What is a Bridge Loan?
There is a common misconception that a bridge loan is just a short term loan. Correctly defined, a bridge loan is where someone is buying one property before selling another one and they need to get a short term loan until they sell the property they already own.
It is called a bridge loan because it bridges the gap between buying a new property and selling a property you already own.
The problem is that banks don’t do bridge loans. They focus on the very plain and uncomplicated loan types that don’t require a lot of expertise or creativity to figure out. This is probably because most banks sell their loans and the people who buy them are investors, not seasoned mortgage professionals.
One of the many different uses of hard money is the bridge loan. Hard money is the ideal vehicle for them because decisions in hard money are generally made by an individual and not a board of directors. And even if the individual who is lending the money isn’t an expert in mortgages, he or she can be educated quickly so that they understand.
So how do bridge loans work?
There are 3 ways to do a bridge loan:
1) The loan is secured by the property being bought.
2) The loan is secured by the property being sold.
3) The loan is secured by both properties.
Which one is best will depend on the situation. Some of the factors involved are how much down payment there is (if any), how much equity is in the property already owned, the value of the property already owned and the purchase price of the property being bought.
Most bridge loans are for 12 months or less although that can be negotiable. This is why some people think of any short term loan as a bridge loan.
One of the biggest advantages of bridge loans is that the requirement for proving income is waived for this type of loan, regardless of whether either of the properties will be owner occupied or a rental property.
If there was a single thing that one should know about bridge loans, it is that they are all about figuring out how to make the numbers work. Anyone who is expert at doing them should be able to figure out the numbers in a couple of minutes and let you know if there is a way to do the loan.
So if you have any questions about whether you qualify for a bridge loan or if one could solve the problem of trying to buy one property before selling another one, ask someone who has done them before.