Tag Archive for: Real estate investing

How to Refinance a BRRRR Into a DSCR Loan

100% leverage for BRRRRs will be back on the table soon. Here’s how to refinance a BRRRR into a DSCR loan.

“Can I use a DSCR loan for a BRRRR?”


A DSCR loan is one of the many products you can use to refinance your BRRRR property. 

Using the BRRRR method, you could buy a house with a hard money loan, fix it up, then refinance with the DSCR.

Let’s go through an example of what it would look like to refinance a BRRRR into a DSCR loan.

What Is a BRRRR and a DSCR Loan?

To get started, let’s review what these two real estate investment terms are.

What Is a DSCR Loan?

A DSCR loan (which stands for debt coverage service ratio) is a long-term rental loan with minimal qualification requirements. Your ability to get a DSCR loan is based on the property’s debt ratio, not your income, history, or experience. As long as the rent from the property covers all its expenses (mortgage, taxes, insurance, and HOA fees), you can qualify for a DSCR loan.

DSCR loans rely on cash flow. There are some DSCR products out there designed for negative cash flow properties. But these loans have higher interest rates, lower loan-to-values, and more cash out-of-pocket.

What Is a BRRRR?

BRRRR stands for Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat. It’s a time-tested real estate strategy for acquiring cash-flowing rental properties.

In BRRRR, there are two loans involved:

  • The buy loan. The loan you use to close the house, do the rehab, and handle carry costs until you get a tenant. Real estate investors often use hard money for this, since it’s a short-term loan.
  • The refinance loan. The loan that gets you out of the hard money and captures the equity you put in the house with your repairs.

A DSCR loan can be a perfect fit for many BRRRRs’ second, long-term, refinance loan.

Appraised Value vs Purchase Price for a BRRRR’s DSCR Refinance

DSCR loans come in many different products (interest-only, 30-year fixed, etc.). You can use any type of DSCR loan as a refinance for a BRRRR.

There is just one question you need to ask your lender: For the LTV on a DSCR refi, do you need to use the appraised value or the purchase price?

When you do a rate-and-term refinance with a conventional loan, the guidelines often allow you to use the appraised value. For DSCR loans, however, lenders write their own guidelines. The number used for the LTV varies from lender-to-lender, so it’s always important to ask.

A Fast Refi

You don’t want to be stuck in the hard money loan for very long at all. The ideal BRRRR reaches the refinance stage within 90 days. The interest rate on hard money adds up quickly. It’s important to figure out all the details of your refinance ahead of time so you can get through the process fast.

We’ve been doing BRRRR long before it was named that. Back in the day, we called it “Quick to Buy, Quick to Refi.” The old name emphasizes a part of the process that many current BRRRR investors miss.

To be quick to refi:

  • Make sure you’re pre-qualified for the refinance loan, before you even close on the property.
  • Understand when you can use the appraised value of the house. This will tell you how much money you’d have to bring into the refinance.
  • Plan out whether you can get this BRRRR done with 100% leverage

Refinance a BRRRR into a DSCR Loan with 100% Leverage

100% leverage means you don’t put any of your own money in – not for purchase, closing, rehab, or even carry costs. In 2010, we helped many clients do BRRRRs with zero money out-of-pocket. Those opportunities will be available again soon.

For a successful 100% leverage BRRRR, the property you buy has to be at least 25% undermarket. In a down market (like the one quickly approaching us now), you can find many properties for 25-40% below market value.

Example of a 100% Leverage BRRRR

What numbers do you need in order to figure out a zero down option for BRRRR? Let’s go over a couple examples.

The 75% Rule

As we’ve covered, the short-term hard money loan comes first, and the long-term refinance loan comes second. But you have to know what LTV you’re qualified for before you close on the loan.

For most cases with a rate-and-term refinance, you can qualify for an LTV of 75% of the current appraised value.

To get 100% leverage for your BRRRR, all of your costs have to stay under 75% of the after-repair value.. For example, if you had a property with a projected ARV of $400,000, a 75% LTV would leave you with a $300,000 loan (aka, 75% of $400k).

Now, the difference between the ARV and the LTV is the amount you get to budget for all your costs (purchase, closing, carry, and construction). In this case, that would be $100,000. Any costs above $100,000 end up coming out of your pocket.

Budget for Costs

Let’s continue with our previous example.

Let’s say the purchase price for this home was $250,000.

We’ve looked over the property, and we could do the full rehab for $35,000. Also, closing and carry costs will be at $15,000.

So, what does all this mean? If you can get a hard money loan for $300,000, then your whole project is covered. You can refinance the whole amount into a long-term DSCR loan and pay off the hard money, with nothing out-of-pocket for you.

Going Over-Budget

No money down is the ideal for BRRRR. There will be more opportunities upcoming for zero down properties.

But for the sake of example, let’s say your costs on a property can’t stay under 75% of the ARV. If the purchase and carry costs are the same, but the rehab will actually cost $65,000, that brings our all-in costs up to $330,000.

Yet even the best hard money lenders probably won’t be able to give you more than $300,000 for this property. That extra $30k comes out of your pocket.

This is why you need to know your BRRRR numbers ahead of time before buying a property. Too many people jump into a hard money loan, but can’t qualify for the amount they’ll need.

Help with Refinancing a BRRRR Into a DSCR Loan

Are you in a position to qualify for a 75% loan? Do you know what numbers your deal needs in order to get a good refinance? Have you found a property that could be a 100% leverage BRRRR?

If you need help answering these questions, send us an email at Info@HardMoneyMike.com. Let’s run the numbers on a hard money loan. We’d love to see you refinance your BRRRR into a DSCR loan.

Happy Investing.

5 Ways to Flip Properties During a Recession

Real estate investing can still be your career. Here are 5 tips to flip properties during a recession.

With prices going down, can you really make money on flips during a recession?

Some investors dabble in fix-and-flips while times are good in real estate. But there are other people who use real estate investing as their career, and they’re going to flip no matter what. How can those investors continue to be successful as money tightens up?

This is the third recession we’ve been through at Hard Money Mike. Here are 5 strategies we know work for flips during hard times.

1. Buy on the Lower End

What’s the medium price point in your community right now? Stick to that number and below. 

Interest rates will force any current buyers into a much lower budget. Payments on cheaper properties will still be close to (or cheaper than) rent, even if rates go up to 8 percent.

Affordability puts more buyers at a lower price point as a recession goes on. So you’ll make more money in the long run with lower priced homes.

2. Only Buy Properties That Cash Flow

We don’t know what’s going to happen in the market. But we do know two patterns from past recessions: 

  1. Homeownership will go down.
  2. Rent prices will go up.

If you’re flipping, you need to know the worst case scenario. Worst case for you is the house won’t sell, and you’ll need to convert it to a rental. You may have to keep this property for 6, 12, or 18 months before it will sell.

In the event you can’t sell when you need to, it’s important to make sure the property cash flows. Or at the very least, that you have the ability to refinance.

Another tip to keep in mind: if you may have to refinance and rent your property… don’t drop the price!

The appraiser values your home based on your last marking listing price. Every time you drop a property’s price, it drops loan availability and LTVs.

3. Start Cutting Your ARVs By 10-20%

This one’s hard for a lot of people who do flips. But to flip properties during a recession, this is a necessary step.

Interest rates are anticipated to rise from 7% this year to 8% next year. When interest rates rise 1 percent, consumers’ purchase power goes down 7-10 percent.

Say you had someone who could qualify for a $200,000 loan at a 7% interest rate. Then the rates go up to 8%. That same person would only be able to qualify for around $180,000.

You have to understand: as interest rates go up, prices go down and payments go up. And people buy based on payment.

To set yourself up for profit, take into account the upcoming increase in interest rates, and cut your ARV.

4. Look at a LOT of Deals, Buy Very Few

Most people who aren’t full-time fix-and-flip professionals have gotten out of the business. They won’t be back for at least another year or two. 

Because of that, sellers will have more deals. Wholesalers have more available right now. There are also more real estate agents specializing in REI, so they’ll have deals, too.

With more deals available, it’s a great time to buy.

However, there will also be fewer buyers. So while it’s a good time to buy, be careful not to get stuck with a bad property and no buyers.

Look for properties that meet these criteria: 

  • In good areas
  • At a lower price point
  • Cash flow

Put in a lot of time to research properties. Jump on the best ones, and let the others go.

5. Quality matters

If you flip properties during a recession, focus on quality.

We had a client recently who learned this lesson. They were looking for a buyer that could have afforded a $800,000 house in January of 2022. Then interest rates skyrocketed. Come October of the same year, that same buyer could only afford $575,000.

Imagine the expectations of someone who was recently going to buy an $800,000 house and now can only afford $575k. They need to walk in and see a glimpse of the $800k quality.

At the very least, these potential buyers can’t walk in and think, “We’d have to start over.” If they feel they need to “start over,” they’re going to leave and find a better house.

Remember, there will be a lot of homes on the market – buyers have more options than just you. You can’t skip renovations and expect to sell fast or get the best price. Make sure you do quality work when you buy flip properties during a recession.

Getting a Loan to Flip Properties During a Recession

If you find a deal you want reviewed, send it our way! We’re still lending, and we’d be happy to help you fund a deal. 

Email us at Mike@HardMoneyMike.com with deal information or questions.

Happy Investing.

How to Price a Property When Interest Rates Rise

Interest rates are changing, and buying power is changing with it. Here’s how to price a property.

“We started looking at this property back in early 2022 when the sale price could have been $800,000… But now what do we do?”

A wholesaler who has a property with us called with this question.

This client isn’t the only one stuck in this situation. If you bought a house earlier this year with a certain price in mind… What should you do now that it won’t sell at that price anymore?

Let’s look at how to price a property when buying power changes.

Interest Rates Change Buying Power

Our client purchased a property in early 2022 with the intent to sell it for $800,000. Unfortunately, 8 months later, that price is very unrealistic for the property.

Right now, they have the property listed at $650k. They’re doing showings but are frustrated with zero offers. Does no one want this property? How much farther will they have to drop the price?

Interest rates have affected buyers’ buying power. Let’s look at some of the numbers at play here.

What Is the Current Buying Power?

Back in the spring, someone looking at a house for $800k could have gotten a 4% interest rate, leaving them with a $3,819 monthly payment.

Now, interest rates are up to 7%. That same $800k property just jumped to a $5,322 monthly payment. If rates climb to the expected 8% next year, that becomes $5,870/month.

In the first quarter of this year, people could buy comfortably at a $800k price tag. Now, due to interest rates, those same people probably can’t even qualify for a loan that large.

How to Price a Property Based on Buying Power

You have to look at it this way: The monthly payment for this property increased by about $1,500 in a matter of months. That’s a 39% increase. Next year will be a 54% increase from early 2022’s buying power! This puts a major strain on the DTI of a buyer trying to qualify.

But what does this all mean when it comes to how to price the property?

Let’s keep working with our previous example. We have the same buyer wanting to keep the same down payment, same monthly payments, and same DTI. Here’s how their buying power changes:

At the beginning of this year, they could afford a $800,000 home.

Now, those same people could only qualify for $575,000.

Next year, only $520,000.

This reality of buying power needs to inform your listing price.

Deciding Listing Price

We recommended our client to sell for $575,000 – the current buying power of their target buyers.

If this client still has this property into next year, they may need to drop the price all the way to $520,000, just to find a buyer who can qualify.

Example at a Lower Price

The trouble with buying power isn’t specific to higher-value homes. Let’s look at an example from a lower price point.

A $250,000 house, at the beginning of 2022, would have cost a homeowner $1,193/month. Now, that same house would cost the same person $1,663. That’s a 39% increase. From earlier this year to early next year, the monthly payments will have gone up by 54%, to $1,834/month.

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

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

Since 2021, buyers have lost 60% of their available purchasing power. The market isn’t the same as it used to be, and unfortunately, your selling expectations need to be adjusted.

Affordability and Quality Decide a House’s Value

Two main things decide how much you can sell for: affordability and value.

Affordability changes for buyers when interest rates change. People qualify for loans and choose houses based on what they can truly afford. If you have a house on the market, you have to sell it for what people can financially manage.

Quality also impacts price point. People expect a different level of quality from an $800k house than a $500k house. Our client could keep the $800,000 price tag if the quality of the house matched that number. In that case, the property begins appealing to a different tier of buyer, whose purchase power can get them that house.

We’re still seeing some of our clients selling properties at high numbers. But it’s because their quality is outstanding, and they’ve gone above and beyond to add value. A poor to average house or flip means a minimum of a 10-20% price cut in this market.

Selling Options In This Market

If you’re struggling with a property on the market, there are a few things you could do.

  • Price based on buying power. You need to think about payment sensitivity, purchase power, and whether your target buyers could qualify for a loan. Use the numbers we looked at in this article to determine how to price the property.
  • Use a DSCR loan. If you don’t want to sell at a loss, this is a good option for you. Take the property off the market, hold for 3+ years with a DSCR loan, and turn it into a rental in the meantime. Put it back on the market when buying power improves.
  • Buy down the rate. If you pay to bring the rate down, you can attract buyers at a slightly higher listing price. Buying down the rate might cost $10,000, but it could save you from discounting the list price by $50k.

Help for How to Price a Property

Do you want a second opinion on the pricing numbers for your property? Are you curious about what a DSCR loan might look like for your property?

Send us an email at Info@HardMoneyMike.com, and we’d be glad to help.

For other real estate investment information, check out our YouTube channel here.

Happy Investing.

What Is a Transactional Loan?

Many wholesalers need to use transactional funding. Here are the basics – what is a transactional loan?

There are many different types of hard money loans. One less talked about loan is transactional funding.

A transactional loan facilitates funding when someone, usually a wholesaler, is buying a property and selling it the same day.

Here are the basics of transactional funding – what a transactional loan is, when you should use it, and where you can get one.

What Is a Transactional Loan and When Should You Use It?

In the real estate world, transactional funding is a very short-term loan, lasting 1-2 days. Most people who use transactional loans are wholesalers. They have a property under contract, and they need to close on it and sell it to someone else on the same day.

Why Use a Transactional Loan?

Normally in a situation like this, the wholesaler would simply sell the contract. A transactional loan comes in when they can’t easily do that. There are 3 common instances when this might happen.

  1. The contract is not assignable.
  2. Financing for the end buyer does not allow the contract to be transferred.
  3. The wholesaler’s transactional fee is high, and they’d rather not show the end buyer their profit amount.

Example of Transactional Funding

Let’s break down a brief example of a situation that needs a transactional loan.

A wholesaler has a property under contract for $100,000. They have also sold it to someone else for $150,000. They don’t really want their buyer to see that they’re making $50,000. And the person buying might not be happy knowing the wholesaler is making such a steep profit.

The price of the transactional fee can matter to one or both of the parties involved. This is where a transactional loan comes in. Using a loan prevents the buyer from seeing the original price paid for the property.

At the end of the day, both parties ideally make a profit off the property, so the fee amount “shouldn’t” matter. However, everyone has different reactions to money, and using a loan is a safe way to keep the transaction smooth.

What Is a Transactional Loan’s Terminology?

There are a few important terms you’ll hear in the midst of a transaction like this.

The main point of a transactional loan is that it’s used in one day. A lender will fund and be paid back usually within a few hours. In that time, ownership transfers from the original seller to the wholesaler, then from the wholesaler to the end buyer.

With these two transactions happening almost simultaneously, the title company needs a simple way to keep everything straight.

So, they label the person who is originally selling the property the “A” person. The wholesaler is the “B” person. And the “C” person is the end buyer.

Using these labels, a transactional loan has two sides: AB and BC. The AB transaction is the first part, from owner to wholesaler. The BC side is the second half, from wholesaler to buyer.

What Is a Transactional Loan Closing Like?

There are a couple steps that happen on closing day with the typical use of a transactional loan.

First, the lender sends the typical closing documents and the wire on the same day. The lender lets the title company know they won’t fund the loan until the end buyer and their funding is verified. The lender will only approve funding once they’re certain the end buyer will actually complete the process.

A one-day closing requires all three parties to be present and prepared. The AB transaction happens first. Then, a few minutes later, the wholesaler completes the BC transaction with the end buyer.

After everything is signed and completed, the title company does their thing. They complete the paperwork, clear the wires, and send the money back to the transactional loan lender.

By the end of the day, the end buyer owns the property. Plus, the wholesaler made their profit without any potential conflict about the fee.

What Does a Transactional Loan Cost?

Transactional funding costs depend on your LTV, the length of the loan, and your lender.

There are some transactional loans that merge into bridge loan territory and take up to 30 to 60 days. But true transactional funding happens in one day (maximum two). The typical cost is about 1 to 1.5 points for a transactional loan.

If a wholesaler needs a loan for $100,000, then the loan fee would be between $1,000 and $1,500. In the example we used earlier, this would allow the wholesaler to safely charge their $50,000 fee and get around $49,000 of profit.

However, a transactional loan is much less helpful when the wholesaler fee is smaller. If they buy the house for $100,000 and sell for $105,000, then the fee would leave them with a total profit of $3,500 to $4,000. In that case, it’s more worthwhile to sell the contract rather than do a transactional loan.

Transactional deals are for:

  • When the margins are good on a deal.
  • When financing for the end buyer requires it.
  • In a special case where a contract is non-assignable.

Who Does Transactional Funding?

You can get a transactional loan from a hard money lender.

Large lenders typically only loan 80-85% of the original purchase price. Smaller lenders, like Hard Money Mike, typically loan 100%.

We’ve been doing transactional loans for over 20 years. We expect to start doing even more as the economy changes.

If you have a deal, send us an email. We’re happy to look at it, price it out, and see if it’s something we can do. At the very least, we can help walk you through the process. Reach out to us at Info@HardMoneyMike.com.

Happy Investing.

When NOT To Use Hard Money For Real Estate Investing

Every form of leverage has its time and place. Here’s when not to use hard money.

You need all kinds of leverage as a real estate investor. Different investment problems will call for different kinds of debt solutions.

Hard money, banks, private equity, and OPM all have their time and place. However, there are times when certain lending methods just aren’t smart.

Hard money has a lot of important uses, but when should you not use hard money?

1. When It Costs More

The main time when not to use hard money is whenever it’s the more expensive option.

You get into real estate to make money. Saving money on the leverage for a deal is a top priority.

Hard money is one of the most expensive forms of leverage. If using hard money costs you more than any other lending option, that’s your first sign not to use hard money.

When Is Hard Money More Expensive?

Private equity funds and hard money lenders typically have around the same pricing. The real gap comes when you compare bank loans to hard money.

In a previous article about when you should use hard money, we went over an ideal situation for hard money. In this example, the speed of a hard money loan can get you such a good deal on a property that you wind up saving money.

However, that doesn’t always happen. The cost of the property might not change whether you have a hard money loan or bank loan. You might have plenty of time to wait for the cheaper but slower loan from the bank. In those cases, you almost always should not use hard money.

The interest rate and origination fee for hard money will almost always make it the more expensive loan. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of a hard money loan vs bank loan for the same property.

As you can see, when all else is equal, a hard money loan would cost you over $9,000 more.

Always, always go with the cheapest source of funds. In typical situations, bank loans and OPM will be cheaper than hard money or private equity.

2. When You Have Time

If speed isn’t a factor in getting a good deal, that’s a sign when not to use hard money.

Sometimes, speed at closing can mean the difference between getting a property and not getting it. Or, closing fastest could mean saving tens of thousands of dollars on a deal. Hard money is a good option then.

However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes a seller is willing to wait several weeks for a bank loan to clear in order to take a higher bid.

If time isn’t a consideration, then you probably shouldn’t use hard money.

3. When You Have Real OPM

OPM is money you get from real people you know. If OPM is available to you, you should always use it instead of hard money.

This form of leverage combines the speed and flexibility of a hard money lender with the price (or cheaper) of a bank loan.

If you can source and secure an OPM loan for a project, then there’s usually no reason to get hard money.

4. When You Already Have Money

It’s never smart to use a hard money loan when you already have cheaper funds available – especially when you have cash.

There’s no reason to pay a 9% interest rate when you could pay with a 0% rate, or use a cheaper line of credit like a HELOC.

A time when not to use hard money is when you have an equally flexible funding source that costs way less. In general, when you have cash available, stay away from leverage at all.

How Else Do I Know When Not to Use Hard Money?

What’s the right leverage for you? Are you doing it right? Are you using the best funds for your project?

Join our weekly call-in here, every Thursday at 1:15 PM to 2:15 PM MST to find out! Bring a specific question about a deal, and we can talk through the best option for you.

Happy Investing.

What To Do When Your Flip Is Stuck on the Market

It’s all too common in times like these – your flip is stuck on the market. Here are your options to save your money.

You got a great deal on a property a couple months ago. You worked hard to fix up the house fast. And now… it’s not selling.

This problem is happening to investors daily. We’re getting a lot of calls from our clients (and other people’s clients!) asking for help.

So, what do you do with a sticky flip?

Your Options When Your Flip Is Stuck on the Market

Obviously, the ideal goal with a flip is to sell at a profit, quickly. That may not be possible under current conditions. If your flip is stuck on the market, you might need to strategize a different exit plan.

Your main options are to:

  1. Keep dropping the price until it sells. Cut your losses and just get rid of the property.
  2. Refinance your flip’s loan. Make your lender happy, but keep the house on the market to try to salvage some profit.
  3. Convert the flip into a rental. Refinance your flip, then hold onto the property for a couple more years, until a good market returns. You can keep a tenant and get some rent income in the meantime.

Which option is right for you? That depends on your goals, willingness to rent, and financial situation. Let’s go over some of these options in detail to help you decide.

First Step in Converting a Flip to a Rental

First of all, if you decide you’d rather turn the flip into a rental, stop lowering the market price immediately.

You can’t drag out this decision, lowering the price “just in case” while exploring rental options.

When you refinance your fix-and-flip, the appraiser looks at the market history. They see the last price the house was listed for. They have to base their appraisal off that number, regardless of whether the house sold or not.

If the last listed price is lower than what they would have appraised the house for… they still have to go with the listed number.

So every time you drop the price, it lowers your potential appraisal. This directly hurts your loan-to-value on a refinance.

Loan Options for Your Flip Stuck on the Market

Once you’ve made the (quick) decision to refinance the property, what are your options?

Typically, you’d go to a bank to get a conforming or traditional loan. But banks are slow, and this refinance needs to happen quickly. Also, with money tightening, bank loans are harder to get than ever.

Here are 3 other options we’d steer you toward:

1. DSCR Loans

The DSCR loan is the easiest, fastest way to get a longer-term rental loan. The core requirements for most DSCR loans are:

  • A good credit score – 680 minimum, with a higher score meaning the better the rates and terms.
  • Rent income – If your rent covers your monthly payments on the loan transaction, you’ll qualify. Some DSCR products will still take you if you lose up to 25% on the loan payment with rent.

If you decide you want to turn your flip into a rental, a DSCR loan should be the first option you consider.

Beware the Prepayment Penalty

All DSCR loans have a prepayment penalty. The standard timeframe is 3 or 5 years. The longer the term for your prepayment penalty, the better the rate.

Prepay penalties are like exit fees. For example, if your term is 5 years, and you decide to pay off the loan during year 3, they’ll charge you 3% of the loan as an exit fee.

2. Bridge Loans

If your flip is stuck on the market, but you want a short-term refinance, then bridge loans could be the better option.

Bridge loans typically last about 1 to 2 years. There are a couple directions you could go with a loan like this:

  • You can keep the house on the market and just use the bridge loan to get out of your original flip loan.
  • You can convert it to a short-term rental (think Airbnb) to bring in some cash flow.
  • You can turn it into a traditional rental while you wait out the market.

Bridge loans are good because they’re fast, interest-only, and have no prepay penalty. The downside of bridge loans is that they’re limited to 70% of the value of the home. Plus, they tend to have higher interest rates.

If your flip is stuck on the market for too long, your original lender will start asking for their money back – potentially raising rates or threatening foreclosure. A bridge loan is a great exit.

DSCR vs Bridge Loan to Refinance Out of a Fix-and-Flip

When deciding whether to go with a DSCR loan or bridge loan, you should consider the “tipping point.” Bridge loans have 2% – 4% higher annual rates. DSCR loans have a prepayment penalty.

Depending on how long you want to keep the loan on the house decides which type of loan will be cheaper for you. This tipping point usually lies somewhere between the 14th and 17th month of a DSCR loan. That’s when the pre-pay fee becomes cheaper than the rates on the bridge loan.

3. Real OPM

Lastly, real OPM is always the ideal funding source to get you out of difficult situations.

Real OPM is real people – family, friends, folks in local real estate groups – who want to put their money in a safe place with an easy return.

An OPM lender can get a 6% to 7% rate of return lending to you over a 2% or 3% rate keeping their money in a bank. You can use OPM to pay back your original lender  and free you up to make the best decision for your flip stuck on the market.

OPM is win-win.

More Help for a Flip Stuck on the Market

We’d be glad to help you find the best loan for your needs.

Reach out now! Rates are only going to rise, and now is the perfect time to get prepared for a market with more opportunities.

Email us at Mike@HardMoneyMike.com.

Happy Investing.

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

What Does ARV Mean in Real Estate Investing?

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

Real Estate Investing: What Does ARV Mean?

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

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

What Are Comps?

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

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

How To Get an Accurate ARV

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

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

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

What Does ARV Mean for Profit in Real Estate Investing?

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

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

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

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

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

ARV – (Purchase Price + Budget) = Profit Amount

Read the full article here.

Watch the video here:


Text: "BRRRR Loan Requirements"

How Will Changing BRRRR Loan Requirements Affect You?

Lenders are upping the requirements for a BRRRR loan. Here’s what to know to prepare.

BRRRR has two loans – hard money to buy, long-term to refinance. With inflation, both loans will have lower LTVs.

What else should you expect?

Hard Money BRRRR Loan Requirements

Many private money companies – particularly bigger, national lenders – are requiring 20% down.

Hard Money Mike is a little different. We fund using real private money, so our loans aren’t as dictated by federal rates. We still go up to 100% on financing, as long as you’re approved for your long-term loan up-front.

Smaller lenders can give you a better advantage with BRRRR during inflation. But you should still expect many private lenders to offer lower LTVs.

Bank BRRRR Loans with Inflation

Long-term loans are decreasing, making it harder to cash out. Traditional lenders could go down to 70% or 65% LTVs, or just have tougher requirements.

Money is shrinking, so the pot of money available to you on either BRRRR loan is shrinking.

The Plus Side of BRRRR and Inflation

What’s the good in all of this? If you’re in a bad financial position, you’ll have a hard time continuing your real estate career in inflationary times.

But, if you’re in a good position, you’ll be able to find fantastic properties in your pricepoint. And you’ll be able to find them for 20-40% less money than you could a year ago.

Don’t fight what’s happening with the economy – figure out how to use it.

Understand BRRRR loan requirements now. If you get into a BRRRR, fix it fast and refinance fast. Figure out your BRRRR’s long-term loan first before you look for a short-term loan.

Things are changing rapidly in the real estate investment world. Get yourself in the best position to be able to work with it.

Read the full article here.

Watch the video here:

Text: "Leverage Up!"

The Power of Leverage: Are You Losing Money?

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

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

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

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

What Is Leverage?

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

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

The greatest tool for a real estate investor is leverage.

How to Find the Power of Leverage

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

We’ll look for two things:

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

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

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

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

Now, let’s dive in.

Income without Leverage vs with Leverage

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

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

Income No Leverage

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

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

Income With Leverage

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

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

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

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

Net Worth without Leverage vs with Leverage

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

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

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

Net Worth No Leverage

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

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

Net Worth with Leverage

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

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

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

Total Power of Leverage

Let’s put all these numbers together now.

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

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

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

Maximizing Leverage

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

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

80% Leverage

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

Income with Maximized Leverage

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

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

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

Equity with Maximized Leverage

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

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

That’s the road to generational wealth.

How to Maximize Leverage

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

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

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

Harnessing the Power of Leverage

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

What are your next steps?

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

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

Text: "Get Money Wise!"

7 Real Estate Loan Fundamentals – Hard Money 101

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

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

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

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

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

Fundamentals of a Real Estate Deal

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

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

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

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

1. Strategy – What Is a Real Estate Strategy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Budget – What Is a Real Estate Budget?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARV – (Purchase Price + Budget) = Profit Amount

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

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

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

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

The Why Behind Money Wise – Real Estate Investing Definitions

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

This is key to ensuring you have a safe transaction with a lender that is working in your best interest.

Curious About Other Real Estate Loan Fundamentals?

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

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

Happy Investing.