When my friend and former coworker, Dwayne, and I spoke last year over dinner and drinks at Southbound in Chamblee, he asked a lot of questions about life as a real estate entrepreneur. He was clearly exploring the idea of becoming a real estate investor, like me. Had he decided to take the leap then and there, I would have done whatever I could to make his transition easier. I knew he had what it takes. But, also like me, it took him a while to fully come around.
When he was finally ready, there was only one thing potentially stopping him: money. It’s not that he wasn’t financially savvy or didn’t have any savings. It’s simply that it takes a lot of cash to buy and renovate real estate to sell. He’d heard there were several hard money lenders in Atlanta that help you fund your deals. But, he wasn’t sure which ones were the most reputable—or the best for him and his experience level. So, when he recently called me up to talk a little shop, we discussed where to get money for his real estate deals, too.
The Best Hard Money Lenders in Atlanta
Like Dwayne, you may already be familiar with the concept of hard money and that, if you invest in property, a hard money loan is a great way to get funds. If you’re not quite sure what it is or how individual lenders work, that’s OK, too. Many hard money lenders have answers to most questions on their website and they’ll often guide you through their application process should you decide to apply for one of their loans.
In fact, one of the easiest ways to determine if you’re working with a good lender is their willingness to answer questions about using hard money—especially if you’ve never borrowed from them before. Transparency and responsiveness from a lender are critical in this business since funding has to happen fast in order for you to competitively buy an investment house.
There are other characteristics you should look for in a reputable lender, too. For example, at a minimum, your lender should provide you with a fast approval. Interest-only payments should also be offered by the lender so you can focus available funds on buying, repairing, and selling homes. And, do your best not to choose a lender who penalizes for early repayment.
Luckily, in Atlanta, there are several reputable companies that live up to these general expectations and much more—as long as you’ve found a good property. I took the time to share my top five lenders with Dwayne. There is bound to be one or more on the list that will work for your deals, too. Here they are:
Fairview Lending offers competitive rates for real estate investors of all experience levels throughout Atlanta. Typically, they fund up to 55% of the purchase price of a property and can loan on amounts ranging from $50,000 to two million dollars. They can close in 10 days or less and other terms, like interest rates, are flexible. For example, you can take up to 10 years to repay your loan—or pay it off early without accruing a penalty.
They make it fairly easy to get a hard money loan, too. You don’t have to submit extensive documentation on the property in question or any of your other assets to qualify for decent terms. You don’t even have to verify your income or creditworthiness. So, if you’re just starting out and have little to show for it—except an exceptional investment property—you could still qualify to get help with funding your deal fast.
It’s Fairview Lending’s willingness to structure loans on a case-by-case basis that helped them make this list. But, because what they loan on the purchase price of a property is lower than what other lenders offer, you may want to wait till you’ve got deeper pockets before you apply for their loan. Not only will you need to ensure you’re buying at the right price, you’ll need to have enough of your own cash to cover the big balance that Fairview Lending doesn’t.
Paces Funding also offers pretty good terms on their hard money loans for real estate investment properties. They can lend as little as $20,000 or as much as three million dollars—up to 65% of a property’s ARV. They usually need two weeks to close but will try to close sooner if the deal will be lost without faster access to funds. Interest rates start at around 10% and loan origination fees are decently low, too. The maximum term for your loan will only be 12 months, but they are open to extensions if you can’t meet your payoff deadline.
Though loan approval is based mostly on the property, you may need to do more legwork to get the money you need to buy and repair it—especially if you haven’t worked with Paces Funding before. For example, you’ll need to supply rehab plans and a detailed budget in addition to a signed and executed contract. You also have to prove you’ve got the cash reserves to pay closing costs and other fees if you find you need to secure more hard money later down the line. You do not, however, need a minimum credit score to gain access to funds for buying investment homes.
Since Paces Funding can cover a hefty portion of every project—and help you buy and renovate pricier ones, too—they’re another decent choice for investors with experience. After all, it’s old hats like me who can take on big projects and absorb the risk that comes with borrowing substantial funds. So, unless you’ve done a lot of deals like me, you might want to wait till you can handle the risk. Plus, with more experience comes strong cash reserves and the ability to create plans and a budget at a moment’s notice. And, you’ll need both at your disposal to get Paces Funding’s full attention and approval.
Bay Mountain Capital
Bay Mountain Capital will happily loan on your Atlanta deals, too, and the rates that they offer are a great choice for most investors. The minimum you can borrow is around $50,000, but the maximum varies more and just depends on the deal. And, if you need 100% of your purchase and rehab costs covered, this lender can do it—up to 70% of the After Repair Value (ARV). You can also pay it off early if your rehabbed house sells quickly.
Plus, Bay Mountain Capital makes applying for funds easier than most companies since they’re a true asset-based lender and consider the property more carefully. Even bad credit doesn’t disqualify you from getting a loan. Provided you’ve got a good deal and the house has a clear title, they can even close in a day—no matter your experience level.
Since they’re so easy to work with and their response time is fast, I like recommending Bay Mountain Capital to newer investors. You may not get the best rates or charged the lowest possible fees, but that’s going to be true of most hard money loans when you’re new. What you will get is a lender that will help you buy investment property from your first deal to your fiftieth because they care about building relationships with investors who are serious about building their business.
Finance of America
Finance of America offers a variety of loan products with varying terms for Atlanta investors. For taking a fixer home and repairing it to sell, you can usually borrow between $50,000 and $2.5 million. You may get as much as 90% of your purchase price and all of your rehab costs covered, too. Your initial loan term will be maxed at 12 months. But, you can often get more time as long as you ask. And, your interest rate could be one of the lowest around if you’ve got a lot of experience and a substantial net worth.
Of course, you don’t need prior experience or have significant assets to get approved for a loan from Finance of America. But, if you do, your interest rate and other fees may drop as low as they can go since this lender offers a wide range of competitive terms. And, if you hope to buy multiple investment properties within a short time and need a lot of funds or several loans to do it, Finance of America can make that happen easily, too.
The fact that Finance of America has loan products allowing for more risk and flexibility than most other lenders is the main reason I like them. Their ‘Fix & Flip Exposure Limit’ is a perfect example of a unique product they offer since it gives you a line of credit of up to ten million dollars For investors who work on multiple projects simultaneously, this package is ideal. In fact, for any investor whose financing needs may be “out of the box,” Finance of America likely has a creative solution for getting you the funds.
Sherman Bridge Lending
Sherman Bridge Lending has always provided competitive rates on hard money loans for Atlanta investors. Recently, their rates have gotten even better. Loan amounts typically range from $75,000 to four million dollars and they’ll fund up to 90% of all your costs on a project. It’s possible to get a single-digit interest rate on your purchase and rehab loan, too. They can also close in seven days or less—giving you an edge your timeline may need. You’ll usually need to repay your loan within 12 months, unless you want to try your hand at being a landlord in which case you can get a three-year term.
Sherman Bridge Lending has started designing loan packages based on the needs and qualifications of individual investors, no matter how much money you may have in the bank. So, it’s worth your time to give them a call since they may be able to pre-qualify you for a really great loan—and help you build an even greater investment career.
In fact, one of the reasons I like Sherman Bridge Lending is their openness to working with all types of investors—as long as you want to invest in single-family homes, which is this lender’s main focus. And, if you’ve got all of your financial ducks in a row, they’re an especially good option for brand new investors and those who are thinking of turning repaired houses into rentals. They’re responsive to queries and are eager to help fund your deals, which is great when you’re new and may, otherwise, face closed doors.
Wherever you are on your career path as a real estate investor, one or more of these hard money lenders in Atlanta will work for you and the deals you’re trying to fund. Several of them will even work to get your business in the first place—potentially giving you better terms than what they advertise online. So, of course, Dwayne and I discussed how he could position himself to get reputable lenders to compete for his deals by offering him some of their best terms. And, I’m happy to tell you how to get them to go after your business, too.
How to Get the Best Atlanta Lenders to Give You a Better Deal
Like Dwayne, I flirted with the idea of becoming a professional real estate investor long before I took that first step towards buying my first deal. And, when I was ready, I also had a real estate investing friend who was more-than-willing to make sure I took my career in the right direction. We talked about everything from training to getting hard money to fund future deals, too. It turned out, the best way to do both was to join the HomeVestors® team.
There are a lot of perks to becoming an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, whether you’re a new investor or have been buying and renovating investment properties for years. What I’ve found to be especially helpful when it comes to building your investing career is that you get access to several Atlanta hard money lenders who want to do business with you—because you’re a HomeVestors® franchisee.
It’s easy to get them to compete for your deals, too. With HomeVestors®’ proprietary software, UGVilleSM, all you have to do is enter the details about your deal into the system once and, before you know it, you’ve got hard money lenders offering you funds with some of the best terms out there. That gives you the power to choose the loan that works best for your current project from some of the most reputable Atlanta lenders that loan hard money.
Want some of the best hard money lenders in Atlanta competing to fund your deals? Contact HomeVestors to gain immediate access to UGVilleSM by becoming an Atlanta-based franchisee.