A hard money loan is a short-term loan backed by a hard asset, generally real estate, and is typically issued by a private company or investor. Hard money loans are ideal for house flips, real estate investors with credit issues, or in a situation where a buyer needs to move quickly on an opportunity, such as a short sale or foreclosure. So where should you search for real estate deals for which hard money is appropriate?
Gone are the days spent searching through the newspaper’s classified section for listings. There are now websites that can quickly filter through a large portion of available real estate by geographical location, price, type of sale, and more. Realtor.com, Zillow.com, ZipRealty.com, and even Craigslist are websites that can narrow your search more quickly than in recent years. Some research and work is still required in order to sift through the available options, but real estate websites are full of helpful information.
Online forums for individuals in real estate are another great source of information, no matter what questions or concerns you may have. There are local forums to participate in, as well as national Facebook and LinkedIn groups to join.
Real Estate Investment Groups
Networking with professionals in the real estate investment business is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself. Networking groups have grown in popularity over the last few years and are full of both new and experienced investors that provide resources, tips, and support. Meetings may have speakers with helpful knowledge to pass on to you, other investors to partner with, or lenders ready to provide a loan for your deal. Some of these groups may also have an additional online presence, as was mentioned in the previous section.
Befriend a Real Estate Agent
Real Estate agents in your area will have insider information on the potential sales in your area. Partnering with an agent who will share their wealth of knowledge is a smart step in your investment process. Real estate agents have access to a database run by brokers called the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. There is a monthly fee to be allowed access to the MLS and it is only available to licensed realtors. The database has more information on each listing than you will find on one of the websites listed above, and knowing more about a possible investment is always an advantage. Make sure you are prepared to move quickly (i.e., pre-qualified with a hard money lender) if an Agent brings you a good deal – they will keep you informed if they know you are a real buyer and stop calling if you aren’t properly prepared to close a deal that makes sense.
Finding quality real estate deals takes time and persistence, but if you are ready and prepared to put in the work, you will get the results. Research, smart relationships, and hard work will set you up for long-term success in the real estate investment world.