Hard money loans are a popular funding option for real estate investors who need quick access to cash for property purchases or renovations. Hard money lenders are mainly interested in the before and after repair value (ARV) of the property, which determines the potential return on investment for the lender. To determine ARV, a licensed appraiser evaluates the property's potential value after renovations based on comparable properties in the area. While hard money loans often have higher interest rates and fees, they offer faster funding and fewer approval requirements. It's crucial for borrowers to understand the loan terms and potential risks involved before pursuing a hard money loan.