Meet Us at the Five Star Conference & Expo

Bridge Loan Network will be exhibiting at the Five Star Conference and Expo September 18th to 20th for the third time.  The conference which is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Dallas is a noted as a great source for information, collaboration, and progression within the mortgage industry. The conference is designed to help take businesses to the next level and will offer networking opportunities, educational sessions, and certification classes.

In addition to sponsoring and exhibiting at the conference Bridge Loan Network (BLN) and lending partner, RCN Capital, will be hosting a Networking Event at the Iron Cactus Restaurant and Margarita Bar in Downtown Dallas on Monday, September 18th.

“We are excited to use this event as an opportunity to meet conference attendees and exhibitors,” says Jon Allen, VP of Business Development for Bridge Loan Network. “Each year we have attended this conference has opened more doors for us and expanded our network.”

For more information on our networking event please come to our booth 504 & 506 on the opening night of the conference during the Opening Night Reception.

Be sure to meet the Bridge Loan Network team at this year’s Five Star Conference and Expo, we’ll be at booth 504 & 506!

To learn more about the Five Star Conference & Expo, click here.

Looking to Buy? Consider A Tiny Home!

If you are familiar with the real estate industry, you’ve surely heard of the new “tiny house” craze. This movement is a way for home-buyers to save thousands of dollars, and valuable time on home improvement projects, by purchasing homes that are way smaller than a normal property. On average, the typical American home is between 2,000-2,600 square feet, whereas tiny homes generally weigh in between 100-400 square feet. Coming in all different styles, and materials, these houses may be the new future of real estate.

Some people scoff at the idea of living in such tight quarters, but there are a variety of reasons people are choosing to downsize their living space; the main reasons being cost, environmental concerns, and the itch for more time and freedom. With over 70% of Americans facing credit card, and student loan debt, the idea of a tiny house sounds extremely appealing. Certain tiny home kits can go for as little as $10,000; which is a steal in the grand scheme of housing.

According to thetinylife.com, there are an abundance of reasons why you should buy a tiny home:

  • 68% of tiny house owners do not have a mortgage, compared to 29% of U.S. homeowners.
  • The average tiny house is 186 sq. feet compared to the average 2100 sq. foot U.S. home, which is the equivalent of 11 tiny homes. The environment would thank us if we carried out this housing trend.
  • 89% of tiny house owners carry less credit card debt than the average American.
  • 65% of tiny house owners carry zero credit card debt.

Giving up square footage is a small sacrifice to save thousands of dollars, and endless amounts of time. A smaller property means smaller messes to clean, and smaller yards to maintain, resulting in a better quality of life. Also, aside from the money, our planet will thank us since buildings contribute to roughly 1/3 of our greenhouse gas emissions.

If you’re in the market, and looking for a unique style of living, consider purchasing a tiny home, because your wallet, and our planet will thank you!

Author: Tara Doherty 

Investing The Right Way

Investing in the real estate biz can be a great source of income, but you must jump through a few hoops before you gain a profit you are satisfied with. When people first start out in the industry, they often wonder how they will acquire the necessary funds to start investing in the industry. When it comes to fixer-uppers here are a few ways fund your first project;

  1. Banks – While banks usually offer relatively cheap interest rates, they often require a large down payment. However, if you have good credit, and 45 (or more) days to close, then banks are a great option.
  2. Private Lenders – Opting with this route allows you to dictate the terms, and structure the deal. Private lenders are often harder to find, but they offer a lot of flexibility.
  3. Hard Money Lenders – As one of the most popular, and easy to access options, hard money lenders are an extremely flexible option. While this option can be more expensive than other funding outlets, hard money lenders will get your deals closed on a timely basis.
  4. Joint Venture Partnerships (JVs) – This type of partnership is rather popular. Usually the JV money partner funds all of the money needed for the deal, and the other partner manages the contractors, and delegates the transaction. This method allows you to arrange the partnership anyway you see fit, and you can also split the profits accordingly.
  5. Your Own Personal Money– If you have the means necessary, cash is a great way to fund real estate deals. Most people do not have enough money to take this path, but self-directed IRAs are also a way to fund the transactions.

While investing often seems like a daunting task, these various methods can help make your real estate dreams a reality. With the right tools, and proper funds, the real estate opportunities are endless.

Author: Tara Doherty 

Is Commercial Real Estate The Next ‘Big Short?’

Malls, and other retailers have been struggling for years to maintain their real estate due to the increase in online shopping. This comes as no surprise to industry experts, however, it may take a drastic toll on the economy. In 2016, roughly $3.5 billion in retail loans were liquidated, which proves that losses on mall loans have been significantly higher than other areas of real estate.

Below is a list of charts which show the changes that have taken place over time. According to Forbes.com the following data proves that many commercial businesses are unfortunately failing.

#1. Department store sales have collapsed, and retailers continue to close.

 


#2. Store closings are the highest they’ve been since 2008. Without major retailers residing in commercial buildings, there’s a high chance the commercial space will be forced to close its doors because they can’t afford the bills.

#3. As a result of increased vacancies, commercial real estate prices have also been on the rise.

Overall, this essentially means that when malls, and other commercial properties fail, the lenders are projecting massive losses. For Example, Hudson Valley Mall in New York recently faced liquidation, and investors lost a total of $42 million, which is catastrophic.

Author: Tara Doherty 

What To Consider Before Investing In Commercial Real Estate

As of recently, the number of people investing in commercial real estate has been on the rise. According to Bigger Pockets Blog, there are a number of pros and cons to investing in this kind of real estate. So, before you jump head first into the industry, it is very important to research exactly what you are getting into to avoid any surprises in the end.

Don’t be fooled; although commercial real estate is a complicated business to involve yourself in, it can also be extremely lucrative, so here are some of the benefits from professionals who have been through it before:

1. Flexible Financing- Rather than spending money out of pocket, banks are often willing to provide substantial loans to help commercial real estate investors succeed. There is also an option to utilize auxiliary financing, which means there is up to 100% coverage with first or second mortgages; whereas residential financing often opposes the 100% financing option. This essentially means that if you are looking to purchase an apartment complex with 40 units, you will only be paying one mortgage on the property as opposed to 40 mortgages on 40 properties.

2. Economies of Scale- When owning multiple units on one plot of land (i.e. an apartment complex) contractors are usually willing to negotiate lower costs for maintenance and repairs on the property. However, the more units in the complex the better, because then you can afford to hire your own team which will cost even less than bringing in outside contractors.

3. Passive Environment- If the commercial property you own is an office building, you will receive little to no maintenance requests after hours, or on weekends and holidays; As opposed to owning residential properties where the tenant occupies the space 24/7. Also, with a triple net lease (common for most commercial leases) the tenant is the one responsible to pay any taxes, insurance costs, and maintenance costs, including rent, and utilities.

While these benefits sound enticing, there are unfortunately a list of cons pertaining to owning a commercial real estate property as well:

1. More Competition- In the commercial industry most buyers are looking to improve the space. Usually they want to increase the value of the property so they can refinance with cheaper options. However, as the investor this may be challenging because properties in a reasonable price range with room for improvement are in high demand.

2. Risk of Poor Management- After finding your dream commercial property, it’s just as important to have a strong property management team which is often hard to come by. Tenants will be paying higher rent in order to afford the team, so it’s important to hire a solid crew. When looking for property managers you must ask them their efficiency rate, how much experience they have, and if they’re compliant in order to avoid problems in the future.

In conclusion, investing in commercial real estate can be extremely lucrative, but there are many factors to consider before purchasing the property, as you can see above. When you are confident that you can handle taking on the responsibility of owning a commercial property, the most important thing to remember is to stay up to date with the trends, and most of all have fun with it!

Author: Tara Doherty 

Learning To Navigate Your Way Around The Real Estate Industry

When learning to navigate your way around the real estate industry, you may realize there is particular jargon that you simply don’t understand. Similar to any other business, real estate professionals are constantly generating new terms that are tailored to industry-specific projects, events, and deals. Without the proper understanding of this language, it may be easy to make mistakes, or even be taken advantage of. In order to avoid confusion, below is a list of important real estate listing statuses that you can add to your industry vocabulary

  1. Active: This term describes a property that is currently available for sale. There may be offers on the table, but none have been accepted yet which means it is still an active listing.
  2. Closed: This term means that a property is sold, and no longer available to buyers.
  3. Active with contract: This phrase means that although the home has accepted an offer, the seller is still accepting backup offers incase the sale falls through. These circumstances must be listed in the contract to keep all buyers aware of the process, and it is most commonly used with short sales.
  4. Under contract: This phrase means that the seller has written up a contract with a potential buyer. This does not mean the sale is confirmed.
  5. Contingent: This term describes a situation where the seller has accepted an offer, and the home is under contract. However, the sale is pending based on certain criteria that must be met before closing the deal. Examples of this include home inspections, title search, financing, appraisal, etc.
  6. Deal pending: This phrase means the seller has accepted an offer with an executed contract, and all contingencies have been met. The home is currently pending sale, and both buyer, and seller are working toward a closing. During this period the sale is still not definite, however, and a seller is able to accept backup offers.
  7. Pending, showing for backup: This phrase means the property’s owners are actively accepting backup offers in case the original offer falls through.
  8. Pending, subject to lender approval: This means the seller has accepted an offer, but is waiting to see if the buyer’s bank has approved the offer. If not, the property will end up back on the market.
  9. Back on market: This means that a property has come back on the market after a pending sale, potentially due to contract issues.
  10. Expired: This means that the property listing via the agent has expired, and is no longer active, usually because the property didn’t sell. However, the seller is often open to accepting an offer if a buyer is interested.
  11. Temporarily off the market: This means the owner has removed the listing for a short period of time, often because work is being done on the property, or because it cannot be shown to potential buyers at this time.
  12. Withdrawn: This term means a property was withdrawn from the reality market, often because the seller changed their mind and decided not to sell the property, or because they did not receive any offers that matched their standards.

Author: Tara Doherty