It’s a hard fact but although lenders may be friendly, they are not your friend. This doesn’t make them bad; it just means that they – like you – are engaging in business, not social relations. Though they will often decide in your favor on a borderline case if you have a long-term working relationship, this is not charity, but an intelligent business judgment. They have good reason to believe you will be able to repay the loan at a profit to them.
That last sentence is key to understanding and avoids much frustration with lenders. They need assurance that the loan will be repaid and they need some reasonable expectation they will make a profit. A lender will try to fulfill those two criteria the same way anyone would by looking at past history and current facts.
Past history means: Credit history, including number and size of loans taken out, repayment history and so forth. FICO scores and other hard data are available in abundance and will be looked at.
It also includes income history how much profit have you made on other investments and over how long a period? They’ll examine income statements and at least three years of tax returns. They’ll want a full accounting of outstanding debt and any legal judgments gained or issues in progress.
Overall, this is summed up in one word experience. Have you previously shown you can and will repay a loan, which requires not only good character but good business judgment? Real Estate is a tough market, there’s a lot of competition because there’s a lot of potential for making money. The lender will want to know you can make some, so they will too.
Current facts get examined with equal care. The lender will examine the appraised value of a property on which they’re considering loaning money. Banks as a rule do not lend based on collateral, they are looking for cash flow and positive income. They’ll usually finance no more than 75% of the appraised value of the property.
Most lenders will put a limit of 50% LTV (Loan-to-Value) on undeveloped land, for example. If the property contains commercial structures, they’ll want to know what income can be expected from those businesses whether it’s in the form of rent from a multi-dwelling apartment complex or lease income from small business owners.
And, of course, profit is income retained AFTER expenses, so they’ll need to know how much it costs to maintain the land and commercial structures. Insurance, repairs, taxes and a host of other costs come along with any property ownership. The lender will want to know you can pay these AND pay their interest charges.
Most lenders will strive for shorter repayment periods, 20-year fixed is on the long side for many investment loans, and often a balloon payment after five or ten years is required. Longer terms benefit you because you can avoid paying for new appraisals, origination fees and other financing costs.
If your lender seeks a shorter period, you should try to arrange re-pricing at the end of five years, rather than having to come up with a large amount of cash. Something along the lines of “prevailing prime rate plus a 1% premium” is often an acceptable alternative.
Lenders may not be your friend, but neither do they have to be an enemy they can be a kind of partner. Keep in mind, everything is negotiable.
There is a lot of free information available to you about buying, selling or investing in real estate. For complete information about the real estate market including current homes for sale, property values and more please visit the most complete website online dedicated to everything real estate, www.pauldingandpolk.com. So please feel free to contact me with any of your mortgage questions and I will me more than glad to answer you queries. Call me on my cell at 404 374 1620 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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