Quit Your Day Job

Start Living Your Best Life

Whether you’re 18, 38 or 78, years old, it’s never too late to chase after your dreams.  No matter if you’re seeking to make more money, be your own boss or, own your own company, all you have to do is, start. But where exactly is a good place to start? Ask any who has found success in any type of business and they’ll tell you they didn’t do it alone. Just like hiring a coach to get in good physical shape, you could consider hiring a coach or mentor to get in great “business shape.”

No experience? No problem! While we often cater to experience investors, we also teamed up with expert real estate investing coach, Joe Barletta in an effort to help your if you’re just getting started. Michael Barker, a loan officer for Lend Some Money recently teamed up with Joe to create this helpful segment for real estate newbies.

Click here to listen.

You can visit the coaching page on our website to learn more about hiring an investment mentor or even to chat with Michael live! You can typically catch him during business hours for immediate assistance and answers to your lending questions.

Happy New Year! We hope 2019 is your best yet!

Top Design Trends from 2018

Predicted Trends for 2019

We can all thank Chip and Joanna Gains for introducing us to shiplap. A material that became widely popular to use during home remodeling. Here are some more recent trends from this past year, as well as trends to watch for in 2019.

1. The Metal Roof. This trend is quickly spreading across the country. While metal roofs cost more upfront they also are said to last 50 years or longer depending on the type of metal. This past year it became not only popular to choose a metal roof but to go with a bright or bold color such as a red, stark white or even blue.

2. The Color Purple. Designers predicted lavender as the “it” color for 2018 and Pantone’s color of the year for 2018 was a shade called ultra violet.

3. The Colored Kitchen. For the past few years white has been the go to color choice for kitchen remodels. In 2018 we started to move towards colored cabinetry and that included miss-matched uppers and lowers. In addition, we started to move away from stainless and brushed nickel and we brought back metal tones such as aged bronze, copper and rose gold.

4. The curvature. 2018 furniture trends started moving away from sharp edges to more curved couches and chairs. These relaxed lines give off a more organic feel.

5. The Wonders of Wallpaper. Wallpaper made a huge comeback this year. Pretty much anything goes when it comes to selecting wallpaper too, from geometric patterns and shapes to eye catching metallic and even nature inspired prints.

What’s in store for 2019? Here are three additional trends sources predict:

1. All Black Kitchens. All black materials including painted wood, metal and stone, then paired with decorative green plants, will give off a sophisticated and contemporary look. In addition, stainless is dying. In fact, we won’t see as many appliances because hiding them behind paneling or other materials is becoming popular again.

2. Technology. Mirrors that double as entertainment, lighting and even health tracking devices are expected to continue to be on the rise making their way from hotels to inside homes.

3. Clean and Clear. Upper cabinets will continue to either disappear for floating shelving or no shelving at all. The demand for clean, clear sight lines and an even great open feel, will continue to rise in 2019.

To have your designs and transformations featured on our social media sites e-mail the images to: info@lendsomemoney.com.

Exit Strategies

Three Options for Paying Back Your Hard Money Loan

When you apply for a hard money loan you’ll be asked what your “exit strategy” is. What that means is simply, how do you plan to pay back the money you borrowed? In this blog, we’ll explore some of your options.

  1. Use the income you make from selling the property to pay off the loan. This strategy is ideal for fix and flip loans where the investor often purchases the property for a much lower price, fixes it and then sells it for a pretty profit. Hard money lending is perfect in this situation because it will provide the investor access to fast funding. The faster the transaction and flip, the less interest the investor pays and the more money they walk away with.
  2. This is often the strategy used for income/rental properties. Again, hard money loans are ideal because they provide the investor the quick funding needed to purchase when the right opportunity presents itself. The refinance option also allows the investor time to transfer the hard money loan/short term loan after they’ve lined alternative, long-term financing often from a traditional lender.
  3. Alternative Source. You might choose to use funds from another sale, investment, or even hard money loan. This often an investor’s fallback plan because it alters the course of funds from its original, intended use. It does however; buy the investor more time to find the right buyer or even more time to further the income potential on an investment.

Having an exit strategy is important. Ideally the investor wants to be able to cover the cost of the loan using the profits from the real estate deal. Experience, careful planning and matching the right exit strategy with each unique real estate transaction will help investors be more successful. Contact us to apply for funding or to speak to a hard money lending expert today.

Achieve Financial Freedom

Step One, Improve Your Credit Score

In order to obtain financing or a hard money loan for your real estate project your credit score will be taken into consideration. While it’s not the only factor or the most heavily weighted when it comes to approval or denial, it is still an important step to take on your way to achieving financial freedom and setting yourself up for long term financial success. First, let’s look at the breakdown of credit score ranges and what is typically considered good, fair, poor and bad credit.

  • Excellent Credit: 750+
  • Good Credit: 700-749
  • Fair Credit: 650-699
  • Poor Credit: 600-649
  • Bad Credit: below 600

Everyone is entitled to one complimentary report per year from each of the three major creditors. Obtain these each year and make sure there are no discrepancies. If there are, you can dispute them with each creditor. Things to look for include:

  • All personal information is correct
  • The report reflects all your credit accounts
  • Look for missing or late payments that you believe were to have been made on time
  • Look for accounts or applications for credit you don’t recognize
  • Look for outdated items (a decade or more ago) that still appear on your report

Next it can be helpful to determine what areas of you need to improve upon. For example, if you have a habit of making late payments, set up payment alerts or reminders for each month. Lack of diversity can also cause a lower credit score. Many lenders want to see you can accommodate more than just credit card debt. This is where having (and paying on time) a car payment or mortgage can actually help you.

If you do have debt, stop moving it around and start paying it off. Some experts even suggest that you use your negotiation skills. For example, contact the debt collector and ask if they would be willing to hold off on reporting the debt to each major credit bureau in exchange for full payment. (Get the agreement in writing.)

Limit individual store cards. Sure it’s tempting to save an additional 10 – 20% on your purchase by applying for a Macy’s card but skip this as your credit takes a hit with every application whether you’re approved or not.

Another thing to limit is the amount of debt to limit ratio. Don’t allow the debt on your card to exceed 30% of your credit card limit. This can hurt your credit score even if you make payments in full and on time every month. One strategy to overcome this is to make an additional payment any time you feel you might exceed 30% of the allotted limit.

Your credit score is just one of many factors in obtaining a hard money loan and getting your start on the pathway to financial freedom through real estate investing. If you are seeking additional advice or would like to speak to a lending expert, please contact us.

Looking to Become a Landlord?

Becoming a Landlord

So, you’ve decided you want to try your hand at landlordship. We don’t blame you; even though there’s a lot of work upfront, the long-term return can be quite lucrative. We’ve put together this list of things to prepare and research before you purchase your first income property.

  1. Your Finances – Make sure your own finances are in order. It’s wise to have a little cushion in the bank because the fact of the matter is, it might be a few months before you start profiting.
  2. Property Selection – It’s not just about the neighborhood. Renters especially families will also consider the local schools, job market, crime rates and even amenities. This is especially true if you want to attract good, long-term renters, they’ll be looking to live and work in a safe area where they can easily access conveniences such as shopping and nightlife.
  3. Competition – Be sure to look into what future developments might be happening in the areas you’re looking to purchase your rental property. New construction could mean new competition.
  4. Vacancy Rates – These rates can affect your ability to generate income. High vacancy rates often force landlords to lower their monthly rent in order to attract tenants. Meanwhile, low rates often mean a landlord can increase the rental price.
  5. Additional Costs – Remember, you going to need to factor in the cost of insurance, taxes, legal fees, months where a unit or units are vacant, maintenance and a property management company among other things.

So before you begin, do your research, carefully manage your finances and plan ahead as best you can for both the expected and the unexpected expenses. If you’re ready to get started, click here to apply for financial assistance on your buy to rent property.

Hear Her Roar

Women of Real Estate

At the ripe age of 26-years old Sissy Knopps decided to leave her nine to five and embark on a real estate career. Married with two children at that time, she was inspired by both the ability to create her own schedule as well as help couples find a home to make lasting memories in, similar to what an agent had done for her in the past when she and her husband purchased their 3-bedroom (plus office), 2-bath, ranch style home on a half acre lot in Wisconsin.

Fast-forward four years and Sissy is mere 30-years old, still happily married and now a mother of three. She’s come a long way since the beginning of her journey and she’s experienced great success. Some of her accolades include: top sales agent of the month, multiple times for her Coldwell Banker office and in 2017 she was recognized globally and became member of the International Sterling Society. Her husband Mike is a Realtor as well, as of late their total sales volume looks like this: 2015, $7.9 million. In 2016, $8.1 million and in 2017 they reached a combined $12.3 million with Sissy being solely responsible for 9.2 million of the total.

In 2016 she and Mike took on their first flip project. Here are some things she wanted to share that might help you as you embark on your real estate investment career.

  1. In terms of overall property selection – “I try to steer clear of really old homes but overall you want good bones and a solid foundation.”
  2. In terms of renovating – “The key to finding a good flip is being able to envision what it could be. You have to look past a lot and imagine what it would look like completed. [This includes] “Things like moving walls, types of flooring and finishes, exterior and landscaping.”
  3. In terms of financing and budgeting – “It can be tough, make sure you look at the comps and are making a smart investment.”
  4. In terms of saving money – “Doing the demo yourself can save money and so can doing some of the renovations however, never cut corners, or do shoddy work to just save a few dollars.”
  5. Overall advice – “Be smart, stay within your budget and treat it as if it were your own home.”

If you’re looking to get your start in real estate investing and need a strong financial partner or would like to speak to an experienced hard money lender, contact us!

Factor In These Features

Flip & Investment Property Checklist

In a previous blog we reminded investors to consider the cost of landscaping in their overall evaluation of the property. Remembering to do this helps determine the renovation cost, loan amount, property list price and the potential profit. There are however, a few more things flippers and landlords often forget to inspect or consider prior to the purchase, here’s a helpful list of things to remember.

  • Exterior features such as siding, brick and stucco
  • Landscaping
  • Septic, well and indoor plumbing
  • HVAC system
  • Foundation and concrete work
  • Decking/railings, banisters and other features which may pose a safety concern
  • Any back taxes owed on the property
  • Homeowners association fee

Additionally, if you’re going to rent the property or you are a landlord to the property you’ll want to factor in these things as well:

  • Heating and cooling costs
  • Insurance
  • Routine maintenance
  • Legal expenses (should you have to evict a tenant, etc.)

Have an eye on your next investment project? Join the hundreds of other investors who are applying for and receiving funding right from our website! Call or text today if you have questions or would like to speak to a hard money lending expert. 203-974-3322.

Count On Curb Appeal

Why It’s Important to Factor in Exterior Landscaping

If there’s one thing you can count on it’s, first impressions matter. When you’re assessing a property’s “flip-ability” don’t forget to evaluate the current state of the landscaping. Sometimes flippers and real estate investors will only focus on the cost of the repairs inside the property. However, it’s also wise to consider budgeting for the cost to spruce up the look and feel of the exterior as well.

In addition, it will be easier to determine what kind of offer you want to make on purchase of the property when you consider both the interior and exterior rehab costs. It also makes it easier to calculate what your potential profit will be. Here are six some things to look and budget for.

  1. Replace (if necessary) or power washing siding.
  2. The planning of or removal of trees and shrubs.
  3. Painting and color coordinating exterior features like the shutters.
  4. Driveway and walkway maintenance.
  5. Incorporating landscaping and planting flowers where necessary.
  6. Pull weeds, add mulch or rocks, pull weeds and get the grass as green as possible.

When it comes to recouping your money on your investment property the curb appeal will make a world of difference. A standard evaluation is to invest 10 percent of the homes value on landscaping. Some experts say that you can count on curb appeal to increase the overall value of the property anywhere between 5 and 20 percent. Contact one of our lending experts for additional assistance determining the cost of your hard money loan request.

Property Pre-Inspection

A Marketing Strategy

There are several strategies that could potentially help you sell your listing faster and for top dollar. Providing a pre-inspection on the property is one of them. A pre-listing inspection is a written report that assesses the current condition of the home.  It is likely a potential buyer will still hire his or her own inspector, but having the pre-listing inspection completed sets you apart from sellers who haven’t taken this action.

By having a pre-inspection you can attract more serious buyers and it also shows you’re a serious seller. This is important because you’ll save time and money working with individuals who won’t back out at the last minute.

Other benefits of a pre-inspection include, it helps you or your agent market your home and it provides the buyer piece of mind as to what they are getting themselves into. Contact us if you’re looking for more marketing strategies to help sell your flip or investment properties.

How to Select Your Next Investment Property

Three Important Tips

Maybe you have one or more successful flips under your belt, or you purchased an apartment building and have experienced what it’s like to sit back and collect rent. Either way, if you’re hungry for more investment opportunities don’t wait! In almost all areas of the country the housing market is seeing high demand and low inventory. So, how do you select your next investment project? To help, we’ve put together this list of three things to keep in mind.

  1. With just a little bit of online investigating you can find lists that contain the top five, ten, twenty, etc. areas where real estate investing is at an all time high. Just make sure you’re getting your information from a reliable source. (Not Wikipedia!)
  2. If you’re buying a property that needs renovation the main things to check for are: the building’s structure/foundation, can walls be moved, and if the amount of money you need to sink into renovations can be recouped when you turn around and sell.
  3. As always, location, location, location – it’s possible to be successful even in areas that don’t make the lists mentioned in number 1. Just remember to look at recent comps in the neighborhood, to help determine average home sales or the going rate for rent. Also keep in mind things like the average income for individuals living in that area and you should possibly consider the employment/unemployment landscape.

In real estate, time is always of the essence. The faster the purchase, flip/renovation and sale the more successful your likely to be. Hard money lending is often the fastest way to achieve funding for your investment and it allows for the most flexible loan terms. Contact us for more information or to apply.