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Bridge Loans 2024: Real Estate Investing Must-Know

Bridge Loans 2024: Real Estate Investing Must-Know

Investors wonder what a bridge loan is and how it can help them achieve their real estate investing goals. Today we will discuss bridge loans and what every real estate investor needs to know before jumping in. To clarify, a bridge loan is a short term need for money until some other event happens. This includes selling a property, refinancing a property, and so much more! Start by asking yourself what you can use the money for and how can you make money?

Bridge loans for usage loan.

A usage loan is needed when someone has too much debt on their personal credit cards. Once these cards are paid off, the investors credit score will increase. We did three usages loans last month! For example, one customer used a bridge loan to pay off their credit cards. After their credit score went up, they refinanced with a DSCR. The money from the refinance was used to pay off credit cards. Bridge loans are an excellent tools that will open doors that were previously closed. They will also provide opportunities to get a better rates on long term loans.

Bridge loans for fix and flips.

Bridge loans are a great way to bridge the gap between fix and flip projects. It is important that they keep their crews working and their business going during this transition. In regards to the property that is listed or getting ready to list, it holds the equity that is needed to move onto the next investment. That is where a bridge loan can help. It puts a lean on the property that you’re selling in order to help you buy the next property. Once the property sells, the bridge loan can then be paid off and your next project is helping you to move forward. 

Bridge loans to finish a project.

Investors often need additional funds in order to finish projects. This could include a pop top, scraping, construction loan, or even a fix and flip. Whether the escrow won’t pay out until you hit a certain amount, or you just ran out of money, a bridge loan can help you achieve whatever you need.Once again, a bridge loan is a short term solution to get investors onto the next step. Don’t let your property stall! Remember you still have to pay your contractors, laborers, taxes, insurance, and interest on the first mortgage. We have done bridge loans for $11K to $180K. The loan amount is based on what the property will be worth in the end. Do you need to finish a project before spring season, but don’t have the extra money? Contact us today to find out more! 

Bridge loans to buy a good deal quickly. 

Many investors use a bridge loan to help them buy a property that is a really good deal prior to getting the financing lined up, or delayed purchase financing. In most cases investors are not getting their finances secured before the hard close date. Here at Hard Money Mike we can come in and do a 3 month bridge loan to ensure that they won’t lose the property. In this situation, a bridge loan would allow them to secure the property until they get their financing in order.

Not your traditional loan.

Unlike traditional lenders, we are not looking for appraisals or asking you to validate your income. A bridge loan’s primary purpose is to fill a lending gap to get you to a better spot. Don’t confuse this loan with a DSCR loan. A DSCR loan is a 30 year fixed loan, however, a bridge loan is a 3 to 6 month term. Do you need gap funding or down payment money for your next project? Find out how a bridge loan can provide the funding you need without needing to find a partner. Instead, we can use the other properties you have to get the bridge loan that you need. 

We are here for you! 

Do you need financial flexibility and a loan that can bridge the lending gap? A bridge loan could help you today! Contact us at Hard Money Mike to find out more! 

Watch our most recent video to learn more about Bridge Loans 2024: Real Estate Investing Must-Know.

What Is Gap Funding? (What to Do When Your Main Loan Leaves Gaps)

What is gap funding? Let’s go over 4 types of small loans: bridge, reserves, rehab, and usage.

The gaps lenders leave on real estate projects are getting bigger.

They’re asking you to put more money in. Leave bigger reserves. Have better credit scores.

We see this daily as we help clients with small loans. Let’s go over some of these small loans that we call gap funding:

  • Bridge loans
  • Reserves
  • Rehab costs
  • Usage loans

Bridge Loan Gap Funding

Bridge loans: if you have a project that’s either on the market or going on the market, but you need to get into your next project. You have to keep making money, but your capital is tied until that first property sells. 

These bridge loans are usually between $10,000 and $75,000, used for a down payment on your next project.

How it works: you put a lien on both properties, then when the first one sells, you pay off the bridge loan. This can keep you going from flip to flip with no pause in projects.


Another spot in the real estate investing process for gap funding is reserves. Banks are requiring more money in reserves to cover any unknown expenses or payments.

We just did two loans to help with reserves. 

One was for a flip. Someone needed to borrow money. They had a property on the market. They’re buying their next one, but the lender that was funding their new deal required six months of reserves. We did put a second mortgage, on the property. When it sells, we’ll get paid off, and they’ll be onto their next deal. 

The second was an investor who needed reserves for a long-term loan. He was refinancing his investment property, but he was short on reserves. We were able to use another property in his portfolio to do a loan. Once the cash-out refinance is done, he’ll pay us back.

Funding Gap in Rehab Budget

Maybe your primary loan didn’t cover as much of the fix-up process as you ended up needing. This is another instance where gap funding comes in handy.

We also had another unique situation with a client recently. The borrower got the money in their escrow account when they set up the loan… but the lender would not release any escrow funds until he did at least a quarter to a half of the project. Yet he couldn’t start the project because he needed the funds from the escrow.

We stepped into this chicken-and-the-egg situation and helped him with a lien on another property to give him the funding he needed to kick off the project. When his other lender released the escrow, he was able to pay us back.

Usage Loans

Sometimes the requirement from banks that kills investors is the credit score limits. For many investors, this means their credit usage is too high – since they use lines of credit for their real estate projects.

We had a client out of Michigan who was trying to get a DSCR loan. He bought a property, fixed it up, and was going to do a DSCR refinance to get all his cash back.

But he used all personal credit cards for the project. This tanked his credit score. So when he applied for the DSCR loan, he was at an almost 10% interest rate with 3 points.

To help him, we did a quick usage loan to pay off those credit cards and let his credit score go back up. Then he can get into a long-term loan at a good rate with fewer fees.

Other Small Loans for Gap Funding

We’re able to help people in any of these circumstances who need a small gap funding loan.

In fact, in any situation where you need a loan and have a good property to put a lien on, we may be able to help you.

If you have any questions on this or other loans, reach out to Info@HardMoneyMike.com.

Happy Investing.

What To Do When Your Flip Is Stuck on the Market

It’s all too common in times like these – your flip is stuck on the market. Here are your options to save your money.

You got a great deal on a property a couple months ago. You worked hard to fix up the house fast. And now… it’s not selling.

This problem is happening to investors daily. We’re getting a lot of calls from our clients (and other people’s clients!) asking for help.

So, what do you do with a sticky flip?

Your Options When Your Flip Is Stuck on the Market

Obviously, the ideal goal with a flip is to sell at a profit, quickly. That may not be possible under current conditions. If your flip is stuck on the market, you might need to strategize a different exit plan.

Your main options are to:

  1. Keep dropping the price until it sells. Cut your losses and just get rid of the property.
  2. Refinance your flip’s loan. Make your lender happy, but keep the house on the market to try to salvage some profit.
  3. Convert the flip into a rental. Refinance your flip, then hold onto the property for a couple more years, until a good market returns. You can keep a tenant and get some rent income in the meantime.

Which option is right for you? That depends on your goals, willingness to rent, and financial situation. Let’s go over some of these options in detail to help you decide.

First Step in Converting a Flip to a Rental

First of all, if you decide you’d rather turn the flip into a rental, stop lowering the market price immediately.

You can’t drag out this decision, lowering the price “just in case” while exploring rental options.

When you refinance your fix-and-flip, the appraiser looks at the market history. They see the last price the house was listed for. They have to base their appraisal off that number, regardless of whether the house sold or not.

If the last listed price is lower than what they would have appraised the house for… they still have to go with the listed number.

So every time you drop the price, it lowers your potential appraisal. This directly hurts your loan-to-value on a refinance.

Loan Options for Your Flip Stuck on the Market

Once you’ve made the (quick) decision to refinance the property, what are your options?

Typically, you’d go to a bank to get a conforming or traditional loan. But banks are slow, and this refinance needs to happen quickly. Also, with money tightening, bank loans are harder to get than ever.

Here are 3 other options we’d steer you toward:

1. DSCR Loans

The DSCR loan is the easiest, fastest way to get a longer-term rental loan. The core requirements for most DSCR loans are:

  • A good credit score – 680 minimum, with a higher score meaning the better the rates and terms.
  • Rent income – If your rent covers your monthly payments on the loan transaction, you’ll qualify. Some DSCR products will still take you if you lose up to 25% on the loan payment with rent.

If you decide you want to turn your flip into a rental, a DSCR loan should be the first option you consider.

Beware the Prepayment Penalty

All DSCR loans have a prepayment penalty. The standard timeframe is 3 or 5 years. The longer the term for your prepayment penalty, the better the rate.

Prepay penalties are like exit fees. For example, if your term is 5 years, and you decide to pay off the loan during year 3, they’ll charge you 3% of the loan as an exit fee.

2. Bridge Loans

If your flip is stuck on the market, but you want a short-term refinance, then bridge loans could be the better option.

Bridge loans typically last about 1 to 2 years. There are a couple directions you could go with a loan like this:

  • You can keep the house on the market and just use the bridge loan to get out of your original flip loan.
  • You can convert it to a short-term rental (think Airbnb) to bring in some cash flow.
  • You can turn it into a traditional rental while you wait out the market.

Bridge loans are good because they’re fast, interest-only, and have no prepay penalty. The downside of bridge loans is that they’re limited to 70% of the value of the home. Plus, they tend to have higher interest rates.

If your flip is stuck on the market for too long, your original lender will start asking for their money back – potentially raising rates or threatening foreclosure. A bridge loan is a great exit.

DSCR vs Bridge Loan to Refinance Out of a Fix-and-Flip

When deciding whether to go with a DSCR loan or bridge loan, you should consider the “tipping point.” Bridge loans have 2% – 4% higher annual rates. DSCR loans have a prepayment penalty.

Depending on how long you want to keep the loan on the house decides which type of loan will be cheaper for you. This tipping point usually lies somewhere between the 14th and 17th month of a DSCR loan. That’s when the pre-pay fee becomes cheaper than the rates on the bridge loan.

3. Real OPM

Lastly, real OPM is always the ideal funding source to get you out of difficult situations.

Real OPM is real people – family, friends, folks in local real estate groups – who want to put their money in a safe place with an easy return.

An OPM lender can get a 6% to 7% rate of return lending to you over a 2% or 3% rate keeping their money in a bank. You can use OPM to pay back your original lender  and free you up to make the best decision for your flip stuck on the market.

OPM is win-win.

More Help for a Flip Stuck on the Market

We’d be glad to help you find the best loan for your needs.

Reach out now! Rates are only going to rise, and now is the perfect time to get prepared for a market with more opportunities.

Email us at Mike@HardMoneyMike.com.

Happy Investing.

Text: "Grow Your Business with Bridge Loans & Gap Funding"

Why Gap Funding and Bridge Loans Will Grow Your Real Estate Business

The difference between gap funding and bridge loans – and why it matters to your real estate investments.

Gap funding, bridge loans – they sure sound similar. What’s the difference? How are each of these types of funding going to improve your business?

Both gap funding and bridge loans have the power to smooth out your real estate career and grow it to new heights.

Here’s what you’ll need to know.

Bridge Loans vs Hard Money Loans

Some lenders will use these terms interchangeably. After all, they are similar concepts, and lingo varies from lender to lender. But it’s important to know the actual definitions so you understand these terms if a lender uses them this way.

Though similar, there are differences to know in a bridge loan vs hard money loan.

What is a Bridge Loan Used For?

A bridge loan is a very short-term loan – even shorter than the typical hard money loan. It helps you bridge the space between one project and another.

Let’s say you’re just finishing up a flip. The house is on the market, buyers are showing interest, and now you’d like to get another property bought so you can jump right in to your next flip.

Typically, you use the money from selling one property to buy the next one. But if you want to get that next property started before the current one is sold? That’s where a bridge loan comes in.

A true bridge loan covers up that gap between projects. It gives you the money to close on a new property before the first one is completely sold.

A bridge loan lets you overlap from an old project to a new one.

How is a Bridge Loan Different from a Hard Money Loan?

A hard money loan is longer and broader than a bridge loan.

  • The average bridge loan lasts 30 to 45 days. Hard money loans can last up to a year or longer. 
  • Bridge loans get you from one property to the next. Hard money focuses more on a single project. 
  • Bridge loans are paid off when your old property sells. Hard money loans are paid off when you refinance or sell the property the loan was originally for.
  • A bridge loan is used as temporary funds to close on a house. A hard money loan can be used as a more general budget for a purchase. Many come with the option for escrows to fix up the property over time.

Certain lenders do pure bridge loans, while others lump it all under “hard money.” Keep in mind as you’re learning the real estate investment game that bridge loans vs hard money loans serve different purposes.

3 Ways to Use a Hard Money Bridge Loan

Some lenders might talk about hard money and bridge loans as the same – that’s okay. But it will benefit you to know the particular uses for bridge loans.

The basics of a bridge loan are that they’re used to bridge you from one project to the next. Then you pay the loan off when the first property sells. 

1. Bridge Loans to Get from One Property to the Next

The most common use of bridge loans in the hard money space is to bridge you from one property to the next.

When you have a flipped property that’s almost complete – the work is done, it’s under contract, it’s almost sold – you might want to get started on your next project without waiting for the official close.

The problem is: How do you buy a new property without the money from selling the old one? A hard money bridge loan solves that problem.

A bridge loan allows you to use the property that’s about to be sold as collateral for a new loan for a new property. Once the first property sells, some of that money is used to pay off the bridge loan. Then you own the new property free and clear.

This way of using a bridge loan is especially useful if you have a lot of cash put into one property. You don’t have to wait to get that money back after selling to start on your next investment.

2. Bridge Loans to Cover a Down Payment on a New Property

You can use an advance of the equity on a current property as the down payment for the new property through a bridge loan.

Maybe you’re about to sell one property. And you’re able to get financing for your next one… Except you can’t cover the down payment. 

In this case, you’ll probably use a bridge loan in conjunction with a hard money loan. The hard money loan covers the property cost, and the bridge loan covers the remaining down payment cost. Then that bridge loan gets paid off when you sell the old property. 

3. Bridge Loans to Close Fast

Another way you could use a bridge loan is to close faster on a new property.

Maybe you plan on using more traditional financing through a bank, but the bank loan wouldn’t be ready in time. You can use a short-term bridge loan.

This loan bridges you from the closing to the refinance. A bridge lender will help you with the initial purchase. Then once your bank (or hard money) loan is completely ready – usually several weeks or a month later – that bank loan pays off the bridge loan.

Bridge Loans in the Hard Money World

Typically bridge loans are used for 3 situations in real estate investing:

  1. When you’re buying a new property and already have one listed for sale
  2. When you need to cover down payment on a new property
  3. When you find a great deal but your bank’s financing won’t be ready in time.

Gap Funding for Real Estate Investors

So, bridge loans are different from hard money loans. But where does gap funding fit into the mix for real estate investors?

Bridge loans do bridge “gaps” in your investments. But “gap funding” is something different.

Gap funding is the small amounts that investors need throughout the course of a project in addition to the bigger loan. Examples of common gap funding situations are:

  • Down payments
  • Contractors and other fix-up costs
  • Carry costs before renting or selling
  • Interest, insurance, and other payments not included in the original cost of the property.

A bank or hard money lender will be funding the majority of your project. And when you don’t have other properties, you can use a lien (like you would for a bridge loan). But without another property, you need gap funding to cover the little costs that slip through the cracks of your primary financing.

Gap funding for real estate investors can be a loan that’s anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000. Whatever costs your primary loan and your own cash won’t cover will need to be filled by a gap lender.

Where Do You Find a Gap Lender?

Gap lenders aren’t exactly like hard money lenders. You can’t walk into a gap lending institution and ask for a loan. So where do you find a gap lender?

Who are Gap Lenders?

There are some hard-money-style lenders out there that focus on gap funding, but they’ll charge you a 12 – 20% interest rate. The best place to find reasonable gap funding is with ordinary people.

Traditionally, gap lenders are people you meet – family, friends, people in real estate groups, or anyone with money who wants to dip a toe into real estate investing. These people have a couple tens of thousands of dollars they’d like to make a better return on.

Half the people in real estate groups want to be real estate investors, but don’t want the burden of managing an entire project. Gap funding is secured with a lien against the property, so lending is safer than investing.

Gap lenders tend to have around $50,000 to $60,000 they’d like to put toward real estate. Not enough to do a full transaction, but perfect to fill the gaps your financing will leave on your flip.

Where Can You Go to Find Gap Lenders?

Get involved in the real estate community, and keep your eyes and ears open. Go to meet-ups. Talk to people with money. 

A lot of how to find gap lenders boils down to: How do you convince them to give you money? How do you set up the lending relationship?

If you have questions on how to find and approach gap funders, you can watch these videos, use our OPM checklist, or reach out at HardMoneyMike.com.

Where Do You Find a Hard Money Bridge Loan Lender?

How about bridge lenders? Does every hard money lender do bridge loans?

A lot of people use the term bridge loan interchangeably with gap funding or hard money, but a true bridge loan is slightly different. They’re shorter-term than a hard money loan, and they’re typically less expensive because of that. 

Which Hard Money Lenders Do Bridge Loans?

To find these quick, short loans, a small local lender, like Hard Money Mike, will be your best and fastest option. Smaller hard money lenders like working with investors who provide good, safe returns. Bridge loans do exactly that.

Bigger hard money lenders do bridge loans, too. But they may take up to four weeks to close, which often defeats the purpose of true bridge lending. 

You can also get bridge loans from some banks. Not big, national banks, but many local banks and credit unions who work with real estate investors may do bridge loans, too. Banks usually offer the cheapest bridge loans, but can take 3 – 4 weeks or longer.

Ask around to lenders you know to find out their pricing and see if their bridge loans are worth it. You can use our free loan optimizer to find out if you can get a good deal on bridge loans near you.

Where to Go From Here

The best deals in real estate investment close quickly. Gap funding and bridge loans are important tools to have in your belt so you can do this.

Gap funding and bridge loans are useful for beginner and experienced investors alike. They can enable you to work on multiple projects at once and increase cash flow.

There’s money in the money. If you understand the money side of real estate, your business rises to the next level.

We can always help with your real estate investment education.

Watch more about funding advice with these videos.

Email or message us anytime at HardMoneyMike.com.

Happy Investing.

What’s Your 2-Year Plan?

Close your eyes. Clear your mind. Take a deep breath.

Now, let’s pretend we’re talking to each other two years from now. What happened during that time period that made you proud and put a smile on your face? How does your cash flow look? What kind of work schedule do you have? How does life look for you and your family?

When it comes to investing, we have discovered that thinking ahead two years leads to the most success. Why two years? Well, it’s short enough to imagine without being overwhelming, and it’s long enough to create tangible, positive change in your life.

Coming up with a plan is as easy as one, two, three:

Step 1: Imagine where you want to be in two years.

Step 2: Evaluate where you’re starting at today.

Step 3: Create a plan that connects your current reality to your future dreams.

How do you formulate an actual plan? Well, that’s what our team is here to help you do. It’s just a matter of picking up the phone and giving us a call to chat.

One conversation can change your future…and your life!



This property was purchased in Pueblo, Colorado with a bridge loan from Hard Money Mike as
Fix and hold rental property.

Hard Money Mike is a lender based in Colorado, lending money on all types of commercial based properties: fix and flip, land, whole tailing, and builder bridge loans.

Investor Real Estate Loans funds investor loans in single family and commercial buildings.

Wisdom Wednesday!

Bridge Loan – What is it? Do I need one?


How Hard Money Mike Does Business: FAST!

Hard Money Mike does business differently than most others in the industry. Our #1 goal is to HELP YOU.

Truly. It’s as simple as that.

We want to BOOST your cashflow, find the very best products for your specific projects, and place you in a solid financial position.

We also strive to move at the speed of light.

What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means we can close most deals in DAYS, not weeks. Our team works efficiently and effectively to dot all I’s and cross all T’s to ensure you sign the dotted line as soon as possible.

No more sweating bullets as you wait weeks (or even months) to close a deal. With us, you can often close within a week!