Fix and Flip Vs Construction Vs Hard Money Vs Bridge
7 minute read
June 5, 2023


Let’s define and compare non-traditional loan types—fix and flip vs construction vs hard money vs bridge—to help you determine the best option for your investment needs.

Fix and flip loan

A fix and flip loan is designed to help investors acquire a property and finance repairs with one loan. This short-term financing option is ideal for projects where the exit strategy involves selling the home after completing the rehab.

See if you’re eligible for fix and flip financing.

Pros of fix and flip

Streamlined financing: Combining property acquisition and rehab costs into one loan simplifies the borrowing process, allowing investors to focus on managing the project rather than juggling multiple loans. This streamlined approach can save time and reduce the potential for errors or missed payments.

Related: Fix and Flip Loan Pros and Cons

Short-term commitment: Fix and flip loans typically have terms ranging from 6 to 18 months, enabling investors to quickly move on to their next project once the current one is completed.

Access to funds: Fix and flip loans provide financing for both experienced and first-time investors, making it easier for beginners to break into the real estate investing market. These investors may not have access to funds through traditional lending channels.

Cons of fix and flip

Higher interest rates: Due to the higher risk involved, fix and flip loans often have higher interest rates compared to traditional mortgages. This increased cost can cut into the investor’s profits, making it essential to carefully evaluate the potential ROI before committing to a fix and flip loan.

Strict qualifications: Lenders may require a strong credit history, cash reserves, and a detailed business plan outlining the project’s scope and profitability. Meeting these qualifications can be challenging for beginners or those with less-than-perfect credit, potentially limiting their access to fix and flip financing.

Check your fix and flip loan options.

Construction loan

A construction loan is used primarily for building a new structure from the ground up, rather than rehabilitating an existing property as in the case of a fix and flip loan.

Pros of a construction loan

Interest-only payments: During the construction phase, borrowers typically only pay interest on the loan, keeping monthly payments lower. This helps you allocate resources to other aspects of the project.

Flexible terms: Construction loans offer customizable loan terms based on the specific needs of the construction project. This flexibility enables borrowers to tailor their financing to match the unique requirements of their development, ensuring that they have the necessary funds at each stage of construction.

Control over disbursements: Funds are disbursed in stages as construction milestones are completed, ensuring efficient use of resources and minimizing the risk of overspending. This control over disbursements allows investors to maintain a tight rein on their budget and ensure that the project stays on track financially.

Cons of a construction loan

Higher interest rates: Construction loans often feature higher interest rates due to the increased risk associated with new construction projects. These higher costs can impact the overall profitability of the project, making it crucial to carefully evaluate the potential return on investment before committing to a construction loan.

Strict qualifications: Borrowers must provide detailed plans, budgets, and timelines for the project, as well as meet stringent credit and income requirements. These strict qualifications can be difficult for some investors to meet, limiting their access to construction financing.

Get started on your construction loan.

Hard money loan

Hard money loans are short-term financing options provided by private investors or companies. While fix and flip loans fall under the hard money category, hard money loans can be used for a broader range of purposes.

Pros of hard money loans

Fast approval: Hard money loans can be approved and funded quickly, often within days or weeks, compared to traditional loans that may take months. This speed can be crucial for investors looking to secure a property quickly or take advantage of time-sensitive opportunities.

Flexible terms: Lenders may offer more lenient credit and income requirements, as well as customized loan terms based on the borrower’s needs. This flexibility can make hard money loans an attractive option for investors who might not qualify for traditional financing or require a more tailored solution.

Versatility: Hard money loans can be employed for various real estate investment purposes, including fix and flips, land purchases, and bridge financing. This versatility allows investors to leverage hard money loans for a wide range of projects, increasing their potential for success in the real estate market.

Cons of hard money loans

Higher costs: Like most of the options for investments, interest rates and fees surrounding hard money loans are typically higher than those of traditional loans. These increased costs can impact the overall profitability of the project, making it important to carefully evaluate the potential return on investment before committing to a hard money loan.

Short loan terms: Borrowers must repay their loan within a short period, often less than a year, which may not be suitable for all investment strategies. Investors should consider their long-term goals and the specific needs of their project before opting for a hard money loan.

Connect with a hard money lender.

Bridge loan

In the investment world, a bridge loan is short-term financing that bridges a gap in financing until long-term financing can be arranged. This type of loan is also used by home sellers to buy their next home before completing the sale of their current property.

Pros of a bridge loan

Quick access to funds: Bridge loans can provide immediate access to capital, allowing investors to seize time-sensitive opportunities or address unexpected expenses. This rapid access to funds can be invaluable in the fast-paced world of real estate investing.

Flexible use: Bridge loans can be multi-purpose—covering unexpected expenses, acquiring new properties, or refinancing existing loans. This flexibility allows investors to adapt their financing strategy to the specific needs of their project, ensuring that they have the necessary funds at each stage of development.

No prepayment penalties: Many bridge loans do not have prepayment penalties, allowing borrowers to repay the loan early without incurring additional fees. This flexibility can produce a nice bonus for investors who complete their project ahead of schedule or secure long-term financing sooner than expected.

Cons of a bridge loan

Higher interest rates: Not surprisingly, their short-term and higher-risk nature means bridge loans are also prone to higher interest rates compared to traditional loans. These increased costs can impact the overall profitability of the project, making it essential to carefully evaluate the potential return on investment before committing to a bridge loan.

Additional loan payments: Borrowers may need to make payments on both the bridge loan and their existing mortgage, increasing their financial burden. This added responsibility can strain an investor’s cash flow, making it crucial to carefully consider the implications of taking on a bridge loan.

See if a bridge loan is the right choice for you.

Term loan

A term loan is a financing option commonly used in the business world, but it can also be utilized by real estate investors and businesses for property acquisition or expansion.

Similar to a car loan, term loans come with a predetermined repayment period, typically less than five years, and regular payments. This type of loan will often come with a fixed repayment schedule, making it easier for borrowers to budget and plan their finances accordingly.

Fix and flip vs construction vs hard money vs bridge—Which will you choose?

Understanding the differences between fix and flip, construction, hard money, and bridge loans is crucial for new and serious real estate investors.

Each loan type offers unique advantages and drawbacks, depending on your investment strategy, financial situation, and specific project requirements. By evaluating these non-traditional financing options, you can make informed decisions and select the most suitable loan for your real estate investment needs.

Connect with the best lender for your project.

Our advise is based on experience in the mortgage industry and we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goal of owning a home. We may receive compensation from partner banks when you view mortgage rates listed on our website.

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