Bank Loans For Commercial Real Estate
Acquiring a bank loan to purchase commercial real estate has many facets. The successful entrepreneur must put himself or herself in the position of the bank and anticipate likely questions. A bank, like any business wants to insure that loans are profitable and that any chance for default is minimized. The size of the commercial real estate loan will dictate the details of the package that must be presented to the bank to acquire a loan. However, large or small loans require the following items.
The first thing a bank will require is a financial statement. The bank needs to be certain of the net worth of the potential borrower before entering into a transaction. Typically they want to determine not only the net worth of the potential borrower, but also the ability of the borrower to continue to make payments in the event of any economic downturn. Cash on hand is always an indicator of flexibility as well as the overall liquidity of the assets listed on the financial statement. A potential loan applicant that has a high net worth, but whose assets can not be turned into cash quickly, may not be as attractive a loan candidate as an individual with a lower net worth that possesses assets that can be quickly turned into cash. History is also an important consideration. A new borrower that has a history of successful commercial real estate ventures would present less risk to a bank than a start-up enterprise. However, a start-up enterprise can successfully acquire a loan if a sound plan is presented.
A business plan is a necessity. The potential borrower must be able to present a plan that outlines exactly what the future holds for the commercial property. It is incumbent upon the borrower to present a plan that considers the implications of zoning laws and potential uses for the real estate, economic outlook for the area where the real estate is located, a projected schedule for development or resale of the real estate and potential worst case and best case scenarios that will present a convincing case that the commercial real estate acquisition will be profitable.
In most cases the bank considers themselves partners in the transaction and wants to insure that the risk is minimized. A substantial down payment toward the commercial real estate is convincing evidence that the potential borrower is willing to assume some risk. Obviously, a more substantial down payment reduces the interest rate on the loan. Typically a bare minimum down payment of 5% of the purchase cost is required. A solid business plan that presents strong evidence of the worth of the property will result in a 5% down payment. Normally 10% or even as much as 20% may be required.
It is important to present a plan to more that one bank to insure that the best loan rate and term is negotiated. Banks diversify their loan portfolios. They want to spread their risk over a number of loan types such as home loans, commercial loans, lines of credit, small business loans, equipment loans and a variety of other loans that will maximize their profitability and minimize risk. Some banks that have maximized their commercial real estate loan portfolio may be reluctant to loan additional funds for acquisitions whereas some banks may want to increase their commercial real estate loans. It is important to understand this facet of banking to acquire the loan with the best terms and interest rates available.
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