinking of her approved construction mortgage

Are you looking to purchase vacant land and build your own house from the ground up? Or perhaps you’re considering a major renovation to your existing home? If so, a construction mortgage can provide the financing you need to turn your vision into reality.

There’s no denying the thrill of designing and constructing your dream home exactly to your personal tastes. With a construction mortgage, you have the freedom to choose the perfect vacant lot, create architectural drawings tailored to your lifestyle, and watch as your own home takes shape through each phase of the building phase.

However, such an ambitious undertaking requires significant construction costs and financial backing. This is where construction mortgages come in—offering the funds and flexibility to make your homeownership dreams a reality.

In this guide, we’ll explore the world of construction mortgages in BC, Canada. We’ll compare traditional mortgages to private construction mortgages, discussing their unique key features, advantages, and processes. We’ll also share tips to help you successfully navigate this financing option and build the home you’ve always envisioned.

Ready to build your dream home in BC, Canada? We are here to help! Our experienced mortgage brokers specialize in private financing and will work closely with you to secure the ideal construction mortgage for your needs. Contact us today!

How Does a Construction Mortgage Work?

A construction mortgage is a specialized type of loan used to finance the construction of a new property or extensive renovations. Unlike a regular mortgage, these loans typically have shorter terms and typically higher interest rates, as they are designed to be repaid once construction is complete and the home is ready for occupancy.

What You Need To Know Before Applying For a Construction Mortgage In BC, Canada

Before applying for a construction mortgage, there are some things you should know:

Application & Approval

To apply for a construction mortgage, you’ll need to provide comprehensive documentation, including architectural drawings, a signed construction contract, project timelines, and detailed cost estimates. The mortgage lender will review your application and determine the loan amount and terms based on the scope of the construction and your overall creditworthiness.

Unlike conventional mortgages secured by an existing property, construction mortgages are considered higher risk for lenders since the collateral is an unfinished home. As such, eligibility requirements are stricter, factoring in your income, debt levels, credit score, and ability to provide financial statements.

Most lenders will allow you to borrow up to 75% of the projected construction costs, meaning you will need to fund 25% of the construction costs out of your pocket in major centers. Value may be reduced on smaller markets.


Once your construction loan is approved, the lender will not provide the full amount upfront. Instead, they will release funds incrementally through a series of progress draw mortgages or draws. These draws are disbursed as specific construction milestones are reached, ensuring the money is being used as intended.

Interest & Payments

In contrast to a traditional mortgage where interest accrues on the full loan amount from day one, construction mortgages may charge interest on the funds that have been disbursed through each draw. This means your interest-only payments will start low and gradually increase as more funds are released for construction. 

Most lenders usually allow four draws and structure construction loans with an interest reserve set aside from the initial draw to cover your interest-only payments during the construction period.

Conversion To Permanent Financing

Once construction is complete and you’ve obtained the necessary building permits and inspection approvals, you’ll need to convert your construction loan into permanent long-term financing. This typically involves working with your lender to secure a conventional mortgage to replace the short-term construction loan. With a permanent mortgage in place, you can enjoy stable, predictable monthly payments over the loan’s lifetime—commonly 15, 20, or 30 years.

With so many factors to consider, securing a construction mortgage can seem daunting. Let us simplify the process for you. CALL OR TEXT 778-839-3963 to discuss your construction financing needs and take the first step towards building your dream home.

Private Vs. Traditional Construction Mortgage 

The main difference between private and traditional construction mortgages is the funding source.

A private construction mortgage is provided by an individual investor or private lending company rather than a bank or credit union. These alternative lenders may offer more flexible lending criteria but generally charge higher interest rates.

Conversely, traditional construction mortgages from banks and credit unions tend to have more standardized requirements and potentially lower interest rates. However, they also have stricter approval criteria regarding credit scores, income verification, and down payment amounts.

7 Criteria That Make Private Construction Mortgages a Good Choice

forest house built using a construction mortgage

When considering a construction mortgage, private lenders offer several advantages that make them a viable option for financing your new home construction project. And these are:

  1. Faster Approval Process

    Unlike traditional bank loans that are subject to rigorous scrutiny and a lengthy approval process, private lenders in British Columbia can expedite approval times. They can expedite approval times for construction loans since they aren’t bound by the same stringent regulations.

  2. Flexible Terms & Conditions

    Private lenders understand that not all construction projects fit a cookie-cutter mold. They can accommodate unique construction types, timelines, and budgets with tailored terms and conditions.

  3. Customizable Draw Schedules

    While banks typically have rigid draw schedules, private lenders offer flexibility, allowing draw disbursements to align with your project’s actual progress.

  4. Financing For Unconventional Projects

    Have an ambitious vision involving alternative building materials or an off-the-grid location? Private lenders can provide financing for unconventional projects banks may deem too risky.

  5. Creative Financing Solutions

    From interest-only payment periods to using additional collateral, private lenders can craft innovative loan structures tailored to your construction needs.

  6. Higher Loan-To-Value (LTV) Ratios

    Many private lenders are open to higher LTV ratios, meaning you may need a smaller down payment—potentially as low as 20% of the projected costs. These make private lenders an attractive option for borrowers with limited resources.

  7. Bridging The Gap Between Construction & Permanent Financing

    Some borrowers use a private construction mortgage as interim financing until construction is complete, then refinance into a lower interest rate long-term mortgage with a bank.

The Value Of a Mortgage Broker

Working with a trusted mortgage broker in BC, Canada is the smartest decision when searching for the best private construction mortgage lender for your needs.

Mortgage brokers are licensed professionals who have access to a variety of lenders and can help you compare rates and terms from different lenders. 

Your mortgage broker can help you find a private mortgage lender who can meet your specific needs and provide you with the financing you need to complete your construction project. 

They will also offer guidance on the mortgage process, help you navigate any potential challenges, understand the different types of private construction mortgage loans available—such as construction-to-permanent loans—and choose the best one for you.

If you’re considering a construction mortgage loan in BC, Canada, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about your options and get started on your construction project.

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