Not What You Think
When you hear terms like hard money, or private money, or portfolio loan, many people think about high interest rates, high fees and subprime loans.
The truth about these types of loans is that they serve a very specific and much needed purpose in today's post market crash world of home loan financing.
When it comes to high rates and fees, you have to put this into perspective. Today's interest rates are historically, very, very low. If you also look at that same history, portfolio lending rates and fees are also at historical lows.
You might be surprised at the variety of options, and relative affordability of portfolio loans today.
Why Use a Portfolio Loan?
Bad things happen to good people all the time, especially if you take into consideration the economic turmoil of the last 7-9 years. It's these temporary hardships that prevent otherwise qualified, responsible and capable borrowers from financing your next real estate purchase, or refinance.
Time cures all financial hardships, and time also diminishes the return on investing in real estate. The most significant reason for using a portfolio loan is to shorten that time that you're out of the market while you're waiting out the timeline until you can secure more traditional, lower cost financing.
While the upfront costs, and interest rates do tend to be higher than traditional and conventional financing options, when you consider the fact that you're only "renting" this money for a short period of time, the numbers will speak for themselves.
When you compare the cost to borrow money to purchase a home, with the cost to borrow money for almost anything else, home loan interest rates are significantly lower than most installment loans or credit cards.
Most purchases you will use financing for will never appreciate in value, provide shelter, or build wealth. When you put all of these factors into perspective, it is difficult to argue with the fact that even though it's a little more expensive up front, the return on this investment is difficult to match.
Common Uses for Portfolio Loans
One of the greatest benefits of portfolio lending is the wide range of unconventional scenarios and terms available. Common reasons for using a portfolio loan include:
- Buying a home after bankruptcy, short sale or foreclosure
- Self employed borrowers
- Foreign nationals
- Cashflow qualifying investment loans
- Second mortgages
- High net worth, low documentable income
- Fixing and flipping
- Anything that falls outside of conventional guidelines
Long Term Investment Strategy
Purchasing real estate, whether to live in as your primary residence, or even buying an investment property, is a long term wealth building strategy.
There are very few investments that are as secure, and provide returns like you will see with real estate. While most home buyers are mainly concerned about rates and fees, only financially minded buyers truly understand and appreciate the bigger picture, and the importance of getting in, by any reasonable means necessary.
The reality is, most people will refinance, or sell and buy again before they will pay off a 30 year mortgage. You have to think about buying real estate as a long term investment.
If you own real estate for 20 years, chances are you will borrow against it many times over that period of time. When you compare the initial price to the long value, and then consider the total cost of the money borrowed against that property over that same period of time, you will be amazed at how far ahead you will be on this investment.
Even if you have to borrow money on a temporary basis at a higher rate and fees, by the time you factor in the tax savings, and equity growth over the long term, you will instantly see that a long term vision will give you a significant return on your investment.
Getting the Best Rates and Fees
Non-conventional lending programs are best if you have good to excellent credit, are financially stable, have significant equity, or down payment, but have circumstances that prevent you from qualifying for traditional financing programs at this time.
For homebuyers, if you have a 700+ FICO score, and a 20% down payment, you might be surprised at how affordable a portfolio loan can be. It is not uncommon for interest rates to range from the low 5% range, all the way up to 8% to 9% range for second mortgages.
Portfolio loans are also great options for investors that need "out of the box" financing options.
Making the Right Decision
Let's face it, nobody wants to overpay, that's not what we are talking about here. You have to be in a position to refinance out of a portfolio loan within 1 to 3 years, or the cost of this loan may create too much financial stress on your family.
When you put portfolio loans into perspective, it's a short term solution that allows you to take advantage of a long term investment opportunity. At the end of the day, it has to make financial sense, and you have to have the ability to be in a better financial situation in a reasonable amount of time.
When does it make financial sense? What is a reasonable amount of time? What are reasonable rates and fees? Every situation is different, and everyone has their own financial goals.
Review your scenario with an experienced lender that has the ability to offer portfolio loans and traditional financing. Don't approach this type of loan as an act of desperation, but as an educated decision, and a means to a long term financial end.
If you're having trouble finding a lender that you are comfortable having this conversation with, feel free to leave your comments or questions below, and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.