“What do you mean you can’t give me a loan? My credit is perfect,” I argued with the mortgage officer in Florida years ago. I don’t know why I argued—I don’t think it’s ever helped.
“Yes, your credit is perfect. But with this property, your debt-to-income ratio would be too high,” he said. “Due to our regulations, we need to ensure you’ll be able to pay for the property for the next 30 years.”
“Debt-to-income ratio? I’m not holding the property. I’m selling it right away!”
As an investor, you’ll eventually hit a certain point in your career where you just can’t get investment loans anymore. And when you get to that point, you’ll need a hard money lender.
The Lowdown on Hard Money Lenders in Florida
You’re considering taking out a loan to fund your next real estate investment. But you don’t know where to find the right hard money lenders in Florida. I was in your position once—and I’ll tell you everything I know.
Hard money loans are short-term financing options typically used by investors to purchase properties quickly and with minimum hassle. But because Florida’s real estate market is vast, there are a lot of hard money lenders out there. And not all of them are reputable.
What Does the Florida Real Estate Market Look Like?
The first step in finding the right hard money lender is understanding the challenges you may face as a Florida borrower. Florida is unique from its sometimes capricious weather to its incredibly niche real estate markets.
In a nutshell, the Florida real estate market can be characterized as:
- Diverse. You have retirement communities, young professionals, beach bums, and millionaires. Your investment path will be strongly predicated on where you’re investing.
- Fast. Apart from some areas of inland Florida, real estate moves quickly. Florida real estate is desirable and it’s also getting more expensive. Once a property hits the MLS, it’s already got offers. You need to be creative to find Florida real estate leads.
- Unpredictable. Weather-related damage can quickly sink an investment property—sometimes literally. Not only do you need to avoid flood zones, but you also need to consider potentially hidden structural damage when investigating properties, even more than you usually do.
- Expensive. You can still find deals, but doing so is harder here. You’ll need the capital to invest in the market, especially if you’re dealing with a lot of renovations.
Of course, every market has its challenges. Florida is an excellent one for flipping houses precisely because it’s diverse and fast. Every risk is countered by an opportunity, and you can chase those opportunities with the help of a hard money lender.
The Advantages of Using Hard Money Lenders in Florida
Why should you consider a hard money lender in the first place? If you’re already looking for a hard money loan, I don’t need to sell you on it. But if you’re on the fence, here are the main advantages:
- Hard money loans are fast. If you’re a cash buyer, you can close on a property in as little as seven days. That’s less time you spend waiting, which can be alluring to a seller.
- Hard money loans are easier to get. A conventional mortgage lender won’t give you money for a house that needs a lot of work, but a hard money lender will.
- Hard money loans are easier to secure. Conventional mortgages look at your debt-to-income ratio; hard money loans look at the property as an investment.
- Hard money loans are flexible. You can use hard money for a wide variety of investment strategies, including fix-and-flips, buy-and-holds, and even commercial real estate investments.
Ultimately, your hard money lender becomes a partner—they work with you to help you meet your financing goals. In Florida, hard money lending is a great option because it’ll give you more money than a traditional bank loan and on more flexible terms.
But there are dangers to working with the wrong lender, too.
The wrong hard money lender will:
- Be more expensive. There are fewer regulations on hard money loans compared to conventional loans—and they can charge a lot more.
- Have hidden fees. A non-reputable hard money lender may have hidden financing fees, account management fees, or fees during payoff.
- Fail to close the loan. Perhaps the worst one, a hard money lender could fail to close the loan entirely, leaving you in a lurch.
You need to find the right hard money lender before you start looking for properties. While you can chase them down one by one, there is an easier path—and that’s working with HomeVestors®.
The Best Hard Money Lenders in Florida
HomeVestors® thoroughly vets its hard money lenders in terms of cost, reputation, and timeliness. After all, its franchise owners’ success reflects on its nationally trusted brand. Through decades of experience within the industry, HomeVestors® has partnered with excellent hard money lenders in Florida and across the entire nation. They include:
Silver Hill Funding
- Great for long-term, single-family financing
- Loans up to 85% LTV on purchase (no tax returns required)
- Fix-and-flip financing up to 75% of ARV
Silver Hill Funding, a Bayview Asset Management, LLC affiliate, provides flexible loans with no tax returns. While it currently focuses on long-term, single-family real estate, it has just started offering fix-and-flip loans for investors.
Residential Capital Partners
- Great for single-family rehab loans and rental investments
- Usually offers nine-month loan terms with extensions
- Offers 100% financing at 70% of ARV
Residential Capital Partners was founded by real estate investors and house flippers. Most of its loans are offered at short, nine-month loan terms specializing in rehab properties and rental investments. With a maximum value of 1.5 million, they’re great for pricy Florida real estate.
Finance of America
- A national lender for real estate investment loans
- Benefits for qualified investors include a line of credit up to $10 million.
- A low and competitive minimum interest rate.
Finance of America is a national real estate investment loan provider focusing on veteran investors. While new investors will still be able to take advantage of their low interest rates, veterans gain the advantages of their fix-and-flip lines of credit. A fix-and-flip line of credit can provide additional flexibility in a market as unique as Florida.
- Available for financing throughout 44 states
- 100% financing for single-family investments, even without rehab
- 80% financing for multi-family investments
RCN provides some incredible loans that could have you walking out the door with minimal investments on your part. They’re great for both new and experienced investors, and there are four real estate loan programs. They also provide long, 30-year loan terms for single-family and multi-family rental properties.
Flatiron Realty Capital
- Specializes in bridge loans, construction/rehab financing, and 30-year rentals
- Offers a self-funded, integrated real estate lending platform
- Founded in 2018 as a privately funded real estate lender
Flatiron Realty Capital is a privately funded real estate portfolio lender, unique even among hard money lenders. Its real estate lending platform seeks to make the lending process faster and easier, leveraging technology, proprietary credit solutions, and a variety of other service offerings.
Kiavi (formerly LendingHome)
- A next-generation online lender
- Bridge and rental loans with low costs
- National lending available
Kiavi, formerly LendingHome, has created a technologically-advanced online process. You can quickly check your loan options through their website before applying—without a credit check or obligation. Kiavi focuses primarily on bridge and rental loans, generally toward entities (LLCs).
HomeVestors: More Than Just Lending
HomeVestors® provides more than just connections to the best hard money lenders in Florida; owning a franchise also gives you exclusive access to real estate tools, training, and industry connections. Whether you’re looking for investing tips and tricks or an online tool for home valuations, HomeVestors® has you covered.
As an independently owned and operated franchise owner, you can also utilize proprietary software, training, and mentorship opportunities to get your business off the ground quickly. You’ll get the support you need to become a better real estate investor overall—all while taking advantage of a nationally recognized brand that can get leads to come directly to you.
If you’d like more information on the hard money lenders Florida has to offer, or on becoming a franchise owner yourself, request information from HomeVestors® today.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.