As the festive season and end of the calendar year draws near, potential homebuyers and investors may be looking to close on property purchases. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to complete a property purchase before Christmas and traditional financing options such as mortgages are falling short, you might be considering a bridging loan.
A bridging loan allows you to become a cash buyer, giving you around 80% of the value of a property upfront in cash, using your original property or the property in question as security. This allows you to complete a property purchase within 2 weeks, rather than months with a typical mortgage. But note that when property is used as collateral, it can result in repossession if not repaid on time.
With last minute house completions often going through in December, this article will explore the pros and cons of bridging loans and help you make an informed decision.
Benefits of Bridging Loans
One of the significant advantages of bridging loans is their quick approval process. Traditional mortgage applications can take weeks or even months, while bridging loans can be approved in a matter of days, making them an ideal solution for those with time-sensitive transactions.
Bridging loans are also versatile and can be used for various purposes. Whether you’re purchasing a property, renovating, or dealing with unexpected expenses, bridging loans can adapt to your specific needs.
Unlike traditional mortgages, which heavily rely on your credit history, bridging loan lenders often focus more on the value of the properties involved. This can be beneficial for individuals with less-than-perfect credit scores.
Drawbacks of Bridging Loans
The convenience of a bridging loan comes at a cost. Interest rates on bridging loans are typically higher than those on traditional mortgages by around 1% per month, or 12% per year. Borrowers should carefully consider whether the speed and flexibility outweigh the financial burden of higher interest.
Bridging loans are designed to be short-term solutions, usually with a repayment period ranging from a few months to a year. Like with any secured loans against a property, if you do not sell your existing property or secure long-term financing within this period, you may face repossession of the property and additional fees and challenges.
If the market value of your property decreases during the bridging loan period, you may find yourself in a situation of negative equity, where the outstanding loan amount is higher than the property’s current value.
Bridging Loan Costs
While the speed of approval is a significant advantage, potential borrowers must factor in the costs associated with bridging loans. Besides higher interest rates, there may be arrangement fees, legal costs, and exit fees. Ensure you have a clear understanding of the total expenses involved to make an accurate comparison with other financing options.
Should You Get a Bridging Loan Before Christmas?
Consider your specific situation and the urgency of completing the property transaction before Christmas. If time is of the essence, a bridging loan’s quick approval process may align well with your needs.
Thoroughly analyse the financial implications of a bridging loan. Calculate the total cost, including interest rates, fees, and any potential penalties for late repayment. Compare this with other financing options to determine the most cost-effective solution.
Research the current property market conditions. If you’re confident that you can sell your existing property or secure long-term financing within the bridging loan period, the potential drawbacks may be mitigated.
While a bridging loan might be a viable option, explore alternative financing solutions. Consult with mortgage brokers and financial advisors to ensure you are aware of all available options and can make an informed decision.
In the midst of the holiday season, the urgency to complete a property transaction can be compelling. However, it’s vital to approach the decision to get a bridging loan with caution and careful consideration. The advantages of quick approval and flexibility must be weighed against the potential drawbacks of higher costs and short-term commitments.
While a bridging loan can be a valuable tool in certain situations, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Taking the time to evaluate your financial situation, explore alternative options, and seek professional advice will empower you to make a decision aligned with your long-term goals.
Getting a bridging loan to complete a property transaction before Christmas can be a strategic move, given the right circumstances. However, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully, considering factors such as the urgency of the transaction, financial impact, market conditions, and alternative financing options.