Text: "When to Use Hard Money"

5 Times You Should Use Hard Money for Your Real Estate Investments

Here are 5 ways to use hard money right as a real estate investor.

Real estate investing is all about making profit.

And sometimes, to make profit, you need to use hard money loans.

When is hard money your best option in real estate investing? Let’s look at 5 situations where you should use hard money to fuel your investments.

1. Using Hard Money for Speed

The number one way hard money makes you money in real estate investing is how fast they are.

Look at a real example from one of our clients.

He was able to buy a property in Colorado at a $30,000 discount.

Five other people were bidding as high as $330,000 on the property.

But our client was able to close in less than a week, so the sellers accepted his bid of $300,000.

How Much Does a Hard Money Loan Cost?

People can get tripped up with the cost of hard money. Wouldn’t the price of the loan leave our client at a loss here? Let’s compare his hard money loan on this deal to his competitors with a bank loan.

For hard money, he spent $7,500 on origination. A bank loan would have cost $4,500.

Six months’ worth of interest on the hard money loan adds up to $15,000. The same time on a bank loan would accrue $9,900 of interest.

Appraisal underwriting, and processing fees were lower with hard money at $984 (vs $1500 with the bank.)

Overall, our client did pay a lot more for the loan itself using hard money. His hard money loan cost $23,484, and a bank loan would have cost $15,525. That’s an extra cost of $7,959 to use hard money.

Can You Save Money by Using Hard Money for Real Estate?

Despite seeming more expensive, hard money still gave this investor a discount. Why? Hard money enabled him to close fast, so he got a better deal on purchase price.

What was the total cost of hard money? The discounted price of the property ($300,000) plus the hard money loan costs equals $323,484. 

What about the bank loan? The home price of $330,000 plus bank loan costs totals $345,525.

This is a savings of $22,041. Just for closing fast with hard money rather than using the cheaper but slower bank loan.

Using hard money for speed works even when the discount is smaller.

Let’s say our client had bid only 10,000 less than the other investors. He still would’ve saved $1,191 up front on the deal.

Hard Money Savings without a Purchase Price Discount

The option of buying real estate with bank loans is often cheaper. However, in many investment situations, using a bank loan is not a viable option.

If you have to wait 4 weeks to clear your bank loan, but only 4 days for a hard money loan… that becomes the difference between closing on the property or not.

Ultimately, even if using hard money doesn’t get you the lowest price, you still save money in the long run. If the speed of a hard money loan gets you a property, you will still come out on top.

Buying then selling a profitable fix-and-flip will always make more money than never buying and never selling.

2. Use Hard Money if You Have Low Credit

Institutional lenders, private equity, and banks have credit score minimums. If you don’t have a high enough score, you don’t get a loan.

Hard money lenders, on the other hand, are typically not credit-score-driven. Yes, they’ll probably look at your credit, but they won’t base your loan on it.

Real estate investors can have low credit scores for many reasons:

  • Usage – You put your flip rehab costs on credit cards
  • Thin Credit – You have few lines of credit, or young lines of credit
  • One-time Event – You had good credit, then life happened and your score temporarily dipped.

Hard money lenders understand that these issues are not always a reflection of your ability to pay back loans. 

That’s why hard money lenders don’t worry about your credit score, just your credit.

Do you have a history of late payments? Are you defaulting? That will negatively affect you with a hard money lender. 

If you are responsible with credit, but have a score banks won’t accept, a hard money lender will be a good option.

3. Using Hard Money Because It’s Flexible

Sometimes you need an outside-of-the-box lender.

  • Unique Properties – If you have a house or area that’s unique (maybe a dome house, an old manufacturer, etc.), hard money lenders will give you more options.
  • Rural Areas – Most local banks and large hard money lenders don’t lend outside of MSAs. Traditional lenders might not cover thirty miles outside of an urban area, but many small hard money lenders will.
  • Cross Liens – Hard money lenders have more flexibility putting a cross lien on another property. This is useful if you don’t have a lot of money to put down, but do have another property with a lot of equity.
  • Gap funding – Sometimes a mortgage doesn’t quite cover all the costs of your project. Hard money can fill in those gaps.
  • Lot splits – Splitting off a lot can be a headache with a traditional lender. A hard money lender is more flexible with the time it takes to get a survey and everything else prepared. This allows you to split off a lot, sell the house, and keep the lot.

4. Using Hard Money for BRRRRs

Hard money is crucial for successful BRRRRs.

With BRRRR (rental flips), you:

  • Buy undermarket valued properties
  • With a hard money loan
  • Then rate-and-term refinance into a longer-term loan.

If you want to get into BRRRR transactions (rental properties), you have to find a hard money lender or private lender who will loan you 75-80% of the after-repair value of the property you want to buy.

If you get a hard money loan to fund the purchase price and rehab up to 75-80% ARV, you can maximize your refinance. This saves you money, time, and interest.

5. Other Times to Use Hard Money

There are many other reasons real estate investors use hard money. Here are a few:

  • Banks limit you to 2-3 loans. If you’ve maxed out those lenders, hard money can help.
  • Hard money can work as a bridge loan. It covers the down payment of your next property until your other bank-funded property sells.
  • You can keep a project off your credit. Hard money typically doesn’t show up on your credit report.
  • Investment beginners might need help with their first couple projects started before banks will lend to them.
  • Complete a started project. If you end up with a property mid-flip, many banks won’t lend for it. But a hard money lender can easily provide a gap loan to finish the rehab.
  • Hard money has the flexibility to let you come in with other funding sources. (If you want to put repair costs on a credit card, want to use an OPM lender, etc.).

How to Use Hard Money for Real Estate

Want to learn more about real estate funding? Wondering if a hard money loan might be right for your investment? 

Email us your questions anytime at Mike@HardMoneyMike.com

Or join our weekly Leverage Up call here, every Thursday from 1:15 PM to 2:15 PM (MST).

Text: "ARV & Comps: How to profit on your real estate investments"

What Does ARV Mean in Real Estate Investing?

To profit in real estate investing, you’ll need to know: What does ARV mean?

Real Estate Investing: What Does ARV Mean?

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.

What Are Comps?

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. Similarly, compare a 2-bedroom, 1-bath house to houses of the same specifications – not to 4-bedroom, 2-bath homes.

How To Get an Accurate ARV

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.

What Does ARV Mean for Profit in Real Estate Investing?

Estimated profit is what you expect to make on the transaction between:

  • buying the property
  • fixing it up
  • selling it again.

Additionally, equity is the difference between the amount you owe and what the property is worth. You build equity on your rentals by:

  • buying properties with a low purchase price and a high ARV
  • successfully refinancing after a flip
  • paying down the mortgage with rent income.

If you want to find the true profitability of a deal, then use your ARV and comparables:

ARV – (Purchase Price + Budget) = Profit Amount

Read the full article here.

Watch the video here:

Text: "Leverage Up!"

The Power of Leverage: Are You Losing Money?

These simple examples show you the power of leverage in real estate investing.

Real estate investors know they need loans to buy properties. But few real estate beginners understand exactly how big of a difference leverage makes.

Leverage turns property-buying into a real estate investment career. It builds real money, and a portfolio of net worth that can create generational wealth.

In this article, we’ll use simple examples to break down the power of leverage in real estate – and how maximizing leverage skyrockets your real estate career.

What Is Leverage?

In short, leverage means buying with money that isn’t yours in order to make a profit.

Leverage takes the form of loans from lenders: banks, credit unions, hard money lenders, people you know.

The greatest tool for a real estate investor is leverage.

How to Find the Power of Leverage

Let’s look at some simple numbers to show the power of leverage.

We’ll look for two things:

1) How much income can you get from a rental?

2) How much equity will a property generate over time?

Note: We’re going to use $100,000 as our base number. That might be a lot more money than you have to start with. It’s also likely a lot less money than you’ll spend for your properties.

Regardless, it’s a simple number to show the power of leverage. These same principles will apply despite your starting number or your property costs.

Now, let’s dive in.

Income without Leverage vs with Leverage

Rent is the income you get from tenants. Net rent is that income after you’ve made any loan payments for the month on that property.

Net rent is the number that’s true cash flow for you. We’ll use this number to analyze real estate income with and without the power of leverage.

Income No Leverage

Say you have $100,000 to invest in real estate.

You could take this money and buy one rental property valued at $100,000. You can invest the full $100,000 and receive $1,200 of net rent income per month, or $14,400 per year.

Income With Leverage

Now let’s see how it plays out when you involve a lender rather than buying outright.

You could talk to a lender who might offer to loan you $75,000 if you put in the other $25,000. Now, instead of pouring all of your money into one rental property, you’ll only have to use $25,000. The $75,000 covered by the lender is considered leverage.

Using lenders like this, you could buy four properties, each with a $25,000 down payment. Because you’re paying a mortgage, however, your net rent per month goes down. Your net rent is now $750 per property. This brings in $3,000 per month, or $36,000 per year.

With leverage, you have the potential to make $1,800 per month more, or an additional $21,600 per year – just from using leverage.

Net Worth without Leverage vs with Leverage

Rent income isn’t the only financial outcome of buying and renting real estate. There’s also appreciation. 

According to the stats over the last 20 years, real estate goes up an average of 5.3% per year. Using this 5.3% number, one home increases value by an average of $5,000 per year. 

This isn’t a straight line (ie, exactly $5,000 per year). Some years may appreciate more, some less. But over the long-term, that’s the average yearly appreciation, so we’ll use this number.

Net Worth No Leverage

Let’s see how appreciation would impact our real estate portfolio had we bought the one home outright, with no leverage.

Our single rental would have $5,000 in equity after one year, $25,000 after five years, and $150,000 after 30 years.

Net Worth with Leverage

Now let’s see the equity of the four properties purchased with leverage. 

Each of the four homes increases in value by $5,000 every year. Multiply that by four, and your portfolio appreciates $20,000 per year.

Over a 30-year span, your four properties would add $650,000 to your net worth (compared to $150,000 with the single property).

Total Power of Leverage

Let’s put all these numbers together now.

Using leverage brought in an extra $21,600 of income per year,  plus a total net worth increase of $600,000 over 30 years.

This is the power of leverage: bringing in extra income and raising your net worth through equity.

By using other people’s money, you can take advantage of the true wealth in real estate.

Maximizing Leverage

Now, we’ll take this example one step further. Simply using leverage unlocks a lot of money. What happens when you maximize leverage?

We looked at an example of a lender giving you 75% ($75,000 on a $100,000 property). “Maximizing” that leverage would look like getting a bigger loan. Instead of 75%, another lender might give you 80-85%.

80% Leverage

Let’s go back to the original example, but say a bank gives you 5% more. Now, you get $80,000 per $100,000 transaction.

Income with Maximized Leverage

Your down payment per property is now only $20,000, so you can buy 5 properties. But since you borrowed more money, the mortgage payment is higher, and the net rent goes down.

At this point, it may seem like you’re set up to make less money since you’re paying more on your loan. But let’s see how it plays out.

Five properties with an income of $700 per month is $3,500 per month. This works out to be $42,000 per year. Annually, that’s $6,000 more than using a 75% loan, and $27,600 more than using no leverage at all.

Equity with Maximized Leverage

For five properties, after 30 years, equity appreciates by $750,000. All that money is added to your net worth.

Maximizing your leverage in this scenario would give you $42,000 in yearly income, plus $750,000 added to the value of your properties over time.

That’s the road to generational wealth.

How to Maximize Leverage

To maximize your leverage, focus on becoming the sort of investor that attracts lenders.

Have a great credit score. Make sure your income is in line. Know the numbers lenders will ask about. Be professional about your investment career.

Having all the right pieces in place will help your leverage take you further. The more leverage you use, the better returns you’ll see – both in the short-term income and long-term equity.

Harnessing the Power of Leverage

Now you can see how leverage impacts your real estate career. 

What are your next steps?

If you need an entry point into real estate investment, email Mike@HardMoneyMike.com. Ask about our 30-day fuel up challenge to learn how to maximize your leverage.

You can also join our weekly Leverage Up chat, on Thursdays from 1:15pm – 2:15pm MST at this link.

Text: "Get Money Wise!"

7 Real Estate Loan Fundamentals – Hard Money 101

For a successful investment career, start with these 7 real estate loan fundamentals.

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

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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

7. 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.

Curious About Other Real Estate Loan Fundamentals?

If you have any questions, or want coaching through a deal, we’re happy to help. Reach out at HardMoneyMike.com.

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.

Text: "Retire Early with Real Estate"

How to Retire Early with Real Estate

Our time-tested, actionable plan to retire early with real estate investing.

Here’s the plan we give to people who want to start investing in real estate at 40:

Buy ten properties in three years.

This simple plan can let you earn over $150,000 per year during retirement. Here’s exactly how.

The Timeline

Year One: Buy two properties. You’re learning the ropes this year, so you take it slow. Take this year to learn how to do everything right, build relationships in the industry, and prep for the coming years.

Year Two: Get three more properties. After the initial experience of your first year, it’s a reasonable stretch to do one more property. By the end of year two, you’re halfway to your goal of ten properties.

Year Three: Do the remaining five properties. By this time, you’re in the swing of things, you know the right people, and buying five properties in one year is very manageable.

What Type of Properties to Buy

These ten properties should be BRRRRs or subject tos. Both of these real estate investment methods are ways to:

1) Gain properties with little to no money down

2) Create rental properties that will generate cash flow.

So when we say “buy 10 properties,” it’s not with money out of your pocket. It’ll be with debt leverage and investment strategies that will help you reach your goals quickly (without dipping into retirement savings or hurting cash flow).

Understanding the Numbers to Retire Early with Real Estate

In this example, we’ll look at properties with a value of $200,000. That number is spot on for some regions, and very low for others. Remember, you can use these same equations and concepts no matter what actual price range you’re dealing with.

Loans and Net Worth

Let’s say we’re using BRRRR and looking at $200,000 properties. You can get a loan for $150,000 per property (which means you only owe $150,000 on each house).

Each property adds $50,000 in net worth to your portfolio. So ten properties in three years automatically builds you $500,000 in net worth.

Also, these rental properties will add up to $800/month in cash flow (more on cash flow in the next section).

Chart of property costs, amount owed, and net worth. Total net worth is $500k.

Calculating Cash Flow

Let’s look at an example property that has a loan for $150,000 and an interest rate of 6%.

In this case, your monthly principal and interest payment will be $899.33.

Once you add taxes, insurance, and other costs, you’ll be at $1,184.33 in expenses.

If you’re in an area where you’re finding a $200,000, 3-bedroom 2-bath property, you should be able to reasonably rent for $1,600.

With that rent, we’d have a net total of $415.67/month coming into the property.

Chart showing loan amount and rate, monthly principal and interest, total expenses, and rent. Net cash flow is around $400 per month.

How Should You Use Cash Flow?

If you’re nearing retirement age and don’t need to pocket the cash flow on your new properties, there are some options to make that money work for you.

By using the income from your rentals, you can get the properties completely paid off. So once you finally retire, you’ll have several options:

  • Sell off the houses
  • Take out equity loans to buy more real estate or supplement retirement income
  • Get higher cash flow on each property with no loan payments

How to Increasing Cash Flow to Retire Early with Real Estate

If you use the cash flow on properties pre-retirement to pay down the mortgages, you can retire early (and with more money!).

Let’s round our $415.67/month net income down to $400. So instead of taking that $400 and putting it in your pocket, let’s see what it looks like to pay down an extra $400 on your mortgage every month.

Instead of paying around $1,200 toward your loan plus insurance and taxes, you’ll be doing around $1,600/month total.

This will cut your mortgage down to 14 years. So even if you’re 50, you can own these properties free and clear by the time you’re 65.

And once all the houses are paid off, you’ll automatically have:

  • $2 million in equity.
  • $1,300/month income per property. (You no longer have to pay principal or interest, just taxes and insurance.)

$1,300/month per property equals $13,000/month total across 10 properties. That’s an annual income of $156,000/year. While being retired!

Chart showing the math to find annual cash flow. Annual cash flow is $156k.
Read the full article here.

Watch the video here:

Text: "Start investing in real estate at 40"

How to Start Investing in Real Estate at 40

Set yourself up for retirement – start investing in real estate at age 40+!

We have a lot of people in their 40s and 50s come to us wanting to get into real estate investing. They always say the same thing:

“I wish I would have started 20 years ago.”

But it’s never too late to start real estate investing. The best time is now.

It’s possible for people 40+ years of age to start real estate investing now and retire at 65.

Here’s our plan for how to kickstart your real estate portfolio quickly. In 10-15 years, you’ll have wealth built and cash flowing for retirement.

How to Create Wealth Investing in Real Estate Past 40 – The Plan

Here’s the plan we give to people wanting to start investing in real estate at 40: 

Buy ten properties in three years.

For a beginner, that sounds like a lot. But we break it up, you take your time, and ten properties in three years becomes doable.

The Breakdown

Year One: You buy two properties. You’re learning the ropes this year, so you take it slow. Take this year to learn how to do everything right, build relationships in the industry, and prep for the coming years.

Year Two: You get three more properties. After the initial experience of your first year, it’s a reasonable stretch to do one more property. By the end of year two, you’re halfway to your goal of ten properties.

Year Three: You do the remaining five properties. By this time, you’re in the swing of things, you know the right people, and buying five properties in one year is very manageable.

Now Is the Best Time

This is a great time to be in real estate investing. Rent is high, supply is low. Plus, we’re about to hit a recession. 

Property prices will come down soon. Low prices are the best time to buy, and the best opportunity to create the most wealth.

Maybe after hearing all this, you’re concerned about how you’d pay off ten properties in 10-15 years. How are you really building wealth when you’re spending hundreds of thousands on real estate?

You don’t have to wait 30 years to pay off the mortgages of these homes. Next, we’ll talk about the numbers behind this plan and how these ten properties will change your retirement.

Example of Building Wealth in Real Estate Over 40

So the plan is to buy ten properties, fast. You’ll learn the logistics of that process quickly enough with the three-year breakdown… But how on earth are you expected to pay for ten pieces of real estate in such a short amount of time?

Here’s an example of how the money breaks down for these retirement properties.

What Type of Properties to Buy Over 40 (And How to Pay for Them)

These ten properties should be BRRRRs or subject tos. Both of these real estate investment methods are ways to: 

1) Gain properties with little to no money down

2) Create rental properties that will generate cash flow.

So when we say “buy 10 properties,” it’s not with money out of your pocket. It’ll be with debt leverage and investment strategies that will help you reach your goals quickly (without dipping into retirement savings or hurting cash flow).

Understanding Your Numbers – Example of Real Estate Retirement

In this example, we’ll look at properties with a value of $200,000. That number is spot on for some regions, and very low for others. Remember, you can use these same equations and concepts no matter what actual price range you’re dealing with.

Let’s say we’re using BRRRR and looking at $200,000 properties. You can get a loan for $150,000 per property (which means you only owe $150,000 on each house).

Each property adds $50,000 in net worth to your portfolio. So ten properties in three years automatically builds you $500,000 in net worth.

Also, these rental properties will add up to $800/month in cash flow (more on cash flow in the next section).

Chart of property costs, amount owed, and net worth. Total net worth is $500k.

How to Use Cash Flow

If you don’t need the cash flow immediately, you can use it to pay down the loans. This way, you own the houses free and clear. When you do retire, you have all that equity in your portfolio, plus a higher monthly cash flow.

Next, we’ll dig into the details of cash flow and how it can help you retire early.

Retire Early with Real Estate – How to Make Cash Flow Work for You

We’re all about the money and leverage side of real estate. We want you to understand the numbers behind the mortgages so you can reach your goals and get out of the loans faster. 

To retire early at 40+, it’s important to look at some key numbers.

Evaluating Cash Flow When You Start Investing in Real Estate at 40

Let’s look at an example property that has a loan for $150,000 and an interest rate of 6%. 

In this case, your monthly principal and interest payment will be $899.33.

Once you add taxes, insurance, and other costs, you’ll be at $1,184.33 in expenses.

If you’re in an area where you’re finding a $200,000, 3-bedroom 2-bath property, you should be able to reasonably rent for $1,600.

With that rent, we’d have a net total of $415.67/month coming into the property.

Chart showing loan amount and rate, monthly principal and interest, total expenses, and rent. Net cash flow is around $400 per month.

How Should You Use the Cash Flow?

If you’re nearing retirement age and don’t need to pocket the cash flow on your new properties, there are some options to make that money work for you.

By using the income from your rentals, you can get the properties completely paid off. So once you finally retire, you’ll have several options:

  • Sell off the houses
  • Take out equity loans to buy more real estate or supplement retirement income
  • Get higher cash flow on each property with no loan payments

Increasing Cash Flow to Retire Early with Real Estate

If you use the cash flow on properties pre-retirement to pay down the mortgages, you can retire early (and with more money!).

Let’s round our $415.67/month net income down to $400. So instead of taking that $400 and putting it in your pocket, let’s see what it looks like to pay down an extra $400 on your mortgage every month. 

Instead of paying around $1,200 toward your loan plus insurance and taxes, you’ll be doing around $1,600/month total. 

This will cut your mortgage down to 14 years. So even if you’re 50, you can own these properties free and clear by the time you’re 65. 

And once all the houses are paid off, you’ll automatically have:

  • $2 million in equity.
  • $1,300/month income per property. (You no longer have to pay principal or interest, just taxes and insurance.)

$1,300/month per property equals $13,000/month total across 10 properties. That’s an annual income of $156,000/year. While being retired!

Chart showing the math to find annual cash flow. Annual cash flow is $156k.

Long-Term Wealth in Real Estate Over 40

Once the houses are paid off, the only work left to do is upkeep on the properties. A small price to pay to make over 150k every year you’re retired! 

These calculations, of course, are in “today’s” money. Inflation will continue at a steady rate, so rents will go up and home values will go up. But all costs will rise over time, so these amounts will “feel” about the same.

It’s never too late to start investing in real estate.

Real Estate Investing for 40+ Beginners with No Money

Ten properties in three years. Paying down the loans so you own them free and clear by retirement. It really is great, but…

How can you start with no money?

BRRRR

BRRRR stands for Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat. 

You buy the same type of properties as fix-and-flippers, but instead of selling them, you rent. They’re properties from wholesalers that are listed undermarket.

These properties require quite a bit of work to fix up, but they have the opportunity for the highest cash flow.

Subject To

A subject to is when you take ownership of someone’s property without taking out a loan. You make all payments, but the previous owner keeps their mortgage on it.

Subject tos are a great way to get into a property for little money – this is especially important since money is tightening in the real estate lending world. This investment technique has been less popular in recent years, but with the market turning, they’ll be coming back strong in the next year or two.

The Value of No Money Down Investing for Soon-To-Be Retirees

You don’t want to tap into your retirement or savings with your real estate investments – you want to add to them.

Look into BRRRR, Subject Tos, and other no money down investment techniques. This is the path to adding $2 million to your net worth without spending any money.

Real Estate Investing for Beginners in a Recession

A recession can cause unease for people nearing retirement – and people who are considering any major investments.

So why is this the best time to get into real estate investing? Even for older people?

Looking Back at the Great Recession

If you had bought the homes real estate investors did in 2010, you’d be retired by now.

Our current market is beginning to look a bit like 2008-2009 – a recession coming on, inflation hitting, the money supply tightening. Which means there will be more homes available at a discount.

Consumer debt is increasing. Especially after the housing blitz we’re just getting out of, it will be harder for homeowners to keep up on payments. When people need to move, it will be harder for them to sell. People get stuck with houses they can’t afford. 

For real estate investors, that means there’s more inventory, at lower prices.

Using The Recession to Increase Net Worth

Buy soon, when prices are down and inventory is high. In the future, rates will come down and prices will go back up. So that plan that offers $2 million of net worth could potentially double or triple.

In 2010, we helped people use the same retirement real estate investment plan outlined in this article.

One client bought ten properties that year. Since then, his real estate has quadrupled in value, and ten years later, he owns eight of the properties free and clear.

This is the time. You don’t want to buy when prices are high and sellers have control. Jump in and buy now to get the deals that will truly create wealth and help you achieve the retirement you want.

Start Real Estate Investing at 40 – Where to Go From Here?

Whether you’re ready to kickstart your investment career now or not, the best place to start is to get educated.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 30, 40, or 50 years old. Reach out to us with specific questions, or any help starting your plan for retirement at info@hardmoneymike.com or HardMoneyMike.com.

Visit these links for a BRRRR investment guide and more information on no money down investing.

Text: "Real Estate Investing In a Declining Market"

Real Estate Investing In a Declining Market

Should you bother with real estate investing in a declining market? YES.

You keep hearing that the fed is raising rates, inflation is hitting, and money is tightening. But what does this really mean for real estate investors?

Availability In a Declining Market

As inflation goes up, there’s less money for everyone. Including real estate investors.

This might feel like whiplash from the last ten years. Until recently, there was plenty of money for everyone in the real estate world. Rates were lower, loan-to-values on loans were higher, and money flowed fairly freely.

But now funds are tightening up. This will mean two main things for investors:

  1. Lenders will require more money down
  2. They will have higher credit score range expectations for borrowers.

Now is the perfect time to prioritize your credit score. Improving your credit score by thirty percent will put you in a fantastic position moving into this next market.

Real Estate Purchase Opportunities in a Declining Market

Rates are going up, money’s tightening… but inventory is growing. Soon, the cost of homes will drop.

You want to buy right at that moment, as money is shifting down but properties are shifting up. Sooner or later, the market will shift back.

When money gets easy again and prices go up, you increase your cash flow and net worth because you bought in the declining market.

Inflationary times are not a negative for investors. As long as you’re prepared, now is the best time to invest in real estate. If you can get money, you’ll be one of the few people out there looking for deals. Five to ten years from now, you’ll be reaping the benefits in big ways.

Read the full article here.

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Text: "Now Is the Time to Invest in Real Estate"

Now is the Best Time to Invest in Real Estate

Don’t let a declining market get you down. Now is the best time for real estate investing!

Money is tightening. Inflation is up. Houses are staying on the market longer. So, why is this still the best time to invest in real estate?

This declining market will be one of the greatest opportunities to create generational wealth… as long as you’re ready for it.

Even as a beginner real estate investor, now is a great time to get prepared to make your first real estate investments.

Here’s where you can start.

Real Estate Investing In a Declining Market

You keep hearing that the fed is raising rates, inflation is hitting, and money is tightening. But what does this really mean for real estate investors?

Availability In a Declining Market

As inflation goes up, there’s less money for everyone. Including real estate investors.

This might feel like whiplash from the last ten years. Until recently, there was plenty of money for everyone in the real estate world. Rates were lower, loan-to-values on loans were higher, and money flowed fairly freely.

But now funds are tightening up. This will mean two main things for investors:

  1. Lenders will require more money down
  2. They will have higher credit score range expectations for borrowers.

Now is the perfect time to prioritize your credit score. Improving your credit score by thirty percent will put you in a fantastic position moving into this next market.

Purchase Opportunities in a Declining Market

Rates are going up, money’s tightening… but inventory is growing. Soon, the cost of homes will drop. 

You want to buy right at that moment, as money is shifting down but properties are shifting up. Sooner or later, the market will shift back. 

When money gets easy again and prices go up, you increase your cash flow and net worth because you bought in the declining market.

Inflationary times are not a negative for investors. As long as you’re prepared, now is the best time to invest in real estate. If you can get money, you’ll be one of the few people out there looking for deals. Five to ten years from now, you’ll be reaping the benefits in big ways.

Loans for Real Estate Investing with Tightening Money Policy

Tightening money policy is what we call it when central banks raise the federal funds rate.

When this occurs, what’s happening to the money? And what loans can you still get for real estate investing with tightening money policy?

Changes to Expect for Loans with Tightening Money Policy

If the pool of investors and borrowers for banks is a box, then tightening policy shrinks that box. Not as many people can get in. Lenders are more particular about who they’ll lend to and how much they’ll give.

There are a few main ways this will impact loans for real estate investing.

Credit Score & LTV

The two biggest changes are that lenders will offer a lower loan-to-value and require a higher credit score.

LTVs have lowered from 80% down to 75% on average. For example, let’s say you found a BRRRR property for $100,000. In the recent past, you could get an $80,000 loan fairly easily. Now, you’re more likely to get only $75,000.

At the same time, credit score requirements are going up. Many lenders are increasing their accepted credit score range by 20 to 40 points. If a 700 score could get you a good loan last year, you might need 720 or 740 for that same loan today.

What does this mean for you? With tightening money policy, here’s what you need to be prepared:

  • Higher down payments
  • A better credit score
  • Lower debt to income ratio
  • If possible, more investment experience.

Real Estate Investment Loans Moving Forward

In the short term, as LTVs go down, you’ll need to put more money into deals. As rates get higher, cash flow goes down.

But in the long term, buying now with housing prices low means higher profit once prices rise again.

Investors who can qualify for real estate loans now will have a huge advantage when the market shifts again.

Talk to other investors. Find out which lenders are still active in your area. Though banks have less money to go around, investors who can get themselves in a good position with credit, income, or a funding partner will be able to take advantage of the market.

Remember: now is the best time to create generational wealth through real estate investing.

How To Get a Loan For Real Estate Investing in 2022

You’ll want to take advantage of this best time to invest in real estate. But with money tightening in the second half of 2022, how do you get a loan for real estate investing?

Where’d the Money Go?

Over the past several years, a lot of money was flooding the market from hedge funds. Now, a third of those hedge funds have backed off. Banks interest rates are being tightened by the fed to have more reserves. Hedge funds and banks want to figure out where the market is going before putting more funds back in.

So, who is still lending during this time? Some banks, especially investor-friendly local banks, will still have some loans available. Other options, like private money also have more restrictions than usual but can still be a good option during this time.

New Real Estate Investing Lender Relationships in 2022

Things are changing in the real estate investing world. As an investor, you need to be more proactive. 

It was easy before – lenders would market to you to get their loans. But over the last few months, rates are skyrocketing, LTVs are plummeting, down payments have increased from 0-10% to 15-20%… and loans are fewer and further between.

It’s as if investors have had control over lenders – able to tell them what they want to do and when they need the money. Not so much now. Lenders have less money to put out, so they need to be pickier. For success, make yourself an investor they pick.

The Best Time to Build Your Team of Real Estate Investment Lenders

The best way to get a loan for real estate investing in 2022 is to build up an array of lending options. Spend time creating a larger pool of available funds. Now (before fund availability totally plummets) is the best time to create partnerships and positive relationships with the real estate lenders in your area.

Our prediction is by the first quarter of 2023, the really good deals will start to become available. Get prepared now with good relationships with small banks, local private money lenders, and OPM lenders.

Real Estate Investing Tips in This Market

Although this is the best time to invest in real estate, the typical investment strategies – fix-and-flips and BRRRR rentals – might be harder than usual in the upcoming market.

Our real estate investing tips for this market are to look into subject tos and owner carries.

Investing Tip: Subject Tos

Subject tos are coming back into fashion for real estate investors.

Some people recently got fix-and-flips, expecting prices to stay up and buyers to keep bidding. But soon, this easy market will come to an end, and sellers will have a harder time getting houses sold. Owners in this situation may be open to setting up a subject to.

A subject to is when you take over someone’s mortgage on a property. The owner can’t make payments, they can’t sell with a dropped market, and they don’t want to go into foreclosure. So you can take over the property and the mortgage – without the loan going into your name.

So instead of struggling to get a loan in this market, you can pay the loan that’s already on the property. You get better rates, and you can get a property with little to no money down.

Investing Tip: Owner Carries

Owner carries are a bit less common than subject tos because an owner carry requires no existing mortgage on the house.

In an owner carry, the seller needs to own the property free and clear (the most common example is when a home is willed after a family member dies). 

A client we worked with had a seller in this position. The seller was going to put the money from the sale in a bank account to gain interest on it. The buyer requested an owner carry instead, where she essentially made mortgage payments to the seller. 

The seller got a 5-6% return instead of the 1-2% they’d have gotten at the bank. And the buyer got the house without the struggle and high rates taking out a bank mortgage.

Now is the best time to invest in subject tos and owner carries. Everyone is looking for a better rate, and some people will be needing an exit strategy with their properties in this upcoming down market.

Invest in Real Estate with No Money Down in 2022

In the down market from twelve years ago, we helped several families buy ten properties at great values with no money down. Now, one of those people owns eight of those properties free and clear. Both the values and the cash flow on those properties have quadrupled. 

2022 will be another chance to swipe up some properties at a lower cost for zero down, if done right.

Set Up Money to Buy – Cash, HELOC, or OPM

When property values go down, interest rates go up. When it flips back, property values will go up, interest rates will come down, and you can refinance. 

Refinancing when the market picks back up increases your cash flow. It also increases the value of your asset and will enable you to take out more money later.

But before this market dip, you have to be prepared.

Put aside any cash you have. Get a HELOC now, if you have an existing mortgage. Set up partnerships with people you know who have money. 

People near retirement are hit with inflation just as much as you. They’ll get a higher return by lending securely to you. Having the power of other people’s money will give you the freedom to purchase properties during this time of opportunity.

Now is the best time to prep to invest in real estate… before property values go down.

Now Is the Best Time To Invest in Real Estate

This down market will likely be around for a couple years. It can be the best time for real estate investing – even for beginners. 

Start your prep now, keep an eye out for active lenders, and be ready when the market brings great opportunities.

If you can adapt with the markets and adapt to the new flow of money during these tight times, you’ll be able to have a successful, wealth-generating real estate investment career.

If you’re just starting out, or if the money side of investing is not your thing, let us help you!

Reach out at HardMoneyMike.com.

Happy Investing.

Text: "Hard Money Numbers Know the Basics"

Hard Money Loans – Know the Basics

As a beginner investor, you need to know the basics about hard money loans.

The two most basic hard money answers you need are:

  1. What’s the difference between loan-to-value and ARV?
  2. How do you calculate them?

Know the Basics: Loan-to-Value

Firstly, what’s Loan-to-Value? Loan-to-value, or LTV, involves the:

  • appraised value of a property
  • as it sits right now
  • with nothing changed about it.

As a real estate investor, if a property costs $100,000 as it sits, you know you’re going to put work into it and make it worth more. But that as-is value, the $100,000, is what lenders base their loan amount on.

Know the Basics: After Repair Value

Secondly is After Repair Value. After repair value (ARV) is used more by hard money lenders and the real estate investment world. Banks and traditional lenders more often use LTV.

Because in real estate investing, we’re basing our numbers on what you can do to the property. What can the value be once you fix it up? That’s the number that determines profit, so that number is more important for hard money lenders.

ARV is the target value of what the house will be worth after all your renovations. This ARV should always be higher than the current price of the house when you buy it.

Calculating ARV and LTV for Hard Money Loans

Let’s say you found an undermarket property that’s selling for $100,000. If a lender says, “We’ll loan you 75%,” that could mean two things, and you’ll want to know the difference.

First, if they’re a bank, they’re likely talking about 75% of the value. In this example, that would be:

$100,000  ×  75%  =  $75,000 loan

Hard money lenders will care more about the value of the home after repairs, so they go off ARV. If they loan you 75%, that would be:

$150,000  ×  75%  =  $112,500 loan

If a loan is based on ARV, lenders might want to know – what are you doing to the property? Different renovations will affect the value of the property in different ways. What you will do and the quality of your work will affect the ARV.

When you know the basics about LTV and ARV, your hard money loans will be much smoother.

Read the full article here.

Watch the video here: