What Investors Should Know About Commercial Real Estate Loans

Your commercial real estate investment transaction doesn’t close unless the money is approved. You can also increase the cash flow should the interest rate for the money is low. So the more knowledge you have about commercial loans, better decision you possibly can make about your commercial real-estate investment.

Loan Qualification: Most of you’ve applied for the residential loan and are also familiar with the task. You provide for the lender with:

W2’s and/or taxation statements so it can verify your wages,
Bank and/or brokerage statements therefore it can verify your liquid assets and put in.
In general greater personal income you’re making the higher amount borrowed you qualify. You could even borrow 95% from the purchase price for 1-unit principal residence with plenty of income.

For commercial loan, the credit amount a lender will issue is based mainly on the net operating income (NOI) with the property, not your individual income. This may be the fundamental difference between residential and commercial loan qualification. Therefore, if you purchase a vacant commercial building, you will possess difficult time getting the financing approved ever since the property doesn’t have a rental income. However, in the event you

Occupy a minimum of 51% in the space on your business; it is possible to apply for SBA loan.
Have sufficient income from another commercial property used as cross collateral; you can find lenders in existence that want your online business.
Loan to Value: Commercial lenders are usually more conservative about the borrowed funds to value (LTV). Lenders will still only loan you the amount to ensure that the ratio of NOI to loan payment for the credit, called Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR) or Debt Service Ratio (DSR) must be at the least 1.25 or older. This means the NOI has to be no less than 25% in excess of the payment. In other words, the money amount is certainly that you’ll have positive cashflow equal to a minimum of 25% with the mortgage payment. So, if you decide on a property with low cap rate, you need a higher downpayment to meet lender’s DCR. For example, properties in California with 5% cap often require 50% or more advance payment. To make the situation more complicated, some lenders advertise 1.25% DCR but underwrite the money with monthly interest 2%-3% greater than the note rate! Since the financial meltdown of 2007, most commercial lenders prefer keeping the LTV at 70% or less. Higher LTV is quite possible for high-quality properties with strong national tenants, e.g. Walgreens maybe in the areas the lenders are extremely familiar and comfy with. However, you are going to rarely see greater than 75% LTV. Commercial real-estate is intended for that elite band of investors so there isn’t any such thing as 100% financing.

Interest Rate: The interest for commercial relies upon on various factors below:

Loan term: The rates are lower to the shorter five years fixed rate compared to the 10 years set rate. It’s very challenging to get a loan with fixed price longer than ten years unless the home has a long-term lease having a credit tenant, e.g. Walgreens. Most lenders offer 20-25 years amortization. Some bank use three decades amortization. For single-tenant properties, lenders might use 10-15 years amortization.
Tenant credit history: The rate for a drugstore occupied by Walgreens is significantly lower than one with HyVee Drugstore since Walgreens has much superior S&P rating.
Property type: The interest for a single tenant night club building will be more than multi-tenant retail strip since the risk is higher. When the night club building is foreclosed, it’s harder to sell or rent it compared for the multi-tenant retail strip. The rate for apartment is leaner than shopping strip. To the lenders, young people need a roof over their head whatever, therefore, the rate is leaner for apartments.
Age with the property: Loan for newer property could have lower rate than dilapidated one. To the lender danger factor for older properties is higher, hence the rate is higher.
Area: If the house is positioned in a growing area like Dallas suburbs, the pace would be below a similar property positioned in the rural declining section of Arkansas. This is one more reason you should study demographic data in the area before you buy the home and property.
Your credit score: Similarly to residential loan, if you could have good credit ranking, your rate is less.
Loan amount: In residential mortgage, in the event you borrow less overall, i.e. a conforming loan, your rate of interest will be the cheapest. When you borrow additional money, i.e. a jumbo or super jumbo loan, your rate is going to be higher. In commercial mortgage, the opposite is true! If you borrow $200K loan your rate might be 8%. But in case you borrow $3M, your rate may be only 4.5%! In a sense, it’s like obtaining a lower price whenever you buy a product or service in large volume at Costco.
The lenders you apply the money with. Each lender possesses his own rates. There may be a significant difference inside the interest rates. Hard money lenders often times have highest mortgage rates. So you ought to work with someone specialized on commercial loans to shop for your lowest rates.
Prepayment flexibility: If you want to hold the flexibility to prepay the borrowed funds then you will get to pay a higher rate. If you say yes to keep the credit for the term of the borrowed funds, then a rate is less.
Commercial loans are exempt from various consumers’ laws created for residential loans. Some lenders use “360/365” rule in computing mortgage interest. With this rule, the monthly interest is dependant on 360 days 12 months. However, a persons vision payment is situated on 365 days in annually. In other words, you could have to pay an additional 5 days (6 days on leap year) of great interest per year. As a result, your actual interest payment is greater than the rate stated in the borrowed funds documents for the reason that effective monthly interest is higher.

Prepayment Penalty: In residential loan, prepayment penalty is normally an option. If you don’t need it, you have to pay higher rate. Most commercial loans have prepayment penalty. The prepayment penalty amount is reduced or stepped down yearly. For example over a 5 year fixed price loan, the prepayment penalty for that first year is 5% in the balance. It’s reduced to 4% and after that 3%, 2%, 1% for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th year respectively. For conduit loans, the prepayment amount is big as you’ve got to pay for your interest between note rate as well as the equivalent US Treasure rate for that whole loan balance for your remaining term of the borrowed funds. This prepayment penalty is referred to as defeasance or yield maintenance.

Loan Fees: In residential mortgage, lenders may provide you with a “no points, no costs” option in the event you pay a higher rate. Such a choice is hard to get at in commercial mortgage. You could have to pay between ½ to a single point loan fee, appraisal cost, environment assessment report fee, and processing/underwriting fee. A lender normally issues towards the borrower a Letter of Interest (LOI) when it is interested in lending you the money. The LOI states the credit amount, rate, loan term and costs. Once the borrower pays about $5000 for loan application fees for vacation reports (appraisal, phase I, survey), the bank starts underwriting the credit. It orders a appraisal using a unique pre-approved MAI (Member of Appraisal Institute) appraisers. If the financial institution approves the financing and you tend not to accept it, then this lender keeps each of the fees.

Loan Types: While you will discover various commercial loan types, most investors often encounter 3 main varieties of commercial loans:

1. Small Business Administration or SBA loan. This is a government guaranteed loan meant for owner-occupied properties. When you occupy 51% or more on the space inside building (gas station or hotel is known as an owner-occupied property), you might be qualified because of this program. The key benefit is you may borrow nearly 90% of purchased price.

2. Portfolio loan. This is the style of commercial loans the place that the lenders use their particular money and on its balance sheet until maturity. Lenders tend to be more flexible as it would be their money. For example East West Bank, US Bank and many life insurance companies are portfolio lenders. These lenders have to have the borrowers to supply a personal guaranty to the payment from the loans. And thus these financing options are recourse loans.

3. Conduit loan or CMBS (Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities) loan. This was an increasingly popular commercial loan program prior for the 2007 recession where its market size was over $225 Billion in 2007. It was to just a few Billion during 2009 and is creating a comeback with issuance of just about $100 Billion in 2015. Many individual loans of various sizes, at different locations are pooled together, rated from Triple-A (Investment grade) to B (Junk) and sold to investors around the globe as bonds. Therefore it’s not possible to prepay the money because it’s already section of a bond. These would be the characteristics of conduit loans:

The minute rates are often lower. It can often be around 1.2% above the 5 or 10 year US Treasury rates compared to just one.85-3% in the 5 or 10 year US Treasury rates for portfolio loan. Some CMBS loans have interest only payments. Since the rate is gloomier and borrowers are necessary to pay interest only, the LTV is usually over 75%. Low rates and high LTV will be the key benefit of conduit loan.

Conduit lenders only consider big amount you borrow, e.g. at the least $2M.

Lenders require borrower to create a single-asset entity, e.g. Limited Liability Company (LLC) to consider title for the property. This is supposed to shield the house from other the borrower’s liabilities.

The loans are non-recourse which means the home and property is the only collateral for the borrowed funds and the borrowers don’t have to sign personal guaranty. And so these refinancing options are used by investment firms, REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust), TIC (Tenants in Common) firms that invest in commercial real estate investment using funds pooled from various investors.

If the borrower later really wants to sell the home before the credit matures, the revolutionary buyer must assume the borrowed funds as the seller cannot pay off the financing. This makes it harder to sell the house because the buyer has to come up which has a significant amount of cash for that difference between the sticker price and loan balance. Furthermore, the loan originator/loan servicer could reject the money assumption application many different reasons as you will find no strong incentives correctly to do so. The loan servicer may impose new conditions to loan assumption approval, e.g. increase reserve amount by a number of hundred thousand dollars. If you happen to be a 1031-exchange buyer, you might want to think twice about buying real estate with loan assumptions. Should the lending company reject your loan assumption application, you might end up not qualifying with the 1031 exchange and also be liable for paying capital gain. This may be the hidden tariff of conduit loan.

Even once you are in a position to prepay the credit, it costs an arm as well as a leg in the event you want to prepay the borrowed funds. The prepayment penalty is usually called Defeasance or Yield Maintenance. Basically you could have to pay the gap in interest relating to the note rate within your loan plus the applicable US Treasury rate to the remaining years of the money! This amount is usually so high the seller normally necessitates the buyer to assume the credit. You can compute the defeasance from www.defeasewithease.com website. Besides the defeasance, you also be forced to pay 1% loan assumption fee. This is another hidden expense of conduit loan.
Conduit loan may be the credit for you when you intend to keep the credit for the life of the credit that you accept to at the beginning. Otherwise it might be very costly because of its payoff inflexibility.

Lenders Coverage Area: Commercial lenders would trade in areas they are accustomed to or have local offices. For example East West Bank will undoubtedly consider properties in California. Many commercial lenders don’t give loans to out-of-state investors.

Lenders Coverage Property Types: Most commercial lenders would only consider certain sorts of properties they are acquainted with. For example Chase would do apartments and owner-occupied office buildings however, not retail properties or gasoline stations. Westford Financial specializes on church financing. Comerica is focused on owner-occupied properties.

Lenders Escrow Accounts: Most lenders require borrowers to pay for 1/12 of property taxes month after month. Some lenders require borrowers to get repairs and/or TI (Tenants Improvement) reserve account to be sure the borrowers have adequate funds to pay for major repairs or leasing expenses should existing tenants not renew the leases.

Conclusion: Commercial loans are many more complex and hard to obtain with loan approvals more unpredictable than residential loans. As an investor, it truly is in your best interest to employ a professional commercial loan broker to aid with your commercial loan needs. By doing so, you’ll vastly boost your chances of paying lower mortgage rates, avoid potential pitfalls and transform your chance on getting the borrowed funds approved.

David V. Tran will be the Chief Investment Advisor at Transmercial, an advertisement real estate & loan brokerage company in San Jose, CA. His website is http://www.transmercial.com He may be contacted at (408) 288-5500. Transmercial does business to all 50 states and publishes a FREE daily listing of 10 best commercial properties in 50 states. To subscribe, kindly visit http://www.transmercial.com.

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