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1. Why do we have to pay for consulting services up front at the time of the inspection?
Simply because we do our job so fast it would only hold things up if we had to hold the fnal report until paid. The other issue is that we need money to operate our business. Years ago a large client requested that we take our fees at the close of escrow. They were taking 60-90 days to close escrow and we would have had about $100,000 in escrow and no money to buy gas for the next project. It is just a business decision and we don't want to become "bill collectors" at any time.
2. How long should it take to close escrow on a renovation loan?
That seems to be the question of the year. A new lender in South Carolina closed her first full 203k in 21 days and asked us "why is it taking some lenders 60-90 days? Another lender of ours in CA closed her first full 203k in 28 days and asked the same question. The answer is simple. Use a proven team and let the team function. Some loan officers want to micro manage every aspect of the process for everyone on the team and that merely gets in everyone elses way while causing their part to take longer as they aren't getting it done. So, instead of getting their portion of the work completed they are dragging everyone else in the process to the finish line to their own perril.
3. Should I get a contractor bid prior to hiring the consultant?
NO. We prefer that the consultant goes out first with you and together you create the "scope of work" or "Scope of Renovation" sometimes referred to as the "SOR". This benefits you as you then can know the approximate cost of your project before you get a contractor's bid. As the bids come in you have a comparison model to see if that contractor gave you a "fair bid". It doesn't have to be exactly the same numbers as your consultant's bid but it should be close overall. I have seen many that were $100,000 over our bid and we just took another bid from a different contractor that was only 5% over our bid.
We always are looking for quality consultants nationally. 916-758-1809