BuildForward Capital (BFC) is a credit advisory firm specializing in construction loans. BFC utilizes a proprietary peer-to-peer financing platform in order to facilitate $1-5m loans from individual investors to New York City property owners engaged in gut renovations aimed at radically improving their homes’ energy efficiency and carbon footprint. BFC works with BuildForward Design (BFD), an architectural advisory firm specializing in energy efficient construction. The architects at BFD assess and oversee every BFC-funded project, in order to ensure that renovations are designed and executed in accordance with the industry’s highest standard of energy efficiency.
BFC works with BuildForward Design (BFD), an architectural advisory firm in New York City. BFD vets the design of these projects and supervises the construction and renovation to ensure the work is executed by architects and contractors at the highest standard of energy efficiency. The two firms work synergistically to provide borrowers with the highest quality renovations and the best available financing.
BFC identifies potential borrowers who would like to retrofit or renovate houses in order to make them radically more energy efficient. BFC evaluates the creditworthiness of the proposed project, using credit analysis tools similar to those used by banks, but with a special focus on the risks associated with energy efficiency upgrades. BFC underwriters review each application individually, analyzing a borrower’s credit and getting to know each borrower personally before extending a loan. Once a loan is approved, BFD’s architects analyze the project’s blueprints; monitor the contractor’s work; and help ensure that energy performance benchmarks are reached.
Lenders will extend upfront capital to BFC-approved loans in return for 5-8% interest. Each project will be supported by a group of lenders in order to give lenders exposure to a range of projects, thus reducing their risk. Loans will be either construction or construction-to-permanent, with loan terms depending upon the loan’s duration and its unique circumstances. Interest rates will reflect both the credit profile of the borrower and of the project. Loans will be fully funded before the start of construction, with funds held in escrow, and released upon the completion of construction milestones. Borrowers will make monthly interest payments on the balance of their unused loans; lenders will receive these payments proportionate to their participatory loan share in the project, net of BFC fees. The loan’s principal is due either at the completion of construction, or at the maturity of the construction-to-permanent loan.
BuildForward Capital is a group of individual investors, including current and former managers of investment firms, asset managers, banks, IT companies and venture capital firms. BuildForward’s Board of Directors is comprised of people with extensive experience in financial services.
BuildForward Capital is not currently regulated, as legal counsel has advised that the activities of the company do not warrant any licensing or registration at the current time.
As with investing in corporate stocks and bonds, lending via BuildForward Capital is not backed by the FDIC. However, BuildForward loans are more secure than most investments as they are backed by New York City real estate as collateral. Lenders through BuildForward own loan participation shares in the individual projects they fund. Each project is structured as an individual LLC and each loan is an agreement made between the lenders and the borrower. These contracts would remain in place and be unaffected in the unlikely event that BuildForward Capital were to fail or become insolvent. At the time of the loan, BuildForward Capital will appoint a third party administrator to take over servicing and dissolution duties on behalf of BuildForward should this become necessary.
BuildForward has also put in place a backup servicing arrangement with our custodian bank, Bank of America. Any lender funds held in individual escrow accounts through our custodial agreement with Bank of America are insured by the FDIC up to legal limits.
You can send us a message through our website, www.buildforward.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 646-979-5010. We welcome your thoughts, comments and/or questions and aim to reply within two working days.
To be a BuildForward Capital lender, you must be an accredited investor.
The amount you can lend depends upon the number and value of projects available. Each project is funded by a group of lenders, in order to ensure the lenders’ diversification of risk. Eventually, an automated borrower/lender matching process will be utilized on the BuildForward platform.
BuildForward Capital borrowers are individual homeowners, developers, real estate investors, multifamily property owners. Borrowers’ credit history and project viability will be analyzed by BFC and BFD, and results will be provided to lenders. Projects generally should not exceed $5 million in scope. BFC will assign credit ratings to each project with a corresponding interest rate.
Once you qualify as a lender, BFC will work with you to identify projects that require funding, and assign your funds to the projects. When your loan participation amount and interest rate are confirmed by BuildForward Capital, you will receive a participatory loan share in the LLC vehicle. The lender group will sign a Construction Loan or Construction-to-Permanent Loan agreement with the borrower. Upon the completion of this agreement, you will be asked to transfer funds into the BuildForward Capital account at our custodian bank, Bank of America.
BuildForward Capital underwriters carefully review all loan applications. Factors evaluated include: borrower credit history, loan to cost ratio, loan to value ratio, debt to income ratio, review of contractors and construction plan, review of title, appraisal, and others.
BuildForward Capital charges lenders a 1% one-time Credit Analysis Fee for underwriting and analyzing the project and borrower credit, and a 1% one-time Structuring Fee to organize and create the loan structure including the Operating Company LLC which will house the collateral. In addition, at the operating company level, the LLC will charge the borrower a one time Collateral Management Fee of 0.40%, and the lender an annual bookkeeping and tax preparation fee of 10 bps and a quarterly 10 bps fee for servicing through the period of the loan.
The fees for the architectural validation and construction oversight are charged to the borrower separately by BuildForward Design.
Any money that is loaned to a project is committed to that project for the life of the loan. As borrowers have the opportunity to prepay their loans without penalty, it is possible that lenders will receive their principal back earlier than specified in the original loan agreement.
Any undrawn funds in your BuildForward Capital lender account are held in trust in a segregated client account at Bank of America. This means lenders’ funds are treated separately from BuildForward Capital’s own accounts, and from the BuildForward Capital accounts of other investors and borrowers. Through our proprietary online platform, lenders will be able to track payments in and out of their accounts.
Individuals, directors or partners in businesses borrowing through BuildForward Capital are comprehensively checked for creditworthiness, personal assets, and asset value of their property. In addition, as part of the our construction supervision, BuildForward Design will maintain regular communication with the architect and contractors working on the project to ensure that the work is adhering to previously agreed milestones and benchmarks.
If a borrower is discovered to have committed fraud in borrowing through BuildForward Capital, BuildForward Capital will initiate legal procedures against the fraudulent party on behalf of the lenders.
If a loan goes into default, BuildForward Capital will act immediately to recover the maximum proceeds possible through the Courts. If the Courts determine that the borrower will not be able to repay the funds, BuildForward Capital will put a lien on the property on behalf of the lenders. It is expected that aside from existing bank debt, the BF loan will be most senior in terms of the claim to the collateral – with the combined LTV much lower than 100%, a full recovery of each lender’s principal can be reasonably expected upon sale of the property.
Anyone with an established strong credit history, ownership of property and desire to upgrade or build a property to the highest energy performance standards.
Most BuildForward Capital loans will consist of a construction loan component, lasting from 18-24 months, or the duration of the construction phase of the project. Some loans will include the option to modify the loan into a permanent loan component of 2 - 8 years. The construction-to-permanent structure allows the borrower to obtain longer-term financing at attractive rates without having to complete another loan application at the end of the construction period.
Loans are made at a fixed rate of interest.
With a construction loan only, borrowers will pay interest and principal payments according to a predetermined schedule.
With the construction-to-permanent loan, in line with traditional construction loan practices, borrowers pay interest-only during the construction period. At the end of the construction period, the outstanding loan balance converts to a permanent loan. During the interest-only period, interest is calculated exclusively on the funds that have been paid out. Interest is accrued daily, and is payable monthly. Once the loan converts to a permanent loan, payments of interest and/or are also payable monthly. The permanent loan may be structured as a fully amortizing loan over the permanent loan period, or due as a one-time “bullet” payment at maturity.
Loans are secured by the real estate assets under construction and by any other assets agreed upon in the loan agreement.
Your interest rate for the construction loan will be determined after a thorough credit review by the BuildForward Capital Credit Committee. This rate will be offered before the Loan agreement is drawn up. As a borrower you will pay a 1% fee for the design analysis and vetting provided by BuildForward Design and another 1% for the construction oversight by BFD. This is in addition to the fees charged by BuildForward Capital which are analogous to the fees charged by banks during a construction loan origination process.
The process can take anywhere from 1 month to 3 months, depending upon the project. If the project already involves an architect and contractor who meet the standards of BFD, the process will only include a credit analysis by BFC.
Yes, unlike many other finance providers you can pay back your loan early at any time at no additional cost. You will just need to pay BFC the interest due on the loan in aggregate, and the principal amount outstanding.
Yes. As is traditional with construction loans and construction-to-permanent loans you will have to post the full value of your property as collateral to the loan. As part of the approval process, your property will be assessed for its value.
For every fifteen (15) days that you are overdue with payment, you will have to pay 3% interest on the overdue amount. After sixty (60) days you will be considered to have defaulted on the agreement. At this point you will have to pay all overdue funds. If you cannot pay at this point, we will bring the issue to Court to try and recoup the missing funds.