7 Facts About Bridging Loans For Property Development

With the Property market pretty buoyant at the moment the ability to Buy-Refurbish & Refinance is a great (and very popular) strategy, but to be Successful with this approach relies on a few key turning points.

Namely being able to find (and buy) a discounted property quickly, add value and then re-finance on to the right long term finance within a short space of time.

The key to this strategy is to be able to move quickly when originally buying and negotiating the deal, so unless you already have deep pockets and the ready cash available in the bank, what are your options?

Joint Ventures with cash investors is one route but is not for everyone.

So this is where bridging finance comes in to place and below we’ve asked Richard Scull from Affirmative Finance to write a quick run down on the key facts that you must know if your looking to get in to property development or building a portfolio with a buy-refurbish and refinance strategy that relies on quick finance.

Over to you Richard…

What Is A Bridging Loan

Bridging loans are useful for those who require fast access to a secured short-term loan, perhaps to overcome a specific issue that they are facing or simply to be able to complete on a property quickly. This can make them ideal for property developers and investors who often need to make quick purchases on properties which they intend to sell (using a flip strategy) or re-finance within a limited time frame.

7 Facts About Using Bridging Loans For Property Development

  1. Bridging Loans Are Quick
  2. Bridging Finance Is Flexible
  3. A Bridging Loan Can Be Used For (Almost) Any Type Of Property
  4. Financing Property Development
  5. Renovating Uninhabitable Houses
  6. Adding Value To Your Investment with Planning Permission
  7. Financing Purchases At Property Auctions

1. Bridging Loans Are Quick

Fast. Property bridging loans are a way of getting quick access to capital.

When you find the perfect property for your portfolio, you may only have a small window of opportunity within which to complete the sale.

This is particularly true when the property you have in mind is on the market for a great price – something you don’t want to miss out on.

A bridging loan is a short term finance solution.

This means, that with a bridging loan, you can access funds quicker than you could if you were using other forms of borrowing.

And this way, you can ensure that you have the funds you need within the deadline you are given, and able to secure that perfect property.

In certain circumstances, it might even be possible for you to raise 100% of the purchase price, purely through a property bridging loan.

Rob’s Tip 1 – Talk To The Bridging Loan Provider

When you are looking for a bridging loan provider, make sure they know the time-frame you are working to and check that they are able to deliver in that time.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Don’t waste your time with a provider who won’t be able to deliver as fast as you need them to.

2. Bridging Finance Is Flexible

Bridging finance can be much more flexible than high-street lending or traditional mortgages.

Mainstream lenders will often require more information from you than bridging finance lenders.

They will need a lot of information about your income and credit history before they will agree to a loan. And, if you do not meet their criteria, then they will not give you the money.

Bridging finance lenders, on the other hand, will need to know about the property, as it is the property that is used to secure the loan (the sale of which is your exit strategy for the loan repayment).

The repayment terms can often be amended to suit you. However, you are usually required to pay back the loan within a year, so that’s important to keep in mind.

Rob’s Tip 2 – Always Have An Exit Strategy

Bridging finance is intended to be quick short term finance, and although the flexibility of this lending method is fantastic, having an exit strategy in place is crucial to avoid running into difficulty.

3. A Bridging Loan Can Be Used For (Almost) Any Type Of Property

You can secure a bridging loan for any type of property.

When you are applying for a bridging loan, the property (that it is being secured against), is one of the most important factors.

Luckily, these loans can be used to purchase all types of property, including houses, flats and apartments, commercial units, land and shops.

So whether your strategy is investing in serviced apartments,investing in buy-to-let, or in a house in multiple occupation, then a bridging loan is an option that is open to you.

This also means that you can access finance for a new addition to your property portfolio regardless of the type of property you want to secure the loan against.

In other words, you can secure the loan against a property you currently own, rather than the one you are using the loan to buy.

Rob’s Tip 3 – Securing Finance On Properties You Already Own

If you own properties already that are unencumbered (without any finance secured against them already), then this will give you more options when it comes to securing a bridging loan.

But, this isn’t to say that you can’t secure a loan against a property that has finance against it already.

4. Financing Property Development

Bridging loans can support you throughout a property development project.

This can be essential for property developers and traders.

Should you be looking to buy a property to develop and then sell on in a short space of time, it may be that you cannot access the finance that you require at the time it is most needed.

This may mean that you are unable to complete the work that you would like to do on a property.

Or it might mean that more time is unnecessarily spent on the development, or that you end up holding the property for longer than you wanted to.

A bridging loan allows you to access the financial help you need quickly and can provide money in stages throughout your renovation project.

This means that you can complete the work according to your ideal deadlines and the loan paid back when you sell or refinance.

Rob’s Tip 4 – Property Development Is All About Careful Planning

Plan your development in full. You need to fully understand what money you will need to complete the various stages of your project.

You’ll need to be sure that you are raising the right finance, at the right time and importantly, that you are raising the right amount.

Your planning is essential, to make sure that your costs don’t get out of control and that the speed of your development is as it should be.

How To Become A Property Developer

To find out more see our article on how to become a property developer, written in collaboration with Edward Sykes from Renovate Alerts.

In there we cover:

  1. How to Start Property Developing
  2. How To Become A Property Developer
  3. Finding A Property
  4. The Buying Process
  5. The Renovation Process

5. Renovating Uninhabitable Houses

Bridging finance can make those big renovation projects, possible.

For instance, an uninhabitable property.

Most high-street lenders will not provide finance for property investors to renovate uninhabitable properties as these types of project are seen as high risk.

Although you might be able to see amazing potential in a property, it might be difficult for you to secure the funds that you require.

Properties which do not have running water, bathrooms or kitchens may appeal to those who would like to start a renovation project from scratch; but most mainstream lenders will simply not lend money for these types of properties.

In which case, one answer is to take out a bridging loan to cover the costs of repairs and renovations until the property has reached a habitable condition.

Following this, you would be able to take out a mortgage or sell the property, using the profit to help fund your next project.

Rob’s Tip 4 – Big Renovation Projects

Renovating uninhabitable properties can be a great strategy but experience matters.

If you have not undertaken this kind of project before then at very least, you need to sure that you find the best builder you can for the work.

And you will need a good contingency plan so that you don’t get hit with large, unexpected development costs.

More On Renovations:

6. Adding Value To Your Investment with Planning Permission

They can help you to achieve planning gain on the property and add significant value.

If you have found land or a rundown property for sale which does not have planning permission granted it may be that you struggle to find finance due to the risks involved. This can be frustrating when you can see the potential worth of the land or property.

To overcome this issue, you can apply for a bridging loan which will allow you to purchase the land or property in question, you can then apply for planning permission and once this is granted, sell your property on for a profit or develop it yourself, bridging finance allows you to do these types of deals very effectively.

KEY: Check with the planning office and/or a local planning expert, what the potential  to gain planning is on the project you are considering, you don’t want to get stuck with a deal that gaining planning permission will be impossible on

7. Financing Purchases At Property Auctions

A Bridging loan can help you to fund auction purchases which require a very quick completion and instant exchange.

This opens up a new market to many buyers and Auctions can be a great place to find hidden gems to add to your property portfolio; at a great price.

Also you do not have the worry that you will lose the property at some point during the process, as when you win the auction the contracts are exchanged and you have to be sure you can get the finance in time to complete (usually within 28 days). This removes a lot of the stress which usually comes with buying Auction properties and means that you can focus on making decisions about the alterations or renovations that you would like to make straightaway.

Key: Should you buy a property at auction without having the required finance in place, you can apply for a bridging loan to cover the cost at short notice, which can get you out of any tricky situations and is a much better use of quick finance than high street mortgages.

Author Bio

Richard Scull is Head of Underwriting with Affirmative Finance, a Manchester based bridging finance lender. Affirmative Finance offers bridging loan options to property developers, financial intermediaries and individuals who are looking for a fast and flexible short term finance option to complete their projects. Affirmative Finance is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and a Member of the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

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2 Responses to “7 Facts About Bridging Loans For Property Development”

  1. Chris hughes says:

    More of a question than a comment. A family member wanting to start flipping asked us to invest by getting a bridging loan on our home. I’m not happy about taking all the risk. Could they do it instead by getting a bridging loan in principle which would be on the property they buy?

    • Robert Jones says:

      Hi Chris,

      Yes the bridging loan can be on any property that is deemed as suitable enough to provide the security. So they could potentially arrange the bridging finance on the property they are purchasing, however it is unlikely to be at 100% of the value, so it depends on how much funds/deposit they have to get started with,

      As an example

      If the property they are buying is valued at £200k and they can get a bridging loan for 65% then they need to have a 35% deposit and the money for the refurb. So deposit would be £70k then plus buying costs and refurbishment costs.
      If they raise the bridging finance on another property that they use as security instead that maybe worth more at say £400k and has no current mortgage on it (classed as unencumbered) then they could raise more against this property at 65% as there is more equity in it.

      That’s why sometimes people raise the funds on a different property to the one they are purchasing,

      Hope that helps

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