How to Know if a Hard Money Lender is the Real Deal

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If you’re like most people looking for finance options, no doubt you’ve heard horror stories about lenders who totally dropped the ball and derailed a project. You may have even experienced it yourself. While personal referrals and online reviews can make it easier to find a reputable hard money lender, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have the same experience. Moreover, companies tend to specialize in a specific loan type or cover a geographic area, so many people are on their own even if they’ve been through the process before or know someone else who has been. However, there are a few things you can look for when you make contact with a company that indicate they’re a good company to work with.

For starters, they’ll recognize your time is valuable. One of the biggest benefits of working with this type of financing is that it enables you to have cash in hand fast. If they’re dragging their feet and not returning calls promptly now, there’s no telling if or when you’ll get your cash. However, if they return calls promptly and address your concerns, you’re on the right track. You should be able to count on having cash on hand in a matter of days or weeks, not months.

Secondly, your broker will be eager to listen to you and help you strategize. There are lots of different financing options, and your broker should be able to ensure you’re finding something that’s right for you based on your needs.

Lastly, they’ll have experience in the area you’re working in. Single-family homes, multi-family homes, commercial properties, and other project types each require a unique set of expertise. You’ll want to be sure you’re working with someone who understands what you’re planning to do in order to make the approval process smoother.

Will a Reputable Company Still Work with Me if I Have Rotten Credit?

One of the biggest things a hard money lender will look at is the value of the asset in question. Although there are other factors involved in making a final decision, they tend to matter to a much lesser degree. For this reason, bad credit and even bankruptcies are less of a concern when you go with this type of financing.

A good company is there for you when you need them.

When you’re in this type of industry, building positive relationships is everything. A good hard money lender knows this and will do their best to help you regardless of your circumstances. In times where they can’t, they’ll still treat you with the respect you deserve. If you’re looking for lending solutions but aren’t sure which company is best-suited, contact Level 4 Funding. With experience across a broad spectrum of private money loans, a myriad of positive customer testimonials, and a low-rate guarantee, it’s easy to apply with confidence.

Dennis Dahlberg Broker RI/Level 4 Funding LLC Privatae hard Money loansDennis Dahlberg

Broker/RI/CEO/MLO

Level 4 Funding LLC 
Hard Money Lender

Hard Money Loans

Hard Money Loan

Arizona Tel:  (623) 582-4444

Texas Tel:      (512) 516-1177

Dennis@level4funding.com

Dennis Dahlberg Broker/RI/CEO

NMLS 1057378 | AZMB 0923961 | MLO 1057378

22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112 | Phoenix | AZ | 85027

111 Congress Ave | Austin | Texas | 78701  

     Linked In     Active Rain You TubeFace Book         

About the Author:  Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 40 years. He purchased his first property when he was just 18 years old. He quickly learned about the amazing investment opportunities provided by trust deed investing and hard money loans. His desire to help others make money in real estate investing led him to specialize in alternative funding for real estate investors who may have trouble getting a traditional bank loan. Dennis is passionate about alternative funding sources and sharing his knowledge with others to help make their dreams come true. Dennis has been married to his wonderful wife for 42 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 40 years.

Why New Fix-and-Flippers Get Denied by Hard Money Lenders (And What You Can Do About It)

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People new to the home rehab business often make fatal mistakes that impact their ability to get funding. If you’re preparing to approach hard money lenders, you’ll need to have a few things in place to get approval.



It seems like today we have a fix-and-flip culture. There are TV shows designed around it and almost everyone knows someone who has done a flip before. Unfortunately, those just getting into the field can sometimes take this to mean that it’s easy or that it will generate millions for them overnight. While it can be quite lucrative, you’ll need to know the numbers and have a strategy in place before you can consider it a side-hustle or career.

One of the biggest issues is failure to consider additional cash needs. No matter how great of a deal you’re getting, you’ll need some kind of cash to get going. Although some will provide you with 80% or more of the value of the home, you’ll need to be able to pay the remainder on your own. Moreover, there will be expenses associated with the repairs and that’s not typically part of the initial loan. Those just getting into the business can really benefit from having a trusted inspector visit the home in advance of a purchase to help determine what repairs will be necessary.

The second major issue is failure to have a solid plan. If you have a little experience with home renovations, it’s easy to look a home over and make a mental assessment of the work and costs, but that doesn’t constitute a plan. They’re taking a risk on you, so hard money lenders will want to know everything from your timeline through costs and exit strategy. Don’t think this means you have to take everything on alone, though. You can build a network of professionals and bring them in to consult on your projects or see if a seasoned home rehabber will mentor you.

Are There Other Things That May Stand in the Way of Becoming Successful?

Even experienced home flippers run into a bump or two on each project. It’s their ability to anticipate issues and set aside the time and money to deal with them at the onset of a project which helps ensure they achieve what they set out to. If you’re told “no” by hard money lenders at first, don’t be dejected. Instead, ask questions to find out what you can do to improve the odds next time around.

Every HML has different guidelines, so the best way to know if you qualify is to get in contact.

The better your planning is and the more numbers you crunch, the greater your odds are of getting a green light on a project. Hard money lenders simply want to know they’re investing in you wisely, and although the value of the home is arguably the biggest factor for most, each uses a different set of criteria to judge. At Level 4 Funding, we’ve heard stories from our own clients about how other companies have dropped the ball and cost a client a property, and while we can sympathize, our ability to help where others don’t, and low-rate guarantee are things we’re proud to offer because it sets us apart from the pack. While we enjoy working with home rehabbers who have an established track record, we help newcomers too. If you’ve got a solid plan for a fix-and-flip, give us a call today.

Dennis Dahlberg Broker RI/Level 4 Funding LLC Privatae hard Money loansDennis Dahlberg

Broker/RI/CEO/MLO

Level 4 Funding LLC 
Hard Money Lender

Hard Money Loans

Hard Money Loan

Arizona Tel:  (623) 582-4444

Texas Tel:      (512) 516-1177

Dennis@level4funding.com

Dennis Dahlberg Broker/RI/CEO

NMLS 1057378 | AZMB 0923961 | MLO 1057378

22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112 | Phoenix | AZ | 85027

111 Congress Ave | Austin | Texas | 78701  

     Linked In     Active Rain You TubeFace Book         

About the Author:  Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 40 years. He purchased his first property when he was just 18 years old. He quickly learned about the amazing investment opportunities provided by trust deed investing and hard money loans. His desire to help others make money in real estate investing led him to specialize in alternative funding for real estate investors who may have trouble getting a traditional bank loan. Dennis is passionate about alternative funding sources and sharing his knowledge with others to help make their dreams come true. Dennis has been married to his wonderful wife for 42 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 40 years.

3 Ways Owner Occupied Hard Money Lenders Help with HUD Homes

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HUD Homes are sold “as-is” and hit the market at fair market value after an appraisal, meaning they can be very low-risk investments. It may be difficult to find owner occupied hard money lenders for funding, but doing so may open up a world of possibility.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is part of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). When a homeowner has an FHA loan and the home is foreclosed on, the lender can file a claim with the FHA for the balance of the loan. Once paid, ownership of the property is then transferred to HUD, which is then responsible for getting the home resold. The home is inspected and a fair market value is assigned, so residences which need work are priced accordingly. Those who wish to purchase a HUD home can choose from a number of financing options, including owner occupied hard money lenders. There are many benefits of going this route.

1. You can buy before other investors. HUD won’t sell to investors right away. When a home first becomes available, only people who want to reside in the home can purchase it. After a period of time, investors are allowed to purchase it, which can increase competition.

2. You can have cash on hand quicker. Going with an HML is essential if you need to move quick. Offers made by those with cash in hand or who have pre-approval are generally considered before all others, but with HUD homes, buyers are expected to have financing in place before bidding.

3. You can get financing when traditional lenders won’t provide it. HUD doesn’t fix homes before they’re resold; they’re sold “as-is.” While this can be a fix-and-flipper’s dream because of the low sales price and potential for great returns after the repairs are made, traditional lenders can be picky about the conditions of a home. It can also be difficult to get financing from a traditional lender if you have less-than-stellar credit or are self-employed, among other things. Owner occupied hard money lenders use different criteria to determine which projects they’ll finance, so they can often help when a mortgage company won’t.

Is it Always Best to Work with an HML for HUD Homes?

There are multiple types of financing available for HUD homes, and each one can be beneficial under different circumstances. It’s also worth noting that not all HMLs will provide owner occupied loans. Many focus solely on investment properties a buyer does not plan to live in. For this reason, you should know your exit plan long before you begin looking at homes or finding lenders.

Learn the benefits and potential pitfalls before getting started.

Owner occupied hard money lenders typically prefer to work with experienced investors, but even newcomers may be able to secure funding if it’s clear they’ve done the number-crunching and have a solid strategy. If you’ve been considering purchasing a HUD home, Level 4 Funding can help regardless of whether you plan to live in the house or not. Contact us to learn more about how our programs work.

Dennis Dahlber Broker Ri CEO Level 4 Funding LLCDennis Dahlberg

Broker/RI/CEO/MLO

Level 4 Funding LLC 
Hard Money Lender

Hard Money Loans

Hard Money Loan

Arizona Tel:  (623) 582-4444

Texas Tel:      (512) 516-1177

Dennis@level4funding.com

Dennis Dahlberg Broker/RI/CEO

NMLS 1057378 | AZMB 0923961 | MLO 1057378

22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112 | Phoenix | AZ | 85027

111 Congress Ave | Austin | Texas | 78701  

     Linked In     Active Rain You TubeFace Book         

About the Author:  Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 40 years. He purchased his first property when he was just 18 years old. He quickly learned about the amazing investment opportunities provided by trust deed investing and hard money loans. His desire to help others make money in real estate investing led him to specialize in alternative funding for real estate investors who may have trouble getting a traditional bank loan. Dennis is passionate about alternative funding sources and sharing his knowledge with others to help make their dreams come true. Dennis has been married to his wonderful wife for 42 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 40 years.

How to Build Wealth Using Owner Occupied Hard Money Loans

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Owner occupied hard money loans are the unsung heroes of the real estate biz. Knowing how to leverage them is key for those who have dreams of going big but are just starting out.

Many people dream of getting into real estate because it’s a solid way to build wealth, yet quickly back down when they realize it’s also an expensive “game” to get into. Although few realize it, owner occupied hard money loans are often a gateway to wealth, giving those with an entrepreneurial mindset a chance to build even if they come to the table with very little to start. Before getting into how to leverage them, let’s break down how they’re different.

Owner Occupied: As the name implies, the person making the purchase intends to live on the property. This is common with foreclosures and HUD homes, with the latter requiring that the owner reside in the home for a full year before converting into a rental. Some co-ops and homeowner’s associations have a similar stipulation, though it’s generally permanent, meaning the owner must always be the one occupying the residence. Whether the owner intends to reside on the property or not will impact loan terms too, with those intending to stay generally receiving more favorable terms. It’s also worth noting that guidelines will vary from one contract to the next, so it’s important to read all contracts carefully to determine what an entity considers “owner occupied” and what stipulations come along with the designation.

Non-Owner Occupied: Generally speaking, the term “non-owner occupied” won’t appear much outside the mortgage industry. In this case, it’s used to designate risk. Perhaps not surprisingly, an investor dealing with money troubles is likely to let a loan for a rental or investment property go into default before he’ll put his primary residence at risk. For this reason, banks tend to be a little cautious here. It can be more challenging to get a non-owner occupied loan and the terms won’t be quite as good as they would have otherwise been.

A Win-Win Solution for Those Starting Out

Naturally, those just starting out don’t generally have strong records and pockets lined with cash like the banks like. However, one thing those who do make it have is tenacity. They’re willing to put in the work to see good returns. They just need a clear path to follow. By opting for an owner occupied loan, you’ll naturally get more favorable terms. Many people prefer this anyway because the first home they invest in is something they work on in their spare time, so being on site is a no-brainer. Plus, they aren’t paying a separate mortgage or rental payment to have a place to live at the same time. Opting for owner occupied hard money loans versus a traditional bank loan also opens up more doors, like closing fast and not having to struggle with all the requirements traditional mortgage companies have. From there, you can fix up the property as you have time and then flip it a year or two down the line when you’re ready.

It’s important to have clear expectations before getting into fix-and-flips.

Before you get into fix-and-flips, particularly if you plan to live in the home while you work on it, it’s essential to have an exit strategy and timeline. While some savvy entrepreneurs sell after a year or two, picking up anywhere from $10k to more than $50k per sale depending on their level of expertise, others convert their homes into rentals and build up a portfolio. Knowing where you plan to go after and what your anticipated timeline is will ensure you maximize your earnings. If you think owner occupied hard money loans may be the first step on your path to wealth, call us today for details.

Dennis Dahlberg Broker RI/Level 4 Funding LLC Privatae hard Money loansDennis Dahlberg

Broker/RI/CEO/MLO

Level 4 Funding LLC 
Hard Money Lender

Hard Money Loans

Hard Money Loan

Arizona Tel:  (623) 582-4444

Texas Tel:      (512) 516-1177

Dennis@level4funding.com

Dennis Dahlberg Broker/RI/CEO

NMLS 1057378 | AZMB 0923961 | MLO 1057378

22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112 | Phoenix | AZ | 85027

111 Congress Ave | Austin | Texas | 78701  

     Linked In     Active Rain You TubeFace Book         

About the Author:  Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 40 years. He purchased his first property when he was just 18 years old. He quickly learned about the amazing investment opportunities provided by trust deed investing and hard money loans. His desire to help others make money in real estate investing led him to specialize in alternative funding for real estate investors who may have trouble getting a traditional bank loan. Dennis is passionate about alternative funding sources and sharing his knowledge with others to help make their dreams come true. Dennis has been married to his wonderful wife for 42 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 40 years.