I recently had a chance to talk to a reporter from the Wall Street Journal about construction lending to smaller builders. It’s interesting for me to hear what’s happening around the country and talking to Ken gave me a window on what’s happening in other areas. In general, though, business post-recession hasn’t returned to “normal” for custom builders-especially when it comes to banking relationships. Myers Homes used to have open lines of credit that we used to finance our projects for our customers – today, we need to help our customers navigate the borrowing world and can’t offer that service as the banks won’t establish those kinds of lines of credit for us. I’m lucky to have been able to establish a new banking relationship when our previous banking relationship hit the rocks-but others haven’t been so lucky. Ironically, it appears that banks are getting more comfortable making vastly larger, infinitely more risky, loans than those to builders like Myers Homes. Here we go again!
While I don’t think smallish custom builders had much, if anything, to do with the banking woes in 2007-2012, we have paid a relatively heavy price. Fortunately, today we have great resources for our customers to use and are able to fund whatever kinds of projects come our way. And, someday, maybe the banks in general, will come to remember what they used to know without a second thought- custom builders are in the business of servicing clients- those they build for, and those they build with- and weren’t the ones that would cut and run when trouble started! Here’s a link to the WSJ story- enjoy! http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/lending-for-construction-grows-4-in-2nd-quarter-1409247736?mobile=y