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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.

Text reads "What Is Hard Money." Mike Bonn stands with cartoon coins surrounding him.

The Beginner’s Guide to Hard Money Loans

Hard money basics you need to know before real estate investing.

We’ve been in the hard money loan business for 20 years. Half the calls we receive are still beginner real estate investors trying to learn the money side of investing.

If that’s you, you’ve likely applied for, heard of, or thought about using hard money lenders. But maybe you don’t fully understand the private lending world yet. How does a hard money loan work? How much interest do private lenders charge? Do hard money lenders require a minimum credit score? Should you just wait until you qualify for better bank loans?

This guide will help answer:

  • What is hard money?
  • What do hard money lenders look for?
  • How is hard money different than other loans?
  • How do you qualify for hard money?
  • Is hard money better than banks?

Becoming hard money proficient will put you miles ahead as an investor. 

Ready to nail the basics?

What is Hard Money?

Hard money is a short-term loan designed for real estate investors. Hard money lenders focus on lending money on undervalued properties in need of rehab.

Hard money loans are short term – usually around six months or a year – and are designed to help buy properties to fix up.

While “easier” than traditional bank loans, hard money loans are also more expensive due to higher interest rates. Which brings us to the most important quality of hard money loans: they’re fast.

In real estate investing, discounted properties typically require fast-closing deals. Hard money loans can help you take advantage of prices while they’re low, and: 

  • Save on the property cost to begin with
  • Get more from selling or refinancing the property.

These savings more than cover the costs of a hard money loan for most investors.

The speed of hard money makes it valuable for newbie and seasoned investors alike. Hard money loans are made for real estate investors.

How Does A Hard Money Loan Work? 

What do hard money lenders look at? There are two main factors lenders of hard money consider.

Loan-to-Value Ratio

An important number a lender takes into account is the cost of the property. The ratio of the loan they offer and the cost is important for you to know.

Let’s say you have a property with a current appraisal of $200,000. Then you get a loan for $100,000. The loan is half of the value of the home, so your loan-to-value is 50%.

After Repair Value (ARV)

ARV, after repair value, is another important factor hard money lenders consider. The properties targeted by real estate investors are undervalued. They need work to be brought up to the standards of the surrounding community.

So, lenders look at not only the current value of the house, but also the future value of the house, after it’s all fixed up.

Many hard money loans are based on after repair value rather than loan-to-value. Your lender might offer you up to 75% – not of what you’re buying it for, but what you could sell it for by the end. 

What Does ARV Cover?

A key factor to ARV is that lenders will lend not only for the initial purchase, but for the fix-up costs. 

Many lenders will put money aside in escrows to use throughout the project to pay contractors and cover other renovation costs. 

If your loan considers ARV, it’s possible for you, with ZERO money down, to:

  • Buy a property.
  • Fix it up.
  • Either sell it (fix-and-flip) or refinance it (BRRRR).

After selling or refinancing, you use that money to pay the loan back.

Hard money is designed to build value into real estate. Understanding the role of the after repair value will help you immensely in your hard money investments.

How Is Hard Money Different from Other Loans?

Interest rates on hard money are between 2-5% higher than what you’ll find at banks. You can expect origination fees to be about twice as much. Appraisals will be close to the same.

So on paper, the rates and fees are higher, so it feels like you’re spending more. Which you are! But with hard money loans, you’re paying for:

  • Accessibility
  • Convenience
  • Flexibility
  • The opportunity to purchase properties you’d never be able to while relying on bank loans.

While hard money costs more than other loans, the potential value is also way higher. When sellers have discounted real estate, they want it sold fast. Banks can take 25-30 days to close. You can receive hard money in a matter of days.

Every week, we see hard money work to save people money.

When a recent client of ours bought a property, he saved 10% – just because he could close faster than the other five bidders. His savings on that purchase were $30,000: much more than double what he’ll spend on the loan transaction.

How Do You Qualify for a Hard Money Loan?

There are two kinds of hard money lenders. They each have different qualification requirements.

National Hard Money Lenders

National lenders lend in almost every state. They are larger organizations, backed by hedge funds and private equity.

National hard money lenders require:

  • A credit score check, and a good score.
  • Experience – at least five deals in the last three years. 
  • Properties to be in specific larger communities.

So if you’re new to investing, need to improve your credit score, or are looking at more rural properties, you may need to look into local lenders.

Local or Private Hard Money Lenders

A local, or private, lender will specialize in your state or area. Local lenders are much more likely to:

  • Not ask for a credit score.
  • Not require experience.
  • Lend for rural areas.

Local lenders are focused on the deal itself and whether it has good value.

When deciding which lender to use for hard money, always shop around to see what fits your situation now. And be aware that another lender may fit you better in the future.

Are Private Lenders Better Than Banks?

It’s impossible to say whether hard money lenders or banks are “better” for real estate. It all depends on your deal and where you are in your investment career.

When to Use Bank Loans vs Hard Money Loans

Bank loans will have lower rates and may be the better route if you:

  • Have had a successful investment business for over two years.
  • Make a lot of money at a W-2 job.
  • Have 3-4 weeks to close.

Hard money loans will be easier, faster,  and may work better if you:

  • Are newer to real estate investing.
  • Don’t have money up-front to invest.
  • Don’t want to put your own money into a deal.
  • Need to close within a week or two.

As long as a property promises income, hard money more than makes up for its higher rates with the speed and greater potential savings. Starting in hard money paves the way for you to work up to bigger funding opportunities.

Ultimately, your investment career should always have a mix of funding types. Bank loans, hard money, and OPM all have their place to work for you in real estate investing.

Where to Go from Here

Understanding money is key to successful real estate investments. When you put time into understanding money, you get control of it. With control, you can multiply your investment earnings four times over.

It doesn’t stop here. We want to help with your hard money education:

OPM Gap Funding

What is Gap Funding?

Fill in the financial blanks of your fix-and-flip! Learn about gap funding for real estate investors and where to find it:

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Gap funding is necessary to take your real estate investing to the next level. And gap funding lenders for real estate investments are all around you. How do you find them?

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You’ve got your property, you’ve got your mortgage… Now you just need gap funding.

 

Read/Watch this to learn who gap funding lenders are, and where you can find them.

 

What questions do you have about gap funding?

 

Read more here about Gap Funding on Hard Money Mike?

Learn more about gap funding and OPM with these videos.

 

 

What is gap funding

What Is Gap Funding? And How Do You Get It?

When to use gap funding and how to attract lenders.

A mortgage covers the bulk of the cost of purchasing a new property. But what about all the costs in-between?

There are some big price tags in real estate investment that bank loans won’t usually cover. You’ll still need to find a way to pay for your down payment, the fix-up cost, and any carrying costs for the property.

How do you fill those gaps?

What is Gap Funding?

Gap funding is the money source you use to cover these extra costs in real estate. Private individuals can lend money to fill the gaps in your investment.

All real estate investors at any stage can utilize gap funding. Typically, gap funding is most useful to investors just starting out, who haven’t yet made or saved enough money to fund their own investments entirely.

However, we also see people who are already multimillionaires with years of investing under their belts use gap funding. It’s a great way to leverage investments at any level.

Where Do You Find Gap Funding?

You might find a few banks and other lenders who do gap funding, but the main way to get it is through OPM, Other People’s Money – think of it as Real People’s Money.

These people can be family, friends, or members of a real estate group. These people don’t necessarily have enough to fund your entire flip, but do have $20,000 to $50,000 sitting in an account or IRA. They don’t want to do the actual work and risk of investing, but they do want the potential for a higher return on their money than they’d get from a bank.

How Do You Get Gap Funding?

Getting people to loan you their money may sound easier said than done. After all, OPM is often either secured by second-lien or unsecured, so you wouldn’t put your money in that situation with just anyone.

There are a few key traits you’ll need to show to attract the people who can provide you with gap funding:

  • Respect their money
  • Protect their money
  • Be honest

Having these qualities will be the deciding factor in someone lending to you over another investor.

Respect Your Lender’s Money

Understand what your lender wants and expects out of the deal, and be sure they get it. Make them feel respected and confident with you handling their money.

Protect Their Money

Treat the money professionally – even more carefully than you’d treat your own cash. Be diligent in arranging the proper liens, proper insurance, and proper documents.

Be Honest

Tell your lender everything that happens with your project. They have a right to know what they’re investing in. It’s better to be straightforward and allow your lender to make their own decisions than to keep secrets about the deal until it comes back to bite you.

Grow Your Funding

If you make your lender feel good after the first transaction, they’ll want to come back for another. Good deals can lead to a web of funding. A lender who has a good experience with you will tell their family and friends that you’re a good person to lend to.

Respecting, protecting, and being honest with your OPM helps you grow. Investing is much easier with gap funding covered by OPM, and it’s possible to someday fund entire projects with OPM.

Learn More about Gap Funding and OPM

If you’re interested in growing your real estate investment business, check out the following resources:

Download our free OPM checklist at this link.

Learn more about gap funding and OPM with these videos.

5 Paths to Financing Your Loan

Did you know you have more than one option when it comes to financing your property investments?

Investor Loan Chart

As you can see, there are 5 paths to take with financing your properties:

  1. Standard/Traditional
  2. Non-Standard
  3. Local Banks
  4. EZ Loan
  5. Limited Credit or Experience Loans (also known as Non-QM)

So, which loan type is best for your project so you can boost your cash flow and reach your goals faster? Find out here on our sister site, Investor Real Estate Loans.

BRRRR Fundimentals

Ever wonder what is BRRRR anyway? Well, in this informational video by Mike Bonn you will get your questions answered! Check it out!

https://business.facebook.com/HardMoneyMike1/videos/441550643641422/

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5 Things Fix-and-Flip Shows Don’t Tell You

5 Things Fix-and-Flip Shows Don’t Tell You

Fix and flip shows present a skewed reality. There is a defined formula that’s followed throughout each episode. Every moment of the show presents the best experience of working on a fix and flip without including much of the hard work that happens behind the scenes.

Read the whole article here.

Do you want help with your fix and flips? Then check out our investor tools!