Home and Real estate blog

What is a hard money loan and when is it used?

Building a business requires a consistent stream of funds. Sometimes, a special project requires more than the normal amount on hand. This requires the business to raise funds via crowdfunding, loan, initial public offering, initial coin offering or pursuing funding by an angel investor or venture capitalist. Your choice depends on your business and the reason for the funding need. One sometimes overlooked option, the hard money loan, can provide a quick infusion of capital for mid-sized to large real estate projects.

Hard Money Loans Defined

Hard money loans provide a short-term loan or mortgage to fund purchase, renovation or restoration of real estate, especially investment properties. Hard money loans, also called bridge loans, help the real estate purchaser “bridge the gap” from purchase to resale or refinance of the real estate.

You can obtain a bridge or hard money loan much more quickly than a traditional mortgage. This loan type has less stringent requirements than a traditional mortgage, too. It does come with a slightly higher interest rate though. Typical rates range from seven to 12 percent. The lender disbursement fee ranges from one to 10 percent. Hard money loans require the borrower to pay upfront fees from the initial loan amount.

With loan terms of one to three years though and interest-only payments, this still makes it a relatively cheap loan. To summarize, the bridge or hard money loan offers:

  • a pre-qualification application with quick response,
  • a quick funding turnaround,
  • less stringent borrower qualifications,
  • interest-only payments,
  • a short loan term of one to three years.

When to Use a Hard Money Loan

Hard money loans provide the go to funding mechanism for a number of real estate options. Real estate investors use it to obtain funding for:

  • house flipping renovations,
  • rental property renovations,
  • traditional real estate purchase and resale/transfer,
  • all-cash purchase at real estate auction.

An investor can use a hard money loan for purchase of a single family home or a multi-unit dwelling.

For short-term projects, it’s the common funding mechanism used for fix and flip projects requiring one year or less. Investors use these for long-term projects, too, such as portfolio investors purchasing and renovating a rental property before converting to a conventional mortgage. Once an investor obtains four to 10 traditional mortgages, banks balk at issuing another. This requires the buy-and-hold investor to find an alternative like a hard money loan.

Common Loan Requirements

Applying for a conventional mortgage means meeting a bank’s strict requirements for a federally regulated mortgage. A traditional mortgage qualification requires:

  • a minimum credit score of 640,
  • employment verification,
  • two recent pay stubs,
  • a less than 50 percent debt to income ratio.

The home the mortgage applies to must be in good condition.

Applying for a hard money loan also means meeting the lender’s requirements, but this loan type features less stringent requirements. A hard money loan qualification requires:

  • a minimum credit score of 550,
  • two or three months of bank statements,
  • the property location(s),
  • the purchase price,
  • a detailed resume of real estate experience and prior projects,
  • the purchase contract,
  • contractor bids,
  • the renovation scope of work.

Hard money loans may be obtained for homes in poor condition.
The lender conducts its own property appraisal to assess the value. This becomes the basis of the loan amount. Typically, a lender uses the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for properties in good condition. Lenders apply the after-rehab-value (ARV) ratio for properties in poor condition.

Why Choose a Hard Money Loan

Hard money loans, also known as bridge loans, offer easier qualification and simple terms for real estate investors. Lenders will extend a bridge loan to new real estate investors, as well as, the experienced ones. This can help those new to house flipping get their foot in the door. Lenders will require more information from new investors though.

Although it features higher interest rates, the bridge loan’s short terms and interest-only payments provide a quick, cheap source of funding. With terms up to three years, even if a project lags behind a bit, the building will usually sell before the loan comes due.

Many lenders use a standardized online application. It provides a quick pre-authorization turnaround that lets a borrower know if they’ll obtain funding.

Real estate investors can turn to the bridge loan or hard money loan to quickly fund a purchase or renovation. Its flexible terms let the investor move on a property immediately.

Typical Foundation Repair Costs from Storm Damage – What’s Involved in Foundation Repair?

If someone will ask you what part of your house has the most importance, chances are the foundation will not be among the first answers that will pop in your mind. What many homeowners don’t realize is that the foundation is not just a simple basement or slab of concrete. Instead, it is something that protects your home against any storm damage, serves as a barrier against different burrowing pets like termites and mice, and carries the uneven weight of your house over a complete surface in order to reduce the impact of settling. Even the smallest problems with the foundation can easily lead to extensive property and structural damage.

As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your foundation is in its best condition. If you suspect storm damage, it is a must that you are also aware of the typical foundation repair costs and what is involved in a quality foundation repair project.

Costs of Foundation Repair

Getting your damaged foundation repaired can either be very costly or relatively inexpensive, and this depends on the specific kind of repair required. Therefore, it is vital to properly determine the extent and source of damage to know how much your final expenses will be.

Obtain a Report

Prior to contacting a foundation repair contractor, you might want to get an inspection from a structural engineer first. This inspection and the report can cost you around $300 to $800. It is an important step since contractors may suggest a repair method according to profit margins. There are also rare instances when you may wish to get a soil report from the geotechnical engineer can this can range from $500 to $2,000.

Average Foundation Repair Costs

Any minor chips or cracks could be easily done and fixed as a DIY project. This form of repair to poured concrete wall is going to cost you around $400 to $800. Getting the floor replaced can cost you around 50% extra. Meanwhile, piering can run at an average cost of $1,000 to as much a $3,000 for every pier. [Read the rest of this entry…]

Ways to Avoid Rental Scammers in Pekin, Illinois

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – In the world of using the internet today, there are lots of scammers looking to get a hold of your personal identity, credit card information, or even your personal phone number. As you are scrolling through what seems to be an endless amount of properties through different sites, and whether you are a firm believer in Craigslist or not, there are countless alarming things to look out for when dealing with a scammer. Here are a few ways to avoid giving out your information to the wrong person:

The rental is at a profusely low price

When it comes down to the price, it usually is a large indication when the rental is way below the average rental price in that area. And you might be wondering, what the average rental prices are in the market today. And really it depends on what area you are looking, the number of rooms and bathrooms, and space. Also, when a landlord remodels or renovates, or the place offers amenities, the price will be a lot higher to comparable apartments in that area.

Landlord claims he or she is “Out of Town” on a business trip or moved away

First off, I want to say that this is a trick that many scammers are pulling today. Claiming they are “out of town” that when you send them a deposit, they will send you the keys. It is a known fact to always, always, always set-up a meet-and-greet and makes sure you meet the landlord face-to-face. This way you can check out the property, the area, and see whether or not you see yourself living there.

When it is too good to be true, it usually is

Sometimes it is understandable the landlord does not post photos because the apartment is not yet available. However, it does not hurt to ask. Another thing to really watch for is to really see the pictures that are posted, and when the pixels are way off, or it looks almost like they stole the photo from a website, it usually sets off alarm bells. That is another good reason asking for more photos really helps avoid running into these scammers tricks.

The exact location is unknown

Knowing the property address is vital when looking for property to live in. So when the landlord is unable to give you that information, or the exact address, that sends up some red flags.

Credit check scam

Sometimes when the landlord insists that your credit score doesn’t matter and go to this site to get your credit check, they are in actuality working for the credit score company and generating leads. Therefore, do not rent or send any information until you have seen the actual property and met with the landlord. These listings are also unusual for the area, as a “condo” or a “cottage” and they use neighborhood names that do not actually exist.

Automated E-mail reply

Also, from my own personal experience, I had noticed that the E-mail sent back usually happens immediately, and is at times is an automated E-mail reply. It comes from a personal E-mail that is usually associated with a fake name.

Also, do your own research. Copying and pasting the E-mail into the Google search bar to find that person’s name is either from a deceased person or that E-mail simply does not exist, also raises red flags. And another common trait I find is that they use words such as “I” and have it written as “i”, not using proper capitalization.

Put your guard up against identity theft

Identity theft happens more often, and with the internet being an easy access to your personal information to make sure you guard your information. Most of the scammers inform you that others are interested in the property, and you must “act fast”. You’ll be asked to fill out an application before you see the property. This phony application that they send you will ask for your private information and your social security number. You will experience months of turmoil to try and undo the damage of identity theft, do your best to not get caught up in this and never give out your personal information. Landlords will sometimes ask for a valid photo ID before showing the property, but that is usually the limit of prying for information before a rental agreement is signed.

Rental tips

  1. Always make sure the person renting out the place is the actual owner or the property manager. A simple search will go a long way. Looking it up on city records or by calling the building’s manager and ask if there is an apartment for rent and who the person is in charge of renting it.
  2. Do your research before you give someone money. Check out the listing in your area to see comps. Also look into whether the place is actually for rent.
  3. Here is an example of what I got a reply back in my e-mail, when I was browsing for an apartment:

Thanks for your inquiry about my apartment.congratulation the apartment is available.Beds, Bath,,Furnished with TV,DVD player,A/C -Heater, FREE high speed wireless Internet, iron, Full kitchen Microwave, coffee maker, toaster, flatware, dishwasher, pots/pans, Lovely bedroom with bed linens provided , towels, shampoo, soap, etc and also Laundry is in the basement, so you won’t have to leave the building at all.. .

To book this apartment, you will have to pay an up-front payment of 1 month which is $1200 plus a refundable fee of security damage deposit of $300 which altogether is $1500…The balance of the rent will be paid on your arrival date. The security damage deposit will be refunded to you on your departure date when the housekeeper has checked the apartment and ensured you didn’t damage the property.

But before then you have to fill an agreement and booking form which you must read carefully and follow all the instruction given on the form. do let me know when to send the booking form so we could proceed with the booking and reservation of the apartment and payment.

You will get the full set of keys to the apartment and nobody will be sharing the apartment with you.

Hope to hear from you soon.


Some red flags you can see in this ad: The “landlord” does not share the address, the $300 deposit and the ad sound too good to be true. Also, the reply back looked like they copied and pasted into the e-mail itself.


  1. Always make sure to ask what extra fees you will be paying. It is your job to make sure you can handle any of the extra fees, such as utility bills, and /trash so always ask to make sure, because landlords tack on extra fees that are not even mentioned in the ad.
  2. Never give away your personal information. Be very cautious of making sure you see the apartment and meeting the landlord or apartment manager before you fill out a rental application.
  3. Do not pay before seeing the property itself firsthand. These scammers are only interested in getting that deposit first thing and will want you to pay before sending your keys. Trust your gut, and let them know you will hold the deposit until after you see the apartment first.




The ongoing trend of Designer Wallpapers

I am telling you, it is no surprise that the designer wallpapers are an ongoing trend for the last few years. The today’s patterns are far from what it was back in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The reason why wallpaper became such a success? The relatively inexpensive price of course. Combine that with remarkable pattern and motifs and you’ve got the reason for the success of wallpapers.

It is definitely not possible to be not inspired by a designer wallpaper. Piet Hein is a famous dutch designer and went international with his famous scrapwood wallpaper. For his collection he has managed to emulate real planks of wood on paper for the wallcovering. The scrapwood collection is a perfect solution for an unique and warm look and feel. Even though the collection has also a variation of vintage options. The multi-colour scrapwood has a vintage look that brings you straight back to the ’70s and ‘80s. The 8 different options are based on the ‘waste’ furniture collection.

Piet Hein introduced a new collection with the company NLXL. They introduced “Materials”, comprising 8 contemporary designs. Which became an enormous success.

Piet Hein Eek, Piet Boon, Merci, Rick Vintage, NLXL, Scrapwood Wallpaper, Tin Wallpaper, Concrete Wallpaper, Brooklyn Tins, Wallpaper, Ceiling Paper, Premium Wallpaper, ICFF Winner, Nizbizz

Paint or wallpapers?

You’re still trying to decide between paint and wallpapers? Let me tell you about the benefits of wallpapers. We already mentioned before that wallpapers are an easy and least expensive way to transform a space without using many elements.

Not many people would know it but using wallpapers is also really effective for the durability of your wall. Some research discovered that the use of wallpapers on the wall could last for 10 years, minimum. The solid colour of the wallpaper adds a protective layer to your wall that is cleanable and washable.

Washable wallpapers are perfect for different spaces like: living room, dining room, bedroom and the kitchen. Therefore a damp cloth is the perfect solution to get rid of the dirt.

Easy wallpaper installation?

People often wonder how to put the wallpaper on their wall without getting stuck. Of course they are not all really easy to install. It is important to read the specification before buying. The traditional way was to soak the wallpaper into water. With the new wallpaper technology you apply paste directly to the wall and hang the wallpaper dry.

So if you would ask me? Wallpaper is a great solution and very important for the long lasting condition of your walls. Therefore with all the different patterns, colours and motifs it is a good option for different spaces.


Hands-Off Property Investment: Getting to Know the Benefits

Demand for buy to let properties has increased quite exponentially. There are even reports that UK landlords own properties that are worth £1 trillion. With this figure, many are wondering what are the things that they can do which will help them establish a really successful empire out of their buy to let investments.

An important concern that needs to be covered when deciding on investing in property is whether it is going to be a hands-off or a hands on one. Of course, it is always vital to base any decision on the situation that you know is going to suit you best. However, if you are hoping for an investment that is going to generate you the income you need while at the same time is going to be stress-free, it is worth considering the hands-off approach.

Less hassle

One of the most common gripes that people gave when it comes to hands on property is that there are often unpredictable problems that tend to be unavoidable too that are involved in property management. A landlord that is going to operate hand-on can expect temperamental boilers, broken down appliances, and even phone calls late at night. A lot of investors often fail to take this into account when they decide to make an investment. Having tenants rely on you can become quite overwhelming.

With hands-off investment, you get to enjoy the fruits of property investment minus the pressure attached to managing. Having a letting agent do the job means that investors are going to get away with the negatives and will instead just deal with the positives of the investment ploy instead.

More time

Owning a property where you are going to have to do the management yourself can take quite a lot of time. In fact, it may actually become a full time job. This is not a setup that many investors might find ideal especially if they already have their own careers and other projects outside of the investment niche. Letting agents will have the necessary network of people that can be asked to assist him in addressing many of the tenant concerns in your property. They do regular inspections too which basically makes life easier for you, the owner.

Portfolio build-up

Not having to deal with the things involved in running a property means that you will have more freedom to explore other opportunities for property investment that may lead to more income. Landlords that are hands-off enjoy the benefits of an investment that is low maintenance and low risk that will allow him to have an easier time building his portfolio.

Focus more on profit

Investments that are hands-off are presently in high demand. It is achievable to enjoy high yields too. At the same time, there is instant equity that can be enjoyed once the property has been attained. This results in regular cash flow.

If you want to learn more of the benefits of hands-off property investment, check out Experience Invest. Learn the latest in the investment property market by visiting Experience Invest on Facebook.

Student Property Sector is Set to Continue Growth in 2018

Student accommodation will likely retain its upward track for property investment next year. New research reveals that for this year alone, the sector has achieved a record-breaking 30,000 bed spaces extended to the student sector.

These details reveal that the supply of studio rooms has experienced a surge since 2014 as it has doubled since. About 97% of this supply is extended by the private sector for this year based on the data gathered by Cushman and Wakefield.

The rise encompasses a total of 602,000 spaces that were purposely built. The overall rents on a per bed space basis have also seen an increase of 2.9% for school years 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 – a figure that is above the 2.7% figure that was achieved in the previous year.

This shows that the market for student accommodation has indeed experienced sustained health as a whole. Of course, there are some significant variations across the country based on sector and type. For instance, Manchester has the largest population of students outside of London. Here, annual rental for studios increased by a total of 5%. This is despite the fact that there has been an increase of 61% on the number of available studio beds as a result of the tight development restrictions. Meanwhile, in Glasgow, there has been an increase in studio beds by 29% while its annual rents have decreased by a total of 2%.

The private sector has remained as the most expensive type of accommodation in the market. The annual average for rental rates in this sector is at 21% more expensive than those accommodations that are managed by universities. The sector also happens to dominate new development supply. It has delivered a total of 87% of all the new beds that were delivered for the school year 2017-2018. Still, the record for providing the most number of bed space is still held by universities at 57%. All in all, 56% of the market is represented by en-suite bed spaces while 12% is accounted for by studios.

According to Cushman and Wakefield’s advisory associate, David Feeney, it is quite encouraging to see that the market for student accommodation has continued to flourish all this time. This is despite the concerns of the aftermath of the EU referendum as well as the impact of tuition fees to the number of students motivated to go to universities.

He further stated that there is a great opportunity for developers to successfully meet the clamour for accommodations that are more affordable and ones that will provide rooms that are considered as en-suite or standard for students. Value will increasingly become the driving force behind the students’ preferences in terms of their accommodation.

Stay in the know of the latest trends and news in the property market today by checking out Junaid Iqbal Memon online.

Owning property in Thailand: Phuket Real Estate Investment advises

Issues to consider before purchasing Phuket land and Phuket condos for sale
Are you interested in purchasing Phuket land for sale, or are you tempted to invest in one of the many tempting Phuket condos for sale ? Phuket Real Estate Investment can advise on different aspects of owning property in Thailand that are of particular relevance to foreign potential purchasers.

When considering buying Phuket condos for sale or indeed any other property in Phuket, the first thing to do is to obtain clear information about Thai laws on owning property in Thailand. For example, although foreigners are not allowed to own land, they can own buildings distinct from the land, such as condominiums or villas. [Read the rest of this entry…]

6 Ways to Find a Cost Effective Carpet Cleaning Company in London

If you are looking for carpet cleaners then one of the main things you’ll want to make sure of is that you get a cost-effective deal. After all no one wants to pay extortionate prices for carpet cleaning London services, no matter how good the service might be. So to help you get the best deal on cleaning services we’ve put together five handy hints to help you find cost-effective carpet cleaning.

Shop around – never settle for the first cleaning company you see, no matter how good their prices may seem at first. It’s always worth shopping around to find the very best deal. There are a lot of different services offering to clean carpets locally so take some time to do the research and find the one that really offers the best price in London.

Leverage the competition – with so many different carpet cleaning companies in London, every service will be vying for customers, so make the most of this. Leverage the offer you get from one company to see if you can get it cheaper elsewhere. Often companies will compete against each other and many will offer price matching cleaning services, with a little extra on top to seal the deal, so the best price you find might be knocked down if you tell them what else you’ve found or threaten to go elsewhere.

Don’t confuse cheapness for value – sometimes you will find an unbelievably low price, and suddenly think you’re on to a winner. But be careful when it comes to ultra cheap deal on carpet cleaning, because they are often too good to be true. Although one company may be offering to do a carpet clean for a crazy low price, if they then charge more on top for extra bits and bobs, or simply do such a rubbish job that you have to get it done again, you’ll end up spending way more. So make sure you’re not confusing cheap for value.

Negotiate a good price

If you need your upholstery cleaned as well you can ask the company if they can offer you a package deal. You will use two services so you can ask for a discount or a lower carpet cleaning price.

Be willing to barter – a lot of people won’t barter on price because the idea makes them uncomfortable, but you’d be amazed at what discounts local cleaners will offer just because you ask. This can be especially effective if you have a need for a range of carpet cleaning services as you can normally get away with asking for discounts on multi-service projects. This may be especially true for local companies who have the flexibility to offer discounts to new London customers.

Take advantage of special offers and discounts – even if you’re not comfortable with the idea of actually asking for discounts on your carpet cleaning, you can still make it more cost-effective by just striking while the iron is hot, and taking advantage of any special offers and discounts available. But don’t get sucked into choosing a company in London for this reason alone as they may not necessarily be the cheapest option. So utilise special offers when they are available but don’t get fooled into thinking it’s always the cheapest option, and always make sure to do the research beforehand.


You can always try the DIY option and clean your carpets on your own but this is not always the cheapest or best option. If you have never done this before you can damage your carpet or cause discolouration. This can be a costly mistake. You need to prepare for the process before approaching the task. You need to buy cleaning agents and tools and get to know different cleaning techniques. This can cost you money and time not to mention hard work. You can save yourself the stress and hire a cost-effective cleaning service. The pros will deliver outstanding results and you will have plenty of free time to spend on doing something you truly enjoy.


Garden Landscaping Using A 3-Row Design

Landscaping your home can be a whole lot of fun. If you have a creative mind and enjoy spending time outdoors, this hobby will bring you a lot of satisfaction. When visitors come to your house, one of the first things people notice when they arrive at your house is the outdoor space. When you spend the time to arrange shrubs, bushes, and flowers, your garden will become more attractive and appealing as far as the overall look of your home. When a garden is designed well, it can become the talk of your neighborhood. An eye-catching garden that is well-designed will also make your house stand out from all the others in your neighborhood.

In order to get started, you must get an idea of which plants you want to place in your landscaped space. This can be done by simply making a drawing of how you want your garden to look like once it is finished. Making a sketch of your garden ahead of time will avoid mistakes such as having shorter plants hidden behind taller ones. Landscaping projects turn out to be a lot more successful when you have a clear picture of the look you want to achieve. However, the overall look will largely depend on the types of plants and flowers you want to include in your garden.

It is recommended that you design a 3-layer plan for your garden if you want a great-looking one while keeping the design fairly simple. The rule of thumb is to place taller plants and flowers at the back. The reason for this is so the garden slopes towards the front, rather than away from you. If possible, make sure that your plants on the back row face the north. [Read the rest of this entry…]

What Renters Want in 2017

Like it or not the rental industry is competitive. Whether you’re a property manager or a landlord you need to understand that finding the right tenants means being above the competition. Experienced property developer Tim Manning suggest that offering unique aspects to the lifestyle of the residents you’re seeking will provide you with the right inventory to attract ideal people.

The renter demographic is changing, as generations age they become more likely to purchase their own homes and therefore stop renting. With the next generation comes different desires and requirements from housing. Property owners need to adapt to the changing market, marketing desirable aspects in the right way.

[Read the rest of this entry…]

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