Many people think of hard money lenders as loan sharks, which are those types of people who will break your kneecap if you don’t pay on time. In reality, however, these lenders are legitimate individuals or organizations that help people get hold of home loans as quickly as possible. Very simply put, a hard money lender is a private rather than a traditional lender, meaning that this is not a bank.
Why Opt for Hard Money Loans
Many people wonder why anyone would go to a hard money lender instead of a bank. The answer to that is “convenience”. A hard money loan may have huge interest rates and run over short periods of time only, but they can be arranged within days and they are quite easy to get. This has made them popular with specific demographics.
Who Uses Hard Money Loans?
1. Fix and flippers love these loans, because they only hold properties for short periods of time, so a lengthy mortgage is not suitable to them.
If you add up all the time it takes to complete a fix and flip, you quickly arrive to a time frame that most people do not expect or plan for. Total completion time: 20 weeks (4 to 5 months).
2. Property builders, who use these loans to purchase land, build a property, and sell it. Again, this doesn’t take a lot of time.
3. Investors, such as real estate investors who see an amazing deal that simply cannot wait. Because a hard money loan can be organized in days, due to the fact that these lenders are essentially real estate investors themselves, it is the perfect solution for urgent deals.
4. People with bad credit who have a deposit ready. They may have had a recent default, foreclosure, or bankruptcy on their file. If they have cash and have spotted a property of value, then they may be considered for a hard money loan.
Bad Credit and Hard Money Loans
Technically, hard money loans were not designed for people who want to buy a primary residence. However, with so many people having bad credit or otherwise not meeting the standards set by regular lenders, they have become a viable option to consider. Essentially, people use them as a bridge loan, meaning that they take the hard money to buy their home, which is usually a two year loan. During this time, they rebuild their credit, meaning they will be able to apply for a conventional mortgage once the time is up.
Getting a Hard Money Loan
It is important that you check directories of hard money lenders so that you find the one that is right for you. This also means being aware of how these loans work. Usually, you will only be able to receive a loan for around six months to a year, although some hard money lenders now extend this to five years. You can also expect to pay substantial interest rates, usually between 12% and 21%. Furthermore, you usually have to pay for “points” or other types of fees.
Hard money lenders charge other fees besides the interest on the loan. The fees are a source of income for investors of hard money loans and it is important you understand the sources of income to negotiate the best rate and terms for your deal.
You also have to have a substantial deposit available yourself in order to qualify for a hard money loan. It is rare for lenders to even consider you unless you have at least 25% of the value in a deposit. The loan-to-value (LTV) rate is often as low as 60%, meaning you may have to save up for a 40% deposit.