Non Conventional Real Estate Financing

by : Omar Johnson

Unquestionably real estate is a big money business. If you are a quick turn real estate entrepreneur determined to be in the game for the long haul, it should not involve your money, however. Understanding financing is an important part of playing the game of real estate well and of designing an enduring business.

The most commonly conceived mode of real estate financing is conventional. This typically means a 30 year mortgage acquired through a mortgage broker or institutional lender. This subject is mainly important for your buyers, or for you if you also work as a loan officer.

There's really no good reason you should use conventional financing yourself, with all of the tricks you should know. The exception might be if you are a portfolio investor and are refinancing your properties, or if you are purchasing commercial properties. Generally, the best way to take out conventional financing is any way but in your own name. Qualification is based on the borrower's income, assets, and credit profile, and requires a personal guarantee of repayment. There are much better positions you could be in as an investor.

The alternative financing methods might be referred to as nonconventional. These would include the methods of raising cash traditionally used by investors, generally known as hard money and private money. Hard money is typically intended for the acquisition of rehab properties. It has a high interest rate, a low loan to value ratio, and usually a short term balloon note of six months or a year.

Private money just means money borrowed from a private individual, and can come from a person's savings or retirement fund, according to whatever terms you negotiate. Qualifying for these types of financing doesn't necessarily involve your credit profile or financial status, but rather the terms and quality of the deal and your relationship with the lender. To acquire them you will have to present a deal to the lender that they will feel safe investing in.

There is a third category of financing, which might be called creative financing and which consists of other types that don't fit into the previous two categories. One example is subject to financing, which is just the lingo for taking over the existing payments when you take control of a property.

You will acquire the property by deed and bring and keep the mortgage payments current, but the loan will stay in the name of the original borrower. This is basically the safest form of financing ever invented.

A second type of creative financing is seller financing, where the seller of the property carries back a mortgage. This may only be used to partially fund the transaction, perhaps as a second mortgage, or the seller may carry everything but the down payment. And finally, some investors now teach about how to obtain and use business lines of credit for real estate investing purposes. Capital in the form of business lines of credit and business loans is readily available to all new businesses with effective leadership.

Don't consider this article exhaustive, because new techniques of financing are always waiting to be invented. This is an area of real estate where cleverness and creativity can unlock many doors.