About Hard Money Loans
The value of your property is the basis of hard money loans. Instead of assessing your ability to pay back the loan, hard money lenders look at the value of your collateral. Not that your financial standing isn’t important, it just isn’t as significant to hard money lenders since there is collateral involved. This is a different method of financing than what you’ll find with traditional mortgage lenders. Hard money lenders are individual investors and firms that make decisions based on the merit of each application.
Hard money lenders don’t necessarily follow strict standards like traditional mortgage lenders, they are more willing to consider your unique situation. Some of the common hard money loans are the construction loan, bridge loan and fix-and-flip loan. There’s also the less common owner-occupied loan for consumers who are unable to get a traditional mortgage. Most hard money lenders won’t fund consumer loans because of the regulations involved, but there are some who will.
Bridge loans are for the purpose of buying a property that you quickly resell or refinance. You can also use a bridge loan to buy a property before you have the cash down payment from the sale of a property that you already own. Fix-and-flip loans let you buy a fixer-upper, make the repairs and resell it, then pay the loan off. Construction loans are for real estate developers to start a new project, then refinance or sell it right away.
A Closer Look at Hard Money Loans
Hard money loans can be appealing for several reasons. For starters, the application process is fast and can sometimes take less than a week. It’s also a very streamlined process that is just the opposite of the cumbersome traditional mortgage lending process. Fast funding is an undeniable perk to real estate investors.
You will likely need a cash down payment for a hard money loan that will be dependent upon your property’s Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio or After-Repair-Value (ARV) ratio. The payment terms of hard money loans are also different than traditional loans because they are often monthly interest only, instead of monthly principal and interest payments. When it’s time to pay off the loan, you will do so in a balloon payment that covers the entire principal, all remaining interests and any fees.
Is a Hard Money Loan a Good Solution?
You might be wondering about the downsides of hard money loans. Frankly, hard money loans have high interest rates that can reach the double digits, there are often a lot of fees, they have extremely short terms and there is a lack of government oversight. There is also a chance that you could experience problems with refinancing since traditional mortgage lenders require a seasoning period, which means you will have to wait a period of time in order to refinance the loan.
Many real estate investors find that the pros outweigh the cons of hard money loans. Fast money, relaxed requirements and flexible terms can allow you to stay in the game and take advantage of investment opportunities that arise. If you have another option that will satisfy your mortgage needs, then it makes sense to use it, especially if it’s cheaper. If not, a hard money loan might be the solution you’re seeking.