One of the great things about being in property today is that there are so many different ways we can raise our finance. And if you find yourself in a situation where you find yourself a fantastic refurb opportunity, but you can’t get standard buy to let lending because it needs a bit too much work to do, one way around that is to think about bridging.
This is quite an advanced strategy because you need to know exactly what you are doing. Bridging can be very expensive, for example I am lining up a purchase now which I hope will complete over the next couple of weeks and I am using bridging to finance it.
Why am I using bridging? It is a low value property, it needs quite a lot of work doing to it and I don’t think there is very many buy to let lenders who would be interested in funding me, so bridging is the obvious way to get around this.
Could I do it with my own cash? If I’ve got my own cash of course I could. One of the reasons why I might not want to use my own cash is because I want to keep my cash free to do other deals with and it helps prefer my cash flow in that sense. So, I’m going to use bridging and bridging can be expensive.
In this particular instance there are fees to pay which come to around £2,000 on what is effectively a £50,000 loan. Also, I will be paying 1.5% a month. Contrast that with 2.25% per year for a typical buy to let loan but it’s worth it for me as I know because I can buy this property cheap that I can do a refurb, I can add a lot of value to it and in 6 months time I am planning to go to a conventional buy to let lender who will lend me the money so I am able to switch out the bridging loan.
Therefore, I am not going to be stuck in this bridging loan forever which is a good thing because typically bridging will be for a short term. Some bridges will go to 3 months, some will go to 6 months, some to 12 months and some will run on. But you are paying high fees for that.
The problem is, for example if you have a 6 month bridge and you go past the 6 months many bridges are going to charge you penalty fees and it can become very expensive. If you are paying 1.5% a month now, it might go to 2.5% or more, but I don’t want to do that.
Now I’ve got a very clear plan and I am working with my broker to ensure that when the time comes, I can go off the bridging and I can go on to a conventional buy to let loan. But in the short term it allows me access to a deal which many buy to let lenders wouldn’t touch.
Here’s to successful property investing.
Peter Jones B.Sc FRICS
Chartered Surveyor, author and property investor
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