What Is A Balloon Payment?

In this article, we will be answering a common question asked by individuals interested in commercial real estate investing, “What is a balloon Payment?” and diving into the basics of this fun term. Let’s jump in!

First and foremost, a balloon loan is a loan that does not fully amortize over its term. Thus, at the end of your loan term, you will have to pay the remaining principal balance of the loan, called a balloon payment. OK — it’s not as fun as it sounds.

Why Take Out A Balloon Payment Loan for Commercial Real Estate?

Refinancing Options

Taking out a balloon loan for commercial real estate is beneficial because it doesn’t lock real estate investors into a set rate for a prolonged time. Balloon loans allow commercial borrowers to refinance their mortgage when it’s time to make their balloon loan payment — about every five to seven years. Refinancing will enable investors to start fresh with a new loan, more extended repayment period, and possibly a lower long-term interest rate, improving cash flow.

What Is A Balloon Payment

Favorable Rates & Lower Loan-to-Value Terms

Many lenders offer more favorable rates and lower loan-to-value terms to real estate investors, which makes taking out a balloon loan appealing.

How Do Commercial Real Estate Balloon Payment Work?

A commercial real estate balloon loan works similarly to traditional commercial mortgage loans but differs in terms of repayment. A conventional commercial mortgage loan has an average loan term of five to twenty years with an amortization period that’s longer than the loan term of the loan as a whole. The average loan term of a balloon loan is five to seven years with a separate amortization period of twenty-five years. In this case, with a balloon loan, the investor would make payments for the balloon loan term based on the 25-year amortization period, and at the end of the five-to-seven year term, they would have to pay the remaining balance of the loan in one full payment.

What Are My Options When the Balloon Payment Is Due?


As mentioned above, one option is to refinance your balloon loan when it’s time to make your balloon payment. Refinancing when a balloon payment is due is a common practice for real estate investors because it allows commercial borrowers to start fresh with a new loan and better rates.


If your commercial property is worth more than you owe, another option is to sell your property to pay off the balance of your balloon payment loan.


If you have the cash flow, paying off your balloon loan is ideal. Unfortunately, this is mostly not the case for most commercial real estate investors, as the balloon payment is often a hefty price to pay.

What Are My Risks?

Be warned — balloon loans are risky. Commercial borrowers are not guaranteed approval for refinancing, and property values are always changing. Thus, there is the risk that if you cannot refinance, you will default on your loan, and your property could lose its value, making it impossible to sell for profit. With all mortgages, it’s best to speak to a loan specialist to discuss your needs and get professional advice on the best type of loan for you and your circumstances.

Contact a trusted, passionate, and dedicated loan specialist today at Abbey Mortgage & Investments, Inc. to see if a balloon loan is the best type of loan for your commercial real estate investing needs. We look forward to speaking with you and assisting you in your endeavor.