For real estate investors who can’t secure conventional financing quickly, hard money loans are a great funding solution to use in a pinch. In comparison to banks, hard money lenders tend to offer quick loan approval in exchange for higher interest rates and short repayment periods.
Hard Money Loans
How does a hard money loan work for a real estate investor? First off, hard money loan programs come in the form of short-term financing from private investors or an individual private lender. They used an asset-based approval method based on the LTV (loan-to-value) of the soon-to-be purchased property being used as collateral.
Estimated property values will vary between these private lenders based on their knowledge of a particular city or state. If this is one of your first property purchases and you’d rather not have to personal finance it, be sure to stick with the best cities to invest in real estate.
While hard money loan extensions of 2-5 years might be possible, be sure to consider mortgage lenders, loan terms, closing costs, and market volatility before signing on the dotted line.
Applications for hard money financing will usually only require a basic check of the real estate investor’s financial status and payment history, along with an in-depth analysis of property value. Similar to a real estate investor credit line, hard money lending can at times require a credit score of 600-680 just to apply.
The estimated value of the real estate being purchased and investor experience, along with the borrower’s credit score all factor into how much you can borrow. As someone new to real estate investing or flipping properties, you might only get approved for an LTV of around 50%, while experience flippers might be able to borrow 75% of the estimated property value.
With a fast approval process, hard money funding can be released into your bank account within a few days. Unlike traditional lenders, however, the repayment periods for hard money loans can be short as 6-18 months. This means that you’ll typically need to list and sell your property quickly to obtain a favorable ROI from a hard money loan.
A typical down payment on a property financed by a hard money loan can range from 10-30%. The percentage variance can be attributed to the local real estate market, along with the deal economics and your investment history. If you are a good negotiator or able to offer liquid collateral such as stocks, bonds, or t-bills this too can help you lower the down payment amount.
Don’t forget to factor in the closing costs, as well as, be weary of any lender who offers a zero down payment. Many predatory lenders will use this tactic to get you to overlook the fine print that may allow them to seize and sell your property for something as simple as a disputed missed payment.
Hard money loan rates also can often be 10 points higher than traditional loans from banks. Based on property location and investor experience, the average interest rate can range from 8-18%.
Be sure to check the fine print of your hard money lender loan for origination fees, late payment fees, transaction fees, and wires fees.
Below you find a list of the top hard money lenders who offer quick funding alternatives to using traditional financing to fund investment property purchases.
A good choice for any company which intends to get money easily and fast with no hidden fees or any closing expenses. Kiavi is a hard money lender that provides financing for first-time flippers, from zero to five flips within 2 years.
However, the best rates, as well as, a private manager are reserved for experienced flippers who had more than 5 flips in the last 24 months.
Lima One Capital
A non-traditional lender, Lima One is a great hard money loan choice for startups and experienced businesses. They request a minimum of 600 – 660 credit score points to qualify.
Lima One Capital has a very wide range of offers for many types of needs, like fix-and-flip, fix-to-rent, construction loans, etc. The maximum value approved for value-add bridge loans is $20 million. However, for the fix-and-flip and construction types of loans, the limit is $3 million. The same differences between Lima One products are valid for their terms and fees.
They are at the top when it comes to the national coverage of their financial products. Their fix-and-flip loans are available in 44 states, for residential development projects, as well as for mixed-used real estate. This is also available for multiple-unit and single-family buildings.
An attractive part of RCN Capital’s offer is that they charge interest only on the outstanding balance, not on the total value of your loan. And there is more, they have no penalties for early repayments. So this loan is ideal for those who succeed to sell quickly the property and make enough profit to cover quickly the loan. You will also benefit from great customer service.
Finance of America
This lender is outstanding when it comes to its competitive interest rates for residential and commercial real estate purchases. Season house-flippers and established investors can benefit from credit lines amounting to $10 million. This encourages large projects and large investors, that focus on big or multiple properties at the same time.
Finance of America offers good alternatives to other financing options like business loans or cash-out refinancing. Due to their focus on this specific niche, you will undergo a check about your real estate investment history, rather than your income and credit score. Which is good news for those that don’t have great credit scores yet have a consistent experience with property investments.
Unlike most other hard money lenders Visio Lending specializes in long-term loans for rental properties, along with offering some bridge loans too. Thus, they are a good choice for individuals that intend to invest in properties for vacation and tourism, very often this involves multi-unit buildings.
They also provide attractive interest rates and do not request you a credit score or income value to qualify. Thus there are many opportunities also for those with not-so-perfect credit history.
This lender specialized in large projects. They offer hard money mortgages with five, seven, and 10 years of repayment, and a 75% LTV. They have lines of credit going from $1 million to $50 million that allow completing construction projects, selling them, and using the same line of credit for the next flip.
They are easy to access either on their website or on through the online application, or by speaking directly with one of their counselors at the 800 phone number.
Hard money loans are mostly used by experienced real estate investors that can sell their properties less than one year after purchase. This type of funding can use on fix-and-flips, along with commercial or investment properties that can turn a quick profit.
Fix and Flip
Fast approvals allow real estate investors who flip houses to quickly pay for repairs and renovations before selling the property at a profit.
If you can get approved for a traditional loan, hard money lenders offer a simple solution to purchase rental properties with little investment experience. While their interest rates will take a bite out of your profit, you can at least start to build your property portfolio right away.
If you can’t find a traditional lender to help you to invest in commercial real estate, or a local bank willing to lend you money for commercial properties, then a hard money lender might be the last option.
Below you’ll find answers to our most frequently asked questions about hard money loans and why they are an option to consider if you get turned down for a traditional bank loan.
It’s a type of short-term financing for real estate investment that is secured by the property you want to renovate or fix and flip. Approval amounts from hard money lenders are typically based on a 50-75% loan-to-value (LTV) of the property being used as collateral. The repayment terms generally range from 6-24 months, while interest rates range from 8-18%.
No, a hard money loan is usually only offered by private lenders or alternative lenders in the real estate industry rather than banks or credit unions. Unlike financial institutions, these private investors typically only offer short-term loans that might be 10-15 percentage points higher than traditional mortgages.