Imagine you are selling your house and you’ve bought a new place to live. You’ve made a nice profit on the sale of your house (WOOT!!) and you’re using that money to help purchase your new home. You want to move in to your new house before you have to move out of your old one so that you have time to move and clean your old house for the new owners. You need the money from your sale to take possession of your new house, but you don’t have it yet. That’s where a bridge loan comes in.
A bridge loan is financing that allows you to be able to use the proceeds from the sale of your current property before you actually have the money in your pocket. Most often, bridge loans are used to make the down payment on the purchase of a new home when the purchase takes place before the sale of the previous home is complete. These loans are typically provided by the lender financing the purchase of the new property, but that’s not always the case. In order to get a bridge loan, you’ll need to prove the following:
- your existing house must have a guaranteed sale in place (not just listed for sale, it actually has to be sold with no conditions on the sale)
- you’ll have to provide documents to show much it will cost to pay off any existing financing on the home. That includes any mortgages, lines of credit secured by the house, or any other liens that may be registered against the title (ie. property tax or income tax arrears)
- any fees associated with the sale that may need to be deducted from the proceeds will need to be accounted for (ie. realtor commissions and legal fees on the sale)
There is typically a setup fee charged by the lender to issue the bridge loan and there will be interest charged on the amount you borrow. The bridge loan can be set up for the amount that will be left from the sale after all costs have been accounted for. Bridge loans are meant to be short term loans extended for a number of days and not years. The bridge loan will be paid back in full from the proceeds of the sale before any of the funds are given to you.
What bridge loans can’t be used for:
- funds to make a deposit with a purchase on a new home
- paying off debt while you are waiting for your house to sell
Now you know all about bridge loans! How do you like them apples? 😉