Archive for March, 2012

Things You Need Know About Bridge Loans

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

This type of business financing is very aptly described by its name, Bridge loans or Bridging loans. This type loan is not a permanent or even long term loan. It is exactly as stated, a bridge between now and when the long term financing is in place. In general, bridge loans are taken out for a maximum of 3 years awaiting long-term or larger financing. The loan’s purpose is only to cover the interim period until the more permanent financing can be arranged. Once the new financing is obtained, the money will be used to pay back the bridge loan.

Bridge loans have a higher interest rate than conventional loans. It is not uncommon for lenders to require cross-collateralization in addition to designating a low loan-to-value ratio in order to lower their risk. However, bridge loans are able to be arranged quickly and do not require a massive stack of paperwork.

Bridge loans are frequently used in real estate purchases to quickly close on property, take advantage of a short-term opportunity, or retrieve an estate from foreclosure. When the property is sold or refinanced, the loan is typically paid back.

Bridge loans are similar to hard money loans as both are not traditional and obtained for unusual circumstances or emergencies. The major difference is that hard money refers to the source whether an individual, private company, or investment company. Bridge loan references the duration of the loan.

The interest rate of a bridge loan is generally 12-15% for a maximum of 3 years. For commercial properties, the Loan-to-Value ratio does not exceed 65% and 80% for residential properties. Loans can be issued on a closed or open timeframe for payoff.

Banks do not typically offer real estate bridge loans because of the high risk and lack of documentation which does not meet the industry’s lending criteria. A bank would have difficulties justifying its lending practice to government regulators and investors if it issued bridge loans. Therefore, most bridge loans are generated from individuals, businesses, and investment pools.

Bridge loans are used in corporate finance and venture capital as well. They can infuse small amounts of cash to carry a company through consecutive major private equity financings. In addition, they can assist a distressed company while search of an acquirer or larger investor. If a company is being sold, a bridge loan can finance final debt before it is publicly offered.

Lone Oak Fund is a private mortgage fund larger than many banks that makes bridge loans typically ranging from $500K to $12.5M on commercial and residential properties located throughout Southern and Northern California. Founded and managed by experienced real estate developers, Lone Oak Fund is the preferred lender for professionals seeking fast, reliable bridge financing for their clients, while providing an additional profit center.Since its inception in 2002, Lone Oak Fund has become one of the largest and fastest growing private bridge lenders in California. The fund is supported by the financial strength of its 400 plus members, including high-net-worth individuals, institutions, and pension funds, with over a billion dollars in loans funded.

5 Key Stock Market Basics for Beginner Investors

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Read these tips to increase your knowledge of stock market basics.

1/ What is Stock?

Simply put, ‘stock’ means to own a part of a company for personal profit and growth. Since you buy stock and therefore “invest” in a company, you also get to reap the benefits of earning a part of the company’s profits.

2/ The Stock Market Defined

The stock market is a market where stocks are traded. Just like the super market is a place to buy and sell groceries, a stock market is a place to buy and sell stock.

3/ What is a Stock Exchange?

A stock market is also called a stock exchange. You may have heard of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the London Stock Exchange (LSE) or even the Honk Kong Stock Exchange (Hang Sang). So stock exchanges are international places where a company’s stock may be traded. They can be physical buildings but they can also be electronic exchanges, such as the NASDAQ, which is an online stock exchange.
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4/ What Types of Stocks are traded on the Stock Exchange?

There are basically two types of stock: common stock and preferred stock. Common stock, by definition is more common and it denotes variable dividend payouts and one vote per share to help determine a company’s managerial decisions. Preferred stock denotes fixed payout (called dividends) over the length that stock is held and may not have the same voting rights. Common stock is generally considered riskier because dividend payouts are dependent on the company making a profit. If the company goes bankrupt, common stockholders are amongst the last to be paid, if at all.

5/ Why Do Stock Prices Go Up And Down?

Stock market basics tell us that stock prices fluctuate because at any given time, some people might be selling large quantities of stock (driving demand and prices down) while others might be buying stock (driving demand and prices up).