Understanding the Key Difference Between a Construction Loan and Home Loan

difference between home loan and construction loan


6 mins read

Last updated on 23rd February 2024

Securing a place to call home is a significant milestone. However, the journey to homeownership can be intricate, particularly when it comes to financing. Two common financing options that often confuse are home construction loans and home loans (also known as mortgages). While both serve the purpose of helping individuals buy or build a home, they differ significantly in their terms, processes, and usage. In this blog, we will delve into the key differences between construction loans and home loans to help you make an informed decision when pursuing your dream of owning a home.

Table of Contents

Home Construction Loans: Building Your Dream from Scratch

1. Purpose of Home Construction Loan

  • Construction loans are specifically designed for individuals who want to build a new home from the ground up or undertake significant renovations to an existing property.
  • These loans provide funds in a series of disbursements as the construction progresses, rather than in a lump sum.

2. Home Construction Loan Disbursement

  • Funds from a construction loan are released in stages, often referred to as "draws." These disbursements are made directly to the builder or contractor.
  • The borrower typically pays interest only on the amount disbursed during the construction phase.

3. Home Construction Loan is for Short-Term

  • Construction loans are short-term loans, usually with terms ranging from six months to one year.
  • Once construction is complete, borrowers must secure long-term financing, often through a traditional mortgage, to pay off the construction loan.

4. Home Construction Loan Offer Variable Interest Rates:

  • Interest rates on construction loans are typically higher than those on traditional mortgages.
  • These rates can be variable or fixed during the construction phase, depending on the lender's terms. 
  • Borrowers can claim tax benefits of up to 3.5 lakhs on both the principal & interest components of the home loan under section 80C, 24(b) & 80EE of the Income Tax Act of 1961.

Suggested read: Home loan interest rate for bank employees

5. Higher Down Payment in Home Construction Loan:

  • Borrowers are usually required to make a larger down payment for a construction loan, often around 20-25% of the project's total cost.

Home Loans (Mortgages): Owning an Existing Property

1. Purpose of Home Loans or Mortgages

  • Home loans, or mortgages, are designed for individuals purchasing an already-built residential property.
  • These loans provide borrowers with the entire purchase price of the home upfront.

2. Home Loan Disbursement

  • Home loans disburse the entire loan amount to the seller or previous homeowner in a lump sum at the time of closing.

3. Home Loans is for Long-Term

  • Mortgages are long-term loans, typically with terms of 15, 20, or 30 years.
  • Borrowers make regular monthly payments that include both principal and interest over the life of the loan.
  • To know your monthly EMI, you can use a Home Loan EMI calculator & plan the repayment in a better way.

4. Home Loans Offer Fixed/Variable Interest Rates:

  • Mortgages offer both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options. Fixed-rate mortgages have a stable interest rate for the entire loan term, while adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have rates that can change periodically.

Suggested read: Best Bank for Home Loan Interest Rate

5. Lower Down Payment in Home Loans:

  • Homebuyers can often secure a mortgage with a lower down payment compared to a construction loan, sometimes as low as 5-10% of the purchase price, depending on the loan program and creditworthiness.


Understanding the fundamental differences between construction loans and home loans is crucial when embarking on your homeownership journey. While construction loans are suitable for those building a new home or undertaking major renovations, home loans are designed for purchasing existing properties. The key distinctions include home loan disbursement methods, loan terms, interest rates, and down payment requirements.

When considering these loan options, it's essential to assess your specific needs and financial situation. If you're building a home, a construction loan is the way to go, but be prepared for higher interest rates and a shorter-term commitment. Conversely, if you're buying an existing property, a home loan or mortgage offers greater flexibility with various loan terms and down payment options.

Ultimately, your choice will depend on your unique circumstances, goals, and preferences. Consulting with a financial advisor or mortgage specialist can help you make the right decision and set you on the path to homeownership with confidence.

FAQs about Construction Loan vs Home Loan

No, a construction loan is not the same as a home loan. A construction loan funds the building process, while a home loan finances the purchase of an already-built home.

Yes, a home loan can be used for construction if it's a home construction loan specifically designed for that purpose.

Benefits of a home construction loan include financing the construction of your dream home, flexible disbursement options, and potential tax benefits.

Yes, but only the interest component of the construction loan is eligible for tax exemption.

The best bank for a home construction loan can vary based on your location, financial situation, and loan requirements. You can research and compare offers from different banks to find the most suitable one.

The amount of a house construction loan you can get depends on factors like your income, creditworthiness, project cost, and the lender's policies.

Eligibility for a house building loan typically depends on your income, credit score, and the lender's specific criteria. Different lenders may have different eligibility requirements.

Construction loan amounts are usually disbursed in installments, with funds released at various stages of the construction process as the builder completes specific milestones.

Published on 20th September 2023