How to evaluate Commercial Real Estate Loans

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How to evaluate Commercial Real Estate Loans

There are many commercial real estate loan companies. How do you tell the good from the bad and the ugly?

Commercial real estate loan rates were ridiculously low until recently when rates started moving up. The ten-year government note has moved from 1.44% on January 1, 2018 to over 2.85% on Friday, January 9, 2018, with projections up to over 3%, 3.5% and 4% in the next 60 days. You most likely will not see current rates this low again in your lifetime. Commercial loans are at these low rates because commercial real estate loan companies are sitting on an ocean of cash, nearly $2 trillion dollars. Commercial investors still feel hesitant, however, to overextend with loans from the shock they experienced by the recession of 2008.

So just which commercial loan is best for you? A life Insurance company, a conduit, a credit union, an SBA lender, a commercial bank, a USDA Business and industries lender or even a hard money commercial lender? A life insurance company offers the most attractive commercial interest rates that are only 0.35% to 0.50% higher than the prime residential mortgage rates. Be aware, few life insurance companies will touch commercial projects smaller than $5 million. The project must be very standard and cannot be older than 20 years.

The next avenue which is available is a CMBS where commercial real estate loan rates are 50 to 65 basis points over the prime residential mortgage rate. For projects between $3 to $5 million and up, a conduit may be an appropriate choice for you. They will also finance older properties. For projects with good credit principals, banks and credit unions may be a good option. The rates run typically 0.75% to 1.50% over prime, 30 residential mortgage rates.

SBA and USDA Loans

SBA, if you qualify, should be considered first. The standard 7a SBA loan is 2.75% over prime floating. With the SBA you can quality for a 90% loan-to-value and the loan is fully amortized over 25 years. You must have a credit score of 700-plus and financials for the last several years. The USDA loan is less attractive. The loans are made through banks and guaranteed by the USDA and they are similar to SBA loans–2.75% over floating prime and fully amortized over 25 years. These properties must be located in eligible rural areas in order to qualify.

Although an effort has been made to quote current rates, this is a fluid market and, as pointed out, rates have increased since the first of the year and are fluctuating.

Once underwritten, residential mortgage companies can sell the mortgage to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The illiquidity of the commercial market, since they do not have an agency to sell their underwritten mortgages to and these types of loans are seen as higher risk, results in commercial mortgages 0.35% to 1.50% higher. Before applying, you need to get all your ducks in a row including property type, projected cash flow, age of property and projected operating expenses. For many real estate investors who require quick capital for their next project, a hard money loan is the answer. Call us at Level 4 Funding for a no-obligation quote.

Dennis Dahlberg
Broker/RI/CEO/MLO
Level 4 Funding LLC  Private Hard Money Lender
Arizona Tel:  (623) 582-4444
Texas Tel:      (512) 516-1177
Dennis@level4funding.com NMLS 1057378 | AZMB 0923961 | MLO 1057378
22601 N 19th Ave Suite 112 | Phoenix | AZ | 85027
111 Congress Ave |Austin | Texas | 78701
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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.

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