Investing in Real Estate Profitably: Financing Options for Purchase of Rental Houses, Part 1.

This is not an article about tricks for 100% (no money down) financing. Even if you do take advantage of various no money down strategies from time to time, these strategies are not generally applicable when you begin investing systematically in multiple rental homes with the goal of making significant rental income.

This is because some of these strategies require a degree of deceit and careful timing, others require difficult-to-find pricing or seller situations, and others require sophisticated legal instruments and training, or a combination of all of the above. These complex strategies are good for selling mentoring programs, books and training courses.

However, none of these methods are practical, in our opinion, as a consistent practice for profitable and stress-free ethical investing. For a consistent winning program of investing, you want to be able to act quickly, repeatedly, openly and consistently, which will enable you to build up a portfolio of rental properties in a relatively short period of time.

It is therefore much more profitable and sensible in our opinion to play it safe and keep it simple. This means to focus on obtaining good investments from the point of view of future rental income and appreciation, and pay whatever down payment the banks require.

Simple as that. If you do this, you will be able to build up a portfolio of properties quickly.

You can still get very good loan deals by shopping around for financing, or by using an independent loan broker. Make sure your loan broker shops around on your behalf. Standard bank financing at good interest rates generally needs only a 5% to 10% down payment for investment property, which is not very much in the big picture.

Unless you are going to flip a property quickly, you probably want to maintain positive cash flow for most of the time you own a rental property. This is true even if you eventually plan to sell the property at a profit. After all, you never know how long you may have to hold the property before its value appreciates significantly, particularly if you have to survive the inevitable down turn in property values which can last a year or more. The only way to ensure you can comfortably hold the property as long as you need is to have positive cash flow each month.

To this end, consider the advantages of paying a full 20% to 25% down payment. This will allow you to qualify for the lowest interest rate programs. Lower interest rates mean lower monthly payments, which mean positive cash flow. In fact, with a 20% to 25% down, you may qualify for so-called “payment option loans” with minimum payment rates as low as 1%. With these loans, the minimum payment stays low for the first 5 years, with a payment increase cap each year of just 1.075 times the previous year’s monthly payment. At these levels, you will almost assuredly achieve a very good positive cash flow.

With such minimum payment loans, you still have to pay the current adjustable rate (usually around 4.5% today). However, most of the interest is deferred. At the end of 5 years, the deferred interest is added onto the loan balance. This will probably be much less than the property has appreciated. Therefore, it is a small price to pay for the positive cash flow gained during the first 5 years.

Another option readily available today is “interest only” payments. The “payment option loans” described above usually include an interest-only option. That is, each month you have the option of paying either the minimum payment described above or an interest-only payment. Other loans do not have the minimum payment option and have only an interest-only payment option. In any case, when you make an interest-only payment, you are paying only the interest for the month, and not paying down the principle. This reduces your monthly payment allowing positive cash flow in most cases, but of course you do not build up any equity in the property.

As a general rule in most states, most loans are available with interest-only options nowadays. Sometimes you have to pay a small fee at closing for this option (typically .125% to .250%) and sometimes there is no charge. If there is no charge, you may find that the interest rate is a little higher. You just have to shop and compare loans to get the best deal, as stated earlier, or make sure your independent loan broker is shopping for you.

Here is a comparison of three monthly payments plans

1) A typical minimum payment (in a payment option loan)

2) An interest-only payment (in a payment option loan or any interest-only loan)

3) A fully-amortized payment (in which you are paying down the principle a little each month.)

For a $200,000 loan, a 1% minimum payment is $643 per month. By comparison, a typical 4.5% interest-only adjustable rate loan produces a monthly payment of $750. Lastly, a fully amortized 4.5% payment is $1013.

You can see that the minimum payment and the interest-only options are low and fairly close but the fully amortized loan can make a significant dent in your cash flow.

Beware that the minimum payment in a payment option loan and the interest-only option in any loan program lasts (generally) for only 5 years. However, there are interest-only loans where the interest only option lasts 10 years. The latter is preferable if your intention is to hold the property for more than 5 years without refinancing.

Beware also that, in order to get the low interest-only rate I have used in the example above (about 4.5%), you would need to accept an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) program where the rates adjust annually or even more often. If interest rates jump significantly in the next two years, you could get stuck with a relatively high payment.

We are recommending for most borrowers who plan to hold properties for more than a year or two to either:

1) Obtain a “payment option loan” as described earlier with minimum payments that last a full 5 years, or

2) Obtain an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) loan with an initial fixed interest period of 5 years. This will cost 1% to 2% more in rate, but the insurance is absolutely worth it, in our opinion, at this time in the real estate cycle.

This article has reviewed some modern strategies for minimizing your loan payments when purchasing investment rental homes. There is much more to say on this topic. So keep an eye out for additional articles by the same authors on this and related topics.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher and Robert S. Kramarz. All rights reserved.

100% Financing Home Loans

What do 100% Financing Home Loans Mean?

These loans refer to the loans that do not require borrowers to provide for a down payment.

The usual down payment of a house is five to ten percent of the actual amount. As such, if you are planning to get a mortgage loan for a house that amounts to five hundred thousand dollars, you ought to prepare to provide a down payment between twenty five thousand to fifty thousand dollars.

However, if you avail of a mortgage loan that provides 100% financing- that means that you won’t have to prepare any down payment fees. But you ought to keep in mind that even if you are availing of a 100% financing loan, you will still have to pay some extra cash for the application and security purposes of this kind of loan.

100% financing home loans are abundant these days. You can easily find one in the Internet. Note that there are also many kinds of no deposit home loans. Among the most prominent of these types are the mortgage loan which also covers the cost of closing on the property, and the mortgage loan that provides the borrower extra cash for furnishing and/or repairing the home.

The Pros and Cons of a No Deposit Home Loan

A No deposit home loan or one that provide 100% financing is applicable for people who are not capable of raising a down payment of five or ten percent of the mortgage loan, but nevertheless, needs to buy a home as soon as possible. This is especially the case for newly wed couples or those who have suffered from losing their homes due to natural disasters or accidents. 100% home financing is also recommended for people who plan to invest in real estate properties.

Among the many benefits of getting 100% financing in home loans is the fact that you can quickly purchase the home of your choice without worrying for the expenses. Also, you won’t need time to prepare money for the necessary down payments. With a no deposit home loan, you can invest in a home and not worry about the possibility that you won’t be able to afford it later when the price of real estate increases. To add to that, some no deposit home loan packages offer financing for other expenses associated with purchasing the house like retrofitting.

However, 100% home loan financing also have some drawbacks. Among these is the fact that this kind of mortgage offers a higher interest rate than the normal mortgage loans. This is primarily because the more money being lent to you, the higher the interest in the long term. Another is that some banks charge extra closing fees such as Higher Lending Charge. Also, you have to know that it is far more difficult to obtain a 100% home financing loan that getting a normal mortgage loan due to the stricter lending criteria.

Last but not the least, getting a no deposit home loan puts you at risk of negative equity. This happens when the value of the home you have purchased decreases after your lender has given you full financing on it. In such cases, the bank or the lending company will request additional fees from you.

Commercial Hard Money Loans 101

Commercial real estate investors compete to buy a wide variety of high-value properties on a daily basis. For some investors, financing properties is a matter of tapping into a bank account. For others, buying investment properties requires securing private financing. However, not all commercial buyers qualify for financing through traditional lending institutions. These borrowers are often served by private lenders who offer hard private financing for the purchase of commercial properties.

Sometimes known as private money or equity-based loans, these loans provide financing when traditional lending institutions simply can’t or won’t. Buyers might not meet the strict requirements of banks or might want to purchase properties that are difficult to appraise. Other investors focus on buying commercial properties that need to be rehabbed, but banks are often reluctant to finance these types of purchases. In these situations, hard money loans can be used to finance properties.

Why Use Commercial Hard Money Loans?

For commercial borrowers, hard money loans make a great deal of sense. After all, making the most of your buying power means not only finding great properties, but knowing when to buy them. They are often used by investors who need to make timely offers on properties and can’t wait on approvals from traditional lending institutions. They can also be used to:
• Purchase distressed properties.
• Finance non-conventional properties.
• Finance ground-up construction projects.
• Bridge gaps between business operating expenses and available funds.

Who Uses Commercial Hard Money Loans?

While they may not receive much attention on TV or in your local newspaper’s real estate section, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t widely used by investors. In fact, commercial private money loans are used by many different types of buyers:

• Seasoned investors who want to leverage the value of their real estate portfolios.
• New investors who want to get a stake in the game.
• Buyers who prefer to fix and flip commercial properties.
• Business owners who want to refinance or cash out their properties.

Investing with Commercial Hard Money Loans

If you’re considering investing in property using a commercial hard money loan, it’s important to remember that good planning is key to realizing a high return on investment (ROI). It’s essential to plan for the property’s use before making a purchase. It’s also a good idea for investors to sit down with their financial advisors and review their equity and holdings so that they can make the right real estate investment purchases with the right type of financing.