We sat down with one of our commercial bridge borrowers to find out the key information, tips and tricks developers need to know when taking on this type of finance. Here is what we asked:
Why have you used a commercial bridge? What were the other options which you considered?
I used a commercial bridge mostly because of the speed aspect. I had worked on other projects and gained finance through more traditional methods previously, but for the project I am working on at the moment a quick turn-around was key.
I was pretty clear on what I needed, I know that traditional high-street banks can’t offer the flexibility and meet the time constraints required. I also sought recommendations from a trusted broker who understands my business very well and knew exactly what would work for me.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt from your projects?
Have an exit route. This is something that I have always applied but the importance of this advice has become much clearer the more time I have spent in on projects. I think this is crucial because it is difficult to predict exactly what is going to happen. In the event that planning doesn’t come off or the market has an unexpected shift, it is important to have a back-up option. Considering your own security is so key. It is good to take risk, but it is almost more important to mitigate unfortunate circumstances where possible!
What is the advantage of using a commercial bridge? Will you be looking to take out another?
The advantage of a commercial bridge is the speed and accessibility of financing. Looking at Avamore Capital specifically, the service level is excellent. The team is extremely diligent and was sensitive to the fact that I needed the funds quickly and would otherwise lose the property. That’s the biggest advantage of a commercial bridge, if I had waited for a high street bank, I would have definitely lost the property and the project would have fallen through.
In terms of the future, it all depends on the circumstance, if I need quick finance again, I’ll definitely be going back to use Avamore’s commercial bridging product!
What is some of the key information you need to provide when taking out a commercial bridge? Were there any initial difficulties?
In terms of key information, I understand it varies from lender to lender. When I took out my commercial bridge with Avamore, it was very clear what I needed to provide. The company committed to lending within the required time frame as long as I shared all of the points required. Avamore were completely transparent from the start and there were no real surprises along the way because they’d been upfront. There was nothing unreasonable on the list of requirements either.
As a result of this clarity, there were no real difficulties. Everything was smooth and straightforward, I got the funds which I required.
What is the biggest mistake that new developers generally make? How can you mitigate this?
The biggest mistake new developers make is that it is easy to underestimate the costs involved in a project. Whilst people are generally good at considering the building costs, it is important to account for all of the extras from the outset. This includes things such as legal fees and surveyor payments which definitely start to add up. I have seen it time and time again where developers don’t consider the entire project cost at inception. This can have a significant adverse impact.