Owner/ Builder

Why is Owner Builder Finance so hard?

This is a question that is asked all too often. Simply, there are many reasons why too many Australians find it so hard to finance an Owner Builder project. It’s likely you may recently learned that “my own bank won’t even talk to me about the project”. But why?


One reason is the work involved. Lenders need to work harder to examine the details and specifications of the project, and to administer things like costs estimates verses actual costs. There are also more valuations and
progress payments required. All this costs money and eats into lender profits.The hard truth is that some of the

strongest and biggest lenders in this country don’t need the additional market share, or at least not for the work involved. As shortsighted as this may seem this is why so many of us need some help to find the lender with the expertise, understanding, policy and appetite for risks involved.

 So we not only have more work but we have more Risk, (or the perception of risk). A great ‘urban myth’ amongst banks is that “Owner Builder’s don’t finish their homes”. The fact is, the quickest way for a lender to pull out of Owner Builder lending altogether is for a lender to lose money on Owner Builder projects. The irony is that the quality of the project needs to be studied. The finance package, values, costs, and working capital needs to be right before the project begins, for without these determinations (and lender diligence); the project could suffer the very fate that lenders fear most, a loss.

Some benefits of Owner Building

  • Significant cost savings as opposed to a Residential or Project Builder who carry large builder’s margins and administration costs
  • Greater control over flow of materials and work schedules and the quality of workmanship on site
  • Reduced time to construct and potential to finish the job sooner
  • Flexibility to make cosmetic changes once construction has started with minimal disruption and incremental costs
  • Get exactly what you want for your dream home or investment project


So , let us start by asking the right questions. An owner builder project is not simply about the cost saving and end market value. First, it’s about the individual, what is the motivation or passion behind the project? What is the level of the experience or expertise behind the property owner and/or project manager? What support mechanisms or contingencies are in place to ensure the project is finished as intended, both on time and on budget? It is our job to know and understand these facts. These questions (handled correctly) can be the difference between getting the project from conception to completion.

Some Common Traps.

“I didn’t know I needed to have 20% of the project cost in cash up front plus all that equity”. Or “I didn’t know I couldn’t get the finance because I’m not in the building industry?” With all the pitfalls and traps, you can’t afford to find these answer’s when it’s too late. Our experience demands that we know all these answer’s before a finance application is even started.

Where do we start now?

1st it’s only a 15 minute phone call to an Owner Builder Finance Specialist. This is all the time it takes to gather some quick data and qualifying information about you and the project. From there, we can provide and quick indication of the viability of the finance proposal and/or other alternatives available now, or direction the owner can take for better success down the road.

2nd we prepare a full finance proposal for your consideration. Detailing all the information, costs and finance numbers you need to make an informed decision on whether to proceed to a formal application for Owner Builder Finance.

3rd We provide a list of requirements and supporting documentation required to then vet and prepare for your lender of choice. Once this information is to hand, the finance application is presented to you for signing. Then, we submit and track your finance application until your project is fully completed.

Post Project

We also provide a recommended (post project) finance structure to your lender (where applicable) in line with your ongoing financial requirements.

You are considered our valued client far beyond the bounds of your project completion. We are here to look after your future projects and/or finance requirements for life.

Finding Owner Builder Finance so hard? Why not allow us to help you. Start to turn your concept into reality today, contact ****.

GARY WILLMOTT We understand specialist finance and Owner Builder’s.