If you are looking for a commercial property loan, and it is your first time getting commercial real estate financing, you are in for some big surprises. This is a whole different deal from borrowing to buy a home.
One of the biggest differences is that you have to do more to convince the lender that this is a good deal for them. Commercial real estate financiers are going to be looking hard at what you can offer them as a borrower. They may ask lots of specific questions about the nature of your business, your plans for the money, and other things that may not seem to be related to the matter at hand. Since dealing with lenders is more complicated with commercial real estate, let's have a look at who might be lending you the money.
Lenders for commercial real estate financing include banks, savings and loans institutions, insurance companies, mortgage brokerage firms and private lenders. Which kind of lender is best? Of course there is no single fit for every situation, and any of the above could offer you a great deal with good interest rates.
What you should really be worried about is the loan officer, more than the actual lending institution. It is the loan officer's work that will ultimately make the lending process either go smoothly or not.
When choosing a loan officer, look for someone with good experience. The best place to find an experienced professional is through your realtor. They will usually have one they have used in the past, whose work they have always been happy with.
There are also certain lenders who specialize in specific business types. For example, some specialize in financing warehouses; some specialize in office real estate. This can be a great advantage.
With commercial real estate financing, lenders want to know everything they can about the place you are buying or refinancing. So that you won't be surprised at some of the questions, some typical ones follow.
The income the property has been making. They will want to see income statements and expense statements. This might be the #1 consideration, more even than your income.
They'll want to know about the owners of the property. You'll have to provide financial statements for all the people who own the business.
You may have to provide information about the managers or whoever will be running the place. Because they are concerned with a return on their investment, they want to know that the business will be run by competent, experienced managers.
They will definitely check the borrower's credit history. This will be a less important factor than the financial history of the property, but it can still be a deciding factor in whether or not you get the loan.
The lender will want to know how much the property is worth, according to an official appraisal.
You should tell them about any plans you have for building or changing the property in any way. For example, if you plan to do any construction, they will want to know that.
When dealing with lenders, always remember that risk is the #1 consideration for them. While you're building or improving your business, and you're thinking about all the great things coming your way, all they are thinking about is the possibility of failure. To them, it's just a matter of whether they will get the money back or not.
Source: A Stratton
Dy Associates is an Oakland Real Estate company specializing in commercial, home and investment property in the Oakland and East Bay Area. We provide real estate services including buyer agent, seller agent, short sales, commercial and investment acquisitions, loan facilitation, hard money lending, financing assistance property management. Articles are provided as information only. We do not provide legal or general investment advice.