Take It To the Board: To Lend or Not To Lend with Brewster Cole, First Vice President, Valley National Bank

Take It To the Board: To Lend or Not To Lend with Brewster Cole, First Vice President, Valley National Bank

For more episodes of Take it to the Board, click here!


Florida community associations always need money for maintenance, repair, and capital improvement projects, but especially now with new safety laws in place, and Brewster Cole, First Vice President of Valley National Bank, is “the man with the money.” Brewster has spent 16 years lending money to condominiums, co-ops, HOAs, and country clubs, and has carved an impressive niche for himself and Valley National in this sector of the lending market. He and host Donna DiMaggio Berger discuss the ins and outs, and the ups and downs, of when to lend and to whom.

Highlights include:

  • Florida community associations need hundreds of millions of dollars for immediate repair and maintenance projects. Does the fact that many of them need loans to address deferred maintenance or to cure code violations make them less attractive borrowers?
  • Is it possible that the State of Florida might offer low interest loan programs in the post-Surfside landscape?
  • What does a lender look for when evaluating an association as a prospective borrower? Will the current property insurance crisis in Florida play a role? How about the number of leased units? Do lenders take pending litigation into account?
  • How long does the approval process typically take?
  • Association loans can range from a few hundred thousand dollars to millions. How does a lender determine the limit for a particular association?
  • What types of loans are available for community associations? Other than construction loans for particular projects, what other types of financing options are there?
  • How does a line of credit typically work when the association is taking one for a construction project? How do capital improvement projects and/or milestone inspections affect credit?
  • What is the difference between lines of credit and traditional loans?
  • What type of collateral is required for association loans?
  • How important is it to establish and maintain personal relationships between borrowers and lenders?
  • Once upon a time it was very difficult for cooperative purchasers to obtain financing. What has changed?
  • Will lenders start seeing older coastal buildings as unacceptably risky borrowers?

About Take It to the Board

Think you know what community association life is all about? Think again. Residents must obey the rules, directors must follow the law, and managers must keep it all running smoothly. Take It To the Board explores the reality of life in a condominium, cooperative or homeowners’ association, what’s really involved in serving on its board, and how to maintain that ever-so-delicate balance of being legally compliant and community spirited. Leading community association attorney Donna DiMaggio Berger acknowledges the balancing act without losing her sense of humor as she talks with a variety of association leaders, experts, and vendors about the challenges and benefits of the community association lifestyle.

If you’ve got a question, Take It To the Board with Donna DiMaggio Berger – We Speak Condo & HOA!

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