All You Need To Know About Arizona Construction Loans

Whether you’ve recently purchased land you want to build on or are currently considering it, you’ll most likely be in need of a construction loan. Here’s everything you need to know about getting a construction loan in Arizona so you can get quickly on your way to building your dream home!

What is a Construction Loan?

A construction loan is a specific sum of money that you will use to fund your building project. Like most other types of loans, a construction loan is paid back gradually in installments, according to pre-set rules laid down by the lender. Construction loans are often paid out by the lender in installments as well, usually as the project goes along and hits specified milestones.

Why You Shouldn’t Just Get a Regular Loan

You may be wondering why you shouldn’t just apply for a regular (lump sum) money loan that can be used for general purposes in order to fund your construction project. However, there are some great reasons to apply for a specific Construction Loan as opposed to a regular loan.

Because the loan is focused entirely around a construction project, the funds are released in stages as the project moves along. This helps you keep on track and stay within your budget, and it also means you will actively be using the money instead of getting approved for it and then just letting it sit (which happens all too often with regular loans). Furthermore, construction loans often come with more flexible terms than regular loans, allowing you to pay it back after the project is completed rather than expecting payments before you are done.

Consider a Hard Money Loan Instead of a Bank Loan

When it comes to home construction, a hard money loan is often the way to go instead of going through a bank. A hard money lender has less stringent rules on how the money can be used and when it needs to be paid off, giving you more time and flexibility with your project. While a hard money loan can sometimes cost you more in the long run than a bank loan, you are also more likely to get approved for one. This is because hard money lenders look more at the project’s potential and its likelihood of being completed rather than at personal credit scores and financial history.

Bank construction loans meanwhile have more stringent standards and can be difficult to get approved without either making significant changes to the construction plans or having a really solid credit and financial history. These types of loans are often “one size fits all”, and if you do not fit into their specific box of requirements, you will not get approved (and even if you do, the pay-back requirements can be very strict). Hard money construction loans are meanwhile more lenient, and they focus on the project as a whole rather than the specific person.

How to Apply for a Construction Loan

Banks require a ton of paperwork and documentation of financial history prior to approving you for a loan, but hard money lenders usually only require their application to be completed and do not need as much paperwork. That said, you will still need to outline your project and be able to show how you plan to achieve your construction goals. Bank approval can take days if not weeks, but approval from a hard money lender can come within 24 hours. Following approval, your property and project will still need to be appraised to ensure you are getting the money you need and that everything is in order.

Construction Loans Can Be Used for Land As Well

It’s worth noting that construction loans can also be used for purchasing land to build on (although they may sometimes have an add-on termed “land loan”). This can be very helpful if you are still in the initial stages of your project but have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Once approved for your loan, you can buy the property of your dreams and start making your construction goals come to life!

Have more questions? Talk with a lender today about your options!

Top 10 Tips to Selling Faster in Phoenix

It’s only natural to want to sell a property as quickly as possible. Whether you’re flipping a house or are selling the place you’ve lived in for years, finding and securing a buyer quickly allows you to move on faster and not have to wait for a big payoff.

Visit any bookstore or do a quick Google search, and there’s tons of literature on the art of selling property. However, a lot of it is full of vague information and tedious steps that don’t help you sell quickly. While you don’t want to cut out necessary steps, there are measures you can take to sell quickly and smoothly.

Follow these top 10 tips to selling faster in Phoenix, and you’ll be signing over your property in no time!

1. Make Sure All Maintenance & Improvements Are Complete

A lot of people make the grave mistake of listing the property prior to all renovations, maintenance projects and landscaping being completed. While it can seem like a time saver to list the property when it’s almost completed, doing so often boils down to some wishful thinking and a misunderstanding of how long these projects can actually take. Showing the property before it’s finished (and this also means being thoroughly cleaned inside and out) can also lead to lower bids being offered.

2. Take Quality Photos

Having great photos of your property is among one of the most important things when it comes to selling, because these are what actually draw potential buyers to the property. While you don’t necessarily need to hire a professional for this, all of the photos should be high resolution and well lit. Make sure there are no mop buckets or cleaning products left around, and if there is furniture, it should be clean and well staged.

3. Make Sure the Price is Right

It’s a good idea to discuss what the price should be with an experienced real estate agent, or if you’re selling on your own (not necessarily the fastest way to sell, but still doable), do your research on what similar properties in the area have sold for. You don’t want to be overpriced, but you don’t want to undersell either. Buyers will be quickly attracted to a property that is reasonably priced and fits what they expect to pay in the area.

4. List on MLS

Your local Multiple Listing Service or MLS is your best bet to sell the property quickly. This will give the property more exposure, and it can easily be done through a broker or real estate agent who works in the area.

5. Read the Market

Once your property listing is up and running, it is important to pay attention to how it performs early on. If you’re not getting as much interest as you’d like, it could be because of something you can easily fix (like getting better photos or supplying more information). Talk to your agent about how things are going on the buying side of things, and see if there are any comments coming through that you can use to your advantage.

6. Be Smart About Lowering the Price

Going along with the above, sometimes one of the adjustments you’ll have to make is lowering the price. However, a dramatic drop in price can look bad, and too many price reductions can also turn buyers away. If you’re going to lower the price, it should only be done to meet market standards and should be done as sparingly as possible. You can discuss what the best strategy is here with your real estate agent.

7. Only Accept Offers with Lender Approval

When you do start getting offers, you should only look at ones that come with an approval letter from the buyer’s lender. The last thing you want to do is accept a bid quickly only to find that the buyer doesn’t actually have the funds to back it up, as this can end up costing you time and money.

8. Go with the Best Offer

Contrary to popular belief, the best offer is not necessarily the one that offers the most money. Instead, it is the one with a responsible buyer who will close on time and is financially qualified. They already have lender approval, and they are prepared with all the documentation they need. Oftentimes, the first offer you receive is the best one, but it is still important to review these qualities in each offer you are considering.

9. Be Prepared for the Inspection

Most buyers won’t close without an inspection being completed, and in many cases they will have specific details they want looked at (like the foundation, water heater, electric outlets, etc.) to make sure the property is up to code and safe as well as valuable. Be prepared for this ahead of time so you aren’t caught off guard.

10. Complete the Appraisal

The final step is letting your property be appraised. This process can go faster if you have gotten a previous appraisal report that you can provide a copy of, as it will help the current appraiser do their job more efficiently (and better understand your pricing).

Tips For Estimating Arizona Rehab Costs

Flipping houses is an exciting and lucrative business – if you’re good at getting the right estimates of rehab costs. If you want to be a pro, you need a system. This comes with experience and after some time, it will be easy for you to walk through your fix and flip project and quickly and precisely asses the rehab costs, including labor and materials. Keep in mind, however, that material prices fluctuate over seasons. There are so many variable, steps, choices, and work that goes into a rehab project that you’ll want to make sure you do it right – right from the beginning.

Ready to learn the tips and tricks of the trade that will turn you into a pro? Read on to find out.

Material Costs

After your walk through, make a list of the materials you need and visit your local supply stores to compare prices on paint, tile, flooring, lumber, windows, doors, and more. From here, you can contact local lumber yards or other stores to find competitive prices. Expect to shop at a few different stores. You’ll probably find yourself buying paint from one store and lumber from another. Keep in mind that there’s a difference between working with the big box stores and specialty stores. For one thing, the owners of specialty stores are “specialists” and have the expertise to help you pick the right materials. Not everyone working at big box stores fits into this category.

To save money, talk with a manager about membership benefits and pricing. The more work you do, the more chance you’ll have of negotiating a better price for your materials.

Time is Money

Have you ever replaced a roof or renovated a full size bath? Do you know how long these projects take? If you’ve answered “no” to these questions, take a step back and do some research before you tackle a rehab project. For example, installing a new roof should only take a few days, but there are contractors out there who will tell new investors that it will take two to three weeks. In fact, many projects can be done quickly on a rehab flip. That’s why it’s important to know the exact time it should take for a project – you are paying labor costs after all! – before hiring a contractor.

Base Estimates on Function and Category

Typically, you would think to categorize your expense by project. You’d add up everything needed for the kitchen remodel, the master bath renovation, etc… But this method isn’t the best way to go about a rehab. Instead, list by function and category, like plumbing, flooring, electrical, and windows. Put it into this perspective: you don’t hire a kitchen contractor. You hire a plumber. You’ll hire a carpenter to do your trim work. An electrician to do your electric work.

Once you draw up a Scope of Work using this method, you’ll easily see the flow of the project and what order it needs to be done in. This will help you know whether your contractors are on schedule and what materials to have on hand and ready to go.

Don’t Forget the Finishes

After knocking down walls, ripping out countertops and putting everything back together again, you’re done. But hold on, don’t forget about trim and finishes. All that work you put into your rehab project still needs some added touches. In fact, these extras add value to your property, make it more desirable to buyers, and overall improve the aesthetics of the property. This means that when you’re creating a Scope of Work sheet, you’ll want to include estimates for things like doorknobs, door stops, outlet covers, baseboards, and miniblinds. This is a somewhat expensive part of the rehab process, so it’s important to have it properly estimated for materials and labor in the beginning.

If you’re new to flipping properties, it’s always better to start with a smaller project rather than a gut job. This way, you can ease into learning about calculating the costs of a rehab project and scheduling the contractors you’ll need to help get the job done. Take heart, however, by knowing that the learning curve for flipping properties is steep. It won’t take you long to figure out how to work this system and turn every rehab flip into a profit. Finally, prepare for the unexpected. Every job will hold a surprise for you so be sure to have a contingency budget tucked away.

Arizona Hard Money Loans: A Step By Step Look

While most individuals go through a traditional bank loan process in order to buy a home, those who purchase homes for investment purchases often turn to other alternatives to fund their ventures. This is because banks often have stricter policies regarding the amount of money you make and how much they’re willing to lend you. When you purchase homes for the purpose of renovating and reselling them, this can make buying the properties you need difficult, if not impossible. This is why many real estate investors are turning to hard money loans in Arizona to fund their purchases. These loans are obtained from private individuals or organizations, making them somewhat easier to obtain and providing more flexible terms and faster turnaround times. Because these loans use the property as collateral, there is little risk to the lender or the investor, making them an excellent choice for real estate development investors. How does this process work?

Determine Your Goals

First and foremost, you need to determine your goals as a real estate investor. Are you looking to do this on the side for a little extra spending cash? Do you want to make this your full-time job? How many homes do you intend to purchase and resell and in what timeframe? Establishing your goals and writing them up as a business proposal are critical in getting the funding you need. The property may serve as collateral, creating less risk for the lender, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to know what you intend to do with the money they are providing. The more detailed your goals and plans are, the more likely they will believe in your project as much as you do. It’s typically best to have a property in mind, providing the location of the property, your estimated budget for the project and how much you’re aiming to resell the home for. If you’ve done other projects in the past, before and after pictures can be useful as well. All this information is invaluable in giving the lender peace of mind.

Locate Lenders

Once you have your plan in place, you can start actively pursuing hard money lenders in your area. If you know others who are involved in these types of projects, ask them for referrals. Local real estate clubs and other similar organizations can also be valuable resources to find hard money lenders in your area. When you find lenders to consider, chances are they will want to do some research of their own before even considering your proposal. This means they may look into your background a bit, although they won’t be as concerned about your finances and credit as more traditional lenders. They will also want to research the property you’re considering, so they can get a good idea whether it’s likely to return on the investment as you hope. After all, the property is what secures the loan and ensures they get their money back as promised.

Fill Out an Application

Although the process is different from traditional bank lending, you will still need to fill out an application if you want to apply for a hard money loan. This application allows the prospective lender to look at your credit report, as well as any other necessary financial information to help them make a sound decision regarding whether to loan you the money. While these factors certainly aren’t the most important in these situations, they do still need to be taken into some consideration. In essence, you will work with your hard money lender as a partner in the project, which is what makes this type of lending so different from your traditional loans. The lender should be interested in your goals and what you plan to do. If they aren’t, they likely aren’t in this business for the right reasons and you may be better off looking elsewhere. Once they approve your application, the loan goes through the underwriting process, which is similar to that which is used for traditional loans.

The Underwriter

In simple terms, the underwriter is the individual who assesses the level of risk to help lenders decide if providing the funds is the right option for them. After all, the loan is no good to them if the individual taking it out won’t be able to repay it. They will approve the loan based on the value of the property, your credit and your capacity to pay the loan back. Property value is the most important factor in the calculation of hard money loans.

Closing

The final step in the process of obtaining a hard money loan is the closing. This is the time when you and the lender will sign all documents related to the terms, including payment terms, amount of the loan and more. An escrow agent should be used to ensure everything is in order and ready to go. Once all the paperwork is signed, you’re ready to begin renovating the property so you can turn it around as quickly as possible.

Advantages of Arizona Fix and Flip Loans

Real estate investors with varying levels of expertise or poor credit often look to Arizona Fix and Flip loans for financing. Acquiring an Arizona Fix and Flip loan offers several advantages over other conventional loans. While the structure of Arizona Fix and Flip loans may vary, many real estate investors choose them because you can count on fewer federal regulations and an easier overall application and approval process. In addition, these loans allow you to receive a 40% to 50% return on investment with little cash down and no other upfront fees.

The approval process for Arizona Fix and Flip loans are generally less restrictive than loans from banks. This helps reduce the chances of missing out on a great investment and ensures you can start your project right away. These loans are ideal for investors who understand the market, the renovation process, and the details of the loan agreement. Here are a few things to consider ensuring your investment is a successful flip and not a flop.

Research the Community

You will need to have a plan before the application process begins. First, you will need to find property that you are interested in. After pinpointing a property of interest, you will need to spend time doing your own research so that you are familiar with the neighborhood. When analyzing a neighborhood, it is wise to consider the school system or reputable alternative school options available. In addition, keep in mind the importance of reliable public transportation. Finding property that fits your budget in an area close to metropolitan areas with commuting options is a great asset, as well.

Calculate Potential Worth of the Property

To help determine how much the property is worth or potentially worth, consider doing a comparison of recent homes that are currently for sale or have recently sold in the area. You want to invest in property that gives you great returns after making necessary renovations. Knowing the retail value of surrounding homes and the cost of necessary renovations can help determine if the property is worth an investment. Banks are generally not interested in the potential value and often steer away from property in need of renovations. Arizona Fix and Flip loans are designed with a future mindset and are interested in what the property’s future value could be.

Assess How Long the Project Will Take

Depending on the size and scale of the project, flipping a house can often be a short or lengthy process. This makes a loan with flexible terms an important element in house flipping. Whether it is a complete fixer upper or a few minor repairs, fix and flip projects often come with a few surprises or setbacks. Arizona Fix and Flip loans, often structured with longer repayment periods, provide investors with a cushion for delays or unexpected repairs.

With flexible terms, fast and easy approval, quick funding, and low interest rates, Arizona Fix and Flip loans let investors take advantage of a great real estate market while making the fix and flip process both easy and hassle-free.

How to Make Money in Phoenix Apartments

Are you considering using a fix and flip loan for an apartment? If so, it’s essential that you develop a strategy first to ensure you are able to pay this loan off as soon as you can. Here, you can learn more about finding and utilizing the right deals, along with what you need to know to correctly value an apartment, while utilizing the various income increasing strategies to help you maximize the overall value of the apartment property that you purchase so that you are able to easily earn a profit and pay of your loan’s balance.

Before taking out a loan to flip an apartment successfully, it’s important to find the right property.

The process of finding the right apartment properties to flip is somewhat challenging. The majority of apartment buildings are being sold off-market. After all, landlords don’t want to alert their tenants to any potential changes in the ownership of the building, and as a result, they avoid posting a listing of the property for sale. Therefore, to find these apartment properties that are for sale, you should contact local real estate brokers. These individuals can let you know what properties are available.

Once you find the possible property that you can flip, you need to make sure you consider the following:

  • Is the property in extremely dilapidated condition? Is there a need for physical improvements right away? If you are able, make the improvements needed, and then you can immediately increase the value of the property and resell it to earn a profit.
  • Think about any outside factors that may increase the value of the property in the near future. For example, are there any new public amenities such as schools or hospitals ready to be constructed nearby? If yes, then you may not have to spend too much of your own money to see the value of the property appreciate.

The primary difference in flipping an apartment versus a typical, single-family home is the valuation. Most residential properties are going to be valued on comparable sales, which limits the possible returns earned from the residential flips. With a commercial property, such as apartments, the income generated by the property will determine the value. As a result, the possible returns from an apartment renovation may be quite large, based on how much you can raise from the property.

When it is time for you to value an apartment building, the value is typically set based on the current market cap rate and then divided by the revenue generated each year from the property. If you have an apartment that is earning $120,000 in income each year, and the current cap rate is approximately five percent, then the outcome is going to be $2.4 million dollars. While the nuances of this particular valuation process aren’t covered here, it gives you a general idea.

Before you take out any loan, it is important to know how you are going to pay it off. It’s also important that you can earn a profit by resulting in the property’s value to appreciate as fast as it can. When you are dealing with apartments, what is the fastest way for you to increase the value of your property? Raise the rent.

Raising rents that are exceptionally low is a great way to start and one of the most affordable and fastest ways for you to increase the value of your apartment, which is going to help you quickly repay the loan.

Millennials Are Moving to Phoenix – Here’s Why:

Phoenix, Arizona is certainly a city in the U.S. that can identify with the variance in how different age groups are experiencing the world. The city is no longer just a place for retirees and college kids. Millennials are discovering that the state’s remarkable capital city has much to offer and is full of exciting opportunities. And when you combine the city’s low cost of living with its unceasing beauty and pleasant temperatures, it should come as no surprise that millennials are relocating to Phoenix.

One area of particular interest that has gained national spotlight is Valley of the Sun, which is the Phoenix’s booming metropolitan region. The area has witnessed phenomenal growth, with much of the growth attributed to the arrival of so many millennials.

Among millennials, Phoenix is now considered to be one of the top spots to live. Let’s take a glimpse at why so many millennials are packing up and heading west and discovering what a remarkable booming city Phoenix really is.

Affordable Living

Cities that boast coastlines and huge millennial populations seem to gain the attention of the media. In reality, though, the majority of these cities are becoming extremely expensive for many millennials. Not only are millennials discovering they can pursue their dreams after college in Phoenix, but they can do so while still staying within their means.

Many millennials are hoping to find housing cost that is somewhat comparable to what they have adjusted to while attending college. When compared with other cities that offer comparable lifestyles, housing prices in Phoenix are considerably lower. Adding to this, when gas and food prices are compared to those living in coastal regions, prices are noticeably lower, making the prospect of owning a home more imaginable and the city even more appealing.

Economic Growth

The city’s rapid economic growth stems from its support of entrepreneurs along with its commitment to embrace change. This is demonstrated in the city’s tax policies, which have become essential to rewarding achievement and work ethic. The friendly city embraces its people and openly welcomes strangers to network and plant roots. Phoenix is considered to be a hotbed for economic development; the city continues to offer new activities and embraces social diversity, which is reflected in its majority foreign population.

The Great Outdoors

Phoenix and the surrounding areas offer an abundance of opportunities for millennials to experience the great outdoors. Its captivating landscape offers nature lovers a chance to participate in activities, such as exploring nature trails and mountain biking. There are lakes and rivers nearby as well, which is of particular interest to those who love swimming, skiing, or high-speed water sports. Affordable living and an ideal climate that supports both healthy living and socializing, Phoenix is a place where millennials can afford to enjoy life at its finest.

Millennials are finding both success and a satisfying lifestyle in Phoenix, Arizona. The city’s sense of community, low cost of living, and welcoming environment make it one of the top spots in the U.S. for millennials to relocate.

Complying with Arizona HOA Rules on an Investment Property

Those who are members of an HOA often pay close attention to following the rules, especially if they are currently living in the home. However, if you invest in property that is under the governance of an HOA, it can be more difficult to keep up with the regulations and make sure your tenants are keeping up with the rules so you don’t get in trouble. After all, it’s the homeowner who is responsible for making sure the HOA regulations are followed precisely. In addition, it’s important to make sure you understand what’s required if you intend to make any changes to the property.

Keep a Record of the Rules

When you first purchase a property, you should get a copy of the HOA rules to read through so you understand what’s expected of you. It’s important to always keep a copy of this list on hand so you can reference it and determine if there is an issue that needs to be addressed with your property. This is especially important if you purchase the property with the intent to flip it and resell it. In this situation, it’s important to know whether you are allowed to park a dumpster at the property for your demolition needs and what types of changes you can make, as well as whether approval is needed before you proceed. If you do intend to rent out the property, be sure you supply your tenants with a copy of the HOA terms, so they are more likely to follow them.

Understand the Fees

Every HOA operates differently so you’ll need to carefully read the terms to ensure you understand how often the fees should be paid and how much they are. Some homeowner’s associations charge the fees once per year, making it easy to pay them and forget about it until the bill comes the following year. However, others may charge on a quarterly or even monthly basis. If you intend to flip and sell the property, you may end up not having to pay much in terms of the HOA, but if you will be renting out the property, this is an obligation you’ll have to meet, whether you require your tenants to pay it or you pay it yourself. It’s important to determine how you will handle this aspect before you make the purchase and begin the process of investing in property.

Make Sure the Home Meets Codes

In many situations, the codes set forth in the HOA guidelines vary from the safety codes put in place by the government when it comes to building a home. This is why it’s critical to read through the HOA documents so you know what you are capable of doing to change the home. In fact, it’s important to remember just because you purchased a home that falls under an HOA doesn’t mean it is currently fully compliant with the regulations. Sometimes homeowners make changes that aren’t approved by the HOA, but they haven’t been uncovered at the time. If the HOA determines the house is outside their regulations while you are in possession of the home, you are the one who will get in trouble, not the previous owner. Therefore, in addition to making sure any future changes you intend to make are in compliance, you should go through the home with a checklist to ensure everything is up to the proper standard, making note of any changes you must make to achieve that goal.

Purchasing an investment property that is covered under an HOA has plenty of advantages, but it can also be difficult to make sure it remains under compliance, especially if you plan to make changes or you will be renting out the property. Be sure you read through your copy of the HOA terms carefully and ask any questions before you buy the property, so you don’t face any surprises later down the road.

Making Rental Property Income in Arizona

Virtually everyone dreams of earning passive income. After all, what’s not to love? Being able to sleep in and know that money is consistently coming into your bank account is something that sounds like a complete dream come true – right?

However, making money with a rental income in Phoenix is much more difficult than it may seem and being someone’s landlord is a very time-consuming and laborious task. If you really want to make a living and make a true passive income using a rental property in the Phoenix area, then don’t stop reading.

Locating the Right Properties

Selecting the proper properties is something that can be extremely tricky. A great house is going to offer a superb neighborhood, great amenities close by for the tenants, a good location, easy upgrades, and a quality job market. Also, a great house will have superior curb appeal, as well as good street lights and well-maintained sidewalks. It’s possible to find a good location for a rental property by having an eye on the real estate market in the area and get to know the other rentals in the area and learn about current vacancies.

Good locations need to have plenty of amenities, such as gyms, coffee shops, restaurants and more. If you want to earn a good rental income in Phoenix, then it is a good idea to choose a home that has amazing features, or properties that can be upgraded with ease.

Upgrade Decisions

The rental income that you earn in Phoenix will vary quite a bit based on the features that are in place for your property’s tenants. If you have been able to find a property that can check all the boxes and that makes a great rental opportunity, then understanding which upgrades you need to do will help you earn the most cash.

Some areas where you should consider an upgrade to make the most rental income possible include:

  • The installation of a deck
  • New windows
  • Garage door replacement
  • Kitchen upgrades

There are also smaller updates that can be made such as updating the finishes, applying a brand-new coat of paint, and even installing a new countertop and rugs. Each of these fixes are going to help the entire property seem more modern and even more appealing to a more diverse group of potential tenants. Installing a new garage door is an extremely affordable upgrade. Be sure to keep this in mind when it comes to your rental property.

Budgeting for the Rental Income You Potentially Earn in Phoenix

Being able to budget for a rental property in the city of Phoenix is actually something that is pretty easy. You can even opt to keep track of the budget you have for repairs for the rental property on your phone. There are several budgeting apps available to help you with this.

If you want to make the most of your rental property then you need to know what you should charge your tenants, as well. You can utilize information provided by the real estate market, along with nearby rentals to figure out what you need to charge. By using properties that are comparable to yours you should be able to get a great price point.

In addition to all the factors found here, you also have to find the right tenants. This will ensure that rent is paid on time and that the property is taken care of so that you can continue earning a passive income on the property you own. This is crucial if you really want to earn as much as possible on the rental property that you have opted to purchase.

To learn more about making a passive income with rental property in Arizona, contact Barrett Financial Group today at 480-999-6183. Our expert team will answer all your questions and make your dreams come true with a hard money loan in Arizona to secure the perfect rental property.