A hard money loan is a type of loan that is typically used for real estate investments. It is a loan that is backed by a physical asset such as property, rather than by the creditworthiness of the borrower.
In this guide, we take a closer look at how these loans work, who can benefit from them, how the application process works, the risks involved, and how to find a reputable hard money lender.
How Does a Hard Money Loan Work?
Hard money loans are short-term loans that are typically used for real estate investments.
They are secured by the property being purchased and the lender is primarily concerned with the property’s value and its potential to generate income.
Hard money loans are different from traditional loans in that they are typically funded by private investors or groups, rather than banks or other financial institutions.
Hard money loans also have higher interest rates and shorter repayment terms than traditional loans.
What Are Hard Money Loans Used For?
Here are some of the reasons why people take out hard money loans:
Buying Commercial Property
Similarly to this, a business owner who is unable to obtain standard financing may use a hard money loan to finance the purchase of commercial real estate.
For business owners buying a special property that doesn’t qualify for conventional financing, hard money loans can be helpful.
The same may be true for those who find traditional commercial loan limits insufficient for their needs.
Flipping a House
Real estate investors who make money by purchasing low-cost properties in need of fixing up, making value-boosting repairs and renovations, and then flipping the homes for profit may utilize hard money loans.
Because these projects typically happen fairly quickly, professional flippers often prefer faster forms of financing.
Also, because house flippers normally try to sell the home within a short amount of time – typically less than a year – they don’t need a lengthy loan term you’d get with a standard mortgage.
Buying an Investment Property
Those who want to invest in rental property but don’t qualify for traditional financing might seek out a hard money loan to pay for their investment.
If your credit history prevents you from being approved for a traditional loan or if you require a larger loan amount than a traditional lender will allow, this method may be helpful.
Who Can Benefit From a Hard Money Loan?
Real estate investors typically use hard money loans. This is because these loans are a great way to access capital for real estate deals quickly, and they are often easier to obtain than traditional loans.
House flippers can also benefit from hard money loans. Flippers buy properties, fix them up, and then sell them for a profit. Hard money loans can provide the capital needed to purchase the property and make the necessary repairs.
People with poor credit can also benefit from hard money loans because the loan is secured by the property, rather than the borrower’s creditworthiness.
Finally, business owners can use hard money loans to finance their operations or purchase equipment.
The Application Process
The application process for a hard money loan is typically less strict than that of a traditional loan. However, lenders will still require certain documents, such as a purchase contract, proof of income, and a credit report.
The lender will also evaluate the property being purchased to ensure it has enough value to secure the loan.
The criteria for approval will vary depending on the lender.
Still, generally, the lender will look at the property’s value, the borrower’s experience, and the borrower’s ability to repay the loan.
The typical time frame for approval is usually a few days to a week.
The Risks of Hard Money Loans
While hard money loans can be a great way to access capital for real estate deals quickly, they do come with risks.
The interest rates for hard money loans are typically higher than traditional loans, and the repayment terms are shorter. This means that borrowers may have a harder time repaying the loan, which could lead to foreclosure.
Additionally, hard money loans are not regulated like traditional loans, which means borrowers are more susceptible to fraud and other unethical practices.
How To Get a Hard Money Loan
To get a hard money loan, you need to compare lenders and loan offers to find a loan for your specific needs.
The lender may do a quick credit check but the process is generally faster than a traditional loan. Keep in mind that interest rates on these loans could be higher than with traditional loans as the lender takes on significant risk.
How To Find a Hard Money Lender
Finding the right lender is important – here are a few guidelines:
- To find a reputable hard money lender, do proper research and due diligence.
- Check the lender’s credentials and experience, and look for referrals from trusted sources.
- Be aware of any fees or charges associated with the loan.
- Read the loan agreement carefully before signing it.
Hard money loans can be a great way to access capital for real estate deals quickly, but they do come with risks.
Borrowers should carefully consider their options before taking out a hard money loan and should ensure that they are working with a reputable lender.
If you are considering a hard money loan, it is important to do your research and due diligence to ensure you’re making the best financial decision.