First of all, let's just take a quick look at exactly what a bridging loan actually is. It's a nightmare scenario. You've spotted the perfect new home. Right number of rooms. Good size, well looked after, not too far from work and with a great garden for the kids. The only fly in the ointment is that you've not managed to sell your own property yet.
That's the end of that then, right? Well actually, not necessarily. Enter the bridging loan. As the name suggests, it's a short term loan facility that provides a 'bridge' between one loan and another. In this case, the loan would allow you to go ahead and make the purchase of the second property. The facility would only need to be short term, typically between 4 and 12 months.
There are of course, quite a few other reasons why you could consider a bridging loan:
- you may be considering making a purchase of a property from an auction, in which case you need to raise the funds very quickly.
- you could be thinking about purchasing land or even, as all the property programmes on television are concentrating on at the moment, a property abroad.
- refurbishing an investment property with the intention of selling it on in a very short space of time.
- raising money to pay a tax bill
- covering temporary cashflow problems
- taking off on an impromptu luxury holiday
- your daughter's getting married. She wants all the trimmings and you have to do your parental duty and cover the expense!
As the property merry-go-round has been spinning at full tilt in recent times, many people have found themselves in a situation such as described above and as a result, the volumes of bridging loans have increased accordingly. Lenders have provided more choice and options and have often been innovative in their approach to help their customers.
Clearly, the key principle of a bridging loan is providing the cash very quickly to the customer who, probably more than any other type of borrower, needs the cash immediately. The whole process is very often streamlined and simple in real terms. There are many online brokers that you could make an enquiry to and having done so, they will probably be in touch with you on the phone in a matter of only a few minutes and you could have a decision in principle within an hour or so.
As part of the application, the broker, on behalf of the lender, may ask you to supply some or all of the following supplementary documentation:
- proof of residency
- proof of income
- proof of ID
- buildings insurance certificate, and
- an independent valuation figure
Once received, the loan could be completed in somewhere between 2-10 days. Wow! Now that is fast! So if you need to raise finance quickly, you now know what to do.