The real estate market, which is finally making a positive comeback, is bringing about new business for borrowers and lenders alike. Many of the borrowers are utilizing hard money loans to help them complete their financial transactions. Hard money loans are substantially different than conventional mortgage loans. Here is an overview of what hard money loans as well as how they differ from conventional loans.
What are Hard Money Loans?
Hard money loans are loans typically used to purchase homes or real estate property. They are most often used by individuals or companies who wish to purchase property, renovate it and resell it. Those in the fix-and-flip business usually always use hard money loans because they get their properties at real estate auctions and need to pay for the property quickly.
Hard Money Loans vs Conventional Mortgage Loans
There are various differences between hard money loans and conventional mortgage loans.
• Financing – Whereas are soft money or conventional mortgage loans obtain their financing from conventional banks and credit unions, hard money loans are financed through private investors or investment companies.
• Loan Terms – Soft money loans have terms that go from ten years to 30 years. Hard money loans generally go for one year, although some may go up to three years.
• Interest Rates & Fees – Because hard money loans have such short fees and such limited requirements, their interest rates and loan fees are higher than conventional loans.
• Eligibility Requirements – Conventional mortgage loans have many requirements borrowers must meet such as income, employment, credit scores and work history. Hard money loans are based solely on the value of the property and the borrower’s equity, making it much easier for approval.
Benefits of Hard Money Loans?
Despite not being financed by conventional banks and charging higher fees, there are still many benefits with hard money loans.
• Faster Approval – Because the property value is the main approval criteria, hard money loans may be approved in a couple of days, unlike conventional loans that can take weeks.
• More Flexible – Hard money loans get their financing through private investors so they’re often more willing to negotiate loan terms and payments until they come to something agreeable to both parties.
• Credit Not a Factor – Hard money loans are often the ideal solution for individuals with limited or poor credit because credit scores may not even be checked and if they are, they’re not really used in the approval process.
• Credit History Not a Factor – Because the property value is the main criteria, borrowers may be approved for more than one hard money loan at one time. Conventional banks, on the other hand, would typically not approve more than one mortgage loan because approval is based on income-to-debt ratio.
Disadvantages of Hard Money Loans
Despite the many benefits of hard money loans, like most financial transactions, there are also some pitfalls to hard money loans that potential borrowers should be made aware.
• Higher Interest – In the eagerness to be approved, some borrowers don’t realize the higher interest rates until after they’ve completed the transaction.
• Shorter Loan Terms – The shorter loan terms, which are usually considered a plus, can be a disadvantage if you’re not ready to pay off the loan when the term is up.
• Higher Fees – The loan fees that are associated with most loans are substantially higher with hard money loans.
• Fewer Regulations – Hard money loans don’t come with the same regulations as conventional mortgage loans so borrowers should be aware of with who they’re doing business.
Where are Hard Money Loans Offered?
Hard money loans are offered in many locations and cities throughout the nation. Generally speaking, you can find hard money loans in most places where you find conventional loans. While they may not be conventional mortgage lenders, they are considered as hard money lenders. Finding a hard money lender may be accomplished through the help of a real estate agent or a mortgage broker. Both of these professionals may be able to provide you with a list of hard money lenders in your area. If all else fails, you can Google them along with your zip code.