Doorsteps is here to reimagine the way real estate works in Australia, and part of that mission involves helping to simplify the often complicated and stressful steps of the buying and selling process. It's important to understand what options are available to you when buying and selling at the same time. One option to consider is a bridging loan.
In this article we'll explore:
Need to buy a new property before you sell your current home?
Buying and selling at the same time can be a tricky time to navigate, especially from a financial point of view, with cash flow being the main obstacle. That's where bridging loans come in—to help cover this period, so you can buy a new property without having to sell your home first. This takes away the stress of trying to align settlement dates, gives you more time to sell your current home and allows you some breathing time to buy a new property.
A bridging loan—also known as bridging finance or a relocation loan—is a short-term loan to enable you to purchase a new property while you sell your existing property. A bridging loan can also help you build a new home while living in your current property.
They are issued by institutions like banks and dedicated home loan lenders who usually provide the mortgage on both properties during the bridging period.
In terms of timeframes, most bridging loans must be repaid within 12 months, though this depends on the type of bridging loan you take out.
Yes, there are actually two types of bridging loans aimed at people in different situations:
A closed bridging loan is best if you have a definite sale date and you know when you will receive the funds from the sale. The loan typically has a shorter, defined timeframe, and you repay the bridging loan (plus any fees and interest) on the date your original home sells.
An open bridging loan is best if your current home sale is more open-ended, with no defined sale date. Due to the unknown timeframe, this type of bridging loan is often for six to 12 months.
Let's now find out how they work.
Even though a bridging loan is a single product, it can be broken down into three elements:
Let’s see how it all works in this example.
Bridging loan example:
Adam and Kim have $100,000 remaining on the mortgage of their current home, and they're looking to upgrade. They've found their new dream home and they want to buy first and sell later to make sure they don't miss out.
They need $400,000 to purchase their next home, so they apply for a bridging loan that combines their current debt of $100,000 with the new $400,000 loan, totalling $500,000. This amount is called 'peak debt' and is what they will need to repay (plus interest) once they successfully sell their current home.
With that money, Adam and Kim can go ahead and purchase the new property without having to worry about selling first. Once they then sell their old home, they can settle the bridging loan. In this case, they make $400,000 on the sale. This goes towards paying off their bridging loan.
The difference (The $500,000 loan, less $400,000 paid back from the sale = $100,000) now reverts to a standard home loan on their new home with regular repayments.
Lenders will usually roll over the interest from the bridging loan into your new standard home loan, or they may also offer the option of settling it when you settle the bridging loan.
In terms of qualifying for a bridging loan, lenders are looking for similar criteria to a regular home loan, including that you have:
Before signing up for any financial product you should weigh up all aspects of the offering to be sure it suits your personal circumstances.
Let’s start by looking at the upsides of bridging loans and how they can help you.
Some of the downsides of a typical bridging loan include:
While a typical bridging loan can be the leg up that some buyers need to allow them to buy their next home before selling, it's important to keep in mind that there will still be a range of expenses that the loan won't cover.
For starters, you'll need to have a deposit saved up for your new purchase—usually 5 or 10 per cent. You'll also need to pay costs like stamp duty, conveyancing and Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI). These are out of pocket expenses that you will need to have saved for yourself, so be wary of this when working out what you can afford.
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Disclaimer: Doorsteps Finance Pty Ltd ACN 648 541 879 and Doorsteps Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 654 334 246, Australian Credit Licence 537369 are wholly owned by OpenAgent Pty Ltd ABN 93 161 595 679 (together, “Doorsteps”). Doorsteps are not making any suggestion or recommendation about any particular product or service.
Disclaimer: Doorsteps Finance Pty Ltd ACN 648 541 879 (credit representative no.531036) is authorised under Doorsteps Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 654 334 246, Australian Credit Licence 537369. Doorsteps Solutions Pty Ltd ABN 60 654 334 246 and Doorsteps Finance Pty Ltd ABN 27 648 541 879 are not making any suggestion or recommendation about any particular product or service. The information provided constitutes information which is general in nature and has not taken into account any of your personal objectives, financial situation, or needs.