Key Differences between Commercial Loans and Residential Loans

Knowing the differences between commercial loans and residential loans will help you to understand the lengthy process when applying for a commercial loan.

Most consumers think that the process to apply for a residential loan is fairly in-depth and thorough. But if they were ever to apply for a commercial loan they would begin to look more favorably on the residential loan application and approval process. Because of the larger sum of money involved and the greater risk and volatility in the commercial real estate market, commercial loans and the application process can be very intense.

When a consumer applies for a mortgage, the lenders first concern is their income and its stability as well as their debt load. Consumer’s debt should be no more than 45% of their income. But commercial lenders are more interested in the ability of the property to generate income to pay the loan. This is called a Debt Coverage Ratio and lenders prefer to see the ratio at 1:1.25 at the least. This means that the income to cover the loan payments is relatively secure.

A down payment on a home is somewhat negotiable and in some cases is very, very small. But due to the increased risk associated with commercial loans, these down payments are normally 20%. This gives the lender the added security of knowing that the property is valued at 20% more than the initial loan amount. Even in the event that the borrower defaults early in the loan, chances are good that the property is still valued at the full payoff on the loan.

Time Is Critical for Commercial Loans

A normal residential mortgage loan can range from 15 years to 30 and some even stretch as far as 40 years. But a commercial mortgage loan rarely exceeds 10 years. This is because lenders want to decrease the risk of the loan by getting their money back faster. In addition, consumers can pay a mortgage loan off early and save some of the interest that they would have paid over the term of the loan. This is not the case for a commercial mortgage. And in fact, there can be penalties which must be paid called prepayment penalties. In more cases the penalty decreases the further into the loan you progress. But the lender wants to be sure that they make their desired profit, or earning, on each commercial loan they write.

Not Really Even Similar

A consumer mortgage and a commercial property loan are only similar in the fact that it is a loan to purchase property. The dollar amount of most commercial loans is substantially larger than the average home loan. In addition, commercial real estate values are very volatile and can change drastically and very quickly. This is an added risk for the lender. Due to these increased risks, lenders are much more particular about the loan applications which they approve and the terms for which they will offer the loan. Having a good understanding of the lenders approval criteria can save a borrower a great deal of time in completing lengthy commercial loan applications if they don’t meet the lenders criteria.

Dennis Dahlberg
Broker/RI/CEO/MLO
Level 4 Funding LLC  Private Hard Money Lender
Arizona Tel:  (623) 582-4444
Texas Tel:      (512) 516-1177
Dennis@level4funding.com NMLS 1057378 | AZMB 0923961 | MLO 1057378
22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112 | Phoenix | AZ | 85027
111 Congress Ave |Austin | Texas | 78701
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About the Author:  Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 40 years. He purchased his first property when he was just 18 years old. He quickly learned about the amazing investment opportunities provided by trust deed investing and hard money loans. His desire to help others make money in real estate investing led him to specialize in alternative funding for real estate investors who may have trouble getting a traditional bank loan. Dennis is passionate about alternative funding sources and sharing his knowledge with others to help make their dreams come true. Dennis has been married to his wonderful wife for 42 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 40 years.

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