This article was written in partnership with Backflipper, Ryan Dosenberry, and posted originally on Crushing REI
When it comes to obtaining financing for real estate investments, traditional bank loans may not always be an option. In these cases, hard money loans can be a viable alternative for real estate investors looking to fund their projects.
In this article, we will delve into the world of hard money loans, discussing their pros and cons, the requirements typically needed to qualify for one, and how to find a hard money lender.
We will also take a closer look at hard money construction loans, which are a specialized type of hard money loan used to finance real estate development projects.
What is a Hard Money Loan?
A hard money loan is a type of real estate financing that is typically provided by private investors or companies.
Unlike traditional bank loans that have strict requirements and take longer to process, hard money loans are generally faster and easier to obtain. This is because hard money lenders primarily focus on the value of the collateral (typically real estate) rather than the borrower’s credit history or financial stability.
Hard money loans are commonly used by real estate investors who need quick funding to purchase, renovate and flip a property. They are also used by borrowers who may not qualify for a traditional bank loan due to poor credit history or lack of financial stability.
What are The Benefits of a Hard Money Loan?
Hard money loans wouldn’t be so popular if there weren’t plenty of benefits to using them. Here are the top benefits hard money borrowers will find if they choose to work with a hard money lender:
- Faster approval process: Hard money lenders can approve and fund loans in a matter of days, compared to traditional bank loans that can take weeks or months to process.
- Less strict requirements: Hard money lenders generally focus on the value of the collateral rather than the borrower’s credit history or financial stability, making it easier for borrowers to qualify for a loan.
- Flexible repayment terms: Hard money loans can be customized to meet the borrower’s needs, with terms ranging from a few months to several years.
- Financing non-traditional properties: Hard money lenders may be willing to finance properties that traditional banks would not, such as fix-and-flip properties, land, or commercial properties.
- Opportunity for quick returns: Real estate investors who use hard money loans to purchase, renovate, and flip properties can potentially see a quick return on their investment.
What are the Drawbacks of Hard Money Loans?
Hard money loans can be a valuable source of financing for borrowers in need of quick access to capital, but they also come with several significant disadvantages. First, hard money loans typically come with higher interest rates than traditional bank loans, which can make them much more expensive to repay over time.
Additionally, hard money loans often require borrowers to put up collateral to secure the loan, which can be risky if the borrower is unable to make the required payments.
Another disadvantage of hard money loans is that they often have shorter repayment terms than traditional bank loans, which means that borrowers must be prepared to pay back the loan within a shorter period of time. This can be challenging for some borrowers, particularly those who are relying on the loan to fund a long-term investment or business venture.
Hard money lenders may have more lenient underwriting standards compared to traditional lenders, which means that borrowers may be subject to higher fees, stricter repayment terms, or other penalties if they default on the loan.
How to Find a Hard Money Lender Near Me
While its not necessary your hard money lender is local, it can be helpful to establish a working relationship with someone local. The benefits of going local is the lender will be familiar with the market and you can meet them in person and get to know them easier. If you’re trying to find the best local hard money lender, there are several steps you can take to find one near you:
- Start by conducting a search online. Use keywords such as “hard money lender near me” or “private money lender near me” to locate lenders in your area. You can also search for hard money lending associations or directories, which may list local lenders.
- Ask for referrals from your network. Talk to real estate agents, attorneys, and other professionals in the industry who may be familiar with local hard money lenders. Join Facebook groups and ask for recommendations.
- Check local real estate investment clubs or meetups. These groups often have members who have used hard money lenders in the past and may be able to provide recommendations.
- Attend local real estate auctions. Hard money lenders often attend these events, as they are a good way to identify potential borrowers and properties to invest in.
Once you have identified several potential lenders, it’s important to thoroughly research each one before choosing the best hard money lender for your needs. Look for online reviews, check their Better Business Bureau rating, and read through the terms and conditions of their loans.
You should also be prepared to provide detailed information about your project, including the amount of funding you need and the collateral you can offer, in order to determine whether a particular lender is the right fit for your needs.
What to Look for in Potential Lending Partners
While all hard money lenders can offer you a loan, not all lenders are created equal. In fact, partnering with the wrong lender can turn a good deal bad very quickly. To avoid this, you want to look for three main things to determine if a lender will make a strong partner for you.
- Transparency: As with most things in life, great communication is the key to success. Finding a lender that not only openly and actively communicates with you, but acts as a true champion for your business is incredibly important. Do they help guide you through the process? Respond to your questions promptly? The peace of mind you receive when working with the right lender is just as, if not more, valuable than the money itself.
- Competitive Interest Rates: Many hard money lenders will offer rates that take away a large chunk from your end returns. With all of the hard work you’re putting into your property, you deserve to get the highest returns possible. The right lending partner will work with you to ensure that you’re getting the best deal for your business. So look for a partner that not only offers you the best competitive rates, but one that gives you the best terms overall.
- Expertise: Lenders who have industry experience and a deep understanding of the real estate market make great partners for investors. Someone who knows a good deal from a bad one, and who can structure your funding with the best possible financing terms will ultimately ensure the best outcome for your business. You also want to know that whoever you’re working with knows the market and can recognize how to help you handle financing your portfolio for the long term based on your strategy and potential future market conditions.
When looking for the right hard money lender, you should also be prepared to provide detailed information about your project, including the amount of funding you need and the collateral you can offer, in order to determine whether that particular lender is the right fit for your needs.
If you’re struggling to find a hard money lender that supports your business, especially in these times of financial uncertainty, you’re not alone. It’s difficult to find a lender that meets all the criteria. One of our favorite lending partners right now is Backflip.
From the ground up, Backflip is built to help local real estate entrepreneurs make strategic investment decisions with confidence. Utilizing data and technology to enhance everything you do, they can help you optimize investment opportunities and quickly get borrower-friendly capital to grow your business.
Apply for a loan directly from the app and you will not only get pre-approved in under 48 hours, and gain access to some of the lowest rates in the industry, but you will also be connected to an expert who will work with you to figure out the best financing terms based on your deal and intended strategy.