Podcast 119: Hard-Money Loans for Fix and Flips with Ben Shaevitz

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16 flips currently in progress. 140 flips completed. 18 rentals properties.
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I have gotten two hard-money loans in my 16 year career as a real estate investor. I obtained both this year from Ben Shaevitz with Patch of Land. I shy away from hard-money loans because of the high rates, hoops you must jump through, and length of time it can take to get the loan. However, I worked with Patch of Land because they were able to eliminate many of those difficulties. The thing that really helped me out was they did not require a full appraisal to get the loan completed. Not only did they lend to me without an appraisal, but they were also able to complete one loan in less than a week, which helped me get a deal I may not have been able to get otherwise. On this episode of the InvestFourMore Real Estate Podcast, I talk with Ben about Patch of Land. We discuss how he got started in the business and why I decided to finally use hard money.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the green button below

Why did I decide to use a hard-money loan over other financing?

I have never used hard money before this year. I have a number of financing options, including local banks, private money, and my own money. The rates on my fix-and-flip loans from local banks are under 5%, but I must put 20% down and pay for all the repairs out of my pocket. I love private money because it involves sending a text to my buddy that asks if he wants to loan on a certain house, and he usually responds “yes” within about 10 minutes. Private money is more expensive (in the 10% range). In the past, hard-money loans had even higher interest rates, but they have come down significantly. I have gotten two hard-money loans with rates under 9% and with less than three points. Even with rates getting lower on hard money, almost all hard-money lenders require a full appraisal to be done before they will lend on a house. In Colorado, it was taking up to three weeks to get an appraisal, and most deals I get need to close in three weeks or less.

I ended up meeting Ben Shaevitz at a real estate conference and became very interested when he mention they would do hard-money loans without an appraisal! I did one loan with him earlier this year on a wholesaler deal I found. I did another loan with him on a deal last month when I had to close in five days. I had a seller who had listed their house on the MLS. I made an offer, but the seller decided to take the house off the market. A week later, the seller’s agent called me and said they wanted to sell the house again but needed to close in 5 days! I emailed Ben on a Sunday asking if he could close the deal by Friday, and he said yes. I was a bit skeptical, but they got it done.

How does Patch of Land hard money work?

Patch of Land has been in business since 2013, and Ben started working with them in 2015. Ben had been a conventional lender for many years and did very well, but he was looking for a change. Ben helped Patch of Land grow to the point where they did $170 million in loans in 2016. They focus on lending to fix and flippers but also have bridge loans for rental properties and other projects.

Here are some of the basics on their hard-money lending:

  • Rates vary from 8 to 11% based on experience and the deal.
  • On loans that are less than $250,000, they do not have to do a full appraisal.
  • They lend on 85% of the purchase price and up to 100% on the repairs.
  • They lend in 46 states.
  • They will lend to investors with no flipping experience.

As I mentioned before, the two things that really attracted me to Patch of Land was they do not require an appraisal and their rates are very competitive. It also helped that Ben and I both graduated from The University of Colorado the same year and even were at the same dorm at that same time (we did not know each other)!

How can you contact Patch of Land?

Ben is very easy to get a hold of and very responsive (I can confirm that because responded to me on a Sunday)! You can call Patch of Land at 888-605-6326, or check them out here: Patch of Land. They can help with many types of financing on many types of projects.

 

EPISODE 119 

 

[INTRODUCTION] 

 

[0:00:13.9] MF: Welcome to the Invest Four More Real Estate Podcast. My name is Mark Ferguson and I am your host. I am a house flipper. I flip 10 to 15 houses a year, I own 13 rental properties, with a goal to buy 100 by 2023. I’m also a real estate agent. I’ve been licensed since ’01, I run a team of nine and we sell close to 200 houses a year.  

 

So on this show, we like to interview house flippers, landlords and the best real estate agents in the business. So stay tuned for some great shows, if you want more information on my rentals, on the numbers, how I buy properties, check out investfourmore.com. 

 

[INTERVIEW] 

 

[0:00:58.0] MF: Hey everyone, it’s Mark Ferguson with Invest Four More and welcome to another episode of the Invest Four More Real Estate Podcast. Today, I’m going to be speaking with Ben Shaevitz who is the Senior Vice President of Loan Originations at Patch Of Land which is a hard money lender and you know, I’ve had a couple of different hard money lenders on in the past, great for fix and flip loans, even some rental property opportunities to fix up properties, refinance them later. 

 

One reason I had Ben on – we’re both CU Alumni, University of Colorado which goes a long way in my book and also, he is the only hard money lender I’ve personally used. He’s done a couple of loans for me. I was so impressed with the last loan he did that I had to pretty much let him on the podcast. No. I would have had him on anyway. 

 

He ended up closing that deal in less than a week so that was pretty impressive. Ben, how are you doing? Thank you for being on the show. 

 

[0:01:49.0] BS: I’m doing great, thanks so much for having me first and foremost, go Buff’s!

 

[0:01:52.5] MF: Yeah. No, it’s funny because I met Ben at a conference last year or maybe earlier this year I guess but we started talking and realized we both went to University of Colorado. We were like, “Oh that’s cool”, then we realized we both kind of graduated the same year. Like, “Oh that’s neat,” and then we realized we both were in the same dorm at the same time. So it’s like, “holy cow!” But we never really knew each other but still, it’s crazy how small the world is once in a while. 

 

[0:02:17.1] BS: Yeah, amazing coincidence. I’m glad we got to hook up at that conference. 

 

[0:02:20.7] MF: Yup, nope, that was a good one and yeah, me too. Ben, I start everybody off with the same question. How did you get started in the business? Was it straight out of college, how did you get started in the lending business in hard money? 

 

[0:02:34.4] BS: Sure. I kind of grew up in a real estate family, my dad’s been a real estate broker since the 70’s. My mom was a realtor with Coldwell Bankers since 1988 and still actually active today. I kind of just naturally fell into it after college.  

 

When I graduated from Boulder, I actually moved to Hawaii for a year, get that out of my system. Then I moved to LA and the real estate market here is just so strong, it’s kind of hard, you know, given my background and I got my real estate license right away, it was kind of hard not to fall into the business. Got in on the lending side and I worked in conventional lending for about 13 years. 

 

Worked my way up through the large conventional lenders and then about two years ago, I decided to take a different route and go into private lending and it’s been great, here I am. 

 

[0:03:12.5] MF: I didn’t know you had all that background in real estate, that’s kind of crazy. My dad was a broker since 1978 as well and just recently retired. You said you had – what made you go into the lending side instead of the agent side? 

 

[0:03:26.4] BS: I just saw that it was a good opportunity to get in on the lending side. I had a few friends that worked at some of the larger lenders in the country. I had it in on that side, I didn’t really have an in, in terms of if I wanted to become a realtor in Los Angeles and it was just so competitive. There’s a lot of people out here in LA that are trying to get into the real estate business. I really saw an opportunity to operate on a national level and on a national scale at the lender and like I said, I had a few friends that were in the business. 

 

It was an easier in for me and to be honest, I prefer this side of the business. 

 

[0:03:54.9] MF: I can understand that. You worked in the conventional side of lending for a long time. Was that primarily in Los Angeles? I imagine you saw some pretty crazy housing prices up and down during that time? 

 

[0:04:09.8] BS: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve pretty much been through it all. I started in about 2003 and you know, I worked, I saw – I worked mostly in new constructions, so there was a lot of new construction in Los Angeles, in Las Vegas and all across the country really. That was primarily our focus, was new construction.  

 

I worked on that side for a long time which was great because it introduced me to a lot of new buyers and also introduced me to a lot of new realtors. As supposed to the lenders that we’re focusing just on refinances, which was a lot of people during that time, got to build my book of business by meeting lots of realtors and buyers as well. 

 

I stuck with the business through the crash and continued to work on the conventional lending side after you know, in the 2010/2011 and worked on that side of it all the way up until 2015, which is when I came over here.  

 

Like you said, I’ve seen all kinds of ups and downs in this business and I feel like that’s given me a good mindset to move forward really in any cycle throughout the real estate industry. 

 

[0:05:09.0] MF: Yeah, I started in 2001/2002 and same thing, it’s kind of interesting going through the ups and downs and both sides of it you can make money but it’s a little scary on the crash. 

 

What happened to your business during the crash, did it drop off a lot or did you find other ways to make money? How did you get through it? 

 

[0:05:27.2] BS: Well I think the fact that I was working for the most part with buyers as supposed to just people who were trying to refinance, I think that faired very well for me throughout the crash. Because the people who we’re working with, just people who were refinancing, as you know, values were dropping so there wasn’t a ton of equity at that time so people who were just working with refinancing clients really didn’t have much to do. But working with realtors, you know, there’s always opportunities especially in a down time to buy property. 

 

I still had plenty of buyers in my rolodex that I was working with that allowed me to survive that pretty tough period. 

 

[0:05:59.1] MF: That makes sense, obviously, whatever business you’re in, it’s nice to diversify and have a few sources of leads or clients. So that if one dries up, something else comes along. 

 

[0:06:10.1] BS: Yeah, absolutely. There’s opportunities in up markets and down markets. The more people you’re working with, the better off you’re going to be. 

 

[0:06:15.2] MF: Yes, for sure. Okay, one more question about the lending side. Have you seen a big difference? I mean, you’re in hard money now which is completely different but after the crash versus before the crash as far as getting a loan, how hard it was to get a loan for buyers, did they change those qualifications? 

 

[0:06:31.7] BS: Yeah, absolutely. There was first of all, documentation, there was a lot more required after the crash is compared to before. Not only that but even for full documentation loans, the qualifications became more strict. 

 

You know, lower debt to income rations, lowered leverage on purchases and on re-fi’s, things like that. There was also other programs that became available that made it easier, even for people who had had a hard time through the crash. I mean, there was the heart program, it’s a lot of people who were underwater to refinance their homes and stay in their homes as it was a great program. 

 

Also, FHA loans, they allowed people who were underwater on FHA and VA loans to refinance regardless of the loan to value. We were refinancing people after the crash at LTB’s of 200 and 300 because these people weren’t leaving their homes. These are the homes that they lived in, they’d never missed a payment in 10 years and you know, the government saw an opportunity to reward people for continuing to make their payments on time. 

 

You know, it went both ways. Harder in some respects and easier in some respects. 

 

[0:07:30.0] MF: Right. That’s interesting. When they’re doing those huge loans, were they just refinancing to get a lower rate? Is that what the goal was? 

 

[0:07:36.6] BS: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you have people who bought homes to live in them, they weren’t part of this crazy real estate boom, they just happened to have bought a house for their family in 2007. When the market turned, you know, that was extremely unfortunate for them but for the people who made it through to the other side in 2009, 10, 11. 

 

They had rates in the five, six, seven percent and the heart program and FHA streamlines and things like that, programs is like that, allowed them to refinance down as the market rates and the three’s and four percent, for people who had made their payments on time. It was a great program. 

 

[0:08:07.1] MF: Yeah, plus, on top of that, if people could lower their payments, it gives a better, it gives them more incentive to stay in the house and not foreclose as well, which probably helped the housing market. 

 

[0:08:15.8] BS: Yeah, absolutely you’re totally right. 

 

[0:08:18.8] MF: That’s interesting hearing that, I hadn’t heard exactly how much refinancing was done on those underwater properties. You moved into the hard money in 2015, what triggered that transition, how did it work? 

 

[0:08:31.0] BS: I saw an opportunity to get in to younger, growing company and I was at a sort of behemoth of a company. When I started at my previous company, there was about, I think I was the 87th employee and by the time I left, there was 2,700. I have grown throughout the ranks with the company and I kind of hit my ceiling there. 

 

I saw an opportunity to join young, innovative company in a really exciting industry with lots of room for growth. I felt it was the right time in my life to make a move and so I acme over. I hadn’t regretted it one second since. I love this side of the business, I think it’s much more creative, you know. I have a lot more say in the direction of the company in regard to pretty much every aspect of our business.  

 

To me, that’s really important to be able to have influence over how we operated the company in terms of our culture, in terms of how we treat our clients and you know, this side of the business is just more exciting to me. I’m really glad I made the switch. 

 

[0:09:24.4] MF: Imagine hard money, you have so much more freedom to lend and kind of make your own guidelines versus you know, lending to owner occupants where there are so many regulations about what you can and can’t do. Can you expand on kind of the differences between the hard money and conventional lending? 

 

[0:09:40.9] BS: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, conventional lending, your secondary market is Fannie Mei, Freddy Mac, FHA and VA for the most part. Basically, you’re going to take all the aspects of the loan, you’re going to put it into the computer and you’re going to run a desktop underwriter. 

 

If it passes the desktop underwriter, the loan is going to get approved and if it doesn’t and it’s not and there’s really no flexibility, there’s no sort of you know, make sense underwriting model. 

 

You could have a million dollars in the bank but if your income doesn’t get you to a 43% debt to income ratio, the loan’s going to be denied which is just kind of silly. I really prefer sort of a make sense underwriting model taking all the aspects of a consumer’s credit into account. 

 

You know, taking the project into account and you know, that’s kind of the model that we operate on over here. We look at assets, we look at credits, we look at experience and we look at the project and the market of course. We use all the factors combined to determine, to make our lending decision and move forward. 

 

[0:10:33.8] MF: Yeah, I think a lot of investors, even rental properties or flippers run into issues with conventional lending. Just because of the nature of real estate where if you have a lot of properties, you know, the conventional lenders as sometimes you have weird ways of looking at rental income and liabilities. 

 

Your debt to income ratio can be way off based on what it really is. It makes it pretty tough for a lot of us. 

 

[0:10:56.8] BS: Yeah, it’s really tough for any self-employed borrower to be honest because any self-employed borrower is going to have right off’s obviously. So they’re just in gross income, it’s going to be lower than what their actual income is. 

 

That really hampers them when they’re trying to qualify for a conventional loan. 

 

[0:11:12.1] MF: Tell us a little bit more about your company, Patch Of Land, how long has it been around, how big are they, what are they specializing in? 

 

[0:11:19.7] BS: Sure, Patch Of Land has been around since 2013. Just under five years, we really hit our stride probably about a year and a half ago. Specialize in fix and flip loans, that’s really our bread and butter, we lend up to 75 to 85% of the purchase price. 

 

100% of the rehab budget. We closed, we try to close an average of about two weeks but you know, like you saw, we can close in four to five days if we have to. That’s our bread and butter really is the residential fix and flip loans, excuse me. 

 

In addition to that, we have a rental program, we lend on small balance commercial, we can do portfolio loans, we’re really all over the private money space. We funded about 170 million last year and we’re on pace to basically double that this year. 

 

It’s been a great run and we expect to continue into next year as we add more products and expand in other market. 

 

[0:12:11.3] MF: Nice. I know, you know, one thing I always ask everybody, what kind of rates are you guys charging right now? I know it depends on the borrower but what range do you have? 

 

[0:12:18.7] BS: Yeah, it depends on the borrower and it depends on the program but our average rate that we offer is probably in the low 9% for very experienced borrowers, we can offer as low as 8%. Then the highest rate we’ll ever offer is probably about 11 or 11 and a half but that would really be an outside the box type deal. But if you’re an experienced flipper in a good market, you know, if you’ve done, say 15 flips or more. 

 

You can expect a rate in the low 8%. If you’ve done less than 15 flips, it will probably be in the low 9%. 

 

[0:12:48.7] MF: Awesome. Then what kind of points are you guys charging? 

 

[0:12:51.5] BS: We average two and a quarter points. It kind of depends on the size of the deal, we have to make sure that we’re not losing money on deals obviously. We do have overhead cost and you know, we have to pay our underwriters and processors and closers. 

 

But average is right around two and a quarter points but we’ll go down as low as two and as high as three. 

 

[0:13:06.4] MF: I know in the past, hard money has been really expensive but I think the competition and just the amount of money available to lend right now has pushed rates down. Have you seen that? The rates slowly dropping over the last few years? 

 

[0:13:19.4] BS: Absolutely, there’s been a lot of contraction in the market and there’s a lot of competitions as far as private lenders. You know, there’s a lot of demand for this product in the secondary market, whether it’s a crowd funding platform or whether it’s institutional investors. 

 

We have seen rates come down quite a bit. I mean, back in 2015, our average rate was probably about 11 or 11 and a half percent and like I said now, we’re in the nine percent. It’s come down about 200 basis points in the last two years, which is great for the borrower. 

 

[0:13:46.3] MF: No, that’s fantastic. One thing, you know, I’ve talked to a lot of different hard money lenders. I’ve gone to different conferences to try and just see what the best rates and terms and things are from different companies. 

 

I don’t use hard money myself very much because I can get really cheap money from the bank I have private money available as well but your rates were cheap, your points are pretty good and one thing that I really liked about you guys, I don’t know if this is just special for me because as I see you buff, or for everybody. But I didn’t have to do a full appraisal when I got my loan. Is that something you do with a lot of properties or how does that work? 

 

[0:14:19.6] BS: For loans under 250,000, we’re willing to do an appraiser enhanced BPO. We’ll send an agent, a realtor out to the property to take the pictures, then that goes back to the appraisal vendor and then desk appraiser comes up with a final value. 

 

It’s great because you have a local realtor taking pictures and providing comps and then you have an actual licensed appraiser providing the value. For loans less than 250, on flips, we can do that. Also for just straight purchases or our rental loan program, that doesn’t require any rehab, we can usually do a BPO regardless of the loan amount. 

 

[0:14:52.3] MF: Very cool and that’s a huge hang up for me. It’s gotten better now but in my market in Colorado, it was taking three weeks or four weeks to get an appraisal done. It was crazy earlier this year. So if you are trying to buy a flip in two weeks you know it’s like well it doesn’t give you that edge over the competition. We got to wait for another four or five weeks to actually close like, “Oh man.” So that was huge being able to avoid the appraisal.  

 

[0:15:17.4] BS: Yeah, absolutely. I think we got yours done in two days if I remember correctly. I think we ordered it on Monday, we had it back on Wednesday.  

 

[0:15:23.2] MF: Yeah, I know. That was crazy. For the deal I did, there’s an MLS property that I had made an offer on and the seller said pretty much verbally accepted it. They came back and said, “Oh just kidding. We decided not to sell the house, we were going to move to New Mexico but now we are not moving.” It’s like, “Oh okay.” So then on a Sunday, they come back and say, “Oh we changed our mind. We are going to sell it again, is your offer still good?”  

 

I’m like, “Okay great” and like, “Well we need to close on Friday.” I’m like, “Oh okay,” so it was like well, “I’ll try you guys and see how good you are.” So I emailed Ben on a Sunday and he responded to me right away. He’s like, “Yep, we can get it done. We’ll close on Friday.” So it was less than five days that you guys get all done and close. So that was pretty impressive and I doubt many other lenders could have done that.  

 

[0:16:09.8] BS: Yeah, I remember that very, very well. I was sitting at my breakfast table eating breakfast with my wife and I saw your email and I was like, “Honey I’ve got to go. We got to close the deal on five days.” 

 

[0:16:19.8] MF: No that was crazy and very impressive. That was very impressive and very cool to see that happen so quick. I had my doubts but it got done so.  

 

[0:16:28.9] BS: Yeah, we were happy to be able to get it done for you.  

 

[0:16:31.8] MF: So tell me more about your rental program. I don’t even think I knew you guys had a rental program. How does that work?  

 

[0:16:36.1] BS: Yeah, so it is for up to three years. It’s a two year loan with a one year extension. It’s for properties that are rent ready. So they don’t need a rehab, we can do purchases, straight refies or cash out refies, purchases up to 75% LTV. Rate and return refies up to 70 and cash out refies up to 65%. The rates range from the high 7% to the low 8% so the rates are great. It’s an interest only loan, the only difference from our short term loan is that there is a six month pre-payment penalty.  

 

So for example if you pay the loan off after four months, you still owe us two month’s worth of interest. But it’s a great program for properties that do not need rehab, that have tenants in the property and the best thing about this program is that there is no experience required. So you can be a brand new investor and if you find a rental property on the market and you can put 25% down, we can put you in this product in the high 7%. So yeah, it’s a great product. We just release it in the responses and it’s fantastic.  

 

[0:17:33.8] MF: Cool, now when you are deciding and approving those loans are you looking at the DTI or the rents to value? How do you determine if you’ll loan on a property?  

 

[0:17:43.3] BS: Sure, so it is called a rent coverage ratio. So you just need to make sure that the market rents cover the interest on the loan at a 125%. So we don’t count the property taxes or the insurance. So for example, if you’re rental property brings in $2,500 a month in rental income and your payment to us is going to be $2,000, that would be a 125% coverage, so that would work. We don’t look at any income documentation from the borrower. No W2’s, no pay stubs, no tax returns, anything like that. It’s all on the rent coverage ratio of the property.  

 

[0:18:15.7] MF: Is that a non-recourse loan then?  

 

[0:18:17.7] BS: It is a loan to an LLC with a personal guarantee, so it is a recourse loan just like our victim slips.  

 

[0:18:23.7] MF: Okay, cool. That’s pretty interesting. I imagine for people who are maybe eventually wanting to refinance into a long term loan but if they just buy a property or if they haven’t had it long enough the conventional lender might not count their rents yet, if their debt to income ratio is too high, something like that. That would be a perfect product for them.  

 

[0:18:43.7] BS: Yeah, exactly. It’s the perfect bridge to a conventional loan. That’s what a lot of people use it for and obviously there’s a longer term products available out there from private money lenders. There’s five year and seven year terms but those come with really hefty pre-payment penalties usually, around three years. So with only a six month pre-payment penalty this really offers a lot more flexibility to the borrower.  

 

[0:19:02.9] MF: Very cool. Great, I did not know you guys have that option so nice to hear about that, alright. So back to the fix and flip loans, you talked a little bit about experience for getting the very lowest rates. What about people who are brand new? Do you lend to investors who just started out or do you want to see people with a little bit of experience?  

 

[0:19:21.5] BS: We absolutely do. We’ll lend to first time flippers and we do it all day long. The only difference is that the leverage drops by 5%. So for an experience investor, we would usually go up to 85% of the purchase price for a not experience investor we’ll go up to 80%. So we’re totally fine without experience. We just need to make sure that they can put 20% down.  

 

[0:19:42.2] MF: Cool, no that’s good to hear. Then when you are financing repairs, you said you’ll do up to 100% of the repairs. How does that process work? How does someone figure out what the repairs are going to be? How do they get their money back? How does that all happen?  

 

[0:19:54.9] BS: Sure, so on a fix and flip loan we do require that the borrower submit a rehab budget. That would be reviewed by our Asset Management Department. We determine how many draws we think the timeline of the project is determined by the borrower. They say, “We think this will take eight months” and then we say, “Okay so then you’ll probably take four draws,” so the rehab budget is paid out arrears. So as you complete the work, we’ll send somebody out. We’ll take pictures, you will submit receipts and invoices and then your draw is paid back to you within two or three days.  

 

[0:20:23.4] MF: Awesome. How many flippers do you work with who are just killing it and doing a ton of deals?  

 

[0:20:29.0] BS: We probably have about 20 people that we work with that are doing more than one, that were closing more than one loan for per month. So yeah, I would say about 20 people that are doing more than 15 to 20 flips per year.  

 

[0:20:44.7] MF: So that’s quite a few. Are there certain markets where you’re seeing more flipping going on than others or is it just spread out all over the country?  

 

[0:20:51.5] BS: Well Colorado has been a very good market for us. We have a couple of our very top customers are there. Texas, Illinois, New York then the Metro DC area lately has been very hot for us. So DC, Virginia, Maryland and obviously California. So those five markets are really, that probably makes up about 80 to 85% of our business. We lend in 45 states but those five markets really dominate.  

 

[0:21:14.7] MF: No, I’m glad you brought that up because a lot of hard money lenders, some are local like they might only work in one state. Some maybe the east coast, some the west coast. So you are in 45 states right now. That’s pretty impressive because I don’t think there are many who are lending in that many at the moment, if I am correct. But which states don’t you lend in right now?  

 

[0:21:36.6] BS: So we don’t lend on residential property in Arizona or Nevada. We will lend on commercial property and then the other three states where we don’t lend at all are Utah, South Dakota and Minnesota. The other 45 states are good to go and you know, the fact that we offer all of these different product it’s really cool. It allows us to do condo conversions in Brooklyn and Washington DC and then it allows us to do commercial properties in Texas.  

 

And then portfolio loans in Kansas and slips in Colorado and all kinds of stuff in California, mixed use. So our product range and our national scope really allow us to do lots of cool different projects.  

 

[0:22:14.1] MF: No that’s really cool. Speaking on that, what one of the coolest or most outrageous projects you guys have lent on? As far as just price range or just crazy repairs, what’s been some crazy stories?  

 

[0:22:27.7] BS: That’s a good question. So many come to mind. We do have one really good client out in Brooklyn that we’ve done a tremendous amount of condo conversions for. So they’ll buy four unit apartment buildings and then they buy those for about $2 million and then they will have a $2 million rehab budget to turn that into four condos. We’ve done probably five or six of those. We did a really interesting project recently where we converted two old office buildings in Pittsburg into apartments.  

 

That was if I remember correctly about an $800,000 purchase with a $2 million rehab budget that we financed a 100% of. We’ve done some great mixed used projects here in California with retail on the bottom and residential on top. Then we did a portfolio of 34 rental properties across the Midwest. That was pretty interesting, having to get 34 BPO’s and 34 title reports. So that was a fun one for our operations group.  

 

[0:23:21.7] MF: Very cool, well I know it’s always interesting to hear what everybody is doing across the country and how they are making money. There are so many different ways to make money in real estate that’s for sure. Do you invest in real estate yourself? I have never asked you that question either.  

 

[0:23:37.8] BS: I do, yeah. I bought a few rental properties in Texas back in the mid 2000’s. I’ve always thought that college towns are a good investment because there’s obviously a built in temp base there in the community. So I enjoy investing in college towns. I haven’t invested too much recently in the past two years just because my wife and I just bought a house, our dream home. So disposable funds are a little light at the moment but definitely, I always have my eye on all kinds of different markets.  

 

I really keep my eye on the Midwest and some of the markets in the south, I feel are good investments. So always keeping my eye open for opportunities for sure.  

 

[0:24:16.2] MF: Yeah, imagine a dream house in California is not very cheap.  

 

[0:24:20.8] BS: Yeah, that’s definitely true. You have to really look very carefully and it usually takes a long time to find a house. We were looking for over a year I think before we even put in one offer.  

 

[0:24:31.0] MF: Wow, it’s crazy. That’s crazy in Colorado and I mean prices are even higher out there so I imagine it’s tough. What are similar markets across the country you like if you don’t mind speaking on a few of them?  

 

[0:24:41.3] BS: Sure, so just going to all the different conferences. You hear a lot of different people speak about different markets but then looking into some of those markets you know Memphis, I’ve heard a lot about Memphis being good markets to pick up. Single family rentals, Oklahoma City I’ve heard is on the rise. I actually liked Columbus, Ohio. I took a trip out to Columbus about a year and a half ago for a wedding actually and ended up extending my trip and looking at some real estate. Obviously you’ve got Ohio State there which is one of the biggest universities in the country. So a big built in tenant base there. So yeah, those are some of the markets that I’ve always got my eye on.  

 

[0:25:14.5] MF: Cool, yeah I’ve got a turnkey property I bought in Cleveland but I am looking to kind of eye some more out of state rentals too, just because it doesn’t make sense to buy rentals in Colorado right now with prices so high. Just like I imagine it is pretty tough to get any kind of rental in California that makes sense.  

 

[0:25:30.4] BS: Yeah, there’s not much ROI there for sure.  

 

[0:25:33.0] MF: The trick is trying to find depreciation and cash flow which is always kind of tough. I got spoiled in Colorado in the last few years with my rentals that’s for sure. Very cool, so what’s the best way for someone to get a hold of you if they’re looking to talk to you about fix and flip loans or rental property loans, or some kind of crazy mixed used project they have? How can people talk to you?  

 

[0:25:57.1] BS: Sure, absolutely. They can call us at 888-605-6326 or we have the landing page on your website, Invest Four More and they can fill out a form right there. All it requires is first name, last name, phone number, email and what product they are interested in. It takes about 15 seconds to fill out, either one of those and they’ll hear from one of our loan officers within 10 minutes.  

 

[0:26:19.1] MF: Awesome and I’ll put both of those numbers and the URL on the show notes so you can get those easy. Ben, great information. I am curious, do you have anything else to add before we get out of here? Any advice for people looking to flip, or any other crazy stories that you’ve come across over the years?  

 

[0:26:34.9] BS: No other crazy stories I can think of off the top of my head. I guess my advice would be similar to some of the things that you say on your emails and in your books is you got to just get out there and do it. So many people think about investing in real estate and they do all their research and they never really pull the trigger. Real estate has been proven to be one of the best investments you can possibly make overtime.  

 

So my advice would be if you’ve done your due diligence and you think you got a good strategy moving forward, just get out there and do it. Get your feet wet and get started in the business and I think most people who have really don’t their research are going to be successful.  

 

[0:27:10.4] MF: Great advice and yeah, I think I’ve learned the most from buying houses, just experience. You can research and research and educate yourself for years but there’s just some things that you’ll have to learn on the fly and from getting out there and experiencing it. I’ve talked to a lot of flippers, a lot of people who’ve had bad experiences with their first flip but it taught them so much it propelled their career on what to do different and how to be successful in the future.  

 

So yeah, it is really tough to sit on the couch and never do it out of fear of failing but a lot of times, those bad experiences can make you super successful in the future. 

 

[0:27:47.0] BS: Yeah, absolutely. That’s how you learn.  

 

[0:27:49.3] MF: Great, well Ben thank you so much for being on the show. I think that’s all I had. Like I said, you guys were great to work with for me without having do a full appraisal is a life saver because almost every other hard money lender I talked to wanted a full appraisal and it just takes too long. So that was awesome your rates were good, points were good and you guys have been great to communicate with as well. So thank you again, thanks for being on the show and yeah, we’ll definitely have to keep in touch.  

 

[0:28:15.6] BS: Great, thank you Mark. I really appreciate it.  

 

[END] 

 

 

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