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Benefits of Ground-Up Construction Loans in Florida

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A Florida property built from the ground up - ECF

Florida has long been a popular destination for ground-up construction projects due to its mild climate and relatively low costs. There are many areas across the state that offer unique opportunities for developers looking to build commercial or residential property.

Florida has established building standards and codes that are enforced by the local government authorities that are applicable if you choose to build a home from scratch as opposed to remodeling an existing structure. This is mainly due to the fact that it is more practical to plan far in advance to accommodate the building codes and regulations and build them into the overall project design early on in the project planning phase prior to even breaking ground on your new home.

Advantages of the ground-up process

Unlike other property buying processes, ground-up construction grants the homebuyer complete control over both the design and aesthetics of the construction project. Depending on the individual builder, you can tailor the features of your new home to a certain extent to match your needs and preferences without having to make any substantial compromises. When you remodel an existing structure, you are limited due to the in-place architecture and layout. New construction gives you the enviable freedom and flexibility to create your future home in such a way that is simply unparalleled by any other homebuying option.  

The ground-up approach typically means that the buyer is intimately involved in all stages of the project design and construction phases—from drawing the first initial blueprints to putting the finishing touches on the home like cabinets and appliances. This affords you the rare luxury of being actively engaged in each and every step of the project and dictating the stylistic and practical terms of the entire undertaking which also allows you to keep tabs on the overall timeline and budget.

Ground-up construction loans in Florida

A ground-up construction loan provides a great way to fund the building of a new property in Florida as opposed to permanent financing. The primary benefit is that it allows the borrower to finance the entire cost of building a property, from land acquisition and development to final construction costs. This can be extremely beneficial for projects involving multiple stages such as a condo development or shopping center.

Additionally, the loan terms can often be tailored to meet the specific needs of the borrower. For instance, a short-term loan may be offered to cover immediate costs associated with the project while allowing longer repayment terms for larger amounts such as land purchases. Additionally, many construction lenders are willing to provide construction loans with lower down payments and interest rates than long-term financing. You’ll also likely make interest-only payments during the construction phase making your monthly payments more manageable.

Finally, a construction loan can be used to cover additional costs associated with the project such as permits, fees, and architectural plans. This can help to reduce overall project costs and provide more flexibility in budgeting for the entire project. Getting a construction loan in Florida comes with huge benefits and very little downside. You’ll likely be able to make interest-only payments during the construction phase, which makes your monthly payment affordable as an existing homeowner since you’ll be making mortgage payments on your current home until the new construction is complete.

Now that we’ve established the advantages of securing a ground-up construction loan, let’s take a look at some of the desirable areas for construction projects in the state.

The Top 5 Areas in Florida for a Ground-up Construction Project


Orlando is a bustling metropolitan area with a strong economy, making it an ideal location for ground-up construction projects. There are many attractive incentives in the area, including competitive tax rates and access to major infrastructure such as highways and rail lines. What’s more, there is no shortage of available land, meaning developers can often find the perfect spot to start their project.

Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay area is home to some of the best beaches in Florida, making it an attractive destination for developers looking to build something special. There are many industrial and commercial opportunities available, as well as a wide range of housing options.

Miami-Dade County

With its vibrant economy and excellent infrastructure, it’s no wonder that so many businesses choose to invest here. The county offers various loan programs for construction projects, including the Miami-Dade County Construction Loan Program. This program allows qualified applicants to borrow funds for general contracting and other related costs associated with the construction of a new building or structure.


With its temperate climate and expansive beaches, it’s no wonder that so many people are drawn to this city. As construction continues to boom in the area, more and more lenders are offering construction loan options for those building in Jacksonville.


Last but not least, Naples is an attractive destination for those looking to start a ground-up construction project due to its strong economy and numerous incentives available to help developers get their projects off the ground. Plus, there are plenty of areas with waterfront property and other desirable features. 

Fund Your Florida New Construction

Express Capital Financing has a number of flexible and efficient new construction financing options that can be customized to fit your needs. We can quickly fund your next construction project with speed, ease, and reliability. Contact us today to learn more about how we can make your next development project a breeze!


Buying land in Florida can vary in difficulty depending on factors like location, zoning laws, permitting requirements, environmental considerations, market conditions, and financing. In more rural areas, it can be relatively straightforward, while in competitive or highly regulated regions, it may be more challenging. Local real estate agents and thorough due diligence can help streamline the process, making land acquisition in Florida manageable with the right guidance and research.

Qualifying for a ground-up construction loan in Florida typically involves meeting certain criteria and providing documentation to demonstrate your creditworthiness, the feasibility of your construction project, and your ability to repay the loan. Here are some of the steps you can take to qualify for a construction loan in Florida:

Check your credit score: Lenders will consider your credit score and history when evaluating your loan application. Credit score requirements typically need to be above 700 for approval.

Determine your budget: Calculate the total cost of your construction project, including land acquisition, construction expenses, permits, and any other associated costs. This budget will be a key factor in the loan application process.

Find a reputable lender: Look for lenders in Florida who offer construction loans. It's a good idea to research and compare multiple lenders to find the one that suits your needs and offers competitive terms.

Prepare a detailed construction plan: You'll need a well-defined construction plan that outlines the scope of work, materials, and a timeline for completion. You may also need to hire an architect and general contractor to assist with this.

Gather necessary documentation: Lenders will require various documents, including but not limited to, personal financial statements, tax returns, bank statements, proof of income, a detailed credit history, construction plans and cost estimates, and land ownership documents.

Yes, there are different types of ground-up construction loans to suit various needs. One common distinction is between short-term construction loans, which cover the construction process, and construction-to-permanent loans which transition into a long-term mortgage after construction. Additionally, ground-up construction loans can vary by the type of project, such as residential, commercial, or multifamily, and by the financing source, including traditional mortgages, credit unions, and private lenders.

The down payment for a construction loan in Florida can vary depending on several factors, including the lender, your personal financial situation, the specific terms of the loan, and the nature of the construction project. However, a common requirement for down payments on construction loans typically ranges from 20% to 25% of the total project cost, which includes both the cost of land acquisition and construction expenses.

Yes, securing a construction loan in Florida typically involves various fees. These can include application fees, origination fees, appraisal fees, credit check fees, and closing costs. Additionally, there are fees associated with the inspection and draw process, where the lender assesses the progress of construction and disburses funds accordingly. These fees can add to the overall cost of obtaining a construction loan, so it's essential for borrowers to carefully review the terms and fee structures offered by different lenders to ensure they understand the full financial implications of the loan.

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