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Don’t Borrow From That Apartment Building Lender Unless…

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It’s a great time to buy and refinance multifamily properties. But, the ultimate profitability of any new acquisition or holding depends on who your lender is.

The missteps and flagrant skirting of obligations by some major US banks is no secret. Every experienced real estate investor has no doubt run into their own issues with mortgage lenders along the way. Securing great investment property financing is about more than just apply to the mortgage lender that advertises the lowest rates, or runs the most internet ads. The net returns and long term wealth realized from any income property really comes down to both the final loan terms, and how the lender acts during the course of the loan being open.

So what are some of the indicators of better apartment building lenders?

1. Transparency

Are prospective lenders transparent? Mortgage financing can be confusing and complex even for experienced investors. A good firm and loan consultant should be interested in making sure borrowers have all their questions answered. Not all of the answers may be what a prospective borrower wants to hear. That can be a good sign. You may not get the lowest rate, highest loan to value, and be walking out of bankruptcy court tomorrow. You might get one or two, but rarely all three. Look for a lender that is transparent, even when they know you might not like everything you hear. That’s a sign of a lender with values.

2. You Are Treated Like More Than Just Another Sale

In the past many borrowers helped fuel bad lending practices. They didn’t want to know anything about the loan, or provide detailed information upfront. They only wanted to know what “the rate” was that day. Of course that led to dramatically different terms when their scenarios were laid out, as well as loans that didn’t support them when they needed it most. Commissioned loan officers and those packaging securities were only happy to pile in more loans to make quotas and boost their income that month. So instead; look for an apartment building lender that takes the time to understand your scenario, needs, and longer term goals upfront. And if you want a loan that will actually serve you well, now and later; help them understand as much of the picture as you can.

3. They Are Really Funding Deals

Believe it or not, there are some entities out there that thrive on collecting fees without making loans, or which close very few of the applications they receive. This can come down to incompetence, financial issues, or difficult underwriters. Find out if prospective commercial lenders are aggressively funding deals, what types of deals they are actually funding, and what types of terms other borrowers are really getting.

4. They Are Specialists In Your Niche

Applying for a loan on multifamily property in Florida with a lender that doesn’t like lending in the state isn’t a good match. At best it will mean poor terms and a trying underwriting process. The same goes for the property type, loan amount, and borrower profile. Find a lender that specializes in apartment building lending, and who is actively seeking to fund deals like yours.

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