What is a bridge loan?
A bridge loan is a short-term loan that “bridges the gap” between other types of long-term financing. Bridge financing is secured by real estate and have higher interest rates than conventional loans due to the higher risk associated with these loans. They are designed for investors and borrowers who are involved in real estate projects or transactions such as hard money rehabs, making improvements on land, and purchasing short sales or foreclosures. Residential bridge loans and commercial bridge loans are available to property owners who wish to borrower against the equity in their property.
How does one get a bridge loan?
Bridge loan financing is a straightforward process when compared to obtaining a financing from a conventional lender such as a bank or credit union. Simply contact a bridge loan lender and complete their application process. The bridge lender will require information about the borrower and the subject property. They will then analyze this information and confirm the value of the property. The bridge loan lender will then determine how much they can lend and what loan terms are available for the borrower. The loan should be able to be funded within a week.
How do bridge loans work?
The property owner borrows against real estate they already own and pulls out equity with the bridge loan. The proceeds from the bridge loan financing are then used to purchase a new property. Once the new property is secured, the original property is sold so the bridge loan can be paid off.
When should one use a bridge loan?
Bridge financing should be utilized when the borrower needs capital quickly and only for a short amount of time (approximately 12 months or less). The borrower must also have real property to use as collateral to borrow against or have a large enough down payment (35% or more) to use towards a purchase if they are acquiring a new property with the proceeds from the bridge loan financing.
If a borrower is unable to obtain financing from a conventional lender due to credit issues, recent short sales or foreclosures on their record, or if they currently own too many properties, a hard money bridge loan would be a suitable short-term option.