## 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.

Watch the video here:

## How to Invest in Real Estate During Inflation: Your Credit Score Matters

Let’s unpack what it means to invest in real estate during inflation.

Inflation is rising. Interest rates are rising. Lenders are looking at risk and reward, and they’re becoming much less lenient than they’ve been in the recent past.

Think of this time like 2010: investors who aren’t ready will have a hard time continuing their business. Investors who are ready can jump in and take advantage of chances to build generational wealth.

What will be the key to preparedness for this downturn in the market? Credit scores.

Let’s look at lender credit score requirements, lending options, and how to invest in real estate during inflation.

## What Is the Credit Score Range?

Credit scores range from the 400s to the 800s. Lenders, though, look for 620 to 800 credit scores.

### Credit Score Ranges and LTV Expectations

In recent times, 640 used to be an average minimum score for lenders. But in the last several months, that’s risen to an average of 680.

Lenders are prioritizing quality over quantity in who they lend to, dropping off 15-20% of available borrowers.

In addition to changing credit score requirements, many lenders are also changing how much they’ll lend.

We know some lenders who have raised their requirements from 640 to 680, and they’ll only loan out 65% LTV. To get 80% LTV, they used to require 690-700; now, that credit score range is 720-740.

### How Interest Rates Impact Lender Credit Score Ranges

With rising interest rates, it will be harder to get cash flow on properties. If your rate goes from 3% to 6%, that’s doubled the amount of interest you pay every month.

Lenders will be concerned with cash flow. They want to make sure they lend to solid people who have a good history of making their payments.

As rates and inflation go up, you need to be prepared to take advantage of what will happen in the market as you invest in real estate.

You’ll need to know what credit score range lenders are looking for, and you’ll need to know your score.

## How Do I Check My Credit Score?

A good credit score is necessary for successful real estate investing. So it’s important to answer the basic question: How do I check my credit score?

### Does Checking My Credit Affect My Score?

How can you check your credit without it impacting your score? If your credit is checked in the wrong way, it can impact you by 3-5 points. Not a big deal, right?

But if your lender requires a 680 credit score, and you go down to a 679… you just got squeezed out of the loan.

There are two kinds of credit checks: hard inquiries and soft inquiries. A hard inquiry will knock your score down temporarily. Luckily, most methods of checking your credit online are soft inquiries and shouldn’t impact your score.

### Where Can I Check My Score?

You can start somewhere like CreditKarma.com and sign up for a free account. Even though it’s not FICO-score-driven, it can give you an idea of where you’re at. It’s a good way to check your credit score without affecting your credit.

You can also visit AnnualCreditReport.com for a yearly free copy of your credit report. Also, some banks and credit card companies will offer a free credit checking service with your account.

Use these free, online checks that don’t bother your credit to keep a pulse on your score. Check these three months before you need a loan. That gives you time to take (or avoid) certain actions to raise or maintain your score for when you apply for the loan.

We’ve been spoiled in the last decade with low rates, easy money, and wide options. That’s all slowly coming to an end. Lenders will be pickier, with higher rates and fewer options.

But that means there will be fewer investors out there buying, so the opportunities are even better for you. As long as you’re credit-ready.

## Loans for Real Estate Investing Amidst Inflation

Who are the lenders for real estate investing? Here are the basics of each lender and how rising inflation and interest rates will affect your relationship with them as you invest.

In real estate investing, there are three key lenders.

### 1) Banks and Credit Unions

National banks don’t usually have many options for real estate investors. But local banks and credit unions love real estate investors.

Even so, banks are the most conservative lenders. They’ll be especially tight with their money until they figure out the new normal with updated federal interest rates.

As a real estate investor, bank loans will be increasingly difficult to get. It’ll be more common for banks to lend 60-70% of the LTV with high credit score requirements.

In the last few months, we’ve been receiving four times as many calls as usual from investors who typically go through banks for all their money. Already, investors are getting turned away by banks.

### 2) Hard Money Lenders

There are two types of hard money lenders: national and local. Each type of lender will approach the change in the economy in a different way.

Much like banks, national hard money lenders will tighten up on their requirements and options. National lenders were known for offering up to 90-100% LTV. Now, they’ll only lend 80% and their credit score range requirements have gone up. The higher your credit score, the higher your leverage with national hard money lenders.

Local lenders won’t change nearly as much based on the economy. Smaller lenders make their income by loaning money, so they’ll never tighten too much. Local hard money lenders don’t typically have any credit score requirements.

Get to know the hard money lenders in your area. They’re a valuable asset to have in your portfolio of lenders, especially now, and especially if your credit score is outside of the range of traditional lenders.

### 3) Real OPM

OPM is Other People’s Money – from family, friends, neighbors, or other people in a position to lend. You might think that normal people wouldn’t want to loan you their money at a time like this. But you would be wrong.

People with money in the bank are making around a 1% return. So getting a 5%, secured return from you is way more appealing. OPM lenders won’t care about credit – as long as you secure their money and ensure them a return.

All three of these lending sources will be important. You’ll need a mix of all of them. Putting them together in the right way will accelerate your real estate career.

## Credit Score Requirements for Fix-and-Flip Loans

During inflation, how does your credit score impact the flow of money to invest in fix-and-flip real estate?

We monitor a few national wholesale companies that have raised credit score requirements 40 points and dropped their LTVs by 10%. And it will only get tighter.

These lenders will charge higher rates too. One of these companies used to have 7% interest rates. Now, they’ve already risen to over 10%.

What does this mean for you?

You’ll need to raise your credit score to have a chance at these loans. And between lower LTVs and higher interest rates, you’ll have to expect to put more money down.

Use these tricks to raise your score while applying for new loans.

## BRRRR Loans and Credit Score Requirements

During inflation and rate-rising, cash flow can take a huge hit. This means you’ll need to be much more careful with BRRRR loans.

### BRRRR’s Two-loan Strategy with Rising Requirements

We’ve mentioned how traditional bank loans are changing. But even DSCR loans – loans based on rental income from property – are raising rates up to 9% and requiring credit score minimums.

You’ll have to be much more intentional with your BRRRR loans.

In BRRRR, there’s two loans, and you’ll need good credit scores for both. The first is a hard money loan (where national lenders require higher scores). The second is long-term, either a traditional bank loan or a DSCR (which are all raising requirements).

Upcoming price drops and foreclosures will be perfect opportunities for BRRRR properties. Investors who can get approved for financing will be the first to take advantage of these opportunities.

Fewer investors will be able to keep their business going. You need to know your credit score so don’t lose out on funding!

Your credit score is an important part of your business. You’ll need to be better at credit than ever before in your real estate career.

You can take advantage of this dip! Be credit-ready to invest in real estate during inflation.

Watch our videos on credit preparedness here.

Happy Investing.

## How to Flip for Profit in 2022

At the beginning of 2022, flipped homes would sell in a matter of hours, rather than weeks or months. The fix-and-flip experience will be a little different in the remainder of 2022. How can you flip for profit this year?

## What Properties Will Flip for Profit?

Your best bet for income in real estate flipping will be sticking to medium price point properties.

Some areas – for example, City center of Denver — are still doing great in higher price ranges. People are still selling \$1 – 2 million dollar properties with no issues. But in smaller communities, there are fewer people who can afford \$600,000 – \$900,000 properties.

With rising interest rates, people who were looking in those higher price ranges now need to look a little lower. Medium property prices are also always competing with rent.

Even though interest rates have gone up 5 – 6%, a \$150,000 – \$250,000 house will still be in a competitive market with rent. As long as they can afford it, people will always steer toward buying a home rather than renting.

Rent prices aren’t going anywhere but up. We may see changes in the renting sphere as congress discusses hedge funds and other big investors driving rent prices up. But for you now, rising rents could push more people to consider home ownership in the low-to-mid price range.

## Flipping Expectations for 2022

When you look at your market, know that 3-bedroom, 2-bath, and garage homes will always be reliable as a seller. People will always be searching for those types of properties for their families.

You’ll find buyers in this range, but be sure to adjust your expectations. In the last market, buyers would make offers within hours or days. The reality of this upcoming market is it might take one or two months to find a buyer. Be patient, take your time, look at your area, and keep an eye out for upcoming foreclosures and other opportunities.

Watch the video here:

## Understanding Real Estate Loans: What Is a DSCR Loan?

What is a DSCR loan, and when should you use one?

DSCR loans have been around for a few years, and they’re only getting more popular.

These are unique opportunities for funding rental properties. But they aren’t for just any deal.

Are DSCR loans right for you? Could you find properties that qualify? Let’s find out.

## What is a DSCR Loan?

DSCR stands for Debt Service Coverage Ratio, which is a term used in the mortgage industry.

In the real estate industry, a DSCR loan is more commonly known as an “easy loan.”

What is it that makes a DSCR loan so “easy”?

### DSCR Loans’ Easy Reputation

DSCR loans are easy because they cut out 50 to 60% of the paperwork required for a typical loan of its kind. If you’ve ever done a loan for a rental property, you know the paperwork seems endless.

All a DSCR loan looks at is whether your property’s rent covers your monthly expenses. At the very least, your rent (income) needs to be higher than your expenses – payments, taxes, insurance, HOA, etc.

The only other consistent criteria for getting a DSCR loan is your credit score. But if you have a good to great credit score and a cash-flowing property, you can get one of these easy DSCR loans.

### What Is Unique About a DSCR Loan?

Every DSCR loan will be slightly different. You can find a DSCR loan in any shape or size.

Each lender puts their own nuance in their DSCR loans. There’s no national standard for underwriting for these loans. There are thousands of institutions offering these loans, so there are thousands of different versions of them.

For your investments, you can find DSCR 30-year loans, 3 to 7-year adjustables, interest-only loans, and more. DSCRs are useful for their range of options.

But you do have to shop around for each of your DSCR loans. Each lender will have different criteria, and your different rental properties will each meet a different set of criteria.

Take your time finding DSCR loans, and take advantage of their wide variety.

### Other Common Requirements for DSCR Loans

As mentioned, DSCR loans can vary widely from lender to lender. But there are a few more common requirements for DSCR loans to keep in mind.

First, DSCR loans typically require 20% down for a purchase. Their refinance max is usually 75%. There are unique lenders out there that will offer more, but a lower down payment will be offset by higher interest rates.

Second, interest rates for DSCR loans are typically around 1.25 to 1.5% higher than other traditional conforming conventional loans.

Third – and this is an important one – DSCR loans almost always come with pre-pay penalties.

You have to keep the loan for a set amount of time, usually 3-5 years. Or else you have to pay the lender a penalty for paying it off early. That means if you sell or refinance, they’ll charge you a penalty.

Lenders will want these loans to stay on the property for a longer amount of time. So they penalize you for ending the loan before their minimum timeframe. Watch for these penalties, and be sure they fit into your guidelines for a project.

## DSCR Loan Pros and Cons

Every loan in the world has its pros and cons. The important thing is to be able to evaluate whether it’s right for your property.

### DSCR Loan Pros

#### No Income Requirements

The biggest advantage to a DSCR Loan is that there are no income requirements.

You don’t have to work a W2 job, or be self-employed for 2 years. The application won’t ask where you work or what you do.

This is helpful if you’ve just started a new job, become recently unemployed, or have more unconventional income.

The number one requirement for a DSCR loan is the income from the property itself.

DSCRs are considered business loans since the properties are non-owner-occupied. The majority of them allow you to finance in an LLC or other business name.

They also do loans in different states. If you have properties in Colorado and Florida, you can go to one lender and they can lend both places.

#### Minimal Paperwork

If you’ve ever done a traditional loan, you know the paperwork is a giant hassle. DSCR loans have very minimal paperwork. They’ll need to look at your:

• Credit score
• Loan-to-value
• Rent

And that’s it.

The majority of lenders won’t ask for info on your other properties. They just want to know the other properties are current, and that shows up on your credit report. Even if you have other rental properties with negative cash flow, it won’t impact your ability to get a DSCR loan on a positive cash-flowing one.

As long as you have a property that’s making money, you can get this loan for very little paperwork.

### DSCR Loan Cons

#### Prepayment Penalties

DSCR loans almost always come with pre-pay penalties. You have to keep the loan for a minimum timeframe of around 3-5 years to avoid a fee for paying off early.

So, if you get a DSCR loan, then a year later you find someone who wants to buy, or some other unexpected event comes up and you have to sell the property… You’re stuck paying to get out.

And prepayment penalties can be up to 5% of the loan amount.

Let’s say you have a \$200,000 loan with a 5 year pre-pay minimum. And you end up wanting to sell it after 2 years. Then you’ll have to pay the lender 5% of \$200,000 – or \$10,000 – just to get out of the loan.

#### Higher Rates Than Other Conventional Loans

Some DSCR loans have 5, 7, or 10-year ARMs that keep rates down. Still, DSCR interest rates will be 1.25 to 1.5 points higher than other conventional loans.

This will impact your cash flow, so a property has to have a strong cash flow for you to consider a DSCR loan.

### Pros vs Cons: Are DSCR Loans Worth It?

Despite their drawbacks, DSCR loans can be a truly great option.

It’s a great portfolio loan for real estate investors. DSCR is perfect for people who want something easy, or who don’t have the income traditional loans need.

As long as your specific property fits the criteria and the cash flow is there, a DSCR is a great easy loan to build your portfolio without the hassle of underwriting.

## DSCR Formula

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:

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+

## DSCR Loan Down Payment

What is the down payment requirement for DSCR loans? What does refinancing look like with this type of loan?

### Down Payments for Different Types of Properties

Your typical DSCR loan will require 20% down, but as interest rates are rising, you may see that that tighten up to 25%. So, if you’re buying a \$100,000 property, they’ll loan you 80%, or \$80,000. But you’ll have to come up with the remaining \$20,000.

If you go from a single-family to a four-plex (some DSCR loans work for up to six-plexes!), you may be required to put in more like 25-30%. As your “doors” go up, so does your down payment.

But always check around! DSCR loans are the wild west. You’ll have lots of choices, every lender likes having slightly different requirements.

### Refinancing with a DSCR Loan

For a rate and term refinance, a DSCR loan will typically cover 75%.

So you’ll need 25% equity in the property on a DSCR loan to do rate and term.

Cash out refinancing is a little tighter. Most are at 70%, but you could find outliers between 65 and 80% (but the higher ones will raise your interest 2 or 3 points).

For true, good DSCR loans, you’ll be maxed out at 75% for rate and term, 70% for cash out.

Let’s say you’re looking at a property that’s worth \$100,000. On the cash out, you can only get \$70,000, and you’ll need \$30,000 in equity. For rate and term, the max loaned is \$75,000.

At the end of the day, it’s impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer about DSCR loan amounts. There are so many options, and your properties will each require different loans. You’ll have to talk to brokers and lenders in your area to find the best rates for you.

### Using DSCR with BRRRR

If you’re lucky, the rental property you’re getting into is a BRRRR property. You can use a DSCR loan like any other traditional conventional loan to refinance.

If you buy the property at 75% or below its ARV, you can use a DSCR loan and buy a rental property with zero money down.

## Airbnb Investing with a DSCR Loan

Can you buy an Airbnb with a DSCR loan?

Short answer: yes. However, you may come across a few obstacles.

### Using Standard Rental Rates

Typically, to refinance an Airbnb, a lender requires 2 years’ history of rents and expenses for the property.

If you can’t provide that, a DSCR loan could be an option for your short-term rental.

But to get the DSCR loan, you need to use the standard rental rates for a standard rental property in that area. Without a longer history, you can’t use your Airbnb rates as the income for the property.

This can be a major hurdle.

A property that’s successful with short-term rentals (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.), probably makes more money than a standard monthly rental in the same area. In fact, the monthly income from an Airbnb can be 3-4x the standard rents in an area.

But a DSCR will require you to use the number for standard rents. So it’s possible that even though your short-term rental is cash-flowing, it might not qualify for a DSCR loan.

### Lenders and Airbnb Investing

DSCR loans vary from lender to lender. Three-quarters of DSCR lenders will be open to loaning for Airbnb properties. The other quarter will want nothing to do with it.

Some lenders look at Airbnb as a riskier investment. Cash-flow has the potential to be higher, but there are a lot of moving parts. Also, some municipalities put restrictions on short-term rentals, making them a more unpredictable investment in lenders’ eyes.

It’s still worthwhile to research a DSCR loan for your Airbnb. You should always shop around – you’re bound to find the right lender with the right loan for your project.

## What Other Loans Are Available to You?

DSCR loans are unique, great opportunities for some rental properties. If you have more questions about DSCR, don’t hesitate to reach out at HardMoneyMike.com.

Happy Investing.

## The BRRRR Method for Beginners: Setting Up for Success

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

## BRRRR 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.

## Setting up a Team for the BRRRR Method

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.

Watch the video here:

## Hard Money Loan Basics: Numbers to Know

The ultimate beginner’s guide to basic hard money loan numbers to know (AKA, your guide to wealth in real estate investing).

There’s money in the money when it comes to real estate investing. But the numbers surrounding hard money loans can be confusing, especially for beginners.

Many investors don’t want to learn these numbers. Just by reading this guide, you’ll be way ahead of the game.

Let’s go over these basic numbers to get you one step closer to being a real estate expert:

## Hard Money Loans – Knowing the Basics

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

The two most basic hard money questions you need to know the answers to are:

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

### Know the Basics: Loan-to-Value

Loan-to-Value, 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

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

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 the work will affect the ARV.

Know the basics about LTV and ARV, and your hard money experience will be much smoother.

## Hard Money Loan Requirements

What are the requirements for a hard money loan?

What will hard money lenders lend you, and what does it take to get it? Knowing these numbers in advance will help you stay on track to getting profitable deals.

The majority of hard money lenders will lend up to 75% of the ARV.

So, let’s say a property will be worth \$100,000 after all repairs, and a lender offers you 75% of that ARV. You’ll receive a loan for \$75,000.

Is that enough? Now it’s up to you to crunch the numbers and see if you meet these hard money loan requirements. Will that \$75,000 cover everything – the purchase, the rehab, etc.? And if it doesn’t – how much do you need to bring in? Can you make that work?

### What Expenses Does a Hard Money Loan Cover?

A hard money loan covers:

1. The purchase of a property.
2. The rehab of that property.

100% financing is possible with a hard money loan, but it’s dependent on a lot of things – your credit score, investing experience, relationship with the lender, and more.

Let’s see an example of how the numbers on that \$75,000 loan could work out to cover the flip 100%:

Loan:  \$75,000

Purchase Price:  \$50,000

Rehab: \$25,000

If it’s possible to keep rehab costs at \$25,000, you could get this \$50,000 property 100% financed by a hard money loan, if the ARV is \$100,000.

But let’s say rehab ends up costing \$35,000. The total cost of the project would be \$85,000, but your loan only covers \$75,000. You’d have to come up with that extra \$10,000 somewhere else – either from an alternative lender or from your own pocket.

Know the numbers to help you plan ahead with your hard money loan. If you know up-front that rehab will cost \$35,000 on this property, you’ll know to only go through with the deal if you’re able to bring in that additional \$10,000.

### The 75% Rule Hard Money Loan Requirement

You can learn ahead of time whether your project can be 100% covered by a hard money loan. Just follow the 75% rule: make sure the costs of your project are under 75% of the property’s ARV.

## Hard Money Loans Calculations

We’ve gone over some of the basics, but there are a few more hard money loans calculations to know.

Hard money lenders – especially national lenders – have two important numbers they go by.

First, 75% of the ARV is the maximum they’ll lend you.

Second is a more specific breakdown of how that money will be used, usually referred to as 90/100 or 80/100.

### Know the Numbers: What Is the 90/100 Number in a Hard Money Loan?

This number is usually around 90/100, but lenders can tighten down to 80/100 or lower. But what does this number mean?

The first number is the percentage of the loan that goes toward the purchase. The second number is the percentage that goes toward rehab. The higher the numbers, the less of your own money you have to put down.

In the case of 90/100, that means your loan will cover 90% of the purchase and 100% of the rehab.

But whatever that calculation is, it still has to be less than 75% of the ARV. Here’s an example

### 90/100 Calculation Example

Let’s use the numbers from our last example to look at a 90/100 loan. We’ll take 90% of the purchase price.

Purchase Price: \$50,000

50,000  ×  90%  =  \$45,000

So, \$45,000 of your loan must go toward the purchase of the property. But since it costs \$50,000 total, you’d have to bring in the additional \$5,000.

Rehab: \$25,000

25,000  ×  100%  =  \$25,000

So, \$25,000 of the loan will go toward rehab. That covers all of it, so you wouldn’t need to put any of your own cash into repairs.

So what would this 90/100 loan cover total?

\$45,000  +  \$25,000  =  \$70,000

### 90/100 vs 75% Rule

But wait, that 90/100 loan example only gave you \$70,000. The 75% rule on the same property said you could get a \$75,000 loan. So which is it?

The 75% rule (hard money lenders loaning 75% of the ARV of a property) isn’t a guaranteed loan amount. It’s the maximum loan amount.

This maximum rule becomes more relevant as the deals get riskier.

Lenders don’t like risky deals because there’s a good chance you’ll lose money or only breakeven.

Here’s how our previous example could become much riskier and the 75% rule would become more important:

Let’s say we have that same property with an ARV of \$100,000. But this time, the purchase price is bigger.

Purchase Price: \$60,000

Rehab: \$25,000

Now, let’s apply the 90/100 principle:

60,000  ×  90%  =  \$54,000 loan for purchase

25,000  ×  100%  =  \$25,000 loan for rehab

Total loan amount  =  \$79,000

So if a loan covered 90% of this purchase price plus all of the repair costs, the total loan would need to be \$79,000.

But the 75% rule says your max loan for this property with a \$100,000 ARV can only be \$75,000. So, in this case, you’d get the loan for \$75,000, and be stuck bringing in that extra \$4,000 the loan didn’t cover.

### Why the 75% Rule?

The 75% rule protects you from the other costs from your project. You’ll still have to pay for selling costs, overhead, and loan fees. Yet you’ll still want at least 10% – 15% profit.

If your loan by itself is any more than 75% of your ARV, you’d be set up to make little to no money.

Lenders want to stop you before you get started if they can see there’s a good chance you won’t make a profit. They want to encourage good deals, and discourage deals people won’t be able to follow through on.

The bottom line: remember there are two numbers. The 75% rule is the maximum amount they’ll lend you overall. The 90/100 (or 80/100, etc) tells you the amount of the loan they’ll allocate to purchase and rehab.

### What If I’m Still Confused?

These hard money calculations, numbers, and requirements can be overwhelming if you’re not used to them. Luckily, you don’t have to memorize all this stuff right off the bat.

Download our deal analyzer here. With this spreadsheet, all you have to do is enter the numbers. It does the math for you to help you decide whether to pursue your deal, and how much money you’ll have to bring in if you do.

A tool like this can help you know the numbers before you go to your hard money lender. Life is easier for everyone, and more profitable for you, when you know the numbers of a hard money loan.

## Calculating Hard Money Loans for BRRRR

If you’re looking at the rental side of real estate investing with BRRRR, what are the numbers you need for a hard money loan? What do you look for in a profitable flip?

BRRRR was designed to let investors get into rental flips with almost no money down. How do you do it? The 75% rule.

What does that mean, and how do we calculate it?

With BRRRR, there’s two loans involved. The first (hard money) loan is to purchase and fix up the property. And the second (bank) loan is to refinance for the long term.

To make the BRRRR process happen with no money down, you have to know ahead of time that you can keep costs under 75% of the ARV.

### The Math on a BRRRR Hard Money Loan Using the 75% Rule

75% of what your property will be worth (ARV) is your cap for costs.

Let’s say you’re buying a property, and based on the neighborhood, comps, and all other appraisal considerations, the ARV is \$200,000.

Using the 75% rule would give us:

200,000  ×  75%  =  \$150,000

Your hard money loan could be up to \$150,000. This means if all your costs for the project stay under \$150,000, you don’t have to bring any money in.

With this example, it would be doable:

Purchase Price: \$125,000

Rehab: \$25,000

Total cost: \$150,000

If you could keep rehab costs at \$25,000 for the project, all costs would be equal to the 75% (\$150,000) loan we’d receive.

If we take the same example, but the purchase price was \$140,000 with \$25,000 of rehab costs, you’d end up putting in \$15,000 of your own money. Still doable, but more expensive.

### 100% BRRRR Financing in the Future

As the economy turns and we begin to see more foreclosures, BRRRRs will be a great opportunity to build up a bigger real estate portfolio with no money down.

The opportunities are out there, but to do it, your costs have to be at 75% or lower. This number might tighten in the near future to 70%, but all the same rules still apply.

If you know your numbers before you buy, you can use a BRRRR hard money loan to your full advantage with zero money down.

## Hard Money Calculator

A hard money calculator is another important tool to help investors know the numbers of a hard money loan.

Beginner and experienced investors alike need to know the difference between loans offered by different hard money lenders.

### How Does a Hard Money Calculator Work?

Some lenders will charge higher interest rates with no points. Some will charge higher points, which are percentage points taken out for fees, but have a lower interest rate.

The numbers get complicated fast. How can you compare all this for your specific deal?

The best way to figure out these numbers is to use our loan optimizer, with a free download here

With this loan optimizer, you insert all the numbers – the loan amount, required down payment, interest rates, points, fees, etc –  from up to three different lenders. Then the calculator does all the math to show how much each loan would actually cost.

It’s a simple way to compare lenders in your area and find the best price.

### Example of a Hard Money Loan Calculator

Finding the cheapest loan for your deal can save you thousands of dollars on your project.

(Note: It’s good to shop around to find the best numbers, but don’t shop around forever! Or else you’ll never get to know a lender well enough to get preferential treatment.)

Here’s a walkthrough of how a loan optimizer might compare two lenders:

#### Loan Amount

Let’s say for a potential deal, you need a loan for \$150,000. Both lenders we’re comparing are going to give you that full amount:

#### Interest Rates, Points, and Their Costs

But let’s say Lender A and Lender B have different rates (interest rate) and points (percentage taken out for fees).

Many beginner investors look at this and think, “Well, I don’t want a lender with so many points. I don’t want to just be paying fees.” But they fail to actually do the calculations. You’ll be surprised which loan will save you the most money.

A loan optimizer will calculate the cost based on these rates and points:

As we can see, the daily interest combined with the cost of the points makes Lender B look like the cheaper option so far.

#### Other Fees

But there’s one more crucial cost we still need to take into consideration.

Often, lenders who charge zero points up-front end up charging a lot of “junk fees” later. Here’s the example of Lender A and Lender B with all the extra fees highlighted:

The various fees charged by Lender B add up quickly, making Lender A suddenly look a lot better.

#### Final Costs

But let’s check with a final calculation which lender would be the cheaper choice:

Here’s our final calculation by our loan optimizer. By the end of the six months, we’d be paying \$12,352 to Lender A, or \$13,408 to Lender B.

So, Lender A, who had more points up-front, is the cheaper option – by over a thousand dollars!

Yet, if we’d judged these lenders based on our first impression of interest rate and points, we might not have gone with Lender A.

This is why it’s always important to use a loan calculating tool when shopping for hard money lenders. Know the hard money loan numbers – it can be simple! Click this link for the free download of our loan optimizer.

## Know the Numbers of a Hard Money Loan

When you know the numbers, you’ll pick more profitable deals and cheaper loans.

There’s money in the money. There’s money in the numbers.

But you probably won’t become an expert in the numbers overnight.

Reach out to us at HardMoneyMike.com with questions about your deals, or with general questions about hard money numbers.

Happy Investing.

## Basics of Commercial Real Estate Investing in 2022

2022 may be the year you want to venture into commercial real estate. Apartments buildings with over five units, retail space, office buildings, and industrial areas all fall under commercial real estate.

## How Do You Invest in Commercial Real Estate?

One option for commercial real estate investing is to hold or flip just as you would any single-family home. We’ve also seen a lot of people find success with another option recently: buying bigger industrial properties, flipping them, and splitting them up into separate properties to sell.

## Cap Rates in Commercial Real Esate

An important number to consider in commercial real estate investing is the cap rate. All commercial properties come with a cap rate, which is the return you can expect on your investment.

For example, if you put \$100,000 into a property with a 4% cap rate, you can expect a return of \$4,000; this is probably an area that pays lower rent. But a \$100,000 investment on an 8% cap rate will have an \$8,000 return, so the property will have higher cash flow.

Generally, the higher the cap rate, the lower the value because it may be considered a riskier investment. The lower the cap rate, the higher the value because more people are more willing to put more money in.

People take lower cap rates over higher ones because they believe a lower cap rate market is more stable. It’s like when you put money into a CD – the appeal is the stability, despite the lower rate. People who look for higher cap rates prioritize return over long-term growth or stability.

Cap rates differ city-to-city and within cities. If you’re interested in commercial properties, you can talk to a commercial broker in your area to understand local cap rates.

Watch the video here:

## Subject To Real Estate Investment Strategies to Build Your Portfolio

It’s a big opportunity. What are some investment strategies to make subject tos happen?

With a subject to, you buy a property subject to the seller leaving their mortgage on the property.

There are several benefits of subject tos – but how do you make it work? What are the right investment strategies to successfully get a subject to?

## Subject To Strategy #1: Going Through a Proper Closing

First of all, still go through a proper closing on subject tos. You want to make sure the owner doesn’t have any other liens you don’t know about. When you take ownership, you become responsible for any existing liens on the property.

At the very least, get a title report to verify there are no liens. If you want, you can get title insurance – an extra cost but potentially worth it.

## Subject To Strategy #2: Adding Your Name and Avoiding Problems with the Mortgage Company

With subject tos, some people may say you’re not allowed to take ownership and make someone else’s payments. They fear the lender may call the mortgage.

But we’ve never seen a lender ever call a mortgage in this situation.

The main reason is because the lender usually doesn’t break even with the loan until year three or four.  When a lender originates the mortgage, they buy it, so it takes at least three years of payments to get their money back.

So as long as you pay on time and don’t cause friction, the mortgage company should have no problem with you taking over. They make money every time you make a payment, so they have no reason to call it off.

## Subject To Strategy #3: Negotiating with the Seller

Sometimes you’ll have to negotiate with the seller for them to go through with a subject to.

Maybe they’ll need a payment of \$5,000 – \$15,000 to be able to leave. Maybe they’ll include terms that they’ll only keep the mortgage on for five more years.

It’s helpful to know when a seller is in a position that they’ll want a subject to. A subject to takes place because the seller, for whatever reason, needs to sell the house but can’t. They don’t want to be stuck with the property, and they don’t want a foreclosure or missing payments to ruin their credit.

If you make their payments for around 12 months, they can usually qualify for another mortgage on another property without this one hurting them.

For more details on real estate investment strategies and setting up subject to deals, reach out to us at HardMoneyMike.com. We have plenty of experience, and we want to help you build a real estate portfolio without worrying about your credit or income.

Watch the full video here:

## What Is the Meaning of BRRRR?

BRRRR winners understand the meaning of BRRRR and, just as importantly, what it doesn’t mean.

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?

Watch the video here:

## Why Gap Funding and Bridge Loans Will Grow Your Real Estate Business

The difference between gap funding and bridge loans – and why it matters to your real estate investments.

Gap funding, bridge loans – they sure sound similar. What’s the difference? How are each of these types of funding going to improve your business?

Both gap funding and bridge loans have the power to smooth out your real estate career and grow it to new heights.

Here’s what you’ll need to know.

## Bridge Loans vs Hard Money Loans

Some lenders will use these terms interchangeably. After all, they are similar concepts, and lingo varies from lender to lender. But it’s important to know the actual definitions so you understand these terms if a lender uses them this way.

Though similar, there are differences to know in a bridge loan vs hard money loan.

### What is a Bridge Loan Used For?

A bridge loan is a very short-term loan – even shorter than the typical hard money loan. It helps you bridge the space between one project and another.

Let’s say you’re just finishing up a flip. The house is on the market, buyers are showing interest, and now you’d like to get another property bought so you can jump right in to your next flip.

Typically, you use the money from selling one property to buy the next one. But if you want to get that next property started before the current one is sold? That’s where a bridge loan comes in.

A true bridge loan covers up that gap between projects. It gives you the money to close on a new property before the first one is completely sold.

A bridge loan lets you overlap from an old project to a new one.

### How is a Bridge Loan Different from a Hard Money Loan?

A hard money loan is longer and broader than a bridge loan.

• The average bridge loan lasts 30 to 45 days. Hard money loans can last up to a year or longer.
• Bridge loans get you from one property to the next. Hard money focuses more on a single project.
• Bridge loans are paid off when your old property sells. Hard money loans are paid off when you refinance or sell the property the loan was originally for.
• A bridge loan is used as temporary funds to close on a house. A hard money loan can be used as a more general budget for a purchase. Many come with the option for escrows to fix up the property over time.

Certain lenders do pure bridge loans, while others lump it all under “hard money.” Keep in mind as you’re learning the real estate investment game that bridge loans vs hard money loans serve different purposes.

## 3 Ways to Use a Hard Money Bridge Loan

Some lenders might talk about hard money and bridge loans as the same – that’s okay. But it will benefit you to know the particular uses for bridge loans.

The basics of a bridge loan are that they’re used to bridge you from one project to the next. Then you pay the loan off when the first property sells.

### 1. Bridge Loans to Get from One Property to the Next

The most common use of bridge loans in the hard money space is to bridge you from one property to the next.

When you have a flipped property that’s almost complete – the work is done, it’s under contract, it’s almost sold – you might want to get started on your next project without waiting for the official close.

The problem is: How do you buy a new property without the money from selling the old one? A hard money bridge loan solves that problem.

A bridge loan allows you to use the property that’s about to be sold as collateral for a new loan for a new property. Once the first property sells, some of that money is used to pay off the bridge loan. Then you own the new property free and clear.

This way of using a bridge loan is especially useful if you have a lot of cash put into one property. You don’t have to wait to get that money back after selling to start on your next investment.

### 2. Bridge Loans to Cover a Down Payment on a New Property

You can use an advance of the equity on a current property as the down payment for the new property through a bridge loan.

Maybe you’re about to sell one property. And you’re able to get financing for your next one… Except you can’t cover the down payment.

In this case, you’ll probably use a bridge loan in conjunction with a hard money loan. The hard money loan covers the property cost, and the bridge loan covers the remaining down payment cost. Then that bridge loan gets paid off when you sell the old property.

### 3. Bridge Loans to Close Fast

Another way you could use a bridge loan is to close faster on a new property.

Maybe you plan on using more traditional financing through a bank, but the bank loan wouldn’t be ready in time. You can use a short-term bridge loan.

This loan bridges you from the closing to the refinance. A bridge lender will help you with the initial purchase. Then once your bank (or hard money) loan is completely ready – usually several weeks or a month later – that bank loan pays off the bridge loan.

### Bridge Loans in the Hard Money World

Typically bridge loans are used for 3 situations in real estate investing:

1. When you’re buying a new property and already have one listed for sale
2. When you need to cover down payment on a new property
3. When you find a great deal but your bank’s financing won’t be ready in time.

## Gap Funding for Real Estate Investors

So, bridge loans are different from hard money loans. But where does gap funding fit into the mix for real estate investors?

Bridge loans do bridge “gaps” in your investments. But “gap funding” is something different.

Gap funding is the small amounts that investors need throughout the course of a project in addition to the bigger loan. Examples of common gap funding situations are:

• Down payments
• Contractors and other fix-up costs
• Carry costs before renting or selling
• Interest, insurance, and other payments not included in the original cost of the property.

A bank or hard money lender will be funding the majority of your project. And when you don’t have other properties, you can use a lien (like you would for a bridge loan). But without another property, you need gap funding to cover the little costs that slip through the cracks of your primary financing.

Gap funding for real estate investors can be a loan that’s anywhere from \$10,000 to \$100,000. Whatever costs your primary loan and your own cash won’t cover will need to be filled by a gap lender.

## Where Do You Find a Gap Lender?

Gap lenders aren’t exactly like hard money lenders. You can’t walk into a gap lending institution and ask for a loan. So where do you find a gap lender?

### Who are Gap Lenders?

There are some hard-money-style lenders out there that focus on gap funding, but they’ll charge you a 12 – 20% interest rate. The best place to find reasonable gap funding is with ordinary people.

Traditionally, gap lenders are people you meet – family, friends, people in real estate groups, or anyone with money who wants to dip a toe into real estate investing. These people have a couple tens of thousands of dollars they’d like to make a better return on.

Half the people in real estate groups want to be real estate investors, but don’t want the burden of managing an entire project. Gap funding is secured with a lien against the property, so lending is safer than investing.

Gap lenders tend to have around \$50,000 to \$60,000 they’d like to put toward real estate. Not enough to do a full transaction, but perfect to fill the gaps your financing will leave on your flip.

### Where Can You Go to Find Gap Lenders?

Get involved in the real estate community, and keep your eyes and ears open. Go to meet-ups. Talk to people with money.

A lot of how to find gap lenders boils down to: How do you convince them to give you money? How do you set up the lending relationship?

If you have questions on how to find and approach gap funders, you can watch these videos, use our OPM checklist, or reach out at HardMoneyMike.com.

## Where Do You Find a Hard Money Bridge Loan Lender?

How about bridge lenders? Does every hard money lender do bridge loans?

A lot of people use the term bridge loan interchangeably with gap funding or hard money, but a true bridge loan is slightly different. They’re shorter-term than a hard money loan, and they’re typically less expensive because of that.

### Which Hard Money Lenders Do Bridge Loans?

To find these quick, short loans, a small local lender, like Hard Money Mike, will be your best and fastest option. Smaller hard money lenders like working with investors who provide good, safe returns. Bridge loans do exactly that.

Bigger hard money lenders do bridge loans, too. But they may take up to four weeks to close, which often defeats the purpose of true bridge lending.

You can also get bridge loans from some banks. Not big, national banks, but many local banks and credit unions who work with real estate investors may do bridge loans, too. Banks usually offer the cheapest bridge loans, but can take 3 – 4 weeks or longer.

Ask around to lenders you know to find out their pricing and see if their bridge loans are worth it. You can use our free loan optimizer to find out if you can get a good deal on bridge loans near you.

## Where to Go From Here

The best deals in real estate investment close quickly. Gap funding and bridge loans are important tools to have in your belt so you can do this.

Gap funding and bridge loans are useful for beginner and experienced investors alike. They can enable you to work on multiple projects at once and increase cash flow.

There’s money in the money. If you understand the money side of real estate, your business rises to the next level.

We can always help with your real estate investment education.