Understanding Hard Money Loan Options

Real estate investors rely on the properties that they purchase to produce income. While a strong buyer’s market certainly favors investors, it does take a great deal of financial savvy to successfully navigate real estate investments. After all, conventional financing, such as the FHA loans used to purchase residential homes, often aren’t available to investors. Instead, many investors turn to private money lenders – also known as hard money lenders – to finance their purchases.

Hard money loans, which are also called private money or equity-based loans, are designed to meet the needs of real estate buyers who can’t use traditional financial products. In many cases, banks and other lending institutions won’t finance real estate purchases because they don’t meet stringent criteria about the types of properties that qualify for financing. In other cases, individuals are unable to secure financing because of past foreclosures or credit problems.

Buyers and investors who want to purchase real property but don’t qualify for traditional financing may be able to utilize this type of private financing. Before you apply for one of these private loans, it’s essential to understand what types of products are available.

Fix-and-Flip Loans

True to their name, fix-and-flip loans are designed for investors who want to buy properties, rehab them and sell them at a profit. These homes often don’t qualify for FHA financing because they need too much work. Fix-and-flip loans are widely used across the nation and can be utilized by both new and experienced investors. Most hard money loans designed for fix-and-flip properties can be used to finance both the purchase price and the cost of repairs. These loans may also be referred to as residential or commercial rehab loans.

Bridge Loans

Bridge loans are a type of private money loan used by business owners to cover gaps between their operating expenses and available funds. A business owner might choose a bridge loan to pay a big COD or to own a property free and clear. These loans are also a good alternative when a bank won’t refinance a mortgage.

Ground-Up Construction Loans

Some investors want to build innovative properties but can’t find the financing to do so. Private financing for ground-up construction can provide the funds needed to purchase land and complete construction projects. These types of loans are often used by investors and business owners who want to build specialty properties that are difficult to appraise or are perceived by traditional lenders as high risk.