10 Questions Real Estate Investors Must Ask Private Money Lenders

Private lending is a financing solution for real estate investors to use for rental properties, rehab financing, fix and flips and even commercial bridge loans. Finding the right lender to meet your needs is not always easy. Here are 10 questions to ask when searching for the right lender for your real estate investment business.

1. What loan products Do You Offer?

Many investors have different types of properties in their real estate investment portfolio. It’s essential to find a lender that has unique products to fit your unique needs. At Investor Loan Source, we offer a wide variety of loans – fix and fliprental, and commercial loans to help grow your business.

2. What are your interest rates and how many points do you charge?

Points and interest rates vary across regions and by lender. The type of loan is an important determining factor. For instance, fix and flip loan interest rates are often higher than rates for purchasing a rental property to buy and hold. The riskiness of the project also affects the interest rate. In general, hard money loan rates are higher than traditional mortgage loans due to the risk involved.  In both traditional loans and hard money loans, interest rates and points charged vary based on a borrower’s credit history.

3. What loan to value of the after repair value are you able to offer?

Hard money lenders make loans based on the after repair value (ARV) of the property. The loan to value ratio (LTV) of the (ARV) is the loan amount the lender will allow based on the renovated value of the property. This ratio can vary from lender to lender. The LTV/ARV percentage will also vary based on the property type and age. It’s essential that you find out the answer to this question early to avoid having to find a different lender or rule out a property.

4. Do you work with customers with less than perfect credit?

Many investors worry they may not qualify for a loan if they don’t have a high credit score. The good news is that many hard money lenders usually lend based on the project and property itself vs. the buyer’s creditworthiness. This is a great resource for buyers who have had some issues on their credit history. However, it’s important for you to ask if the lender requires a minimum credit score. Your rate and points charged may be affected by this, but hard money lenders most likely will not turn you down based on your credit score alone.

5. How long will it take to fund my loan after my application is complete?

Time is money in the real estate investment business. Hard money lenders should be able to approve and fund a loan within 2 weeks. Some lenders may fund deals within 3-5 days. Lenders may be able to fund a project more quickly if the real estate investor stays on top of the application process. It may be helpful to use the same lender for multiple deals, especially if they offer technology and resources like a user loan portal to make the loan process more efficient for repeat investors. 

6. Is there a prepayment penalty if I pay my loan off before the full term is up?

It’s common for many lenders to have a small prepayment penalty when a minimum amount of interest must be paid on the loan. In many situations the prepayment penalty will not affect the borrower in any way. Ask potential lenders if pre-payment penalties may be applied if the loan is paid off early and make sure it works for your proposed timeline.

7. Will you provide a pre-approval letter I can use to submit with my offers?

Finding good deals for fix and flip properties can be competitive. Real estate investors may have a greater chance of having their offers accepted if they submit a pre-approval from an experienced hard money or private money lender. It’s important to ask your potential lender if they provide pre-approval letters so you don’t miss out on a good property.

8. Do you offer loan extensions? 

It’s important to understand if an extension would be available for your loan due to unforeseen circumstances. Establishing this with a lender before you need an extension can be less costly than needing to ask for one once you’ve taken out the loan.

9. Will I work with someone who is knowledgeable about my business and real estate projects?

Not all lenders have experience and knowledge when it comes to real estate investing. Choosing a lender that has first-hand experience in the business of flipping homes and investing in real estate may impact the success of your project. Investor Loan Source was created by real estate investors who know your unique needs and understand the market. 

10. Do you have any references?

A good, reliable hard money lender will be able to offer references from other real estate investors who borrowed from them in the past. If the lender is unable to provide any positive references, it might be a good idea to reconsider doing business with them.

To be successful in real estate investing, it’s important to find a lender that is right for you and your business. If you’d like to learn more about Investor Loan Source or our products, visit www.ils.cash, call us at 409-735-6267, or reach us via email at info@ils.cash.


Investor Loan Source, a private 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 private 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.

How Recent Market Changes Impact Real Estate Investors

The real estate market is changing rapidly. While we can never be sure which direction the economy is heading, investors can make smart decisions to navigate uncertain times. In the video below, Tom Berry discusses ideas real estate investors should consider in this changing market.


Investor Loan Source, a private 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 private 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.

How To Diversify Your Investments

Tom Berry, Co-founder and CEO of Investor Loan Source, is an experienced real estate investor. He shared his thoughts on how to diversify your real estate investment portfolio. One way you can diversify your real estate investment is by asset type. Some investors may have a dozen single-family homes; a good recommendation may be adding a small commercial asset. Check out the video below as Tom Berry goes into more details on diversification of real estate investments.


Investor Loan Source, a private 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 private 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.

How to Find Real Estate Investment Properties

Real estate investors know that a great property could yield great benefits. However, for new real estate investors, finding the perfect property may be a challenge. This guide focuses on ways new investors may be able to find their first investment property.

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Investor Loan Source, a private 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 private 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.

Deal Evaluation: What Makes a Deal a Good Deal?

By Tom Berry

When evaluating a real estate deal, you should always start with the end in mind. For example, with a single-family Fix and Flip, the end goal is selling that house. When you’re looking at a single-family deal you want to flip, always ask yourself, “What can I get out of this house and what is the end value going to be?”  This is where real estate investors may make a mistake.  Some investors will look at comps in the general area of the subject property. However, they are usually comparing their house to houses that are at a different level.  You want to use comps that are of similar size and similar nature to determine what your house is going to sell for when it’s done.  

Additionally, some investors use comps with a high-end fit and finish, but use their rehab budget or a very low-end fit and finish to calculate the value. You can’t put vinyl laminate floors in a house and expect to get the same ARV as a house down the street that has travertine or expensive wood floors. This also goes for kitchen countertops, appliances, etc.  Use houses that are similar to how you’re going to make yours.

House Construction Framing Gradating Into Finished Kitchen Build.

The next step is evaluating the rehab budget. A huge challenge I see often when real estate investors look at their deal is that they calculate the ARV and then look at their rehab budget to find that the numbers don’t work. At this point, they don’t want to walk away from the deal, which they could do, and they don’t want to go back to the seller and try to renegotiate a better price on the house. Instead, they just cut the rehab budget and try to make the deal work.  If you cut your rehab budget, you’re never going to reach your expected ARV.  Cutting the budget just to try to make the numbers work on paper, might work on paper but it is not going to work in practice. Understand that the rehab will need to reach a certain level to hit your expected ARV.

After evaluating the price of the home and the rehab budget, most people think we’re done with an evaluation. The truth is that we are not done! There are other costs that we call hidden costs.  A great example of hidden costs would be the holding cost.  The holding cost includes the cost for an investor to own this project until it is sold. These hidden costs include interest, property taxes, property insurance, utilities, and lawn care. As a real estate investor, you must pay those bills the whole time you hold that property. All these costs add up. Before buying a house, it is important to calculate the monthly holding cost. This is done by adding up the monthly cost and dividing by 30 to get the daily cost of holding a property.

What does this do?  It puts a sense of urgency on the investor to get in and out as quickly as possible.

Lastly, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you going to need permits?
  • Are you going to need plans?
  • When can contractors start?
  • When will you be ready for contractors?

It is important to realistically evaluate how long it will take to rehab, market, and close on the project. There are a lot of steps to take, and those steps take time and money. 

Hopefully, this gives you greater insight into what it takes to evaluate a single-family fix and flip deal. As always, if you have a project and you’d like for us to help you with your hard money and private money needs, reach out to us today at 409-735-6267.


Investor Loan Source, a private 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 private money lending for properties to sell on owner finance. 

2022 Economic Update

Tom Berry, Co-Founder and CEO of Investor Loan Source, recently shared valuable information at the Wealth Club’s March Meeting. He shared his thoughts on what to expect with the recent changes in our economy and how those changes may affect real estate investors. Click the video below to view the entire presentation.


Investor Loan Source, a private 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 private 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.

How to Choose the Right Real Estate Investment Loan

Most successful real estate investors understand that it takes time to achieve a return on their investments. The world of real estate can be filled with many unexpected twists and turns. However, choosing the right real estate investment loan may improve the possibility of great profits. Patience is key when building a lucrative portfolio.  Keep reading to learn how common mistakes can be avoided to achieve long-term success.

Be Sure to Run the Numbers

Before applying for a real estate loan, run the numbers to determine your profit margin. It is important to understand how much is needed to put into the property. For example, the property may stay on the market longer than anticipated. This could lead to a delay in paying off the loan.  Many first-time investors may lose money on their investment because they didn’t prepare ahead of time.  This could be avoided if an investor plans for this type of situation.

Have Enough Cash Reserves

Unforeseen expenses such as unplanned vacancies, make-ready costs, damages and maintenance are just a few of the unexpected costs to consider when investing in real estate.  Ensuring that you have sufficient funds set aside for each property to cover these costs is one factor in being successful.

Research Your Lending Options

Many first-time real estate investors start their search for funding by applying for a loan from their bank or a traditional mortgage company. They may soon discover that the process may not be as easy as anticipated.  Conventional lenders may view investment property real estate transactions as risky and there might be significant requirements in addition to a large down payment.

Private money lenders, like Investor Loan Source, understand real estate investing. Therefore, the funding may be quicker, and the rate of approval may be higher.  

Closing Thoughts

Real estate investing offers the opportunity for sustainable growth and financial freedom.  Starting small and starting with the right information could set you up for long-term success.  A little research and planning can go a long way when working to achieve your real estate investment goals.

The information provided is not investment, tax, financial or legal advice. Consult with a licensed professional. 


Investor Loan Source, a private 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 private 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.

How to Flip a House

House flipping sounds like an easy and straightforward concept. But there is much more to finding a cheap house, purchasing it, and selling it for a profit. If it were that easy, the market would be over-saturated with house flipping real estate investors. A great deal of work goes into successfully flipping houses. Here are a few tips to consider before getting started.

Research Your Local Real Estate Market

Before purchasing a property to flip, it is important to know if your property is in an area where people want to live. Is it in an up-and-coming neighborhood? Is it in an area where people want to live? Thinking about these factors could determine your success or failure. No fix and flip investor wants the burden of a property that doesn’t sell. The objective is to flip quickly and understanding the market is an important factor in making sure that happens.

Examine Your Options for Financing

After researching the market and finding a property, now it is time to finance the deal. There are many ways to finance a real estate project. If an investor has enough cash on hand, they may fund the deal themselves. Leveraging may be an option for an investor that has equity in a property that they already own.  Additionally, a hard money loan can be a great option for someone who wishes to fix and flip a property.

Know the Cost

Depending on the property, the cost to repair a home for reselling can rise very quickly. One key factor to success can be knowing what repairs and improvements will add value to the property. Landscaping, upgrading appliances, and painting the exterior are just a few things to consider when preparing a fix and flip for reselling. Many real estate investors save money by making small repairs themselves while others prefer to hire contractors to do the work. Regardless of how the improvements are made, it is imperative that the work adds value.

Final Thoughts

Flipping houses does not come without risks. However, when informed decisions are made, the return on investment can be rewarding. Always perform due diligence and consult financial and legal professionals for sound advice.

The information provided is not investment, tax, financial or legal advice. Consult with a licensed professional. 


Investor Loan Source, a private 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 private money lending for properties to sell on owner finance. 

3 Tips for Real Estate Investors

Real estate investing is an exciting industry that could yield high returns for the savvy entrepreneur. While investing in real estate can be profitable, it is not for everyone. Real estate investing does come with some risks, and it takes a great deal of planning and research to be successful. If you are interested in venturing into the world of RE investing, we have three tips that may help you on your path to success.

1.Understand the Cost of Acquiring and Maintaining Property

Real estate investing can be costly. For example, a fix and flip property may require a loan for repairs and renovations. When investing in rental property it is important to consider additional costs like utilities, maintenance, and taxes

2.Examine the Location

The most important factor in the value of a property is its location. When deciding to purchase a property, consider the neighborhood and its proximity to attractions and amenities. Just because the price of a property is appealing does not mean it is a good purchase. Consider the long-term cost. Conduct research and ensure that your property is in a prime spot to increase the return on your investment. 

3.Build your Network

To be successful in the world of real estate investing, you must build solid relationships. It can be overwhelming to start in real estate investing. Having great connections can make your journey much smoother. Building solid relationships in the world of real estate investing is a key component of being successful. Additionally, attorneys, CPAs, lenders, inspectors, and contractors are people that will help grow a business. 

Closing Thoughts

Real estate investment can be an adventure. Be prepared for the ups and downs. When done properly, the smart investor can create great success. Surround yourself with insightful professionals that can take a real estate investor’s journey to the next level. 

The information provided is not investment, tax, financial or legal advice. Consult with a licensed professional. 


Investor Loan Source, a private 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 private 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.

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.