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Seizing Investment Opportunities: The Freedom of Bridge Loans for Foreign Nationals

Seizing Investment Opportunities: The Freedom of Bridge Loans for Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals can invest in American real estate, but seizing this opportunity is often easier said than done. Financing a real estate transaction can be difficult, particularly for someone who’s not a natural citizen. Fortunately, bridge loans provide foreign investors and many others with a pathway to financial freedom. Unlike many lenders, RBI Private Lending specializes in foreign national loans for our foreign national borrowers.
Now, let’s answer some of the biggest questions surrounding bridge loans, how they work, and their benefits and then discuss how they help foreign nationals invest in property in the United States.
This blog post aims to enhance your comprehension of the utilization of bridge loans by foreign national borrowers and why you should consider seeking assistance from RBI Private Lending when you need a short term loan.

What is a bridge loan and how do they work?

A bridge loan “bridges” the gap from the purchase of one property to the sale of another.
For example, a buyer wants to purchase a house but still has to sell their current residence. With a bridge loan, this buyer can cover the cost of two mortgages until their house sells.

How Does a Bridge Loan Work?

Bridge loans offer short-term financing. They’re typically taken out for a period ranging from two weeks to three years. Terms, conditions, and fees vary.

Some lenders offer bridge financing to help a homebuyer pay off their first mortgage, then close their loan. Others add debt to the amount a borrower already owes.

In many instances, borrowers make interest-only payments on bridge loans. This means you must only pay the interest you accrue on your loan. You’ll pay the principal amount at the end of your loan term. Since a bridge loans works in many situations, consult with a trusted lender to see what loan program is best for your situation. Your RBI loan officer will help you during each step of your financial planning and can show you the bridge loan pros that are best for you.

Bridge Loan Requirements

Generally, a borrower uses their home as collateral to obtain a bridge loan.

Along with this, a lender may look at a borrower’s credit history, and debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Lenders may require a DTI below 50%.

RBI Private lending allow bridge loan applicants to borrow up to 70% of their loan-to-value ratio (LTV). To qualify, you’ll need at least 20% equity in your current home.

Depending on your lender, you may also need to meet additional financial requirements.

For specific requirements for RBI’s foreign national borrower bridge loan requirements check here

Bridge Loan Benefits

There’s a lot to like about bridge loans compared to a mortgage loan. Some of the reasons why homebuyers choose bridge financing include:

Flexibility

Bridge loans provide borrowers with money that they can use right away. The loans help homebuyers quickly close real estate transactions, renovate properties, or find new tenants for their buildings.

Additionally, lenders such as RBI Private Lending offer bridge loans tailored to borrowers and their real estate transactions. This makes bridge financing a flexible alternative to conventional loans.

Fast Approval

It can take weeks or months to get approved for a traditional mortgage loan. Every second counts in a competitive real estate market. If your loan request takes too long to get approved, you may miss out on an investment opportunity.

Lenders usually approve bridge loan requests in days. This allows you to get financing without delay — and capitalize on real estate investment opportunities before it’s too late.

Seamless Application Process

Some lenders look exclusively at your assets — not your credit, DTI ratio, or income — to determine your eligibility for a bridge loan. This boosts your chances of getting approved. It also speeds up the approval process, since there’s less paperwork you’ll need to complete.

Multiple Repayment Options

You may have the option to make interest-only or fixed-monthly payments on your bridge loan. And you may be able to avoid payments on your loan until you sell your current house.

Bridge Loan vs. Traditional Loan

Not all mortgage options are created equal. With a clear understanding of the similarities and differences between bridge and traditional loans, you’ll be able to make the best decision about which one is right for you.

 Ultimately, bridge loans and traditional loans both offer viable options to those who want to buy a house. They differ in many areas — we’ve highlighted key differences between these loan options in the chart below. In addition, bridge loans typically are used for a variety of real estate transactions, whether they are used for residences, home construction financing, or fix and flip or other real estate investment property.

Bridge Loan Traditional Loan
A bridge loan typically gives you enough money to cover home costs for up to three years. A traditional loan may extend anywhere from 10 to 30 years.
You may be able to get approved for a bridge loan in a matter of days. It may be weeks or months before you find out if you're approved for a traditional loan.
Bridge loans frequently offer a LTV ratio between 65% to 80%. Traditional loans require an LTV as high as 90%.
Many bridge loans have interest rates higher than those of traditional mortgages. A traditional loan often has a lower interest rate than bridge financing but requires a longer commitment.

Why Would a Foreign National Want a Bridge Loan?

Foreign nationals invest billions annually in U.S. real estate — check out these stats from National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) data collected between April 2022 and March 2023:

  • Foreign buyers purchased 84,600 properties.
  • Foreign buyers who lived in the United States or held visas in the country purchased $23.4 billion worth of homes.
  • Foreign buyers who lived outside the United States purchased $29.9 billion worth of homes.
  • International buyers accounted for 2.3% of the $2.3 trillion in existing-home sales.
  • The average ($639,900) and median ($396,400) purchase prices for international buyers were the highest NAR ever recorded.

Bridge foreign national loans eliminate financial barriers that prevent international investors from buying real estate. As a result, they empower foreign nationals to seize real estate investment opportunities — faster and more efficiently than ever before.

How Can Foreign Nationals Use Bridge Loans?

Bridge loans help foreign national borrowers invest in residential properties, commercial spaces, and development projects even if they lack the credit history that traditional mortgages require. Here are three real world examples of how bridge loans from RBI Private Lending have helped global investors capitalize on real estate investment opportunities. Foreign national loans require special programs and understanding. RBI is owned by immigrants from Venezuela, and by nature, we understand what is needed to offer foreign national loans successfully.

If you are seeking a foreign national loan, RBI is the right place to start, unlike a typical financial institution, as a hard money lender, we have the experience to help you with attractive bridge loan rates and reasonable closing costs.

What are some foreign national bridge loan examples?

Chilean Home Construction Project

A Chilean group wanted a bridge loan so it could build single-family homes for first-time buyers. The group came to us for a $1.5 million construction loan to complete six houses. It later returned to request financing to build 10 more houses for a total of $2.2 million in funding.

Moving forward, the group predicts it’ll build 50 houses in the next year — and we’re proud to help them make this happen.

Brazilian Home Construction Project
Bridge loans have been instrumental for a Brazilian group looking to build houses for first-time buyers.

This group started with a $1.8 million loan for nine houses. It’s currently building 29 more houses with approximately $5.2 million in financing.

New Condo Construction

Foreign nationals have used our bridge financing to buy new condos in Miami, Florida, during the construction phase. They would have to put 50% down to reserve an asset, then pay the remaining 50% to close. However, many would put the 50% down, then receive a letter telling them that they needed to close in the next 30 days.

We offered bridge loans to help these foreign nationals secure their assets. When these investors were ready, they had the option to refinance or sell their property for a profit.

Where Can Foreign Nationals Use Bridge Loans?

NAR points out that half of foreign buyers purchased their property for use as a vacation home, rental property, or both. And 59% bought detached, single-family homes.

Florida (23%) ranks first among the top U.S. destinations for foreign buyers, according to NAR. Some of the reasons foreign nationals may choose the Sunshine State for real estate investment opportunities include:

  • Affordability: Research shows the average price of homes in Florida ($402,000) is less than the national average ($412,000).
  • Increasing Home Values: Florida home values rose 80% between September 2018 and September 2023, according to Houzeo.
  • Demand for Rental Properties: As of November 2023, every Florida metro experienced year-over-year growth in rentals, real estate market data indicates.

Texas (12%) is also a popular spot for foreign investors, NAR notes. Dallas, Austin, Houston, and other Lone Star State metros offer a wide range of property investment opportunities. By purchasing properties in Texas, foreign nationals may be able to capitalize on the state’s projected economic growth.

What Foreign Nationals Can Use Bridge Loans?

Based on NAR data, the top five countries of origin by number of U.S. existing homes purchased among foreign investors are:

  • China
  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • India
  • Colombia

 Bridge loans are available to foreign nationals from around the world. If you want one, all you have to do is apply.

How to Apply for a Foreign National Bridge Loan

Here’s what you’ll need to apply for foreign national bridge financing:

  • Your ID
  • Proof of assets or reserves
  • Other documentation relating to your real estate investment

If you are seeing a short-term mortgage loan, ask questions and learn more about RBI Private Lending’s requirements. Then, you’ll be able to provide the requested information and avoid mistakes that could prevent you from getting your loan approved.

Get information about any fees associated with the bridge loan application process. Transparency is key — if you understand all of the costs associated with your loan, you’ll be able to avoid “hidden” fees down the line. 

Other Considerations for Foreign National Bridge Loans

Bridge loans offer many benefits, but they can be risky. As is the case for any mortgage loan, the value of the home purchase is critical, and you will be required to maintain a 20% home equity to qualify for your protection and ours. Here are factors to consider to help you make an informed decision about bridge financing:

Your Bridge Loan Exit Strategy

A lender expects you to have a plan to repay your loan. If you don’t have a plan or your strategy raises concerns or questions, a lender may decline your request for financing. So, in addition to your current home’s equity, you must be able to sell your existing home at a price that will fully repay the loan in the timeframe that is agreed upon in the loan terms. Whne selling your home, be aware of the time required to complete the homebuying process of your purchaser so that you will have the available funds in time.

Your Ability to Sell Your Current Home

With a bridge loan, you agree to pay back the money you owe within a designated time frame. Yet, there’s no guarantee that your current property will sell or that you’ll be able to secure long-term financing. In either of these scenarios, you’re still required to repay your loan in accordance with your lender’s terms and conditions.

Your Bridge Loan Interest Rate

Due to their short-term nature, bridge loans often have higher interest rates than traditional mortgage loans. On the other hand, bridge financing tends to be more flexible and faster and easier to obtain versus a traditional loan. You will find that the higher interest rates are more than offset by your interest only payments and the short term nature of the loan.

Your Lender’s Experience with Foreign Nationals

Some lenders such as RBI Private Lender are better than others at navigating the challenges associated with bridge loans for foreign nationals. Choose a lender who understands these challenges and knows how to address them.

Request a Foreign National Bridge Loan

Bridge loans unlock real estate investment opportunities — at RBI Private Lending, we offer financing solutions to help you seize these opportunities. While most lenders require lengthy credit histories or impose onerous payment requirements, RBI understands the financial situation foreign nationals find themselves in when speaking real estate loans.

As a lender owned by people who immigrated from Venezuela to Miami, we understand the importance of helping foreign nationals who want to purchase properties in the U.S. We provide flexible, efficient, and competitive financing solutions to international investors. We are proud to offer short term loans, and other mortgage loan programs to all qualified borrowers regardless of origin.

 Explore our bridge loan options today.

 

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