What is Hard Money Lending?

With this unique market and lending practices, hard money lending has become very popular with investors. It is a form of purchasing with "cash." The lender is typically a private lender that has terms other than your typical conventional financing. They will usually only lend on investment properties with a required 20-30% down on a 6-12 month term. You typically will pay 3-3.5 points up front for the loan and 12-13.5% percent annually. It can be pricey, but the outcome is you can usually close on a property within a few days. These loans are ideal for "flipping" properties. You better have a very well versed agent on these types of transactions because you have a very short time to "turn and burn" the property in order to meet your lending contract. If the loan has not been paid back by the end of the 6-12 month term they will foreclose on the proPerty.

 

5 tips for financing investment property

With some small improvements in the economy, many investors are starting to  consider jumping into the residential real estate market again. And low prices  make it a good time to do so.

According to figures from the National Association of Realtors, most  metropolitan areas within the U.S. reported lower median sale prices on existing  single-family homes during the second quarter of 2009 compared to the second  quarter of 2008. Sales in Florida and California appeared to post some of the  highest price drops, while prices on homes in the South, Midwest and Texas were  less affected.

But while prices are good, the days of quick-and-easy financing are over, and  the tightened credit market can make it tough to secure loans for investment  properties. However, there is some good news: A little creativity and  preparation can bring loans within reach of many real estate investors.

Investors are more scrutinized than they ever were, and financing is more  difficult, but there are options.

If you're ready to seek out financing for your residential investment property, these five tips can improve your chances of success.

Have a sizable down payment

Mortgage  insurance won't cover investment properties, so you need at least 20 percent  down to secure traditional financing for them. If you can amass 25 percent, you  may qualify for an even better interest rate.

If you don't have the down payment, you can try to obtain a second mortgage  on the property, but it's likely to be an uphill battle.

"I don't know of any lenders doing second loans on investment residential  right now. Jumbo loans, which are used for financing more than  $417,000, are also a rarity.

Be a 'strong borrower'

Although many factors -- among them the  loan-to-value ratio and the policies of the lender you're dealing with -- can  influence the terms of a loan on an investment property, investors should check  their credit score before attempting a deal. It will have the greatest impact on  a loan's terms.

"Below (a score of) 680, it can start to cost you additional money for the  same interest rate. Below 680, you will have to pay a fee to have the interest rate stay the same. That can range from one-quarter of a point to two points to keep the same rate.

The alternative to paying points if your score is below 680, obviously, is to  pay a higher interest rate.

 
 

In addition, reserves in the bank to pay for all your expenses, personal and  investment-related, for at least six months also have become part of the lending  equation.

"If you have multiple rental properties, (lenders) now want reserves for each  property. That way, if you have vacancies, you're not  dead.