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Closing Stories

Griffin Helps Church Buy $5M Sanctuary for $125,000

Recently, we were approached with an urgent request by a church in Jackson, MS that had an incredible opportunity fall in their lap. The hitch was that they only had two weeks to pull it off.

The Pastor sent his financial statements to John Berardino, who reviewed them and determined that they could afford the payment, but time was short. “We pulled out all stops, and we had to make this work for the church. This was more than just luck; they stood to gain an incredible amount of equity and a beautiful property.” John Berardino stated.

We closed their loan with one day to spare. The church is ecstatic and making plans to move into their new building.

Church Qualifies for 25 Year Fixed Rate Loan

Griffin Capital Funding closed a loan for a church in Denver, Colorado that wanted to purchase a sanctuary and move out of their leased space. The church had strong leadership through their pastor, who had been with the church since its inception in 2008 with an active membership of 251 people.

The church found the perfect property for their congregation with land that included a cell tower with a long term lease to a major carrier. There was also a multi-use building on the property which could be used for church functions and rented out for events to help generate income.

When all of these factors were analyzed by Griffin Capital Funding’s Senior Vice President, Mike Brewer, he was able to offer the church a mortgage that was fixed for 25 years. Mike Brewer commented “We were able to offer the church a product that mimics a residential mortgage in that it is a fixed rate for the term of the loan. This is very uncommon in the commercial world. The church was happy, the pastor was happy, and the church can move forward and grow without worrying about an impending balloon in their future.”

The church received a 25 year fixed rate of 6.25% and has settled into their new home.

Church Closes on Second Trust

We had a church from Abbeville, LA come to Griffin Capital Funding with a unique scenario. The church had an SBA Disaster Relief Mortgage obtained after Hurricane Katrina. The Disaster Relief Mortgage had great terms that we did not want to lose through refinancing the loan. However, they needed cash out to pave their parking lot.

This meant that the only loan that we could present was a second trust. Given that the church had been in existence for 33 years, Scott Obenhein decided to take on the loan and seek an approval for a second trust.

Scott worked meticulously to put together the presentation so that the underwriter would see the strength of the deal and be willing to overlook the second trust. Scott’s expertise paid off as the church closed on their loan and can now put in their parking lot.

Church Lowers Interest Rate from 7.25% to 4.44%

Imagine that your church, located in Michigan in 2007, has just taken out a loan at 7.25% with a bank and then the recession hits. Through hard work, determination and help from Above, your church makes it through a very difficult time. Now, several years later, the recession ended, and interest rates have fallen. The church made most of its payments on time, and you approach the bank for a reduction in your interest rate. The bank is not willing to change your interest rate.

That was the scenario facing a church that Scott Obenhein just closed. The church came to Griffin Capital Funding looking for a company that would give them a better rate and lower their payment. The church had been a staple in their community for over 35 years and had just made it through one of the most difficult times in our economy, and they were located in one of the worst-hit areas. One of our analysts, Scott Obenhein, reviewed the request and gave them a fixed rate of 4.44%. This dropped their interest rate by 3% saving them thousands of dollars.

Church Lowers Interest Rate from 8.75% to 3.75%

This month, Griffin Capital Funding helped a church refinance their mortgage and take cash out for roof repairs. The church has been spreading God’s word for over 33 years and has been in their current sanctuary for 2 decades.

The church wanted to refinance their current mortgage which had an interest rate of 8.75% and a monthly payment of $21,722. Their goal was to reduce both the interest rate and monthly payment.

Song Quichocho was able to help the church meet their financial goals by providing a 5 year fixed rate of 3.75% and a 20 year amortization. The refinance reduced the church’s monthly payment to $16,007 saving them $5715 per month which equals $68,580 annually.

Church Gets $80,000 Knocked Off Of Their Principle

Churches can have a particularly difficult time finding financing. This tends to be the rule rather than the exception whether it is their first time seeking financing or later financing. Griffin Capital Funding just had a Baptist Church in MD approach us looking for a loan of $750,000 to refinance their debt from a large national bank. The church had been making all of their payments on time to the lender, but when their loan came due the bank was unwilling to refinance their loan. The bank’s lending philosophy had changed, and they were exiting the church market. As a result, the church had tried to get a loan through several local banks, but they were declined. The national bank was getting frustrated that the church was unable to refinance their loan and offered the church a discount of $80,000 if they could find a new lender.

“From my initial conversation with the church, I could tell they were not happy with the way they had been treated by the national bank. They were being forced out, and for no good reason”, stated John Berardino, President of Griffin Capital Funding. After their financial statements were reviewed, Griffin presented an offer to the church which would reduce the interest rate they were currently paying while allowing them to take advantage of the discount they were being offered from their current lender. The church accepted the proposal and Griffin set about gathering the necessary documents. “I submitted the loan to underwriting and very quickly got an approval which made the church extremely happy. What had seemed to be a negative situation for the church ended up being very positive for them.” Ultimately, Griffin closed the loan for the church reducing not only their interest rate and monthly payment but also reducing their principal balance in the process. The church has been left in a better position and a stressful situation has now been placed behind them.

Church Uses Lease Credits for Down Payment

Griffin Capital Funding recently closed a loan for a relatively young church in Georgia. The church had been leasing their building for 6 years and wanted to purchase it so that they could start to build equity. The church had a small amount of money for a down payment. To their benefit, they had entered into lease agreement with their landlord that included earning lease credits for the entire term of their lease.

Lease credits can be a great way for a church to build up a down payment to purchase a property at a later time. Lease credits should be negotiated into the lease at the time the lease is drawn up and not retroactively.

Song Quichocho was the loan officer for the church, and he worked diligently to get the loan approved. He was able to get the underwriter to approve a loan for 80% of the purchase price, using the lease credit as part of the 20% down payment. The church ultimately purchased their property for $180,000 with a 5 year fixed loan with a 20 year amortization with an interest rate of 3.45%.

Teamwork Between Loan Officer and Church Pays Off

Mike Brewer was contacted by a church in Ft. Lauderdale, FL seeking financing to purchase a new sanctuary. When the church came to him, they only had one week until the expiration of their contract. Mike immediately contacted the seller’s representative to try and get the church an extension on their closing. The extension that he asked for was denied because there was a cash backup offer on the property. With this unfortunate news, Mike encouraged the church to look for another sanctuary to purchase. With dedication and hard work from both Mike and the church, they were able to find a perfect sanctuary, and they closed on their loan and have since moved into their new property.

Three Week Turnaround Saves Church’s Down Payment

A church in Winter Springs, FL contacted us with three weeks to close on a building, or they would lose their $300,000 cash deposit. John Berardino worked quickly to have everything in order. The loan was approved, and amazingly closed on time. The Elders and congregants were relieved and thankful for the church’s new sanctuary.

Multi-Million Dollar Church Loan Closing

A large non-denominational church received notice from their lender that they were not going to renew their loan. The lender gave the church 30 days to pay off their $6.9mm loan. If the church could not pay off the loan when it came due, they were being threatened with foreclosure. John Berardino was able to close the loan in 3 weeks while reducing the interest rate they were paying and increasing the amortization to 25 years. The church was thrilled with the savings and happy to be away from the prior lender.

Affiliate Churches Help New Congregation Purchase Building

A young church in Jacksonville, FL with a dedicated Pastor and congregants, was finding it difficult to acquire a mortgage. They decided to look for outside support. An affiliate church in Atlanta signed on to be a guarantor, while the denomination headquarters church in New York gave a gift to go towards the down payment. Once the underwriters were confident the local church could make the monthly payments, the $150,000 loan was approved.

Church Purchases Building Needing Minor Renovations

A five-year-old church in Greenbelt, MD was ready to expand. Under the direction of their dedicated Pastor, the church had been growing for the past four years. Being creative in their search for a space that was the right size and in their price range, the church found a condo unit with adequate meeting space and room to grow. Both Song Quichocho, a Senior Analyst, and Harry Gough, one of GCF’s local Church Loan Specialists, worked closely with the church. The $340,000 loan closed with fantastic terms; a 5 year fixed rate of 4.45% with a 20-year amortization.

Summary
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Church Loan Closing Stories
Description
Griffin Capital Funding is successful in efficient closing of many church loans. Some of the closing stories are compiled here.
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Griffin Capital Funding
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