Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Prices Are Going UP - NOW Is The Time To Build, If You Are Able!

It may never be cheaper to build your church than it is right now

Waiting to build is likely to increase cost and/or reduce what your church can build.

Design and construction costs have steadily increased over the past couple of years. A recent email from the San Francisco Institute of Architecture confirms that Architectural and Engineering costs are rising substantially:
"Architects and engineers are getting busier, and fees are going up substantially for all categories of service, and for all building types, in all regions of the U.S."  (Source, SFIA Guidelines email, 2 June 2015 )
If the church's future church construction costs increased by only 10% and your financial ability did not increase that much or more, then you will be building less new facility at the future date than you would today.  In any case, inflation will eat away at what you will be able to build at some future date.  

If your church's giving increases at the same rate as increasing costs, the best you would expect out of construction would be to pay more in the future for the same facility you could build today at a lower cost.

The Cost of Borrowing Is An Added Complication

Interest rates have begun to creep up from a multi-year low, and it is anticipated that the rate of increase will only accelerate starting later this summer or fall.  The combination of increased church design and construction costs coupled with decreased ability to borrow (due to increased interest rates) will impact the church's future ability to borrow.

Summing It Up

This quote from Shakespear's Macbeth may be quite appropriate, "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly."  A delay in starting a church building program WILL have financial consequences.  

If you are not ready to start - DON'T, but if  building is something you are seriously considering, and you are just waiting for the best time, now may be the time to start the first steps in the church building process.  The first step would not COMMIT you to building, only to finding out the answers in order to make an informed decision on whether or not to proceed.

Do You Need Some Answers?

Your church will benefit from clear and objective answers to these questions:
  1. Does our church need to build, and if so, why is building the right answer?
  2. What do we need to build, and why is that the right answer for our vision & mission?
  3. What can our church really afford to build, and how will we pay for it?
  4. When can we/should we build?
  5. Is it feasible to build on this site or do we need to acquire more land or relocate?
  6. Would planting another church or starting a remote campus be a more viable alternative to building or relocating?
If you need answers to these and other questions, a Church Needs and Feasibility Study is the appropriate first step.  It will not only objectively quantify the answers to these and other questions you may not have considered, but will provide the foundation for both capital fundraising as well as church design.

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