Tag Archive for: Real estate investing

How to Finish the Project With a Hard Money Loan

If you have a property that’s draining your cash, look into a hard money loan that can help you finish the project and get it off your plate.

A lot of clients reach out to us who have started a project – a flip, a rental, etc. – and are struggling to reach the finish line. 

Delays in the real estate world can quickly cost thousands of dollars, so how can you avoid those issues with a hard money loan?

The Problem With Stalled Projects

Stalled projects cost money in a few different ways.

1. Payments: 

You have taxes, insurance, and loan payments for as long as you are in charge of that property. The longer you hold onto the property, the longer those payments are coming out of your pocket.

2. Missing the Market:

Real estate markets move fast. Although a delay of a month or two can feel small, missing the market often makes it difficult to sell the property. 

The most common way around this is to lower the asking price by a few percentage points… which is then more money that you’re not making in that deal.

Why Should You Get a Loan to Finish a Project?

Let’s look at some real numbers you might encounter if you were struggling with a stalled project:

For even a two month delay, a project can easily cost $5,700 in payments alone. 

Let’s consider the fact that this investor also likely missed the peak market. If they were hoping to sell this property for $400,000, then decreasing the asking price by 5% would immediately result in a $20,000 market loss. 

That is both discouraging and super costly… but it’s also avoidable with the right kind of loan.

How Does Hard Money Help?

If your project is 60-70% complete and you just need a loan to help you cross the finish line, hard money loans might be right for you.

These loans are flexible. Because you’re not looking to pay off the full amount, only cover the last leg of the project, it’s typically easy to work out a deal with a lender.

A Finish a Project loan does not take over everything. It doesn’t refinance the project. They’re designed to help you complete what you’ve started as quickly as possible. That way you don’t miss out on the market or get stuck with months of additional payments. 

Looking for a Finish a Project Loan?

If you’re interested in a Finish a Project loan, reach out to us! You can check out our page about these particular loans or contact us at Info@HardMoneyMike.com.

We’re more than happy to discuss your options and help you find the right path towards your success.

Happy investing!

Top 5 Hard Money Loan Options

What types of hard money loan options are out there for real estate investors?

Hard money (sometimes called private money) loans are often the key to getting started in real estate investing. 

Most hard money lenders have a lot of options and many even have particular specialties. This article explains what’s out there so you’re equipped to have discussions with lenders.

Here are the top five loans that you’ll encounter in the hard money industry.

1. Fix and Flip Loan

The nice thing about a fix and flip loan is that it has everything to do with the property. Even if you’re less experienced as an investor, if the property has potential, hard money lenders will listen.

If the value is there, hard money lenders could fund up to 100%.

2. Bridge Loans

You’ll typically use a bridge loan to either purchase or refinance a project. There are a few places where they generally show up:

Bridging Gaps Between Projects

If you’re currently working on a project but you come across another great deal, a bridge loan can tap into that equity. You can use this money this as an opportunity to efficiently line up your next project.

A bridge loan would put a small lien on a property that’s about to go up for sale (or is currently being sold) which gives you money to purchase your next project.

Finishing and Buying Properties

Hard money moves more quickly than large, standard bank loans. If the clock is ticking and you need to either pay or lose the deal, a hard money bridge loan can save the day.


Bridge loans can also work as a crucial part of wholetailing. Wholetailing involves anything from purchasing a discounted property and performing basic fixes to outsourcing renovations altogether. 

Typically, wholetailing only requires simple funding, often 60-90-day loans.

3. Gap Loans

You can explore gap funding to cover all sorts of money holes that might show up as you go through a project:

  • Down payments
  • Getting a project started (consider funding for escrow draws)
  • Completing a project
  • Carrying project expenses (like HOA fees)

You can even use gap loans to pay off old investors if you have someone who’s ready to move on. Treat your investors well and make sure you have the financial flexibility to let them out if they need.

4. Usage Loan

A usage loan is a private non-reporting loan that helps you pay off your credit card balances. If you’re using your personal credit card for business, this can be an important way to raise your credit score.

Real estate investing is all about leverage, and a lot of banks see your credit score as a reflection of your ability to use leverage well. 

The higher your credit score, the better terms you’ll often find for loans. 

5. BRRRR “Buy” Loan

The two big ticket items in the BRRRR method are 1) the purchase, and 2) the refinance.

Hard money loans come into play on the purchase side of a BRRRR. Because hard money is so flexible, it can also often fund a good portion of the rehab. 


These are the top five hard money loan options, but if you’re looking for something else, just ask! Remember, hard money lenders are often smaller companies and individuals. They all have preferences and specialties, so get to know them and let them get to know your project.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the free tools on our website or our YouTube channel where we discuss other tips and tricks for successful investing.

You’re always welcome to reach out to us at Info@HardMoneyMike.com if you have any questions or would like to discuss a deal.

Happy investing!

Hard Money Lending: 9 Things You Should Know

What should you know about hard money lending before looking for your first deal?

The real estate investing world revolves around using other people’s money strategically to build wealth for you and your family. If you’re new to the table, it can be tricky to get Wall Street companies to back your deals, but hard money lending is a different game. 

If you’re new to real estate investing, chances are hard money loans (also called Private Money Loans) are going to be the key to your success. 

Here are 9 ways that hard money lending is a unique and great option for new investors. 

1. Hard Money Lenders Tend To Be Relational and Local

Most hard money lenders are relational. Hard money lenders are frequently either individuals or smaller companies, so personal connection really does matter.

They like to invest in their local communities in projects that will help build the local economy. Even if you’re a new investor, by building a good relationship with small, local lenders, you can still find the finances you need.

2. Loans Are Not Score-Based

Unlike large banks, hard money lenders aren’t tied to particular credit scores. 

You should still be honest with your lender, but the score typically matters less than the type of project and the LTV (loan to value).

3. Terms Are Not Based on Experience

In hard money lending, deals aren’t usually based on experience. Instead, lenders look closely at the individual deals. 

If a particular deal has a good chance of creating wealth, you’ll likely find an investor.

4. Hard Money Lending is Flexible

If you have a unique property or project that falls outside of what larger banks will back, it’s probably a good option for hard money.

Flexibility is one of the most important distinctions with hard money lending. If the LTV is good and that lender wants to invest in that area, you’ve got a good chance of making a great deal.

5. Hard Money Can Fund More

Hard money loans can actually fund up to 100% of your project depending on the LTV. 

If you’re strategic about the projects you take on, you can increase your leverage by choosing good properties and going through a hard money lender. 

6. It’s Fast!

Hard money lending is fast. 

Typically, you can close deals in days instead of weeks. Because the real estate market moves fast, this can be a great option to make sure you’re not missing out because of slow lenders.

7. You Can Do a Lot with Hard Money

You can use hard money for all sorts of things. From gap funding to purchasing costs to usage loans that raise your credit score, hard money isn’t limited to only one aspect of investing. 

It’s good to find multiple hard money lenders in your area because a lot of them have expertise in particular areas.

8. Use it to Pre-Fund Escrow

One of the great things about hard money is that you can use it to help get projects moving. Because escrow typically works as a reimbursement system, you usually need to personally fund your first (and sometimes second) escrow draw. 

Especially as a new investor, the first few escrow draws can be a huge strain financially. 

With the flexibility of hard money lending, you can use that loan to cover those draws. Then, once you’re able to access those escrow funds, you can pay off the hard money loan. 

9. Hard Money Lending Comes in all Sizes

As mentioned earlier, hard money lenders are sometimes willing to fund up to 100% of the purchase cost. 

They’ll frequently fund $50,000 or $110,000 loans whereas a lot of the big equity firms don’t really like this size loan. 

Time to Invest!

If you’re new to investing, remember that leverage is king. Leverage—the way you use other people’s money—is how you generate wealth and income.

Reach out and find the local hard money lenders in your community. 

We have a few tools on our website that can help you find resources in your area. Check out our location pages to find hard money resources in your area. You can also download our free Loan Cost Optimizer to help you compare different loan options.

As always, feel free to check out our YouTube channel or reach out to us at Info@HardMoneyMike.com for more information.

Happy investing!

How to Get Approved by Hard Money Lenders

Knowing what hard money lenders look for is key to winning the real estate investment game.

Real estate investing is all about creating wealth and income by leveraging other people’s money. 

Hard money loans (also sometimes called private money loans) are a crucial part of that money.

What is a Hard Money Loan? 

A hard money loan is a loan based mainly on the property or the investment that you’re working on. It’s less focused on the investors themselves, as hard money lenders tend to look more at the property and LTVs (loan to value). 

Hard money lenders look for great deals. If a project is a good deal for you, you’ll likely find lenders willing to back you up.

Another benefit of a hard money loan is its flexibility. Hard money lenders allow higher loan to values and, depending on the property, sometimes will lend up to 100% of the total cost.

This is super important for new investors who need money to get started.

When to use a Hard Money Loan?

There are all sorts of loan options out there, but hard money is particularly useful in a few scenarios:

  • Closing quickly: Hard money loans are a lot faster to come by than traditional bank loans.
  • Unique Projects: Private lenders aren’t bound by the same restrictions as large firms.
  • Higher Loan to Value: If your deal needs a higher LTV, hard money can be the best deal.
  • Credit Score Trouble: Hard money lenders are more concerned with the value of the property than your personal credit score. You can also use a hard money loan as a usage loan to raise your credit score. 

How to Find the Perfect Hard Money Lender

Since hard money lenders are often smaller, private individuals or companies, it can take some work to find the right fit for you. 

If you’re starting with a Google search, know that local lenders likely won’t appear on the first page with the paid promotions from large banks. Click through a few pages of results to find what you’re actually looking for.

1. Look For Local Hard Money Lenders

Hard money lenders gravitate towards local markets in smaller communities. You can check out our location pages to learn more about resources we’re connected to in your local area. 

Finding local real estate investment groups can be a good way to start making connections.

Also, engaging with online forums like ones on BiggerPockets can help you find other investors and lenders in your area.

Local connection goes a long way in the hard money game, and you’ll need to take time to network in your area.

2. Create Relationships

Private money lenders are often very relational. 

Because of this, you’ll need to take time to call and talk to them. Make sure they know that you know what you’re doing.

Learn the language to help build their confidence in you and your project. 

Additionally, some lenders may even ask to see the property you’re asking them to invest in. Making sure you give them all the information they ask for is critical in your relationship with them. 

Similarly, just like they’re trying to determine whether you’re the right fit for them, you should also look at multiple lenders. The relationship between lenders and investors is a two-way street, and it’s important both of you feel confident about the deal.

3. Make Them Feel Comfortable

Remember that hard money lenders are typically individuals or small companies. Each loan is important to them.

Let them see your numbers. Let them see an example deal. Even if you’re just starting out, show them an example of potential loan to values, and be prepared to show your work.

The more you know about your contractors, purchase price, rehab costs, etc., the more you’ll ease their concerns.

Although it takes time to prepare this information, it can make a huge difference. This is your business, and doing that preparation shows your lenders that you’re competent at your part of the job. 

4. Make it Easy for Your Lenders

Finally, don’t make your lender chase you down to follow up. Have everything ready before they ask and pass it along early in the process.

Prepare a package ahead of time that has all the necessary information enclosed to the best of your ability:

  • Comps
  • ARV info
  • Scope and timeline of work
  • Team members
  • Contractors
  • Realtors
  • Insurance agent
  • Title info

The easier you make it for your lender, the more likely they’ll offer you a great deal.  

Show them that you know exactly what and how to break down a property and that the equity is there. This lets them know their loan is protected by a solid property with a good plan for generating income.


Hard money lending is all about relationships. If you build a good relationship, you’re far more likely to find the lenders you need.

We have a few tools that can help you shop around for the perfect hard money loan. The first is our location pages. You can use these to find resources in your area.

The other tool we recommend is our free Loan Cost Optimizer download. It’s easy to use, and it can help you compare different lenders to find the best deals.

If you’re interested in a hard money loan or have questions about how to find lenders in your area, feel free to reach out to us at Info@HardMoneyMike.com.

BRRRR Strategy: Successful Real Estate Investing with Hard Money and DSCR

How can you combine a BRRRR strategy with hard money and DSCR loans to win in the real estate game?

It’s amazing that there are options out there that let you build a real estate portfolio using little to no money. Using the BRRRR strategy with resources like hard money and DSCR loans lets even new investors get ahead. 

Using BRRRRs, hard money, and DSCRs together lets you do your fix and flips with little to no money in. 

Although this takes work, it is a tried-and-true method of generating wealth with solid resources and hard work. 

What is the BRRRR Strategy?

BiggerPockets launched this acronym a few years ago. BRRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) centers around fixing and flipping discounted properties.

BRRRR is all about buying properties with built-in equity that can be renovated to raise the value. We’ll likely start seeing more discounted properties in 2024 as foreclosures rise. This will provide a perfect landscape for BRRRRs. 

We recently helped a client buy seven properties this year thal all fit in these guidelines. They bought the properties with private money, and they’re refinancing them with a DSCR product. 

But it all starts with the Buy: look out for discounted properties. Yes, it takes work to rehab, rent, refinance, and repeat. However, by using the BRRRR strategy, you and clients like the one above are able to maximize profits in your real estate investment journey. 

Where Does Hard Money Come into Play?

Beginning the BRRRR process with buying a new property typically requires a lot of money. But don’t panic!

At the beginning of the article, we told you that you could use the BRRRR strategy with little to no out of pocket costs, and we’re about to tell you how.

Hard money loans are the key to making it all happen. Hard money is super flexible so you can use those loans to not only purchase, but also rehab or even cover closing costs. 

At Hard Money Mike, we specialize in hard money loans.

Hard money lenders typically look at your loan to value (LTV). It’s great if your LTVs can be close to 75%, but you’re welcome to reach out if you have any questions or concerns about whether you might qualify for a hard money loan.

Using DSCR to Refinance Your BRRRRs

Getting your property refinanced is a crucial step in the BRRRR strategy. 

DSCR (Debt Service Coverage Ratio) was specifically developed for real estate investors. The benefit of DSCR is that lenders aren’t concerned with your business’s income. 

Instead, they look at the specific property to see if it has positive cash flow. If it does and you have good credit, you’ll likely be able to refinance your hard money loan 75%-80% of the current appraised value.

If you bought at a discounted rate but rehabbed the property, the new value should be closer to everything else in the neighborhood.

BRRRR Strategy + Hard Money + DSCR = Success!

You need all three of these to really be successful at building your real estate wealth from little to no money.

Beginning your real estate investing journey can be a slow process. The first year, you might only complete the BRRRR strategy for one or two properties. 

But the longer you do this, the easier it gets. As you understand more, you develop contacts, and everything gets easier. 

Realistically, if you’re looking to build wealth from real estate investing but don’t have extra cash on the front end, you could likely use the BRRRR strategy on up to ten properties over the next three years.

By using the resources available (like BRRRRs, hard money, and DSCRs) you can build up your portfolio and wealth with hard work.

Time to Make Some Deals

Remember, it all starts with buying discounted properties with hard money loans. Then, keep using hard money for rehab, and refinance with DSCRs. 

If you want to learn more, we have a ton of free tools that can help you in the real estate game. 

If you have questions about hard money or want to discuss a deal, just reach out to us at Info@HardMoneyMike.com

You can also check out our YouTube channel for more real estate investment strategies and tips. 

Happy Investing.

How Escrow Funds Can Finance Your Project’s Rehab

What are escrow funds and how can you use them to get ahead of the game?

If you’re looking to finance property fixes, understanding how to leverage escrow funds effectively can make a huge difference in the success of your real estate investment endeavors.

What Are Escrow Funds?

Escrow funds are the funds set aside by lenders specifically for the repair or renovation of a property. 

Lenders can give up to 100% of the total repair cost. This escrow fund slowly repays you as you work on renovations. The only catch is that you need to put down the first 10-20% on the purchase price and begin the project before receiving reimbursement.

Securing and Using Your Funds

The best part about escrow funds is that they can fund up to 100% of the project. But how and when do you access those funds?

Each time you finish a portion of the work, you must submit a draw request. This involves providing documentation (such as photographs or on-site inspections) of the completed work. You’ll also need to submit invoices and proof of payment for the contractors involved. 

Once the lender has evaluated the progress, they release the escrow funds to you.

Potential Challenges with Escrow Funds

One common issue is that many investors lack the necessary upfront funds to kickstart the project and cover initial expenses. 

Starting a project often requires ordering materials, making down payments to suppliers, and coordinating various tasks, all of which can deplete your available funds. However, escrow funds aren’t reimbursed until the work is completed, creating a potential cash flow problem.

To fix this, it’s best if you have at least 20 to 30% of the funds for the repairs in your own pocket or, as we call it, in your own money bucket. 

This buffer allows you to begin the project without only relying on escrow funds. That way, by the time you’ve finished the first project and can do the first draw, you can freely move onto the second draw.

Keeping your project moving forward is critical in a quickly moving market.

How to Put Money in Your Bucket

Escrow funds are great, but they don’t give you the money upfront. In order to begin a project, where can you get the initial finances to fund the initial payments?

  • Credit Cards: Business credit cards are excellent to get projects started. 0% credit cards are even better to buy the materials that you need to pre-order. 
  • Paying Contractors Directly: If you don’t know how to do that, just email us and we’ll let you know how. It’s even better if you can pay vendors with your business credit cards.
  • Get lines of credit and E-locks on properties.
  • Loans from Family and Friends: You can often find family or friends who are willing to invest in your project. They’re going to get a good return on their investment, and your project gets the initial funding it needs.
  • Loans from Private Lenders: Companies like Hard Money Mike are sometimes willing to provide up to 100% in escrow funds. Look for private lenders who provide flexible financing solutions that help keep your projects from stalling.

How We Can Help

By collaborating with lenders like us who understand the unique needs of real estate investors, you can ensure a smoother experience and avoid unnecessary delays that may result in higher costs.

If you have questions about escrow funds, contact us and we’ll be happy to help you out!

You can check out this video on our YouTube channel.

How to Make Real Estate Financing Easier: Simple Way to Raise Credit Score Fast

Raise credit score fast with this simple investors’ trick.

New and seasoned investors alike prioritize one thing in real estate: financing.

Available, fast, cheap funds are key to a smooth career. And a high credit score is key to smooth financing.

We see investors make one key mistake that wrecks their credit score: they use personal credit cards for business expenses. This one mistake costs people tens of thousands of dollars in quality financing.

Let’s dive into this mistake and see what simple options you have to raise your credit score fast.

How We Help Raise Credit Scores Fast

Just this week we’ve closed two different loans to help clients raise their credit score.

They both needed long-term loans for the rental properties, but their scores were too low from the high usage on their personal credit cards.

We also just had an inquiry from another lender who’s looking for us to help their client pay off his credit cards so he could qualify for their loan.

What Causes a Low Score for Investors?

What causes this issue?

The #1 factor that determines credit score is payment history. On average, investors are responsible about timely payments. So what gives?

The #2 factor deciding credit score is your credit usage. This is the ratio between your current credit balance and your total credit limit. Investors often use personal cards to fund rehab on their projects, which rapidly raises their credit usage.

Let’s talk about the solution.

How to Raise Your Credit Score

If your problem is high usage, there are just a few steps you need to take that will drastically improve your credit score (and financing opportunities).

Firstly, you need to stop using your personal credit cards for business purposes. Treat your investments like a business. There’s no reason fix-up costs should impact your personal finances.

Secondly, get a usage loan to get your personal balances down now. When that money doesn’t report on your credit, your score improves almost immediately.

Lastly, open a business card to use for projects moving forward. Once your credit score is back in a good spot and you have a functioning LLC, apply for a business credit card. Balances on this card won’t reflect on your personal credit.

We’re happy to give you a hand at any step of this process.

How to Move Forward

Leverage is king in real estate. As the markets stay tight, interest rates stay high, and bigger institutions elbow their way into the lending space… Credit score only gets more important.

We don’t want to see a low credit score be the reason you don’t succeed in real estate.

If you need any guidance on your financing journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Want more info on business credit cards? Check out this video on our YouTube channel.

Second Mortgage Loan Explained: Real Estate Investing Tips

How to use a second mortgage loan as a real estate investor (and where to get it!).

In real estate investing, you’re going to need some extra money every once in a while.

Getting a second mortgage on your investment properties can be a way to get this money.

Let’s go through what a second mortgage loan is, how you can use it, and why they’re an important tool.

What Is a Second Mortgage Loan?

Put simply, a second mortgage loan is a loan that’s put behind your first mortgage on your property.

If you have a mortgage and you have good equity (meaning you’re under 80% on the loan to value), you can look at a second mortgage.

Why is a second mortgage so powerful for a real estate investor?

It unlocks the equity that has you trapped.

When all of your money is tied up in your properties, second mortgage loans are a way to free it.

How Can a Real Estate Investor Use a Second Mortgage?

Once you free up your equity with a second mortgage, what can you do with it? Your second mortgages probably aren’t going to be a huge amount of money – not enough to buy an entire new property.

But here are a few common uses of a second mortgage:

  • Finishing an over-budget flip.
  • Upgrading a rental property for a new tenant, refinance, or sale.
  • Using it as a bridge loan to buy your next project before your current one is finished.
  • To pay down credit card balances to lower usage and raise their credit score for their next bank loan.

In any situation where you need quick cash for your business, second mortgages are a great option. They’re the perfect way to tap into the equity you already have to reinvest in your business.

How to Get a Second Mortgage

There are 3 main places you should look to get a second mortgage.

  1. Some local banks and credit unions offer HELOCs up to 65 or 70% on investor properties. So if you have a property that has that kind of equity, that’s your number one go-to source.
  2. Real, local hard money lenders like us who are flexible and understand real estate investing will offer second mortgage loans. We don’t fit loans into a small box – we’ll help you figure out whatever you need whether it’s a second, or even a third, mortgage.
  3. There’s something we call real private money. These are real people from your community who will lend you money. If they lend to you, they’ll get a better return on their money than they would in a bank, and typically a safer return than they’d get in other investments. 

Help with a Second Mortgage Loan

If you want help finding the right way to tap into your equity, reach out at Info@HardMoneyMike.com. We’d be glad to help. 

Wondering what other lending options you have out there as a real estate investor? Download this free resource to learn your options.

Happy Investing.

What Is ARV? (And How Does It Impact Real Estate Deals?)

How does value-add property investing work? And what is ARV?

After-repair value (or ARV) is one of the biggest concepts used in real estate investing.

Let’s talk about what ARV is and how to calculate it.

Value-Add Real Estate Investing

The type of real estate investing we specialize in involves value-add properties.

This means you buy properties at a lower price, change them in some way, then sell for more. This could look like:

  • Splitting up a rental into multiple units
  • Adding a bedroom
  • Doing needed repairs and renovations
  • Etc.

The property’s value at the end of your project will be more than the price you originally bought it for.

That higher ending value is referred to as the after-repair value. This value is decided by either: 1) what it can sell for on the open market, or 2) what it will appraise for (if you’re going to hold the unit as a rental).

How to Estimate ARV

All of the financials of a value-add real estate investment are dependent on the ARV. How do we decide the ARV number? Well, it’s really just an educated guess. Let’s go over some of the key factors used in estimating an after-repair value.

The Amount of Work and Quality of Work

The work you put into a property is what adds the value. So, how you’re changing the property is a good indicator of the ARV.

For example, adding a bedroom or granite countertops will impact the future value more than just a fresh coat of paint.

However, the planned work can’t be the only thing ARV is based on. After all, you can’t guarantee the quality of work will really turn out to be worth it. So there’s another important factor in estimating ARV.

Comparing to Similar Properties

To make our estimate slightly more accurate, we’re going to look at properties that are just like yours but finished. Here are the criteria you’ll use to calculate ARV with comps:

  • The same subdivision. Comp properties, at most, should be within a half mile of your property.
  • The same size. What’s the square footage? Don’t compare a 1,200-square foot place to a 2,000-square foot place.
  • The same condition. What will your property look like when it’s finished? Look at other properties that already look like that.
  • Sold within the last 3-6 months. It’s not accurate to use the list price for a property that hasn’t sold yet. You can only guarantee the actual value of a property when it’s been purchased in your market.
  • Sold without concessions. Concessions mean the seller is helping the buyer purchase the property. Some sellers will contribute anywhere between 3% and 6% of the sale price to help the buyer cover closing costs (especially in a FHA or VA market). This is important to watch out for in comps, because if a house sold for $200k with a 5% seller concession, then the seller was really only able to sell if for $190k.

Market Conditions

We usually have a ballpark idea of what the market will look like in the next 6 or so months. This is important to factor into your ARV.

For example, 2022 saw a market decline after May. So, if you were comping out a property in June of 2022, you’re expecting the market to get worse, so you factor that in. Maybe you take another 5-10% off the ARV you calculated based on comps to set a realistic expectation for the future market.

Why Is ARV So Important?

When you’re calculating the ARV of the property, remember to be truthful with yourself. Work with comps to get a full picture of your actual after-repair value. Fudging these numbers only hurts you.

ARV has a direct impact on the amount you can get from a lender. Accurate after-repair value is important to your investing financials. You can read about how ARV affects LTV here.

You can also use this free tool to calculate your lendable amount on a property based on ARV.

As always, reach out to Info@HardMoneyMike.com with any questions.

Happy Investing.

70 Percent ARV: Why Can’t I Get More for My Real Estate Deal?

The real reason your fix and flip lender won’t give you more than 70% ARV…

One thing new investors ask all the time:

Why do lenders only lend 70 or 75%?

Let’s go over the numbers and see how lenders come up with that 70% number.

What Is ARV and the 70% Rule?

The number we’re talking about is what percentage of the after-repair value (ARV) a lender will give you.

The ARV is what you can sell a property for after flipping, or what it can be appraised for on a refinance for a BRRRR rental.

Here’s an example of what a 70% ARV might look like:

You buy a property. The market shows it will sell for $200k after it’s fixed up. If your lender offers 70% of the ARV, that’s the maximum amount your loan could be. In this case, 70% of $200k is $140k. So you can get up to $140,000 as a loan when you buy this property.

So that’s $60k worth of value that’s not being covered. This is where investors ask the question… There’s still a lot of money here. Why can’t I borrow against that extra $60,000?

Let’s dive into why lenders stop at 70%.

Why Do Lenders Stop at 70% ARV?

If lenders stop at 70% of the ARV, what happens to the remaining 30%?


First, is profit for you. Why do you invest in real estate? Because you want to make a profit. And if you don’t factor in profit at the beginning of your deal, there’s not going to be any leftover for you.

So as lenders, we build in a 10-15% profit margin for you. Let’s say on average, it’s 12.5%. That amount comes from the 30% of the ARV not covered by your loan. 

In our example $200k property from earlier, 12.5% is $25,000, which will be profit for you at the end of the project.


There are a few other people involved in this process, especially on the selling side.

When you bring in a realtor, you can expect to say anywhere between 4.8% and 6%. To keep it easy, we usually estimate 5%.

So of your ARV, we’ve already taken up 17.5% between your profit and your realtor.

Closing Costs, Cost of Funds, and More with a 70% ARV

Closing costs vary, but it’s safe to assume they will cost 1.5%.

With all the costs so far, we could be looking at anywhere between 17% and 22%, but an average of 19% total.

After you’ve purchased the property and started fixing it up, there will be more costs. Two major areas that should be factored into your budget are interest on your loan and a general overage budget.

Between these extra costs, we’re sitting at an average of 29%…

Which is exactly why lenders leave 30% of the ARV off of the loan they give you.

Making Sense of a 70% ARV

With real estate investing, the money’s in the money. Understanding and feeling comfortable with the numbers is the fastest way to start getting into great deals.

You don’t want to get into a deal that won’t be profitable for you. If you won’t get at least 10-15% profit, why do it? Your lender should leave space for your profit and other costs that come up.

Have questions or a deal where you need help with the numbers? Contact us at Info@HardMoneyMike.com, and we’d love to see how we can help.

You can also get more resources about real estate investing on our YouTube channel.

Happy Investing.