We looked into doing the same thing not long ago and gave up. We did it twice before, and it worked out well, but as you pointed out, it’s next to impossible to find a bank that will do it. I spoke to a lender I use on a regular basis and she said there are very few companies still doing construction loans. She was aware of one company, but had heard nothing but horror stories from clients so she didn’t even bother recommending them. I know her well enough to follow that advice. Good luck and if you do find someone reputable, I’d really be interesting in getting their info.
Banks are picking the low hanging fruit as they can’t make much money now on loans, even with close to zero cost of funds. Hard money is expensive, but if you only need it for 90 days or so that might be an option. The interest doesn’t matter, it’s the points that kill you there. You might try Bank of the West or Banner Bank. BOW is larger but has been acquisitive lately and may have some participating lenders; Banner Bank is trying to make a mark in NorCal.