What Qualifies as Owner-Occupied in California?
6 minute read
February 2, 2022


Some consider hard money loans to be used exclusively by real estate investors, fix and flippers, or people trying to get a bridge loan.

But, Marquee Funding Group, is one of the only private lenders offering consumer-purpose owner-occupied loans. These loans are used to help individuals purchase or refinance their primary homes and vacation homes. 

Hard money loans are frequently used by people who are unable to get conventional loans from banks. Whether it’s due to poor credit, a high debt ratio, a past foreclosure, or being in a unique life situation.

Owner-occupied loans are always secured by real estate but loan purposes can be for other reasons than refinancing or purchasing. Having quick access to cash can be incredibly useful in time-sensitive situations.

For business people, owner-occupied, business-purpose loans can be used to purchase commercial space, get new equipment, and buy out partners.

Let’s discuss owner-occupied loans, both for residential and business purposes, their benefits, and how to get approved for a loan.

What Does Owner-Occupied for Borrowers and Lenders in California Mean?

Hard money lenders and traditional lenders offer various types of loan programs to help borrowers purchase properties. These properties may be bought to rent out, to fix and flip, or lived in by the owner.

When a borrower purchases or refinances a home to live in as their primary residence, or a vacation home that they plan to live in for more than 14 days per year, this is considered an owner-occupied loan.

Multifamily properties consisting of 1-4 units that the owner lives in along with tenants are also considered “owner-occupied”. We’ll go into more detail about tenants in the next section of this article.

Unlike conventional mortgages, hard money owner-occupied loans offer more flexibility in terms of credit scores, debt ratios, and foreclosures.

Owner-occupied properties can include single-family houses, multi-family homes, condos, duplexes, and more.

To be considered owner-occupied, you must move into the home within 90 days of the closing

What’s your loan scenario?

Owner-Occupied Residence With Tenants

Some borrowers seek to purchase a large property where they can live and rent out vacant units to tenants to make income. 

Before signing off on your owner-occupied loan, make sure you understand the lender’s owner-occupancy requirements. You may consider converting your home into a rental property later down the road, but you’ll need to check with your lender to see if this is allowed. 

Purchasing or refinancing a home with an owner-occupied loan with the intention of turning it into a rental property can be considered mortgage fraud, so speak with your lender first about their requirements and rules.

Owner-Occupied for Residential and Business Purposes

Owner-occupied loans can be used for consumer or business purposes. This means borrowers can purchase or refinance properties to use the money for personal reasons or for business opportunities.

Certain owner-occupied business loans will require the borrower to use 51% or more of their loan proceeds for a justifiable business opportunity rather than for personal obligations or debt consolidation.

Owner-Occupied Consumer-Purpose Loans Used for More Than Just Purchasing Property

You can do more with owner-occupied types of loans than just purchase a primary home. With Marquee’s owner-occupied consumer-purpose loans, you can use your money to:

  • Refinance your home
  • Acquire a second, third, or fourth mortgage
  • Consolidate debt
  • Build a new house
  • Pay a legal settlement
  • Dissolve a family trust and settle inheritance issues
  • Pay off bankruptcy
  • Get out of foreclosure
  • Get a bridge loan to purchase a new home while selling your existing home

What are the Benefits of an Owner-Occupied Hard Money Loan?

Owner-occupied hard money loans are advantageous for people who have trouble getting conventional loans or real-estate investors who need money quickly to purchase new properties as they come on the market. Owner-occupied loans hard money loans are very hard to find. Marquee Funding Group is one of the only lenders that offer these types of loans.

Self-employed freelancers, recent graduates, and people with a limited or poor credit history often get denied by traditional lenders because they are deemed too “high risk.” 

Because Marquee Funding Group is a private money lender, our investors have more say in which deals they want to work with, and as a result, are more flexible in granting loans to people who are in unique or challenging circumstances.

Some of the advantages of getting an owner-occupied hard money loan include:

  • Quick turnaround times (around 10 days for consumer-purpose loans, 7 days for business-purpose)
  • Credit score requirements are much lower
  • Higher approval ratings
  • Greater flexibility and forgiveness with foreclosures and bankruptcies
  • A smoother, easier, and streamlined process

How to Get a Hard Money Loan for Your Owner-Occupied Property in California

Marquee Funding Group makes applying and qualifying for an owner-occupied hard money loan simple.

Unlike traditional lenders and banks that have more federal rules and regulations, we are a group of private investors who pool our money into investments that make sense. This means we can fund loans for people in unique situations when others can’t.

Submit a loan scenario to start your loan process.

Please submit a short submission story about your current life situation and the property’s address. Beyond that, our team will examine each loan scenario on a case-by-case basis and will reach out for additional documentation, if necessary.

We may look at the borrower’s assets and bank statements to help make our decision. 

At Marquee, we’re less concerned about job history or credit scores and are eager to make common-sense-driven deals that make sense for the borrower and the lender.

Get Approved for Your Owner-Occupied Loan at Marquee Funding Group

Marquee Funding Group is a private money lender located in Calabasas, California, specializing in the origination, investment sale, and servicing of hard money loans all over the country. However, Marquee Funding Group only offers owner-occupied residential loans in California. 

We fund all types of loans, both for consumers and business people who have difficulty securing properties through traditional lenders and banks.

Are you a prospective homeowner looking for an owner-occupied loan to purchase your next primary residence? 

Contact us today for questions and guidance.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

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