Hard Money Basics

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Real Estate Funding Solutions: Welcome to The Cash Flow Company

Hard money basics you need to know before real estate investing.

We’ve been in the hard money loan business for 20 years. Half the calls we receive are still beginner real estate investors trying to learn the money side of investing.

If that’s you, you’ve likely applied for, heard of, or thought about using hard money lenders. But maybe you don’t fully understand the private lending world yet. How does a hard money loan work? How much interest do private lenders charge? Do hard money lenders require a minimum credit score? Should you just wait until you qualify for better bank loans?

This guide will help answer:

  • What is hard money?
  • What do hard money lenders look for?
  • How is hard money different than other loans?
  • How do you qualify for hard money?
  • Is hard money better than banks?

Becoming hard money proficient will put you miles ahead as an investor.

Ready to nail the basics?

Real Estate Funding Solutions: Welcome to The Cash Flow Company

What is Hard Money?

Hard money is a short-term loan designed for real estate investors. HM lenders focus on lending money on undervalued properties in need of rehab.

HML are short term – usually around six months or a year – and are designed to help buy properties to fix up.

While “easier” than traditional bank loans, hard money loans are also more expensive due to higher interest rates. Which brings us to the most important quality of hard money loans: they’re fast.

In real estate investing, discounted properties typically require fast-closing deals. Hard money loans can help you take advantage of prices while they’re low, and:

  • Save on the property cost to begin with
  • Get more from selling or refinancing the property.

These savings more than cover the costs of a hard money loan for most investors.

The speed of hard money makes it valuable for newbie and seasoned investors alike. Hard money loans are made for real estate investors.

How Does A Hard Money Loan Work?

What do hard money lenders look at? There are two main factors lenders of hard money consider.

Loan-to-Value Ratio

An important number a lender takes into account is the cost of the property. The ratio of the loan they offer and the cost is important for you to know.

Let’s say you have a property with a current appraisal of $200,000. Then you get a loan for $100,000. The loan is half of the value of the home, so your loan-to-value is 50%.

After Repair Value (ARV)

ARV, after repair value, is another important factor hard money lenders consider. The properties targeted by real estate investors are undervalued. They need work to be brought up to the standards of the surrounding community.

So, lenders look at not only the current value of the house, but also the future value of the house, after it’s all fixed up.

Many hard money loans are based on after repair value rather than loan-to-value. Your lender might offer you up to 75% – not of what you’re buying it for, but what you could sell it for by the end.

What Does ARV Cover?

A key factor to ARV is that lenders will lend not only for the initial purchase, but for the fix-up costs.

Many lenders will put money aside in escrows to use throughout the project to pay contractors and cover other renovation costs.

If your loan considers ARV, it’s possible for you, with ZERO money down, to:

  • Buy a property.
  • Fix it up.
  • Either sell it (fix-and-flip) or refinance it (BRRRR).

After selling or refinancing, you use that money to pay the loan back.

Hard money is designed to build value into real estate. Understanding the role of the after repair value will help you immensely in your hard money investments.

How Is Hard Money Different from Other Loans?

Interest rates on hard money are between 2-5% higher than what you’ll find at banks. You can expect origination fees to be about twice as much. Appraisals will be close to the same.

So on paper, the rates and fees are higher, so it feels like you’re spending more. Which you are! But with hard money loans, you’re paying for:

  • Accessibility
  • Convenience
  • Flexibility
  • The opportunity to purchase properties you’d never be able to while relying on bank loans.

While hard money costs more than other loans, the potential value is also way higher. When sellers have discounted real estate, they want it sold fast. Banks can take 25-30 days to close. You can receive hard money in a matter of days.

Every week, we see hard money work to save people money.

When a recent client of ours bought a property, he saved 10% – just because he could close faster than the other five bidders. His savings on that purchase were $30,000: much more than double what he’ll spend on the loan transaction.

How Do You Qualify for a Hard Money Loan?

There are two kinds of hard money lenders. They each have different qualification requirements.

National Hard Money Lenders

National lenders lend in almost every state. They are larger organizations, backed by hedge funds and private equity.

National hard money lenders require:

  • A credit score check, and a good score.
  • Experience – at least five deals in the last three years.
  • Properties to be in specific larger communities.

So if you’re new to investing, need to improve your credit score, or are looking at more rural properties, you may need to look into local lenders.

Local or Private Hard Money Lenders

A local, or private, lender will specialize in your state or area. Local lenders are much more likely to:

  • Not ask for a credit score.
  • Not require experience.
  • Lend for rural areas.

Local lenders are focused on the deal itself and whether it has good value.

When deciding which lender to use for hard money, always shop around to see what fits your situation now. And be aware that another lender may fit you better in the future.

Are Private Lenders Better Than Banks?

It’s impossible to say whether hard money lenders or banks are “better” for real estate. It all depends on your deal and where you are in your investment career.

When to Use Bank Loans vs Hard Money Loans

Bank loans will have lower rates and may be the better route if you:

  • Have had a successful investment business for over two years.
  • Make a lot of money at a W-2 job.
  • Have 3-4 weeks to close.

Hard money loans will be easier, faster,  and may work better if you:

  • Are newer to real estate investing.
  • Don’t have money up-front to invest.
  • Don’t want to put your own money into a deal.
  • Need to close within a week or two.

As long as a property promises income, hard money more than makes up for its higher rates with the speed and greater potential savings. Starting in hard money paves the way for you to work up to bigger funding opportunities.Hard more

 

 

Find out more on how to leverage up your real estate investments on our Youtube channel.

The Cash Flow Company can help you with all real estate investor loans.

We also can help you find and set up real private money from those around your area.

We scour 100’s of loan programs across the country every month locating the best investor friendly loans.

 

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Credit score and investing

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How Your Credit Score is Robbing You

What a credit score is and why you should care (if you care about your investments). Your credit score and investing

There’s a magical triple-digit number that seems to decide your fate in this world.

It can determine what car you drive, where you live, and how much money you can have at your disposal.

And in some cases, it can make or break your success as a real estate investor.

It’s your credit score.

But it’s not as magical as it seems. There’s a logic to your score, and you have the power to change it.

 

So let’s break it down.

How Your Credit Score is Robbing You

What is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a way for lenders to determine your “creditworthiness.” In other words, your “you-can-trust-me-to-pay-back-your-money”-ness.

Because you know whether someone can trust you with their money. But financial institutions don’t know you like you do.

Lenders need a way to decide if you’re safe to lend to. So your score tells them the story of your financial habits.

How Is My Credit Score Calculated?

There are a couple different types of credit scores, but the numbers we’ll use here reflect FICO scores (the most widely used credit score for most lenders).

Credit scores range between 0 and 850. More than 740 is great, and a score of less than 700 begins to limit your options.

This number is calculated by looking at five main pieces of information:

  • Credit mix
  • New Credit
  • Credit History
  • Payment history
  • Amounts owed

Credit Mix

Close to 10% of your score is based on the mix of credit you already have.

Do you have seven credit cards?

Or zero?

Do you have a car payment, a mortgage, student loans, personal loans?

Typically, the more diverse your lines of credit are, the better it is for your score.

New Credit

Around 10% is based on “new credit,” or how often you get credit inquiries or open a new line of credit.

New credit can temporarily lower your score. So for example, if you buy a new car, you’ll probably have trouble securing a loan for a property right away.

Length of Credit History

About 15% of your score is calculated based on how long you’ve had your lines of credit.

If you opened your first line of credit less than 5 years ago, you’ll have a lower score than someone whose credit is 40 years old.

Amounts Owed

These last two categories are the most important. They make up two-thirds of your credit score.

About 30% of your score is determined by something called amounts owed. Amounts owed is about your debt. More specifically, it’s about how much of your available credit you’re using.

For example, let’s say your credit card has a max of $1,000. You buy a new set of tires and brakes, so now you owe $1,000 on your card. You’re using 100% of your $1,000 limit – you’re maxed out.

The story creditors see when they look at you is that you’re not managing your credit well. They’ll assume you won’t manage other loans well either, so you get a lower score.

But let’s look at another situation.

Say you got a different credit card with a max of $5,000. That same borrowed $1,000 has a way different effect on your credit score. You’re only using 20% of your credit line, and you’re leaving 80% at your disposal. Creditors like that story. So you get a higher score.

Payment History

The biggest amount of your score, up to 35%, is based on your payment history.

Payment history is exactly what it sounds like:

  • How are you paying your bills?
  • Do you always pay on time?
  • Have you had any bankruptcies?

Financial institutions can see this information, and it’s the top factor they consider. At the end of the day, lenders want to know: Will you pay them back? On time?

Find out more on how to leverage up your real estate investments on our Youtube channel.

The Cash Flow Company can help you with all real estate investor loans.

We also can help you find and set up real private money from those around your area.

We scour 100’s of loan programs across the country every month locating the best investor friendly loans.

Your score is incredibly important to keep on your radar. Especially when you’re investing in real estate.

 

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How to Buy a Property with ZERO Money Down

Is investing in Real Estate with Zero Down for real?

No money to put down on your first investment?

Use these 3 tips to get started.

You don’t have enough savings. After all, flipping is how you want to start making money, right? And you want to begin that real estate investment journey now.

But if you don’t have the money to begin with… how are you even supposed to start?

We see people do it every day. Here are the 3 main ways people have made successful real estate careers with zero money down.

 

How to Buy a Property with ZERO Money Down

  1. Get a HELOC

    If you already own a house, the first tactic you should use to get money for real estate is to get a HELOC.

    HELOC stands for “home equity line of credit.” It’s basically a second mortgage that works like a line of credit that you can use and pay off over and over again. You’re able to use it for multiple properties.

    You could get a HELOC from credit unions or banks. We usually send our clients to credit unions because they tend to have better options for HELOCs. A credit union will likely give you:

    • A longer term
    • Fixed rates
    • A little more money

    If you already own a home, go to a local credit union and ask them about a HELOC first.

  2. Start a Partnership

    But what if you don’t have a house, so you can’t get a HELOC? A partnership might be your next best option. There are two routes you can go.

    Family or Friends

    You can ask a family member or friend to be a money partner. They can provide you with the cash to use for a property’s down payment, or for the repairs of your flip.

    The close and personal aspect of partnering with someone you know can be the best option for some people. In other cases, it’s nice to partner with a person or entity who’s not so personal.

    Outside Partner

    You could also look for an outside partner.

    For example, Hard Money Mike partners with people who find good deals but don’t have the money to make that first purchase. We help them finance the whole amount so they can get into their first two or three deals. After letting us help fund their first three deals, most people come out with enough money to do their own down payment and repair costs on their next property, with no partner.

    Beginning investors can make their business independent quickly when they seek out the right partner to get them started.

  3. Use a credit card (Investing in Real Estate with Zero Down)

    Many people hesitate to use a credit card to fund their investments – for good reason. But when done right, a 0% credit card can be the simplest way to start investing with no money down.

    What are the wrong ways to use a credit card for a fix-and-flip?

    • Getting a credit card with a high APR.
    • Using the card to go out and have fun.
    • Not paying back the charges you put on the card.

    If you’re smart, it can be easy to use a credit card the right way. Start with a 0% APR card. Understand that it’s a tool for your business, so treat it that way. Only use the card for repairs, contractors, and other costs associated with your flip.

    Take out the money, sell the property, then clear the card back to zero before moving onto your next project. Don’t let the debt accumulate. Don’t keep a balance from deal to deal. This is where credit card use falls through for most investors. They don’t use the money from the sale to fully pay off the card, and it gets out of hand fast.

    But if you do it right, a credit card works as a great way to help beginners get the funds needed to start in real estate.

What Are Other Ways to Investing in Real Estate with Zero Down?

Clients come to us wanting to get into real estate but think they need money in the bank. That’s not always the case.

Here are the 3 key ways we see people start their investments with no money:

  1. If you already have a mortgage, get a HELOC.
  2. Start with money from family, a friend, or an outside partner.
  3. Use a 0% credit card to fund the costs of your investment.

These aren’t the only ways we’ve seen people succeed with a new real estate career.

Find out more on how to leverage up your real estate investments on our Youtube channel.

The Cash Flow Company can help you with all real estate investor loans.

We also can help you find and set up real private money from those around your area.

We scour 100’s of loan programs across the country every month locating the best investor friendly loans.

Investing in Real Estate with Zero Down

 

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Real OPM Benefits

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How can Real OPM benefit your real estate investments? Real OPM Benefits!

Here are the basics to get you started.

OPM. Other People’s REAL Money.

Not money from a broker or mortgage company or hard money lender. Money from real people to fund your flips and make your investments faster, easier, and more profitable.

Real OPM Benefits vs Private Money

What’s the difference between private money and Other People’s Money? Aren’t they the same thing? Yes and no. They’re related, but there are a few key differences.

Private money is often called “hard money.” It involves going through a broker or a company like Hard Money Mike that lends you private money.

OPM does the same thing, but it’s strictly peer-to-peer, person-to-person. It is private money because it’s a loan outside of a bank. It’s not hard money because you’re not going through a formal company or filling out applications.

What is Real OPM?

OPM is simple: one person has money and needs a smart place to put it, and one person has a promising property investment but no money to put into it. They form a peer-to-peer transaction.

Both people have the chance to benefit more than they would if they went through a bank. The person with the money gets a simple investment with typically a much higher return than the banks would pay. And the person who needs the money can get it cheaper, faster, and keep it more fluid. Both can end up more profitable and successful.

Taking the OPM route may feel non-traditional from a modern perspective, but historically, it’s the way things have always gotten done. One person has something, another person needs it, so they create a deal where they both benefit.

The Flipper’s Perspective

If you’re the flipper and you have an established relationship using OPM, funding purchases becomes simple. You find a property, and all you need to do is contact your OPM lender and give them details.

“I found a great property, but I need $100,000. We close in a week. Here’s the title company’s information. Please send the money, and we’ll get this taken care of.”

No applications, no appraisals, no middleman. It’s an easier way to borrow money, and usually less expensive than more traditional loans.

The Lender’s Perspective

If you’re the one with the money, you’re probably already looking for a smart place to put it.

Loaning the money to a flipper or other real estate investor will typically give you a better interest rate than a bond, CD, or other interaction with a bank.

How to Make It Work

It’s extremely important that OPM deals are set up to be win-win for both sides. The main reason people avoid OPM is the fear of deals going bad. This system breaks down if one side or the other feels the deal becomes unfair or unsafe.

Let’s talk about how to create a win-win environment.

Priorities for Each Side

Each party has to keep the other party’s interests in mind.

For the flipper, OPM needs to be easy, reliable, and quick. The flipper’s responsibility is to make a good and profitable deal with the other person’s money. If you do that, your OPM lender will always be there to help with your next deal. However, the second you “play games” with their money, the relationship ends, and you lose that source of fast, simple funding.

For the OPM lender, deals need to be secure and detailed. As long as their money is taken seriously, they will be there for the flipper. If you’re the OPM lender, you have to always fund a deal when you’ve agreed to. Don’t leave the flipper high and dry at the closing table.

Setting Up a Proper Real OPM Benefit Relationship

Using OPM may “feel” more casual, but it’s absolutely vital that you get everything in writing. Visit a lawyer, and lay out all aspects of the deal. Everyone will come out more successful if you’re diligent with this step.

Some of the things you’ll want to set up in writing are the following:

  • What is the repayment schedule?
  • What are the interest rates?
  • How long is the loan?
  • What’s the plan with the property?

The clearer, more open, and more detailed you can be with each other, the better the deal and your relationship will be.

The goal is for OPM to be mutually advantageous. People who have money want to find deals that will earn them interest. Flippers need money that flows better and is faster to qualify for. OPM is valuable, so take the time to set it up right.

Want More Details on Setting Up OPM?

Hard Money Mike doesn’t need to be involved with your OPM deals to offer help. We have resources to help you learn how to best set up OPM deals:

  • What should closing look like?
  • What are proper terms?
  • What documents will you need?

We want to keep things flowing in the real estate community.

Find out more on how to leverage up your real estate investments on our Youtube channel.

The Cash Flow Company can help you with private loans and all real estate investor loans.

We also can help you find and set up real private money from those around your area.

We scour 100’s of loan programs across the country every month locating the best investor friendly loans.

Real OPM Benefits

Real OPM Benefits

 

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Win at the BRRRR method

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How to Buy a Property with ZERO Money Down

Some people just win at the BRRRR method. How can beginners do it?

Cash-flowing rental properties… With little-to-no money down… That passively run themselves after fix-up… This is the stuff beginner real estate investors dream about. And it’s possible with BRRRR.

But there are a lot of ways to do BRRRR wrong that’ll wreck this beautiful dream.

How do successful investors make it work? Here are 5 ways beginners can win at BRRRR:

How to Buy a Property with ZERO Money Down

I. Understand the Meaning of BRRRR

BRRRR winners understand what BRRRR is – and just as importantly – what it’s not.

We aren’t just talking about the literal meaning: Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat. We’re talking about understanding the strategy behind the BRRRR method. Successful investors understand the money side of these investments.

Types of Properties that Win at BRRRR

Foundationally, BRRRR means buying undervalued properties.

These properties have a lot of rehab needed, causing them to be valued much lower than other homes in the area. These houses are problems for someone else but opportunities for you. You can fix them up and get them in your rental pool.

We often see people who want to use the BRRRR strategy, but they buy their properties at 90% or 95% of the ARV. They buy close to retail price, and once they put the time, money, and effort into fixing up the property… They can’t even really use BRRRR.

BRRRR’s Two-Loan Strategy

BRRRR means using a two-loan strategy. At the beginning of the project, closing with a hard money bridge loan. At the end of the project, refinancing a traditional loan.

Using this strategy on an undermarket purchase captures the equity of the home to use to your advantage. If you buy a property too close to its ARV, the whole system falls apart and you lose your refinancing power.

 

To be successful with this two-loan plan, you have to search for undermarket properties you can get for 75% or less of the ARV. With this 75% rule, you can complete a BRRRR project with little or no money out-of-pocket.

Buying undermarket and using two strategic loans is the meaning behind BRRRR that winners fully grasp. But there’s much more to it.

What should you really look for when you buy for BRRRR?

II. Set Yourself Up to Win at the BRRRR method

There are two ways beginners can set themselves up for success using the BRRRR method: focusing on the numbers and putting together a team.

Numbers for Beginners

The BRRRR method is all about numbers. Beginners sometimes fail because they make a deal emotional and bid the property up. When buying properties, you have to stick to the math.

Your North Star for BRRRR investments is the 75% rule – the best properties only cost 75% of the after repair value.

The reason for the 75% rule is because that’s the number banks will rate-and-term refinance a conventional loan for. When you can do this type of refinance, you can finish up the deal without putting any of your own money in.

It’s smart to shop around for banks for your refinance loan, though. Some banks may allow you to buy up to 85% of the ARV, under certain conditions.

Get a Team Together

So you need good, low-priced properties. And the best way to find them is to build a good team. Especially as a beginner, you’ll need to know several of these kinds of people:

Realtors and Wholesalers

Knowing wholesalers and realtors can help you locate better properties and close with better deals.

Lenders

You’ll need private lenders for bridge loans and another lender for the long-term refinanced loan. Having relationships with lenders ahead of time speeds up a closing and can earn you a lower price.

Contractors

Ideally, from closing to refinance, BRRRRs are completed in 90 days. This means you’ll need contractors at-the-ready who can work efficiently and reliably to fix up your properties.

Property Managers

If you want your BRRRRs to be passive after the refinance, find a good property manager. A common beginner’s mistake is to take the first tenant who shows an interest – without any background checks or other renting requirements.

A good property manager can both find you better tenants and manage them for you. Many investors overlook this member of their team, but it can truly make or break your BRRRR experience.

Knowing several people from each of these categories gives you options to customize for each of your deals. Putting together a good and broad team will make the BRRRR method much easier and smoother — especially for a beginner.

III. Know What Makes a Good BRRRR Property

A good BRRRR property follows the 75% rule. But that’s not the only criteria you should follow. What else makes a good BRRRR property?

What to Look for in a BRRRR Property

Here are the factors successful BRRRR investors consider in their properties.

Single-family properties

For multi-family or commercial tenants, lenders have different requirements. They often need you to hold your loan for 12 months after purchase (or even 12 after tenants move in). That timeline doesn’t work well with the BRRRR method. You’ll have a much easier time with single-family homes.

Rent prices

“Knowing your numbers” also means knowing the rent prices in the area of a property. Cash won’t flow on your investment if you’re unable to charge enough rent.

Desirable Areas

Find properties people want to live in. If you wouldn’t want to spend time there, good renters probably won’t either.

Vacation Rentals

If you’re doing vacation rentals, do the research on:

  • What areas people want to visit
  • What the rates are in the area
  • What third-party booking sites would be most profitable
  • What fix up levels you’ll need
  • Whether there are good hosts or property managers in the area.

Don’t Rush into Bad BRRRR Properties

Beginners fail at BRRRR when they don’t choose properties wisely. Don’t just buy property to buy property. You can own ten bad rentals and make no money. BRRRR should be a system that builds cash flow.

We see people do one or two BRRRRs then stop because it’s not what they expected. They put too much money in, or the area isn’t good, or their renters aren’t paying, or the rent isn’t enough to generate cash flow.

Those issues aren’t BRRRR’s fault. A prepared investor, beginner or experienced, can always succeed with BRRRR properties.

IV. Know the Numbers of a BRRRR Deal – An Example

We always talk about “knowing your numbers.” But what exactly do we mean? Here’s an example of an ideal BRRRR property using the 75% rule.

Example Breakdown of a BRRRR Deal

After repair value (ARV) is the number the house should sell for once it’s all fixed up and on the market. This number is often dictated by what similar properties in the area are going for.

To get the best long-term rates, you refinance your second, permanent loan. In order for it to cover everything (i.e., you don’t have to put any money down), all your costs must be 75% or less of the ARV.

PURCHASE PRICE + REHAB + CARRY COSTS + LOAN CLOSING COSTS = 75% of ARV

Let’s say, for example, other properties in the area are selling for $200,000, so that’s your ARV. You want to spend 75% less than that, so we’ll do:

$200,000 X .75 = $150,000

When the ARV is $200,000, all costs of the job should only be $150,000 or less. This includes the closing price, carry costs, rehab costs, and any loan costs.

V. Know Good Lenders for BRRRR

People who win at BRRRR understand the two most important aspects of the process: getting properties undermarket, and organizing their lenders early on.

Lenders are an important member of your investment team. Here’s how to get them ready for your BRRRR investments.

BRRRR Lender Options

You’ll have a hard money or private money lender up-front. Then, in the second half of the project, you’ll have a more conventional lender with a traditional loan.

This traditional loan is usually 30-year with fixed rates, but comes with some constraints. You’re limited to ten properties with this kind of loan (including your own home). There’s also usually a limit on loan-to-value ratio, and conventional loans won’t let you put a loan in an LLC’s name.

Another option for this second loan is DSCR no-income loans. DSCR loans come in a variety of options: five- or seven-year ARMs, standard 30-year fixed mortgages, and more. Successful BRRRR investors know all their options for refinancing.

Set Your Lenders Up Ahead of Time

People who win at BRRRR set up all their lenders before they jump into a deal.

The amount loaned for the purchase and for rehab can very a lot from lender to lender. Good investors will always know how much their hard money lenders will give them.

Hard Money Mike, for example, does a lot of 100% loans if the cost is 75% less than ARV because we know the investor can easily refinance out. We know we can set them up with a rate-and-term refinance, and they’ll have no money out-of-pocket.

BRRRR winners don’t get into a property, get it fixed up, and then figure out the long-term loan. Winners figure out firstwhether they can get the cash out they need, and how.

Smart BRRRR investors have a pool of lenders they work with. They know what each lender can offer, and which will best fit their current strategy, ability, and deal.

 

 

Find out more on how to leverage up your real estate investments on our Youtube channel.

The Cash Flow Company can help you with BRRRR loans and all real estate investor loans.

We also can help you find and set up real private money from those around your area.

We scour 100’s of loan programs across the country every month locating the best investor friendly loans.

 

Win at the BRRRR method

Win at the BRRRR method

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DSCR Calculation

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An important part of considering a DSCR loan is understanding the DSCR calculation. All lenders will look at this formula for DSCR loans.

Let’s go through and look at the numbers to find out if your property has enough cash flow for a DSCR loan.

Income & Expenses

The number one thing DSCR lenders look at is income.

For this example, let’s say our rent is $1,000 per month.

The next thing they look at is expenses.

They want to make sure your income more than covers your total costs. They’ll look at: mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and HOA. Right now, they don’t look at property management costs, but that could change in the future.

Let’s fill out these numbers for our example property:

Table. Title: "DSCR Formula." Rent: $1000. An itemized list of expenses totaling $850.

So, the total expenses for this property are $850. Right away, we can see that income more than covers expenses, and this property cash flows $150/month.

Applying the DSCR Formula

Then, the equation lenders will do to determine this cash flow will be:

Income  ÷  Expenses  =  Cash Flow Rate

Or, in this case:

1000  ÷  850  =  1.17+

Lenders are looking for a positive cash flow. They want properties with:

  • Bare minimum: One-to-one. This means your rent at least covers your costs. (Example: Rent is $1000 and your monthly expenses on the property is $1000).
  • Better: 1+
  • Best: 1.25+

Download our free spreadsheet to fill out this formula for your properties to see if they’d qualify for a DSCR loan.

DSCR calculation.

Find out more on how to leverage up your real estate investments on our Youtube channel.

The Cash Flow Company can help you with DSCR loans and all real estate investor loans.

We also can help you find and set up real private money from those around your area.

We scour 100’s of loan programs across the country every month locating the best investor friendly loans.

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What is Gap Funding?

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Gap funding

In the real estate investment world… What is gap funding?

You should never count on a bank or hard money lender to give you a loan that will cover 100% of your real estate investment property.

What you should be able to someday count on, though, is funding up to 100%.

So, what is this type of funding?

Definition: What Is Gap Lending?

Gap funding is the money you bring in from another source to fill any gap left between the lender and the project costs.

If a lender offers you 70% of the LTV on a property, this type funding is how you fill in the remaining 30%. Usually, you secure gap funding, although unsecured funding is possible.

A “secured” loan means that the debt is backed by a piece of collateral. In a typical gap funding scenario, the loan is secured by the property being purchased.

For the most part, you won’t be able to find a gap lender at an institution like you can a bank lender. Instead, gap lenders are family members, friends, or someone you know.

OPM vs Gap Funding

You can use a couple funding terms interchangeably:

  • gap funding
  • gap lending
  • OPM (other people’s money)
  • real people’s money

All of these terms get at the same concept. It’s money, not from you and not from an institutional lender, that covers whatever costs of an investment property that your lender won’t fund.

OPM can cover up to 100% of a deal, but for now, we’ll be talking about it in a strictly 100% funding sense. These are loans that fill in the holes of a project that a mortgage or hard money loan wouldn’t cover.

Check out our Youtube channel for more great information.

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For a successful investment career, start with these 7 Fundamentals of a Real Estate Deal

Are you “money wise”? It’s not hard to get there. And it will save you a lot of cash down the line.

It’s like when a person who knows about cars goes to a mechanic – they have peace of mind because they understand what’s going on. If you’re not a “car person,” at the mechanic’s it’s harder to figure out if they’re telling you the truth, or just trying to sell you more than you need.

As a real estate investor, leverage is at the center of what you do. It’s like a foreign language when you first start out. But when you become money wise, the leverage in your real estate investment career is fully in your hands.

Here are 7 real estate loan fundamentals that will make you money wise.

Fundamentals of a Real Estate Deal

There’s certain information you’ll need to bring to your lender when you need a loan. If you know the answers to their questions, the time with your lender will be much more productive.

At the end of the day, lenders want to know: Do you have a good deal? (And you should want to know the answer, too!)

We’re going to dive into 7 main concepts to answer that question:

  • Strategy
  • Purchase Price / Contract
  • Scope of Work
  • Budget
  • Estimated Profit  / Equity
  • Comps / ARV
  • Exit Strategy

I. Strategy – What Is a Real Estate Strategy?

When your lender asks about your strategy, they want to know whether you’ll use the property as a

  • fix-and-flip
  • a rental
  • or if you’re not sure yet.

What is a real estate strategy dependent on? 1) your goals, and 2) the property.

You’ll have to know the numbers to know if the property will make a good flip with carry costs you can afford, or if it would cash flow well as a BRRRR-style rental.

But how do you “know the numbers”? Let’s start with the cost of the property.

II. Purchase Price / Contract – What Are the Fundamental Numbers of a Real Estate Loan?

Your lender could refer to this as purchase price, contract, or as-is value.

In real estate investment, there’s a distinction between what you’re paying for a property and what it’s worth. The purchase price isn’t necessarily what the value of the home is.

This is the number on the contract, the number you’ve agreed to buy the property for. And this number is foundational to whether or not your project will turn a profit.

III. Scope of Work – How Do You Fix Up a Real Estate Investment?

Many beginner investors mistake “scope of work” for the budget. Scope of work is what you’re going to do to the property, not the number of what that work will cost.

Will you add a bedroom? Re-do the garage? Are you going to convert the porch to additional square footage? Or add egress windows to the basement?

Scope of work is your rehab plan. Lenders need this info to find out what kinds of properties they should compare to yours to estimate an after repair value.

IV. Budget – What Is a Real Estate Budget?

During the conversation with your lender, have a high overview of your construction budget. You don’t necessarily need all the details ironed out quite yet.

For example, you can estimate that the kitchen will cost $10,000, siding $6,000, windows $4,000, and new paint $2,000. At this point, you don’t need to share a breakdown of the cost of each new appliance, labor and materials, etc.

You just need a realistic estimate of how much it will cost to get into the property. Having your scope of work lined out helps you with an estimated budget. When you know the purchase price an your budget, then you know how much the entire project will cost.

V. Estimated Profit (Flips) / Estimated Equity (Rentals) – How Much Will a Deal Make?

Estimated profit is what you expect to make on the transaction, between buying the property, fixing it up, and selling it again.

Equity is the difference between the amount you owe and what the property is worth. You build equity on your rentals by successfully refinancing after a flip and paying down the mortgage with rent income.

The number one reason to be in real estate investment is to make money and create wealth – it’s true for lenders, and it’s true for you. So, it’s important to both you and your lender that your properties make profit or build equity.

You’ll need your estimated profit / equity when you bring a deal to your lender.

V. Comps / ARV – What Does ARV Mean in Real Estate Investing?

ARV is the after repair value. It’s what the property will appraise for, or sell for, on the current market once the scope of work is completed.

You estimate a property’s ARV by looking at the prices of similar homes in the current market.

Comps (comparables) are those similar homes you look at. It’s important that your comps have the same value as your property.

For example, if your deal is for a 950 square-foot home, you’ll compare it to other 900 to 1,000 square-foot homes on the market, not a 2,000 square-foot one. A 2-bedroom, 1-bath house will be compared to houses of the same specifications, and not compared with 4-bedroom, 2-bath homes.

For your ARV to be accurate, you need to stay true to your scope of work. If you only repaint and re-carpet a house that needed much more work, you won’t get top-of-the-market value when you try to sell or refinance.

On the other hand, if your scope of work is a full remodel, your comparables should be homes that are fully remodeled, so you don’t miss out on any profit.

The money you put into fixing up a house isn’t a direct indicator of how much the house will be worth. What the property looks like when it’s finished has nothing to do with how much it cost to get it there.

To find the true profitability of a deal, your ARV and comparables help:

ARV – (Purchase Price + Budget) = Profit Amount

VII. Exit Strategy – How Will You Pay Your Real Estate Loans?

When a lender asks for your exit strategy, they want to know your plan for paying off the loan. For hard money loans, your exit should be fast.

If it’s a flip, your exit strategy is to sell the property, then pay off the loan.

If it’s a rental, your exit strategy is to refinance into a long-term loan, which will pay off the hard money loan.

 

The Why Behind Money Wise – Real Estate Investing Definitions

When you come to the table prepared, with strategies, numbers, and knowledge, you can speak the same language as your lender.

This is key to ensuring you have a safe transaction with a lender that is working in your best interest. 7 Fundamentals of a Real Estate Deal

Curious About Other Real Estate Loan Fundamentals?

If you have any questions, or want coaching through a deal, we’re happy to help. You can contact us here.

For more info on real estate loan fundamentals, keep up with our Hard Money 101 series on our blog, or visit our YouTube channel here.

Happy Investing

7 Fundamentals of a Real Estate Deal

7 Fundamentals of a Real Estate Deal

 

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How to Launch Your Retirement Through Private Lending

How to Launch Your Retirement Through Private Lending

Launch your retirement!

The most common ways to save for retirement are the stock market, 401Ks, and other retirement savings accounts. They’re common journeys most people take when they start putting money away for their future.

But did you know there’s another frontier to explore when it comes to preparing for retirement?

Although it’s a frontier that’s been around for centuries, and it’s a frontier that’s helped many, it’s not exactly a frontier people think to explore.

But this frontier can lead to lucrative cash flow and a safe, comfortable, and happy future.

We’re talking about private lending.

How to Launch Your Retirement Through Private Lending

Private lending can launch your retirement savings into a whole new universe. Compared to the stock market, which is volatile, and retirement savings accounts, which are questionable, private lending is consistent, easy, and safe. And, most importantly, profitable.

What is private lending?

Simply put, you become a bank for someone who needs cash. And, in the real estate world, that someone is a fix and flipper, rental owner, or another property investor.

These real estate investors can’t always rely on a traditional bank for funding.  Either because they can’t meet a bank’s strict qualifications, or because they need to buy a property super fast…and banks don’t close deals super fast.

So, they turn to private lenders. Private lenders, like you, lend them the money they need and charge them interest for it.

The amount of interest you charge is up to you. Most private lenders make between 5% and 12%. You can’t make that kind of interest by letting your money sit in a bank. And you can’t know for sure you’ll make it through the stock market.

So, how do you become a private lender? Well, there are a couple of ways to get going.

The easiest way is through companies like ours. We connect private lenders with real estate investors, and help with all the paperwork and other steps that secure your money.

Or, if you’d rather explore the private lending frontier on your own, then you can work directly with real estate investors. This is best known in the business as OPM (Other People’s Money). OPM puts you directly in the pilot’s seat, and you get to decide your path…and the risks that come with it.

Private lending is definitely a worthwhile adventure! If you’re ready to learn more about it and launch your retirement, then our team is always here to help.

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What is a Private Note?

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What is a Private Note?

What is a Private Note?

You have a variety of options when it comes to making money for retirement.

The most obvious and popular ways are retirement saving accounts and the stock market. But retirement saving accounts can be questionable, and the stock market constantly fluctuates up and down.

But, fear not. Did you know there’s another, more secure way to save up for your future?

We’re talking about investing in private notes. They’re an easy, lucrative method to boosting your cash flow…and your retirement funds.

What is a Private Note?

You see, when people think about investing in real estate, they assume they have to fix and flip or rent properties. But private notes allow you to make money in real estate without ever picking up a hammer.

Basically, you become a bank for a fix and flipper or a rental owner.

But what is a private note?

Well, in a nutshell, it’s an IOU.

Essentially, a private note is an agreement between you and your borrower, and it outlines things like:

  • How much money you’ll lend.
  • The amount of interest you’ll charge.
  • The length of time you’ll let your borrower use your money.
  • And the date you expect them to pay you back in full.

And if you’re thinking, “Well, what if they can’t pay me back?”, then don’t worry.  Your money is secured by the property. So, as long as you do your homework and make sure it’s a worthwhile investment, then your money is safe and sound.

Now, how do you actually create a private note?

Well, the easiest way is to work with a company like ours. In addition to creating a secure private note on your behalf, we help with all the other steps to private lending. Those include:

  • Finding real estate investors who need funding.
  • Interviewing them and reviewing their portfolio to determine how much you can trust them with your money.
  • Analyzing properties to make sure they’re worth the investment.
  • Handling escrow draws.
  • And overseeing the life of the loan, including all payments, extensions, and modifications.

Of course, if you’d rather handle all of those steps by yourself, then you can simply hire an attorney to create your private note.

Bottom line, private notes are an excellent way to prepare for retirement, especially if you want to invest in real estate without breaking a sweat.

Ready to talk about investing your money in private notes and securing your future? Great! Our team is always here to chat.

Happy investing!

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