Tag Archive for: fixandflip

What’s worse: Paying money for an unknown amount of time? Or paying with certainty on a real estate investment?

A flip stuck on a market like the current one is a death knell for your profit.

The question is: do you keep paying carry costs in hopes of a higher sell price? Or do you cut your losses and move on in your real estate career?

Here’s our take on the dilemma.

What Is Certainty in Real Estate Investing?

Certainty in real estate investing is about coming up with a conclusion. This conclusion is whatever path:

  • Gets the property somehow moving along.
  • Offers the least out-of-pocket cost for the client.
  • Provides a clean slate to get them back on track to take advantage of the upcoming better market.

Certainty in Real Estate Investing by Taking a Short

In a market like this, you often end up with two options:

  1. Continue paying carry costs, with no sale in sight.
  2. Sell at a loss, for certainty about how much you’ll lose and the freedom to move on.

Taking the first option involves high monthly payments for 6-9 months, or longer. Once the end is finally in sight, it’s possible you’ll find out you’ll have to pay even more and take a huge loss anyway.

With the second option, you accept what the market is giving you. You take the short, then you move on. Money will still be lost, but the timeline of the payouts has a clear end. It becomes certain.

The first option is a gamble with the cards stacked against you. The second option is a clean slate to start fresh.

If you’re trying to find the best route to certainty for your property, we’ll go over some examples. You can follow along with the numbers for your own situation. Running these numbers will help you find out if it’s smart to opt for certainty in your real estate investment.

How to Calculate the Certainty of a Real Estate Investment

One client owed (and were paying interest on) $600,000 for their loan. When they first took out this loan in early 2022, they were expecting to sell the property within a month or two for $800,000+.

This property was supposed to be a quick cleanup – get in, get out, and make a quick couple hundred thousand dollars. Then the market changed, especially for higher price point homes in their area.

Now, five months later, they’re desperate to get out of the property.

What Is the Cost of Certainty?

If sold now in the current market, they could get $570,000.

That’s $230k less than they had originally hoped to get for this property – enough of a gut-punch as-is. But to sell for $30,000 less than you owe on the loan itself? Not ideal.

Although selling right now would mean a $30,000 loss for this client… At least that number is certain.

They’ve already spent close to that much on carry costs alone since purchasing the property. If they can’t get a better price for another several months… Which option is more worth it?

Would you rather lose $30k for sure? Or pay dollar signs with question marks and no end in sight?

How Do You Pay for the Loss?

So, say you’re in this client’s position, and you’ve decided to sell for $570k. How do you go about paying off the remaining $30,000?

 In this specific instance, we as a lender worked flexibly with our client. Since they were already locked into making payments indefinitely, we trusted them to also pay in a definite amount of time. So we put a term on the remaining $30k for the same payment amount.

Now, the client has the property out of their hands and a much smaller loan to pay off. They will make the same payments as they were on the larger loan, and they could pay the full loan off in 5 months and be done with it.

$30,000 isn’t a little money. Five months isn’t a short amount of time. But paying that much for certainty can beat paying 2x or 3x as much for uncertainty in this market.

What If Your Lender Isn’t Flexible?

Most lenders will be open to working something out with you. They want certainty, too. It does them good in the long-term for you to get this property out from over your head.

Opting for a shorter term loan is a great way for a lender to clear the decks and get ready for the next wave of great purchases.

However, even if your lender is unwilling to work out a shorter term, you still have a couple options for paying off the loan when you sell at a loss:

  • Cash – The obvious answer is you pull this cash right out of your own bank account. Not everyone has that luxury (or wants to take that path if they do), so there are a few other options.
  • Private money – In a bind like this, the flexibility of OPM is useful. If you borrow money from family, friends, or people in REI groups in your area, you can pay them back at a rate better than they’d get in the stock market or a bank right now.
  • Gap funding – You could also do a lien on another property to provide some gap funding. If your original lender won’t do this, we can help.
  • Use another lender – If the property’s original lender won’t agree to a short-term loan, someone else might.

Read the full article here.

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It feels impossible to buy AND sell. Here are some real estate strategies to help combat rising interest rates.

Interest rates are averaging 7%.

Yet buyers can only afford the same payments they could when interest rates were 4%.

This reality of affordability puts buyers and sellers both in a tough spot – buyers can’t qualify for the price point they’d like to, and sellers can’t get rid of the flips they bought earlier this year.

What can you do to combat rising interest rates like this?

How a Buydown Impacts Your Listing Price

You end up with two main strategies to combat rising interest rates in this market:

  1. You can lower your price to make the monthly payment the same for the buyer, based on interest rates.
  2. You can buy down the rate for your buyer.

A buydown is a strategy where the seller pays in advance to bring down the interest rate for the buyer.

In our previous example of the $800,000 property, our target payment would be $3,800/month. What would the purchase price be if we took the 7% interest rate down by a percentage point? Could that get us closer to $3,800 without sacrificing as much purchase price?

Let’s say it would cost 2 points to bring the interest rate down to 6%. That interest rate would allow you to sell at $640,000, while still keeping the buyers’ monthly payment at $3,800/month.

Buying down the interest at a cost of 2 points would only cost you $12,800. Yet even with that buydown cost, you’d still make an additional $52,200 selling at $640,000 (compared to the $575,000 pre-buydown).

It becomes a win-win: the buyer can qualify for the $3,800/month payment, and the seller can ask for a higher price.

How to Price a Flip to Combat Rising Interest Rates

This example covered a higher-end, $800,000 house. Does all this math work the same at a lower price point?

Let’s look at a $250,000 instead.

At the beginning of 2022, a $250,000 house would have cost a homeowner $1,193/month. Now, that same house would cost the same person $1,663. That’s $470 more per month, or a 39% increase. From early 2022 to early 2023, the monthly payments will have gone up by 54%, to $1,834/month.

These numbers are still probably cheaper than rent for a comparable property. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean buyers will be able to qualify with lenders.

If someone could buy a $250,000 house at the beginning of 2022, now the same exact person could only afford $180,000. By next year, they can only afford $162,000.

This is why properties are sitting on the market. When prospective homeowners buy by payment, they can only afford 30-40% less in purchase price.

Buydown at $250,000

What if you try the buydown technique here?

If you paid 2 points, you could bring the interest rate down to 6%. This would cost you $4,000, but allow you to sell for $200,000. You’d net $16,000 more than if you were to sell at $180,000.

Sometimes, it’s not about price for the buyer. Many homebuyers are payment-motivated shoppers. Instead of lowering the price, try getting your buyer’s payment in line.

Read the full article here.

Watch the video here:


Rising interest rates impact both buying power and selling price. Here’s how.

When interest rates change, the monthly payment people can afford doesn’t. This results in buyers’ available price points dipping lower and lower.

People might be willing to pay a little more per month for a higher purchase price in this market. But that doesn’t matter if they can still only qualify for a loan with the original lower payment.

Let’s look at a real example from one of our recent clients about how they need to price their current flip.

Interest Rates’ Impact

Back in January, our client’s property would have sold for $800,000. That number was still on their mind as they brought the house to market a couple months ago.

However, back then, the interest rate would have been around 4%. This would have made the property’s monthly payment around $3,800.

Fast forward to now. If people are buying properties based on payment… Could this client still sell for $800,000?

The problem is: interest rates are now closer to 7%. 

Let’s look at how this impacts payment. If someone could qualify for the $3,800 payment back in January… then they qualified for that payment, not necessarily that purchase price.

If the target buyer can only budget/qualify for $3,800, then in order to keep that monthly payment with a 7% rate, the new price will need to be $575,000.

Why Is It Important to Know How to Price a Flip?

This client’s main motivation is that they want to clear off properties like this because they know better deals are coming. They need to be free to buy soon without past flips hanging over them.

Another motivation is: they don’t want to keep making payments on a property that will sell for even less in a year.

Next year, experts anticipate interest rates will be up to 8%. Affordability for this property would go down to $520,000. This client certainly doesn’t want to be caught with this property for sale in that market.

Read the full article here.

Watch the video here: