The hard money or private loan can, under the right circumstances, provide borrowers with an easy to obtain loan. Unsurprisingly, it is getting increasingly popular, with the lending environment in banks remaining very unfriendly to borrowers. Indeed, there are numerous reasons as to why these loans are now so common.
Recent years have seen major growth in the private capital market with more lenders offering hard money loans and more borrowers seeking them out as alternative financing. While there are many reasons for the growth in this segment of the real estate market, here are four main ones: Mutually beneficial to borrower and lender. Credit availability. Asset-based underwriting. Higher returns on investments.
Yet, despite the fact that there are so many clear benefits, people are still skeptical about these types of loans. One of the reasons for that is perhaps because these loans can be quite a bit riskier because they don’t have a standard application and acceptance process. They also have much higher rates of interest. Nevertheless, everything has its pros and cons and it is all about weighing these up. Let’s review some of the most common myths about hard money loans.
Myth 1 – A Private Loan Is an Expensive Loan
The fact is that these loans indeed have a higher price tag, but a loan is taken out for a purpose, which means that what really matters is the return on investment. When you consider that a traditional bank will only finance up to 65% of the total cost of the project, it means a borrower must still be able to raise at least 35%. This is known as the loan-to-cost (LTC) ratio.
The loan-to-cost (LTC) ratio is a metric used in commercial real estate construction used to compare the financing of a project as offered by a loan to the cost of building the project. The LTC ratio allows commercial real estate lenders to determine the risk of offering a construction loan.
With a hard money loan, borrowers could raise as much as 90% of the total cost of the project. This means that they have more disposable capital to work with. And although the interest rate is higher for a private loan, many have found that the return on investment is also higher.
Myth 2 – Hard Money Borrowers Lose a Lot of Control of the Property
It is quite common for those who decide to go the traditional lending route to have to bring in a partner in order to be able to finance their project, leading to them having to give up at least partial ownership of the property. Some, in fact, will require full ownership to be given up. With a hard money loan, the lender owns part of the project, not the actual property.
Myth 3 – It Is Much Easier to Deal with a Bank
This myth stems from the fact that banks have a standardized process. While this may be true, this also makes them highly rigid. Banks also generally do not provide any finance for development or construction loans at all.
The implementation of HVCRE (High Velocity Commercial Real Estate) rules that went into effect for the banks at the beginning of 2016 has made a large impact in the space. This causes acquisition, development and construction loans to be reported separately from other CRE loans and to be assigned higher risk weighting by the banks.
Banks have to stick to the HVCRE regulations and they are only allowed to provide loans according to the rules of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Additionally, they underwrite based on the borrower’s income. Finally, they are concerned about exposure and will therefore often only work with borrowers they already know.
A hard money loan does not have to deal with this, which is one of the reasons why even residential borrowers are now considering these types of loans. They have a quick, streamlined process and generally complete the transaction within 30 days. In fact, underwriting often only takes 48 hours. Private loans are also far more flexible as their terms and conditions can be modified or altered as a project progresses.