Ask Cornerstone

Ask Cornerstone: I only have a small down payment. How would I create a business plan to get financing for fix-and-flip or fix-and-hold investments?

fix and flip loan for beginner

How do I create a business plan to get financing for fix-and-flip or fix-and-hold investments? I want to make it strong because I only have a small down payment but I have a steady job, good credit, and have great resources to be able to fix it up. I don’t currently own a home. My son is an electrical contractor and my husband has been fixing houses for an investor for years. Their experience will really help strengthen the business plan. Since you are just starting out and don’t have the capital that a bank or private money lender would require, I would suggest another approach.  You will likely not be able to […]

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Ask Cornerstone: How do I submit a line item job proposal to my hard money lender if I am going to do some of the work myself?

rehab cost estimate

I’m working with a hard money lender who will provide 90% of rehab costs, but I need to submit a line item job proposal. If I am planning to do some of the work myself and hire subs for the remainder, how to I present an acceptable rehab proposal to the lender? What kind of tools are available for estimating rehab costs?  Just be upfront with your lender and ask them what they need.  Tell them that you are going to do certain amount of work yourself and ask if it’s okay.  You  may  need to do is indicate the work you are doing yourself. There are a lot of […]

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Ask Cornerstone: I have an opportunity to buy three rental properties from my siblings but I’m unsure of the price I should pay.

Determine comparable house price

I have an opportunity to buy three rental properties from my siblings but I’m unsure of the price I should pay. I want to be fair, but don’t want to overpay. We had one of the properties on the market for 6 months earlier this year – listed at $79k, dropped to $60k over a couple of months and still not a single bit of interest.  We had listed with realtor, not FSBO. Should I credit some of the cost that we would have had to pay a realtor commissions if it was on  the market?   What is a good purchase price for me and still fair to my siblings […]

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Ask Cornerstone: Our fix-and-flip has a potential end-buyer who wants to customize our flip. How do I minimize risk?

fix and flip with an end buyer contract

We have a property under contract and were planning on doing a typical fix-and-flip.  However, we are in discussions with a potential end-buyer who would be buying the property after completion.  Ideally, we would lock-in the sales price before actually closing on the property and get a contract in place for the end-sale.  The end-buyer could then pick out their finishes, colors, etc.  How do I minimize our risk of the buyer canceling the contract? Approach it like new home builders do.  The buyers purchase the base model, but any upgrades are paid for up-front and funds are released thru escrow to the builder. Those released funds for the upgrades […]

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Ask Cornerstone: Why won’t hard money lenders give me a proof of funds letter without 30% in the bank?

Proof of Funds

I want to start making offers on properties to flip.  I’m having a problem because hard money lenders won’t give me a proof of funds letter without at least 30% of the loan in the bank simvastatin generic.  I don’t have this money in the bank now, but I can get it because I have partners standing by who will join me once I have a deal.  But I can’t present them a deal, because I can’t make any offers, because I don’t have proof of funds! It’s a vicious circle.  If I were a hard money lender, I’d be giving out Proof of Fund letters to anybody who would […]

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Ask Cornerstone: What are some ideas and the most efficient use of home curbside appeal renovation funds on my flip?

Improving the curbside appeal of your fix and flip investment is one of the smartest ways to allocate your time and funds. Consider these ideas: External Window Shutters Window shutters give a boost to the plain appearance of a house.  It’s a sort of accoutrement to dress up a house that makes it feel finished. Whether your climate would benefit from real shutters or you use them as part of the facade, the look is beneficial to the value of the home by boosting the curb appeal. Garden Benches, Porch Swing, or Adirondack Chairs Let your home buyers be able to envision themselves comfortable and relaxed in their future new home […]

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Ask Cornerstone: How to handle my motivated seller?

Motivated seller from marketing campaign

I’m excited that I found a motivated seller from mail marketing campaign. The owner currently lives in a senior living apartment in the city but wants to sell the house. The house is on six acres of land, in bad shape with 9 foot weeds, she hasn’t completely moved out, and, the worst part, has a pair of horses living in the stables and field. It’s Zillow estimated at $80K and the owner wants $30K. I think I can sell it moderately refurbished for $80-$200K depending on improvements.  How do I approach this negotiation so I don’t lose her? You need to get into the mind of the seller.   Figure […]

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Ask Cornerstone: What is a good rule of thumb for estimating the purchase price for a multi-unit property?

multi-unit property

It is hard to give you a simple “Good Rule of Thumb” for estimating purchase price for multi units project because there are so many more factors than just financial figures that has to be considered. The size of the project, number of stories, amount of open space, who pays for utilities, if the project have a flat or a pitched roof, and many other factors effect expenses which affect your return on investment (ROI). Also, the condition of the units will have to be considered before one makes an offer. The quality of the area is very important because it usually affects your vacancy rate and turnover cost, which further […]

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Ask Cornerstone: Is investing all my own money in a flip too risky?

risk in investing own money in flip

Investing in real estate shouldn’t be seen as a high-risk endeavor.  Hopefully, you’ve accumulated experience and knowledge to do a good analysis on your investment to keep your risk very low. If you are too uncertain, then the answer is “yes”, it’s too risky. Download our flip calculator to help your analysis and watch this video overview on how to analyze a flip: If I take that same question from another angle, we can discuss the potential opportunity cost of investing using your own money. The return on investment (ROI) from the profit of a house becomes a higher percentage against a lower amount invested.  By leveraging private money funds, […]

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Ask Cornerstone: How do I find a mentor for house flipping or real estate investing?

real estate mentors meeting over coffee

It’s a great idea to find a mentor when you are first starting out in real estate.  It can be overwhelming when you are first getting started. I recommend a two-step approach in finding a mentor.  First, arm yourself with some basic knowledge in the areas of real estate that you are interested.  Keep a list of questions that come to mind as you do your research. Make sure the list is handy, like on a smartphone document or note, so you can record questions whenever they pop in your head. While looking for a mentor, start “practicing” investing by joining a Cashflow 101 game in your area. Google “Cashflow […]

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