Category Archives for Commercial Mortgage

commercial mortgage financing alternatives

“There Can Be Many Commercial Property Mortgage Financing Alternatives For A Given Property”

Ontario commercial mortgage financing alternativesWhen it comes to commercial mortgages, the first thing you need to understand is that “A” lenders love to do commercial real estate deals.

The Second thing you need to realize is that they also love turning them down.

Commercial real estate provides larger scale financing placement for banks, financing institutions, and other commercial lenders so the attraction to a commercial deal is obvious from an opportunity to put money out into the market.

But institutional lenders such as banks, credit unions, and life insurance companies are also low rate, low risk lenders that are really interested in only the cream of the crop of the commercial real estate financing market.

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To qualify with an institutional lender on an investment properly, you’re going to need near zero vacancy, triple net tenants, strong security value, etc.

But if you fail to qualify with an “A” lender, that certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t get financing for either an investment property or owner occupied piece of real estate.

The reality is that there are many different types of commercial real estate financing sources.  So much so that the amount actually provide by your “A” bank type options can be pretty small in many situations.

Alternative Commercial Mortgage Lenders

Immediately below bank type financing options are the alternative mortgage lending options which can include lenders such as trust companies, mortgage investment corporations, mortgage investment funds, all the way down to private mortgage lenders.

And because the majority of financing scenarios do not qualify for “A” lending options, the alternative mortgage lenders are always on the look out for the deals that the bank can’t do.

They are especially interested in deals that generate good cash flow as cash flow by itself is arguably the single biggest way to mitigate risk of loss with existing cash flow much more interesting than potential cash flow being promised after certain actions are taken.

Deals that fall below bank grade, for whatever reason, are going to be considered higher risk which equates to paying more in rates and fees. But in many cases, the difference in rates and fees compared to a bank can be minimal and still very appealing as a mortgage option.

From a lender’s point of view, many of the alternative lenders are primarily into residential mortgage financing, but love to place commercial deals where there is higher margins available to extract from the market.

The key to remember that every commercial lender out there is going to assess a deal on its merits including the value of the property, cash flow, borrower credit and so on. So the more risk associated with the deal, the higher the rate and the tighter the lending criteria. As risk goes up, the number of financing options are likely going to decline.

Its just important to remember that can potentially be all sorts of options in the market that could be a good fit for your deal, or even a better fit for your deal than your local bank.

If you’ve been turned down for commercial mortgage financing, or want to better understand your potential options, then I suggest that you give me a call so we can discuss your situation in some detail.

Click Here to Speak With Toronto Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh

Commercial Property Refinancing

“Commercial Property Refinancing In Toronto And The Greater Toronto Area”

commercial property refinancing toronto

When it comes to the refinancing of a commercial property, most people think that the lending decision is primarily going to be related to the value of the building.

And while real estate security value is certainly a primary criteria for refinancing a commercial mortgage, its not going to be the only aspect of the deal that will be under consideration.

The reality this there can be a multitude of items related to the business and a commercial lender can focus in on when reviewing a commercial mortgage refinancing application and so it becomes important for a consultant or broker providing financing assistance to fully understand the deal so that a highly relevant fit can be made between borrower and lender.

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For instance , other than the value of the real estate, the first thing a lender is going to review in a refinancing application is what the use of funds is for.  If refinancing is related at all to business distress, the financing options will likely need to become more focused on sub prime and private mortgage options.  If the use of funds is for growth of an already profitable company, then there will be more bank or conventional “A” mortgage options available to the applicant.

In situations where the deal falls out of “A” lending criteria, there can still be a wide range of options available, especially in the Toronto and Greater Toronto Area.

In these subprime and private mortgage lending situations the objectives can also be varied by the situation which will also impact the lender target.  For instance, does the refinancing require any additional capital or do we strictly need to refinance the outstanding balance of the existing lender?  Are we trying to refinance more than one mortgage?  Is the existing mortgage up to date or are we going to be asked to financed accrued interest, arrears, and potentially property taxes?  How much time will the new mortgage be required for and what will be the exit strategy to repay it?

The point here is that specific requirements of the refinancing request and the specific financial and credit standing of the business that owns the commercial property will dictate the available lending options in addition to the real estate value and the projected loan to value that will result.

If you’re looking to refinance a commercial mortgage in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area, I suggest that you give me a call so we can discuss in detail the requirements of the request as well as the existing financial profile of the business so we can quickly determine the most relevant commercial property financing options available to you.

Click Here To Speak Directly To Toronto Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh



Subprime Commercial Mortgage Challenges

“Getting Acceptable Pricing On A Subprime Commercial Mortgage Can Be Challenging”

commercial property financing
I have previously defined the sub prime commercial  mortgage space as an area of the market that is just below the qualifying requirements of “A” lenders.

One of the challenges of securing a sub prime mortgage is finding rates and terms that are acceptable to the borrower.

Borrowers that have this type of deal, have a hard time believing that they can secure an “A” mortgage rate, so they persist in earnest trying to get financing that is just not available to them.

When sub prime options are explored, and because there is always more demand than supply, lenders tend to try and charge more due to limited available funds.

So there can be quite a gap between the “A” rates that you can almost qualify for and the “B” rates that are available to you.

In most cases, a subprime mortgage is short term property financing facility that will provide the capital necessary to move forward and provide the time necessary to work into cheaper money.

So in the end, sub prime rates are never going to be optimal, but they do allow financing to take place.

The challenge is finding a subprime interest rate that is acceptable to you and can be “cash flowed” somehow until cheaper money can be made available.

But unlike most “A” lenders, subprime lending sources tend to work through brokers, which means that the access to them can be harder to come by.

Even if you end up working with a mortgage broker that works in this part of the market, there is certainly no guarantee that they can place your deal as there can be great divergence among the financing programs offered by the secondary market.

So selecting a broker to work with that has broad access to what we can also call the alternative commercial property mortgage market is going to be important.

Even more helpful still is being able to provide a solid and complete lending package to a broker for review so they can more quickly determine if they are in a position to provide financing assistance to you.

Precious time can be lost trying to understand the deal and putting in applications to lenders that are not highly relevant.

In the end, getting an acceptable subprime commercial mortgage rate is going to start with understanding the rate you can afford versus focusing on a certain rate range you feel justified in asking for. From there, its all about working with the right professionals that can not only lead you to subprime commercial money, but also to a deal structure that can work in your budget.

And focusing on sub prime options sooner than later will provide a greater probability of getting a reasonable rate versus spending a larger chunk of your available time pursuing an unlikely “A” credit solution, and then be left scrambling to try to secure a subprime commercial mortgage with time running out on your deal or requirements.

If you are exploring subprime commercial mortgage options, I would welcome the opportunity to go over your situation and see if we have any potential solutions for you.

Click Here To Speak With Toronto Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh For A Free Subprime Commercial Mortgage Assessment

Commercial Property Loan

The Sources Of “A” Credit Commercial Property Loan Will Vary By
Property Type And Use

commercial mortgage financing
If you have an “A” credit financing scenario for a commercial property, then its likely that a low cost commercial property loan can be secured.

But depending on the property and its use, there can be considerable variation among lenders in terms of interest in the deal and rates and terms that can be offered.

Larger income producing properties will attract the most attention from main stream lenders, so there is likely not going to be a challenge to locate a market competitive deal.

Where it can be a challenge is with smaller value properties with more specialized uses.

Commercial properties such as gas stations, self storage facilities, and so on can have an excellent financing profile, but will not be of interest to all lenders at all times in all areas.

This is where it can be some work to get a commercial property loan in place that provides the rate and terms you’re looking for.

Timing can be a significant factor in this regard as well with lenders coming in and out of the market according to the strength and weighting of their portfolio towards different types of properties.

For instance, its not uncommon to see some of the major banks run hot and cold for lending on specific property types according to their own needs more so than the market.

One of the keys to locating and securing a commercial property loan, especially for a more niche type of real estate, is to 1) start early, and 2) get some assistance from a financing specialist.

Considerable time can be wasted knocking on the wrong doors, leaving you scrambling to come up with any type of option that will work with the time you have available.

And as I mentioned earlier, the offerings that can exist in the market can vary considerably from one “A” lender to another, so its important to be working with enough market intelligence to be able to zero in on the options that are most relevant to you situation and requirements, at the time that you will require the funding.

Every commercial property loan will be secured by mortgage security as well, so you will have to consider the type of mortgage agreements offered by relevant lenders as well as the type of mortgage registration and subordinate mortgage restrictions that may come with an approval for funding.

While in general the mortgage market as a whole has more options for commercial financing now that in the recent recessionary period starting in 2008, more options can also create more complexity in understanding the different options available to you.

This is still another reason why working with an experienced mortgage broker can be beneficial to ending up with a commercial property loan that meets your requirements now and into the future.

If you have a commercial property financing need right now, or are planning ahead for a future requirement, I suggest that you give me a call so we can quickly go through your situation together and discuss some of the different options that are likely going to be available to you in the “A” credit market.

Click Here To Speak Directly To Toronto Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh

Owner Occupied Mortgage

“Commercial Properties That Are
Owner Occupied Are Mostly

Financed With Business Loans”

owner occupied commercial mortgage
If a property is zoned commercial, then any type of financing that takes the property as security is going to be a commercial mortgage by definition.

But compared to other forms of commercial property, the financing process for owner occupied situations tends to be a bit different.

For non owner occupied, or investment properties, financing is accessed through a commercial mortgage program where the type of property and rents are the key determining factors as to what type and amount of mortgage you can qualify for.

In situations where the property is occupied by the owner and there are no third party tenants, business financing solutions tend to be the most relevant for directly financing the property.

This is due to the fact that the business that owns the real estate may have other debts to figure into the overall debt servicing assessment, and the cash flows to service existing and proposed future debt are going to be coming from the business operations, not from individual tenants paying fixed amounts on a monthly basis.

So while the assessment of property value and liability are the same, the lender needs to focus in on the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow of the business operations to determine if property financing can be approved.

In effect, the borrower is trying to procure a business loan that will secured by real estate security, and potentially other assets of the company.

The Use of Funds An Important Consideration to This Type Of Financing Application

For instance, if applied for capital is going to be used within the business entity for business operations or to improve the existing property, there are going to be more “A” credit options available to the borrower as compared to situations where the owners want to do an equity take out for a different venture.

The use of funds can specifically be for the property such as acquisition, building construction, and refinancing, but can also be for cash flow, transaction bridge financing, equipment acquisition, etc., provided once again that the utilization of funds is within the business to either improve overall security value and/or cash flow.

If an equity take out of some sort is required to move capital outside of the entity that owns the property, then these situations are more the domain of secondary lending sources like private lenders or sub prime institutional mortgage providers.

Financial Statement Review Determines
Acceptable Debt Level

The balance sheet of the business comes under its own unique scrutiny as business lenders are going to be interested in the total debt to equity ratio of the business before and after the completion of a new business loan against property.

For banks and institutional lenders, the debt equity ratio can range from 2:1 to 3:1 with higher debt equity ratios demonstrating higher risk and commanding higher interest rates.

When the debt to equity ratio exceeds 3:1 for the entire business, then secondary sources of funding will need to be considered at higher rates of interest.

The assessment of an owner occupied mortgage on a commercial property has similarity to a residential mortgage assessment with respect to how much of the cash flow will be required to service the total business debt.

Once again, if we consider “A” credit lenders, the debt servicing ratio can range from 1.20 to 1.5 depending on the lender, the type of property, geography, and industry.

The debt servicing ratio is calculated by dividing the projected annual debt servicing requirements by the available cash flow.

The available cash flow is determined by taking the historical operating net income and adding back non cash items or portions of non cash items depending on the particular lender.

Depending on the composition of a business balance sheet and amount of cash flow being generated, the loan to value ratio can vary dramatically from one lender to another as some programs may be able to lend more based on higher cash flow and additional security.

The business loan itself will also come with different lending covenants related to the financial statements that if not adhered to can result in account default.

The bottom line is the owner occupied commercial mortgage financing can be more complex than an investment based mortgage and can vary considerably from one application to another due to the unique financial characteristics of any one particular business.

For assistance with this type of financing, I suggest that you give me a call so we can go through your requirements in detail and discuss different commercial property financing options available to you and your business.

Click Here To Speak With Toronto Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh For A Free Assessment Of Your Owner Occupied Mortgage Financing Options

Subprime Commercial Mortgage Options

“Subprime Commercial Mortgage Options Are On The Rise”

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While we have seen a nice recovery by the subprime residential market since the financing downturn in 2007/2008, the same cannot be said for the sub prime commercial mortgage market.

That being said, there are more and more active sources moving into this part of the market, but the movement is slow and rather cautious as individuals and merchant banks try to get a better feel as to what they are comfortable with.

To be clear, when I speak of sub prime commercial lending, this is basically commercial property financing deals that do not qualify for bank or main line institutional lending, but still have a strong enough basis to attract funding that will look at slightly higher risk levels.

While private lenders can also be thrown into the subprime space, the majority of money that is hardest to come by is for deals over $1,000,000 and over several million dollars.

Once you get into this level of commercial financing, there are not a lot of individual private lenders or lender groups that are interested in putting a large amount of their overall investment portfolio into one or two deals.

So the ongoing demand is for commercial lending that can fund the $1,000,000 to $20,000,000 deal for a one to three year period.

And while the major bank’s are getting more aggressive with their lending and funding criteria, there are still a lot of pretty good looking deals that do not make bank grade which are continually looking for money.

The this “middle” market zone, we are talking about deals for a quick purchase, mortgage refinancing, debt consolidation, equity take out, or a building/renovation project.

The goal of the borrower is to get access to capital quickly to take advantage of an opportunity, cover a capital requirement, or buy time until lower cost, long term financing can be arranged.

This area of sub prime lending is attracting more and more investors into the market where the lenders range from individuals to large financial entities that want to diversity into real estate financing.

The rates and terms can be similar to private mortgages with the biggest difference being loan size and broader acceptance of potential exit strategies.

In Canada, the Ontario market is primarily sought after due to its size and market stability. But most of the other provinces are getting interest as well for these types of opportunities.

Serious lenders can usually assess a deal in a week or so and fund within 30 days provided everything required for funding is in order.

This is always going to be more money available in the larger centers, but out lining areas are seeing more interest as well albeit with some amount of premium attached.

If you’re looking for a short term commercial mortgage or bridge loan for one or more of the reasons mentioned about, then I suggest that you give me a call at 416 464 4113 so we can go over your requirements together and discuss different subprime commercial options that may be available to you.

Click Here To Speak With Toronto Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh For A Free Assessment Of Your Sub Prime Commercial Mortgage Options

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Challenges With Commercial Property Refinance

“Just Because You Have A Commercial Mortgage In Place Doesn’t Guarantee That The Lender Will Renew Or Renew With Similar Terms”

From time to time I have written on how it can be a challenge at times to get a commercial mortgage in place for some form of incremental financing versus straight mortgage renewal.

This would primarily include real estate acquisition, but can also relate to any type of subordinate financing that would be registered against the property.

One of the basic challenges to potential borrowers is the shifting sands of borrowing landscape.

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Lender portfolios are constantly changing with each and every deal that comes in and gets funded.

This requires a constant balancing act on the part of the mortgage provider to keep advanced funds and overall risk rating in balance.

The end result is that at times lenders can either be out of the market for certain types of deals, or they have more stringent criteria related to a particular type of real estate and geography combination in order to bring down their risk rating.

But these commercial mortgage supply issues are also not reserved for acquisition or new mortgage lending.

When you’re in a refinancing situation, this type of supply issue can occur as well.

If the lender is “out of the market” for a particular type of deal, there may be no renewal offered at all and the time period available to you to get the mortgage repaid can leave you scrambling.

In situations where the lending criteria has changed, you may be offered a renewal, but the rates and terms might not be acceptable or difficult to manage in your cash flow.

Let’s look at an example of this latter situation.

Say that you have a commercial property mortgage that is coming due with a maximum amortization period of 15 years.

As long as the mortgage is renewed with current market interest rates, your cash flow can still manage the repayment provided that the amortization period is not reduced.

But what if the lender has changed its lending/funding criteria on that particular type of property and shortens the amortization period to 10 years.

All of a sudden your cash flow is going to get squeezed by a higher payment which you may be challenged to cover at particular times of the year.

Planning Ahead Is Important To Minimize Surprises

The best way to make sure you don’t get a surprise at renewal time is to touch base with your lender at least two months ahead of time to make sure that 1) a renewal will be offered, and 2) the rates and terms are going to be in keeping with what you already have.

If the lender feedback is inconsistent with that you were expecting, then its time to start working on Plan B.

And Plan B can involve a few different courses of action.

On the one hand, you can work towards trying to locate another lender that can provide the rates and terms you are looking for.

But that may not materialize in the time you have to work with as there may be money supply issues related to the property type with other lenders as well.

The other course of action is to see if you make your cash flow work with the renewal being offered.

It could be your best option, so its important to determine if and how you can make it work.

Even if you determine that the renewal is unacceptable for a period of years, perhaps you can get a completely open repayment option so you have the flexibility to refinance if and when a suitable alternative can be located.

In many cases this is a good possibility due to the fact that if a lender shortens their amortization significantly on a renewal, they are basically squeezing you out anyway so they could be totally onside with a fully open repayment on the renewal.

Bottom line is not to make assumptions about a future renewal and to make sure you proactively find out what you’re likely options with the current lender will be well before the renewal date.

Because commercial financing can take a considerable amount of time to complete, if you do have a surprise you want as much lead time as possible to deal with it.

Click Here To Speak With Toronto Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh

Closing On Commercial Properties

“Securing The Right Type Of  Commercial Mortgage In A Timely Fashion Is The Key To Closing On A Commercial Property”

I’ve written quite a few articles relating to the process of commercial property financing, the costs you can expect, and the different forms of mortgage lending that should be considered in different situations.

Today I’m going to delve further into this topic by focusing even more on cost and timing related to longer term by and hold situations.

There can be many different scenarios unto which a commercial property transaction can complete.
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The vast majority will require debt financing due to either a lack of cash or a desire to utilize leverage of capital.

But in every situation where debt financing is required, one must discern the relationships between costs and timing for getting the deal closed versus getting the best possible deal available in the market place.

Another way of saying this is that the optimal financing arrangement for the long term may not be the first type of financing that is arranged.

To close a commercial deal, you may need to seriously consider fast forms of closing with less conditions and work elements related to not only closing, but the decision making process for even getting the financing in place.

Lower cost forms of financing require new optimal conditions to exist before any funds will be approved and advanced.

The key to getting a deal closed is being able to quickly assess whether or not there is a very high probability of achieving an optimal lending situation in the time you have to work with.

If the initial assessment does not yield a high probability for landing low cost money for whatever reason, then its time to look at the next best option that CAN produce the high probability of success that you’re looking for.

Remember that first and foremost, the prime objective is to secure the property and hold it for a long period of time, either as an income producing property or an owner occupied asset.

So if the initial financing to close the deal is not the ideal financing, but something that can get the deal closed and buy time to get the ideal longer term financing arranged, then all options that are long term cost effective should be considered.

Getting Even More Specific On Cost And Timing

Depending on the size of a transaction, a bank or institutional lender will want to see a recently completed commercial property appraisal commissioned directly to themselves, an environmental appraisal, and financial statements no more than 6 months in age. When multiple properties and entities are involved, these requirements will likely need to be provided separately on each property and entity.

The cost and time it takes to complete this body of work can be considerable. Understanding these elements, their cost and timing are essential to the initial assessment process of where to get your commercial mortgage for closing purposes.

Conversely, a private lender that specializes in short term financing may be able to utilize property and environmental appraisals that are several years old as well as existing financial statements, both accountant prepared and interim statements.

While the cost of private financing is going to be higher from an interest rate and lender/broker fee perspective in virtually all cases, these costs can be significantly offset by not potentially having to get new supporting documents prepared. This is also not just a pure cost comparison issue either, as the value of your time to ride herd on the process can be significant in terms of other more profitable things you could be doing with those units of time.

On the the aspect of time, you can also have what I will call a reverse problem with private financing options.

With bank financing, the concern is needing more time to complete their administrative requirements.

On the private side, once you have been provided with an offer, most private lenders will only give you a short period of time to take the deal and move to funding.

This is due to the fact that they want to get their money out into the market and sitting around for weeks or months, waiting to be used as a last minute contingency, is not typically going to be an option for you.

So if you want to go down the private mortgage path for acquisition financing for a property, then you have to be prepared to act quickly on an offer or the funding will not remain available.

Another timing consideration is that if you wait until the last moment to move off a bank financing process to a private lending process, you may not be able to locate and secure private money as well, especially if you’re looking for more than $1,000,000 in funds as the privates that would potentially do the deal may not be in funds at that moment in time.

The key to commercial property closing then is 1) make a good initial assessment of what type of money is best suited to your situation; 2) make sure that the incremental costs will still make the acquisition profitable over time; and 3) be ready to move forward quickly on whatever path you choose to take so that you’re maximizing the probability of success.

Click Here To Speak With Toronto Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh

Mortgage Home

Selectivity Of Commercial Lenders

“Finding A Commercial Lender That Can Help You Acquire A Property”

One of the real challenges with trying to purchase a commercial property is locating a lender that is interested at funding your deal at a given point in time.

This can be very challenging due to the wide variety of commercial properties in existence, the business status of any particular property, and the portfolio and interest of any given lender.

Let’s look at a couple of examples to further explain my point.
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Properties that generate the most lender interest are going to be revenue producing properties that are generating substantially more cash flow than what would be required to service debt.

All commercial lenders are interested in cash flow, so on the surface, any bank or institutional lender could be interested in the deal.

But all lenders are also driven by the composition of their portfolio at any point in time. This can lead to situations where a deal completed by a bank last month could not be completed the following month if a similar deal was presented.

Unfortunately, the lender doesn’t necessarily tell you there is a pretty good chance of not being able to squeeze your deal into their portfolio and put you through the application process, potentially wasting time and money and putting your deal at risk.

One way to avoid running out of time is to get a slightly higher cost bridge loan to get the deal done and provide you with enough time to hunt the market for a preferred long term deal. Because cash flow is strong, this should not be hard to do and the added cost incurred is likely going to be small as compared to missing out on a good opportunity all together.

Now, lets look at the other extreme…properties that are not generating enough cash flow today to service debt.

These may be great buying opportunities in that the current owner does not have the means or ability to get the cash flow where it should be and has to sell out due to lack of capital to move forward, but what’s the right lender to take this deal to?

When we’re talking about less than optimal property acquisition, lenders tend to be much more selective in terms of the deals they want to take on. And once again, you can waste more time and money going through the application process for funders that do not have a high level of interest.

The ability to assess what a lender can or can’t finance and what they are currently interested in is very difficult to assess from the outside looking in.

Without following the market and being in regular contact with an active network its almost impossible to guess who to turn to.

This is where it can be very helpful dealing with a commercial mortgage broker who stays in tuned with the market and has a good sense as to where the most relevant sources are for any given deal at any particular point in time.

Being able to zero in on highly interest lenders quickly is going to be important for just about any application along with understanding roughly how your deal will be priced in order to make sure that any potential financing option you may be considering can align with your own cost of capital assumptions.

Click Here To Speak Directly With Commercial Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh

Financing Vacant Commercial Property

“Here Are Some Basic Parameters For Financing Vacant Commercial Property”

When we are talking about financing bare land or vacant land that is zoned commercial, there are a few things to keep in mind as the property owner.

First of all, is the land vacant with buildings that are not in use, or a clear and bare piece of property.

Second, are there services on the property or up to the property line? If there are no services adjacent to the property, where would they need to be accessed from and what would be the cost of getting them to the site?

Third, what has been the historical usage of the property over time and has there been any de-comissionings from past activities as well as environmental assessment reports?

Fourth, where is the property located. If a bare lot of commercial property is located within a major urban center, developed industrial or commercial park, this will have a considerable impact to lender interest than if its located in an undeveloped commercial park in a rural town.

All of these items speak to the potential resale market for the property which is going to be important for any lending consideration.

Vacant commercial land can be financed through a bank or institutional lender provided that all the above questions provide value added answers that reduce lender risk.

Further, a bank is going to want to see a source of debt repayment from an existing commercial cash flow in order to be able to fund this type of deal.

The weaker the overall profile, the more likely that this will become a private lender type of deal. And if debt servicing is cannot be demonstrated from existing cash flow, then prepaid interest may also be factored into the equation.

From a use of funds point of view, banks and institutional lenders are not big on equity take outs and prefer to see any loan amount invested into the property to further increase the security value.

Private lenders are less concerned about the use of funds if an equity take out for another project is required.

In terms of loan to value, whether we’re talking bank or private, the amount of financing you can expect to be able to secure on vacant commercial property is between 40% and 60% and 50% being the average.

Higher loan to value amounts would only likely be considered if the properly was on the verge of being developed or was sitting right on the edge of an active development area.

With respect to loan to value, because the land is vacant, it can be difficult to determine fair market value and in many cases a private lender will default back to what the land was purchased for as a base to lend from which can be considerably different from a newly completed appraisal.

Personal covenants can also be important as property lenders will want to get as much security as they can on any bare land lending scenario.

If you have a piece of vacant commercial property that you’d like to finance, I suggest that you give me a call so we can go over your situation together and discuss different options that may be available to you in the market place.

Click Here To Speak With Toronto Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh

Refinance Self Storage

The Refinancing Of A Self Storage Property Can Provide A Number Of Commercial Mortgage Challenges”

Today we are going to cover what I find to be some of the main challenges that borrowers and property owners experience when they attempt to refinance a self storage unit or property.

By being able to proactively address these issues before even applying for a new commercial mortgage, you’re going to be more likely to get the financing you’re looking for in the time frame you’re working in.

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The first main challenge is the quality and strength of the financial statements that are provided by the tenants.

This is extremely important when you’re trying to refinance a construction mortgage where you most likely only have partial occupancy at the point at which construction is complete.

The lender is going to focus in on cash flow, and if you have recently opened your doors to the public, you may only be at 50% occupancy or less, which is not likely going to provide enough cash flow to provide adequate debt servicing for a long term mortgage. Yes, the projections can likely demonstrate repayment once occupancy is increased. But from a lender’s assessment of risk, they are going to be concerned as to when you will actually be able to achieve the planned level of average occupancy.

A second major potential challenge is the commercial appraisal.

Because a self storage property is income producing, one would think that the appraised value would predominantly be based on the income or cash flow generated now and in the future.

That’s not always the case due to the fact that there can can significant cash flow swings in self storage as a result of average occupancy periods being short in duration. As a result, appraisers will tend to lean towards a cost assessment of value instead which can result in a lower market valuation for the purposes of commercial mortgage financing.

The potential consequences of this is that you might not be able to get the amount of mortgage funding you require to retire the existing mortgage and potential provide additional capital for other purposes if that was part of your reason for refinancing in the first place.

This leads into the next challenge which relates to trying to increase the amount of mortgage funding to generate funds for other purposes.

With “A” mortgage lenders, there can be a high level of focus on the use of funds for a new mortgage. If you are increasing the mortgage amount on a self storage property and are planning to reinvest it into the property, thus increasing its market value, then its more likely that particular utilization of mortgage proceeds will be acceptable to an “A” lender.

However, if you’re looking at taking the funds out of the equity in the property and utilizing the money for an unrelated activity, such as starting up another self storage facility, or consolidating other debts, then its less likely that an “A” level commercial lender will approve that application of funds.

This may require you to focus more on sub prime commercial lenders or private money lenders that are less concerned with additional mortgage proceeds being applied elsewhere. These secondary financing sources will likely come at a higher cost of financing, but may still be worth it if there is enough benefit gained from being able to have more flexibility with the use and application of incremental mortgage proceeds.

If you are considering refinancing a self storage facility or require a refinance action right away, I suggest that you give me a call so we can go through your requirements together and discuss the different financing options that may be available to you.

Click Here To Speak With Toronto Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh

Warehouse Purchase Financing

“Warehouse Purchase Financing Challenges With Commercial Mortgage Lenders”

Today we are going to be talking about some of the main challenges that you can have when trying to get a mortgage in place to complete the purchase of a warehouse property.

One of the main challenges is focused on the age, condition, and layout of the building.

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For instance, with older buildings, the layout and infrastructure may not be conducive to how the market would be defined for similar space, which can cause “A” lenders at least to have no interest in lending against these types of assets.

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Another challenge with financing existing buildings is placing lending value on improvements that have been made. If the the purchaser is planning to rent or lease out the space, the improvements made for or by the last tenant may have no value to a future tenant or the average tenant in the market place. So the result can be a commercial appraisal that comes in lower than the purchase price which will require a larger equity investment on behalf of the purchaser.

Overall, when you get into warehouse properties that are over 20 years in age, it can be difficult to get these financed through “A” commercial lenders.

The second most common challenge I see when warehouse financing is related to the tenancy of the building.

Lenders can be very interested in the financial profile of each tenant as well as the manner in which they are utilizing the rented or leases space.

Tenant concerns are partially related to cash flow and partially related to security.

From a cash flow point of view, stronger tenants that have lease terms in place for at least as long as the lending term contemplated will have a greater chance to help attract an “A” lender than a warehouse that does not.

From a security point of view, all “A” lenders today require environmental audits to make sure all financed properties are being kept up to the standard of the day and even if the seller or purchaser can provide a clean environmental report at the time of purchase, the tenant usage of the property could still cause a lender not to issue a commitment to finance which could result in financing needing to come from sub prime commercial and private mortgage lenders.

The third major challenge I see is the commercial appraisal that is going to be used by the lender to establish the size of a potential mortgage.

As mentioned earlier, a warehouse facility may have functionality and utility in it that the average tenant does not have any use in. So if you are acquiring a property where there is going to be tenant turnover, or could be tenant turnover in the future, keep in mind that the valuation of the complete package of real estate, improvements, and fixtures you are trying to acquire may be discounted through the lending process which will reduce the amount of financing available to you.

If you are looking to purchase a warehouse property and want to better understand your financing options, I suggest that you give me a call so we can go through your financing needs together and discuss different commercial mortgage strategies that can meet your requirements.

Click Here To Speak With Commercial Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh For A Free Assessment Of Your Warehouse Financing Options

Purchase Financing For Self Storage Property

“Self Storage Financing Challenges When Trying To Complete A Purchase”

When trying to secure a commercial mortgage to complete the purchase of an existing self storage facility, there can be a number of different financing challenges that can become evident during the application process.

Our goal today is to discuss the three major challenges that are most typical to this type of deal.

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Being aware of each of these challenges and why they occur in the first place can allow you to take a more proactive approach to eliminate them or reduce their impact

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The first major challenge I find when trying to arrange commercial financing for self storage is meeting the historical financial information requirements of the lender.

For an “A” credit lender, most will require three years of accountant prepared financial statements as well as detailed occupancy statements for the same period of time.

Most bank or institutional commercial lender criteria will require that the historical financial statements show enough available cash flow to service the proposed mortgage.

If you are purchasing an under performing property with the intent of marketing it more aggressively to reduce vacancy and make it more profitable, the financing available to you will be limited in most cases to the historical cash flow, not the future cash flow.

And if you are unable to qualify with an “A” lender initially, it may make sense to secure a sub prime commercial loan or a private mortgage to complete the purchase and provide the time necessary to improve the financials and allow for a mortgage refinancing in a year or so.

A second major challenge is getting an appraisal completed with a valuation that optimizes your loan to value potential.

While this is an income producing property, an appraiser may lien more to a cost approach or comparable sale approach to establish value which may end up providing a market value that is lower than what you paid for the property.

Or, even if the appraiser comes in with the same value as you paid, he or she may provide other remarks about area competition as an example that may end causing the lender to be more conservative with respect to the amount of financing they are prepared to extend, which will increase the equity you’re going to have to put into the deal.

The third major challenge I see with self storage purchase financing is meeting the lender’s borrower covenant and experience requirements.

If you are looking at acquiring your first self storage property, there will be considerable scrutiny towards the management team you are proposing as well as the net worth you own outside of the operation being acquired that would support the guarantee for the loan.

Or if you have existing self storage assets, there may be considerable due diligence required to review past financial performance of those assets to provide lender comfort that both experience and guarantee are sufficient for further financing.

If you are looking to finance the purchase of an existing self storage property, I suggest that you give me a call so we can go through your situation together and discuss the different financing approaches available to you.

Click Here To Speak Directly To Commercial Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh


Financing Multi Use Buildings

“Mortgage Financing Challenges For Multi Use Buildings”

When trying to arrange mortgage financing for a multi use building or mixed use property where there is both a residential and commercial use present, there can be a number of different challenges you may have to deal with in order to secure the funding you’re looking for.

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So when we’re talking about a mixed use building, this could be a store on the lower level of a two story building with one ore more apartments on the upper floor.

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The key point here is that the property has more than one type of permitted use.

So one of the first challenges that come along with multi use building financing is that borrowers often times think that financing will be available through a residential mortgage financing program.

Almost without exception all lenders will consider a mixed use property as a commercial deal when they consider your application for financing.

That in of itself is not necessarily a road block to get financing, but can create a few issues.

First, even though a commercial mortgage program is going to be required, you may still end up wasting considerable time with a residential lender who will take your mortgage and even get part way through the process before they say they can’t help you out right or that they will need to direct you to their commercial lending department.

Second, commercial property financing is going to cost more than residential property financing, all other things in the comparison between the two being equal. So make sure you factor in a higher cost of financing from 0.5% to 1.5% above residential mortgage rates.

And a mortgage broker that knows commercial business will understand this and direct you accordingly to appropriate lending sources whereas a broker that strictly focuses on residential may not.

What I will call the second major challenge is to work with a commercial lender that is prepared to fund your particular deal.

Banks and institutional lenders for the most part are not interest in funding multi unit buildings, especially those under $500,000.

But if you were to go an apply to a bank or institutional lender for this type of commercial property loan, they would likely insert you into the standard application process which could end up costing you both time and dollars before they end up getting around to saying no. So once again, its important to be working with a commercial lender that can actually help you with your financing requirements.

And even if an “A” lender is prepared to do the deal, their application to funding process may take 60 to 90 days to complete so you’re going to need to sure you have enough time to go through their process.

The third biggest challenge I see most often when working on the financing requirements of a mixed use property is dealing with the quality and strength of the leases in place as well as the underlying cash flow.

The leases in place and who the tenants actually are can be very important to an “A” lender.

Lenders are interested in the lease term, rate, and the financial strength of the tenants.

If the lease terms outstanding do not match up with a requested financing term, then that can be a problem.

If the tenants are mom and pop type stores or small operations, there may not be a lot of Big bank confidence in the tenant’s ability to pay over time.

Being able to effectively deal with these three challenges will go along way to getting the commercial property financing in place that you require.

If you require financing for a multi unit building, I suggest that you give me a call so we can go over your situation together and discuss different potential commercial mortgage options.

Click Here To Speak With Commercial Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh

Townhouse Development Loan

“Townhouse Development Loan
Financing Solutions”

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Townhouse development loan financing is available from a number of the commercial mortgage lending sources we work directly with.

The key to getting the construction financing for a town house project is through a concentrated focus to avoid, reduce, or eliminate the major challenges to getting this type of financing in place.

The major challenges for most town house projects include but are not limited to 1) the loan to value amount required; 2) the sale of the units; and the 3) timing of draw advances from the lender.

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Starting with the loan to value challenge, in order to assess an application for townhouse construction financing, a lender will require a recently completed appraisal from an AACI appraiser that they are comfortable with, to show what the “as complete” value of the property will be.

If the appraisal comes back with a value that is lower than what you expect it to be, you may end up having to invest more up front capital into the property to make the loan to value work for the lender. Lenders may also make their own adjustments to your as complete projected value to build in more conservatism and protect themselves against risk in the process, which can further increase the equity that must come into the project before they are going to be prepared to advance any funds.

Now there may be ways around this type of challenge and taking a proactive approach to the potential problem is likely going to yield the most options for consideration.

Another major townhouse financing challenge is the sale of the actual units.

Most “A” lenders are going to be looking at around 70% presales before construction begins.

Some “B” lenders may allows as few as 50% of the projected units to be presold.

In each situation, the lender’s assessment of presales is going to take into consider the location of the development, the perceived “saleability” of the units, and the lender’s own internal policies.

The last of the major challenges we most often see relates to the timing of the draw advances.

Before the project starts, the lender will create a draw advance schedule typically with input from the borrower.

If everything goes according to plan, there may be very few issues with draw advances. But the reality for most projects is that there will likely be some issues related to weather or work coordination that does not allow the work to be completed exactly as planned.

When a draw is requested, a commercial real estate lender will typically ask a third party professional such as an appraiser or engineer to conduct an assessment of the work completed and the work remaining. If the assessment of the work remaining is greater than what the borrower estimates, there could be a delay of the draw and/or a draw reduction which can create a hole in your cash flow right in the middle of the project.

Once again, when these types of issues arise, there can be ways to effectively deal with them without impacting the progress of the work or the ability to manage the cash flow.

The best way to deal with any of these challenges to work with an experienced commercial mortgage broker who has placed these types of construction mortgages and has a track record for helping their clients with overcoming these or other issues when they arise.

Click Here To Speak Directly To Toronto Commercial Mortgage Broker Joe Walsh For A Free Assessment Of Your Townhouse Development Loan Options

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