10 Reasons Real Estate Investors Use Hard Money Loans

Traditional loans are typically ideal when you’re purchasing a home for your own use. However, if you’re looking to invest in real estate properties, you may want to choose hard money loans instead. There are a number of reasons this type of loan is better for investment purposes. The following will help you determine if this type of lending is the right option for your real estate investment opportunities.

Financial Shortcomings

One of the biggest challenges individuals face when they want to invest in real estate is getting approved for the loan they need. When you go through a traditional lending process, the bank or other institution will take a close look at your financial situation and determine your ability to pay back the loan based on those factors alone. However, when you are working with hard money lenders, who are typically individuals or private corporations, they don’t have to follow the same rules and regulations banks do, which means they are more likely to give you the funding you need to make the purchase, despite your financial situation. They see these opportunities differently and understand they will receive some return on their investment.

Faster Negotiations and Closings

The real estate market can be extremely fast paced, especially if you want to take advantage of low-cost properties that are relatively easy to flip and sell for a profit or are ideal for rentals. This means you need to be able to close fast and more easily negotiate with the seller so you can get the best possible deal. In many cases, sellers are eager to move to their new home and want to complete the sale as quickly as possible. If you are able to get the funds from a hard money lender within a couple of days, you are more likely to be accepted for a sale over someone who has to wait for their bank to approve and process their loan, even if it means accepting slightly less.

Ease of Reinvestment

If you’re turning properties over on a regular basis, you need to be able to easily transfer the equity you have in one property into another. This can be a complex process but can be made easier when you’re dealing with hard money lenders over traditional lenders. If you don’t aren’t able to easily transfer the equity from one home to purchase another, you can miss great opportunities. Banks will simply look at your request as additional debt. However, hard money lenders are more likely to see the equity in a home you are about to sell and will be willing to finance the next one until the home you currently own sells.

Outside Bank Guidelines

Banks operate under a strict set of guidelines in order to determine if you qualify for a loan. This means you are much more likely to be denied for a loan, especially if you are aware you don’t meet the qualifications. Because hard money lenders are typically private corporations or individuals, they don’t have to follow these regulations and are more likely to make exceptions to the rule. They will look at your capabilities, rather than the state of your financials, giving you the funding you need without worry over whether you will be approved for a traditional loan.

Free Advice

In many cases, hard money lenders have already worked with real estate investors and know a bit about the venture themselves. Because they are just as invested in the project as you are, they are likely to share information about their experiences with you, helping you build the investments you are looking for. This can help you grow your portfolio and ensure you are as successful as possible in your real estate investments.

Faster Approval for Commercial Loans

Not everyone is dedicated solely to investing in residential properties. However, when it comes to commercial loans, traditional banks and lenders are much slower than residential loans. In fact, getting approved for a commercial property loan can take four months or longer, leaving you in limbo and potentially losing you the property you want. The good news is hard money loans are a much simpler process and are likely to be approved faster so you can get started with making money from this investment. In fact, you could have your commercial loan in as little as a week.

Less Risk of Deal Failure

Have you ever attempted to purchase a property, only to find the bank backed out of the deal while you were in the escrow stages, costing you the deal in the end? With hard money lenders, you won’t have to worry about this problem. These individuals and private companies are far less likely to base their decisions based on your current financial state, which is the most common reasons for banks to pull their funding. Instead, these non-traditional lenders are more likely to look at the value of the assets to be purchased and the collateral so they can feel confident they will get the appropriate return on their investment. This will ensure you can complete your deals and get the right properties to help you make money.

Use Leverage

Banks will typically give you the money you need for your loan in the form of a check or similar. It will take time to generate this document, which can make buyers nervous about the deal in the end. When you work with hard money lenders instead, you are more likely to have the cash in your hand when you go to the closing table. Sellers often like to receive cash because they won’t have to worry about whether that check will bounce. You can use this as leverage when you are trying to make a deal, sometimes landing a better selling price than someone who may go through a traditional lender. Hard money lending can also free up cash for those unexpected renovation projects that may come up.

Loan Approval, Even with Blemishes

If you don’t have pristine credit, it can be extremely difficult to get a traditional loan for investment properties. This is because banks take your credit history into strong consideration when approving or denying these loans. Those who are willing to invest in properties through hard money lending won’t often care about these issues as long as they are relatively minor or unrelated to real estate entirely. Instead, they will look at the value of the properties you are intending to buy so they can be sure they will get their money back.

A Customized Loan Package

Because banks are more rigid in their lending practices, you will find they aren’t as willing to work with you when putting together your loan. This means if you need additional money to make renovations to maximize your investment potential, they aren’t likely to approve it beyond the value of the property itself. However, hard money lenders will take these details into account and are likely to give you the additional funds needed to complete these projects. This is because it increases the earning potential of your investments, which benefits them as well. The end result is you can get the loans you need on your terms, giving you the opportunity to make the most of your investment.

Is a Bridge Finance Loan Right for You

When most people think of real estate investments, they think of traditional loans in order to purchase these properties. However, this is no longer the only option. Bridge loans, otherwise known as hard money lending, can be the ideal way to invest in real estate. These loans are typically offered by private companies or individuals who are looking to invest but don’t want to take the hands-on approach. Unfortunately, this method isn’t right for everyone. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate it closely to determine whether you should consider a bridge finance loan the next time you’re thinking of investing in real estate.

Traditional Loans Don’t Work

One of the biggest reasons individuals think about obtaining bridge loans for their real estate purchases is because they have already been turned down by traditional lenders. Those who offer hard money loans typically have fewer restrictions and operate under a different set of regulations, which can make it easier to obtain the funding you need. They will be able to offer you more money than traditional lenders because they are often willing to take the risk and won’t have to base their loan off your own credit history. The choice is entirely theirs to make.

Fast Money

Going through traditional methods of obtaining a loan for real estate purchases can often take time. Banks and other traditional lenders can take days or even weeks to go over your finances before making their final decision and offering you a specified amount of money for your loan. Bridge loan lenders will typically be able to get you your money much faster so you can move forward with your investments and close on these purchases in a timely manner. With the quick turnaround, you reduce the risk you will miss out on the right investment.

Non-Traditional Situations

Sometimes you want to invest in real estate that doesn’t fit the norms for real estate investments. If you were to ask a bank for a loan in these situations, chances are you would be denied the money you need. However, individuals and private companies willing to offer hard money loans are typically more flexible and willing to work with investors. They will be able to evaluate whether the type of real estate you want to invest in is a smart choice for them and are more likely to give you the funds you are looking for.

Bridge finance loans can be a great way to get the money you need for your real estate investments. While traditional bank loans are still sometimes the better option, for those who have been turned down, need the money more quickly or are looking at non-traditional investments, hard money lenders can often be a smart choice.

3 Facts About Trust Deed Investing

When you’re looking for ways to invest, one of the lesser known option is trust deed investing. Through this method, you are able to invest in real estate with a lower risk than through other methods and with a higher chance of a good return on your investment. The good news is you will be able to invest in real estate without taking a hands-on approach that requires a high level of expertise. The following facts can help you determine if trust deed investing is right for you.

High Returns

Investing in the stock market can be extremely volatile and unpredictable. You may work hard to build a balanced portfolio, but there are never any guarantees it will perform well. When you invest in trust deeds, you will be guaranteed a specific return over a specified period of time. These returns are often much higher than you will see on other types of investments, unless you take a major risk that isn’t guaranteed to succeed. A trust deed investment can best be compared to a high-return bond with a fixed rate.

A Low Entry Point

When you consider trust deed investing, you won’t need a particularly large amount of money to begin. In most situations, you can get started for as little as $25,000. If you think about it, you would typically need to spend much more if you were to buy a home directly, which is why this type of investment can be quite lucrative. You won’t have to make as large of an investment and can still see the same high returns you would get if you purchased a residential property for your own investment purposes.

Security

Trust deed investments carry a fixed rate of return so you don’t need to worry about how much money you will make on your venture. It won’t matter if the market goes up or down during the time in which your investment is in place; you will receive the same return you signed up for. You also won’t need to keep as close of an eye on the market in order to sell quickly if it appears the value is beginning to slide. You will know exactly what you are up against the entire time, making this a relatively low-risk investment to help you build a solid portfolio.

Choosing the right methods of investing can be a difficult task. It’s important to keep in mind a diverse portfolio is more likely to provide the greatest returns for your investment. However, adding trust deed investing as part of your portfolio provides you with a guarantee many of your other investment options simply can’t provide, making it a great choice for all levels of investors.

Tips to Avoid Paying Too Much for an Investment Property

There is no question that purchasing investment property is becoming something that is growing in popularity. After all, land and property is the one thing that there will never be more of. However, for those who are new to purchasing investment property, there are several things that must be known. Some tips to ensure you don’t overpay for this investment can be found here.

Determine the Median Price in the Selected Suburb

If you have plans to invest in property, you should first find out what the median price for the suburb was and which prices fell or rose in the previous year. Also look into the prices for the past five and 10 years. In most cases, this information can be gathered with an online search.

Utilize the Services of a Buyer’s Agent

It may be smart to engage the services of a buyer’s agent who is an expert in the area and able to provide reasonable guesses regarding the value. The buyer’s agent will also be beneficial if the market is going to auction and make bid’s calmly without any emotion. These services are invaluable when attempting to purchase investment property.

Track the Property Sales

It is a good idea to track the property sales in your selected suburb and learn what properties will go to auction on a weekend. Pay attention to similar properties that are sold, as well. This will ensure you get a great deal on the investment property you are considering.

Be Ready to Take Action

Be sure that you know what you can spend before looking into any investment properties. There is no reason to negotiate a great price and not be able to go through with the deal. It may be wise to seek a loan for the investment property prior to searching. This will let you know for sure what type of investment you can afford to make.

Time is of the Essence

If you are planning to make an investment in property, you have to remember that time is of the essence. After all, if you wait, then it may result in someone else looking to make an investment in a low-priced property coming in and purchasing the property instead.

If you are new to purchasing investment property, you have to take the time to know what to do and how to handle the process. If you aren’t careful, you may wind up spending too much for the property that you are interested in. Being informed and even seeking the help of someone who has invested in property before may be beneficial and help you along the way.

How to Make a Profit with a Fix and Flip Loan in Arizona

Flipping homes has rapidly increased in popularity over the past decade or so. Today, it seems like just about everyone has built an interest in buying undesirable homes and making repairs and other renovations that will significantly impact the value of the home, making it easier to sell it at a profit. While these changes often require an additional investment, these costs can sometimes be built into the initial loan and are likely to be more than recovered when the home is ultimately sold.

How to Qualify

First and foremost, it’s important to learn how you can qualify for a fix and flip loan in Arizona. For many people, qualifying for a traditional mortgage is a lengthy and often difficult process. However, it can actually be easier to qualify for a fix and flip loan than it can be for other options. For starters, most people who choose this type of real estate investment don’t go through traditional channels when it comes to getting a loan. In fact, hard money lending is often the most commonly used method of funding these ventures. In these situations, the private money lender is looking more at the potential for the property rather than the financial background of the borrower. This means you could potentially get the money you need to flip a  home without having good credit or even any credit at all. However, it’s important to remember these types of loans are designed to be offered over the short term. You will need to make any fixes and renovations to the home as quickly as you can and sell the home. If the home goes into foreclosure, the lender will gain control of the home.

Finding the Right Lenders

Unless you have a strong credit history and a solid foundation in the field, you are unlikely to find a traditional lender that will provide you with the funds you need to flip the home. For starters, you may need to borrow more than the value of the home in order to finance the renovations you would like to complete in order to increase the value of the home. Hard money lenders are often private investors who want to get into the real estate market without being as hands on. This means they are happy to work with investors who want to do the work but don’t have the funds necessary to do it. If you search for hard money lenders, you will be able to get the financing you need to make all the changes you want to make the highest profit from the sale of these homes.

Few people want to purchase a home that is run down and outdated. This means you can often purchase these homes for less, allowing you to make renovations to the home, in turn selling it for profit.

Tips for Investing in Hard Money Loans in Arizona

Borrowing money from a private lender rather than a lending institution can be a lucrative experience, but it’s important to understand the process before you get started. Even though many find hard money lending to be less strict than obtaining a loan through a traditional method, you will need to work harder to make sure you don’t enter into an agreement that damages your chances of a successful investment. The following tips will help you learn how to make the most of hard money lending.

Choose an Experienced Lender

You don’t want to trust just anyone in this type of agreement. Instead, it’s important to seek out an experienced hard money lender who has already established positive relationships with other investors. A good private money lender will be focused on developing long-term relationships with investors that are mutually beneficial.

Do Your Research

It’s important to put some time and effort into researching before you enter into a funding agreement with anyone. Before you agree to purchase a property with the help of a hard money lender, perform your own appraisal and view the prospective property for yourself. You need to feel confident you will be able to make money on the property before you enter the deal. It can also be useful to compare the property with similar properties in the area so you can get an idea of how well others have done in a comparable situation.

Get Outside Advice

There’s nothing wrong with hiring an attorney to look out for your best interests. A qualified real estate investment attorney will be able to go over all of the paperwork and let you know whether you should request other terms. They will also be able to tell you if the investment has the opportunity to produce the results you’re looking for.

Request a Guarantee

While there’s no way to guarantee a specific return on your investment, you need to be sure the lender will give you the appropriate amount out of the sale or rental of the property. To ensure this happens, request a guarantee from the lender. This personal guarantee will protect you and ensure you can recover any investment you make in the event the property is foreclosed upon.

Diversify

It can be tempting to invest in only one type of property so you become more familiar with one area of real estate investments. However, just like any other type of investment, it’s important to diversify to protect your investments. This will increase the chances you can make money in one area if another is slow or failing.

Hard money lending can be a great way to make the most of your investments without dealing with the hassle of traditional lending. With the help of these tips, you will increase your chances of a successful outcome.

5 House-Flipping Mistakes to Avoid

Thinking about embarking on a house-flipping project? Before you dive in, there are a few common mistakes you’ll want to be sure to avoid.

Lack of Funds

Many new house-flippers fail to realize just how much capital needs to be available not only to purchase the fixer-upper, but to actually do the fixing-up. When possible, homes should be bought with cash so as to avoid accruing interest on a loan. Regardless of the method used to purchase a home, additional costs must be factored in on top of renovations. These include taxes, utilities, and even capital gains taxes when the home sells.

Not Knowing the Market

A successful house flip always begins with a solid understanding of the local market. You need to know, for example, what homes in the area tend to sell for before you buy. You can’t expect to purchase a fixer-upper for $75,000 and sell it for $150,000 when most homes in the area sell for a max of $100,000.

Hiring a Pro for Everything

Sweat equity is key when flipping a house, so this is a job best suited for people who already have at least a little bit of DIY experience when it comes to home renovations. Otherwise, you’ll need to hire a professional for the majority of the work, which quickly eats away at your profits. While you’ll probably need to hire pros for at least some of the work (especially electrical and other potentially dangerous projects), the more you can do yourself, the better off you’ll be.

Being Impatient

The entire process takes time, yet so many people go into their first house flip anticipating that they’ll go in, get the work done in a week or so, and sell right away for a huge profit. In reality, house-flipping projects very rarely work out this way. More than likely, you will encounter hiccups and hang-ups along the way, so patience is a virtue when it comes to a successful house flip.

Underestimating the Time Investment

Flipping a house can easily become a full-time job, so don’t expect it to be a small “side project” that you can work on in your free time. There is a good chance the project will consume all of your free time and then some, so one of the worst mistakes you can make is embarking on a house flip without realizing the time commitment required.

When you have a solid understanding of what to expect and what will be expected of you before flipping a home, you’ll be in much better shape. Be sure to avoid these common mistakes as you prepare for your first house flip and you’ll have a much easier time!

What is a Hard Money Loan and Who Is It Right For?

A hard money loan is a short-term financing option used to fund the purchase of an investment property. Hard money loans are commonly used by real estate investors for fix-and-flip projects, renovations of rental properties, or simply to facilitate the speedy purchase and transfer of real estate.

Who is a Hard Money Loan Right For?

Hard money loans are right for both short-term investors and long-term investors. Specifically, hard money loans are used by:
Fix-and-Flippers – Short-term investors who will purchase, renovate, and sell a property within 12 months.
Buy-and-Hold Investors – Long-term investors who will purchase a house in poor condition, renovate it, and then rent it out to tenants.
Portfolio Investors – Long-term investors who would like to grow their portfolio of rental properties (typically 4+).
Let’s take a look at the different ways short-term investors and long-term investors use hard money loans.

Fix-and-Flip Investors

Fix-and-flip investors are short-term real estate investors who look to purchase, renovate, and sell a property within 12 months. Hard money loans are good for short-term investors because they can finance both the purchase and renovation of a home in a single loan, have a short loan term, and offer interest-only payments.

For example, many short-term investors look for houses in poor condition, that if renovated, could sell for more than their current fair market value (FMV). These houses are typically found at short-sales, foreclosure auctions, as well as with lender-owned REO properties.
Using a hard money loan, fix-and-flip investors finance the initial purchase of the house as well as the necessary renovations. Fix-and-flippers typically obtain hard money loans equal to a percentage property’s after-rehab-value (ARV), which is the expected FMV after all renovations have been made.

Once a property is purchased with the initial funds from the lender, investors start their renovations, receiving renovation financing from hard money lenders in stipends or “draws.” This means that fix-and-flippers typically have to float rehab costs until they receive funds from the lender.
During renovations, fix-and-flippers pay a hard money lender interest-only payments. At the end of the hard money loan, fix-and-flippers repay the loan through the sale of the house for a profit. If you want to dig deeper into this, read our detailed example of how rehab loans work.

Buy-and-Hold Investors

Buy-and-hold investors are real estate investors who purchase and renovate rental properties. Buy-and-hold investors typically use hard money loans when an investment property isn’t in good enough condition for a traditional mortgage.
This is because traditional lenders won’t issue conventional mortgages for houses in poor condition. However, dilapidated houses provide as much upside for long-term investors as they do for short-term investors.
To circumvent this funding problem, long-term investors use hard money rehab loans to finance the initial purchase and renovations of the asset. Once renovations are made, long-term investors rent out the property, refinance the improved home with a conventional mortgage, and use the money to pay off the hard money loan.

Sometimes a buy-and-hold investor who may qualify for permanent financing will need access to the financing right away, like when they’re competing with all-cash buyers at real estate auctions. In these cases, long-term investors rely on hard money loans for a quick approval process and a fast funding time.

Portfolio Investors

Portfolio investors are long-term investors who invest in multiple properties at the same time. While these long-term investors prefer conventional mortgages, many banks and lending institutions only loan out between 4 – 10 conventional mortgages to a single person.
So, if a portfolio investor meets his or her conventional mortgage limit, the only financing options available are to either purchase a house all-cash, obtain a blanket mortgage, or use a hard money loan. Since most portfolio investors are highly levered to begin with, they typically rely on a hard money loan to make the additional property purchases.
This means that a portfolio investor might use a hard money loan to purchase houses in both good and bad condition. If the condition is poor, hard money lenders issue loans as a percentage of the house’s after-rehab-value (ARV). If the condition is good, hard money lenders issue loans as a percentage of a house’s loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, which is similar to the loan limits set by conventional mortgages.

Similar to buy-and-hold investors, portfolio investors sometimes use hard money loans specifically because they need the speed to compete with all-cash buyers. Finally, some portfolio investors might not meet other conventional mortgage qualifications – such as the minimum credit score – and therefore need to rely on hard money loans before meeting qualifications and refinancing at a later date.

Hard money loans have many differences when compared to a conventional mortgage. For example, conventional mortgages are issued by banks, have strict loan requirements, a longer time to approval, a longer loan term, low interest rates and fees, and fund single-family homes, apartments, condos and multi-family units in good condition. Conversely, hard money loans are issued by private money lenders have fewer loan requirements, a short approval time and loan term, comparatively higher interest rates and fees, as well as fund single-family homes, apartments, condos, and multi-family units in most conditions.

What is a Rehab Loan?

If you love watching those flip or flop shows that take dilapidated or outdated properties and turn them into gems that make a profit on the real estate market, then you might be wondering how to get the money to do something like this in your own home town.  Rehab loans are a niche type of loan offered by Arizona rehab lenders, also known as hard money lenders.  Typically there is a lot more for borrowers to understand with these types of loans than with traditional loans you get from a local bank. Read more

Personal Guarantees and Hard Money Loans

When it comes to hard money loans in Arizona, what are the personal guarantees that lenders expect?  Before going into that, you need to know the difference between a full recourse loan and a guarantee.  Your hard money loan is either a full recourse loan, meaning the lender can lawfully pursue the borrower’s other assets to pay the debt if the borrower’s collateral is not enough to cover the loan, or a non-recourse loan, meaning the borrower’s assets are protected as being separate entities and can not risk being liquidated. Read more