Do you know the difference between a BPO, Appraisal, and Assessed Value?

Money and Home on Scale

Estimating the value of a property is an essential part of real estate investing. Depending on who you ask, why you ask, and for what purpose, you may get different answers. Whether your next purchase is for a fix-n-flip or a rental property, arm yourself with knowledge so you can be prepared to provide the valuation needed for your next deal!

Brokers Price Opinion (BPO) – Less expensive and comprehensive than an appraisal, and based primarily on predictive data. The BPO is a real estate broker or sale agent’s opinion of a property’s value and is often used to set the sale price of a property. It is rarely allowed as a substitute for an actual appraisal and can be thought of as more of a starting point.

Appraisals – An unbiased opinion of value given by a licensed or certified appraiser, and based on historical data. Mostly used to determine market value by verifying that an appropriate price is set given the condition, location, and features of a property. This is often required by the lender when a mortgage is involved to buy, sell, or refinance a property.

There are three basic approaches used in appraisals to determine a property’s value:

  1. Sales Comparison Approach: an estimate derived from similar properties, known as comparables or comps, that have been sold within the last year under typical market conditions and within a certain distance from the subject property. Typically, at least three or four examples must be used to give a good valuation.
  • Cost Approach: Based on an assumption that buyers will not pay more for a property than it will cost them to build a similar property from scratch. The property value is determined by:

Cost of Land + Cost of Construction – Depreciation

This is the most common valuation to determine the price for unique buildings such as churches and schools, and residential properties that do not generate income.

  • Income Capital Approach: Assigns a value based on the estimated returns of a property using the formula:

Market Value = Net Operating Income / Capitalization Rate

Assessed Value – The dollar value of a property, assigned by a municipal property assessor to determine property taxes.  Comparable home sales, location, square footage, quality, and market conditions, among many other factors, can heavily influence this determination. This assessment is usually calculated at a percentage of the Fair Market Value (FMV) which is updated periodically and may be disputed by the owner.

As you can see each valuation has its time and place. While the Brokers’ Price Opinion can be used to set the sale price on your home it should not be relied upon as a buyer of investment properties. Most lenders will require an appraisal to be done which is a much more in-depth estimate of value, while the assessed value should be considered when factoring your property taxes into the DSCR and cost analysis.

Finding a team of real estate professionals that you can lean on for guidance is essential to success starting with a lender you can trust. Discover the Investor Loan Source difference today!


Investor Loan Source, a hard money lending company, provides high-quality investment property loans to private real estate investors at the lowest costs possible. Our process for providing real estate investors with private lending is unique. We place emphasis on the hard asset and value of the collateral (property) and less on the borrower. Our asset-based real estate investment loan model means we can provide more money lending to more investors than is available from standard bank loan models. At Investor Loan Source, providing real estate investors hard money loans is our business; it’s all we do. We offer several business real estate loans products designed to serve a variety of investors and property profiles, including hard money lending for properties to sell on owner finance. 

To learn more about Investor Loan Source, visit our website or follow us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter. To apply for a loan, click HERE.

Mortgage vs. Deed of Trust: What is the Difference?

Why does it Matter?

*We do not offer legal advice, please consult a professional

When a borrower receives a loan to buy real estate, he/she agrees to pay the lender a certain amount of money according to the terms of the promissory note. To secure this debt the lender will require either a Mortgage or Deed of Trust instrument. This is primarily determined by the state you live in and will heavily influence the foreclosure process. It is extremely important for every real estate investor to understand the rules and instruments their state uses.

The main difference between a Mortgage and a Deed of Trust is that the Mortgage document lists only the borrower and the lender as interested parties, while the Deed of Trust instrument adds a third person titled as the Trustee.

Mortgage

When a Mortgage is used to secure real estate, the loan must be completely repaid before it can be sold. The lender will hold the lien for the property until the borrower has satisfied the loan agreement.  In Mortgage States (aka Lien Theory States), the lender can begin foreclosure when the borrower defaults on his/her loan. However, the lender will need to file a lawsuit to begin the foreclosure proceedings and the entire process must go through the courts, beginning with the filing of Lis Pendens. This is known as a Judicial Foreclosure and can prove to be quite costly and time-consuming (often six months or more!).

Deed of Trust

When a Deed of Trust is used, the courts can be bypassed. Instead, a Trustee will be appointed within the document at closing. The borrower transfers title to the Trustee for the benefit of the lender and remains in trust until the note is paid off. In the case of default, the Trustee is responsible for starting the foreclosure process.  Often, the first step of this process is the filing of an Appointment of Substitute Trustee because the original named trustee is not local to the property.  This is known as a Non-Judicial Foreclosure and generally requires less time to complete (sometimes as little as two months).

Real estate can be a lucrative investment, but it is imperative that you, as an investor, know the laws of your land. Understanding the documents and legal procedures used in real estate transactions for your state can help better prepare you for any situation that may arise. Finding a lender you can trust and building a knowledgeable team will prove its worth time and time again.


Investor Loan Source, a hard money lending company, provides high-quality investment property loans to private real estate investors at the lowest costs possible. Our process for providing real estate investors with private lending is unique. We place emphasis on the hard asset and value of the collateral (property) and less on the borrower. Our asset-based real estate investment loan model means we can provide more money lending to more investors than is available from standard bank loan models. At Investor Loan Source, providing real estate investors hard money loans is our business; it’s all we do. We offer several business real estate loans products designed to serve a variety of investors and property profiles, including hard money lending for properties to sell on owner finance. 

To learn more about Investor Loan Source, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. To apply for a loan, click HERE.

Questions Every Real Estate Investor Must Ask Themselves!

When Socrates said, “Know thyself,” it is unlikely he was talking about real estate investing, but it is still good advice.   Before considering any major investment, you need to make sure you know what you can or can’t do, what your goals are, and what you are comfortable with.  Here are some questions to ask yourself, so you are prepared to seize a good investment opportunity when it presents itself.

Am I an Accredited Investor? Knowing your status is non-negotiable. Some investments are only available to accredited investors and knowing your status will help you to narrow your focus. An Accredited Investor is generally someone who has 1MM in net worth, not counting the value of their primary home.

Am I a conservative or aggressive investor? Do you like to play it safe with a lower steady fixed rate of return or are you someone who likes high risk, high reward situations? Risk tolerance, considering where you are in life, knowledge of the industry and the market cycle, should all play a part in this decision.

What type of investor am I, Passive or Active? Are you a hands-on type of investor who wants to be uber involved in your investments? If so, you may want to consider more active investments such as fix and flips, rentals, note buying, etc. Just remember that these types of investments take a lot of time and involvement.

If you are working full time or just starting out, something passive may be your best bet! Consider real estate investment funds and other low involvement opportunities.

What is my level of knowledge when it comes to RE investing?

Are you just starting out? Then you probably shouldn’t take on a 100K intensive rehab project for your first flip. No matter your investment decision, take time to learn and fully understand what you are doing.

Who is in my network that I can leverage for their talents/expertise?

We have all heard the quote “Your network is your net worth.” — Porter Gale. This is especially true in the real estate world. This industry is constantly evolving and having a strong network is a must. Every RE investor should have a good agent, lender, attorney, CPA, and contractor on their side with whom they can ask questions and brainstorm. Go to real estate club meetings, mixers, and conferences. Get to know people and surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Lean on the strength of others to compensate for your areas of weakness (we all have them) and you, too, can contribute your strengths to help others.

What type of funds am I using to fuel this investment? Analyze the effects of that choice.

There are many ways to fund your investments but sometimes that can come with certain restrictions, tax liabilities, etc. For instance, if you lend money on a fix and flip out of your IRA (structured funds) and the borrower defaults forcing you to foreclose, you need to be sure that you understand the foreclosure laws within an IRA as this would be handled differently than if you had lent the money with cash.

If you choose to invest as an individual, do you know how this investment might affect your taxes? Everyone’s situation is different, but these are the questions you want to know the answers to BEFORE you jump in.


Investor Loan Source, a hard money lending company, provides high-quality investment property loans to private real estate investors at the lowest costs possible. Our process for providing real estate investors with private lending is unique. We place emphasis on the hard asset and value of the collateral (property) and less on the borrower. Our asset-based real estate investment loan model means we can provide more money lending to more investors than is available from standard bank loan models. At Investor Loan Source, providing real estate investors hard money loans is our business; it’s all we do. We offer several business real estate loans products designed to serve a variety of investors and property profiles, including hard money lending for properties to sell on owner finance. 

To learn more about Investor Loan Source, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. To apply for a loan, click HERE.

Are You an Accredited Investor?

(We are not offering tax, legal, or investment advice. Please consult a professional)

There are many opportunities out there for passive investors to take advantage of.  Knowing if you are an accredited investor will help you to navigate the waters.

 “Accredited Investor” is a term used by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to differentiate between those investors whom the government believes to possess “financial sophistication” and those individuals who might require more protection/oversight. The government believes it is their duty to keep the world’s less savvy investors from so called “riskier projects” since they do not have the sufficient investment knowledge or reserve funds to handle a significant loss.  Unfortunately, this rule excludes many investors from unique high-yield opportunities that could be life-changing. However, the good news is that if you are an accredited investor, your options are endless.

Many accredited investors look for ways to include non-accredited family and friends in their investments. Unfortunately, there is no legal way for them to be directly involved in an accredited opportunity. Always seek guidance from a licensed attorney when structuring your investment.

As of late last year (August 26, 2020) the SEC adopted amendments to the definition of who is considered to be an “Accredited Investor” as defined in Rule 501(a) promulgated pursuant to the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Act”). The great news is that many who did not qualify before do now. You or your entity can be an accredited investor if you are any one of the following:

  • A natural person whose individual net worth, or joint net worth with that person’s spouse or a cohabitant occupying a relationship generally equivalent to that of a spouse (a “spousal equivalent”), at the time of his purchase exceeds $1,000,000 (excluding the value of the person’s primary residence and any debt secured by such residence up to the value of the residence; any debt in excess of such value must be counted as a liability); (MOST COMMON)
  • A natural person who had an individual income in excess of $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with that person’s spouse or spousal equivalent in excess of $300,000 in each of those years and has a reasonable expectation of reaching the same income level in the current year; (MOST COMMON)
  • A bank as defined in section 3(a)(2) of the Act, or a savings and loan association or other institution as defined in section 3(a)(5)(A) of the Act whether acting in its individual or fiduciary capacity; a broker or dealer registered pursuant to section 15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; an insurance company as defined in section 2(13) of the Act; an investment company registered under the Investment company Act of 1940 or a business development company as defined in section 2(a)(48) of that Act; a Small Business Investment Company licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration under section 301(c) or (d) of the Small business Investment Act of 1958; a plan established and maintained by a state, its political subdivisions, or any agency or instrumentality of a state or its political subdivisions, for the benefit of its employees, if such plan has total assets in excess of $5,000,000; an employee benefit plan within the meaning of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 if the investment decision is made by a plan fiduciary, as defined in section 3(21) of such Act, which is either a bank, savings and loan association, insurance company, or registered adviser, or if the employee benefit plan has total assets in excess of $5,000,000, or, if a self-directed plan, with investment decisions made solely by persons that are accredited investors;
  • A private business development company as defined in section 202(a)(22) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940;
  • Any organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, corporation, Massachusetts or similar business trust, partnership, or limited liability company not formed for the specific purpose of acquiring the securities offered with total assets in excess of $5,000,000;
  • Any organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, corporation, Massachusetts or similar business trust, partnership, or limited liability company not formed for the specific purpose of acquiring the securities offered, with total assets in excess of $5,000,000;
  • A director, executive officer, or general partner of the issuer of the securities being offered or sold, or any director, executive officer, or general partner of a general partner of that issuer;
  • An entity not otherwise qualifying as accredited that own investments in excess of five million
  • Any entity not formed for the specific purpose of acquiring the securities offered, owning investments in excess of $5,000,000;
  • Any natural person holding in good standing a Series 7, Series 65, or Series 82 license, or any other professional certification or designation or credential from an accredited educational institution that the Securities and Exchange Commission has designated as qualifying an individual for accredited investor status;
  • Any “family office,” as defined in Rule 202(a)(11)(G)-1 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 with assets under management in excess of $5,000,000 that is not formed for the specific purpose of acquiring the securities offered and whose prospective investment is directed by a person who has such knowledge and experience in financial and business matters that such family office is capable of evaluating the merits and risks of the prospective investment; or Any “family client,” as defined in Rule 202(a)(11)(G)-1 under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, of a family office (as defined above) and whose prospective investment in the issuer is directed by such family office.

Prove your Status

There are multiple avenues one can go to get proof of their accredited status. A licensed Attorney or CPA, Investment Advisor, Broker Dealer, or Verification Platform such as VerifyInvestor.com, Accredited.AM, and Investready.com can all be of assistance. Be sure to get verification in the name/entity you plan on using for the investment. For instance, if you are going to invest in your LLC, your LLC will be the one that needs to be verified as different rules are applied to prove status. Once you have received an accreditation letter it is usually only valid for a certain length of time.

To prove one’s status there are multiple assets taken into consideration. For some, verification is quite easy and can be proved by one simple bank statement while others might have a little more legwork to do. Rest assured that knowing and proving your status is well worth it.  While everyone’s situation is different, having an understanding of qualified holdings might make the process less tedious.

Qualified holdings may include:

  • Investment Real Estate (non-primary residence) – Prove ownership through Deed, Note, etc. Be sure to have the valuation, appraisal, broker’s price opinion (BPO), County Appraisal District (CAD) valuation, or other document to prove the assets value.
  • Banks Accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Certificates of Deposit (CD’s), Brokerage accounts, Annuities, Insurance etc. – Prove value by providing the latest statement or obtaining a letter from the financial institution stating value of account.
  • Vehicles (automobiles, motorcycles, boats, planes, etc.)- Show title and provide a valuation
  • Personal Property– Use a third-party valuation

In short, knowing your status will help aid you in your alternative investments to come. For more information on Investor Loan Source & ILS Capital accredited offerings please visit www.dontbuystock.com.


Investor Loan Source, a hard money lending company, provides high-quality investment property loans to private real estate investors at the lowest costs possible. Our process for providing real estate investors with private lending is unique. We place emphasis on the hard asset and value of the collateral (property) and less on the borrower. Our asset-based real estate investment loan model means we can provide more money lending to more investors than is available from standard bank loan models. At Investor Loan Source, providing real estate investors hard money loans is our business; it’s all we do. We offer several business real estate loans products designed to serve a variety of investors and property profiles, including hard money lending for properties to sell on owner finance. 

To learn more about Investor Loan Source, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. To apply for a loan, click HERE.

Loan Servicing

Cash

A real estate loan servicer is a company/person that is tagged in after closing by the lender to handle the administrative aspects of a loan. Surprisingly, many mortgage companies and owner finance lenders do not service their own loans but hire a third-party company to serve as a liaison between themselves and their borrower, ultimately managing the loan.   

There are many companies who specialize in servicing real estate loans, and they often offer an array of services. The type of loan you have, and the lenders needs, will determine what services are opted in to. Often the fee associated with the management of the loan is written into the closing documents and passed on to the borrower.

Finding a loan servicer you can trust, and one that fits your needs is imperative. Always read the fine print and be sure to have a clear understanding of your servicing agreement.  If you operate nationwide, be sure to find a servicer that does, too.  Remember that not all servicing agents are created equal. Some are very specific on the types of loans they can service while others are a one-stop shop.

As a lender there are many things you must stay on top of for things to run smoothly. Your servicer is there to make sure nothing is missed. Depending on your need and/or terms agreed to at closing you may expect your loan servicer to keep track of the following:

Accepting borrower paymentsCollecting fees
Keeping track of loan balances, amortization schedules, and records of paymentsSending out late notices and acceleration/demand letters
Collecting escrow for taxes and insuranceManaging extensions
Paying taxes and insuranceProviding payoff’s
Releasing drawsServing as the main point of contact/interfacing with the borrower

Servicing a loan is not only time-consuming, but one must know how to navigate through the legalities and compliance issues that may arise. Laws vary from state to state and can change over time. Often there are strict rules and timelines when it comes to collections, notifications, etc. and your servicer will help you stay on top of it all.  If you are going to finance the sale of a property yourself, a loan servicer is necessary to ensure everything is done legally and correctly, and protects both the borrower and the lender.


Investor Loan Source, a hard money lending company, provides high-quality investment property loans to private real estate investors at the lowest costs possible. Our process for providing real estate investors with private lending is unique. We place emphasis on the hard asset and value of the collateral (property) and less on the borrower. Our asset-based real estate investment loan model means we can provide more money lending to more investors than is available from standard bank loan models. At Investor Loan Source, providing real estate investors hard money loans is our business; it’s all we do. We offer several business real estate loans products designed to serve a variety of investors and property profiles, including hard money lending for properties to sell on owner finance. 

To learn more about Investor Loan Source, visit our website or follow us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter. To apply for a loan, click HERE.