Everyday, I open up my inbox and I see countless messages or promotions from Private Lenders – both individual’s and institutional privates, seeking to compete in this ever-changing mortgage landscape.
Gone are the days, you could call a private lender and ask them to fund your client’s troubled file. Now they are also requiring more paperwork (even when they say they don’t) and their rates and fees are getting higher and higher! Private Lenders are feeling the squeeze too!
Why is this?
For one the market cannot rebound or absorb the over-inflated numbers we were seeing from the last two years. For instance, clients who were over-bidding on properties and in some cases paying over $100,000 to get into that property are now looking for a way out. However, they are in negative equity situations, which means they are stuck with the their current lending options or selling at a loss to get out from the overwhelming debt.
As a mortgage broker, I always strive to think out of the box, in order to stay competitive.
With that in mind, over two years ago, I went to the US (specifically Florida) and started making contacts with realtors, other mortgage brokers, lenders and wholesalers, just to name a few.
Once I had my contacts established and verified, meaning I would only work with referral sources that had been verified and could back up their offerings with proper protocols in place, I was then able to hit the Canadian market and start marketing this source of business. It has not been easy and has taken a lot of work but in the end, it has definitely worth it, as I have been assisting countless investors in Canada to invest in both residential and multi-family properties.
Contrary to the so-called Trump Effect, the exchange rate and the low Canadian dollar, now is actually the BEST time to invest in revenue properties in the US.
Regardless of these issues, people always need a place to live, and with the ever-fluctuating market in the US, there are many opportunities to take advantage of low prices and the financing that is available to both Canadian and US investors.
For instance, you might consider purchasing wholesale properties in Tampa, vacation rentals in Orlando or turnkey properties in Atlanta, just to name a few of the available opportunities that exist.
Many real estate investors start out with a dream of owning many properties but ultimately, many things can sway the dream or the well-thought out plans, such as low inventory, high prices, low cash flow and the inability to qualify.
So you have money but can’t get the returns you want, or you cannot find a property within your budget, so how can you make that money work for you? There are many different options available.
Recently I was approached to finance a commercial building in Hamilton, Ontario.
The property was a vacant and former rooming house and the clients wanted to transform it into a retirement home. The clients were a retired nurse and two personal support workers, all of whom had experience working with seniors, however they did not have experience operating a retirement home.
Every once in a while as investors, we come across an amazing deal and usually that deal is a deal because it needs a lot of work – otherwise known as a “handyman special”.
Then the question becomes what is the best way to financing this opportunity and which lenders will consider the “after repair” value and not the “as is” value. Currently there are very few options that exist to renovate properties using the “after repair” value.
Options using the “as is” value literally suck! You can do a purchase plus mortgage, where the lender will give up to 10% or $40,000 max. of the “as is” value for renovations and after all is said and done, you get to include that cost into the mortgage. However the caveat is that you must have those funds in your pocket to begin with. Another way might be to take it out of your existing HELOC or unsecured LOC, but then you are worried about timelines, paying it back, over-extending your lines of credit and worse if another opportunity comes along you have now tied up that money into the current property, waiting to flip it!
Furthermore, how far is 10% of the value going to get you? Not very far in most cases! The rest comes from your own pocket and if you are like me there are typically other uses for that money.
As a real estate investor I dreamed of having a horde of rental properties but with prices where they are, down payment requirements, land-lording issues in some cases and finding good deals, I turned instead to private lending.
I liquidated my last property after completing two Rent-to-Own deals but have kept my Four-Plex as it is a JV deal that is too good to get rid of plus it keeps me in the game so to speak.
At this point in my life, I am looking to put more focus on my retirement goals and initially I thought I could do that by having rentals, however I realized that I like the low-key approach to investing rather than looking for great deals, trying to find partners with money and chasing down tenants for rent.
Private Lending has become a hot topic of late! Due to a variety of reasons, borrowers may need private loans due to insufficient income to qualify for a mortgage, debt consolidation, damaged credit and even people looking to borrow money against their equity. However in many cases the existing lender may not be willing to lend against that equity and therefore people turn to private loans for a solution. But it’s not always that easy or clear on how they work so let’s unravel the private lending world.
In Part 1, I will speak about the borrower and private lender. In Part 2, I will speak about how you as an investor can loan your money in private lending as an alternative to owning property.