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Condos: Are They Worth the Investment?

Purchasing real estate is one of the largest financial decisions one can make in your lifetime. If you are considering purchasing a condo, you will need to consider the pros and cons of the investment. We have put together some of the pros and cons to consider before investing in a condo. 

Pros of buying a condo

Less maintenance 
One of the biggest pros of investing in a condo is that you are not responsible for the maintenance. The monthly fee you pay goes towards the management company to cut the grass, shovel the snow, and make repairs to common areas. A condo could be a good investment if you are a busy person who does not have time for home maintenance. 

Amenities 
Condos tend to have more amenities than single-family homes. People who enjoy a pool, fitness center, community center, or rooftop BBQ might want to consider a condo with high-end amenities. If you like to socialize, the amenities tend to be a great place to get to know your neighbors. 

Walkability 
Condos also tend to be located closer to downtown areas. So, if walking to restaurants, stores, and coffee shops is an important factor for you, a condo purchase would be a worthwhile investment. 

Cons of buying a condo

 
Monthly HOA fees
While you may be enjoying those amenities, they come at a cost. When you purchase the condo, you will know the current monthly fees, but you don’t know what the future increases might be. Condos fees will increase over time. In addition, if the condo needs to do a large improvement project such as a new roof, you could be hit with a one-time special assessment to help cover it. 

Slower to grow in value 
A condo will typically take much more time to grow in value than single-family homes in the area. So, if you are not planning on holding the condo for a significant amount of time, you may not see your value increase.  

Rules and Regulations 
If you do not like following the rules, a condo purchase may not be the right choice for you. The HOA will have a rule book that you will need to follow. These rules can include the rental policy, the pet policy, and the BBQ policy. If you consider purchasing a condo, you will want to read the HOA rules very carefully to make sure they will work for you. 

Difficulty with financing 
Sometimes it can be difficult to sell a condo because the lender will no longer issue a mortgage for a particular condo. Oftentimes this is because the building has too many units occupied by non-owners. In other words, a lender will not lend on a building if there are too many rentals. Check with the HOA and see if they have a cap on the number of units that can be rented simultaneously. 

Extending vs. Refinancing Your Hard Money Loan

Also referred to as a bridge loan or a fix-and-flip loan, hard money loans are essential for short-term real estate projects. Whether an individual or business is seeking to establish an effective fix-and-flip business, they will need to understand how to deal with their loans as they mature. Most hard money lenders tend to focus on short periods of time per loan, creating issues down the line if the receiver cannot fully repay their loan.

When dealing with a maturing hard money loan, it becomes important to understand your options. Today, we are going to highlight the age-old question: should you extend or refinance a hard money loan?

Pros & Cons: Extending a Hard Money Loan

Extending a hard money loan is often the easiest way to get the ball rolling with your debt. A hard money loan gets quicker approval thanks to the pre-existing relationship between the lender and their client. Additionally, extending a hard money loan is typically done after creating a steady and positive payment history between both parties.

Benefits of Extending a Loan

-Based on Established Relationship
-Quick Approval Process
-Positive Repayment History

Even though extending a hard money loan can be a frictionless approach, there are downsides to this effort. The primary reason fix-and-flip investors may want to avoid extending a loan is that the extension likely won’t be long enough to tackle the entirety of the debt. This creates a problem pertaining to timelines, so it is imperative to have a plan in place before extending your loan.

Negatives of Extending a Loan

-Short Term Extensions 
-Harder to Cover

Pros & Cons: Refinancing a Hard Money Loan

On the other side of the coin, investors may want to consider refinancing the entirety of their hard money loan. Working with groups like Hard Money Lenders AZ, clients can acquire a better interest rate while pursuing more convenient cash-out opportunities. Refinancing a new hard money loan will allow you to also bypass any extension fees that you might have struggled paying. Finally, refinancing a loan may lead you to better terms, particularly if your credit and cash flow has changed.

Benefits of Refinancing a Loan

-Get Better Interest Rates
-Avoid Paying Extension Fees
-Convenient Cash Out Options

Refinancing a loan helps in many situations, but that isn’t always going to be the case. When refinancing a hard money loan, you will have to work with a lender to complete an entirely new underwrite. You will also have to find an entirely new hard money lender, a process that can create some frustration and tension as you navigate the many options available to you.

Negatives of Refinancing a Loan

-Complete New Underwrite
-Find New Hard Money Lender
-Negotiate Completely New Terms

Contact Hard Money Lenders AZ!

When the time comes to refinance your hard money loan, make sure the team at Hard Money Lenders AZ is on the job. As the top-rated Hard Money Lender on Google for the state of Arizona, clients have enjoyed fast funding, proven results, and effective communication through a team of industry-leading specialists.

Contact Hard Money Lenders AZ today to see if you are approved!

What You Need to Get Your Hard Money Loan Approved

Acquiring a hard money loan doesn’t have to be the toughest task you’ve tackled this year. In fact, working with the right lender can make the process as simple as can be. Before meeting with your potential lender, there are a few ways that you can maximize your chances of approval.

Understand Your Collateral

One of the easiest ways to make your hard money lending experience a simple process is by having collateral available. Collateral is simply property that you own which can be held against the finances that you are pursuing. Hard money lenders tend to work in a host of different spaces within the real estate field.  Lenders may offer to finance an industrial, commercial, or retail property. Hard money lending with collateral is also a common prospect for people looking to fix and flip homes.

Typically, the toughest hard money loans to acquire approval for are to finance the purchase of land. Land intrinsically does not produce income until it has been modified. Borrowers looking to finance a land purchase will require strong credit, provable cash flow, and a rock-solid exit strategy — with a 50% deposit.

Loan to Value Ratio

Otherwise referred to as ‘LTV Ratio’, your loan to value ratio is one of the most dominating factors that a hard money lender will consider during a request. Borrowers looking for a hard money loan typically struggle with credit or minimal cash flow, making it hard to get a loan without collateral as payment.

A lender that focuses on your loan to value ratio will instead prioritize the loan amount against the value of your property/purchase. A house that costs $100,000 with a loan of $50,000 would have an LTV of 50%. Keeping this number under a certain percentage point will make acquiring your loan more possible. Most lenders tend to cap their percentage position at 70% LTV.

Create a Repayment Plan

While hard money lenders won’t focus as much on your income as a conventional private money loan, they will still want to know how you plan to repay the provided finances. This may include asking about sale dates, ideas for improvements to a property, or what you plan on putting in the active listing agreement.

Take some time to craft your plans for the hard money loan that you are pursuing. Do you plan on repaying your loan through specific home improvement upgrades that result in a higher ROI? These are things that have to be discussed prior to sitting down with your hard money lender.

Call On Your Friends at Hard Money Lenders AZ

Dealing with loans can be tough in even the best of circumstances. For entrepreneurs and investors looking to acquire a hard money loan, contact the team at Hard Money Lenders AZ to discuss your goals and desires!

How to Protect Your Rental Income During (And in the Aftermath Of) the Pandemic

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has affected the bottom line of many hard-working Americans. If you own residential rental properties, you have probably experienced this first-hand if your tenants have struggled to pay rent or if you’ve had a hard time filling vacant units. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect your rental income not just during the pandemic, but as the world begins to slowly return to some semblance of normal.

Offer Payment Plans to Tenants

Many tenants are having a difficult time paying rent, especially if they have been furloughed from their jobs as a result of the pandemic or have had hours cut. If this is the case with any of your tenants, you may be understandably worried about how you will collect your rental income.

This is where it can be wise to begin offering payment plans to tenants who are struggling financially. In doing so, you can ease some of the financial burden on your tenants while ensuring that you receive at least some of the funds to which you are entitled.

Screen New Tenants Thoroughly

One of the biggest mistakes landlords are making right now is rushing to fill vacancies in their rental properties without properly screening their prospective tenants. The problem with this is that you could end up with tenants who don’t have sufficient income or even a reliable job to pay rent. This means that not only will you lose out on rental income, but you may even end up having to go through the drawn-out (and expensive) eviction process. Even though you may be eager to fill vacancies in your rental units during this time, proper screening is actually more important than ever.

Direct Tenants to Resources

With so many Americans struggling financially as a direct result of the pandemic, the government has made many assistance programs available. Some of these even include rental assistance. Take some time to research these options for your tenants and point them in the direction of these resources when appropriate. From the Housing Choice Voucher Program to unemployment assistance, there are plenty of resources available to those struggling.

Fill Vacant Units Remotely

Even though more people are getting vaccinated, many people are still hesitant to go out in public. This may make it difficult to fill vacancies in your rental units unless you’re offering virtual tours, digital lease signing, and other means of finding and approving new tenants remotely. Make sure you’re posting detailed listings of your vacant units online and accepting lease applications digitally as well. When tenants are approved, you can even collect rent and security deposits online to make things more convenient for everybody.

By taking the right measures, you can protect your rental income even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more financial assistance as a real estate investor, reach out to our team of Arizona hard money lenders today by calling (480) 576-5788. We offer a number of loan programs and other options to help fund your next real estate investment quickly, easily, and remotely!

In the Rehab Process? Here’s How to Stay On Track and Under Budget!

Taking on a fix-and-flip project can be a great way to make a profit in residential real estate. With a smart investment and the right planning, you stand to make a significant profit by flipping a property and selling it. Before you get started with any rehab project, though, there are some things you need to know about staying on-track and sticking with your budget.

Plan Your Rehab Accordingly

Start by planning your fix-and-flip project during the right time of year. In general, the easiest times to sell residential real estate are during the spring and summer. With this in mind, it may make the most sense to tackle your renovations during the fall and winter months.

Set Aside a Contingency Fund

No matter how carefully you plan and budget for your rehab project, there are almost always going to be surprise repairs and other unexpected expenses that arise. The last thing you need is to end up going over your budget as a result. By setting aside a contingency fund that makes up between 15% and 20% of your total renovation budget, you can avoid running out of cash.

Account For “Hidden” Costs

There are a lot of obvious expenses you’ll undertake during any fix-and-flip project. Hiring contractors and buying building supplies are a couple of those given costs. However, there are plenty of less obvious expenses you may end up facing that you won’t want to overlook.

Specifically, be sure to budget for costs related to permits, property taxes, ongoing HOA dues, and closing costs/Realtor commissions once you sell the property. These can quickly add up and affect your bottom line if you don’t plan accordingly.

Don’t Overlook the Location

Location is one of the most important factors prospective buyers look at when buying a home. With this in mind, you’ll want to do plenty of research on the location of a potential property before you buy. While you may spend more money up-front investing in a property that’s located in the middle of a busy city, you’re also likely to get a larger return on your investment than a property in the suburbs.

Always Have a “Plan B”

Any experienced real estate investor will encourage you to have an exit plan in place for any project. While it may not be fun to think about, it’s important to plan for a “worst-case scenario.” For example, what will you do if your flipped property doesn’t sell within a few months of being on the market? Perhaps it will be necessary to rent out the property to begin bringing in income and try selling again when the market is looking more promising.

Borrow Responsibly

No matter what your plan is for fixing and flipping a property, borrowing from a reputable lender that you can trust is vital. Looking for a hard money loan for an Arizona real estate property? Hard Money Lenders AZ has you covered! Contact us today at (480) 576-5788 to find out more about our borrowing options, especially as they pertain to our excellent rehab and fix-and-flip loans.

image of coins spilling out of jar

3 Reasons to Make Sure You Have Sufficient Funds For Your Real Estate Project!

At the time of this writing, flipping houses is on the rise throughout the United States of America. In fact, studies show that the first quarter of 2020 featured more flipped homes than at any point since 2006, a jump of at least 2 percentage points. With real estate flipping on the rise, it stands to reason that more than a few newcomers are finding their way to the industry.

While there are plenty of opportunities available for individuals to build capital through real estate, leaping into a renovation project should not happen until sufficient funds have been accrued. Like many other entrepreneurs in life, we understand the desire to leap first and look later however, today’s conversation will clarify why you should avoid this technique.

Three Reasons to Wait for Sufficient Funding in Real Estate Development

Right now the house flipping market is booming out west. From Texas to Arizona, savvy property investors are accumulating funding to purchase, rehab, and flip their housing investments for profit. With that being said, there is one issue that individuals are struggling to overcome: starting work with sufficient funding.

While you may feel driven to start a rehabilitation project without proper funding, there are a couple of reasons why you should hesitate to embark upon that path. Let’s take a look at three key reasons that you must have sufficient funding in place before breaking ground on your rehab project.

1. The Second Loan Is Harder Than The First Loan

Acquiring a financial loan to complete a house rehabilitation seems pretty simple. Just meet up with your bank, decide on how much you can afford to take out, and let the rest take care of itself… right?

Well, not exactly.

For first-time flippers, it is always better to take out more debt than you might need. If you take out a loan from a financial institution only to see it fall short of your needs, you’ll likely have trouble working with a second lender. Many private money and hard money lenders will not think twice about rejecting a second loan request. 

2. Chances of Failure Dramatically Increase

Whether we are remodeling our home or flipping an investment property, the true extent of hidden costs will not be known until we break ground on our project. Purchasing and flipping a home will require digging deep into the structure of the property, leading to potential costly issues at a later date.

Some common issues that real estate renovation professionals run into are electricity and code issuesimproper building techniquesdeep rot and pest damage, and finally hidden dangers such as asbestos. If you aren’t equipped with the funding necessary to overcome each and every one of these hurdles, you could be stuck with a dead project.

3. Complications Related to Title Insurance

Very few things are as frustrating or necessary as paperwork. Included in the paperwork we’ll have to navigate is our title insurance. Once your home has begun its renovation, it can be hard for a new lender to obtain title insurance due to the fact that construction is likely already underway.

To make life easy during your next renovation or house flipping project, consider working with one of the top hard money lenders in Arizona. Fast and convenient funding helps get your project going!

image of home and money held in hands

How Hard Money Lending Can Benefit You

Gone are the days when the thought of hard money lenders evoked images of shady lenders doing deals in dark alleys. Hard money lending has evolved into a reputable financing source for many people. There’s a lot of things that hard money lenders can do for you.

The Benefits of Hard Money Lending

Fast Process

Traditional lenders engage in a slow process, even if you have a good income and a good credit score. Hard money lenders take a different approach. Hard money lenders lend based on the collateral securing the loan. With this approach, they are not concerned about how you can pay the loan back. A hard money lender will just take the collateral and sell it in order to get repaid. That being said, your collateral’s value takes precedence over your financial position. Because hard money lenders are focused on collateral, the loan can be closed much more quickly than a traditional one. Hard money lenders do linger going through your loan application with a fine-tooth comb. They don’t spend time reviewing your income or verifying your current income. As a result, the loan process moves more quickly than a traditional loan. You can close a deal quickly with a hard money lender. And that’s very important in a hot market. You’ve got to be able to move fast.

Flexibility

With a hard money lender, you get some flexibility when compared to a traditional loan. Each deal is evaluated individually, instead of utilizing a standardized underwriting process. In addition, a hard money lender is much more willing to talk with you. It may be possible for you to tweak some things, such as repayment schedules. Instead of dealing with a bank with strict policies, the policies of a hard money lender are flexible.

Approval

Since the most important criteria for a hard money lender is collateral, approval is much more likely. A hard money lender will lend only as much as the property’s worth. If you need to borrow against a different property, that’s the value of that property will be what the hard money lender is interested in. Negative items on your credit report or previous foreclosures are much less important to a hard money lender than a traditional lender. Keep in mind that many hard money lenders maintain loan-to-value ratios (LTV). Their maximum LTV ratio may be from 50 percent to 70 percent. That’s a low ratio and hard money lenders know that they can sell the property quickly to get their money back. So, you’ll need some assets to qualify for a hard money loan. The bottom line is that your approval is much greater with a hard money lender.

Keep in mind that hard money loans make good sense for short term loans. That’s why so many fix-and-flip investors use hard money loans. Investors own the property just long enough to increase the value of the property. Then, they sell the property and repay the loan. This is often done within a year. If an investor plans for a longer time, he usually refinances for a better loan.

All around, the benefits of hard money lending are good when you know what you’re doing.

 

Image of Commercial Real Estate Buildings in Arizona

As Arizona Begins To Re-Open, What Should We Expect From the Commercial Real Estate Industry?

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the world as we know it. As countries around the planet began to shut down, states within the U.S.A.. followed suit. While each state followed its own set of guidelines, the country as a whole experienced a cumulative economic downturn. Now, months later, the state of Arizona is beginning to re-open as life returns to some semblance of normalcy. Unfortunately, life will be anything but normal for the commercial real estate market in the weeks, months, and potentially even years following COVID-19.

Understanding the Impact of COVID-19

While much has been made regarding the discussion of COVID-19s true impact on the country, it is hard to ignore the economic fallout that has taken hold in Arizona’s commercial real estate market. According to a vacancy report detailing post-COVID office vacancies, Arizona’s business sector is sporting Great Recession-levels of vacancy rates within traditional office buildings. A report compiled by the team at Costar projected that vacancy rates in commercial offices will remain between 11% and 15%. Seeing these numbers and understanding their impact are two different things. While only a sliver of the picture, this vacancy number gives us plenty to digest.

Let us briefly chart a few primary ways that the commercial real estate industry in Arizona will shift for the foreseeable future. As the state of Arizona continues to re-open, these expectations should be held for the commercial real estate industry:

  1. Space Requirement Changes – Living in a post-COVID world means acclimating to the new normal. Social distancing, sanitation, and large open spaces will dominate commercial property in the coming months and years. As OSHA and HR reps around the state adjust to these new regulations, expect businesses to need larger spaces for the same amount of work.
  2. Equalizing Rental Rates – As individuals struggle to make ends meet, there is an expectation that rental rates will reach an equalization factor. Landlords who are not beholden to debt or lenders that are offering amenable rates will do what is possible to keep their buildings fully staffed. As landlords compete to retain the best tenants, there is an expectation that flexibility in lending and renting can be met.
  3. Changing Operational Expectations – Industries that rely on call centers will also experience rather large changes in the way that they perform in the post-COVID world. Call centers will be expected to split shifts to reduce the footprint of their employees. Buildings will be reorganized and adjusted for CDC and OSHA regulations which could include the installation of filter systems, sneeze shields, and other sanitary safety measures.

While there is no telling exactly where Arizona will be on the other side of the COVID-19 re-opening, it does appear that the state is primed for a healthy launch. Arizona sports a warm and dry heat thanks to its geographical location. With plenty of room for potential land development and a healthy infrastructure for commercial construction, Arizona is in a primed position to succeed.