Purchasing real estate, renovating your current property or refinancing real estate debt can be a smart way to grow your small business. Online lenders offer solid alternatives to traditional banks for commercial real estate loans due to looser requirements and faster time to funding. You may, however, pay a bit more for that speed and convenience.
Before shopping for loans, it’s a good idea to estimate the profit from your real estate purchase or renovation or the savings from a refinance to ensure it’s more than than the cost of the loan. Always weigh the terms, interest, fees and speed of funding carefully before making a decision.
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Real estate loans for purchases or refinancing: SmartBiz
- Loan amount: $350,000 to $5 million
- APR: 5.85% to 5.9%
- Loan term: 25 years
- Funding time: Within 45 days
- Read our SmartBiz review
SmartBiz is your best bet if you’re an established and profitable business looking for the lowest borrowing costs.
The company provides Small Business Administration 7(a) commercial real estate loans ranging from $350,000 to $5 million. You can use the proceeds to purchase real estate or refinance existing real estate debt.
With a 25-year repayment term and low APRs from 5.85% to 5.9%, you’ll have a lower monthly payment than with regular business loans.
To qualify, you need a personal credit score starting at 675, at least three years in business and $250,000 or more in annual revenue. In addition, a minimum 51% of the property you purchase must be occupied by and used by your business. You also need to meet the SBA’s eligibility requirements.
A first lien on the real estate is required. Based on its appraised value, you must have at least 10% to 20% equity in the real estate for a refinance or put down 10% to 20% for a real estate purchase. For SmartBiz’s no down-payment plan (called rent replacement option), the monthly loan payment cannot exceed your current monthly lease expense.
Real estate loans for renovations: Funding Circle and Bond Street
- Loan amount: $25,000 to $500,000
- APR: 7% to 36%
- Loan term: 1 to 5 years
- Funding time: Average of 10 days
- Read our Funding Circle review
- Loan amount: $10,000 to $1 million
- APR: 8% to 25%
- Loan term: 1 to 3 years
- Approval time: Average of 3 to 4 days
- Read our Bond Street review
Funding Circle provides loans up to $500,000, repaid over a period of one to five years. You need at least two years of business history to qualify, as well as a minimum 620 credit score. There are no minimum revenue requirements, although typical borrowers have annual revenue of about $2 million.
Bond Street has higher borrowing amounts up to $1 million, while its loans can be repaid over one to three years. Funding is an average of three to four days, compared to 10 days at Funding Circle. It carries tougher minimum requirements than Funding Circle, however, requiring at least two years in business, $200,000 annual revenue and a 640 personal credit score.
Commercial real estate loans: Compare your options
Want to compare more small-business loan options?
If you’re looking for other financing, NerdWallet has created a comparison tool featuring the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged lender trustworthiness, market scope and user experience, along with other factors, and arranged them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.
Updated May 26, 2017.