Hard Money Lenders in Georgia: Flexible Loan Solutions

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Are you looking to finance your next real estate project in Georgia with a hard money loan? Whether you’re eyeing a fixer-upper in Savannah’s historic district or aiming to purchase a rental in Midtown Atlanta, hard money lenders in Georgia offer a flexible and speedy alternative to traditional financing. These loans are particularly useful for those with tight timelines, limited initial funds, or credit challenges.

We’ll also explore alternative financing options for Georgia homeowners seeking to bridge the gap between buying and selling a home. This article will walk you through the essentials of hard money lending in Georgia, helping you determine if this financial strategy aligns with your real estate investment or home-buying goals.

Start Making Offers Without Waiting to Sell Your Home

Through our Buy Before You Sell program, HomeLight can help you unlock a portion of your equity upfront to put toward your next home. You can then make a strong offer on your next home with no home sale contingency.

Editor’s note: This post is for educational purposes and is not intended to be construed as financial advice. HomeLight always encourages you to consult your own advisor.

What is a hard money lender?

A hard money lender is a private individual or company that provides short-term loans secured by real estate. These lenders prioritize the property’s value over the borrower’s credit score and income, making them a popular choice among real estate investors such as house flippers and those acquiring rental properties.

Hard money lenders determine loan amounts using the after-repair value (ARV), which is the estimated value of the property after all renovations are completed. They usually lend a percentage of this ARV to protect their investment.

Interest rates for hard money loans are higher, typically between 8% and 15%, and repayment periods range from 6 to 24 months. Borrowers can expect to pay additional fees, including origination fees, closing costs, and points. If a borrower fails to repay a hard money loan, the lender can seize the property to recover the funds.

How does a hard money loan work?

For real estate investors in Georgia needing fast and flexible financing, hard money loans may be the answer. Here’s a breakdown of how these loans work:

  • Short-term loan: These loans typically have a 6–24 month repayment period, unlike the conventional 15- or 30-year mortgage terms.
  • Faster funding option: Hard money loans can be funded within days, contrasting with the usual 30 to 50 days for standard mortgage approval.
  • Less focus on creditworthiness: Approval is more dependent on the property’s value than on the borrower’s credit score or income history.
  • More focus on property value: These loans are determined based on the loan-to-value ratio of the collateral property.
  • Not traditional lenders: Private investors or specialized lending firms usually provide hard money loans, not conventional banks.
  • Loan denial option: Borrowers with poor credit, who have been denied a mortgage but have substantial home equity, often turn to hard money loans.
  • Higher interest rates: Hard money loans come with higher interest rates due to the increased risk involved.
  • Might require larger down payments: Borrowers might need to make a larger down payment, sometimes ranging from 20%–30%.
  • More flexibility: Hard money lenders offer flexible terms regarding debt-to-income and credit scores, providing an alternative to foreclosure for some homeowners.
  • Potential for interest-only payments: Unlike traditional loans, select hard money loans may allow for interest-only payments at the beginning.

What are hard money loans used for?

Hard money loans address specific financial needs in the Georgia real estate market. They are especially popular among investors who need quick funding or face challenges qualifying for traditional loans. Here’s a closer look at the typical uses for hard money loans:

Flipping a house: For Georgia house flippers, hard money loans provide fast access to cash for purchasing and renovating properties. These loans allow them to act quickly in competitive markets, making necessary improvements and selling the property for a profit in a short amount of time.

Buying an investment rental property: Investors looking to purchase rental properties can use hard money loans to acquire and repair properties quickly. This allows landlords to complete renovations and start generating rental income faster than with traditional bank loans.

Purchasing commercial real estate: Compared to traditional loan options, hard money loans offer commercial real estate investors greater flexibility and faster approvals. This can be advantageous for time-sensitive situations where quick decisions are necessary to secure potentially lucrative investments.

Borrowers who can’t qualify for traditional loans: People with significant home equity but poor credit or other disqualifications often seek out hard money loans. These loans base approval more on the value of the asset rather than the borrower’s credit history, making them accessible to those who struggle with conventional lenders.

Homeowners facing foreclosure: Those nearing foreclosure may use hard money loans to refinance debts or buy additional time to sell their property. This can provide a temporary solution to prevent losing their home and avoid a negative impact on their credit.

How much do hard money loans cost?

Hard money loans typically cost more than traditional loans due to the increased risk and convenience of fast funding. Typical costs include:

  • Interest rates: These can range from 8% to 15%, depending on the lender’s risk assessment.
  • Origination fees: Lenders may charge 1% to 5% of the total loan amount as an origination fee.
  • Closing costs: Additional fees at closing can include legal, appraisal, and administrative costs.
  • Points: Lenders might charge points (a percentage of the loan amount) upfront, adding to the initial cost.

Online calculators can help you get a more accurate estimate of these costs.

Alternatives to working with hard money lenders

If you’re a homeowner wanting to make the most of your home’s equity, here are some financing alternatives to hard money loans.

Take out a second mortgage: Leveraging your home’s equity through a home equity loan or HELOC can provide funds at a lower interest rate than a hard money loan.

Cash-out refinance: By choosing a refinance option, you can pull out cash from your existing property to fund your investment, typically at a lower interest rate than hard money loans.

Borrow from family or friends: Loans from family or friends can offer more flexible repayment terms and potentially lower or no interest rates, making them a more cost-effective option.

Use a government-backed loan program: Programs from the FHA, VA, or USDA help with purchasing homes by offering lower down payments and reduced interest rates.

Peer-to-peer loan: Individual investors on lending platforms provide these loans, which work like hard money loans but with potentially different terms.

Specialized loan programs: Look into specialized loans for properties needing significant work or for refinancing an existing hard money loan.

Request a seller financing option: Sometimes sellers may offer to finance the purchase themselves, which can lower closing costs and have less strict eligibility criteria.

How to buy before you sell

Sometimes, the perfect listing appears when you’re not actively searching. Maybe it’s a 1930s beach cottage on Tybee Island or a stately brick colonial in Athens. For Georgia homeowners wanting to buy a new home before selling their current one, HomeLight offers a practical solution to make this transition smoother.

The Buy Before You Sell (BBYS) program allows you to leverage your existing home’s equity to make a competitive, non-contingent offer on a new home. Your equity unlock amount can be approved within 24 hours with no upfront costs or commitment. This allows you to purchase your new home first and then sell your current one, eliminating the stress of having to move twice.

Here’s how HomeLight Buy Before You Sell works:

While there is a flat fee of 2.4% of your current home’s sold price, the savings in other areas can outweigh this cost. You could save on moving expenses, temporary housing, and even negotiate a better deal on your new home. Plus, HomeLight’s BBYS fees are generally much lower than bridge loan interest rates, which range from 9.5% to 12%.

3 top hard money lenders in Georgia

Looking to act quickly on a real estate opportunity in Georgia? Traditional lenders might not be your only option. Consider partnering with one of these top-rated hard money lenders in The Peach State.

Fairview Commercial Lending

Fairview Commercial Lending oversees several regional hard money lending companies, including Georgia Hard Money, based in Marietta. Founded in 1975, they specialize in funding hard money and bridge loans for both residential (investment-only) and commercial properties. They offer quick closings, typically within five to ten days, and can expedite the process if needed.

Lending clientele: Residential and commercial real estate investors

Loan criteria: Up to 50%–55% LTV

Hard Money Loans Georgia

Georgia Private Loans, also known as Hard Money Loans Georgia, is a direct lender based in Atlanta specializing in short-term loans secured by real estate. They offer underwriting within 24 hours and funding in just a few days, with loan amounts ranging from $20,000 to $5 million. The annual interest rate is 16% (interest only). Georgia Private Loans exclusively provides financing for real estate projects or refinances within the State of Georgia.

Lending clientele: Non-owner occupied residential real estate and commercial real estate

Loan criteria: Up to 65% LTV with a 25%–50% down payment if purchasing a property

Locklin Capital

Locklin Capital, a hard money and private lending firm based in Woodstock, has been serving both new and experienced investors since its founding in 2018. The company’s main loan products include fix-and-flip, bridge, new construction, DSCR purchase or refinance, and conventional purchase or refinance loans. They offer quick closings on short-term loans, usually within a few days, with costs ranging from 2% to 5% of the loan amount.

Lending clientele: Residential and commercial real estate investors, plus homeowners

Loan criteria: Up to 75% ARV (fix-and-flip), up to 70% ARV (new construction), up to 80% LTV (DSCR), up to 95% LTV (conventional)

Investing in real estate?

Hire an investor-friendly real estate agent who can help you get access to off-market properties at a discount and assess potential rental income based on market trends. HomeLight can connect you with investment property specialists at no cost.

Should I partner with a hard money lender in Georgia?

The decision to use a hard money lender in Georgia should align with your specific real estate investment needs. Hard money loans are ideal for investors who require quick funding for projects or cannot obtain traditional financing. If you’re willing to accept higher interest rates and shorter repayment terms for the benefit of fast, flexible funding, then a hard money loan could be the right solution for your next investment.

For Georgia homeowners seeking to leverage their equity, HomeLight’s Buy Before You Sell program may be a better alternative. This program lets you make a stronger offer on a new home using your existing home’s equity without incurring high interest rates. Instead, you’ll pay a flat fee and enjoy a smoother transition to your new home.

Before making any major financial decision, consider your long-term investment strategy and consult with a financial advisor to ensure it matches your goals. If you’re looking for investor-friendly real estate agents in Georgia who can connect you with reliable hard money lenders, let HomeLight help you find the best professionals in your area.

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