I recently did a survey of all of the hard / private money lenders I know in the industry. I also posted the survey on LinkedIn to get answers from the hard/private money lenders I don’t know. The question I asked these lenders was pretty simple:
“What are the top 3 reasons you decline a real estate deal when the numbers make sense?”
Although I received a lot of different answers to this question, there were 3 top reasons that kept appearing from the majority of the hard money / private money lenders I surveyed.
1. Neighborhood: The property is located in a high crime or extremely distressed area. Sometimes this is where the good rehab properties are found, but if a lender is afraid to get out of his car without a gun when he/she does the site inspection, you most likely won’t get a hard money loan on it.
2. Location: The property is located outside of a major metropolitan area in a rural location where there are no sold comparables within 2 miles of the subject property. Hard money and private money lenders prefer to lend in major metropolitan areas over rural locations. Although a real estate deal in a rural area may look good on paper, if there aren’t sold comps nearby to support value, a hard money lender may turn it down. Also, smaller market, smaller pool of buyers. There are exceptions of course.
3. Borrower’s Cash Reserves: Particularly on a rehab loan, a borrower who seems to be grossly undercapitalized is a sure decline. Lenders want to make sure a borrower can cover any shortages in construction, or in case of a low appraisal for the refinance.
If you are a borrower who has been turned down for a hard money loan on a deal that penciled on paper, please share your experience. If you are a hard money lender reading this, please share your own top reasons for declining a real estate loan where the numbers made sense.